I love to family vlog. And my kids love it too. My wife, well, she’s not a big fan of the process, but she enjoys watching the final video when I publish it to our YouTube Family Vlog. That’s why I love creating videos of my family, and it’s the expression on their faces when they watch themselves having fun that I’m watching as they press the play button on the YouTube video.
My family has been vlogging for over six months now (my how time flies when you’re having fun) and friends, family, and other family YouTubers are starting to ask me lots of questions. And the range is quite vast – from how to get started setting up their own family vlog to what is the best equipment to use for filming and editing.
So I thought I’d write the ultimate how-to guide on family vlogging. I’ll keep updating this page from time-to-time to ensure that it stays an excellent guide to answering all the questions you have to get started sharing your family memories. For topics where we can get more in-depth, I’ve created individual pages focused on just that topic. You’ll see links to these throughout this page.
Why start a family vlog?
You’ve got to start here – with the tough question: “Why do you want to vlog about your family?” Really think about your answer here. It’s important. Having this question answered before you buy any equipment, create any social media profiles, or click “create channel” button on YouTube is going to help keep your content focused and even help you monetize your vlog if that’s a direction you choose to go as you gain subscribers.
For me, my interest started because of a project my father had asked me to work on over twelve years ago, but my “why” is because I needed to shift focus from work and to my family. I vlog about family and family travel because life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. – Ferris Bueller
How to start a family vlog channel
Now that you know why you’re vlogging, it’s time to figure out where you’re going to post your cute family videos. I’d suggest building a building upon YouTube and Facebook.
Let’s talk about YouTube
YouTube is the prominent place for online video, and your family YouTube vlog will fit right into the vast community of Mom and Dad Vloggers sharing their lives. In fact, the first video uploaded on YouTube was Jawed Karim sharing his day at the zoo (just like you will), and this is the type of content that YouTube wants to have on their platform.
To get started on YouTube, you’ll need to create an account. Since there is a possibility of this process changing from time to time, I linked to YouTube’s help article on the process of getting that started. Now that you have an account created, it’s time to create a YouTube channel. This is exciting, isn’t it! You’re s few clicks away from building a home for your family vlogs.
Creating a YouTube Channel
Creating an account is not the same as creating a channel. With a YouTube account, you can save videos to watch later, comment, like, and have access to many other cool features. To publish videos, you’re going to need to create a YouTube Channel.
Since the process of creating a YouTube channel for your family vlog could change over time, and I want to be sure this stays the ultimate guide to family vlogging, I’ll link to YouTube’s guide to creating a channel.
Don’t ignore Facebook!
With 45% of people watching more than an hour of Facebook videos a week, you just can’t ignore Facebook as a channel to publish your videos. Posting family videos on Facebook has two benefits. The first is that you can take advantage of Facebook’s autoplay. When a user scrolls their Facebook feed, any video content plays automatically. Because of this, you can engage with viewers right away. Secondly, visitors are on Facebook to catch up with friends and kill time they’re not interested in clicking outside of Facebook to view a video. Keeping a video in the feed will allow for quick interactions such as likes and comments and even shares. So don’t spend all your time on YouTube, grow on Facebook as well.
You’ve Got To Have Style
Now that you have your YouTube channel created, it’s time to start thinking about a format. If you’ve ever watched any network reality TV show, they have a formula for each episode. While the content of each chapter of the story differs, the method they use to tell it doesn’t change much. You need to do the same for your family vlog. If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend you just start shooting and see what happens. Starting is the hardest part so don’t let these details slow you down. Publish and pay attention to the feedback you get. Analytics will help you figure out the right cadence and help you craft your story.
In addition to the formula, when it comes to editing find a style that works. I’m no professional editor, but something that works for me is “come late and leave early.” This means that my in-point is positioned as the action is already taking place. And my out-point cuts just before the scene truly ends. You’ll find your own style but when you find it, stick to it and add some variations along the way.
One of the pet peeves of mine is when I see a family vlog filmed on a cell phone. While cell phone cameras have gotten much better over the years if you’re going to take videos of family memories, make sure to do it at the best possible quality. It matters to me, so it’s got to matter to other viewers. Unless the story is fascinating, I’m not sticking around long to watch a cell phone video. Be sure to upload at the highest possible quality your camera or editor can handle.
Background Music For Your Family Vlog
Family vlog music is essential! To push the story and fill some of the non-talking parts in your vlog, you’ve got to have excellent background music. And the style of music you choose is important too. If you use popular music, you may be subject to copyright issues which means that when you upload to YouTube or Facebook, they may have to remove the video. For me, I want the music I choose to feel popular for years, so I decided on electronic beat backgrounds without vocals or changes to tempo. YouTube provides a library of royalty-free music (for free), and there are other services like EpidemicSound that provide royalty-free music per subscription. For a more detailed list of royalty free vlog music, check out my post: YouTube free music sources.
Editing Tools for Vlogging
There is quite a bit of video editing software to choose from these days. I’ve used Adobe Premier, Apple Final Cut X, GoPro Quik, or iMovie. Premier and Final Cut are the most costly and considered to be professional grade software. Quick and iMovie come free with the purchase of a GoPro or an Apple computer. While most editors work very similarly, I’d still spend some time researching the best solution for you. Personally, I choose Premier because it’s stable, feature packed, and works well with the other suite of Adobe products I use on a regular basis. I also like the export presets for YouTube are already set. Just click, and your final render will be perfectly optimized for your audience.
Uploading Your Vlog
Once you have your video edited and exported at the highest quality possible, it’s time to upload and share it with the world! When you upload your video, be sure to give it a descriptive title, a written description of what is going on in the video, and tags that might help a user find your content.