Basic Tips for Making YouTube Videos & Gaining Views

21:44 Kelly Wheelhouse 0 Comments

One of my Twitter friends asked me a few questions about starting out with YouTube, so I figured I would write the details up as a blog post for all to see. I know when I started YouTube with Daniel it was very daunting. You always ask yourself the basic questions- What camera do I use? What software do I edit with? and so on. Despite the questions being simple, the answers can be very complex to find. Daniel and I both spent countless hours doing research when we first started. And even after all that, we still feel there are improvements to be made. The ultimate things to remember with YouTube are: 
1. It is a learning curve- What you know at the beginning is definitely not everything you need to know with YouTube. You learn more and more as you go along, and even with the help of others, it is very much a self-taught thing.
and 2. There is no right or wrong- I may give you advice, but the next person may completely disagree and give different advice. At the end of it all, there isn't a right or wrong way with YouTube. You take onboard what people say, and develop based upon what makes you feel comfortable. 

Filming Equipment
When Daniel and I first started our little reviews channel, we had a very bad quality digital camera. It stated that it filmed in 720p, but I am 100% sure it didn't. The next camera we got was a much better camcorder. It only cost us £79 and definitely did the job. What I suggest for new people starting YouTube is to film with whatever you can to start with- whether that be a camera you have lying on the side, or a mobile phone. If you will be filming something close up (like our reviews) I suggest that you ensure whatever you use to film with has auto-focus. Most cameras do now, but when we started many of the cheaper cameras didn't have this feature which means that small writing isn't picked up and it makes it an incredibly awkward experience for your viewer. 
The exact camera we are using to film with currently is the Hitachi DZHV595E Full HD Camcorder. This camera is very simple- it doesn't have many settings within it, but it does have auto-focus and it certainly gets the job done. You can choose to film in 1080p, 720p, and 480p. We have been filming all our videos in 720p. The reason we haven't been filming in 1080p is simply due to the file size. 720p is a smaller file, and takes much less time to upload. However, since getting faster broadband, and a better laptop, we are planning on filming our upcoming videos in 1080p. The only thing that people need to know about the camcorder we use is that the only video file type it outputs is .AVI, which isn't supported on MAC so we had to purchase an app called "Smart Converter Pro 2"- which is not a very expensive app. 

To start off with, Daniel and I edited all our videos with Windows Movie Maker. It is a very simple programme for beginners, but it certainly doesn't cut it once you want your videos to look a little more professional. This is why we use iMovie now to edit everything. iMovie comes free with mac (and you can even get it on your iPhone and iPad- although it isn't quite as good). We have always exported our videos from iMovie in 720p as we have always filmed in this quality. 
To export our videos we go to "share" Then "File", then the specs of the video are as follows- Resolution 1280x720 and Quality is set to High. We then upload to YouTube from the save file, rather than uploading direct from iMovie (although that is just personal preference).

Gaining viewers
This is one of the hardest things to do as a new YouTuber. It wasn't easy for us, and along the way we have heard so many people say that YouTube isn't a viable thing to the newbies, but we have proven that it is completely viable no matter how big or small you are. The main factors to gaining views are:
  • Upload regularly- This isn't possible for everyone, but it needs to be done. If you want your channel to work you need to be as dedicated to it as you would be with a job. You decide whether that job will be part time or full time, but it all comes down to whether you are reliable and regular. If you upload one video one week, and none for another two weeks, then two the week after- you aren't keeping key viewers coming back regularly. You need to either upload daily (or at least every couple of days), or have specific days that you upload videos each week e.g. upload reviews every Monday and Friday. This way your viewers know when to expect your videos, and when to come back. This means that you will slowly start to gain repeat viewers. 
  • Tagging Correctly- Tags are a very hard thing to get right, and yet again- you get so many people say so many different things. My personal advice is to firstly, add tags that are relevant. An example being for a review of a Moshi Monsters Blind bag- I would add a few tags based upon Moshi Monsters, the brand that made them, key words from the bag, and some character names.  If you struggle for tags try typing into the YouTube search bar "moshi monsters" or "moshi monsters blind bag" and see what the suggestions are down the list. Then add some tags that are the exact search results. The suggestions are the top things searched for when someone types those words in, so there is a chance you may appear in the list if someone clicks that suggestion. 
  • Share- The one thing many people miss out is sharing. I have joined many groups on Facebook that are YouTube sharing. These are groups where you can simply share the links to your videos. They are completely worth joining. These have gained us some great friends, subscribers, and viewers. Also, share it on your own social media e.g. Facebook and Twitter, so your friends and followers can see your videos. It may also be beneficial to create a Facebook like page, or Twitter, specifically for your YouTube Channel. 

I hope all this information has made sense- it did to me writing it!
If you have any more questions about YouTube, I would be completely willing to answer them. I do not claim to be an expert, but I am certainly happy to give people advice based upon my own experiences.