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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Is it Dangerous to be a YouTuber?

Doing anything online these carries with it an inherent amount of risk, whether it is risk in the form of identity theft or risk in the form of abuse and harassment.

YouTube is a fantastic platform, but it is not exempt from these dangers.

Indeed, anyone who has spent enough time in a YouTube comments section could be forgiven for feeling that YouTube might be one of the worst examples of online dangers. At least when it comes to abuse and harassment.

The dangers a platform like YouTube poses are not only varied by their intent, but also by the person using YouTube. For example, an eleven-year-old child faces a largely different set of risks compared to an adult.

Is it dangerous to be a YouTuber? As with many things on the Internet, all but the most sinister of dangers can be mitigated by or avoided entirely by your behaviour. To borrow an example from email etiquette—you can’t get a virus from an unknown link if you don’t click on unknown links.

In this post, we’re going to look at the various ways in which YouTube can be dangerous, explore what YouTube do to prevent this, and look at how you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Can I Create A Youtube Account For My Child? 1

Is it Dangerous to be a Child YouTuber?

We’re starting with children because, despite the sensitive nature of online safety for children, this is actually the most straightforward aspect of this topic to cover.

Firstly, children under the age of thirteen are not allowed to have a regular YouTube account under YouTube’s terms of service.

The only way a young child could be a YouTuber (without breaking the rules) is if they are YouTubing with an adult, such as their parent.

The child could appear in the adult’s videos, or the child could entirely run the channel while the adult manages things from behind the scenes. Either way, there will be an adult there who can guide the child through various Internet pitfalls they might otherwise have fallen down. Most social media platforms have similar rules regarding age, meaning you shouldn’t have to worry about your child being exposed to the less savoury denizens of the web.

They could lie about their age, of course. Sites like Twitter don’t have any kind of age verification, how you handle that will be down to your own parenting style.

Once your children are older than thirteen, however, they are allowed to sign up for a wide range of platforms, like YouTube and Facebook. However, they will still be a minor under your care, and you would still be legally within your rights to prevent them from doing so.

Again, this is a decision that would have to be made by you based on your parenting style. You an read my blog on setting up a YouTube channel for your child here.

If you choose to allow your child onto the Internet, you must prepare them for what they may find. Have a real conversation with them about the risks, and about how people on the Internet can be less than pleasant sometimes.

Give them a thorough grounding in the basics, such as not giving usernames and passwords out, and how to spot a shady site. These are all things that your child will need to learn regardless, so getting a head start can’t hurt.

Is it Dangerous to be an Adult YouTuber?

The dangers of being a YouTuber as an adult are not much different from the general dangers of being on the Internet. Things like identity theft, fraud, and general mental well-being are all things to look out for.

If, however, you become a famous YouTuber, you should be prepared for the responsibility that brings. A person with a few thousand subscribers can make an ill-advised statement or be rude to someone, or let a bit of personal information slip out, and the world will keep turning.

A YouTuber with perhaps a few hundred thousand subscribers may see significant consequences from such behaviour. And a YouTuber with a few million subscribers could make mainstream media headlines from it.

While we understand the desire to rush to success, building a following as you would have with a successful YouTube channel is best done slowly for several reasons, not least of which is it gives you time to grow and adapt to your newfound popularity.

Another way in which being a YouTuber can be dangerous is in the real world implications of your content.

Granted, this probably won’t affect someone who is making inoffensive life hack videos, but if you have opinions of a controversial nature, and you are voicing them in your videos, it could have harmful side effects. In today’s reactionary world, your job could literally be at stake. And, while we might all have the dream of going full time with our YouTube channel, most of us still have to work a day job in the beginning.

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel?

What Can YouTubers do to Keep the Negativity Away?

Beyond simply ignoring negative comments, there are things you can do as a YouTuber to keep yourself, your channel, and your community as safe as possible.

Obviously, shutting down comments entirely and not having a presence on other social media platforms will all but eliminate the opportunity for bad faith actors; however, it will also hamper your ability to grow as a channel since community involvement is crucial in the early stages of your YouTube adventure.

So, with that in mind, we’re going to assume that you don’t plan to lock your channel and social media down altogether.

Set the Tone From the Start

Think of unwanted audience behaviour like a bad habit. It is much easier to cut it off at the start than it is to deal with once it has had time to take root and become ingrained. If you make it clear from the beginning that particular behaviour will not be tolerated, and enforce those standards wherever you can, it will be far less likely that you will have a problematic audience when you start to grow as a channel.

Of course, what one channel considers unacceptable may be fine for another channel. Swearing is an example of something that can be fine depending on the channel and the community.

The point is that by setting the tone early on, you’ll have less to deal with as you grow. You may even reach a point where your community polices itself.

If it is established that you do not allow profanity in your comments section, your audience will likely start letting newcomers know when they are behaving in a manner that is not in keeping with your community.

This also applies to behaviour that, while perhaps not offensive in nature, is nonetheless a bad precedent to set. For example, while getting involved with your community is a great way to grow your audience early on, it’s important to establish boundaries.

If you make yourself too available—beyond any reasonable expectation your viewers should have—you set the expectation that you will be similarly available in the future. And, as your audience grows, it will become more challenging to devote enough time to these kinds of interactions. This can lead to a negative reaction from your viewers, who feel they are being snubbed.

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel? 8

Separate Your Online Life From Your Real Life

Being a YouTuber can sometimes lead to problems in your real life. Those problems may be small, such as mild embarrassment over a family member seeing one of your videos, or very serious, such as your employer seeing you say or do something controversial that leads to your firing.

You may not feel like you have anything to hide from your real life, and you may be entirely correct. However, it can still sometimes be good practice to separate your YouTube personality from real life if possible. You can do this using a pseudonym, or being virtually faceless on your channel (though this can have longer-term branding implications).

You can also keep the two separate by not sharing YouTube things on your personal accounts, and not linking personal things to your YouTube account. A common practice is to have a private Facebook page where you can communicate with friends and family online, reserving places like Twitter for your “YouTube persona”.

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel? 1

Take Extra Care With Your Personal Data

There is a myriad of ways in which sensitive personal data can find its way into the public domain. For example, did you know that when you register a domain name, the details of the owner are publicly available unless you pay extra to keep them private? What’s worse is this data typically includes your address.

Another example would be giving out your address to receive packages from viewers, or sending a package to a viewer and having your home as the return address.

It is also worth putting a little extra effort into making sure your videos are free from any sensitive information. For example, if you do an unboxing video, make sure the packing label is removed or covered up before you start filming.

Preparing Yourself Mentally

While the material risks of being a YouTuber are very real, many dangers are less obvious and can creep up on you if you are not prepared for them.

Lack of Privacy

It may seem silly to think that a lack of privacy could be an issue for someone who chooses to put themselves online in a very public way, but as we mentioned above, there should be boundaries.

Still, even with firm boundaries in place, you are putting yourself out there, and there is an unavoidable degree of vulnerability about that.

Criticism

Following directly on from that, there is the criticism. There will always be a negative contingent online who are looking to say unhelpful and hurtful things. As a YouTuber, you need to become proficient at recognising the line between criticism and insults.

Legitimate criticism should be taken on board, as it can help your channel grow, whereas insults and general hurtful behaviour serve no purpose. If a person is looking to hurt you and nothing more, you won’t gain anything by attempting to mollify them, and their words should be dismissed as they have no objective merit.

Or, to put it another way, you wouldn’t ask a friend who hates Chinese food for recommendations on where to get Chinese, so why would you listen to opinions about your YouTube channel from someone who just doesn’t like your channel.

Lack of Understanding

While YouTube has become huge over the last decade or so, and made many people very rich and very famous, it is still covered by the shadow of scepticism when it comes to people who do not spend much time on the Internet. Unfortunately, for many of us, our families and friends will include a certain number of these sceptics.

Explaining what you do and gaining the understanding of people like this can be difficult. This is especially the case if you are hoping for a supportive reaction from your friends and family if you decide to move into YouTubing full time.

The best you can do in these situations is explain things as honestly as you can, let them know how important it is to you, and then try to move past it if they refuse to take it seriously. Try not to hold grudges—YouTube is relatively new, and the idea of a YouTube career is even newer. It’s not entirely unreasonable of them to have a little skepticism about it.

Do YouTubers Get Paid for Likes? 1

Lack of Patience

Unlike the last one, this one is on you. Succeeding on YouTube takes time. Attempts to cheat the system and speed things along usually end in YouTube redressing the balance—sometimes by deleting your subscribers—so there is no quick fix to success.

If you do not have the patience for the YouTube long haul, there is a very real danger that you will run out of steam and quit.

It can help to visualise your goals, but never be anything less than brutally honest with yourself about the rate of growth you can expect. That way, you won’t be disappointed when you aren’t an overnight success.

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS ON YOUTUBE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How to Make, Edit and Upload a YouTube Video Without a Camera

You don’t like showing your face. I get it.

Appearing on camera for some is like being asked to roll over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Not gonna happen.

But, you want to have a YouTube channel. You want to have your content out there for the world to see, and maybe earn a little (or a lot!) of extra cash from the YouTube Partner Program.

The good news is there are lots of YouTube channels with shy content creators who are making barrels of money without ever even appearing on camera. In fact, many of them don’t even use a camera to make their videos.

But how do you do it, and what kind of content could you make?

This article is perfect for you! I’m going to cover the types of content you could make, how to produce and edit it, then close with some finishing touches.

Ready? Read on.

Choosing a Content Niche for YouTube.

The most successful channels on YouTube produce content for a single, often narrow, niche.

Don’t make the mistake of producing random content on different topics. One day uploading a video on technology and the next day one about celebrities – it confuses viewers.

It’s easy to set up multiple channels on YouTube under the same Google Account. So if you have two passions you want to create content for, make two different channels.

Choosing your channel niche is a critical decision to make when starting out. It also helps if you have an enthusiasm for the topic, but it’s not essential.

Make sure you feel you can routinely produce content for it, without it becoming tedious. And what is most important is that the niche you choose has enough demand to make it worthwhile.

How do you measure demand on YouTube? You can use Google Trends tool to measure overall viewer appetite on YouTube and compare it against popular niches. Look at the image below – it looks like my Unicorn themed channel idea is a non-starter.

How to Make, Edit and Upload a YouTube Video Without a Camera

Another way to validate your idea is by searching for videos over the last month and sorting by view count.

