Hi everyone! This video is going to be about starting a YouTube channel and creating videos. If you are brand new to YouTube and have never done videos before or are just started out, I thought I’d give some tips from my experience on YouTube that can help you begin.
First and foremost, YouTube can be unpredictable. Even if you follow all the guidelines YouTube lays out, it cannot guarantee that your channel will become successful. Depending on the content you produce, or just you as a person, everyone will see what you have to offer differently. You don’t really need to spend hours working on your videos in order for your channel to become successful. But, it certainly helps to have things organized and easy to follow. You should do the work, not your audience.
As a bit of personal background. I started my channel to be able to express myself. It’s mine, I own it, and I can put up any content I like. It was to help myself get a better grasp of what I struggle with, help those that are in similar situations, to learn, to educate. A variety of things. I was not expecting for it to grow the way it has. And, I truly thank everyone that has supported me and I have been able to help. That really means a lot to me. Because it was all of you that have helped me as well.
Anyway, those were my goals for starting. So before I being, be sure to check the description for resources on how to better optimize your YouTube channel and videos. The YouTube Creator Playbook discusses practically all areas of ways you can optimize your channel and videos for maximum exposure. It does go into a lot more detail than I could possibly cover in this video.
The first thing before even starting is thinking about what you want your channel to be about. You can focus on one topic in particular, or multiple topics. But, you will need to pick something that you enjoy doing and talking about since you do not want it to become a chore and you never update again. Pick something you are passionate about and is fun for you to do.
The next is preparation for the video. All of my videos, with the exception of a select few, are scripted. I spend several days writing up and finalizing the script to my videos so I try to cover as much as possible and don’t leave out any crucial points. It’s entirely up to you if you wish to do this, if you even have to do this, depending on the content you will be putting out. Alternatively, the best thing to do is mentally review what you want to discuss in your video before beginning. Perhaps even make a checklist so you cover what you want. Or do it completely spontaneously. It’s up to you. But, realize that a majority of people that will watch your content will not want to sit there and watch you try and think of what to say. It should organized and easy to follow.
Which brings us to our next crucial point, editing. You can be a pro at editing, or know absolutely nothing about it. Many computers come with a video editing program, and there are even some free ones out there. If you are on Windows, Windows Movie Maker may help you out. On a Mac, iMovie may help. You can even edit on an iPod / iPhone and upload directly to YouTube. It’s quite remarkable what you can do now.
Furthermore, if you cannot do any of these, YouTube offers a video editor online. I don’t think too many people know about this. I’ve never personally used this, but you can do quite a bit on it. You can trim and edit, add transitions between clips, and add text. It’s amazing. The way you could go about doing this is upload your video privately, edit it, and then make the edited version public and it should be all good. If you need any advice on which video formats YouTube accepts, please check the description for the recommended encoding settings. Personally, for my video editing, I use Adobe Premiere Pro and remove the gaps and apply transitions and text. Everything is done there.
Next, in order for people to find your videos, you need an appropriate title, description, and keywords. In addition to a thumbnail. Of course, a custom thumbnail is not required, but it can helps. It should be something that represents the video and is not misleading. I generally put text on my video thumbnails and you can read it and instantly know what the video will be about. But, you will also need a title, description, and keywords. This is one area where I think a lot of people don’t realize how it important it really is. If you video is about a specific topic, be sure to add that to these three so your video can be discovered for that topic. But, do not add irrelevant info as this may impede the process. Furthermore, do not add keywords to the description. These three are distinct separate values.
- The ‘Title’ should be the name of the video. Someone should be able to read it and understand exactly what your video is about.
- The ‘Description’ is a more detailed text of what your video is about.
- ‘Keywords’ are how people will find your video and all aspects of your video. So, for instance, if you have a makeup tutorial video, some keywords would be makeup, makeup tutorial, cosmetics, beauty, and other related things depending on the video. YouTube often suggests keywords to you based on the title and description of the video. So if you fill those out, you may see some recommended keywords that are appropriate for your video.
Lastly, another important factor is to engage your viewers. Reply to messages, comments, whatever you like. Most views and comments will come from your fans, audience, viewers, subscribers. Especially within the first few days of uploading a new video. Those that keep staying with you and the content you put out are your real, true fans. And, you should do as much as possible to interact with those loyal followers since they are the ones that will keep watching your videos. YouTube has a feature called ‘Top Fans’ that allows you to interact with those that have the most engagement on your channel so this may come in handy.
