Sufi Stories

Celebrating innovation, creation and entrepreneurship

A Vlog in the Life of an Author YouTuber

It is proven that both – the search-engines and YouTube viewers – favor a channel which has a predictable posting cadence. Whether you post videos weekly or fortnightly or monthly, you must stick to your schedule. It is impossible to have a cadence unless you have an easily repeatable blueprint for creating and posting videos.

In this video I want to share with you our seven-step behind-the-scenes process for filming our vlogs. I hope this will help you create your own blueprint for your channel.

Taking a step back: Choosing our channel theme

Before we launch into the actual video filming steps, I want to share with you the thought process which went into the YouTube channel theme itself.

What should be the theme of our Zavesti YouTube channel? This was a question I struggled with for a long time. Should I create reviews and how-to videos? Or perhaps I should do some cool stunts? Would my audience want a reality-show about my life? Debating these questions in my mind for a long time, I realized that there are enough amazing reviews, tutorials and prank-videos out there. And my life is not glamourous enough to provide enough engrossing material to sustain a reality show vlog.

What should I do for the Zavesti YouTube channel? This YouTube channel is centered around Zavesti. Zavesti is a marketing platform for independent creators like self-published authors and book bloggers. Our team is a group of fun loving guys-and-gals who are passionate about helping solopreneurs.

I decided that the Zavesti YouTube-channel would contain stories from our projects which are relevant for your book or blog promotion. Instead of text-book advice, I would share our journey, our successes and challenges in writing, selling and blogging. Once we decided on our vlog theme, the next step was to plan a repeatable process for creating videos.

Our 7-Step process for filming a YouTube video

Here is the 7-step process that we follow for filming videos.

1. Where does a video idea come from?

Sometimes it is a suggestion from a visitor, other-times we get inspiration from Pinterest, blogs, books, YouTube or ideas from some past projects.

I usually carry a notebook with me, and I sketch-out short scripts whenever I get time. In my notes, I try to include ambient details which can be included to make the video-story memorable – sensory impressions like smells and sounds, as well as the activities going on all around me like kids hunting frogs, or girls chasing guys.

We then flesh out the idea by doing a lot of research on it. Reading books, browsing the internet or interviews of people we meet – all these get distilled into the vlog.

When choosing a topic to vlog, I always ask myself – Is this going to be of value for me? Would I learn something new from this vlog? If I am not going to learn something new from my blog-post or video, then my reader or video-audience will also most certainly not find it of value.

2. We eat our own dog food

This is the step in which we actually implement & test the new tool, resource or idea we plan to vlog about.

Curating a list out of some tips from the internet isn’t what we aim for in our channel. We constantly interview people, research case studies and try out innovative ideas in our own projects before sharing them with you.

3. Making the idea actionable

Our goal is to give you something concrete that you can actually implement. We are not big on conceptual fluff.

When creating a video or blog-post I brainstorm with our team on how to make our ideas actionable through cheat-sheets which YOU can easily try out yourself.

We try to put ourselves in your shoes to answer this question – “what would be of value for our audience?”

4. Write the video script

How to deliver information to you such that you don’t hit the kill button after 5 seconds!

We feel excited with what we have to share with you. But we realize that it also needs to be presented in such a way that you will enjoy watching the video. In this step we think of how to make our story interesting.

This is the step in which we think of the scenes and key shots to be filmed.

5. Editing and Fine-Tuning

We work together as a team to proof-read the script, film a set of short-clips, and then storyboard them together with soundtrack.

We use a simple story format of start-middle-end.

In the start section we have the setting with an opening shot. The middle section includes a set of shots discussing problem, solutions and results. The end section focuses on call to actions.

Most vloggers shoot short-clips and photos whenever they see something interesting. With a smartphone and a decent-microphone you can shoot very good videos anywhere. These then become a part of your reusable library. When editing a new vlog, you can pick a few interesting nuggets from your library to embellish your vlog.

For simplicity we avoid fancy camera movements like pans or tilts. Our focus is on sharing relevant information with you in an engaging format. We think of our videos as basic storytelling, rather than dramatic-movie effects.

We include a call-to-action at the end requesting you to share, subscribe, comment or check-out more information on our site. We want to keep you engaged!

6. Search Engine Optimization – SEO

Before we hit the publish button on YouTube, we review our SEO checklist on how to make the Zavesti videos show up high in Google and YouTube search results.

7. Spreading the good word

Now that the video is published – we spread the word in our Facebook pages, BlogSpot, Tumblr and other pages, and ask you to share and comment. We need your help in spreading the word about Zavesti. By sharing and commenting you do us a huge favor.


This post is a transcript of the video: My 7 Steps for Filming This Video

I hope you have enjoyed this behind-the-scenes video about our vlog workflow. We are constantly learning and evolving and we welcome your suggestions. Please post your comments on the video in YouTube.