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Look at the view counts to see if there are lots of views for your chosen niche. How many views should you look for? Well, the more, the better, but you should be looking for several videos with at least 1 million views.

Once you have picked your niche, then decide next on the type of non-camera content you want to produce.

Content Types You Can Make For YouTube.

There is a wide range of content you can make that doesn’t require looking into a camera, fussing with lighting, or getting sound levels perfect.

Your chosen niche might already determine what type of content to produce. For example, if you want to start a tips and tricks gaming channel, then screen recording is the best way to go.

But for some niches will be possible to make different types of content, so let’s take a look at your options.

Compilation Channel

Editing together clips from other sources into compilations seems like an obvious choice for a no-camera YouTube channel.

There are some very successful channels making obscene amounts of money with this content type.

Here is a popular example. Fail Army have 14.6M subscribers and post compilations of funny videos collected from around the web.

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There are plenty of niches to go at too, from comedy, gaming, and sports etc. But it is not as easy as finding a few clips, splicing them together and uploading a new video.

Copyright is the problem here. If you don’t own the rights to use the clips you select for your video, then you could face a copyright strike from YouTube.

Get three strikes, and YouTube could terminate your channel.

So how do the current compilation channels do it? There are online services like Jukin Media, where you can buy a distribution licence for clips, but these can be pricy.

There is a workaround, however.

Fair Use of Copyrighted Material.

You can use copyrighted material in your videos without the rights owners permission through a principle known as fair use.

Fair use is a legal concept that is common to many countries where you can use copyrighted material as long as your usage is transformative.

Transformative means that you change the work in a meaningful way. This could be by adding a commentary over it to explain, criticise, or to report on the clip.

One point to note is that YouTube doesn’t decide what is or isn’t fair use – only the courts can determine that. So fighting a copyright strike can be a thankless task, likely to cause stress and take a long time to resolve.

So if you do get a copyright strike, sometimes it’s better to simply remove the clip in question and move on.

Creative Commons

There is a filter on YouTube that returns content where the copyright on a video is creative commons.

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Creative Commons means that you can freely re-use the content of the video as long as you link back to the source in your video description.

Watch out, though.

If someone has uploaded a video marked as creative commons but used copyrighted material from elsewhere, your re-use of it could still attract a copyright strike from YouTube – it’s a minefield.

Much better to create your own copyright-free content. So let’s look at some of your options.

YouTube Videos Using Images and Stock Video.

This type of content requires you to record a voiceover track on a video made up of images and stock b-roll clips.

An excellent example of a channel that uses this method is Alux.

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Focusing on luxury items and the lifestyles of the mega-rich, Alux uses stock photos, manufacturers product photos, and stock b-roll footage to create their videos.

They are the kind of videos that are easy to make, and the topic niches are only limited by your imagination.

Now if you’re extra shy and you don’t even want to even do a voice over for your videos, then you can use free text to voice apps. If you feel they sound a bit robotic, you could hire someone from Fiverr to do the talking for you.

You can even keep it basic and produce a presentation in Powerpoint or Google Slides. If you’re good at explaining things to people, then this could be the method for you.

Many people also use this method to promote affiliate programs in the video description, and make money right out of the gate before they get accepted to the YouTube Partner Program.

YouTube Podcasting Videos

If you have something to say and are already thinking about starting a podcast, then publishing it to YouTube is another way to distribute your content.

You don’t have to be a Joe Rogan or Tim Ferris to make a success of this. If you know a niche inside out and are enthusiastic about a topic, you can build up an audience. YouTube’s viewers use the platform for more than just visual entertainment.

Whether they are at work, relaxing, or doing household chores, people like to have some background audio as they go about their daily lives. Meet this demand by uploading your podcast to YouTube and display a static image for the visual.

Tim Ferris does it, so you don’t have to show a studio feed as well, provided you have something to say that people want to hear.

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YouTube Animation Videos

Starting an animation channel is a popular way to have a YouTube channel without needing a camera or showing your face.

There are several ways to approach an animation channel.

If you are already artistically gifted, then you can use one of the many animation software packages available to create engaging content.

You don’t even need to create long animations either.

OneyNG has over 2.37M subscribers and 10s of millions of views from uploading short, funny, animations, which often revolve around a single gag.

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If you are not so artistically inclined, then you can use applications that help you create simplistic animations for use in your videos.

Better Than Yesterday is a good example of this type of content. They are near 1M subscribers and have simple narration over basic animation.

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YouTube Screenshare Videos

There are thousands of people out there, right now, who want to learn how to do something, that you already know all about.

Whether it’s an Instagram hack, learning how to configure WordPress, or getting cheap insurance online, they look to YouTube for help. Can you create short videos to show them how to do it?

The example below shows only the phone screen as the user demonstrates Instagram hacks. There is not even a voiceover explaining the tricks!

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YouTube Gaming Videos

Another screen share content type that deserves its very own section here is gaming.

Sharing sequences from games showing funny clips, how to’s, and competition footage is immensely popular on YouTube.

You may already know the famous channels like PewDiePie, Total Gaming, and more recently, Mr Beast Gaming. But don’t think it’s too late to enter this niche today – it’s enormous.

If you choose this type of content, it’s best if you focus on only one game for your channel.

Creating lots of videos all about one game helps YouTube to see your channel as an authority in the topic. This means a higher chance of your content getting recommended by the YouTube algorithm for people to watch next.

Vanoss Gaming is just a bunch of guys talking and laughing over screen recordings of them playing games. With over 21.5 million subscribers, they are obviously doing something right.

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YouTube Sound Channels.

As mentioned previously, there are plenty of people who have YouTube running in the background as they go about their daily lives.

Some people like an ambient soundtrack as they study and others use relaxing music to create a mood for meditation.

These kinds of channels are attractive to run.  If you can get viewers to start watching your videos, then it’s likely that they will view to the end – something that YouTube looks for when ranking content.

Yellow Brick Cinema is one of the biggest channels in this niche.  They have an extensive back catalogue of videos with millions of views and likely as much in the bank from the YouTube partner program.

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Producing Content for YouTube.

Producing video content without a camera means using software tools instead. Depending on the type of content you want to make the cost ranges from free of charge to paying a monthly subscription charge of up to $40+.

Screen Recording Software

Whether you plan on recording gaming action or want to show people how to do something on a computer, you are going to need a screen recorder.

There are loads of free options out there. Some good, some not so good. The top ones are:

OBS Studio. This one is open-source software, meaning it’s made by volunteers and is entirely free of charge. It can be tricky to get up and running, with some claiming it has a big learning curve and can be complex to use. It has plenty of features and will run on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Nvidia Shadowplay. Nvidia, the makers of graphics cards, also provides free software that makes it easy to record gameplay. You can record video, make short GIFs, and even live stream direct to YouTube. One to check out if you are thinking about a gaming channel. For Windows PCs only.

Icecream Screen Recorder. Another screen capture software that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It has a free version and is much easier to use than OBS Studio. The free version only lets you record for five minutes. But you can upgrade to Pro to get no time limits and more output formats for a one-time fee of $19.95.

Animation Software

Open Toonz. For 2D animation, Open Toonz is free software which is considered a good allrounder. There are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube, but if you’ve not used animation software before it will need time and practice.

It’s open-source software so you’ll never have to pay anything, and it works on Windows and Mac.

Doodley. Doodley is animation software more suitable to those who aren’t good at freehand drawing. You can quickly get up to speed and produce excellent and engaging how-to type videos.

The channel Philosophies for Life uses Doodley for all its videos and has nearly 300k subscribers.

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You build screens with a drag-and-drop interface using the cloud-based software, which then animates the images together for you.  It costs $39 per month to use, with an Enterprise version that gives you more templates and fonts for $69 per month.

Slideshow Software

There are lots of ways to put together a slide show — Google Slides and Microsoft Powerpoint to name two. Compiling images into a video is possible using inbuilt Windows software. But, to create a video slideshow, there are much better free alternatives.

Kapwing. Kapwing is an excellent tool for creating slide show videos for YouTube. Upload some images, add a few captions, and add an audio track easily. It also compiles the video for you in the right format for YouTube.

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For shorter videos or if you are just getting started, then the free version will work just fine.  To create longer videos and have a workspace that stores all your content then you can upgrade to the Pro version for $20 per month.

Vidnami. Vidnami is a good option for quickly building videos using little more than a text-based video script. Paste your text into the software, Vidnami reads it, then selects appropriate images and creates your video automatically.

It even creates an automated voice-over and on-screen captions. The voice is a little robotic but is an option if you don’t like to hear the sound of your own voice.

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Editing Videos for YouTube.

Whatever kind of content you produce, it must look professional.  There are many channels in most niches now all competing for digital eyeballs, so the content you create should be slick and polished.

YouTube Studio, the channel management platform provided by YouTube, does have a basic inbuilt editing tool.

It’s really best used for a little bit of trimming here and there.  It’s not suitable for making the kind of high-quality videos you should be uploading.

There are, again, plenty of free options available, so don’t feel that you have to splash out for a high-end editing suite like Adobe Premier.

For those that have a Mac computer, the bundled iMovie is a really great option. Many successful YouTube channels use nothing more than this to edit videos.

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With iMovie, you can use transitions to piece together multiple clips, add sound, titles, and backgrounds. It can do pretty much all you need.

For Windows and Linux users, and perhaps Mac users that want another option, OpenShot Video Editor is an open-source video editor, which is free to download and use.

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Taking Your YouTube Content to the Next Level.

Along with proper editing, to make your videos as compelling as possible, add in extra touches.  B-Roll clips, animated intros, and subtitles help make your content more engaging and accessible, and are all essential for growing a successful channel.

Let’s look at some tools you can use to add these kinds of extras to your videos.

B-Roll Content

B-roll is a term from the earliest days of the Hollywood movie industry. The A-roll reel was the main footage for the movie, and an identical B-roll reel was used for filler and cuts. Back then physical celluloid film was cut and spliced together to edit and make a movie.

Today, B-roll refers to any secondary material that you use for filler.

You can get free B-roll video from websites like Pexels and Pixabay. They offer short clips uploaded by amateur photographers which are copyright free and can be used by anyone.

The selection available is OK on these sites, but to have the best choice from an absolute mountain of B-roll clips, take a look at Story Blocks – I started using them in July 2020 and it has helped me level up my level game hugely, leading to great growth on YouTube.

