How to Make a YouTube Video

Ben Jacklin Edited by Ben Jacklin

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How to make a video on YouTube

From this article, you will learn helpful tips on creating your first YouTube video. In our guide, we’ll cover strategies you can use to create content, equipment and software you’ll need for shooting and video-editing, and, of course, ways to promote your clip!

Being one of the most popular social media platforms worldwide, YouTube is often the first choice for a beginner clip-maker. Not only is YouTube a means of entertainment, but it can also become a quite pleasant source of additional revenue. If you’ve made your mind to start creating YouTube videos, this article will be beneficial.


So you’ve decided to become a YouTube video maker, but you don’t know where to start. Indeed, creating videos is not as easy as it may seem: it requires a step-by-step content plan, well-thought-out strategy, and understanding of the ultimate purpose of your clips. The following tips for making YouTube videos touch the subject of choosing the right topic and getting to know your audience.

Pick a topic

The first thing every YouTuber has to do is figure out what the future videos (or even the entire channel) will be about. Of course, the easiest way to make YouTube videos is to talk about things you personally find interesting. Bringing up a trendy topic won’t make your videos more popular if you’re not really into it. Also, if you’re not an expert on the chosen subject, it will show. You can gain more viewers by being hilarious or using cool video effects, but success is likely to be temporary.

To win the love and appreciation from your audience, create helpful videos that solve a specific problem. Instead of looking for YouTube ideas for beginners, think of what you’re good at. For instance, you can use your skill and creativity to deliver information to the viewers via DIY videos. Love knitting and sewing? Awesome. Tell your audience about the ways to make a cute DIY-present for a friend. Fan of skateboarding? Perfect! Why not tell everyone how to assemble a skateboard on your own and tailor it to your needs? Sharing your skills and specific experience is the best way to make YouTube videos. Consider this when looking for good video ideas, and remember that it’s best to choose a narrow subject. For example, instead of talking at length about what kinds of moisturizing products there are, tell your audience about your own experience using five beauty products under $25.

If you’re still not sure what topic to choose, try another tack. Figure out what people are actually looking for on YouTube. Find your niche and create content that is SEO-based (which means your content is optimized for search engines). Search engine optimization can be tricky to understand, but eventually, you will get the general idea of how it works: the broader the search, the more competition. Do a little research and pay attention to the keywords used in a search and autosuggestions provided by the engine. Gather all your ideas and think of what you can make out of them.

A competitor’s channel can give you extra ideas, too, but don’t overuse it. Watching competitor’s videos makes you fall into the trap of not producing unique creative content. Moreover, it can sometimes be discouraging for a first-timer, mostly if the competitor has already made quite a name for him or herself.

Get to know your audience

After you’ve decided on the video topic, it’s time to explore your audience. Who do you make YouTube videos for? How old is your audience? What are your viewers interested in, and do they want to learn? As soon as you find answers to these questions, you’ll start to get the general idea of what your average viewer looks like. This will help build a strong connection with your audience and create conditions for developing quality communication inside the hub.

Find your style and format

To make YouTube videos that people will remember, try to find your own way of narration and presenting your content to the audience. Of course, the style will evolve eventually, but it’s best to stay true to yourself and not change it dramatically. By remaining true to yourself, you will help your audience create a strong associative connection between your videos and yourself.

Finally, before you start making a YouTube clip, you need to decide on the best format for your video. It can be a review, a tutorial, a story – just pick the genre that suits your purpose best and stick to it in future videos.

To actually start making YouTube videos, it’s essential not to get stuck in the beginning. Don’t wait for better timing or equipment to make a YouTube video. Set a start date and a deadline and stick to the plan. Don’t be hard on yourself; the first video will probably not be perfect, but you have to start somewhere!

Be present

YouTube content creators who go MIA for a while are likely to lose a significant number of their subscribers. It's vital to stay present and publish videos on a regular basis. To plan and monitor your activity on social media platforms, try using a schedule publishing tool like Onlypult. It's a great time saver.

How to create a YouTube video: Equipment and shooting

Tripods, camera lights, a green screen, a softbox, a microphone – it looks like being creative in making videos is not all. Beginners may think that to produce high-quality videos, they must have all kinds of professional equipment. But in fact, anyone with a smartphone or an iPhone can create decent videos with the minimum equipment.

So if you’re unsure what to use to make YouTube videos, rest assured – you don’t need pricey professional equipment here unless you’re going to shoot Hollywood-like movies with aliens, pursuits, and car crashes.

