6 Tips on Making A Good Vlog or Podcast

I was planning to make this a full blown out series, but instead of getting way too technical I figured I’d just hit you up with six quick and dirty tips for making a good video log (a vlog) or a podcast. They won’t be in any specific order, but I think they’re each important to ensuring an interested audience and a product with quality. Remember, just because you’re a Christian getting the message out doesn’t mean you have to be boring or bad while doing it!

  1. Find a niche. This one is admittedly hard. If you’ve thought about it, you probably have a good two hundred people who have also thought of it. What you need to do is find a way to give it that niche-spin. So for example, there might be a bunch of folk who are doing history podcasts, but only one of them is doing a Hardcore History. Genius.
  2. Keep it interesting. This is somewhat part of your niche. If you’re going to talk tech, make sure you’re not droning on about it but instead finding stuff that people like to listen to. A perfect podcast will wind up being used on short and long drives—you don’t want to bore someone into a car accident.
  3. Keep it succinct. With audio, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to keep it short but with video—you better believe it. No matter what, you don’t keep a holding pattern without getting to your point. If you’re illustrating something, do it and conclude. If you’re covering broad sections, make sure you can hold the audience through it. If it’s video, aim at five minutes and under.
  4. Use a buddy. Honestly, even most professionals are boring by themselves. If you are on the air with a friend, you have the comfort of someone across from you to make talking more natural and you have someone else to take some of the brunt. Listen to great podcasts like Car Talk to hear how the pros can hold you for an hour.
  5. Avoid being preachy. Preachiness has its place, no doubt, but—let this sink in—there are many better preachers than you. Carson. Craig. Grudem. All online. All better than you. Not only are you not as good, you probably make some equally bad points. That’s not to tell you to avoid preaching; but it is to tell you that an idea can be broadcast without using the podcast or the video blog as a pulpit. Maybe you use it like a coffee table? Or maybe you use it like a round table? Whatever: these are all methods that can make the show interesting.
  6. Ensure quality. This means that if you’re filming video, you make sure that there is proper warm lighting (avoid the ugly hue of fluorescents), in the right position (overhead casts your eye sockets into shadows, computer screen lighting makes you look like a ghoul), and in a visually interesting location while not being distracting (please, please, please avoid libraries, musty offices, or the ubiquitous repost of the Sunday morning pulpit cam: someone has got to stop this trend). Check out guys like Rhett and Link and take visual notes. If you’re recording audio you might have to spend a few dollars on a better microphone than the junky thing in your laptop. If you really get into it, maybe you’ll spend some more. The point is that you want it to pick up clear audio. And in both cases, be it video or audio, you need to make sure you spend some time editing.
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Don’t Know Much About Philosophy?

A while ago I had underscored the abundance of tools we have online, which allows us to learn in community, from history, and across multiple platforms. We can use these digital tools to broaden our knowledge, strengthen our convictions, and help us help others.

But learning from history isn’t the end of it you know: we also have to learn to do some seriously hard thinking.

In this post, I want to link to some great resources which I’ll categorize separately but readily admit that there’s a bunch of cross-pollination going on.

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