With Instagram influencers becoming the buzzword, people have forgotten that the original creators started on the video-sharing channel: YouTube. It was the watering hole for content creators long before Kevin Systrom, and Mike Krieger even thought of Instagram. So, we’re going back to the basics and helping new creators build their brand with this guide to creating content for YouTube.
How to be a YouTube creator and start creating content for it?
YouTube has tons of resources for new content creators here, here, and here. But isn’t it always better to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth? So, we created this beginner’s guide to YouTube from a conversation we had with Kritika Goel about 2 years back.
1. Erase the misconceptions
If you are thinking of starting a YouTube channel because companies will “just send you free stuff,” think again.
Creating content for your channel is not as simple as pointing your camera and hitting record. It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes effort and editing before you can start monetising your videos.
2. Then just begin
From someone who has been at it for years, the advice on when to start creating content for YouTube is simple – just begin. Yes, there is a lot to learn before you can produce a quality video, but there is no “right moment to start.”
A YouTuber is continually learning. With each video uploaded, you gain more knowledge, and your content gets more polished. As long as you work with the attitude of improvement, any time is the right time to begin.
3. Make a posting schedule
Kritika posts twice a week. But that’s her schedule, a creator with years of experience under her belt. A beginner’s schedule should depend on two factors:
- The quality of the content remains kicka$$.
- Your sanity is not being kicked in the a$$.
As long as the content is excellent and you can keep up with creating, editing, and publishing it, post as much as you can. Ideally, one video a week is a good start.
Kritika says to keep the “focus on the quality of your content because, as cliché as it sounds, content is king.”
4. Don’t forget to experiment
The one tip Kritika offers every YouTube creator is consistency. The one trick she stands by is experimenting. The online audience is deeper than the Mariana Trench and broader than the Amazon. You have to find your niche.
To do that, you need to experiment with your content “until you figure out what you enjoy making” and the audience loves watching. Plus, YouTube is one platform that keeps modifying its rules, so switching things up once in a while is the safest route to stay relevant.
5. Invest in equipment when you can
YouTubers who have carved out their piece of land have tons of equipment. Kritika, for instance, uses Canon G7x ii, GoPro Hero 5, DJI Spark and a Sony A6500 with two lenses (Sigma 16 mm and Sony 18-105 mm). She has a whole parcel of tripods and mics to support the cameras.
But the beauty of YouTube is that you can start with what you have. If you scroll down Kritika’s channel, you’ll notice that the first 15 videos she posted are very different from the others.
Why? Because she shot them on an iPhone 6S!
The rule of thumb is to begin with the phone or camera you have in hand and then invest in a better one when you can.
6. Edit, edit, edit
What you put in the video is as important as what you delete. Not every shot you take is meant to go into the final video. Editing is the very lifeline of a YouTube creator. To that end:
- Do not show the same footage again and again. If you have 15 great shots of a new, hip café in town, you needn’t include them all. Pick the best 2 or 3 and edit the rest out. Repetition is the easiest way to lose the interest of the viewer.
- Get rid of umm and ahh, segues from the topic to an unrelated one, and meanderings. The minute a viewer hears a long pause or boring monologue, their eyes will wander over to recommended videos.
If you can afford it, then try a paid software like Final Cut Pro X. Kritika swears by it. If you don’t have the moolah, then a free editing tool like iMovie can do the deed too.
Essential tips and tricks to making YouTube videos
What’s the meat and potatoes of a YouTube channel?
Posting quality videos consistently. Regular content uploaded at set times brings your followers back for more.
But is it enough to jumpstart a YouTube creator career?
No, it takes a little bit more effort.
Learn production basics
What’s worse than not publishing videos on schedule? Publishing a video with terrible production. Ergo:
- Get to know the flattering angles. Be aware of how lighting changes the picture.
- Study different shooting styles. The tip here is to keep an eye on master YouTubers and take a leaf out of their books. Not every video has to be the talking-head style. One person chatting to the camera is excellent for reviews, but from time to time, your followers need variety.
- Can’t afford a high-def camera? Then make sure you have ample lighting and a room where you can record crisp audio without background noise. FYI, Mac webcams, iPhones, and even some top-notch Android phones can do wonders.
Focus on the start & end of the video
Attention ? spans ? are ? minuscule. Do everything in your power to capture them by:
- Keep the opening title short.
- Reducing the opening credits to the bare minimum.
- As your video comes to a close, promote something. It can be a creator, a product, a channel, your webpage, your socials, or even another video. Put the interactive graphics of the end screens to full use.
The trick is to utilise the end-screen while you are still talking and offering information. If you add a link after the fact and with just a solid colour background, the viewer will switch to another video or channel.
Tags and keywords are critical
90% of the work a YouTube creator does is filming and editing. The rest 10% is ensuring that the audience can find your content.
- Use strong keywords in the descriptive title of the video. For instance, “Episode 1: Disaster” will get you zilch. On the other hand, “Learning To Be A YouTuber” will get you a few hits.
- Add tags to your video; they are great for discoverability. Carrying on with the example above, keywords such as #contentcreator, and #influencer work well.
- That small description box below the video? Put. It. To. Use. Write an SEO-friendly explanation of what the video is about. YouTube isn’t stingy on space, so don’t be paltry with your words. However, that doesn’t mean you have permission to wax poetic. Something catchy with links works best.
Collaboration is the key
Remember how we said experimenting is good for you? Well, collaboration with other content creators is one to go about it. When you work with other YouTubers, you get access to information you can’t Google. From which camera is worth its price to the deals brands offer, collaborating with creators is a font of knowledge. Plus, you expose yourself to a new audience niche, always a plus for any creator!
The million-dollar question: how do you earn on YouTube?
Literally, every YouTube beginner wants to know how to monetise their channel. Recently, YouTube has released a bunch of new ways to earn money. But the spectacular lifestyle and travel vlogger Kritika mentions three:
- YouTube ad revenue. The earning is trivial, but it’s partly under your control, which makes it a good starting point.
- Affiliate marketing. This is a hit or miss method. As per Kritika, some months the $ amount keeps piling and some months not-so-much.
- Paid promotions. Collaboration with brands makes a significant chunk of any YouTube creator’s earnings.
How do you collaborate with brands?
Before you go all …but Kritika is an established content creator. She would have brands reaching out to her left, right, and centre, remember she was a beginner at some point.
At the dawn of her career, Kritika pitched to a whole roster of travel firms and hotels. Her advice on getting paid promotions and collaborations is to email your target brands with your media kit. It is critical because it proves that you bring value to their brand.
Creating content for YouTube is not rocket science
Seriously, it’s not rocket science. It may read like a complicated chem equation, but creating content for YouTube is not that hard, especially if you’re passionate about something.
Pick material you can develop quickly and set up a tiny but permanent studio. Then start shooting. You’ll get the hang of it with time. Remember, the hardest part is starting. The rest is easy.