Making a YouTube video always serves a certain purpose: to get a kind of recognition, sell a product or service, become famous, or earn money.
On this platform with 2 billion monthly active users, it’s not easy to find a large audience, so it’s important to create a video that actually works.
So how to make a YouTube video and become successful among your competitors?
We’ve come up with a list of helpful tips and tricks, based on the best practices, that can help you create a YouTube video from A to Z, including how to do YouTube keyword research, what devices or tools you need, and much more.
With this practical knowledge and easy steps, you’ll be able to create video content that will be hard to ignore.
Ready, set, and action!
- YouTube Strategy and Planning
- How to Record a YouTube Video
- How to Edit a YouTube Video
- How to Upload Your Video to YouTube
YouTube Strategy and Planning
Before actually starting shooting your YouTube video, there are several steps you should take, to make sure your video is not just going to collect dust on this platform. Here is where you should start from first:
1. Do YouTube Keyword Research for Your Topic
At first, choosing a topic for your YouTube video might seem the easiest part of running a YouTube channel, however, it’s quite challenging.
The thing is, the topic you like is not always the topic your audience wants to watch videos about. Sure, you need to cover something you’re passionate about, but you also need to choose a topic your audience can relate to.
To choose a highly relevant idea for an effective YouTube video, you need to do your research first.
YouTube search is one of the best ways to find out what people usually look for on this search engine.
Once you have a somewhat general idea about the topic you want to dive into, type it in the YouTube search bar and see what you’ll find on the search results page and the search bar.
Simply type in the topic you want to cover and see the keywords YouTube offers through autocomplete.
For instance, we’ve tried to find some suggestions for a supposed YouTube channel about legends and myths. We’ve searched the keyword we want to research “urban legends about” and here are the suggestions YouTube has for us in the search bar.
This will help you to narrow down your YouTube video ideas and choose the most relevant ones enjoyed by the YouTube community.
Also, there are a number of YouTube keyword research tools that you can use for your topic research and boost your YouTube SEO game.
2. Define Your YouTube Audience
Just like starting any other new project, with YouTube videos too, you have to make it clear for yourself who you’re doing it for.
This means you need to have a clear understanding of your target audience before jumping into your first YouTube video.
Once you set up your specific audience, you’ll be able to answer other vital questions about your YouTube videos, like what content you should make, what makes your videos stand out, why people should watch your videos, etc.
Most YouTube videos with millions of views educate or entertain the viewer, so any video you decide to create for YouTube has to be beneficial for your viewer in one way or another and help your viewer achieve their goal.
3. Conduct Competitor Research
Going through your competitor’s YouTube video content is a great way to do your research. You can check their most viewed videos, see what they are about, and what they miss.
You can also collect your information from the comments section, see what kind of videos engage the audience more, which type of videos have more comments, and see what people are saying about it.
Also, check out if there are any requests about related topics and try to get ideas for your own videos.
4․ Get Inspiration From Social Media
Social media can be a terrific source of YouTube video ideas and inspiration. Facebook groups, Twitter communities, the comments under related Instagram reels, etc, will help you find exactly what people on social media want you to cover, and help you combine it with your creativity.
Connect with the communities of relatable groups and pages to generate ideas.
5. Have the Basic Equipment for YouTube
Better equipment produces better-quality videos and it’s not a secret. However, as a YouTube beginner, you don’t have to have all the expensive equipment to create your videos.
The unique content of your video and the clear picture is enough to help you succeed too.
And if you still want to make better quality content, by spending a little money, you can get the basic equipment for shooting YouTube videos.
But what are the basic YouTube equipment and tips to help you make great video content?
One of the first things you might want to consider getting is a camera for YouTube videos. Depending on the kind of videos you plan to shoot, you can get a camcorder, a webcam, an action camera, or a DSLR. Each camera has its unique features and specifics.
For instance, an external webcam is a much cheaper option than other types of cameras, and it also has better quality than the in-built camera of your laptop. So, it might be a better choice for your new starting channel.