Start with what you already have and focus on using various angles, effects, and transitions instead. There is no need to spend extra money on video creation gear at the very beginning of your clip-making career. You can try using more complex equipment when you are sure you’ll manage to run it.

To prepare a video, make sure you have the following items at hand:

  • Camera/smartphone. High-end cameras can cost a fortune, but a lot can actually be done with a modern smartphone. Cameras in today’s mobile devices provide a decent quality of the picture (1080p) and sound.

  • Microphone. A microphone that records sound and not noise is worth spending money on, and you can find decent options for a moderate budget. The excellent quality of sound in the raw video makes it easier to adjust audio when editing the clip afterward.

  • Lighting kit. Dark videos are hard to watch, and lousy lighting diminishes the overall quality of the clip. Of course, the best and cheapest option is to shoot in natural daylight. So a lighting set is not indispensable but can be of great use for indoor shooting in bad lighting conditions (for example, if you don’t have time to shoot in the morning or during the day).

  • Video-editing software. The program that will help you compile your future clip can be tricky to choose. We recommend starting with software that is not hard to handle. An intuitive interface and minimum of layers, tabs, and menus would be the ideal option for a beginner. Sophisticated programs can quickly discourage and scare off non-professionals. As you become more familiar with the process of clip-making, you can discover programs with more intricate functionality.

You can also use your webcam and a screen-recording program together. If you’re using your smartphone or an iPhone, you can benefit from the built-in video-enhancing tools and effects in your camera. A screen-recording program is a must-have for those who create computer tutorials and those who use their webcam as the video and audio recording device. Decide on what tools you will use, and just make sure your starter pack doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Now that you’ve picked your equipment, it’s time to decide on the location. Before you start shooting, find a nice place with plenty of light and no people where you can work without being bothered and interrupted. If there is not enough light, use your lighting kit – it will considerably improve the quality of your video.

Finally, write a script of what you’re going to present. Note actions with timecodes and short explanations of what should be happening on the screen. Write down hints and key ideas of the video. A plan will help you understand the structure of the video. It will also be beneficial if you’re not very good at improvising.

Make sure your shooting spot is clean and tidy. At the same time, there is no need to decorate it intentionally, as all the decor will attract the viewers’ attention to itself, which is not your goal at all. A plain background with a little touch of individuality is just fine. If you’re shooting indoors, choose a spot next to the window, but not in front of it. Ensure that you positioned your camera (or device) correctly: it should be on the eye level. This way, your viewers will see your face from an appropriate angle. Once you’re all set, you can start shooting your first video!

How to make a YouTube video: Editing

Now that you have a raw video on your camera or mobile device, it’s time to transfer it to your computer and edit it to make a whole product out of it. Editing is a crucial step in video-making. An excellent video editing can bring a video to an entirely new level. It may be time-consuming, but it’s worth it at the end of the day. Of course, to make good YouTube videos, it’s best to use suitable software.

For fully-featured video editing, try Movavi Video Editor. This program offers all tools imaginable to boost your creativity. Take advantage of:

  • Chroma Key

  • Stabilization

  • Picture in picture

  • Voice-over

  • Effects, transitions, stickers

  • And other great features that come in handy when you create a YouTube video

The program interface is so intuitive you won’t need any special skills. Even if you don’t know how to make a video in an editing program, you will figure it out in a matter of minutes on your own or with the help of the built-in tutorial.

Movavi Video Editor

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* The free version of Movavi Video Editor has the following restrictions: a 7-day trial period, a watermark on the output videos, and, if you’re saving a project as an audio file, an ability to save only half the audio length.

The first thing you’d want to do with the raw video is to divide it into segments and cut out mistakes and bloopers. Remove the pieces you don’t need and put the rest of the elements in the appropriate order according to your script.

Once you’ve got rid of unnecessary segments and have everything in the correct order, you’d want to add titles and transitions. No need to use all sorts of transitions; just pick one or two and stick to them. After that, add video-effects. The rule “the fewer, the better” can be applied here, too. When you make a YouTube video, it’s vital to keep it consistent.

If you want to make a video on YouTube that anyone will be able to watch, we suggest you add subtitles. For some people, they are just indispensable. Moreover, many viewers watch videos with the sound off for various reasons. Sure, YouTube provides built-in closed captions, but they can contain mistakes and lack punctuation marks.

For an instructional video, don’t forget to add annotations. These elements make an instructional video easier to understand. If you need to add other explanatory details to your video (for example, introduce a speaker or a guest of your video), place text in the lower third part of the screen. Otherwise, the inscriptions will get in the way of the main content.