I personally do not like to reply to comments. I do on occasion but it’s quite rare. It’s just, I don’t know, it just makes me too nervous to do it. However, I always try and reply to YouTube messages. Sometimes people get irritated when I am not able to reply to their comment or message. I’m not trying to ignore anyone, I’m just not able to read and reply to everyone’s comments and messages. It’s impossible. But regardless, I thank you so much for sending them.
Anyway, another way to engage your viewers and increase viewership is to be sure your information is consistent across all social media sites. What I mean is, if you have a YouTube channel and a Facebook page, put the links to your Facebook page on your YouTube channel so people can easily find it. Since YouTuber’s now have a Google+ account, be sure to put your Facebook and other sites on there as well. On Facebook, be sure to link back to YouTube so people can easily find your content. Mention your YouTube content so people are more inclined to see it and follow you on multiple platforms. Remember, you should do all the work, not the viewers.
Which brings us to another tip to engage viewers, annotations. How many people dislike when someone talks about a video they did, yet doesn’t link it anywhere and you have to search and find what that video is? I don’t like that, so what I do is when I discuss something and I refer to another video I did, even if it’s a future video, I create an annotation to link to that video. Additionally, I put that link in the description so people can find it. Annotations, when used correctly, do increase viewership. They can help you organize your content better and help those that are truly interested find what they are looking for easier.
Playlists are also very important. I put all my videos in a playlist that match what it is about. Additionally, a setting for the playlist, “Set as official series for this playlist,” will help the next video in that playlist appear on the top of the suggested videos. This can really help people go from one to the next in that playlist.
Other Tips & Info
A few miscellaneous tips and info. Quality over quantity. Make videos with a lot of content in them. The actual video and audio quality of your content is important as well. If people cannot see you or hear you, it’s going to make them leave your video quicker. I’m not saying go out and buy tons of equipment, but if you have a phone that can record and upload to YouTube, the quality is going to be decent. But, above all that, it’s about the content. Meaningful content that is informative, helpful, funny, whatever your channel is about. That is why people will come to your channel. To see something unique that they cannot find elsewhere.
Next, regularly upload videos. You don’t need to have a specific schedule, but upload weekly or a few times a week, whatever you find that suits you. Because, less people will be inclined to follow you if you post content irregularly and haven’t updated in weeks or months. So, be consistent.
Next, be prepared to lose subscribers with each new video. Sometimes it can be really upsetting when you have just started out and have very few subscribers, then you lose a few here and there. It will happen. People will dislike, leave negative comments, and unsubscribe, that’s just how it is. Be prepared for that because this is the Internet, people say and do whatever they like. The overall goal though is to gain more subscribers than lose, and to have overall a positive set of videos versus negative.
Next, adding closed captions to your videos may help. Despite the fact that I have a script for almost all my videos, I do not add captions myself. I don’t know why. Maybe I should. But, I don’t. Regardless, this may help those that have a difficult time hearing you or speak a different language to understand you better. Doing your own closed captions offer a lot of benefits over the automated captions which can be very incorrect and quite amusing if you’ve ever looked at them before.
Lastly, respect copyright. Don’t put up any copyrighted songs or videos as it could penalize you. It can be tempting, but avoiding it is for the best. Unless the song is royalty free and in the public domain, it’s best to just not use it. YouTube actually offers an Audio Library for creators. You can use the songs and music for free. I’ll have a link in the description.
So, hopefully this video could help anyone that is interested in doing YouTube videos or are just starting out. The most important thing to remember, especially if you are nervous, that it does get easier putting out videos. If you do it regularly and keep people up to date with what you do, the anxiety does lessen. It is hard at first, but you will get use to it. It was hard for me, but I knew I had to do it. And, despite all the negative, there has been more positive and support that outweighs the negative. So, that is how you have to look at it. So, thanks for watching!
After having quite a bit of success with my own YouTube channel, and knowing how things work and operate, as well as knowing some key strategies to creating a successful channel so viewers can find a user’s videos, I decided to create this video to help others that are just starting out. It’s funny how I said I don’t reply to comments often, or add captions to my videos, when that’s exactly what I starting doing shortly thereafter.