Approaching 900,000 items of stock video, backgrounds, music, and video intros; there is plenty here for you to use to enhance your videos.

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The cost varies from $10 to $80 per month on a subscription basis, depending on the amount and types of media you want to download.

Professional looking YouTube Intro/Outro

No self-respecting YouTube channel should be without a professional-looking intro/outro. It’s not just something to have for the sake of it either – your intro helps to develop and reinforce your brand.

Over time as your viewer subscriptions grow, your intro and brand serve to communicate trust.

If viewers like the content you produce, then as soon as they see your familiar branding, they will start watching your video with a positive view.

You can develop an intro/outro with Story Blocks mentioned above. But, if you don’t subscribe to that service, an alternative tool is Placeit.

I have used PlaceIt in the past for client branding – YouTube banners, channel intro and outros, even stock mock ups – I highly recommend you check out their templates.

With Placeit, you can create logos, animated intro/outros, and other branding graphics you can use on also use on sites like Facebook and Instagram. You can even generate slideshow videos for YouTube using the software.

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Placeit costs $14.95 monthly for unlimited access to all the features.  You could sign up for just one month and generate all the graphics you need.  Alternatively, save 50% upfront with an annual subscription.

Add Subtitles and Captions to Your YouTube Videos.

First, we need some definitions.

Captions – These are the text displayed on your video that matches what is being said by the presenter or narrator.

Subtitles – These are like captions, but also carry additional information for the viewer, such as sound representations for the hard of hearing. They also refer to foreign language translations of the speech in a video.

Why might you add in captions or subtitles? It opens up your content to many more viewers.

Captions are useful for people who are consuming content on the go and aren’t in a position to listen to the audio. Or maybe watching on the sofa while their partner is glued to the TV.

If you subtitle your video into other commonly spoken languages, then you get to reach a wider audience from other countries.

Now you could add captions yourself, going through your content and painstakingly adding text one piece at a time. Or use a service like Rev.com.

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They charge by the minute for speech that is captioned or subtitled, so you pay a variable fee per video.

I use Rev.com to help me caption my videos in bulk and I can even do it in multiple foreign languages to help maximise my international reach and get more views for my YouTube videos.

Conclusion

Setting up a successful YouTube channel without a camera is very possible.  There are many people doing it already and achieving lots of views, subscribes, and Partner Program earnings.

But competition is increasing day by day, so to give your channel the best chance of success, you need to make sure that you produce high quality videos.

This means good editing, addition of intros/outros, b-roll, and adding captions too if applicable.

Get going with some of the ideas above and see what you can produce for your channel.  Good luck.

If you need any more tricks, tips or software to make great videos without a camera, check out out resource page.

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

YouTube Equipment on a Budget

Getting together the necessary equipment for YouTubing can pose quite a problem for those of us on a budget.

After all, cameras are expensive, and lighting rigs? What about acoustic treatment? All of these things cost money, and buying low-quality equipment most likely won’t improve the quality of your videos, and may even harm your channel overall.

Still, YouTube is far from a sure thing when it comes to generating an income, so spending significant amounts of cash on cameras and microphones can be hard to justify. Fortunately, “budget” doesn’t have to mean poor quality—you just need to know what you’re looking for. Of course, if it were that easy, there’d be no need for posts like this one!

Now as long as you have mastered YouTube Equipment for beginners – maybe you want some cost effective ideas for some upgrades – let’s get into our guide to the world of YouTube equipment on a budget.

Cameras

Let’s start with your primary bit of kit. Camera’s are not just essential if you want to record video, they can also be the only piece of gear you need if you are trying to make the most of your budget.

Here are three great options for YouTubers on a budget.

Logitech C930e

Starting our list off, we have the Logitech C930e, a webcam. Now, webcams are not the best option when it comes to YouTube… or any kind of video capture situation for that matter.

For reasons perhaps known only to webcam manufacturers, there has been very little improvement in the standards of webcam video quality for nearly a decade. In fact, the only thing webcams really excel at is live-streaming. Still, when it comes to budget video recording equipment, the C930e offers the best bang for your buck, and if you pair it with a decent budget lighting setup, you should be able to get some very respectable video out of it.

Obviously, there are some physical limitations with a webcam. If you want to shoot videos on the move, you’re going to need something that can operate standalone, and this isn’t it.

So, on to our next pick.

GoPro Hero6 or Hero7

GoPro has made a name for themselves in the sports footage market. They are typically the first name to come to mind whenever someone wants to strap a camera to their head and jump off a mountain, or something similar. What doesn’t always get as much attention is just how good it is as a pure camera.

You’re going to be looking at 3-4x the cost of the c930e, but that is still around half the half to a third of the cost of a Canon EOS 80D with a lens, which is a popular camera for YouTubers who aren’t on a budget. And the difference in quality is significant.

Furthermore, the Hero is much better at getting a great shot out of any environment and lighting situation.

Canon T7i

We’re stretching the definition of “budget” here. Still, given that the next tier of cameras easily crosses into the four digits in the price department, we think it’s fair to include this one as a higher-end budget camera.

The Canon T7i is a fully-fledged DSLR, which is the top dog when it comes to camera quality. While this may be a budget DSLR, it will still produce better results than just about anything you might find cheaper.

It should be noted that DSLRs are a little more involved than something like a webcam, or a GoPro. For one thing, you need to buy lenses for your camera. If you hit eBay and find a T7i that’s heavily discounted over the average price, you might be buying one without a lens. Like the GoPro, these cameras are standalone, so you can take them out for shooting on location.

Cameras like this are designed to handle a range of additional components, such as camera-mounted lighting, and external audio sources, making them ideal for portable filming setups.

Comparison Table

Product Max Resolution Standalone? Approx. Cost
Logitch c930e 1080 @ 30fps No £100
GoPro Hero 7 4K @ 60fps Yes £280
Canon T7i 1080 @ 60fps Yes £500

For further cameras and equipment suggestions check out my equipment lists on my resources page – I list all my current equipment and some killer discounts on cheap starter gear.

Microphones

It’s important to remember that all of the above suggestions for cameras have their own built-in microphone. Now, these are far from the best audio ever recorded, but they are more than serviceable if you can’t afford to pair them with a separate audio setup.

However, if you are looking to maximise your quality, you will want to get yourself a microphone.

Unlike our camera picks, all of our microphones are approximately equal in price. They are, however, considerably different in execution. Don’t worry; we’ll explain as we go.

Blue Snowball

Our first pick goes to the Blue Snowball, a distinctive looking USB microphone that produces excellent audio quality. The advantages of the Snowball mainly lie in its simplicity of use. You simply plug the mic into your computer, let the drivers automatically install, and you’re good to go. This makes it an ideal pairing with something like the Logitech C930e we mentioned above.

The downside is that you cannot plug a USB mic into something like the Canon T7i. If you want to go portable with the Snowball, you’re going to need to take a laptop with you.

The Snowball is available in a few different variants and supports several pick up patterns. If your YouTube setup never leaves your desk, this is a great microphone to have.

BM-Condenser Microphone plus Preamp

The BM-800 is a little tricky to explain. This microphone is actually an unbranded Chinese product. Sellers in various parts of the world buy this product in bulk, often with their own branding, and resell it. We’re explaining this because if you Google “BM-800 Microphone”, you could get a dozen different brands selling identical looking microphones. It doesn’t make a difference, however; they’re all the same product.

But onto the mic itself. The BM-800 is a condenser microphone that uses an XLR connection. That XLR connection means you will need other hardware to get the mic up and running, but don’t worry, the mic itself typically goes for a third of what the Snowball costs. What’s more, it often comes with extras, like pop shields and shock mounts. Once you have coupled it with a cheap audio interface or microphone preamp, then the price will level out at around the same as the Snowball.

Like the Snowball, you won’t be able to connect this mic to something like a GoPro or T7i, and while it can be portable, it’s not ideal.

This kind of setup is ideal for YouTubers who make music since you can easily swap out your microphone for a different style, or get an audio interface with multiple channels for recording more than one mic at a time.

Rode VideoMic Go

The VideoMic is an on-camera mic. This is a particular kind of microphone that sits on top of your camera, making it ideal for portable setups. Unfortunately, that means it only works with compatible cameras. For reference, only the Canon T7i would be compatible out of the cameras we suggested above.

Still, if you do a lot of filming in different locations and tend to hold your camera rather than set it on a tripod, a microphone like this (on a compatible camera) is the only practical solution. If you do get a camera like the Canon T7i, there really isn’t a compelling reason to go with any other kind of microphone.

Lighting

After your camera and your microphone, lighting is probably the most significant piece of hardware you can buy for your YouTube setup.

If you feel your video quality isn’t what it should be, but you can’t afford to step up your camera game, take a look at your lighting. You’d be surprised at how much difference it makes.

Newer 18-Inch Ring Light

Ring lights, as the name suggests, are ring-shaped lights that are ideal for vloggers, and any situation where the subject is directly facing the camera. They cast a smooth, even light directly in front of them. This ring light comes with a stand and smartphone holder, as well as two different filters.

Newer CN-216

The CN-216 is a compact LED panel light that can be mounted on top of a compatible camera, making it an ideal camera for portable filming setups. Of course, you can still mount it on a stand or tripod. It has an adjustable colour temperature and a removable diffusion screen, and clocks in at a ridiculously low price.

Natural Light

It might sound like a bit of a cop-out, but natural light is one of the best lighting sources for your videos there is, and it’s free! Of course, it puts some limitations on when and where you can film, but if natural light is a practical option for your videos, it is by far the best option for YouTuber’s on a budget.

 

Your Phone

For those of us with a relatively modern smartphone—which is most people these days—our phone represents quite possibly the best quality video and audio for the cheapest cost: free. Well, not free, but unless you bought your phone just to film YouTube videos, it is effectively free.

The cameras in modern phones are something of a marvel, making use of various tricks on the software end to make up for the shortcomings of the hardware, a decent phone will blast most budget options out of the water. And some higher-end phones can even record in 4K at a full 60fps.

Of course, your phone isn’t ideal. You can’t see what you’re shooting unless you use the weaker camera on the front. You have to worry about the available storage space when most higher-end phones don’t accept memory cards anymore. Not to mention you may want to use your phone during filming.

