How to Make Videos for YouTube

How to Make Videos for YouTube
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Making videos may seem like a simple process, with most smartphones now having good quality video codec that produces fantastic images. However, if you want to be the latest YouTube star, merely pointing your camera and shooting is probably not going to cut the mustard, unless you have created the next Gangnam style viral video.

Anyone can make videos for YouTube, but if you want to grow your channel into a credible provider of content that will engage viewers, you need to understand how to make videos for YouTube that are of superior quality to everyone else. This doesn’t mean that you need to spend loads of money on the latest equipment, but it does mean that you need to think more strategically about what you film and how you film it. Here are some considerations to note on how to make videos for YouTube.

Make Sure You Have the Right Equipment

There is no quicker turn-off to a viewer, than a video that is poor quality. Blurred images, lousy lighting and poor audio will be the death of any content you create. All three things play a vital role in the success of your YouTube video. You could have shot the latest viral smash on an expensive camera, but if the audio is poor and nobody can hear you, it’s a waste of time. Start out with the best equipment you can afford.


A reasonable quality HD camera can be picked up nowadays for around $200 to $300, and it is worth investing in a decent tripod, especially if you plan on doing the filming yourself.


It’s pointless having a good picture if the viewer can’t hear what’s being said. A good microphone will make a world of difference to your final YouTube video. You can pick up a decent cardioid microphone for about $50 that will give excellent results when starting, but you may find upgrading to something more dynamic will make a big difference to the final result and shouldn’t cost more than $150.


Lighting makes a huge difference to any video production. It affects the way the camera views the subject and the surroundings. You only need to see the number of lights used in a TV studio to understand the importance of lighting on the final image.

Again, you don’t need to spend a considerable amount of money but investing in some cheap LED light panels would add value to your production over time. Worst case scenario if you’re starting on a shoestring, try and borrow as many lamps from around the house as possible to ensure things are bright and the subject is illuminated effectively.

Editing software

There are lots of free video editing software packages available for both Mac and PC, so it’s just a case of choosing one that you find user-friendly and intuitive. Software packages such as Lightworks and DaVinci Resolve are good free PC editors.

If you are a Mac user Apple’s inbuilt iMovie is a very intuitive and powerful editing tool. To create good, engaging content you will most certainly need to edit it, unless you are some naturally gifted talent, in line for the next Oscar nomination. Even the pros need to film things several times to get the exact message, and the content that they require, and most short video clips are an amalgamation of different takes edited together.

Make Sure You Create a Storyboard for Your Content

To create quality content, you need to plan exactly what you’re going to say and how you plan on making this engaging. For people to want to watch your YouTube video, it needs to stand out from the millions of other videos that get posted every day, and that requires some thought and some planning before you turn the camera on.

Try and make videos that people want to watch. Your content needs to be funny, or different, as this will make your audience watch the videos to the end and encourage them to come back to watch more. Both of these metrics are important to the YouTube algorithm.

The same goes for duration, keep it short, especially when you are just starting your channel. People’s attention spans are short, especially when viewing online content, so be sure to have grabbed their attention with interesting and entertaining facts within the first 10 to 15 seconds. Try to make the length of the video no longer than 5 minutes as this will increase the chance of someone watching it to the end.

Another great tip when planning how you are going to create your video is to always open with a “tease” of what is about to happen and always finish with a “call to action,” where you are asking the viewer to do something.  This can mean something like click on the subscribe button, hit like, share content, or go to one of your other social media channels. This ensures that you are continually building your audience and engagement.

Think About The Settings When You Film The Video

Try and put some thought into the location that you are shooting. Having people walking around in the background is distracting and may take away from the message you are delivering. Being set against a white background is boring and doesn’t capture anybody’s imagination.

Try and film in a location that suits the message of your content delivery and keep presentations upbeat, fun and engaging. It’s worthwhile making sure that you have a dummy run to ensure that lighting and most importantly, audio is all being recorded at the correct level and you are happy with the output.

A lot of this can be corrected in post-production when you do the editing, but it is worth making sure that everything is as good a quality as it can be, during the filming process.

Now you just need to act like a star! Be upbeat be enthusiastic, be a bit different, you need to make sure that it stands out from the crowd. When you are filming just film, don’t worry about whether you said one word right or wrong, the more footage you have, the more options you have in the edit and you can always correct something that goes wrong in post. Sometimes it’s the mistakes that make the best parts.

Be Creative in the Edit

Post-production is where you can turn your 10-minute monologue into something that is snappy and engaging, with a 2-minute duration. Trimming footage down to make it fun and engaging is a technique that you will need to master. Try and utilize some excellent features in your editing software, using swipes and transitions to help get you from one point to another in a slick and fun way.

Always ensure, that the audio is at the correct level and use any of the audio normalizing features that you have in your editing software. Also, be sure if adding any music, that you have the copyright to use that music on a global basis in the finished video, otherwise YouTube will not accept your final upload. A well-edited video is much more engaging than one that isn’t, and it’s engagement that is going to be the success of your YouTube channel.

Be sure that you output your final file to the correct format as specified by YouTube; you can check this in the content creation section of your YouTube account. Then you are ready to upload.

Uploading Your Video to YouTube

When you upload your video to YouTube, it is important that you give your video the best chance of being viewed by making sure it has accurate tag information, description and titles.  Google and YouTube’s algorithm serve video content to users by searching the tag data that your video is listed with. It is therefore essential that you have wide-reaching, accurate descriptions that will allow it to be examined and indexed to the broadest audience possible.


It is also important that you have created the correct thumbnail as this is your shop window for somebody clicking on the video.  YouTube will automatically generate a thumbnail which will more than likely be a random shot from the video. When you appear on the search screen next to 20 other thumbnails all relating to the same genre, you need to make something compelling that the viewer will see and want to click on. Hopefully, if you have followed the steps above the viewer will get hooked into your video and continue to watch.

Remember the success of videos on YouTube, in the long run, is all down to the quality and the content of the video. Spend some time getting this right, thinking about a unique spin, and your channel will grow from strength to strength

Good luck!

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