A beginners guide to being a YouTuber

Love creating video content? Have a way with people? Want to spread a particular message? These are just some of the reasons people start out on their journey to becoming a YouTuber. However, getting started is the tricky part.

Creating content to upload might seem like the first steps, but how do you know what type of content to make? Jumping in without any planning could potentially be damaging. You’ll end up with a huge quantity without having much quality. It’s important you know what your future plans are with the channel before you hit that record button. It might seem like the boring stuff, but it will help design a clear path for you to follow.

Find your niche

Too often, content creators try to spread themselves too thinly. They try to get involved with multiple avenues, instead of fine tuning one. It’s important to decide what your channel will be about. Is it a gaming channel? Are you going to do reviews? If so, of what? Music reviews, TV shows, or products? There are so many sub categories under one umbrella. Finding your niche will help remove any confusion for both you and your new audience. If you’re muddling too many categories together, it might become confusing as to what your channel is about.

Think about what you enjoy the most. If you absolutely hate makeup and skincare, then it wouldn’t make any sense for you to create a beauty channel, would it? But, on the other hand, you might love trying new foods. You may be someone who attends food festivals and visits new restaurants that pop up. If that’s the case, why not make your niche revolving food? Either a cooking channel, or a food review channel. Of course, there’s room for movement. You could take on food challenges, like the ever so popular chilli challenges etc.

There are always ways to grow. You don’t need to specify your niche so much that it’s impossible to move. For example, if you’re reviewing music, perhaps keep it broader, rather than “alternative country music from 2010” because something that specific isn’t going to keep content going for long. Once you’ve discovered what you want your channel to be about, things become a little easier. You can start your research and think about channel designs that will work for both you and your content. Make sure you have an interest in what your channel will be based on, because otherwise it will soon become a chore to create videos and this will show through the quality of your videos.

Do your research

As much as you think you know about a topic, there’s always more to learn. You need to keep your research regular, otherwise you might end up spreading old, outdated information. For example, if you were to review Apple products, it makes little sense to talk about the iPhone 3GS because it’s old news. In fact, you can no longer update the software, so Apple have almost eradicated them. The more you learn, the more you can share. This will set you apart from other YouTubers within your niche. Unfortunately, you’re never likely to be the only one talking about a certain subject. After all, to get views, people have to be interested in the topic.

So, it’s about making sure you know more than others. Research well before creating a video. You should know what you’re going to discuss before turning the camera on. If it’s an informative piece, you should have learnt in detail about the topic before pressing record. Even if your video is based around first impressions of something – it’s a good idea to see how many other people have created something similar and how they’ve gone about it. Perhaps not that topic in particular, but your competition will have produced videos of a similar nature. Look across all resources you have available until you’ve exhausted them.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. The saying is there because it’s true. You wouldn’t walk into an exam without covering your notes first. The same goes for an interview, you’d learn about the company prior to stepping through the doors. With YouTube, it’s no different. After all, your end goal might be to become a full time YouTuber and therefore the platform provides you with a job. You should prepare ahead of each video you record so that it runs smoothly. Yes, you can of course edit them, but it will be a lot easier if you know what you’re talking about.

Create content ideas

However, you wish to find your inspiration and display it is your choice. Some love a good mind map, while others prefer a simple list. While doing your research you’re likely to stumble across other content ideas. If you’re checking out your competition, you’re bound to find videos there that pique your interest and inspire you to create similar. Make note of these, and you can then delve into how to create your own videos with your spin on things. Be careful you’re not completely copying ideas. Especially if they haven’t already been done by multiple YouTubers.

You can find inspiration everywhere you turn. It might be that you’re stood in line at the checkout, and you notice something you’ve never seen before that would work within your niche. Or, perhaps you’re in conversation with someone about a topic, and they ask a question you would never have thought of. Make sure you are able to write these things down (unless you have an insane memory) because they’ll be great to refer back to. You’ll then be able to develop more ideas from there. Going back to our earlier comment, it’s unlikely you’ll be the only one within that niche, so get chatting to people about what they want from a video.

The more ideas you have, the more content you’ll be able to create. Sometimes, like with blog writing, people can find themselves stuck unable to think of new ideas. This is where having a bank of content options proves really useful. You don’t need to rack your brains trying to figure out what you can post that is different to your previous videos. Instead, you just consult with your idea pool and away you go. One idea may spark another, or research into that idea might bring forward new ones. The more you’re investigating your niche, the more you will find to talk about.