But, for all of its shortcomings, your existing phone may well produce a better quality video than the best cameras you can afford. If you find that to be the case, use your phone for now and save up for a better camera, rather than wasting your money on something you can afford that is not very good.

And the Rest

There are plenty of other things you could be spending your money on when it comes to getting your YouTube setup ready, with varying degrees of importance.

For example – as I noted in my deep dive into soundproofing for youtubers blog –  if the space you are recording in is extremely echoey, it might be worth a little of your hard-earned cash to put it right. Acoustic foam tiles are relatively inexpensive, and you don’t need to plaster the whole room with them to get the desired results.

With a bit of research and a little experimentation, you should be able to make a pack of twenty-four go a long way. Failing that, you could always borrow some thick blankets from the cupboard and put them to good use.

Another area that can sometimes get overlooked is the software department. If you are doing anything more than cutting up pieces of footage, you will need some software to do it in. There are free options available for several of the less complex tasks, such as transitions and titles.

However, Adobe is the industry standard for a reason, and its popularity ensures there will always be plenty of resources to help you get started. Before you panic at the thought of hundreds of pounds worth of software, Adobe has long-since switched to a subscription model, which is not as expensive as you might think.

Conclusions

Finding the best hardware is always a little tricky, as you might have noticed with some of our suggestions.

The Logitech webcam is by far the cheapest, but it lacks portability, which makes it unsuitable for YouTubers who like to film on the go.

Meanwhile, a GoPro is excellent for shooting action shots out and about, but not so great for streaming (though the Hero7 has added some limited streaming capabilities).

Be sure to weigh up all the features of any equipment you might be considering purchasing. Price is important, but even a cheap camera is too expensive if it is not suitable for your specific circumstances.

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel?

Internet security has never been as prevalent in the public consciousness as it is now. With significant data breaches a seemingly regular occurrence in the news, double factor authentication increasingly becoming a minimum requirement, and restrictions on how your passwords can be structured making them almost impossible to remember, it’s clear that security is important.

But staying safe online is not just about secure passwords. We have never been more visible than we are right now. We have pages and pages of tweets and Facebook posts and Instagram pics, and much of it is public. Now, be honest with yourself—do you consider the full privacy implications of your social media posts before you hit send?

This post is about YouTube, so you may wonder why we’re talking about Facebook and Twitter, but all will become clear soon enough.

Still, is it safe to have a YouTube channel? Yes, if you are careful. As you grow make sure you think of privacy long term. Always pick safe secure passwords and try not to post your entirely life on the internet – that’s when it gets extremely risky.

Let’s get into it.

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel?

How Can Youtube be Dangerous?

There are different ways in which YouTube could be considered dangerous to the YouTuber posting videos, and it is essential to understand what these ways are if you have any hope of avoiding them. Let’s start with the least sinister one.

Putting All Your Eggs in the YouTube Monetisation Basket

YouTube has a patchy history when it comes to monetisation. It has made a lot of people rich, but it is also notoriously unreliable as an income source. If you’ve been in the YouTube stratosphere for a while, you’ll have heard of the “adpocalypse”.

If you’ve been around long enough, you’ll have heard of multiple adpocalypses.

This is the label name given to the various times that YouTube has made profound, seismic changes to its advertising policies and algorithms. These changes tend to negatively affect YouTuber revenue across the board, and even wipe it out entirely in some cases. One of the more recent adpocalypse’s (the fourth one, if we’re counting) saw many political punditry channels lose all of their revenue more or less overnight. And we’re talking channels with millions of subscribers here.

More recent changes have hit channels whose primary audience is children, with offensive and hateful content being targeted quite early on.

Whether you feel YouTube is overreacting in any of these cases or not isn’t the point here. The point is that in each of these cases, YouTube made significant changes—often without warning—that wiped out entire revenue streams overnight, and there’s no reason to believe it won’t happen again. So what’s the danger here?

The danger lies in your YouTube success reaching a point where you can afford to go full time, and rushing into it. Many people would happily scrape by as a YouTuber rather than make a comfortable wage doing a job they don’t like, but if you take that plunge before you are ready, and YouTube makes changes that hit your channel, you may find yourself in a very sticky situation.

How to Avoid This

First and foremost, don’t rush into a fulltime YouTube career. Be sure to weigh up your options properly, and discuss things with anyone who is likely to be affected by your decision, such as a partner you live with.

If you decide to take the leap, take your time with the transition. Try to build up a reserve of savings if you don’t already have one—at least enough money to cover a few months of living expenses—and the more, the better. That way, if things go wrong, you’ve got a bit breathing room to decide what your next move will be.

Going forward, always be on the lookout for ways to diversify your revenue streams. If you are getting your income from multiple sources, then the sudden disappearance of YouTube monetisation will not hit you as hard. Consider things like Patreon and merchandise sales. Brand deals are another way to monetise your videos without having to worry about what YouTube is planning.

Affiliate marketing can be a great long term source of income but can be a little confusing. I wrote a huge deep dive into affiliate marketing for beginners which will help you with everything you need to know about to

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel? 1

Personal Data

While not strictly a YouTube problem, the opportunities to inadvertently give away potentially damaging personal data as a YouTuber are greater—especially if you are or become popular.

The kinds of personal data we are talking about here include any information that could be used to commit fraud against you.

Let’s look at an example.

You know those security questions you often have to fill out? Things like “What was your mother’s maiden name?”, and, “What was the name of your first pet?”. If you use the real answers to those questions, and you happen to mention that bit of information in a video, you could be providing someone with a vital piece of the puzzle if they want to break into your accounts. It is easily done. After all—what’s the harm in mentioning that your first pet was a cat called Fluffy, right?

Another example of this kind of danger would be inadvertently showing a password or other sensitive information in your video. One example might be doing an unboxing video and having a clear shot of the address label. Another might be signing up for something in the video and typing a password in clear text that you use for other accounts.

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel? 2

How to Avoid This

Try to avoid the possibility of situations like those mentioned above happening in the first place. If you are doing an unboxing video, make sure any labels are covered up, that way you don’t have to worry about whether they end up in the shot.

The best way to prevent any of this from getting to your channel, of course, it a watchful eye in the editing process. If you don’t have an editing process, it might be time to develop one. Even if you only watch the video through to check for problems like this, you should always give your footage the once over before publishing. If nothing else it is a matter of quality control, but it also allows you to make absolutely sure you haven’t inadvertently filmed a clear shot of your credit card!

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel? 3

Personal Safety

We mentioned the word “sinister” earlier on in the post, and with good reason. It is an unfortunate reality of the human experience that there are deeply unpleasant people out there. These may be people you know from your real life, such as abusive family members or people who have a grudge against you, but the Internet has its fair share of unpleasant strangers as well.

It is one thing receiving a threat of physical violence from a stranger on the Internet when they know nothing about you, but it’s an entirely different prospect when that stranger has managed to piece together your home address from the information you’ve sprinkled throughout your videos. This is something that the popular YouTuber and Twitch streamer Sweet Anita has had to deal with recently. Her situation has progressed to the point that she even had to take a restraining order out against one unhinged individual who figured out where she lived and even moved to her town permanently.

Of course, this is an extreme example, but it is not nearly as uncommon as it should be, and while most threats of violence are just that—threats—it is something that every YouTuber should be aware of going in.

How to Avoid This

The kinds of people who behave like this are not particularly prone to reason, so there is no sense in attempting to moderate your content so as not to attract the attention of dangerous individuals.

Unfortunately, the only way to really protect against this kind of thing is to keep an airtight lockdown on your personal information. Don’t let any private information become public. Doing this means careful consideration of your actions outside of YouTube, but that’s where our next topic comes in…

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel? 5

Keeping Your Private Information Private

Okay, most of us know not to go sharing bank details through random links, and to use a password that isn’t easily guessable, but there are many ways to inadvertently give away your personal data that are not as obvious.

For example, when you register a domain name, the name and address you register it under is publicly available and easy to find unless you pay for domain privacy protection.

Another way you might not have considered is geotagged information. For example; location data on your pictures, or routes from your latest run. It can be very tempting to share your latest Strava personal best but have you considered what information your route gives away. If you started and finished at your home, that’s not going to take much deciphering. Still, any run in your local area will allow nefarious actors to narrow down your location.

Do you use your real name on YouTube and also have a LinkedIn profile that lists your current employer? What about pictures from your home where distinguishable landmarks are visible in the shot?

Of course, there is such a thing as being paranoid, and there is only so much you can reasonably do to keep yourself safe before it becomes more practical just to stop being on YouTube altogether. A significant portion of this is knowing the risks, even if you don’t plan to mitigate all of them.

Tips for Staying Safe

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this post, so we thought it would be nice to break down some of the more actionable tips for keeping yourself safe as a YouTuber.

This is not necessarily a “bare minimum” situation since every action you take should be subjectively judged on what is best for you, but these are some of the more fundamental aspects of YouTube safety. In other words, make sure you have a good reason for not doing any of the following.

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel? 6

Keep Your Residence Private

For most of us, our home is our set. Having a separate “studio” is a luxury that many can’t justify. Still, that doesn’t mean your home has to be recognisable.

Try to limit filming to areas where nothing distinguishable is around. For example, if you live in an apartment in New York with the Empire State Building behind you, avoid shooting with the window behind you.

Of course, it should go without saying that you shouldn’t give out your address.

Do Not Let Trackable Information Become Public

We have mentioned avoiding things like packing labels being visible in your video, but there are other ways information like that can get out. For example, if you accept packages from viewers, do not use your home address for the delivery of those packages. PO boxes may cost money, but they should be considered essential if you want to give your viewers a mailing address.

Consider using services like Google Voice instead of any landline phone numbers.

And, finally, while it may not seem like a big deal, consider keeping your birthday private, especially if your full name is public. A lot of information can be uncovered about someone with just their full name and a birthday.

Is it Safe to Have a YouTube Channel? 7

Do Not Make Travel Plans Public

This tip is more of a general Internet safety tip, rather than a YouTube specific one, but announcing to the world that your house will be empty for two weeks is not a great plan.

Especially if you are a notable figure on YouTube. If you’ve handled yourself carefully, it won’t matter because no one will know your home address, but it’s better not to run the risk and come home to a ransacked house.

Google Yourself

We know it’s generally considered vain and narcissistic to Google your own name, but you will be doing it for a good reason. Your aim is to try and stalk yourself and see what you can find out.

