A male vlogger sits on the edge of a couch and speaks to a camera. The camera, which has a microphone attachment on top of it, stands on a tripod in the foreground, out of focus.
Vlogging is a good way to build an audience and your videos can let your customers put a face to your brand. — Getty Images/izusek

Starting a vlog is one of the best ways to build an audience, create helpful content and sell products and services. If you’re ready to start a vlog in 2021, here are the five steps you should take.

[Read more: Pro Tips for Making YouTube Videos to Promote Your Business]

Choose your niche

Starting a vlog with a well-defined niche will give you the greatest chance for success. If you choose a topic that’s too broad or has a lot of competition, you’ll be lost in a sea of other content creators. But if your topic is too obscure, there may not be any actual demand for it.

Your niche should combine your interests and be a topic your audience wants to learn more about. Here are a few steps you can take to figure out your niche:

  • Brainstorm a list of niche ideas.
  • Do market research to see if there’s an audience for that topic.
  • Do competitor research.
  • See how other businesses and brands monetize for that same topic.

Set up your YouTube channel

YouTube is the best place to start a vlog in 2021. It’s the second-most-visited website in the world and provides the opportunity to tap into a vast potential audience.

If you don’t already, you’ll need to set up a Google account. Once the account is set up and you’ve agreed to the terms of service, you can create a new YouTube channel.

The first thing you’ll need to do is pick a name for your channel. Once your channel is set up, you can customize your profile photo, channel art and description. Don’t worry if your channel doesn’t look the way you want it to at first—you can change this over time.

[Read more: How to Start a YouTube Channel]

If you want your vlog to be successful, you need to regularly create and put out new content.

Purchase the right equipment

If you want to be a successful vlogger, you will need to invest in some essential equipment. The main things you’ll want to think about are the camera, sound and lighting.

It’s a good idea to purchase a vlogging camera with a flip screen so you can see yourself when you’re filming. That way, you’ll know the image is in focus.

You’ll also want to choose a good microphone to ensure that sound quality is top-notch in all your videos. And it can help to purchase a ring light so you won’t have to rely on natural light alone to get good lighting.

Fortunately, there are many affordable options for each of these items. Do your homework and research affordable, high-quality equipment. As your following grows, you can start to invest in better items.

Create regular content

If you want your vlog to be successful, you need to regularly create and put out new content. To ensure this happens, it’s a good idea to plan out your content several months in advance. Having a content calendar will keep you on track and ensure that you always know the topics you will be covering.

Before you record your videos, it’s a good idea to come up with a rough outline of what you plan to talk about. But the most important thing is to be yourself and make the video as natural as possible. You can always edit out any mistakes later.

Engage with your audience

Finally, the most important aspect of growing your vlog is to engage with your audience. Respond to comments and answer questions, even if you only have a small number of viewers. Set up corresponding social media channels, so your followers have other ways to engage with you.

This interaction will encourage your audience to continue viewing your content. And by talking to your followers, you’ll learn more about what they’re interested in. This will help you continue to come up with targeted and relevant content for them.

[Read more: A Quick Guide to Marketing Your Business on YouTube]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Follow us on Instagram for more expert tips & business owners’ stories.

Applications are open for the CO—100! Now is your chance to join an exclusive group of outstanding small businesses. Share your story with us — apply today.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Apply for the CO—100!

The CO—100 is an exclusive list of the 100 best and brightest small and mid-sized businesses in America. Enter today to share your story and get recognized.

Get recognized. Get rewarded. Get $25K.

Is your small business one of the best in America? Apply for our premier awards program for small businesses, the CO—100, today to get recognized and rewarded. One hundred businesses will be honored and one business will be awarded $25,000.