Four years ago, when I first started video blogging about cologne and perfume, I would never have guessed that I'd have the following that I have today. What started as me with a webcam and a YouTube account has now grown to a full website and online personality that features sponsored reviews, sells fragrance samples and hosts ad space and sponsored tweets.
In no way did I start video blogging with the intention of it becoming a small business. In fact, my first YouTube post was actually a video response to a very famous YouTube user by the name of “HappySlip” who asked for others to share what made them happy. I uploaded a video talking about my passion for fragrances, assuming that no one would see it, but the next day I found several comments awaiting my reply. I was shocked! I did the next logical thing and posted a video in response to the questions; then people started asking for my opinions on different fragrances. One video led to another and before I knew it, I was posting weekly fragrance reviews. I now have over 17,000 likes on Facebook and 219 videos with over 1 million video views.
While building Fragrance Talk, here are a few things a learned along the way (and wish I’d known before I started):
This is the golden rule! If you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, then you’re in the wrong business. When I started building a ‘YouTube fragrance community’, I felt like it was taking care of itself. Why? Because I’m obsessed with fragrance. Each and every single person has a passion for something…not sure what your passion is? Well, here’s a great way to figure it out:
- Think of something that interests you.
- Write it down.
- Then write at least 100 things relating to your interest that you could talk about. If you can write 100+ things and it’s not getting old, then it’s your passion!
Choose a Blog/Website Service
If you have no idea how to create a website, you can sign up for a free blogging service within a few minutes. I recommend tumblr for those who are new to the game because it’s very easy to use and has a social-community aspect to it. Some other free blogging services include Blogger and WordPress. WordPress has a lot more options than other services, but it can take some time to get used it. With that being said, the learning curve may actually be worth it because, later on, you can convert the blog into a fully functional website.
Set an Upload Schedule
People like consistency. They want to know that they can look forward to new content from you on a regular basis and it will make them more likely to subscribe. I would recommend starting out with one video per week because this will allow for your video to sit on your YouTube channel’s featured page for longer to gather views and comments.
Create Quality Video
Audio – Good quality audio is one of the most noticeable aspects of your video’s perceived quality. Even if you’re shooting in 1080p HD quality video, if your audience can’t hear you, they’re going to drop off
Lighting – You could have an HD camera or a simple flip cam, but without good lighting it won’t matter. It’s important to have lights positioned behind the camera and facing toward you. If the light you’re using is too harsh, try experimenting with different lights and lamps.
Camera Position – Make sure the camera is not looking up at you. You should be looking up at the camera, just slightly. Try to position the camera just a couple inches above your eyebrow level. I don’t know why, but for some reason it makes you look a lot more professional, awake and ready to go.
Call to Action
During each video, it’s important to insert a call to action. A good line is “I post new videos every Wednesday, so make sure you subscribe”. It may also be a good idea to ask your audience to comment on the video because the more comments it has, the more likely it will be featured on YouTube’s homepage.
Get on Social Media
As you start to build a community, your followers are going to need a way to connect with you and with others in the community. Social media is no longer an option; it’s necessary for the success of your blog. If you’re new to social media, a great book to read is Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen.
Have a Home Base
This is most likely going to be your website or blog. Make sure you have an “About Me” section as well as badges/buttons to all of your social networking sites. Make sure you syndicate every video, article, tweet, etc. to your home base. This way all your fans only have to go to one place for all of your updates.
I can’t stress this one enough! When you start your blog, you’re not going to be a hit success over night. It’s going to take time and for some, a very long time. It took me three years before my videos got popular. But, I didn’t care how popular I was because I was passionate about fragrance. That is one of the many reasons why being passionate is the golden rule!