You have a video camera. You know how to upload, edit and share videos on social media platforms such as YouTube. But what should you do now to grow your channel?
For most people, the answer is simple: keep shooting! With so many online creators making content that's both high-quality and easy to watch, it can be easy for beginners to feel discouraged or overwhelmed by all of the competition out there. That said, producing quality content is possible - but only if you're willing to put in some work up front when building your channel. Read on for some useful tips to get you started.
The first step in any DIY project is determining the goal - and your YouTube channel shouldn't be an exception! Are you hoping this will become a full-time job? A side hustle? Something else entirely (i.e., hobby)? Once you know where you want to go with it, there are specific steps you can take to get there. For instance, if your goal is just getting more views or subscribers, then maybe content about current events would work well; but if instead your objective is starting a career as a filmmaker/actor/whatever, then focus might need to be placed elsewhere.
Thumbnails are what people see when they find your videos through search engines like Google or social media sites like Facebook; therefore, it's important to put some thought into how those thumbnails look. The easiest way to do this is to use the video editing software you are most comfortable with and experiment a little.
You want your videos to be found by both search engines and humans so it's important that your titles have keywords in them (the things people will type into Google). It's also good practice to vary up those words every once in a while - using synonyms. This way, when someone searches for something like "healthy recipes" the higher chance they will find one of your older videos about cooking healthy dishes on a budget!
It may seem counterintuitive at first because equipment might mean more opportunities - but really there are so many free or low-cost programs that allow you to create amazing videos with ease.
If viewers can engage with you through comments then other potential audience members may see these interactions as an indicator of popularity. It's not necessary for you to respond to every comment, but it is a good idea that at least some comments are answered and interactions with your audience make them feel like they're part of something bigger.
This could be as simple as reminding viewers in the video description or adding "subscribe" buttons on both YouTube and other social media platforms where possible. Or if there are any events coming up related to the content of your videos, you can include links so people know how best to stay updated about those things too!
This is a vague tip, but it's one of the most important ones! Keep your content on YouTube genuine and don't try to be someone you're not. It sounds like a cliche piece of advice from an old lady at church when she tells you "be yourself" for the umpteenth time. But that woman has been right all along so listen to her for once - being true to who you are will make people want more because they can trust what they see is your real voice, beliefs, opinions... everything. If there was ever any question as to how much I love my mom then now you know (hey Mom!).
It's important that your channel is consistent with who you are so it becomes easy for others to remember who you are based on what they see in your content/channel images or even just from your name. You want a clean look because it will allow you to be recognizable when people look at your channel.
Bonus Tip: I recommend changing the design of your banner every few months so it stays fresh and updated with any new colors that come up in trends. You can also add a customized intro or outro clip with some text on it, music, animation, etc.—anything to personalize this part for yourself!
If you're more creative-minded than others, you may think it's worth trying different effects like an old school filter (check out VHS Camcorder app), mirroring videos horizontally/vertically (#mirrorvideos), putting them through an instant video camera lens effect available from many YouTube third parties plugins (FxTricks) or even make a gif.
There's an app called Over, which is amazing for the iPhone with all these ready-made filters that can be used on photos or videos (even live videos). It also allows you to add text over images/videos, perfect if you want to start putting out some vlogs! You could even use this in combination with YouTube Live Streaming and give followers updates from wherever they are at any given time simply by sharing what you're doing as it happens.
Don't forget about sound quality when recording audio clips like voiceovers or tutorials—it has a huge impact on how polished your content will look when it goes online. Make sure there isn't too much background noise going on.