When I started Strawberry Chic and later my Youtube channel, I googled how to do everything. It’s how I figured how to use iMovie, Lightroom, and everything else in between. A lot of things, however, I had to learn the hard way with a little trial and error. I found myself sharing these tips, or “youtube hacks” with my friends who express interest in starting a Youtube channel. I hope sharing them here will make your first few Youtube videos go a lot smoother than mine!
You don’t need a fancy camera and equipment
The most popular video on my channel was shot on my iPhone with no professional equipment. It was also my very first attempt at vlogging! Don’t hold back from starting a YouTube channel because you can’t afford expensive equipment. I don’t think you need it until you’re ready to invest. I recommend focusing on your background and film in an area with good natural lighting. I already had a blog camera, so when I knew Youtube was going to be something I did for a while I purchased cheap lighting and a microphone. I recently bought a lighter vlogging camera for try on hauls and on the go filming.
Turn off your AC
You’ll be surprised what background noise is picked up in your camera while filming. I usually turn off the AC, my overhead fan, and any diffuser running in the room to decrease background noise. Yes, it gets hot, but I’d rather have good quality sound for my videos. I also pause if a neighbor is mowing their lawns, a plane flies overhead, or a train goes through town. All of which happens every time I film!
Film multiple intros and outros
I always film at least 3 intros and outros because I find that is where I get the most rambly. One always stands out compared to the rest. When editing, I usually always go with the shorter version, but I never make the final decision until the rest of the video is edited and I see how long it is. In the beginning, I also completely forgot to end most videos, so I tried to remember and do both the intro and outro in the beginning. Remember, editing if your friend!
Space out topics and talk slowly
My nervous habit is to talk fast, so I’m trying to work on this. For a long time, I would talk too fast because I thought it would make the video shorter, but it really wasn’t saving much time. Breathing is more important 😉 Also remember you can edit out transitions between topics.
** Avoid talking while reaching for items if you’re filming a haul video. I learned this the hard way while editing the first haul I filmed. It was impossible to edit out leaning forward to pick things up when I was still talking about the item.
Most cameras have a 30-minute filming limit
I had no idea that a regular camera has a <30-minute time limit when filming videos. In the beginning, I wasted so much of my time talking to a camera that turned off, haha. It didn’t warn me! So now, I set a timer on my phone if I know it’s going to be a longer video to avoid this issue.
Write down mentioned links and videos as you edit
I can’t tell you how many times I forgot to link something in the description box that is mentioned in the video. This is missing out on potential affiliate commission and clicks to my site, so it’s important to remember all the details! Now, I write down anything mentioned in the video as I go through and edit it, along with the estimated time it’s mentioned so I can also add relative cards to pop up throughout the video. I also write down what I’m wearing in the video to add those affiliate links as well.
Tips to keep your camera from overheating
I use a Sony a6000 for my blog and sit down YouTube videos. I didn’t know why it was shutting off due to overheating every time I filmed. Now, I always move the screen away from the body of the camera to keep it from overheating. Sometimes I even keep the battery door open, too.
Know filming and editing will get easier
It took me hours to edit my first Youtube video and I wanted to give up so many times. I can be a perfectionist, which is a good thing, but it also adds extra time and criticism to the content I put out. Not going to lie, I took the time to try an edit out every “UM” I said because it drove me crazy. Now that I’ve uploaded almost 50 videos, my editing time is much more efficient and I’m not wasting time googling and watching Youtube trying to figure out how to edit in iMovie.
** Also, believe me when I say sitting in front of a camera and talking to yourself and hearing your voice will get easier. I never thought I would put myself on Youtube. I have the hardest time uploading to IG stories because I hate the sound of my voice! But it really does get easier the more you do it.
Keep your eyes on the lens
Remember to look at the lens and not at your viewfinder. You’re talking to the viewer and not yourself! If you have a hard time keeping your eyes on the screen, just flip it down once you have your setup. My blog camera doesn’t have a flip-up screen, so looking at the lens hasn’t been an issue for me when using it.
Don’t forget to take a thumbnail photo
I usually take a minute to smile and have thumbnail options at the beginning of the recording so I can easily find it. In iMovie, I screenshot 4 thumbnail options and make my thumbnails in Canva. I’ve learned to move the iMovie video dial in the top right corner all the way to the right to get the most options for thumbnail photos. Your thumbnail will be the reason people click to watch your video, so spend time on it!
Save time editing your description box
You can save a custom description in your Youtube settings to automatically apply to all your videos. This saves a lot of time when adding your social channel links and topics you include in all your videos.
Upload in chrome
Safari just doesn’t cut it when uploading to Youtube (or with most other things to be honest). If I accidentally upload in Safari, I always get an error code when uploading a custom thumbnail. I always upload and design my thumbnails on Canva in the Chrome browser.
Take off your bracelets
This may seem really random, but I remember filming a video with a few cute bracelets on and it’s crazy how loud it sounds in the video. Now, I always take off my bracelets or wear just one to avoid the distracting noise.
Have two batteries and memory cards
It never fails that either my battery will die or my memory card will fill up in the middle of a video. I think the first thing you should invest in is an extra battery and two good memory cards.
Always eat before filming
If I don’t eat before sitting down and filming I don’t make clear sentences and have to do extra takes. I always have a snack before sitting down to film a Youtube video
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I hope you found these Youtube hacks helpful! Let me know if you started a channel or are thinking about it, I’d love to check it out!
If you’re looking for more blogging tips, theres is more to explore on my blog!
xo Amanda John