10 things you might not know, but definitely should

So you’ve decided to start a vlog. Great! First things first: Subscribe to our amazing YouTube channel, featuring inspiring style and youth culture videos as well as our sick TV ads. Done? Good. 

Next, you should go reserve your name on YouTube and all other social media platforms you plan to use — like, right now — but read this first. 

1. You don’t need a fancy camera. If you have one, great, but it’s more convenient and cost-effective to learn to use the smartphone in your pocket beyond its auto settings. You bought it for the camera, anyway.

2. You don’t need to know what your thing is — you’ll find it. If you have a skill or topic you have already decided to focus on, that's great, but you don’t have to be a travel photographer, a comedian, or a fashion or beauty guru. You have things you want to say — share them, and see where it takes you. Pigeonhole yourself too early and you might miss the idea that becomes the thing you're known for.

3. It’s data heavy. We agree, #datamustfall so you can shop more, but until it does, do yourself a favour and buy yours from alternate internet service providers who specialise in data like Afrihost, Cybersmart, or even Telkom’s Free Me sims, instead of from your cell phone service provider on prepaid or contract rates. They're probably overcharging you at an alarming margin. Also, find yourself a regular free wifi spot.

4. It creates community. You find people who share your point of view – they laugh at the things that make you laugh, they listen to the music you love, they value what you value. You form those connections in the (sometimes vicious but mostly great) comments section, but in person too, with meetups and events. The local YouTuber community is pretty great.

5. Barbie has one, and I kid you not, it’s amazing. Her most recent video is a pizza challenge tag with Ken. We're shook.

6. It’s crowded, but not locally. Like any other form of user-generated content on the internet, vlogs are a dime a dozen these days. There is, however, more room on the local scene than in other parts of the world, so if you have something to say step up to the mic ASAP before the queue forms.

7. In the long run, it can be lucrative. Not in ad revenue — YouTube takes a large chunk — but in possible brand partnerships. If you’re consistent, dedicated, and people like your stuff, brands will pay to be associated with you. Simple.

8. It’s all about the edit. It’s what separates vlogging from sharing slices of life on platforms like Instagram Live or Stories, Snapchat, and Periscope. Don't panic if you don't know what you're doing the first time around; you'll get better the more content you make. In beauty circles, makeup artist Claire Marshall is known as the queen of the edit. This is why.

9. It’s not just for special events. Don’t ever feel like something’s not worth vlogging about because it’s ordinary. If you want to share it, there might be people who want to watch it — just ask vloggers like David Dobrik and Liza Koshy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Patricia Bright run errands with baby Grace on her hip or watched Claire pick up her mail and hang out with her cat Brucifer Lee. I don't know why, but I'm mesmerised.

10. You’ll pick up a new skill. See above: video editing! If you have time on your hands, simple editing jobs are something busy or technology-averse people will pay you to do. You might find you’re better at it than most, and just like that, you’ve got new career and income stream options. You’ll also learn a lot about social media in the process, along with other transferable knowledge and skills.

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