So, you want to be a YouTuber? Let’s start by saying that we wholeheartedly support you in your YouTube dreams. However, it’s essential to know that it will take a lot of hard work to “make it” as a YouTuber. That said, you shouldn’t let that discourage you, because you have what it takes; you just have to put in the work and effort.

There will always be a varying amount of success that every channel will see. There is some luck involved with being a YouTuber. Many of the huge channels you see today worked extremely hard to get to where they are today. There will indeed be some luck involved with you being able to break out as a massive YouTube star, but you have to try for that to have a chance to happen. Don’t be afraid or discouraged. You have what it takes to become the next big YouTuber. Here’s what you need to do and consider when you start your channel. We’ve broken them into three categories: planning, production, and building your community.

Planning

Choose a topic or niche you want to make videos about

First and foremost, you have to decide on your channel’s focus. While it’s important to look at trending topics and popular video formats, you should pick what interests you as a creator. The topics and niches you include on your channel have to be something that personally gets you excited. Otherwise, it will always feel like you’re forcing it, and why would someone want to watch someone that doesn’t enjoy what they’re creating? Since YouTube is so huge, the audience will find another channel that actually feels passionate about the topic you’re trying to force to work in your style.

Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t research trends to see what is popular. However, when you do this, you have to find ways to integrate it into your channel naturally. Any topic or niche you include should never feel forced. If you enjoy it, then a large portion of your audience will accept it.

Plan your content

There’s no one way to plan your content. A lot of what you plan will depend on the kind of content you want to make. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when planning your content. First, find all the key points of the video. You want to map out all the important parts of the video, the segments and the flow. You want to make sure you cover everything you want to talk about and ensure that you don’t miss anything. Having a structure will ensure you’ll run through the video much faster and more efficiently. Be sure to do all your research as well. You might think you have a lot to talk about a topic but realize you don’t have enough things to say to fill a 10-minute video. You always want to ensure the topics you’re talking about are truthful.

Additionally, put a lot of thought and time into planning the first 15 seconds for your video. You want to grab people’s interest right away. Typically, viewers will decide if they will stay or leave a video in 15 seconds. This first portion of the video is critical. In the beginning, summarize what your video will be about and use visuals to engage and interest the viewer. One useful trick is to start with an attention-grabbing opening line like “I almost ended my career today.” It will make viewers want to learn more about the situation you encountered today and hear the rest of the story to get the answer.

Get the right equipment for the job

Now that you’ve started planning what kind of content you want to make on your YouTube channel, it’s time to start looking at what equipment you will need to accomplish the goals you’ve set. The kind of equipment you will need will depend on the type of content you want to make. A travel vlog will require a different camera, microphone, and lighting setup than a gameplay video. Let’s go over some of the essential categories of equipment you will need.

Camera

So, the first piece of equipment you should be looking at is a camera. If you’re just starting out, a camcorder or webcam should be enough. They won’t offer the best quality, but it’s enough to get your stream up and running. DLRS and Mirrorless cameras are good investments when you want to start investing more into your channel. These are the kinds of cameras that big YouTube channels use and are the standard for the platform. Now, if you’re traveling a lot and vlogging on the go, your phone or an action camera can work. DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras can be used when traveling, but they will require more equipment, like a gimbal, tripod, and travel case for it and its lenses.

Be sure to check out the camera buyer’s guide on videomaker.com to see our top picks for online video shooting.

Sony a6400
The Sony a6400 is a great budget option for creators. Image courtesy Videomaker

Microphone

To keep your audience engaged, you need to have a good way to capture audio. While you might think you can use the built-in microphone on your camera, you shouldn’t opt to do so. The audio captured that way is usually pretty bad. Additionally, they’re not advanced enough to eliminate ambient sounds in your surroundings. There are a few different kinds of mics that you can get for your videos. Here are a few of them:

Shotgun microphones: these mics are made with shock mounts that reduce noise made from mechanical vibrations around it. This mic is able to hone in on the sounds that are directly in front of it. Surrounding ambient sounds on the sides and behind the mic won’t be picked up. It’s great to use both indoors and outdoors.

Lavalier microphones: these mics are small microphones typically used for speaking applications in order to allow for hands-free operation. Usually they come with small clips for attaching to the speaker’s clothes.

Handheld microphones: these microphones can either be wired or wireless and are handheld by the interviewer or speaker. They are useful for run-and-gun interviews in noisy environments where you don’t have the time for a lavalier.

