15 Jul 2013

How to Get Your YouTube Channel Started

If you hadn't noticed, I have a YouTube Channel...actually I have two.
One channel is dedicated to food. There's stuff on there about how to knead and shape your bread and where to go to find what's in season in your area. Then there's my vlog channel where I show you a little insight into my daily life and get you to come along with me on some days out. It's all very exciting stuff but there was a time when I was super duper new to the whole thing.
It took me a while to get into the whole YouTube thing so I wanted to just share a few tips and tricks with you in case you'd like to get into it too and don't know where to start.

1// Firstly, you do not need all the fancy equipment under the sun to make a YouTube video.
If you have a video camera or a webcam or a camera that takes video then you're set! If you don't, then think about investing in something fairly cheap to begin with - don't buy a $600 camera to make one video because that's just not logical.
Make sure the camera etc has a mic built in as it's much easier than having it seperate. And if you're doing a vlog then it's much easier to use the camera to your advantage if there aren't extra bits hanging off here and there.

2// Likewise, you don't need expensive editing software.
If you have a Mac then there's built in editing software and if you have Windows then you'll probably have Windows Movie Maker. This piece of software is really good to get you going and really you don't need that much. You can add bits and pieces, have a bit of text and a special effect if you want it. Boom, done.

3// Once all the technical stuff is over, let's talk about content shall we?
The key here is to just start somewhere. It doesn't matter where, just start. It's kind of like when you have writer's block and they suggest you just write down a few sentences to get the juices flowing. Film a few segments to get the feel for it, things will come easier if you do that. Eventually, you won't even think twice about it.
Even better, you'll eventually start to get excited about it all and start thinking of new ideas while you're going about your day. And never feel silly saying something to the camera because you can always delete it or edit it. Just because you film it doesn't mean you have to publish it.
If you're still having major YouTube block then that's cool too. There are plenty of people out there with YouTube channels and vlogs so just take a cue from them. If you're super nervous about a first video then it helps to have some structure. This can be found in a "tag" style video where you answer questions on your first times, your favourite things, your pet peeves and even the "draw my life" tag. It will help give you direction and structure for a video and help calm your nerves.
The biggest thing to remember when you're stuck for ideas on what to film is that you wants to put your own stamp on it no matter what. Filming those tag videos is a fantastic idea but make sure you do it in your own style.

4// Filming in the right environment.
It doesn't matter whether you're filming in your room, your lounge, your kitchen or outdoors as long as you think a few things through first. People want to see you (that's why it's a video) and they want to be able to hear you so if it's a little dark then turn on a light and if it's a bit windy then try to stand somewhere sheltered.
The best thing to do is find videos that you enjoy watching and determine why that is. Look at their back drops and anaylise them properly.
Are they easy on the eye? Or are they appealing because of something eye catching instead? Does the lighting suit the mood of the video? If it's outside, does the sun wash out the video or enchance it? Is there a background noise that makes it difficult to hear or that's distracting?
All of these things need to be taken into account.

5// Labelling your videos correctly is important.
Just like you wouldn't put salt in the jar labelled sugar, you won't put a vlog in the nature category on YouTube. Remember to label things properly. You need to put them in the correct category and put appropriate tags on your videos.
The important thing here is that people want to be able to find your channel. They want to find things that interest them and if your video is about turtles then they want to find it under turtles, not windsurfing.

6// Let people know what you're about.
In the description section you will actually need to describe the video.
There is nothing worse than not actually knowing what the video entails and watching 16 minutes worth of stuff that isn't relevant. This kind of fits in with the labelling problem so try to keep these things in mind because you can have a fantastic video and no one will see it because it won't show up in their search.
Also, feel free to encourage people to comment, thumbs up and subscribe because sometimes people really do need a bit of a push to do so.

7// Tell your friends, family and the man next to you on the bus.
If you don't tell people about your vlog or channel then no one will know. Send an email with a link to your friends and family. Include the link in your signature on your email so people can find it easily and it'll make them aware of your blog. This works particularly well if you're emailing someone to do with PR and marketing. They can generally pick up on your signature instead of you forcing your blog down their throat. It's subtle enough to be classed as polite in an email.
Also, when you're having a chat with people, tell them about your channel. Be proud of what you've produced. You could even have some business cards printed up with your blog and channel name on them. These will be good to pass around at events and even during job interviews if it's relevant to the field.

8// Have some fun.
It sounds silly but you need to have fun doing this. Don't put loads of pressure on yourself to do this. If you enjoy it then do it, if you're not feeling it then give it a break for a little bit.
Make sure you treat it like your blog. Do it for the love of it.

If you've found this helpful then leave a little comment.
I hope you go and set up your own YouTube Channel and if you do then leave a link below!

Samantha x

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