Creating on YouTube: Top Tips for Success

Updated on Feb 28, 2021

You have an idea, and you want to share it. Your personality is fun, and you want to present it. You’ve probably been asked by your friends, “have you ever considered making a YouTube channel?” While being charismatic and entertaining to watch are major components of having a successful channel, it’s important to know that it’s all about the viewer—as the creator, making the right content that benefits and adds value to your intended audience is ultimately the best way to find success.

As one of the biggest social media content hubs in the world, YouTube is a great place to host and share your longer-form content. It’s not only a platform with the potential to escalate from a fun hobby to a career, but an online network that could build the bridge connecting you to brands, other online personalities, and more to learn or share new skills and create fun content. Whether you start with the intention to monetize your brand or share everyday content simply made to enjoy, here are some tips to successfully begin.

Think About Your Content: What Kind of Creator Will You Be?

Before you get started on your YouTube channel, you probably have some idea formed of the kind of content you want to make. While you’re starting out, YouTube is one of those places where it’s not advised to be a jack of all trades and master of none—at least not until you’re more established—because one of the platform’s best-kept-secrets to growing is to start with a specific niche.

Holding Phone With YouTube Logo
Holding Phone With YouTube Logo

If you don’t have a specific theme in mind yet, dig deep and do some critical thinking about what inspires you. What lights your fire enough to make you want to share it with the world? What are you confident enough in your passion and skill for to declare yourself the voice of?

The options are limitless—perhaps you’re a travel enthusiast with an eye for documenting your adventures. Maybe you’re a musician working to build an audience for your original songs. Do you have a well-refined skill you want to educate others about with tutorials and how-tos?

If your content plan is to gather all your interests and take an “all of the above” approach, it’ll be too general to be discovered and followed. The best practice for starting is to work on creating content that will appeal to a very specific audience, making yourself a go-to source for that specific category.

Take a look at well-known YouTubers, or simply other creators with the content you enjoy. What sets them apart? What makes their videos as engaging as they are? Seek inspiration from your favorite creators, take notes, and then morph that inspiration into something that’s amazing, shareable, and all your own—and as you begin to grow, your content can, too.

Set Up Your YouTube Profile & Account

You can’t get started on YouTube without having a profile on the platform. Make sure that you’re signed up with the Google account you’d like associated with your YouTube account and begin to build your channel on the platform. Your icon and banner should be consistent with your brand or personality—however, you want to portray yourself on your channel.

Create your channel name. Is it your brand name, or your own name as a public figure? The next step is to write a detailed description of what your channel will be about, and take advantage of the opportunity to add links to cross-promote your other sites (social media like Twitter or Instagram, or your personal website or blog.)

Get Your Basic Filming Equipment Situated

While it certainly helps, you don’t need to have a professional camera to find success on YouTube. You’d be surprised at the creators that film their content on their phones, and most phones are equipped with high-quality cameras that suffice for shooting videos for the web. It all depends on the kind of quality you want your channel to have.

While getting started, it’s perfectly fine to use the equipment you already have in your possession—whether that be a DSLR, your smartphone, or the camera built into your laptop. The right choice for you will largely depend on your intentions with your channel and what’s available to you at the time you get started.

Invest In The Right Accessories

As your channel grows or you refine your content niche with better videos, you’ll want to invest in the right equipment to amp up the quality of your content.

Recording Voice For YouTube Video
Recording Voice For YouTube Video

Nothing distinguishes an amateur and pro content creator quite like the quality of the audio—you’ll want to ensure that your content can be clearly heard. Finding equipment like a good-quality microphone is a great place to start, with plenty of options such as USB microphones that can connect directly to your computer or XLR microphones that are a bit more advanced. The best microphone for your YouTube will ultimately depend on what kind of content you’re recording, but that extra addition to your equipment has the power to make all the difference in your video’s audio.

There’s plenty of accessories to consider that could help ramp up the quality of your channel, but it all depends on your preferences and the videos you create. If you’re the main subject of your content (if you’re filming makeup tutorials, for example) you may want to consider a ring light to improve the lighting in your film space. If you’re shooting action content of people skateboarding, you may want to invest in a stabilizer to prevent unwanted shaking. What you need depends entirely on what you want to create, and how you want to create it.

Get Comfortable With Youtube

One of the best and most underrated methods of finding success on YouTube is to just play around in it. Click around, watch a bunch of videos, and see what sticks. It’s correct to assume that your first video will not be your best, but you have to start somewhere—and you might as well start with the knowledge of how the platform works and how people are optimizing their content on it.

Most importantly, get accustomed to the workflow of uploading videos (you don’t have to publish them) so you can familiarize yourself with the process and make sure everything looks as it should.

Get Comfortable With Your Editing Software

You don’t need fancy, expensive editing software to get started on YouTube—but you should know how to use what you’re working with. Take advantage of the editing software that’s available to you on your computer (such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker) and take the plunge into learning how to use more advanced software such as Final Cut Pro once you find yourself familiar with the basics. There are plenty of user-friendly options for beginners that are free and easily downloadable to get started.

Video Editing Software
Video Editing Software

Figure Out The Right Title -- Draw Attention To Your Video!

Ultimately, you won’t find success on YouTube if your videos aren’t discovered. Understanding the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will be largely beneficial as you begin strategizing how to make your videos discoverable. When you’re thinking of what to name your video, consider how many other videos might have that same title, and then consider what makes your video unique. In the same vein, think about what people who are searching for content like yours might type in the search bar, and work around that. Include appropriate keywords in the title of your video, and keep the title engaging and descriptive so the viewer knows what they’re getting into before they press play.

Optimize your SEO

Google Analytics Dashboard
Google Analytics Dashboard

A strategic title isn’t the only thing that goes into your content’s SEO—you can optimize the discoverability of your videos by utilizing tags and descriptions as well.

Tags are keywords that users can search to discover your video. For example: if your video is recapping a backpacking trip on the Pacific Coast Trail, you could tag it with keywords such as hiking, backpacking, Pacific Coast Trail, travel, adventure. Think of the words people would type out to find a video like yours, and go from there.

Your video’s description should go into far more detail than the keywords accompanying it. Give an in-depth recap or introduction about the content you’re sharing, and don’t be afraid to throw more keywords in your sentences—the more searchable, the better!

Invest In The Right Accessories

As your channel grows and you continue to create content, you’ll begin to gain followers and get comments from YouTube users on your videos. You may even gain followers on your other social media accounts that people discover via your YouTube profile. Make sure you connect with your viewers and engage with their comments so they feel heard and appreciated—it’ll help foster a positive sense of community among your subscribers, and they may even give you suggestions for a few new content ideas.

Be Consistent -- Continue To Post!

The only way to create better videos is to practice and create content often. The more comfortable you get with filming and editing, the more improvement you’ll see in the content you’re making. Set a goal for yourself that’s realistic, but will keep you accountable: whether that means filming and uploading one video per week or one per month, stick to it. You may not be perfectly satisfied with each project just yet, but if you keep creating you’ll keep growing and get a better understanding of what resonates with your audience.

Article Written By Kristi Camara

Posted on Feb 28, 2021


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