Start Your Own Blog





I've been asked questions about how to start a new blog/channel. As a small blogger/youtuber myself, I am very much in the middle of this learning process too. For those interested, I can share some of what I tried, in terms of equipments and editing tools, and my thoughts on them. Whether you just want to record and share what you made, or start a side-gig for a little extra stream of income, starting your own journey can be a fun and rewarding process. I hope my experiences can be of reference to you. 

Recording Equipments: 

1. Get at least 1 camera with a flip screen! (For example, this is what I use: https://amzn.to/37ufupd)

Assuming you start with a one-person crew with tripods, being able to keep an eye on what you are recording can make things much easier. Early on in my video-taping experience, I've often had to re-take shots when things get out of focus, or somethings when items shift out of view. Camera angle was a much bigger hassle to adjust (e.g., if taping from the side, is my hand blocking the view?) Trying to show details up close is especially tricky when I can't see exactly what's being taped. I would hold things up close to the lens, and they would often end up blurry and off-center. Sometimes during extended filming, my camera would stop filming in the middle of taping and I had no idea until I plugged the SD card into my computer much later. (I later found out this also relates to the quality of the SD card I was using - will discuss in more details below.)

Long story short, unless you're going to be standing behind the camera while tapping (or have someone else stand behind the camera for you), invest in a good flip-screen camera will save a tremendous amount of headache. 

Lumix 4k flip screen: https://amzn.to/3fL4UP4

2. Get SD cards with good writing speed, and error on the higher side of higher memory limit. 

When I got my first DSLR camera, I went with a starter bundle (https://amzn.to/3CzOcvI) that included different lens, tri-pod, filter kit, and memory cards. It was probably a good place to start. But in hindsight, I should've started with higher quality SD card. 
Turns out, when your SD card writing speed is too slow for your camera, your taping would hard-stop half way, and sometimes the camera doesn't even save the first half properly due to software failure. I used to have taping abruptly cut off every few minutes, and thought it was a camera problem for the longest time until I discovered I just needed slightly less cheap SD cards. 

These are what I use now (no issues since the moderate upgrade): 

3. Get a microphone with pop filter for sound recording. 

Recording audio and video separately can make things tremendously easier for beginners. You won't need to edit or retake videos nearly as much to ensure smooth transitions. I started with the Snowball Mic (https://amzn.to/3CyRT59). It has good sound quality and fairly low noise level when I hold it up and talk right next to it. I was soon advised by some YouTube viewer to get a pop filter (https://amzn.to/37x1JWF), because talking right next to the mic often result in loud popping sound with words that start with 'p', 'd', etc. - I was wondering before why my recording sounded like old radio shows. Snowball mic + pop filter are sufficient to start. I later added the all-in-one set up with adjustable arm stand, after I got tired of holding the snowball and setting up the filter every time. 

This is what I currently use: 

4. Lighting equipment can be very handy when you don't want to wait for good weather to tape. 

I used to wait for a bright sunny day with good natural kitchen lights to do the taping. With a full time job, this nice good day must land on a weekend, preferably Sunday, as I have a bunch of errands to run on Saturdays. You might guessed how that affect the frequency of my uploads - general laziness and lack of planning/will-power aside... weather condition was genuinely partly to blame. 

I first started with the light-bulb/umbrella set up (https://amzn.to/3lOa6p5). They are cheaper than the soft box set up (https://amzn.to/3AFfaRd) and cheaper to replace compared to LED lighting panels (https://amzn.to/3lMeMMh). But they are space consuming when set up - you'll need large closet to store them as is, or take them apart and set them up every time you use them. They also need to be plugged in, which can be a hassle and a tripping hazard in the kitchen. 

I was a happy convert to light weight, battery-powered LED lighting panels. I use a pair of small panels, which provide strong lighting to match what I get in my kitchen from a good day. They are on the budget side of equipments, neither large nor fancy, and you're probably going to want to adjust the color  in video editing. But they're tiny to store, easy to move/adjust (no wires),  plug-and-go, and lets me tape late night like it's middle of the day. No complaint at all for what I'm paying and getting. 

This is what I use:

Editing Software: 

Video editing: Shotcut (free) https://shotcut.org/

Shotcut has all the basic features for a beginner - adjusting color, brightness, saturation; cutting, stitching, adding multiple track. It doesn't have much special video effects to the best of my knowledge. I think it's a good place to start. As needs arise, you can always upgrade to Adobe Premiere for more robust features.  

Image editing: Gimp (free) https://www.gimp.org/

Gimp has the equivalent of a lot of Photoshop features. I use it primarily for making video thumbnails, which just requires some texts, layering, and color adjustments. It also has cloning and smart cropping features for more elaborate thumbnail editing. If you're a new to image editing, this is a really good freebie to try out. 


Website: 

Domain: 

You can buy your domain (url) from Google or GoDaddy. You can check if your desired domain is taken on either platform. If it's available, you can just grab it for a generally modest annual fee. If it's taken, you can try to buy it from the owner if it's not actively used. 

Design: 

I'm using blogger for my blog layout. I've also tried square space for my mobile game web page. Overall I think if you're more design oriented, SquareSpace will give you more options and flexibility, but it comes with an annual cost that's quite a bit more than just maintaining a domain and use the free Blogger templates. 




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