Remember, unless you’re a cyber-security expert, the chances are there will be people out there who can find more than you can. So, if you manage to uncover personal information about yourself through a bit of intensive Googling, you can bet others can as well.

Use this information to shut down any leaks in your online privacy, and keep you and your loved ones safe.

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

YouTube 4K Vs 1080p

In what might seem like something of a contradiction, 1080p has, for a few years now, been considered both the bare minimum and the peak of quality for YouTube videos. Brought about mainly by the plummeting costs of hardware capable of recording in 1080p, it is generally considered inexcusable to upload a video at a lower resolution.

But at the same time, so few people are viewing YouTube at a higher resolution than 1080p that it becomes impractical to move to something more.

But something more is on the table, of course. 4K video has arrived, and its popularity is growing. But how does 4K compare to our old friend, 1080p? And what does it mean for the future of YouTube?

Should I Upload 4K to YouTube? 2

What is Resolution?

Let’s start with a crash course in the basics. Both 1080p and 4K are resolutions. Resolution—in the context of displays, such as your phone screen, or computer monitor—is the number of pixels that screen can fit. A pixel is a tiny dot of light that represents the smallest thing that can be drawn on the screen.

The larger the resolution, the more detail you can fit on your screen. Think of it in terms of trying to create a picture using a fine pencil vs using a broad paintbrush, but both are on the same size canvas. You can get considerably more detail into your picture with a fine-tipped pencil.

1080p, also known as “Full HD”, has been the standard resolution for monitors and televisions for a number of years now, and we’ve come to expect it as a minimum. Many people who mostly grew up around 1080p are shocked the first time they see 480p—the resolution that televisions used to display.

4K, so-called because it has nearly 4,000 horizontal pixels (it also has exactly 4x the number of pixels as 1080p, but that is just a coincidence), is next standard that television manufacturers are hanging their hat on.

There are resolutions in between the two—2K is a thing, for example—but it is 4K that has been picked to succeed 1080p as the standard.

What is the Difference Between 1080p and 4K

Let’s start with the resolution since we’ve just explained what that is. 1080p is 1920×1080. That’s 1920 pixels across and 1080 pixels down, and it is the 1080 pixels down that gives this resolution its name. The “p” stands for “progressive scan”, which means all the horizontal lines of the pixels are drawn in sequence.

This an alternative to interlaced video, where every other line is drawn first followed by the remaining lines to give the impression of a higher framerate. Smaller resolutions are also labelled this way, with 720p and 480p being the main two resolutions below 1080p that you will find in televisions.

Let’s just briefly touch on aspect ratios. This is the relative size of the horizontal edge of the display vs the vertical. So for a 4:3 display, there will be four horizontal pixels for every three vertical pixels. This is relevant because it is possible to have a 1080p display that is considerably wider than 1920 pixels across. For the purposes of this post, however, we’re going to be referring to 16:9 aspect ratios unless otherwise stated, as that is the most common ratio found in televisions and monitors. Now, about 4K.

4K, on the other hand, is 3840×2160. If you’re wondering why it is not labelled 2160p, it’s purely a market thing. “4K” sounds cooler. There is a commonly used resolution (in PC monitors, not televisions) in between 1080p and 4K, which goes by both 1440p and 2K, depending on the mood of the person talking about it.

The numbers tend not to look too impressive when laid out as horizontal and vertical counts, but when you total up the number of pixels on screen, the difference is a little more apparent. A 1080p screen holds 2,073,600 pixels. That’s a lot of pixels. However, a 4K display holds 8,294,400 pixels.

That’s quite a difference.

In terms of direct differences, that’s about the start and end of it. However, there are further differences that come as a natural result of that difference in resolution. For one thing, the bandwidth needed to stream 4K content is considerably higher than that of 1080p, something that is particularly relevant when we’re talking about YouTube 4K Vs 1080p. The amount scales as you’d expect. Where 1080p requires somewhere between 8-12 Mbps to stream, 4K requires 40-70 Mbps. This is particularly important for the next section.

Another difference due to the increased size of the video is the computing power it takes to edit 4K content. Video editing is an intensive process at the best of times, and making that video 4x bigger requires a capable machine.

Should I Upload 4K to YouTube? 1

4K Compression

Compression is a complicated topic that would take a post the size of this one all of its own and probably still not do the subject matter justice.

To simplify it down to something we can fit in one section, it involves replacing repetitive information with more efficient ways of storing that information. For example, if the top row of pixels in a 4K picture is entirely black, that’s 3,840 pixels-worth of information, but each pixel is identical.

Rather than storing every single pixel, a compression algorithm might store data for the first of those pixels that include the colour, but then it would state how many pixels it repeats for. Using a simple method like this, the nearly 3,840 bytes-worth (1 byte per pixel) of information required for that top row of pixels could be reduced to something more like 24 bytes.

That’s 160x less memory being used to store the same amount of information!

Of course, when we’re talking about video footage, it’s not that common to get large areas of identical pixels, and as a result, the compression algorithms are far more complex than the example we just gave. Still, it helps to illustrate what is going on. But why is this relevant to YouTube?

Well, YouTube is in the bandwidth game, big time. In 2019, 500 hours of video were being uploaded to YouTube every minute, with over 250 million hours of video being watched every day. When you are dealing with that much bandwidth, even a tiny improvement in your compression algorithms can represent millions of dollars.

So, here’s the kicker. As you might have guessed from the woefully inadequate explanation of compression above, the busier a picture is, the less it can be compressed. In fact, if you had a frame of 4K video where every pixel was a different colour, it would be impossible to compress it without losing information. Now, 4K captures a lot of detail, and for the most part, a lot of that detail goes unnoticed. YouTube knows this, and so they tweak their compression algorithms to be a little more… keen.

If there is only a relatively small difference between two pixels, such as you might get from film grain, then it won’t make a noticeable difference to the video, but it could save an extra megabyte of bandwidth per frame. When you consider that a typical video will have at least 24 frames per second—with some videos being as high as 60 frames per second—you can see why YouTube might be willing to sacrifice a little of that detail.

Should I Upload 4K to YouTube?

Size Matters… With Your Screen

There is a thing called “pixel density” which refers to the number of pixels in a physical area and is measured in “pixels per inch”, or PPI. To understand what this represents in practice, imagine an iPad-like device with a 1080p resolution. Now consider a standard 21″ computer monitor with the same resolution.

Both devices are displaying the exact same number of pixels, but one of them is packing those pixels into a much smaller space. The higher the PPI, the more pixels there are crammed in, and the clearer the image looks.

There is a point, however, where pixel density becomes so great that the human eye is no longer capable of discerning the increased detail. This translates to a little over 300ppi. What that means, in practical terms, is that once you get above that threshold, there is no benefit to increasing it further, as our eyes literally cannot tell the difference.

As we’ve established, 4K has around 4x the number of pixels that 1080p has. This means that the critical pixel density we mentioned, where the human eye stops being able to tell the difference, is on a screen size of around 13″ for 4K, but is down to 6.5″ for 1080p.

What does this mean for YouTubers? Well, mobile phones—which often have screens between five and six inches—are the most popular way to consume YouTube content. That means that the majority of YouTube videos are watched on devices where there is no benefit to being in 4K since the viewer can’t tell the difference visually. Furthermore, only a tiny portion of computers running a 4K resolution are currently active on the Internet, meaning that of the people looking at a big enough screen to do 4K justice, the vast majority of them are not using a screen capable of displaying 4K content at all.

Recording 1080p Vs Recording 4K

What about recording video? By now, 1080p is ubiquitous in the sense that it is difficult to buy a device that doesn’t support 1080p.

Even budget webcams offer 1080p, and phones have long since moved beyond that barrier. 4K, on the other hand, may require you to buy a specific device (though you might already have one capable of recording in 4K).

It also requires more effort in setting up your recording space, more time spent encoding and uploading, and more power in your computer to edit that enormous video file.

YouTube 4K Vs 1080p

When you factor everything in, 4K begins to look like a lot of extra work for not much reward. Still, when comparing it to 1080p, there is little argument to be made against it in terms of quality.

While our eyes may have maxed out when it comes to mobile phone screens, computer monitors and TVs still have plenty of room to expand, and it is here where 4K YouTube content will make the most difference.

We can’t, in all seriousness, recommend that you take any difficult steps to move to 4K at this moment in time, but there will come a time when it is a necessary move. And, given that YouTube automatically scales video down to suit the device, there’s no downside to uploading 4K content if you can.

But if you can’t, and if you’re not thrilled about the idea of investing more time and money in your channel at this stage, don’t worry about it. 1080p will do just fine for now.

Should I Upload 4K to YouTube? 3

Maybe you are a youtuber and you want to know if uploading in 4K vs 1080p is better for YouTube? I have a deep dive into this and youll be surpised how much impact it could have on your views.

Finally, there is the issue of streaming. Internet speeds may be increasing all the time, but many homes don’t have a fast enough connection to stream 4K content, and certainly not at higher frame rates.

For reference, here are the different standard resolutions broken down.

Resolution Up to 30FPS Up to 60FPS
2160p (4k) 3840×2160 35-45 Mbps 53-68 Mbps
1440p (2k) 2560×1440 16 Mbps 24 Mbps
1080p (Full HD) 1920×1080 8 Mbps 12 Mbps
720p (Std HD) 1280×720 5 Mbps 7.5 Mbps
480p (DVD) 720×480 4 Mbps 4 Mbps

Conclusions

4K represents something of an inevitability for YouTubers. Even if the majority of viewers didn’t care, PC gaming and television sales are bringing 4K displays into the mainstream, and once people have 4K, they typically want to use it.

Whether this represents any kind of significant opportunity to find new subscribers through providing that 4K content at a time when there isn’t much of it will remain to be seen. But it is undoubtedly something of a unique feather for your cap.

As for switching to 4K, there’s no rush. If moving to 4K for you would be a frictionless affair, it is certainly worth doing. As mentioned above, YouTube will scale your videos down when needed, so the only reason not to go to 4K is the added costs and inconvenience to you. If those inconveniences don’t worry you, make the switch. You’ll be giving your channel a certain amount of prestige while also future-proofing your content for such a time when 4K does become the standard resolution. When this happens, you will not only be providing 4K content for your viewers, you will be established as a channel which provides 4K content.