Lights

Your video’s lighting is, in some ways, more important than the camera you pick to shoot with. While you can have a powerful camera, you can’t capture a good image if the scene is too dark or bright. Some lights you can look into for your setup are softboxes. They emulate natural, soft lighting that mimics the look of light from a window. You want to keep the temperature of your light as daylight, because it’s the more natural, flattering light when hitting people’s faces.

Overall, it’s good to have lights that don’t cast harsh shadows on you or your subject. To decrease the intensity of the light, use a white diffusion panel. You can also opt to use Umbrella lights. They’re soft lights and are much more controlled lights than soft boxes. The light gets reflected from the silver interior layer of the umbrella. They are good for backdrops and on-locations shoots.

Ring lights are also a classic for YouTubers. Ring lights are often the choice of light for many vloggers. They are fluorescent lights made in the shape of a ring and light all around the face of the subject.

Look at other content from YouTubers in you niche / category for inspiration

The best way to see what works is to look at other channels trying to do the same kind of content you want to. There is no shame in taking inspiration from others and putting your own spin on it. For instance, Pewdiepie’s LWIAY (Last Week I Asked You) segment is actually a parody of Jacksfilms’ YIAY (Yesterday, I Asked You) segment. Pewdiepie took inspiration from Jacksfilms’ and made a parody of the segment, putting his own spin on it.

Pewdiepie’s LWIAY is his own take on Jacksfilms’ YIAY. Image courtesy Pewdiepie

Watch content in the same niche, take notes of what you like and don’t like and figure out how you can help your channel fit better with what is working in the current meta of the category.

Production

Now that you’ve gotten everything you need to start filming and know what you want to film, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start shooting.

Produce quality content

This should go without saying, but do your best to make the production the best you can. Take the time to set everything up, practice what you’re going to say and don’t be afraid to take time to reshoot what you can. Ensure that the end product is something that you will be proud to upload to your channel. Take the time that is required to make the video good.

Editing software

Once you finish filming, it’s time to piece together the footage and make the video. You need good editing software to piece everything together in the end. While YouTube does have its own editor, you can do a lot more if you invest in your own editing software. Here are a few editors you should check out:

Apple iMovie: a great beginner editing software that supports 4K video editing and can add color filters to your video and create special effects like split-screen effects and even green-screen compositing.

Wondershare Filmora9: This desktop video editing app is a enthusiast friendly video editing software. It supports up to 4K resolutions, 3D LUTs, and offers a lifetime license or a yearly paid subscription.

Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 16: Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve 16 is an all-in-one software that is one of the best options for professional editing. It combines 8K editing, color correction, visual effects and audio post production all into one software.

You can check out or fully rundown of the best video editing softwares on videomaker.com.

Upload videos regularly

While creating quality content is important, having a consistent posting schedule will help your videos be consistently recommended on YouTube. For some channels, uploading every other day is enough. Others, posting one or even two videos a day is a must. It’s essential to balance between making quality videos and to keep up with your set deadlines. However, be mindful of creator burnout. Many YouTubers experience burnout because of the upload demand. Take care of yourself first, and don’t push yourself into an unhealthy posting schedule.

Building the success of your channel

Connect with viewers

Ultimately, the success of a YouTube channel is determined by your viewers. In many cases, you have to do more than simply upload a video. Engage with your audience. Connect with them in any way you can. It can be as simple as liking or replying to a few comments. It will show the community that you are listening to them and reading what they’re saying. They will feel much more personally connected with you because they will be iterating with you, rather than just watching you. Additionally, utilize places like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep connected with your community. This way, you will interact with them daily rather than when you upload a video.

Building a network

Always look for other YouTubers that you can collaborate with or brands that can advertise on your channel. Networking with other YouTubers will allow their subscribers to find you and your content. Your reach will expand and connect with people that didn’t know about you. Also, if you can work with sponsorships, you will have much more capital left to improve your videos or just have extra cash for yourself. Remember, though, pick brands that you like and that your audience will appreciate. If you take any sponsored offer, it might rub off on your audience the wrong way. Consider picking sponsors that will be relevant to your audience. For example, if you’re a beauty YouTuber, take deals with makeup companies. This way, the sponsorship won’t feel out of place on your channel, and it will be more relevant to your audience.

Enjoy what you do

Any kind of network, brand or success you make on YouTube should be founded on the fact that you are enjoying what you are doing and the content you are making. If you do not enjoy the content you are making or are forced to make, that isn’t something that can be sustained over a long time. Being a content creator on YouTube takes a lot of time and energy. You have to be fully committed to what you are doing, and you have to like what you’re doing to make the best content you possibly can. Success can come from many different avenues, but what you enjoy to make depends solely on you.

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