It is also a good idea to add an intro to your video. An intro that you use in every video you make is your signature. It’s better not to be long: viewers get impatient when waiting for the main content. It’s OK if you don’t know how to create a YouTube video intro.

Movavi Video Editor offers ready-made intros that you can customize and use for free. Just browse through the editor’s collection and pick the opening that suits your topic best. If you want to create an intro of your own, watch this tutorial on how to make a YouTube video intro.

To make your YouTube video complete, add music, sounds, and voice-over. Make sure the music you’re using is royalty-free; otherwise, your video may be blocked, which means it will be no longer available on YouTube. To avoid risk, you can use audio tracks from the video editor’s library. Remember that viewers tend to skip videos with low sound quality, so pay attention to the quality of the music you choose. High-quality sound makes a video more appealing. Make the necessary adjustments to the raw audio: adjust the volume level and eliminate unnecessary noise to provide viewers with smooth, clear sound. Don’t let the music overcover your own voice.

When you make a YouTube video, ensure that you use all the advantages provided by the platform. By creating a functional outro, you can gain more subscribers and help viewers share your clip with friends and family. An outro with call-to-action elements is key to promoting your channel. The ending of a YouTube video can include one of the following call-to-action features:

  • Subscribe (contains a link to your channel and enables viewers to subscribe to it)

  • Website link (contains a link to a page outside the platform)

  • Channel link (contains a link to another YouTube channel)

  • Playlist/video (contains a link to another one of your clips or a playlist)

Pick the option that suits your purpose. Apparently, you can’t use the “playlist/video” option in your first video, so we suggest you insert the “subscribe” feature instead. You can also provide a link to another channel if you have a mutual promotion agreement.

Obvious as it may seem, saving your video project now and then is highly recommended. Nothing is more discouraging than losing all the progress you’ve achieved while editing your clip and having to start over.

Finally, it is essential to save your video in the right format, ratio, and with an SEO-based name. Many programs support straight export to YouTube. The only thing you need to do is log into your account to be able to upload a video to YouTube directly.

Creating a YouTube video: Uploading and promoting

Congratulations! You managed to create a video on YouTube. But it’s still too soon to rest on your laurels. To make your YouTube video actually seen by people, ensure your clip a better ranking.

How to promote your video

Here are some tips on how to make a YouTube video seen by search engines:

  • Use target keywords in your video’s title and description to help people find your clip.

  • Don’t put misleading information in the description.

  • Make videos that are approximately 15 minutes long, as longer videos are typically higher in search results.

  • Ensure that you pronounce the topic of your video in the clip itself.

  • Make videos that encourage viewers to stay on the platform, as videos rank higher if they are valuable to users.

  • Make a strong introduction to retain viewers within the first 10-15 seconds.

  • Encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel and share your video, and also explain how it is done, as not all of them are advanced users of YouTube.

  • Customize the video thumbnail: it must give users an idea of what they will see in the video (you can also create a separate customized picture to use as a thumbnail).

How to retain your audience

Of course, YouTube is a great platform where you can find like-minded people and even make new friends. The chosen topic will attract people with interests similar to yours who can relate to what you’re doing. And it is essential to engage people in conversations, interact with your audience, give reactions to the feedback you receive.

Try to reply to all the comments users leave under your video, even the plainest ones. Add reactions to the comments you like. When people receive feedback on YouTube, they get notifications from the platform and thus feel related to the discussion.

Listen to your audience when in search of inspiration and looking for new topics for your videos. Some comments may suggest ideas worthy of implementing in your future content creation. Users are usually pleased when content creators listen to them.

How to deal with haters

As soon as people watch your video, comments will start to appear. Not all feedback will be kind and supportive. Because of anonymity and impunity, people with low self-esteem feel free to comfort themselves by insulting other people on social media. Nasty comments can be hard to deal with for a beginner YouTuber. Here are some tips on how to deal with hate and insults on social media:

  • Accept criticism to evolve. Even if a comment is unpleasant, but still it’s somewhat constructive; you can take it as a challenge and a chance to improve your channel. By doing so, you will grow personally and probably start creating videos on a whole new level.

  • Ignore haters and abusers. Another strategy of dealing with toxic people is trying not to take nasty comments personally. This is probably the least time-consuming option and the most energy-saving, too. If you’re having a hard time trying to ignore abusers, try to imagine what they’re must be going through that made them so pathetic.

  • Confront with humor. The most creative strategy is to come up with the smartest response that doesn’t sound rude to your opponent, but that will give them a taste of their own medicine.

  • Report abuse. In just a few clicks, you can report a hater, which will probably make you feel a little better.