And, when you’re all set up and producing stunning 4K content for your YouTube channel, you can begin planning for the next big thing—8K

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS ON YOUTUBE YOUTUBE

8 Tips to Grow Your YouTube Channel From Zero

Growing a YouTube channel from scratch can be challenging and frustrating.

All that time, planning, recording, and editing content, and when you finally upload it to your channel – tumbleweeds.  You may as well have filmed paint drying for all the good it’s done you!

Fear not.  There are techniques and tips for growing your channel from zero.  Methods you can use to pull in viewers, get more subscribers, and turn those tumbleweeds into roses.

This article gives you eight handy tips you can apply today to grow your YouTube channel, even if you’re starting out from zero.

Let’s get going.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a YouTube Channel? 1

Tip 1 – Make A Start!

To grow a successful YouTube channel from zero means you have to shoot, edit, and upload engaging, entertaining videos regularly.

Thinking about your channel is not the path to success, you need to sit in front of the camera, hit record, and start talking.

You won’t know if you are on the right track for your channel until you’ve uploaded several videos to YouTube, monitored feedback, and made optimised changes to your content.

And don’t worry if you are not that polished at the start.  If you take a look at the earliest videos of now  successful channels, you’ll see how rough and they were when they first began.

8 Tips to Grow Your YouTube Channel From Scratch or Zero

Uploading videos regularly is an absolutely critical step. The crucial factor of feedback comes in several forms; likes and dislikes, comments, and some vital analytics found in your YouTube account.

When you find out what works, you can use the information to make better videos.

But when you start out, resist the temptation to go on a filming frenzy pumping out one video after another. Think about the fable of the tortoise and the hare.

Long term consistency wins over unsustainable short term intensity every time. Slow and steady progress is much better.

Tip 2 – Focus Your Channel on a Single Niche

YouTube channels that jump from topic to topic often confuse people. Viewers are used to channels being about one subject only. So make sure that you make videos that focus around one niche and compliment other content in your channel.

For example, If you like both football and scary videos create a separate channel for each. But if your channel is about beauty, then it’s OK to have videos for nail polish, hair, or skin cleansing, as they all fit under the beauty umbrella.

One of the significant benefits of making your channel about a single niche is the possibility of building viewer feedback loops.  That may sound complicated but actually refers to how YouTube works to keep viewers hooked on the site and watching more videos.

As a user watches content, YouTube shows a list of recommended videos (even autoplay them) to keep viewers hooked. YouTube wants to keep people on the site and is good at guessing what a viewer wants to watch next.

If your channel is all about a single niche, then you can take advantage of this.

When a viewer is watching one of my videos, YouTube determines that the user will probably want to see more videos about YouTube education. So other videos from my channel are displayed for them to watch next.

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Tip 3 – Model What Is Already Working

Learn the rules of what makes a video successful and stick to them.  Over time, through trial and error, Youtubers have learned how to best combine content, editing and presenting styles into winning videos. Model your self on a popular channel and don’t get experimental – understand the rules before you break them.

Emulating a successful channel does not mean copying one though. This famous quote illustrates the point nicely.

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Find 10 popular channels currently uploading in your chosen niche.  Next, look at the 10 most popular videos for each of those channels and start writing down a list of content ideas. Just because the concepts have already been covered doesn’t mean you can’t take the same idea then do a better job.

Think about how those channels present their content.  Is most of the presenting face on, or maybe they have footage of their hands from overhead?  Perhaps they have lots of computer screen recordings?

Take the best bits of the successful channels, mix them together, then put your own spin on it.

And you must try to make evergreen content.  Evergreen content is videos that will be relevant for a long time in the future.  Your aim should be to build up an extensive back catalogue of content that viewers find useful and compelling, even when they discover your channel a year from now.

If you made a gossip style video about the latest spat between your two favourite singers, you might get a short-term spike in traffic. Still, no-one will care in a year when everyone’s moved on.

Most YouTube videos fall into one of two categories – education and entertainment. If you can manage to do both, even better.

Tip 4 – Work Out How to Keep People Watching for Longer

YouTube makes money when viewers watch adverts. So YouTube strives to keep audiences watching content for as long a possible. It follows then that a significant factor for YouTube in deciding how to rank and recommend videos is by a metric called watch time.

Most people won’t watch a video on YouTube all the way through.  There are too many distractions nowadays, and attention spans are at an all-time low. So YouTube wants viewers to watch videos that are proven to hold their attention.

As a result, they serve up search results and video recommendations from channels with proven good watch times.

There are steps you can take to keep your viewers tuned into your content, and you’ll probably recognise a lot of them from your YouTube browsing.  Everyone uses them because they work and play a big part in keeping viewers engaged.

Keep Intros short and sweet.  Try to keep your intro screen and any welcome message under 20 seconds.

Signpost content in longer videos. If your content is over 10 minutes, think about telling people what’s coming up in the next segment to keep them hooked in.

Tease the most compelling part of your video.  Place the highlight of your video towards the end, but let the viewer know what’s coming and why they must watch the whole video first.

If you can get 50 percent of your viewers to watch over 50 percent of your videos on average, then you will be doing well, and your channel could be on its way to success.

Tip 5 – Create Clickable Titles and Thumbnails

Your channel can only start to grow if people watch your videos. Yet, people will only watch your video if you have a snappy title and a compelling thumbnail for it. Let’s take a more in-depth look at both.

Titles

Your titles need to present a promise to the viewer, usually in one of the three following categories:

Intrigue – Don’t give the game away with your title, use phrases like ‘why was this’ and ‘might surprise you’ to build a compelling reason to click on your video.

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FOMO – Fear of missing out.  This usually works best with new information.  This type of title plays on the human desire not to be out of the loop.  Or even better, know something that no-one else knows.

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Best Top Worst!  – Another peculiar human trait is our need to rank things.  Everyone does it.  From Tennis players to chocolate cookies, we all have an opinion or would like to find out what is best, top, or worst.

Don’t use a title like ‘My favourite digital cameras’ – ‘The top 10 DSLRs ranked definitively and which one you should buy?’ will outperform it every time.

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Thumbnails

Thumbnails need to be amazing too.  It’s the shop window for your video. You’ll usually want to include a picture of yourself on the thumbnail, especially if you are going to be presenting on camera.

Add in text too – some people are more visual and won’t read your title.  A short four or five-word headline that summarises the video helps people narrow down what to watch next. Avoid using fonts with fancy styles and keep your text clean and clear, so it’s easy to read.

Make sure you keep all the elements of your thumbnail big.  Don’t forget that people also watch YouTube on mobile, so your thumbnail will still need to work on smaller smartphone screens.

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If you need help in leveling up your thumbnails I have check you my YouTube Thumbnail Pack – 75+ easy edit YouTube Thumbnail designs to help you make eye catching, professional looking thumbnails – improve click through rates and get more views.

Tip 6 – Optimise Your Content Based on Analytics

70% of all the videos watched on YouTube are those recommended by the YouTube algorithm.  YouTube understands what engages viewers and knows what videos to recommend next to keep them on the platform.

One of the significant factors for getting your videos recommended is how long the average viewer watches your content.  Known as Watch Time, it’s an important metric that you should understand and keep a close eye on.

To improve average watch time, use audience retention analysis.  This metric shows second-by-second when your audience stops watching your video.  In the screen-grab below you can see the audience starts at 100% then quickly drops off to just around 55%.

This means that the video in question may have had a lengthy introduction that viewers found annoying, or the content didn’t live up to the promise of the title. So some users navigated away to find another video.

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There are lots of ways you can use analytics to improve and grow your channel. Read this post to find out more about using analytics for channel growth.

Tip 7 – Build Traffic Funnels

When you start getting traffic to your channel, there are several ways to hold on to that traffic and funnel it to your other videos. It’s better than letting to go to other channels, right?

Create a series.

If you have a content idea that is relatively broad, think about creating a series of videos for the topic, like in the example below for a Microsoft Teams software tutorial.

8 Tips to Grow Your YouTube Channel From Scratch or Zero 9

As long as you don’t give away the lion’s share of the information in the first video, viewers are more likely to watch the next in the series. Set up teasers about what’s in the following video in the series to help funnel the traffic over.

Make sure that the content in a series of videos works on a standalone basis as well.  Briefly recap the lessons from previous videos before you begin the content of the next in the series, so viewers know the context.

Create Playlists

If you don’t have content that works as a series but has a similar theme, consider building a channel playlist. 5-Minute Crafts’s channel has thematic playlists containing hundreds of videos with hours of watch time in each.

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When a view hits play all, Youtube shows one video after another on the playlist – ensuring good watch time (and ad revenue).

Use Cards

Cards are the term given to grey boxes you can set to display in the corner of your video.

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You can use cards to link to other channels, websites, or polls.  But, perhaps the best use for them is to link to your other video content.

If you found a place in one of your videos that your audience retention analytics showed some viewers dropping out.  Set up a card just before this point to funnel the traffic to other complementary content on your channel.

Find out more about adding cards in YouTube Studio.

Use End screens

When a viewer gets to the end of your video, use an end screen to promote another video. It’s best if you only suggest one video.  Having a single call-to-action is better than adding multiple links to lots of your videos and hoping the viewer clicks one.

This tip works even better if you plan ahead. Trail the video you will link to in the end screen of the video you’ll place it on.

Find out how to add and end screen.

Tip 8 – Don’t Give Up!

It takes time and dedication to build up a successful YouTube channel.  And when you get started, it can seem like you are trying really hard for little reward. YouTube is peppered with channels where the creator burned out and stopped after only uploading six or seven videos.

There is a concept for entrepreneurs that is illustrated by the ‘S’ curve.  When a new venture begins, frustration builds as little happens. And it’s not uncommon to think that you’ve wasted your time and everything is destined to fail.

But there comes the point, known as the inflection point, where things start clicking into place. Suddenly the venture rockets away, and it becomes successful.

8 Tips to Grow Your YouTube Channel From Scratch or Zero 12 Image Source: innospective.net

Most people quit before the inflection point, which is why it pays to stick with your plan and keep on working hard. Commit yourself to upload at least a video per week for six months.

Monitor feedback from the comments and analytics and use it to improve and make better videos.  Don’t give up!

Conclusion

Growing a successful YouTube channel isn’t easy – but it’s not impossible either.  Those that are successful know that achieving success takes time.  It requires careful planning, listening to feedback, and interpreting channel analytics.

There are tried and tested techniques you can use to attract and keep viewers watching your videos.

