Friday, August 24, 2018

Effective YouTube Videos

I don't consider myself an expert by any means, but after making over 100 YouTube videos I can think of a few tips that will help improve the quality and effectiveness of videos that you might want to make and help you avoid some "newbie mistakes".

You don't need a professional camera, but try to use something better than a smart phone. A digital camera that supports video is one good relatively low-cost option.

Use a tripod! A handheld camera will not cut it. You can buy an inexpensive camera tripod or even improvise something. If you need to shoot while moving, explore low cost camera gimbals.

Use an external microphone. This will greatly improve the sound quality. Also try to record the video in a quiet place (as much as possible) to avoid extraneous sounds like telephones, clocks, pets, people talking, etc.

Edit the video! Make use of some (free) video editing software to edit out mistakes, remove silent portions of the video, and add some basic titles and effects. There can be a bit of a learning curve here, but it can greatly improve how watchable the videos are, and it can be fun.

Use as much light as you can. If you don't have professional lighting, see what you can improvise by adding additional lights over what would normally be in the room.

You may prefer to read from a script, or to make the video impromptu. Either is fine - whatever best fits your personal style. But at least have an overall plan and structure to the video, what you want to say, and what you want to do or show.

Change camera angles often. Try to make use of motion, i.e. don't just show something, but move or operate it.

When uploading to YouTube, give your video a descriptive title, a good description, and add keywords. Fill out other information like language, recording date, etc.

Keep the video short and to the point. You will lose viewers if it goes much beyond 10 or 15 minutes. Edit out silence and don't pad it out with an overly long introduction or background information. Consider splitting a video up into multiple parts if there is a logical way to do so.

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