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 one billion users, YouTube viewers represent one third of all internet users. Tap into this massive market by producing your own videos. Here are 3 pieces of equipment you’ll need to start a YouTube channel.
First Things First
It goes without saying that before starting a YouTube channel, you’ll need to have your niche dialed in, and a list of potential video topics. Having a plan in place will assure the success of your channel. Determine your viewers’ interests and what video topics will most interest them.
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 less expensive.
Ring lights are convenient and affordable, and a great way to light your videos. You’ll also need some type of screencasting software for recording audio, and because the software allows you to capture your computer screen, is applicable for recording tutorials.
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, along with audio narration. Screencasts are extremely useful for recording instructional videos, product demonstrations, tutorials, presentations, or training videos. I also use it to record the audio for my videos.
Screencasts are highly effective at relaying new concepts and ideas. Studies have shown that people retain information better when it’s presented in a visual format. I’ve used Screenflow, my favorite screencasting software, to record a series of tutorials on my computer, and not only is it convenient, it’s a lot of fun.
Screenflow is easy to use, it doesn’t take a lot of time to learn the ins and outs of screencasting. 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 as simple as that.
If you’ve been procrastinating starting a YouTube channel because you don’t want to show your face, don’t worry, you don’t have to. I record audio and then use images to enhance my video. You can also opt to show a thumbnail video of yourself in the lower, right-hand corner of the screencast. This is a good way to ease into video recording 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 your video isn’t viewed. Nothing is worse than audio that you can’t hear or understand. For most people it’s much too painful to watch. Your video may 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 sub par.
Using a microphone is essential for excellent sound quality, and will mark your videos as professional. Mics are particularly useful when recording screencasts as the internal audio of desktops is quite inferior. I like using headphones when using my mic to block out distractions.
Lavalier mics, shotgun mics, and USB mics, it can get confusing. Personally, I love using my Blue Yeti mic, a type of USB microphone that’s a favorite among podcasters, bloggers, and YouTubers. It’s easy to set up, is made of sturdy metal, and produces crystal clear audio. You can’t go wrong with a Blue Yeti microphone, and you’ll be thrilled with the clarity the first time you play back your audio.
3. A Ring Light
Did you know that high quality 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 easy to set up, are affordable, and get the job done.
Ring lights emit rays of soft, diffused light, illuminating your face and surroundings with a gentle glow, whereas directional light sources 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.
Simple to use, all you have to do is 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. See what I mean about great lighting being better than makeup? Most ring lights come with a center mount to support a smartphone or camera.
Get Started Online
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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 is also exciting, challenging, and fulfilling. It’s also not as complicated as you think.
Begin by using your iPhone and some great window light to record your first video. When you get to the point where you’d like to make your videos that much better, invest in some screencasting software, a microphone, and a ring light. Whatever equipment you decide to use, 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:)