Experiment using the tips above in your videos, and see what difference it can make to your channel. There are tens of thousands of people making a living from YouTube. Will you become one of them?

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YouTube Analytics Explained And How to Use Them for Channel Growth

There are over five billion videos on YouTube. So, if you’ve been creating videos with clickbait titles in the hope of going viral, you may as well buy a lottery ticket – it’s no plan for channel growth.

Growing a YouTube channel is a long-term venture. Best achieved by regularly uploading quality videos that give your audience more of what they are looking for.

When you are trying to grow, it’s natural to want to compare yourself to other channels, but resist the temptation! YouTube channels exist in viewer bubbles – it’s your unique combination of content, presentation and production values that keeps your viewers watching.

But you don’t nail it every time. So how do you figure out what it is your audience likes most about your channel?  Sure you can keep an eye on your likes, dislikes, and comments, but these don’t give you the full picture.

Fortunately, YouTube provides you with a sharper view, with lots of in-depth analytics about your channel.

This post looks at how you can use your analytics to better understand your audience and how you then use that knowledge to grow your channel.  First, though,  it’s crucial to know how YouTube ranks videos and why clickbait doesn’t work.

Can YouTubers Control Which Ads Are Shown? 5

How YouTube Ranks Videos

Before 2012, YouTube ranked videos based solely on view count.  It didn’t matter if a viewer watched one second or five minutes, both counted as a view.

This led to an increase in YouTubers using clickbait titles to try and game the system.  YouTube had to do something – video content frequently wasn’t delivering on the promise of the title.

So after 2012, Youtube added in watch time and session duration to its ranking algorithm, resulting in an improvement of content quality.  Today, YouTube also puts ranking weight on how engaged viewers are with content.  Relying on things like watch time, likes and dislikes, and subscribes, amongst other factors.

YouTube wants to keep users on the platform, consuming content and viewing paid advertisements.

And did you know that 70% of all videos viewed on YouTube are those suggested by the YouTube ranking algorithm? If you want to grow your channel and appear more in the YouTube recommended video lists, then you need to find out what parts of your content users like most, and plan more of it.

But, before you use your analytics to make content decisions, make sure you have uploaded a minimum of 20-30 videos.  Data on only five or six videos will not be helpful enough to draw conclusions from. So if you have only uploaded a few videos so far, first work on recording and uploading more videos.

Where to Find YouTube Analytics

To access your analytics, first, log in to your YouTube account.  Next in the top right of the screen, click on the small circle showing your profile picture or first initial.  Then, from the drop-down menu, select ‘YouTube Studio’.

YouTube Analytics Explained And How to Use Them for Channel Growth 1

When the channel dashboard loads, on the left-hand menu, select ‘Analytics’.

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The main Analytics screen then loads.

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How to Use YouTube Video Views Analytics.

You may think you know what your audience wants. But, until you see how viewers actually interact with your channel, you can’t be totally sure. To start the process on the main analytics screen, make sure you have the ‘Views’ tab selected and click ‘see more’.

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This loads up a more detailed list of your videos and some headline analytics.  First, make sure that you have all the ‘lifetime’ data of your channel showing by selecting the data function in the top right corner of the screen.

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Then from the drop-down list, select the ‘Lifetime’ option, which will show all the analytics data from the time your channel started.

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Next sort your videos in descending order of views so that your most-watched videos are at the top.

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Use this list to gauge what your audience likes about your channel. Figure out why your popular videos are doing better than ones that fell flat. See if there’s a pattern. Are your most popular videos a hot topic? Maybe useful tutorials or when you live streams.

Whatever the reason, the content of those videos is the kind that your channel viewers find most compelling.  Look for these trends then aim to make more videos like them.

For example, I made a video about how to make a playlist on YouTube which was well received.  When my analytics showed me how popular it was, I created another one, this time showing three ways to make a playlist.

YouTube Impressions and Click-Through Rates Explained.

In the same analytics section as Video Views, further along there are two other columns titled ‘impressions’ and ‘impressions click-through rates’.

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These data in those columns indicate:

Impressions. The number of times a video thumbnail has been seen, either from a search or by YouTube suggestion.

Impressions click-through rate.  The percentage of times a viewer saw your thumbnail and clicked on it to watch your video.

Now, say that your click-through rate is 2%, if you can get that up to 4% then you will double your video viewers.  So the impressions and impressions click-throughs measure how good your thumbnail and titles are.

Re-order your click-through rate column, again by descending order, and take a look at your best performing titles and thumbnails. What makes the top ones stand out from other titles and thumbnails?  Perhaps a thumbnail was well composed, or it could be the title was snappy.

Use this feedback to improve your existing thumbnails and titles, then use what you’ve learned when you create them for your new content too.

If you need help getting started with Thumbnails, why not check out my Thumbnail Pack where I give you 75+ easy to edit psd template files to help you level up your thumbnail game and get more views!

Use Your YouTube Subscribers Analytics to Plan Content

Now let’s take a look at subscriber analytics and how you can use them to grow your channel.  In the same ‘see more’ section you used for the video view count locate the column headed ‘Subscribers’.

Make sure the time period is showing the lifetime data again and order the data in descending order.

YouTube Analytics Explained And How to Use Them for Channel Growth 9

Follow the same process as before and examine the top videos to see what the common factors were. Did they have a certain length, content topic, or presenting style?  Maybe you made a request or showed an extended caption asking viewers to subscribe in a different way to your other videos.

Whatever the factor, plan new content that replicates it.  Whether it’s similar, updated, or complimentary, the analytics are telling you that certain content you make turns a section of your viewers into subscribers. Do it again.

If you make a successful video about knitting a jumper, make one for knitting a hoodie.  If you made one showing how to find a weapon in a game, make one for how to use it.

YouTube Watch Time – The Most Important Metric?

Of course, views and subscribers are essential to understand.  But an arguably more important metric for YouTube is watch time. Watch time is an estimation of total hours spent by viewers watching your videos.

On the main analytics screen, select the tab showing ‘Watch time (hours) then select ‘see more’ at the bottom.

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As I mentioned earlier, YouTube ranks videos, in part, by how long viewers watch videos. Why do they do this? Because it demonstrates how engaging and useful your videos are to your viewers.

It makes sense when you understand that YouTube’s entire business model is to keep people viewing content and adverts on their platform.  It follows then, that channels which get good overall watch time are more likely to show up for searches, or in a selection of videos that YouTube recommends.

So, if you are getting click-throughs and good view counts, but people aren’t watching many hours of your videos then (there is no way to sugar coat this) you need to make better videos.

Fortunately, YouTube offers data you can use to see precisely when viewers stopped watching your video; audience retention.

YouTube Audience Retention Metric Explained

The audience retention metric is shown as a percentage figure.  If you upload a ten-minute video and your audience, on average, watches five minutes, then you’ll have an audience retention measure of 50%.

Select one of your videos to view the analytics screen shown below, then click ‘see more’ in the audience retention section.

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As you can see, in the graph below, audience retention starts at 100% and over time gradually drops off as viewers stop watching the video. In the example below the overall retention rate is 30.4%

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You can play your video and watch as it tracks along the graph so you can see what you were doing at the time when viewers stopped watching.

Did you lose a lot of viewers when your content got a bit dry or technical? Maybe you had a section you felt was amusing but turned your viewers off?

This is a powerful tool.  It gives you feedback on what works and doesn’t work.  You can use it to help you plan future content and give your audience more of what they want.

Also, did you notice the bump in the graph?

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How can audience retention go up if viewers have gone away?  This bump tells you that viewers are coming back to rewatch a portion of your video. Whatever you were doing at that part of the video is clearly of value to your audience, so it’s a good idea to do more similar content.

Conclusion

Getting to grips with your analytics shouldn’t be as scary as it sounds.  Once you understand what they represent and how you can use them to understand your viewers, you’ll probably find yourself hooked on them.

And we’ve only scratched the surface here. There are lots of other metrics in your analytics that help you make better videos.  There are also analytics for things like audience demographics and YouTube features like cards.

Explore the entire analytics section to see what other metrics you can use to fuel YouTube channel growth.

If you need more help to stand out, optimise and brand your videos better – check out my resources page where I list everything I use to grow my channel.

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How Much of a Song Can You Use on YouTube Without Copyright?

Music is a powerful tool in video editing. It can add emphasis, emotional impact, and generally change the whole tone of a scene or clip. There is a wealth of free music available, of course.

YouTube itself has a significant library of free-to-use music that you can choose from. But there are times when royalty-free music won’t do.

Whether you’re reviewing songs or you just need a particular song for your content, you’ll no doubt be aware of the minefield that is copyrighted music. You may even be aware of fair use, but don’t worry if you’re not; we’re going to get into all of that soon.

Most YouTubers are aware that you can’t just grab copyrighted music (or any content, for that matter) and put it in your video. At least, not without inevitable consequences. At best you will lose your ability to monetize that video, at worst you will get a copyright strike against your channel, and enough of those will lose your channel entirely!

So, how much of a song can you use on YouTube without copyright coming to bite you in the backside? – The short answer is none! You will need a buy a license to use popular tracks or will need to enter into revenue shares with some artists if they are part of the YouTube Audio Library. If you want music in your videos it is best to use royalty free services or make your own music.

The answer more honest answer is, it complicated – so if you’re with us, we’re about to dive a little deeper.

What is “Fair Use”?

As we’re about to get into a subject matter that strays a little close to legal advice, we must stress that is emphatically not legal advice.

Always seek the advice of a qualified law professional before doing anything that might potentially land you in legal trouble. Now, with that out of the way, let’s get into what fair use is.

Fair use is the name given to the use of copyrighted material in some instances where the use is limited or transformative. You may be wondering what “transformative” means, and you wouldn’t be alone. Inordinate amounts of money have been spent trying to find a clear definition of what constitutes transformative but to no avail.

Established examples of a transformative use of copyrighted material include commentary and criticism, such as news programs showing clips of something accompanied by commentary about that thing. Another example is parody videos.

There is a common myth or misunderstanding that you are allowed to use a certain amount of copyrighted content—a few seconds, say—and you will be protected by fair use. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Fair use covers how copyrighted content is used, not the amount of it.

While it is highly unlikely, it is theoretically possible that the use of copyrighted material in its entirety could be protected by fair use. It would be tough to justify, of course, and the less of a piece of copyrighted material you use, the easier it is to claim that you are using it for transformative means, rather than just stealing it.

