International Vlog Day: A History of Vlogging

Saturday 10 August celebrates ‘vlog day’. For those not down with internet slang (all three of you), a vlog is not some weird vampire diary, it’s a video-based blog.

The world’s very first blog was back in January 2000 and is credited to Adam Kontras. Alongside a blog post on his personal website, Adam posted a video of him and his girlfriend smuggling a cat into a hotel. As you do.

Nowadays, vlogs are not generally accompanied by text on a personal website, but rather the videos alone are uploaded to a social media platform, such as YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat.

A pivotal point for the blogging world was the creation of YouTube in 2005. Most videos were recorded on people’s bedroom webcams and featured personal accounts of their day-to-day lives. Shay Carl was one of the first to talk to his camera directly and take it out and about with him – this is now a more common style of vlog. Shortly after Shay Carl became popular, the word ‘vlog’ was added to the dictionary.

Another pivotal moment for vloggers was in 2007, when Google announced their launch of the ‘Youtube Partner Program’. This meant that Youtube videos could now be monetised and well-known vloggers could turn their hobby into a career. This also meant that vloggers could invest more time and effort into their videos, and use better equipment, so the look of vlogs really transformed into much more professional videos.

The Business Insider released a list of some of the world’s top vloggers in 2019, the top few having over 30 million subscribers. There are a range of subjects and topics, some focusing on online gaming and others with comedic videos.

With the proliferation of video content online, traditional vlogs have been replaced with a range of pre-recorded or live video streaming options. But the idea of sharing regular, video-based content to an interested audience is still a powerful way to connect. Even B2B businesses have got in on the action, with anything from regular product reviews, thought leadership videos and vlogs and live launches and updates.

Here are some quick thoughts for introducing vlog-style video to your marketing arsenal:

1. Decide on live or pre-recorded. There are pros and cons to both, and different ways to prepare for both. Even live video needs planning, a loose script and a clear idea of what messages you want to deliver.

2. Start small and have a plan. Too many businesses start big and then can’t keep up the pace. Decide what you want to say, how frequently you want to post your content, and whether you have enough ideas and content to support an ongoing deliverable or if you’re just going to deliver a short series.

3. Think about your audience. What do they want to know? How will you get feedback? How and where will they be most likely to consume this video? How will that influence your distribution plan?

4. Measure. Decide on how you’re going to measure success. Benchmark, analysis and course correct.

Or we can do it for you. Happy vlogging!