Making a great YouTube video could be free and easy and is the first step to starting an online business based on video. Video is an important promotional tool, but it is also vital if you want to create an online course.
To create your video, you’ll need the following:
- Camera: Anything from a fancy DSLR to your mobile phone
- Microphone: Preferably external
- Lighting: Natural or artificial
- Storage: Memory cards (or enough space on your computer)
- Software: Editing/recording software
If you don’t have any of those things, you’ll either need to invest in them or look to lend them from a friend.
Setting Up The Area for Shooting
When you make a YouTube video, you need to prepare the place you’re going to record so that it looks its best on camera. This could simply mean choosing the spot in the room with the best lighting and picking/creating a background for behind you.
It’s good to have a consistent and non-distracting background. But you’ll also need to decide what needs to be “in” your video and what’s going to be “out”. This will help you decide how to set up your lighting and where to place the camera. Remember to keep clutter out of the shot and allow the subject of your video to take center stage.
Prepare Yourself To Be On Camera
Being on camera can be scary.
Think of the camera as one person from your target audience and talk directly to them. You’re not presenting or putting on a show; you’re just talking to someone.
Don’t forget to prepare yourself to look your best – hair style, clothing, etc.
Being On Camera
Regardless of what you’re recording, there are a few things for you to keep in mind.
The first is to keep the camera rolling.
If you misspeak, or there are little mistakes, don’t stress out and restart everything. Just pick up from shortly before the mistake and try again without turning the camera off. This makes the entire process much less stressful. You can fix everything else in editing!
When it comes to lighting, you have 5 main options:
- Natural Light: This includes filming outside… and any light that comes into an indoors shot from windows or open doors. Natural light tends to be flattering. But it’s hard to get enough of it (especially on cloudy days). That’s where a hand-held reflector can come in handy.
- Fluorescent: This is the most common type of direct and ambient lighting option out there. However, raw fluorescent lighting is pretty harsh. So you want to cover the bulb with a “soft box”.
- LED: LED lights dish out less light per bulb than fluorescent. So you may need lots of them to get the lighting your shot needs. That said, LEDs have a number of pros over fluorescent lights (to name a few: they don’t get super hot, they’re more portable, and you can easily dim them).
- Ring Lights: Great for close up shots. In fact, a single ring light can work as an entire shot’s direct lighting. However, ring lights don’t work for medium or wide-angle shots.
- Reflectors: Reflectors are a great way to make your direct light significantly softer. Reflectors include handheld reflectors, white poster board, styrofoam or a piece of whiteboard.
Make Your Video’s Audio Sound Great
Audio can make or break your entire video. If your video has lots of static or echo, YouTube viewers are going to click away in a hurry.
Fortunately, great-sounding audio isn’t hard or expensive. Here are some tips to make sure your videos sound great.
Soundproof Your Environment
It’s almost impossible to fix audio issues in the editing process. And no microphone can overcome loud street noise or an echoey room.
So before you shoot, take some time to make sure your environment is ideal for audio:
- Check for loud noise coming from other rooms or outside. Noisey audio is super distracting for viewers.
- Also keep an ear out for quiet “humms” or buzzes coming from computers, air conditioners or traffic. Quieter, consistent sounds are easier to edit out than loud noises. But it’s best to avoid them altogether.
- Do a test recording to see if your audio has a lot of echo (or “reverb”). If so, put some blankets the floor and walls (yoga mats work great for floors).
Types of Microphones
- Shotgun Mic: Perfect for picking up audio from a very specific area (like a single person talking towards the camera).
- Lav Mic: This is a mic you wear on your shirt. It’s small, lightweight and portable. And when positioned right, the audio quality is surprisingly good (although not as good as a shotgun mic).
- Camera Mic: Camera microphones are notoriously bad (plus, it’s hard to position your camera in a place that’s best for audio and video).
- iPhone: Better option than a camera mic because you can position your iPhone close to your subject.
Editing Your Work
When you’ve recorded your video, it’s time to edit your work. This is where you clean up any mistakes you’ve made while recording and make your work ready to go online.
Export Your Video to YouTube
YouTube accepts a wide variety of video formats and resolution sizes, so you don’t have to be too picky about export settings. A larger, higher quality file will look better on YouTube, but a smaller file will upload quicker.
The supported YouTube file formats include MP4, AVI, FLV, WMV, MOV, WebM, and others. If your video isn’t in one of these formats, you can always use a free video file converter to save it to one that is supported by YouTube.
Since YouTube uses 16:9 aspect ratio video players, any other video size will still work but will have black boxes on either side to make up for that incorrect ratio. Encode your video in one of these resolutions to make it work best.
The maximum file size you upload to YouTube is 128 GB. This is really, really big and shouldn’t be a problem for most people.
You have to verify your YouTube account if you want to upload content that’s longer than 15 minutes.
Once your video is uploaded to YouTube, you can share it by emailing it to friends and family or embedding it on your website or blog. If you want to keep your video private, you can do that too.
I hope by now you have a clearer idea of how to make a YouTube video.
The key is really to plan as much as you can, create a nice environment to record in, relax and have fun while you’re doing it.