Video Editing

The ultimate guide to vlog editing for beginners

Updated November 29, 2021
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Ready to edit your video footage into a spectacular vlog? Vlogs are one of the most popular forms of entertainment on YouTube, with 44% of internet users watching vlogs every month. They’re easy to consume, and they’re even easier to edit. 

An abstract image representing vlog editing. An image of a young female holding her phone. There is a sticker that reads "vlog". There are also other abstract images showing a music track and filters and transitions being added to the clip.

Sometimes content creators, business owners, and influencers have way too much footage to include in one YouTube video. Instead of boring your viewers with hours of video, turn lengthy video footage into engaging, fun vlogs with Clipchamp’s free vlog editing software

Read on to explore everything about how to start a vlog, how to edit vlogs like a pro, and all the vlog editing tips you’ll ever need.  

  • What is a vlog? 

  • How to start a vlog that gets views 

  • The best vlogging camera and equipment 

  • How to edit your vlog using Clipchamp’s vlog editing software

  • Vlog inspiration 

  • FAQs

What is a vlog?

Before we get started, let’s talk about what a vlog is. A vlog is short for a video blog, or video log that is posted on a video-sharing platform like YouTube, Instagram, or Twitch. Creators can share anything within their vlogs, with popular content being “follow me around” vlogs, and “what I eat in a day” vlogs. 

But just because creators can blog about anything they want, doesn’t mean they should. So what makes a vlog, a good vlog? Let’s find out. 

How to start a vlog that gets views

Now we know what a vlog is, what makes a good vlog? Anyone can pick up a camera or smartphone and start filming their life. But there are essential elements that must be included for the vlog to be successful and stand out from the flooded industry. 

1. Develop your vlog niche

Before you start filming your vlog, it’s important to figure out who you’re filming for and what viewers will be interested in your vlog content. Decide on a target audience and create videos that will add value to viewers' lives ones watching them. From cooking segments to home decor, makeup tutorials, gaming, fitness, and a cleaning timelapse, there’s a vlog for every audience

Make sure you're passionate about the topic you choose, so your audience will be too.

2. Determine your vlog story

Creators should establish what is going to be featured in the vlog before filming commences. If there is no clear plan on what is going to be recorded, the vlog might turn out muddles, messy, and editing is going to take a lot longer than expected. 

While a vlog might be in a “day in the life” style, creators should still plan what to record and how to record it to make it more interesting. Like recording a timelapse, montage, overhead shots, or with a voiceover. 

Planned content with a beginning, middle, and end generally results in a more successful vlog. Develop an idea and a general sense of how a story will unfold from it. Think about your vlog like a best-selling novel. An interesting premise will hook in viewers and lead them to subscribe to your YouTube channel. 

3. Plan of action

Start your vlog off with a pen and paper, or pull up the notes app on your smartphone. Begin by writing down your story ideas that you’ve just created, then pair segments with how you will show them visually. Shooting in B-roll can add extra value to your vlog with little effort. Creating a rough outline with key points and visuals might just take your vlog to the next level. 

Ideally, record your vlog in chronological order so when you upload your footage to Clipchamp, you don’t have to rearrange the clips on the timeline. Once you’ve edited a few vlogs, don’t be shy to change up your vlog format throughout the week. 

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The best vlogging camera and equipment 

If you’re not sure what the best vlogging camera is, not ready to invest in expensive equipment, or vlog editing software, don’t worry. Creators can produce high-quality vlogs with little, to no money spent at all. 

1. The best vlogging camera

Vloggers don’t always have to invest in a pricey DSLR camera with a flippable viewfinder. If purchasing a new vlogging camera isn’t in your budget, simply record vlogs using your smartphone camera instead. Most up-to-date smartphones have amazing camera quality, especially if they’re paired with a gimbal.

If creators do want to invest in a video camera, we recommend finding compact, easy to use, cameras like the Canon G7X Mark II or Sony RX100 III. 

2. Quality vlogging microphone

A great microphone means even better sound quality and minimal outside noise. Creators should consider investing in a high-quality external microphone as it dramatically increases better listening experience for viewers. If you’re filming on your computer, consider using Clipchamp’s microphone within the camera recorder feature. 

3. Lighting

Even the best vloggers struggle with finding the best natural light when filming. If you’re vlogging inside, be sure to turn the lights on, or invest in a portable ring light. Poorly-lit environments never look good on camera. 

4. Vlog editing software

Editing your clips into a magnificent vlog is possible when finding the right vlog editing software. With Clipchamp’s free YouTube video maker, creators don’t have to leave their web browser to create engaging video content. You can trim vlog videos, resize them for any platform, create picture-in-picture segments, add stock video, music, text, subtitles, and even personalize brand kits for intros and outros. You can also share your professional-looking vlogs directly to YouTube.