  • Block the user. The most effective way to fight back a hater is to simply block him or her on your channel. If a toxic person chose you as their victim, they would probably attack again. Prevent future attacks by blocking the user forever.

  • We do not recommend replying to haters in the same manner they use in their comments. It won’t make you any happier, and you won’t get your revenge in the end because toxic people really live off people who react to their attacks. You can only win by not letting them devour your inner energy.

How to make money off YouTube

With a big enough audience, one typically starts thinking about various ways to monetize their time-consuming hobby of video-making and interacting with their audience. The most obvious way to start making money on YouTube is via ads.

You can also participate in the YouTube Partner Program and get access to special features (you need to meet the platform’s requirements to do this).

Another way to earn extra income is to create sponsored content. This way, you won’t have to give YouTube a share of your earnings, as the sponsor will pay you directly. Of course, you can combine all of the mentioned ways to get paid for your videos.

We hope this article on how to make YouTube videos has covered the most intricate steps of video creation. Just remember that the first video you make doesn’t have to be perfect, and it probably won’t, but it’s a start and an excellent opportunity to improve your skills. Try not to get stuck because of waiting for a better moment; just start today, right now. If you still have questions left, below are the most frequent questions that video-makers ask at the beginning of their career.

Frequently asked questions

How do I make my own video on YouTube?

Creating a video for YouTube implies several steps, including preparatory ones.

  1. First of all, decide on the topic of your future video. Anything that interests you, anything that can be useful to other people, that solves a specific problem will do.

  2. Think of the format of the video. What’s it going to be – a tutorial, a review, a story? Each genre has its peculiarities.

  3. Next, make sure that you have all the necessary equipment: a camera, a mic, and a video-editing program will be enough at the beginning.

  4. Write a script. It’s best to have a short plan of what should be happening on the screen. Thus, you will have a clear understanding of the entire video’s structure.

  5. Pick a shooting location. It has to have the right lighting. This way, you won’t have to get additional gear like a lighting kit. Moreover, it will be easier for you to edit the video afterward.

  6. Start shooting. Put the most promising and intriguing content in the first 10-15 seconds of the video to keep the audience interested.

  7. Choose a video-editing program to compile the video. Try Movavi Video Editor Plus if you want a fully-featured program even a beginner can handle.

  8. Edit your video. Cut out the unwanted segments, add transitions, effects, music, voice-over, subtitles, an intro, and an outro.

  9. Save the video and upload it to YouTube or export the final clip to the platform directly from the video-editing program.

This is it! Don’t forget to interact with your audience and promote your channel.

What should I make a YouTube video about?

Think of all the things you’re good at and things that interest you the most. Making a tutorial video is a pretty good option. Write down all your ideas and do some brainstorming. Then try to narrow down your topic. Videos on hobbies and personal experiences fixing a specific problem or creating a particular item are the most valuable in viewers’ eyes. Tell your viewers how to fix a broken bike or present five types of makeup to make your eyes look bigger.

Which type of YouTube video gets the most views?

One of the most popular video genres on YouTube is instructional videos, so you can try creating one. People look for answers to a massive number of questions in explainer videos. So if you know a solution to a problem or are really good at something, use it to create a video that people will look for.

It is also essential to know that most of the popular videos that are ranked highly by the search engines are approximately 15 minutes long. And, of course, you can make your video more present by using various SEO tricks. As a beginner, you can start optimizing your video’s visibility by using the YouTube search box.

What do YouTubers use to edit their videos?

Advanced YouTubers use all kinds of video-editing programs. Some of them may look too sophisticated for a beginner video-maker. We suggest you start with a program with an intuitive interface and features you can use straight away.

For a fully-featured video-editing program, we suggest you try Movavi Video Editor. It has all the features you might need, and its simplicity of use makes it the ideal option for beginners. Chroma key, stabilization, voice-over, picture in picture, and other features are available in the program. There is also a collection of royalty-free music tracks you can use in your video.

How do I make a YouTube video without a camera?

Professional cameras can cost a fortune, but you can really do without one. If you don’t own a camera, there are at least two options you can choose from.

  • You can use your smartphone. Modern smartphones provide high (up to 1080p) video quality.

  • Or you can record video and audio with your webcam and a screen-recording program in duet. Many screen-recording programs have built-in video-editing tools, too.

What equipment do I need to make a YouTube video?

You don’t need much to start making YouTube videos, really. The most important thing is your ideas and creativity. You can start with this pack:

  • Camera/smartphone

  • Microphone

  • Lighting set

  • Video-editing software

  • Screen-recording program if you use a webcam

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