Although, these days there are many smartphones that have amazing cameras for awesome video production. So you might even want to consider getting a smartphone with a superb camera that can shoot HD or 4K resolution videos.
A simple example of a video shot with an insanely good smartphone camera is Selena Gomez’s music video for her 2019 hit song “Look At Her Now”. Yes, all of it is shot on an iPhone.
While cameras can be replaced with smartphones, microphones might be the first piece of equipment you want to consider getting. It will surely improve the quality of your video, make your voice clear and your video production more professional.
Besides, it’s not that difficult to get a mic that’s both great and cheap. Some mics are maybe $9-$17 USD and they still do their job like a pro.
There are also several types of microphones you can choose from based on the nature of your videos, such as lapel, condenser, and shotgun microphones. And if you’ve decided to shoot your video on a smartphone, there are mics that can connect to your phone too.
If you don’t want to lean your camera or smartphone on a pile of books, furniture, and other objects and are ready to spend some money, then there’s a solution for that. A tripod or a gimbal stabilizer will help you make that task easier and keep your shot from shaking like an autumn leaf.
Some tripods are surprisingly very affordable and won’t hit your budget hard. Although, it’s better to consider the weight of your camera and invest a little more in your tripod to have a steadier and reliable one.
Now, getting lighting equipment is a great way to make the frames of your video out of a movie scene, especially when you’re shooting a video indoors.
Two of the famous types of lighting equipment that you can use when recording a YouTube video are softbox and ring light.
Just like the name suggests, softbox is the natural, soft light, not much different from the light coming out of the window. A nice softbox lighting equipment is usually around $50-100 USD.
Many vloggers will agree that ring lights are more suitable for shooting YouTube videos. It evenly eliminates shadows from every corner of the scene and lights up the object from every side. This is why it’s the favorite light equipment of beauty vloggers.
And if you don’t want to spend money on getting professional lighting, you can set up your camera according to natural light rules and regulations.
How to Record a YouTube Video
Remember that as a new and coming Youtube beginner, your video doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, no one is expecting your first video to be a Hollywood movie scene. Let’s be honest, you’re (probably) not a professional editor, or a director.
The perfection and skills will come over time, so until then don’t delay uploading your video content to YouTube because of minor mistakes or because you don’t have additional equipment. Sometimes not making the perfect content helps YouTubers come off as more honest. And after all, all YouTubers have started with basic and simple shooting and editing.
The most important part of your YouTube video is to:
- Make sure the video has a purpose and sticks to it.
- Convey the message you need.
- Make it clear and not cause a misunderstanding.
- Help the viewer reach their goal.
However, when it comes to shooting your first YouTube video, there are a couple of useful tips and tricks that can help you create a video worth watching.
Check out the basic tips below to use them as a first kit aid for your videos and deliver better and eye-catching content.
1. Start With a Script or an Outline
Now that you already have the topic you want to cover, a clear picture of who your audience is, and the equipment you need to shoot the video, it’s time to write a video script.
Put the video down in your script to stick to the topic and not drift off the main points you want to cover. Include your dialogues and the shots they will accompany in your video, and the object you’re going to include.
If you’re just a “go-with-the-stream” kind of a person and are not ready to put the details down in a script, making the outline of your video will be fine too. The point is to have something to follow and help you stay on track when pressing “Rec”.
2. Choose a Suitable Background
The background of your video matters a great deal. Although your video might not be shot super professionally, it still has to be appealing to the viewer. Your background should be clean, presentable, and without objects that can be distracting.
If it’s a tutorial video, where the background is your desk, keep it polished and free of objects unrelated to the topic of your video.
And if you’re recording yourself, choose a background that can also give contrast to your whole video. Try choosing backgrounds without too much color, or the color of your skin or clothes, so you don’t blend with the colors around you. To choose the best option, set up your camera in different locations and compare them.
Also, avoid taking shots in front of windows and open doors, so your scene is not messed up because of wrong lighting or a person passing by. Check the surroundings of your location beforehand to avoid additional sounds and restrictions, since you might need permission to record some outdoor locations.
