This year I have decided to become more active on YouTube and thought I share with you how to get started on YouTube.
I had a YouTube channel for years (I think since 2013 – I honestly can’t remember) but under my name and not my business name. I rarely put out a video – a few videos of our cat and a couple of tutorials, making of videos and a few showcase videos made with Adobe Spark. The tutorials were filmed by my husband on my old Canon PowerShot camera and edited by me using MovieMaker, a Microsoft software that used to be free, but is no longer. What surprised me was that my videos that got the most views were my tutorials – especially the Pasta Machine ones and one of my project tutorials (how to make a mould and create pendant in polymer clay using the mould). So far one of my most popular videos is “How to clean your pasta machine. Part 1” which had 47,147 views so far.
This year I decided to upload new content more regularly and aim at 1 video per week. My goal is to have 1000 subscribers by the end of the year and 4000 public watch hours in this 12-month period to qualify for YouTube’s partner programme and being able to monetize the channel. This meant that I had to spruce up the channel and make some necessary changes to it. First of all, I changed the name to my business name. I also verified the channel with YouTube. This is pretty straight forward – all you do is provide your phone number and YT will send you a verification code.
Verifying my channel.
The verification enables you to upload videos that are longer than 15 minutes.
As you can see from the image below – this is a snapshot from the 23/5/2019 – I can access most of the features on YouTube apart from: Live Streams, Super Chats, Monetisation, channel memberships and embedding live streaming. This is because I currently have 173 subscribers and my watch time for the period of the 23rd of April – 20th of May was 2199 minutes.
Filling in my “about” section and creating a banner for the channel.
The next thing I did was filling in the about section and adding my website and social media links to it. I uploaded my logo for my profile picture and created a banner that tells viewers what my channel is all about. To create this banner was a bit tricky – but the great thing about YT is that there are tons of tutorials about how to set up your YT channel. I followed this tutorial by Justin Brown on his channel Primal Video. This channel has tons of useful videos on filming videos for YT, cameras, software and how to’s.
This is my current banner
Another channel I can recommend for getting to grips with YouTube and how to successfully grow your channel is this one by Brian G Johnson – Brian G Johnson TV. Brian has also a fab support group for YouTube creators on Facebook. You can find the group here.
Creating my playlists
The next thing I did was to delete some of my older videos and create playlists, so I can sort my videos into topics. Currently my playlists are:
Tools I use
Showcase of my work
Sculpting with polymer clay – techniques
Making of videos
Helen tests art tools and supplies
Easy projects for polymer clay and precious metal clay
Polymer clay tips & techniques
Videos of our cat
Every time I upload a video, I add it into the appropriate play list and I also recommend a play list on my end card or screen. If I think it doesn’t fit into my current playlists, I don’t add it or I create a new playlist.
Coming up with video ideas
My next step was actually to make a list of videos I wanted to create which I think would be of interest to people, who actually buy from my website, and those who are interested to see how I make my products and are looking for tutorials.
I am also following loads of channels on YouTube including art channels who have been doing this for years. I can recommend doing this – you learn a lot from other people. I also recommend to engage with your favourite channels and leave comments. Believe me most creators love to hear from their viewers and the really engaged ones will reply to your comments. I recently commented on one of my favourite channels and not only did I get a reply, but the channel creator also subscribed to my channel. That actually made my day.
Researching editing software.
Then I had to find editing software which is not too expensive and easy for me to use. At the end of last year, I researched a few and downloaded free trial versions. In the end I bought Magix Movie Edit Pro Premium, which is an affordable software with a lot of functionality. Their support team is based in Germany and they respond to questions within 2 days. As it has a lot of bells and whistles, I still only know the basic functions which are sufficient enough for my needs. With every video I make I learn more about how to use the software. I also found this YT channel called Retired Time Productions which has tutorials just on how to use Magix. You will find loads of channels which specialise just in teaching you how to use various brands of editing software – most of these channels tend to be affiliated with the product. If you plan to use Filmora, one of the most popular editing programmes, then check out this channel by Danial Batal .
