In January 2016 I decided I was going to be a YouTuber…one-week, a few more grey hairs and stress levels higher than I have experienced for a while later, I decided it might not be for me! Now don’t get me wrong, I love YouTube and love watching videos but I now have a healthy respect for the craft and realise why people blog & vlog as full-time jobs. Whilst I have no plans to give up the day job (I love it too much), I definitely want to learn more about making and editing videos as well as writing code and eventually self-hosting my blog.
My very first YouTube video:
So here’s what I learnt from making my very first YouTube video:
1 – Making YouTube videos is a LOT of work. Like seriously a LOT of work. Now I am sure once you get into the swing of things it gets easier but don’t be fooled into thinking its an easy ride. For my first video I spent at least 2 hours filming the footage and an immeasurably long time editing it. You do have to factor into this that I had never edited a video before and literally had no idea what I was doing. Not only do you have to film and edit the footage but you have to compile links to everything you mention in the description box, write a detailed description box as well as writing a blog post to go with the video. I am hoping that further down the line I will have a system in place and this will be a much slicker process.
2 – If you have a Windows PC you are doomed! OK I am being incredibly dramatic here as this is not strictly true, however it does mean that things are not quite as straight forwards as it might be if you have a MAC. I first tried using the Windows Movie Maker but soon realised that, although it is easy to use, it just wouldn’t give me the image quality I required. Maybe I was trying to do fancy things with too simple a package, I don’t really know but the images I was getting were jerky, out of sync and all over the place. I know people that use this software incredibly successfully though so try it before writing it off as it is free! I asked the internet for recommendations and after getting free trials of the top recommended packages I decided on Lightworks. I currently use the free version but I am considering upgrading to the paid-for version for the extra features and for 1080p image quality. I am a part-time student so I can get student prices on software with makes it all really affordable.
3 – Editing is something you can teach yourself even with ZERO experience. I went through several editing software packages before settling on Lightworks and with each one I was able to pick it up without too much difficulty. I am fairly IT literate and I do not fear technology which helps, but I genuinely know zero about making and editing films. Lightworks is probably the trickiest of the software I tried but by the time I tried it I had had a crash course in video editing courtesy of YouTube so I found that I could tackle it quite confidently and use it on a basic level without too much difficulty. You can find tips and tutorials on the software websites themselves as well as on internet forums and on YouTube.
4 – YouTube itself is a mine of tips about starting out on YouTube. It does make me wonder how on earth people managed before this though! I found several tutorials about using editing software including Lightworks as well as tutorials about how to make and present your videos and grow your audience. As I am using YouTube as an addition to my blog and for fun I am not too concerned about this but it is actually a great resource for the budding YouTuber. Just type what you are looking for into the search box and you can bet someone somewhere has made a YouTube video about it!
5 – Other bloggers/vloggers are really supportive and encouraging. When I first mentioned I might try doing a YouTube video I couldn’t believe the positive response and support this got from my blogging pals. So much so that I felt really confident about making a YouTube video and about sharing it with them. I have ‘met’ some of the loveliest people through blogging and feel very lucky that I have a great growing network of blogging/vlogging pals to count on! 🙂
Don’t forget the bloopers:
My current crazy schedule is clearing somewhat and becoming more under control and I feel that I am ready to record again! I am thinking a favourites video, or my empties or maybe a what’s in my makeup bag…or maybe all 3! What do you think should be my second ever YouTube video?