Develop a schedule

People like consistency within all areas of life. Whether it be their daily one, or a world they hop in and out of like YouTube. Your future viewers will appreciate knowing when your posts will be going live. They don’t want to have to check back with the platform to see if you’ve posted. Instead, they want to know when their favourite YouTubers are going to upload videos. They can then plan around that if they wish. But, at least they’ll know, at the same time or on the same day each week, or month, they’ll see videos released.

Not only do you need a posting schedule, but also a rough idea of when you’ll fit research into your time. We’ve already hit upon how important research is to YouTubers content. But, setting time aside for it is just as important. If you leave no time to look into your ideas, how do you know they’re going to work. We go back to the point where content is lacking because you haven’t researched what you’re going to discuss. Once you’ve developed a reputation it’s tricky to reverse it. Make sure you get a reputation for being a prepared YouTuber who works hard on their videos, rather than one who is lazy and produces poor content.

Starting out, YouTube probably isn’t going to be your full time career. So, you’ll need to work around your daily life. What time do you have to factor aside to your videos? Consider how daily life looks for you, do you have work or other hobbies? How can you work around this? Your YouTube videos will need time and effort to look good. So, making a plan of your normal day will help you figure out where there are gaps to work on your content. It will become routine after some time, and you will know exactly when you’re going to do research, create the videos, edit them and then post them. It’s highly unlikely this will all be in one run, so it’s important you provide time for each task.

Secure your equipment

Consider what equipment you need to create videos. Again, this will largely depend on your niche. If you’re a lifestyle YouTuber, you may only need your smartphone. However, if you’re a gamer, then you’ll need the equipment you use to play these games, along with equipment to record your games. You will need to make sure you have enough storage. Both on your smartphone, camera, and computer. Without the storage, you won’t be able to create the content, or edit it. So, ensure you have more than you need, just in case. The worst thing that could happen is you film an entire video, only to realise it stopped recording halfway through.

To become a YouTuber, you don’t need to source the very best equipment straight away. It will take time to build up your tools, as with any career or hobby. What’s important is you have what you need to get started. Many people record on their smartphones as the camera quality is so much higher now than ever before. It might be after some time of doing this, you decide you actually want a handy little vlogging camera instead. This is then when you’ll decide to add to your equipment. However, there’s no need to do this until you’ve got yourself started.

After all, it’s unlikely you’ll know exactly what you need until you get going. The same goes for editing software. It’s sensible to begin with something free and easy to use before getting into the technical stuff. As a newbie you have to learn about your topic, how to use YouTube, and how to create great videos. You don’t want to throw new tools and software into the mix because it might end up confusing you and putting you off from creating further content if things seem too tricky. Work with what you have for now and the rest will come. Maybe you’ll eventually buy some lighting or a microphone to enhance your videos even more. For now though, your phone mic should be enough and just stick to creating videos within good natural light.

Create your channel

Setting up a channel is a smooth process. Providing you have a Google account, you’re already half way there. We’ve written an article which breaks down how to create yourself a YouTube account which is definitely worth checking out. Considering your name is a really important one. If you don’t want to use your own name, you need to think of something memorable. Not only to you, but to your intended audience too. If it looks too difficult to pronounce, how are people going to be talking about you and your videos? Something like CrAZyLilDIva2k22 just screams outdated. It’s confusing and not enjoyable to look at. This isn’t going to do a great job of pulling in a crowd.

Think about what your name looks like before choosing it. Could it be mistaken for anything else? Is it potentially offensive to anyone or a minority? These are things you need to check before launching your name. Once it’s out there, you can’t take it back. We’d advise getting someone else to review your name before moving forward with it. Someone outside your creative zone that can see it for exactly what it is and won’t have a biased view. This way you can rule out your name being mistaken for anything. We’d also recommend checking your name isn’t already popular with another YouTuber.

Picking a name far too similar to one already well established might sound smart, but actually their account is likely to be boosted by YouTube over yours, meaning you’ll miss out. When starting up your channel, think about your image and cover photo. These are the first thing people will see when clicking on your account. Make them speak for you and ensure they’re of good quality. The same goes for your About section. Keep it updated because otherwise you’re giving off incorrect information about yourself which will only affect you and your viewers.

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