My film set up.
Using my old camera wasn’t an option as I needed to find a way to film myself in an easy set up. I don’t have much space on my desk and have to improvise. For my videos I use my smartphone, which I set to flight mode when filming (which means no unwanted interruptions), I have daylight lamp I sometimes use and when I film, I try to make the most of the natural light that shines through the windows. Unfortunately, that means that it sometimes gets a bit bright, but explains why my videos look often soft – I moved my desk in front of the window last year so I can look out to rest my eyes and to make better use of my room, it’s not necessarily the best for filming though. I have a gorilla grip tripod which I use for the phone and it sits on top of a heavy book.
I am still experimenting with the actual filming. Sometimes I film from the front – and all you see is the desk space and my sitting torso (which is very unflattering!) or from the side. Sometimes I forget where my phone’s lens is too! I have recently added to my set up a stand (recycled scientific lab stand) on which I wrap the gorilla tripod so I can film from the top. Again – my videos are not perfect, because it’s so easy to get out of shot, especially when I end up doing very detailed work – and my eyesight has deteriorated so I find focusing difficult. But with each video I learn more and am improving. One thing I found is that talking and demonstrating at the same time is very difficult and takes forever as I have to repeat takes. I also hate talking into the camera. It really is out of my comfort zone. However, I am planning to film a short intro video for the channel sometime this year.
Right now, I tend script my videos and think about the scenes I want to film. This is especially useful for the tutorials. Then I film each scene. And in the edit I add my voice. For this I use a decent microphone – mine is a SamsonQ2U – which I plug into my computer. Editing and voiceover takes up most of the time – depending on the length of the video. I tend to use an intro bit, but no outro – instead I use the end screen on YouTube where I can add my subscribe button, a playlist and a recommended video.
A useful tool I found via the FB support group is an application called TubeBuddy. It helps you with researching keywords and also has a neat checklist when you upload your videos to make sure you don’t forget to add tags, playlists etc. There is a free version of TubeBuddy and the paid versions have different pricing options and features. I bought the basic version which was on offer. TubeBuddy has of course also a channel with tutorials on YouTube which you can find here.
So, to sum it up, here are my top tips (so far) for getting started on YouTube:
- Come up with a channel name and verify your channel – follow the set-up instructions by YouTube.
- Add your profile image and create a nice banner that represents your channel well.
- Make sure to fill in the about section. You’d be surprised, but people do check it out. I certainly do. Here’s your chance to tell your audience what your channel is about and how they can reach you and find your other accounts.
- Follow other YouTubers in your niche and also outside your niche. You can learn a lot from those who have a successful channel. Make sure to engage with your favourite YouTubers.
- Make a list of videos you think your audience will be interested in watching – and don’t forget to make use of the playlist function. Categorising your videos can also help to see which video performs well.
- Invest in a good editing software that is easy to use and suits your needs.
- Practise, practise, practise and aim to get better at filming, presenting and editing. Creating videos is not easy
- You don’t have to have super duper camera to start – if you have that -great. Currently I am using just my smartphone for my videos. My first videos however were filmed with my old Canon PowerShot.
- Invest in an external microphone for your camera/phone. If you do a lot of voiceover like me – than also make sure you have a decent external microphone you can plug into your computer.
- Don’t forget good lighting when you film.
- Research your tags and keywords for coming up with a title that helps you to get found on YT. Check out TubeBuddy for this.
- Create your own thumbnails and experiment with them. I make mine in Canva.
- Comment on your own videos and encourage commenting. Sometimes you can add a link or extra info or just ask a question. It’s important to engage with your audience.
- Share, share, share.
- Enjoy the experience and don’t make it a chore. Have fun with it.
- Join a support group such as TubeRitual. which you can find here.
And that’s if for now. I hope you found this post useful. Let me know in the comments. Oh, and make sure to check out my YouTube channel 😊
Thanks for reading.