How to edit your vlog using Clipchamp’s vlog editing software

Once you’ve planned and recorded your vlog, it’s time to edit with Clipchamp’s vlog editing software. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to edit vlogs like a pro. 

Step 1. Log in to Clipchamp or sign up for free

Not sure how to start a vlog edit? Log in to your Clipchamp account, or sign up for free. 

Step 1. Log in to Clipchamp or sign up for free

Step 2. Create a new vlog

Next, click on the YouTube template option at the top of the editor homepage if you would like to start off using a ready-to-use template. If you would like to create a vlog video from scratch, click on the purple Create a video button. The editor will automatically open. Rename your new video by clicking on the Untitled video bar at the top of the editor.

Step 2. Create a new vlog

Step 3. Upload your vlog footage to the editor

To upload your video, click on the + plus symbol on the left sidebar. A pull-out tab will appear. Upload a video from your computer, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Zoom, Box, Google Photos, or smartphone device. You can also drag and drop your video file into the white pull-out tab. Your footage will appear under the Your media tab on the left sidebar. 

Step 3. Upload your vlog footage to the editor

Step 4. Drag and drop vlog clips onto the timeline and trim

Next, drag and drop each clip onto the timeline. We recommend adding each clip one by one and editing your clip first. Once your clip is on the timeline, drag the green sidebars left and right to alter the length of the clip. You can use the trimming tool to cut and delete any unwanted sections in your clip. 

Step 4. Drag and drop vlog clips onto the timeline and trim

Step 5. Find a hook in your vlog

Next, select one of the clips in your timeline to be a hook. A hook is an intriguing 10-15 second piece of footage that will draw in your viewers and make them interested to keep watching. Make sure to place your hook at the start of the vlog, with some text. Find something that will set up your video by either showing something interesting, something controversial, or something that builds suspense. 

Max Joseph uses a simple line as his hook, “Bookstores drive me crazy.”

Step 6. Add text to your vlog

Add some text to your vlog to support the visuals. It can be a note on the location, captions, or funny side-comments. Adding text can be helpful if the audio is not very clear, or if a different language is used by a speaker. 

Click the Text tab on the left sidebar. Select a preset that you can customize, then drag and drop the text onto your timeline above the video clip. Customize your text by using the editing options located above the video preview. You can freely move your text box around the video preview.

Step 6. Add text to your vlog

Step 7. Add your YouTube branding

Add your YouTube logo or emblem at the intro or outro of your vlog, or simply place it throughout as a watermark. Click on the Brand kit tab, then drag and drop your logo onto the timeline. 

Step 7. Add your YouTube branding

Step 8. Add background music

Subtle background music can take your vlog from good to great. All you have to do is search through our royalty-free audio tracks, select your favorite tune, then drag and drop the music onto the timeline. Click on the Music & SFX tab on the left sidebar, and browse through the categories. Drag and drop the audio track onto your timeline below the vlog video clips. Crop audio to the same length as your vlog by dragging the green sidebar. Make sure to lower the volume of your background music by using the editing options above the video preview. 

Step 8. Add background music

Step 9. Save your vlog and upload it to YouTube

Once you have finished editing your vlog, click on the purple Export button at the top right corner of the editor. Saving options will appear. Click on the 1080p resolution saving option, then click Continue. Your vlog will automatically save to your computer. You can also send or save your vlog video via Clipchamp’s integrations like Google Drive, YouTube, TikTok, OneDrive, Dropbox, Pinterest, Box, or LinkedIn.

Step 9. Save your vlog and upload it to YouTube

Vlog inspiration

Every YouTuber or vlogger is unique. They all use different editing techniques, software, and are inspired by different things. But all successful YouTube vlogs have one thing in common, and that’s the core vlog ingredients; speaking portions, music, sound effects, transitions, and a clear story and vision. 

If you’re lacking inspiration, take a look at some of our favorite entertaining vlogs. 

1. YouTube channel: KKandBabyJ

2. YouTube channel: Emma Chamberlain

3. YouTube channel: Kristy Bae

4. YouTube channel: Pooh in Korea

FAQ 1. How long should my vlog be?

There is no time limit on how long a creator should make their vlog. Depending on the platform you’re planning on posting the vlog on, they will have different guidelines. 

FAQ 2. How many vlogs a week should I upload to YouTube?

Creators are free to upload however many vlogs they would like throughout the week. Some YouTubers prefer daily vlogs, weekly vlogs, and others prefer sporadic vlogs. See what best suits your audience and if they respond well to an upload schedule. 

Edit vlogs like a pro with Clipchamp

Whether you’re showcasing your daily life, a special event, a travel holiday, or how to cook your favorite dish, vlogs can share your story in the most entertaining way possible. 

Create memorable vlogs and share your video content on YouTube with Clipchamp’s free vlog editing software.

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