Vlogger and content creator Sidney Diongzon started his YouTube Channel as a way to tell stories through his camera and to help others do the same. His informative tutorials, cinematic visuals, gear reviews and behind-the-scenes vlogs have earned him over 150K subscribers on the platform. He’s also co-host of Sony’s YouTube series The Lowdown and posts his content on other platforms like Instagram and TikTok. With so much experience in vlogging and content creation, he has a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. We connected with Diongzon to pick his brain about vlogging for YouTube and how to do it successfully. Keep reading as he shares his top six tips.
Which gear should you use? How can you utilize ChatGPT and other AI for your vlog? Get the answers to these questions and more from the popular YouTube vlogger.
1. Set Yourself Up For Success With The Right Gear
Diongzon uses the Sony FX3 and says whichever camera you choose, to get a wide angle lens to go with it. He uses the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master. “A lot of vloggers use this particular lens because it's wide enough to where you can hold it out in front of you and you can see everything. So that's definitely a must.” He's also a fan of vlogging cameras like the Sony ZV-1 and Sony ZV-E10.
He also says to have a small microphone, and his favorite is the Sony ECM-B10. “What’s great about this mic,” he explains, “is that not only can you capture audio from the front when you’re vlogging, but there’s a switch on the back where you can speak from behind. So if you’re narrating from behind the camera, you can still hear and capture clean audio which is really cool.
He puts all of this on the Sony GP-VPT2BT Wireless Shooting Grip to create his go-to vlogging setup. “It’s not only a grip and a tripod, but it’s also a Bluetooth wireless remote so you can take images or record yourself while holding the camera far away.”
2. Know The Beginning & End To Your Story
When you’re vlogging daily life it’s hard to know what will happen, but if you want to have a good vlog with a story, Diongzon recommends you have a plan for the beginning and the end of it. “There’s nothing more satisfying than having a good ending,” he says. “That applies not just for movies, but for vlogs. If you have an idea of how you want the vlog to end, you at least have a direction of where to take that vlog versus just vlogging and seeing what happens. Then you're left with all this footage and you're trying to piece together a story when you're editing. That takes so much time. But if you already know and you have that sense of direction, then you won't have to film as much.”
3. Cover Yourself With Plenty Of B-Roll Footage
In addition to vlogging the experience, Diongzon notes the importance of also capturing B-roll. Say if you're out in New York City, just capture as much B-roll of the things like the skyline or the subway, or just your environment. It's a great way to cover yourself in case you have to edit what you say together. Instead of having a bunch of jump cuts, you have B-roll to cover all of them so it seems like a seamless talking point. And B-roll is just great to have in general, great to capture. It’s fun to film and you can use it for thumbnails and other things. So as much as you vlog, film twice as much of B-roll just to cover yourself.”
4. Keep It Moving In The Beginning
Diongzon says that storytelling is always your best bet with a vlog regardless of its tempo, but he does have a suggestion for practicing a good pace. “I would say to have one or two sentences per shot, instead of just rambling on and on. You can do more of that maybe toward the end of your video with your final thoughts. But in the first 30 seconds or so you are seeking attention and trying to keep that retention on YouTube, so one or two sentences per shot tends to be the rule of thumb that I abide by. The rest can be a bit slower paced.”
5. Think Of Your Thumbnail Image First
Another tip Diongzon has for when you’re creating your YouTube vlog is to think of your thumbnail image first before you make the video. “That's the first form of contact,” he explains, “and so if you have a good idea of what the thumbnail is going to be, generally speaking, as an artist, as a creator, you kind of get inspired to make a video according to that thumbnail. Start with that thumbnail in mind and work backward.”
6. Use AI For YouTube Vlog Title Inspiration
When posting your vlog to YouTube, you want to make sure you have an engaging title. Diongzon recommends utilizing tools like Chat GPT to help you come up with inspiration for that. “Since AI is coming into the foray,” he says, “I would say write a potential YouTube title and go to chatGPT or whatever AI platform that you prefer, and just ask, ‘Give me three to five alternative versions of this YouTube title.’ That way you have an idea of what would sound better, It's not perfect of course, but at least you'll have an idea of what your title could be and generate something different from what you were thinking.
See more of Sidney Diongzon's vlogs on his YouTube Channel.