Challenges of Starting a YouTube Channel
Anytime you choose to pursue a new interest, you're bound to be confused and overwhelmed at some point. It's simply par for the course. Starting something from scratch is never easy, but the effort is worth it if you're pursuing something you genuinely care about. Creating a YouTube channel is, of course, no different.
You might be thinking that it couldn't possibly be that hard to throw together a channel. Well, it's really not. When you sign up for a YouTube account, a channel is automatically created for you. However, it's very basic and unappealing. This is fine if you're not trying to attract a lot of viewers, but odds are you'll want to clean it up a little.
Honestly though, the actual creation of the channel isn't really the difficult part; that right is reserved for all the little things that don't even occur to you until someone brings them up. These are issues that arise the deeper you get, and boy do they arise. If you're just starting out, here are a few of the things you might want to take into consideration before going down the rabbit hole.
Lights, Camera, Action
If you search for YouTube advice, you're going to come across all sorts of videos and articles that talk about having a good camera, excellent lighting, and a solid editing program. These are all important aspects of your channel, but how necessary are they really?
Before you go out and buy a bunch of equipment, think about what you already have. If you have a smartphone, you already have a decent camera. Most smartphones film in HD and many are beginning to offer a 4K option. As long as you hold the camera steady, this should be more than efficient to start out with. Along the same lines, built-in webcams on computers have come a long way since they were first implemented. If you're planning on filming in front of your computer, you shouldn't have to worry about your video's quality.
Lighting is a completely different story. Filming indoors is almost always a struggle when it comes to lighting. Natural light is a plus, but it's not always possible. Lights are expensive, however, so what are you supposed to do? Before you invest in professional lighting, try experimenting a little. Round up all the lights in your house and throw together your own system. It might be extra work, but it could be enough to get you by until you can afford a better solution.
Editing is, without a doubt, one of the most important aspects of putting your YouTube videos together. Does this mean you have to purchase a crazy expensive editing program, though? Of course not. There are quite a few inexpensive programs that will provide the same support and options as more expensive ones. Figure out what your needs are, then make your decision based on that. It might turn out that you don't need to spend any money at all.
It's silly to spend money on items you might not even need. Do some research and think long and hard before you make any purchases. Also, keep in mind that you're at the beginning of your journey. No one will hold it against you if your videos aren't perfect. Besides, it's good to leave some room for improvement.
What Channel Doesn't Start Out A Little Rough?
Keywords, Tags, and SEO
If you've ever tried to make anything rank in online search engines, you're probably already familiar with SEO (search engine optimization). If not, now would be a good time to familiarize yourself. Seriously, read up and get to know the ins and outs of it. SEO is ridiculously important in any online venture you're undertaking. It could make the difference between a successful channel and a flop.
Optimizing your videos for ranking purposes is one of the things you'll want to work on right off the bat. This means using the right keywords and knowing where to put them. Too many people make the mistake of focusing only on their title. Yes, this is important, but it's not the only thing you should be thinking about.
Tags are a highly underrated and underutilized part of many YouTube channels. They are the perfect spot for you to include common phrases and words that people search for but that don't make sense elsewhere. Of course, you should only include tags that make sense for your video if you don't want to be penalized for misleading people.
Finding appropriate tags can be challenging if you don't know what you're doing. One option would be figuring out what you're planning on titling your video and manually searching for different versions of it. This is tedious and time consuming, but it's worth doing if you want to be sure you hit it from every angle. TubeBuddy might be a better option, though.
TubeBuddy has several great features, including helpful keyword functions. There is a free extension for Chrome, which should be enough to help you get going. Once you've established your channel, you can reevaluate your needs and decide if you'd like to upgrade your membership. Until then, take advantage of the free aspects and optimize each video.
What Should I Do Next?
No matter what you do, a YouTube channel is only as good as its content. You can use the most expensive equipment and spend all the time in the world trying to rank your videos, but it will be to no avail if your content isn't any good. You have to give viewers a reason to watch and keep coming back.
One of the things you can do to maintain viewership is to post on a regular basis. Having (and keeping) a schedule shows both your viewers and YouTube that you're serious about your channel. Besides, the more videos you have, the better your rankings will be and the more time people will spend on your channel.
Having an uploading schedule means coming up with video ideas on a consistent basis. This sounds simple enough, but you'd be surprised how difficult it can be. A lot of this depends on what you're planning on making videos about, of course. Choose something you both enjoy and are knowledgeable about. It'll make it easier to keep coming up with video ideas, plus people will respect your enthusiasm.
Ideas Are More Challenging Than You'd Think
Preparation is Vital
If there's one thing you do before you launch your YouTube channel, it should be preparing for anything. This includes setbacks, unexpected costs, and failure. Yes, it's more fun to prepare for instant success and fame, but it's not realistic. Odds are that won't happen overnight, and it's better to be prepared for other possibilities. Granted, it's hard to prepare for the unexpected, but it doesn't hurt to at least try.
Going into the whole ordeal blind will only serve to bring you down. You'll feel largely overwhelmed and could get lost in all the details. You wouldn't want to become disheartened or inclined to give up. What you choose to do with your channel is entirely up to you, but it doesn't hurt to look around and learn from others before jumping right into it. Good luck, and have fun!
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© 2017 Emily Schultz