3. Use the Rule of Thirds
Almost every camera and smartphone camera app includes the grid feature, which helps you take professionally correct and visually pleasing shots.
It divides the screen into nine equal parts, helping you place the main object of your video along these lines and their meeting points.
By applying the rule of thirds to your videos, they will be more beautiful and eye-catching.
How to Edit a YouTube Video
Once you’ve got all the shots and scenes you need, it’s time to get to the editing part of your video production process. Here are some tips we want to share with you to make the process of your video editing easy and fun.
1. Choose the Right Tools and Software
To unite all your video clips together and to make the necessary changes to your shots, you need to choose a suitable video editing software or an online tool for you.
You can choose the right software by putting down the possible actions you might need to edit your video clips.
For instance, do you need the best caption options, a split screen, animated text, or just crop and cut?
Choosing YouTube video editing software or an online tool based on your needs will also help you set your priorities and make the editing process easy.
With Renderforest Online Video Maker, for instance, you can edit your videos quickly and effectively, without emptying up space on your device. You can upload your own font, choose the style of your video, add new scenes and media files, insert a music track and download your video within minutes.
There are also a large number of customizable video templates, that you can choose from, and edit with your image and video files.
And if you’re still looking for great video editing software for YouTube, check out our blog post with the 14 best free and paid video editors.
2. Add an Intro
The very first seconds of your video matter. They help the viewer to make a decision, whether they should keep watching the video or not. So, you can start your video with a punchline or a short recap of the video they’re about to watch, followed by a short and impressive intro.
You can use the same intro for all of your YouTube videos and make it a part of your unique style.
3. Use Text For Extra Info
When editing your video, there’s surely some extra info or comment you want to share with your audience, but can’t because you don’t want to waste time on it, or distract your audience from the main topic. This is where text comes in handy.
You can add the additional info or the joke you’re dying to tell your audience with a text at a relevant moment.
You can make your text look cartoonish, or faded, animate it, add captions, etc, to give it some spotlight and connect with your viewer on a more personal level.
Source: Linh Truong
4. Use Transitions
Transitions help your scenes change more smoothly and professionally. They make the transformation of one scene into another natural and sometimes driven and energetic.
So, whether you want the changes of your scenes to be smooth and unnoticeable, or rough and lively, adding transitions to your video is the way to go.
5. Add Music
Adding music is a way to turn your video clips into more driven and professional YouTube videos. If the music is in the background, with a lower volume than your voice, it will give your audience an additional vibe and not be distracting.
You might want to use music from royalty-free music sites to avoid copyright issues. You can find high-quality music for your YouTube videos in our 35+ Best Places to Find Background Music for Video blog post.
6. Make an Effective Outro
An outro is the last part of your video that serves as a kind of a call-to-action. Having an outro in your YouTube video is a great way to have more conversions or lead your audience to where you need them.
In your YouTube video outro, you can offer people a relevant video or a YouTube playlist, ask them to subscribe to your channel, direct them to a website link outside of YouTube, or a subchannel you want them to notice.
Or you can simply come up with iconic YouTube outros similar to your aesthetics and content, and use your logo and the name of your channel as a style attribute.
How to Upload Your Video to YouTube
Once your video is ready to “shine bright like a diamond”, it’s time to share it with the world of YouTube. However, you can’t upload the video to YouTube, if you don’t have a YouTube account, so start with creating a YouTube channel first.
And if you already have an account, make sure your YouTube channel is all set up with the necessary information and data. This includes your icon, the About page, contact information, background, etc.
After optimizing your YouTube channel, the next step is to upload your first ever YouTube video: go to your channel, click on the video icon in the top right corner, and then “Upload Video”. If you have trouble navigating, you can follow our step-by-step guide to uploading a video to YouTube.
Now that your video has already been uploaded, you need to optimize it for YouTube before pressing the Publish button. You need to change the data fields of your video, such as its title, description, tags, etc, to make your video more visible.
