If you’ve been living under a rock, you might not know that I started a YouTube channel in July 2020. I um-ed and ah-ed about it for so long and now my only regret is not starting it sooner! I’m splitting this post into two parts as I wanted to share some things that I’ve learnt on YouTube over the last year (and a bit) and my tips if you’re thinking about starting your own YouTube channel.
Before we get into it, click here to subscribe to my channel! (So you can binge watch it later)
SKILLS I’VE GAINED
HOW TO EDIT A VIDEO
I currently use Wondershare Filmora to edit my videos as I have a Windows PC and I’d heard good things. I did pay for the full version so that I could remove the watermarks, but I think it was only something like £30 for the whole year which I thought was pretty reasonable, considering the amount of use I get out of it. Prior to getting my camera (I use the Canon G7x Mark II now), I used to just film on my phone and would edit using the InShot app, which worked equally well to be honest!
My editing skills are far from perfect, but you kind of just learn as you go, and it’s one of those things that gets better over time. Of course there are tonnes of tutorials online but I prefer to just wing it and use trial and error to see what works! You can also gain inspiration for edits by watching other YouTubers (though bear in mind some will pay for someone to edit videos for them).
HOW TO SPEAK AND PRESENT MORE CONFIDENTLY
My confidence since starting my YouTube Channel has definitely increased, in terms of speaking aloud, delivering presentations (not that I do that often!) and communicating with people verbally. I’ve always been quite shy and introverted, but YouTube is definitely bringing me out of my shell and helping me to work on those skills. I think this definitely comes across too if you watch my first few videos and then watch the most recent ones!
HOW TO UTILISE SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTION ACROSS PLATFORMS
I kind of did this before because obviously I have my blog, and there’s a high chance you clicked on this post via Twitter, but starting a YouTube Channel gets you to be a bit more creative with cross promoting on your different platforms. And this is something I can still get better at! I have found a whole world of Facebook groups to promote videos in and find other budding YouTubers to get advice from, and I feel like I’ve been able to link my content between platforms a bit more, for example a quick post on Instagram might give me inspiration for a whole sit down video.
Again, obviously I used Canva before to create blog headers etc, but I found a whole new side when starting to create YouTube thumbnails. I also tried Canva Pro for a while, which I have to say I really enjoyed and would recommend for the extra features, especially if you’re using it on a regular basis. I personally can’t justify it in my budget right now so have gone back to the free version, but would definitely consider upgrading again in the future.
I ENJOY LONG FORM CONTENT MORE
I never really thought about long form vs short form content much before, however I’ve come to realise since starting my YouTube Channel that I do prefer long form and I think that goes for consuming and creating. From a creator perspective, I find it more rewarding to spend the time planning, filming and putting together a video idea, to the whole editing process and finally uploading and spreading it around. I find just uploading a quick Instagram photo or carousel doesn’t quite have the same feeling.
MY ADVICE IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING STARTING YOUR OWN YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Don’t wait for the right time, or place, or whatever it is you’re telling yourself you need to wait for. Just do it now! There is no perfect time and you’ll never be fully prepared. It’s a learn on the job situation, and the sooner you start, the better. I wish I’d started mine years ago! A year from now, you could either be a year in, with thousands of subscribers, you could already be monetised and loving life, OR you could be sat where you are right now, with the exact same resources you have now, telling yourself you’ll ‘start next week’.
USING YOUR PHONE IS FINE
Phones these days have pretty decent cameras and microphones, so you don’t actually need to invest in a proper camera in order to start. I started with my phone (I had a Samsung Galaxy at the time) and it served me really well until I decided to invest in a camera. After all, you might do it for a month and hate it, so you might as well wait until you know you want to take it seriously before you spend a lot of money investing in the right kit!
DON’T THINK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS
Don’t let anyone else’s opinion stop you from doing what you want. There’s still a bunch of people that I know in real life that don’t know I have a YouTube Channel because I don’t really post about it on my personal social media channels, but the truth is – I don’t even know what they’re thinking. I’m assuming they’ll be judgmental or rude before they’ve even seen it, but in reality they could actually love my content and be a loyal subscriber! If you’re worried about what people think, what is the worst that could actually happen? If they don’t like it, they don’t have to watch.
You’ll hear this tip thrown around all the time, but trust me it’s true. I did Vlogmas back in December last year, and carried on uploading consistently (around twice a week) into January, and I was hitting 3k views a month back then. Consistency is the answer! Even in dryer spells, keep going and stick to a schedule, it will pay off in the end. The YouTube algorithm is a weird one, so you might post a video and it get a few views, but then months down the line it might get picked up by the algorithm and end up gaining thousands of views. That’s why it’s so important to stay consistent – this is also how you will end up building a little community of your own.
Don’t try to be anyone else! People will come back for your content and to see you being you. Honesty goes down so well on YouTube, people love it. They want someone to relate to at the end of the day, and if you can be that person then they’ll keep coming back.
That’s it for now, I could carry on but I don’t want this post to end up being an essay! I hope you learnt something from this, and let me know if you’re thinking about starting your own YouTube Channel, or if you already have one, send me those links I want to see!
P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe!