3 Things You Need To Start A YouTube Channel

Is video the new blogging? Blogging will always be relevant, but incorporating video into your marketing strategy will pay dividends down the road, and what better platform to use than YouTube! Boasting over a billion users, YouTube viewers represent 1/3rd of all internet users. Why not tap into this massive market by producing your own videos? Here are 3 things you need to start a YouTube Channel.

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First Things First

It goes without saying that before starting a YouTube channel, you’ll need to have your niche dialed in, along with a list of potential video topics. Having a plan in place will give you a sense of organization, while assuring the success of your channel. When considering subject matter for your videos, determine what your target market’s interests are, and create videos that correspond to those interests.

You can start a YouTube channel with just your smartphone and window light, however, I like top-notch audio so I prefer to use a microphone. In the grand scheme of things, mics don’t cost that much and are worth the investment. You can also use lavalier mics, which are super inexpensive.

Ring lights are a great option in terms of lighting. They’re convenient to use, affordable, and emit beautiful, shadow-free light. You’ll also need some type of screencasting software for recording audio. Screencasting enables you to capture your computer screen, which is indispensable for recording live tutorials and presentations.

Things You Need To Start A YouTube Channel TODAY?

1. Screencasting Software

If you haven’t used screencasting software before, you’re in for a treat. A screencast is simply a video recording you make of your computer screen, accompanied by audio narration. Screencasts are extremely useful for recording instructional videos, product demonstrations, tutorials, presentations, mobile-responsive eLearning courses or training videos. I also use the software to record the audio for my videos.

Screencasts are highly effective at relaying and breaking down new concepts and ideas. Studies have shown that people retain information better when it’s presented in a visual format. Additionally, they can follow along using their own screen to learn in real time. Adobe’s Captivate screencasting software lets you record tutorials using just your screen and voice or a combination of audio, video, and screen-sharing.

Screencasting software typically has a small learning curve to master how it works and Captivate is no exception. It doesn’t take a lot of time to learn the ins and outs of screencasting. Adobe offers instructional videos if you do happen to get stuck. You’ll be a pro after recording your first video. All you have to do is activate the software, set up your microphone, and press record. It’s really not any harder than that.

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If you’ve been procrastinating launching a YouTube channel because you don’t want to show your face – not to worry – you don’t have to. I record my voice and then use image slides to go along with it.

You can also opt to show a thumbnail video of yourself in the lower, right-hand corner of the screencasting screen. This is a good way to ease into video because your viewers can still see you, but since you’re not front and center, it’s less frightening.

2. A High Quality Microphone For Exceptional Sound

Low-quality audio is definitely one of the best ways to make sure people don’t watch your video. Nothing is worse than audio you have to strain to hear and understand. For most people it’s much too painful to endure. Your video presentation may itself be professional, but if the audio doesn’t follow suit, you’re in trouble, and what a shame to ruin a great video because your audio is subpar.

Using a microphone is the best way to make sure your sound quality is excellent. Exceptional audio will mark your videos as professional. Mics are particularly useful when recording screencasts as the internal audio of desktop computers won’t make the grade. I also wear over-the-ear headphones when using my mic to block out distractions.

It can get confusing with all the mics that are available on the market today – lavalier mics, shotgun mics, USB mics – which is the best for screencasting? Personally, I love using my Blue Yeti, a USB mic that’s a favorite among podcasters, bloggers, and YouTubers.

The Blue Yeti is easy to set up, is made of sturdy metal, and produces crystal-clear audio. You can’t go wrong with Yeti mic, and you’ll be thrilled with the clarity the first time you play back your audio.

3. A Ring Light

Did you know that diffused lighting can make you look better than even makeup can? It’s a fact, and ring lights are a great way to make that happen. Also called Diva lights, ring lights are popular with vloggers, videographers, and YouTubers. It’s no wonder they’re so popular, they’re simple to set up, are affordable, and produce soft, wrap-around lighting that will flatter any scene.

Ring lights emit rays of soft, diffused light to illuminate your face and surrounding areas with a gentle glow, whereas, directional lighting sources are harsh and cast unflattering shadows. There’s not a single technique that will make you look instantly more beautiful than a flattering light source, and it’s certainly worth the cost considering the pay out.

Simply place the light directly in front of you to partake of its magic, and guess what happens to blemishes and other imperfections when your face is perfectly lit? That’s right, they disappear (almost). That’s how powerful a good light source can be.  Most ring lights come with a center mount to support both smartphones and cameras.

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Key Points

Starting a YouTube channel can be unnerving if you’re not used to being on camera, and let’s face it, most of us aren’t used to it. Think of it this way, branching out and starting something new, although scary, is also exciting, challenging, and fulfilling. It’s also not as complicated as you think.

Begin by using your iPhone and some window light to record your first video. When you get to the point where you’d like to make your videos even better, consider investing in some screencasting software, a microphone, and a ring light. Whatever equipment you decide to use, the most important thing is to just get started…

Do you have a YouTube channel? Have you been wanting to start one, but haven’t known how to get started? Let me know in the comments:)

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10 thoughts on “3 Things You Need To Start A YouTube Channel”

  1. Very well pointed. The 3 pieces you mentioned are a must to produce quality content on YouTube. I haven’t used screencasting software, but after I watched the video, it seems like a good choice.

    I agree about the poor sound on videos. I happened to leave a video because of the poor sound, and it was a pity because the content is great. The light is still something I have to work on.

    • Yes, having a mic, a ring light, and screencasting software will enable you to make awesome videos for YouTube that not only look great, but sound amazing as well. I’ve left videos too because of poor sound quality!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. I have been looking into making videos for YouTube for quite some time now. This article has definitely helped me understand more about what I need to get started with YouTube. Before I had always been caught up in the things such as making intros that look good. 

    This has really hurt my ability to get started. But after reading some sites and seeing how simple it can be to get started, I’m going to start a YouTube channel and improve my blog right away. A few questions though, are there any free high-quality screencasting softwares? 

    Do you also think a gaming headphone mic will be suitable enough? Thanks!

    • Good for you. Creating videos for a YouTube channel is easier than you think. There are websites that will let you download intro and outro videos for free. Google “free YouTube intros” to find a site. 

      There are free screencasting softwares out there or you can use Garage Band if you have a Mac. I’m not familiar with gaming headphones, but I don’t know why they wouldn’t work.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  3. Hi Holly,

    Thank you for writing such an informative post about YouTube. Currently, my channel has only 2 videos lol. I am currently working on one now, but it is so hard to put myself in front of the camera. I also find video editing to be quite challenging, but I am slowly getting the hang of it. I’m using Videorama from my iphone, it is pretty fast, allowing me to upload videos directly to YouTube. I can also save the videos to my phone.

    The other problem I have with my youtube video is the sound quality, I invested in the lavalier microphone but it is still a bit off. I think I just gonna have to buy a new one for better sound. You are right, nothing is worse than bad audio.

    Oh, If you have problems with lighting, but don’t have access to good lighting, there are some filters from a video editing app that can help you with that as well. I used filters when I was waiting for my lights to come and they work great. Ultimately, getting the lighting right is the best solution so you don’t have to spend time tweaking your video.

    • That’s great you’ve created a YouTube channel. Creating the channel and producing the first couple of videos is half the battle. I know what you mean about being in front of a camera. I struggle with that as well, and, yes, video editing can be challenging, although fortunately it does get easier with time.

      I’ll have to check out Videorama for my iPhone. It’s sounds like a great app, and I like that  I can upload videos directly to YouTube.  You might want to invest in a USB microphone if your lavalier mic isn’t working well. Bad audio is for sure the worst!

      I agree with you about nailing the lighting to cut down on editing time. It also makes you look good!

  4. This is a very helpful and informative article Holly. I know that YouTube marketing is important and actually more and more people are using it as a source of traffic. I don’t want to show myself in front of a camera so you shared great software which I will buy as soon as possible. Amazon is my #1 choice when it comes to shopping.

    • Thank you. YouTube is exploding as more and more people are creating videos and viewing them. Video marketing is a great way to build your brand and increase traffic to your website. 

      Screencasting software allows you to film yourself in full screen, in a picture-to-picture mode, or not at all so do what feels comfortable to you. You don’t have to show your face if you don’t want to. Many people on YouTube opt not to and that’s perfectly fine. 

      And yes, Amazon is the best shopping platform. 

  5. Hello Holly Knudson,

    This is an important blog for a new “YouTuber,” and those wanting to start a YouTube channel. The tools you mentioned, such as screencasting software, a microphone and a ring light are important for making high quality videos and to become successful on YouTube.

    Thank you so much for a HELPFUL blog post about YouTube.


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