So, this is where all the YouTube research we’ve talked about in the beginning comes in handy. YouTube video optimization will give your video a better chance to rank on YouTube and receive more views on this platform.
Check out our tips on YouTube SEO to know exactly why and how to optimize your video:
1. Choose a Killer Title
The headline of your video is one of the first things your viewer will see in the search results. Choose a clear and attention-grabbing title, instead of going with a single word or two-word expression. Don’t forget to include your main keyword in the title as well to help YouTube and your viewers recognize the topic you’ve made a video about easier.
For instance, “Souffle Pancake With One Egg” is a more detailed, telling, and click-worthy headline than simply “Pancake”. The latter is a broad topic to search and there will be more videos in the search results, adding to the chance of a YouTube user skip your video.
2. Add Keywords to Your Video Description
YouTube keywords are important for your video description as well. They help to improve your position on the search engine results page (SERP) and therefore give you a chance to receive more views on YouTube.
Make sure to use the main keyword in your description once or twice, and avoid going overboard. Keyboard-stuffed descriptions are not cool or helpful.
3. Choose the Most Relevant Tags
YouTube video tags are the best way to get noticed on this giant platform. The best part is that you can use many versions of the same concept people might look for to create more possibilities for your video.
You can add tags from your keyword research, or through YouTube SEO extensions, or from your competitor’s video tags. Now, the thing is YouTube video keywords don’t show up in the video description, so to see them you need to right-click on the web page, select “View Page Source”, search (Ctrl + F) “keywords”, and find the list.
4. Create a Catchy Thumbnail
The visual of your video matters as much as your title and keywords. Your thumbnail is the sneak-peek of your video and helps the YouTube user make up his mind whether to watch the video or not.
Of course, you can choose a thumbnail from one of the screenshots of your videos that YouTube offers, but to attract more attention, you might want to consider creating a custom thumbnail.
Start creating your thumbnail, by first checking the ideal YouTube thumbnail size. Next, make sure to choose bright colors with the perfect contrast, add a short text that’s visible, one or two great screenshots from your video, and of course your logo.
For more tips, you can check out our blog post about 13 tips for a clickable YouTube video thumbnail to create a superb one.
Or you can create an attention-grabbing thumbnail online with just a few clicks, by using online graphic maker tools.
5. Pay Attention to Your Analytics
Lucky for all YouTubers, they don’t have to pay for a tool to keep an eye on their channel analytics.
YouTube Analytics offers every kind of data YouTubers need to know about the performance of their videos and channel.
With YouTube Analytics you can track the total number of your views, the traffic source, the watch time, the time most of your subscribers are on YouTube, the age and gender of your audience, top geographics, your click-through rate (CTR), and much more.
This data will help you come up with strategies and changes to improve the performance of your videos and YouTube channel.
To access your YouTube Analytics page, click on your channel icon, go to your “YouTube Studio”, and then “Analytics”, situated on the left side of your screen.
6. Share Your Video Online
Alright, now that your video is published, your job here is done! No, we’re not going to say this. Just because your video is up on YouTube, doesn’t mean it will get magical views, and attract subscribers, wizards, and unicorns.
You need to promote your YouTube channel and video on other digital platforms to make that happen(except we’re not so sure about the unicorns).
Social media is a great tool to use to spread the word, so share your video on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn (if it’s anything career-related and serious).
You can also post it in related groups on Facebook, on your Instagram stories and ask your friends and followers to share it with people that might be interested in the topic.
And this is how you make a YouTube video from A to Z.
Making a YouTube video might seem easy at first, but note that there is a huge difference between YouTube videos and successful YouTube videos.
The easy tips we’ve shared with you will come in handy once you set your mind on creating your first YouTube video.
The list, as you might have noticed, is made up of mostly free or low-cost tricks that everyone can perform no matter their knowledge of SEO or budget.
So, it’s time to start your journey right away and who knows, maybe one day you’ll find your way into the list of the most subscribed YouTubers in the world.