No motorcycle enthusiast will ever be able to ride every model, tackle every track or road trip through every amazing scenic area. Fortunately, there’s a way for motorcyclists to get close to these goals: through the many motovloggers posting their riding videos on YouTube.
Whether it’s to pick up techniques, scope out how a particular model handles the road or enjoy some breathtaking scenery, motovlogging can provide hours of entertainment. But what if you want to try out motovlogging for yourself? Check out our quick rundown of how to get started.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking to see how a savvy pro uses the tips below, our partner vlogger, MotoGeo, releases amazing, high-speed content from around the world.
1. Think about your audience and content.
Any creator of web content needs to have a plan for what kind of content they want to create and who the intended audience for that content will be. Are you interested in talking to beginning riders? Hardcore gearheads who love to get in the garage? Speed demon track bike enthusiasts? Touring riders? Generally, the best way to decide on the most appropriate audience is to think about what you enjoy about riding and make videos that come from your own perspective.
In addition, watch some motovloggers that you like and observe what they do well. What makes their videos interesting and what are they missing? What kind of motovlog would you like to see that isn’t out there right now? Once you have a direction for your motovlog, you’re off to a great start.
2. Buy the gear you need.
Any good motovlogger needs to purchase motovlogging equipment, starting with an HD helmet camera. This is your most important investment as a motovlogger (other than essentials like your safety gear), so you want something with great video quality that provides wide-angle viewing. GoPro is the brand that most people know, but many options are now on the market at a variety of price points.
If you plan on capturing your commentary while riding (or the sweet sound of your exhaust), you’ll also need a microphone that connects to your helmet camera. The built-in mic on a helmet camera is not a reliable way to record sound, so it’s a good idea to invest in motorcycle helmet speakers so you can hear your audio more clearly.
3. Ride your ride and create your content.
Generally, you want to come up with a plan for your content ahead of time. Don’t just get on your bike and start riding. You’ll need to plan what techniques you want to showcase, what scenery you want to check out and what aspects of your bike you want to highlight. You can begin with an explanation to your audience, or you can let the content speak for itself. It’s OK if everything doesn’t go perfectly—that’s what the next step is for.
4. Edit your vlogs.
Here’s where you’ll need a little technical expertise that has nothing to do with riding. Most motorcycle vlogs aren’t just raw footage. The best vlogs go through an editing process. Editing not only cuts out boring parts and mistakes, but it also enables content creators to add music, create video effects, and change the order of scenes.
You’ll need a video editing program for this part, and that will involve making another investment. Both free and paid options are available, but it’s often a good idea to start with one of the many free video editing programs available. Once you have the software, you’ll likely need some substantial practice with it, so check out some editing tutorials on YouTube and don’t expect a perfect product the first time out.
5. Refine your content.
Few content creators in any genre will knock it out of the park on their first try. If you really want to commit to creating a motovlog, it’s important to continue making content and learning from your mistakes so that you can refine your craft and create content that gets better and better.
Use YouTube’s free analytics options to track viewer demographics on your videos. Keep an eye on your comments section for viewer feedback that can help you improve your videos. Maybe your sound mix needs tweaking, or viewers want to see more of a certain thing you do. At the same time, we all know that the Internet is full of trolls, so try not to take abusive comments to heart or dignify them with a response.
There’s something incredibly satisfying about taking something you love, like riding motorcycles, and adding a creative dimension to it that allows you to share it with others. That’s part of the reason why motovlogging can be such a rewarding activity. The more bike enthusiasts who begin vlogging, the more the online motorcycle community will grow and prosper.