How to Pick Up The Camera.. Tips From An Anxious Vlogger

Around a year ago, I joined Channel Mum as a Mummy vlogger as part of a network of other Mum's who were already on YouTube or had recently joined. I'd loved watching YouTube myself and really felt like I wanted to give it a go. I'd dabbled before, but nothing seriously - I was too anxious to do it properly and it was easier to give up and say it wasn't for me. 

But then when I saw the opportunity to join Channel Mum and have something that would give me that sort of kick-up-the-bum I needed to challenge myself and push myself out of my comfort zone, I decided I would fight back against my anxiety and really push myself by starting something I'd always wanted to do but felt too anxious to do before.

You see, I couldn't do it at first, no really - I couldn't. When I turned that camera on, my anxiety became crippling. I couldn't get the words to come out of my mouth. I was so frustrated at myself and upset that I very nearly gave up.

I sent an email to Channel Mum explaining as best I could that I couldn't get the words to come out of my mouth. I pressed send on the email and I felt defeated. I felt like I had let myself down and that I had stood in my own way.

Feeling as defeated as I did then turned out to be exactly what I needed. I was angry, angry at how anxious I was and angry at myself for giving in. But that's exactly what I needed to feel. I received the most supportive and encouraging reply and it was a mixture of those two things, that made me press record again. I was going to do it, no matter how many times I had to repeat each word over and over again, I wasn't going to just quit. 

It's been over a year since then now and whilst I'm no-where near where I'd like to be in terms of beating my camera-anxiety, I'm doing it and I'm doing it successfully. Not only do I love doing what I'm doing and love how it pushes and challenges me and how it allows me to connect with others through video, I'm now able to make a bit of a living out of filming my videos and putting them online.

And so I wanted to sit down and write this post and share a few snippets of advice that I as an anxious vlogger would give to someone who feels the same or similar to how I did when I first started. So here goes..

1. Don't hate the sound of your own voice. 

Your voice is your voice and it isn't going to ever change. It's unlikely that you walk around not talking to people just because you don't like the way your voice sounds, so please don't let it stop you from being on camera. You never know you may just find that you have someone leave you a comment who loves your accent and the way you talk.

2. Don't worry if you can't do it in one take, or two, or three. 

Personally, I actually don't even do takes. I film myself continuously or even film little snippets and when I say something wrong or stumble over my words or feel anxious, I repeat what I was saying and edit it together. I repeat myself over and over sometimes because I can't get what I want to say out. When you edit it all together as long as you can get what it is that you're saying to flow, it'll usually work :)

3. Start small. 

I've recently discovered Snapchat (I'm always late to the party!) and I was thinking how awesome it would be for those just starting out with vlogging or those who want to get in to it. It's so easy to film a tiny snippet of yourself and press send! No editing, no polished look, just real simple video and a great way to build your confidence up. 

4. Try what works for you. 

For me, a great way for me to introduce the idea of putting my videos on to youtube was to create monthly montages (those general, everyday snippets and clips that we've filmed throughout the month of fun moments together as a family) or to make montage style videos of our holidays or days-out. There's no talking involved, all the sound is edited out (unless it's a really cute moment I want to be able to listen back to) and then I overlay the clips when all edited together with music). Do what works for you. 

5. Don't give up after a couple of tries.

Keep at it. With anything - the more you do it, the better you'll get and the more confident you'll feel. It may come naturally for you which would be fantastic, but if it doesn't, it doesn't necessarily mean it's not for you. Give yourself a fair shot and remember that even those that earn a living from putting videos online get nervous and sometimes get it wrong.

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I hope these tips were helpful. Let me know if you're new to or are thinking about joining YouTube. I'd love to come and check out your channel. :) x

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  1. Great tips but I don't think it still won't make me start vlogging. I just can't see myself sitting in front of the camera or even snapchat. Can't stand my voice. Exactly what it says in your post but I am not too sure about it. Then again videos are worth more sometimes.

  2. This is really useful and great timing for me! I have just done my first video for a brand and I really enjoyed it. It was just the girls and I put music over it. I am not sure about talking on camera yet, but I did really enjoy making the video and I would like to do some more x

  3. These are great tips, Alex. I never thought about using Snapchat as way of getting comfortable talking on camera. I've made a few videos for youtube - a couple of monthly montage style ones and a few sit down and talk to the camera ones. It's not so much my voice that bothers me but I never think I'm erm, pretty enough for youtube. I'm more a face-for-radio, kinda girl!

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

  4. Great tips here Alex, thank you for sharing! I've wanted to start vlogging for over a year now but like you, I'm also very anxious. I just don't even know where to start with it or how to edit videos etc! x

  5. Great tips Alex! I wish I had more confidence on video, I could never use Snapchat because I NEED to be able to edit out the parts that make me cringe. It's less about voice for me and more about my appearance, I just get so nervous about it - hiding behind a computer screen feels much safer! xx

  6. Really great tips Alex, thanks for sharing. I took on board your advice when we met at Britmums and it's been really useful for me. Thank you xx

  7. This is JUST the post I was looking for - I'm so close to starting a Youtube channel (properly) but every time I think about it, I get shivers down my spine. I think after reading this, I'll give it a go :)

    Your channel is fab by the way!

    Lyndsay | Fizzy Peaches Travel & Lifestyle Blog

  8. I am in awe of anyone who can film in one take without umming or ahhing or stumbling over their words. I certainly can't!! I also do the continuous filming and repeating when I lose my way and then editing it all together afterwards.

  9. OMG just what I needed to watch.......Im a year in also ....well from the point when I decided to start my channel and I've only put out a few videos....mostly because I hate the way i sould or i have nerves and anxiety so bad sometimes. But Im determined to keep going!

    Ours is ValentinFamCam if you want to check it out!

  10. Oh this is fab! I'm really keen to start vlogging - montages to begin with, a day in the life kind of thing. It's the editing/technical side of things that puts me off more than anything though! I'm not techy enough!