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.
Getting 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, 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:)