It is here that the myth of using only a few seconds comes from; most successful examples of fair use on YouTube are short clips, but the shortness is not what makes them a successful example of fair use. We’ll get more into what these successful examples look like shortly.

To avoid falling into dangerous waters I always use licensing companies like LickD – I pay a small fee per track and know I am covered from all the legal potholes. Go check LickD out, they have a wide selection of popular song and chart music on their website and you can even get one track free!

Fair Use is Not Protection

The main trap people fall into when dealing with fair use is in thinking that it is some kind of protection against copyright claims or lawsuits, but this is not the case.

Fair use is a defense, not a protection. There is no one-size-fits-all application of fair use that a company like YouTube could apply to your usage of copyrighted material. As such, fair use is decided on a case-by-case basis…

…in court.

Yes, unfortunately, the only way to prove you are using copyrighted content within the remit of fair use is by going to court and having them agree with you. And, unless you have a lot of spare cash and time on your hands, the only way that is likely to happen is if you get sued by a copyright holder. Not ideal.

An unfortunate side effect of this is that large copyright holders tend to bludgeon smaller entities with copyright take-downs, knowing full well that the average YouTuber will not have the means to challenge the claim on a legal footing. Combine this with increasingly automated copyright infringement detection employed by YouTube, and you have a scenario in which it is very difficult to use copyrighted content in any capacity.

There are even instances of YouTubers creating cover versions of popular songs using household objects—such as couch cushions and doors—getting copyright claims against them by the owner of the song they are covering.

If you are struggling for places to find free to use and completely safe music – I made a deep dive video on all the places you can find music for free online.

How Much of a Song Can You Use on YouTube Without Copyright Issues?

Now that we’ve taken a deeper dive into how fair use works, we hope it makes more sense when we tell you that the answer to how much of a song you can use without copyright problems is, practically speaking, none.

The reason we say this is because the music industry is particularly aggressive when it comes to protecting its intellectual property. They are not interested in the fair use arguments and will go after any use of their music that they become aware of. Couple that with YouTube’s automated copyright infringement detection, and you have a situation where any attempt to use copyrighted music will likely get flagged.

If the infringement exists (that is, the copyright holder attributed does, in fact, own the copyright to the material in your video), then your only recourse would be to take that copyright holder to court.

It would be extremely unlikely to reach a point where the copyright holder would take you to court, however, as YouTube has plenty of mechanisms in place to protect their interests. From monetizing your video and sending them the proceeds, to removing your channel from the platform entirely.

YouTube will not allow you to infringe copyright continually, so it would take an extremely keen legal department at some music label to see you in taken to court before YouTube resolves the issue for them.

Can YouTubers Control Which Ads Are Shown? 1

Examples of Fair Use

Copying works across a variety of different mediums, including broadcast, is permitted when the use is for examination or instruction, in an academic or industry setting, as long as it meets certain guidelines. Obviously, this is unlikely to apply to your average YouTuber.

An example more relevant to YouTube, however, is using copyrighted content for quotation, critique, or review. Of course, if you post an entire album with little to no commentary, you will struggle to make an argument for fair use. The amount of copyrighted content should be quite limited, and only just enough to get whatever point you are trying to make across.

Other criteria for this kind of fair use include the copyrighted material being publicly available and the source of the content being acknowledged

You can also use copyrighted material of reporting current news, though the situations in which copyrighted music would fit into this category are rare.

Parody, as we mentioned earlier, is also a form of fair use, but this is another area where the boundaries for what constitutes parody are far from clear. Any borderline case may need to be tested in court to receive any kind of definitive decision on the matter.

The final example of fair use involves text and data mining, which clearly doesn’t have any bearing on a discussion about using music in YouTube videos.

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers

Can You Use Music in YouTube Videos at All?

There are certainly situations where you could use music—even copyrighted music—in your YouTube videos. If you were to obtain the permission of the copyright holder, for instance, you would be legally allowed to use that music as long as you stuck to whatever terms you agreed, of course.

As we mentioned earlier, there is also non-copyrighted music or music with an open license such as Creative Commons. YouTube provides an impressive library of such music for the very reason of helping YouTubers make their content without falling afoul of copyright strikes. Remember, they want you to succeed.

Finally, you could, of course, use your own music. If you make music and you have not given the rights to that music to anyone else, you are free to do with it as you please.

How Much of a Song Can You Use on YouTube Without Copyright?

Should I Use Copyrighted Music in my YouTube Videos?

The only truly safe option when considering using music in your YouTube videos is to use royalty-free music that is licensed for commercial use.

The commercial aspect is important even if you do not monetize your videos, because you may decide to monetize them someday, and, in any case, some people may disagree with your idea of commercial. They may even be wrong, but you don’t want to have to go to court to prove that.

If you can get permission for the music you should be okay to use it in theory, however, it is worth noting that YouTube’s copyright infringement detection is something of a firehose when it comes to seeking out violations.

There are many examples in the past of YouTubers going to great lengths to obtain permission to use copyrighted material, only to have YouTube flag it as a violation.

In some case, copyright holders themselves have fallen afoul of this system. It has not been uncommon for YouTubers who are part of a content network upload a video of one of their own songs on a private channel and get flagged for copyright because their song was initially played on the content network’s channel.

It is far from a perfect system.

Can YouTubers Control Which Ads Are Shown? 5

What Happens if I Get Caught Using Copyrighted Music?

The consequences vary depending on things like if you are a repeat offender, or how the copyright holder wants to handle the situation. If you are caught infringing copyright, and it is your first time, you will likely just receive a strike against your account. Enough of these strikes, however, and your account could be removed entirely.

In some cases, the copyright holder will opt to leave your video alone, but monetize it and claim the earnings. In those cases, you will not be able to monetize your video yourself, even if the offending music only makes up a small portion of your video. Unfortunately, this is a risk you will have to accept if you want to use copyrighted music.

As mentioned above, it is unlikely you would ever see a courtroom from infringing copyright on YouTube. But, as mentioned even further above, nothing in this post should be considered legal advice. The fact that it is unlikely that you will end up in court should not be seen as a guarantee that you will not end up in court.

How Much of a Song Can You Use on YouTube Without Copyright? 1

Conclusions

The world of YouTube copyright is a bit of a minefield when it comes to knowing exactly what you can and can’t do.

The only way to be genuinely risk-free is only ever to use royalty-free music that is licensed for commercial use. Any time you use copyrighted material, even if it is as clear cut fair use as it gets, could see you receiving copyright strikes against your channel, or worse.

If you do have to use copyrighted music, however, remember the guidelines for what constitutes fair use. Only use the absolute minimum of copyrighted music required to get your point across. Make sure the focus of the video is not the content.

Even with some additional commentary, if the point of the video is very clearly just to listen to the music, it will not be considered fair use.

But, most importantly, remember that fair use is not a protection against legal action. If a copyright holder gets a bee in their bonnet about your use of their music and decides to get the lawyers out, you will not be able to hide behind fair use.

You will need to go to court and convince a judge that your use of the content was fair use. It may not be a likely scenario, but it is one you will have to consider if you insist on using copyrighted music in your videos.

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS ON YOUTUBE YOUTUBE

Should I Start a New YouTube Channel or Keep My Old One?

Building a successful brand is not an easy process, and doing it right often takes time. There are ways to buy subscribers, but any YouTuber who knows their business will tell you that buying subs is a shortcut to failure.

Unfortunately, building an audience organically takes time, so when you get the itch to start something new, it’s understandable to wonder whether you should use an existing channel if you have one, or start entirely from scratch.

Do YouTubers Get Paid for Likes? 1

Should I Start A New YouTube Channel Or Keep My Old One?

If you are looking to wildly change the type of content on your channel and the channel was inactive, it could be easier to rebrand and keep the channel. If the channel still gets lots of views and has a subscriber base it maybe best to start a new separate channel.

There’s no clear yes or no answer to this question, however. The best course of action for your situation will differ significantly from that of another YouTuber.

In other words, we can’t tell you which way to go, but we can help you make that decision – lets walk you through your options.

Channel Merging

The first and easiest situation to judge is when you have an existing and active channel, and you are considering starting some new content while still producing your original videos.

If your new content is in the same—or at least very close to—the niche your existing content is in, you should consider sticking with your current channel. As mentioned above, building a new audience is hard, and if your new content is similar enough to your existing content, there’s no sense in going through that process again.

On the other hand, if your new content is significantly different from your existing content, you could damage your channel’s discoverability by muddying its focus. If YouTube can’t make a clear decision over what your channel is about, it is less likely to recommend it to viewers, which is obviously less than ideal.

Should I Start a New YouTube Channel or Keep My Old One?

Repurposing Old Disused Channels

So, you have a channel from a previous project that you don’t use anymore? You wouldn’t be the first one.

If that channel has some leftover subscribers, it makes sense that you’d want to use it that rather than starting again. After all, they are your subscribers who you worked hard to gain.

This can work to your advantage, but again, it depends on your situation. If you just want the subscriber numbers, then it should be fine. If you are looking to build a meaningful, engaged audience, then using a channel with existing subscribers will not help.

Subscribers who are subscribed to your old channel won’t necessarily be interested in your new content. And any notifications YouTube gives may only serve to remind the viewer to unsubscribe as they are no longer interested in your content.

That being said, there is no real harm to re-using an old channel. You may find those original subscribers falling away, but it shouldn’t be a hindrance to you from gaining new subscribers.

Divergent Content

Something that happens to many YouTubers—particularly after long periods on the platform—is the organic divergence of your content into multiple distinct things. A typical example of this would be setting up a second channel to post vlogs to, or behind the scenes content of the videos from your main channel.

In these cases, you will need to weigh up the popularity of this additional content.

If it is significant enough to warrant its own channel, then go for it! If hardly anyone watches them, however, it may make more sense to keep them where they are.

Rebranding Your Existing Channel

Sometimes there is no new or extra content. It’s human nature to want to change things up every so often, and YouTubers are just as prone to this as anyone.

If you feel the urge to rebrand your channel, whether it is a considered and researched move or a whim, plain and simple, then whether you should start over with your channel depends on your current channel’s status.

If you have problems with that channel, such as copyright strikes (see below) or you have found yourself with a toxic subscriber base that you would rather distance yourself from, then a new channel would be an excellent option.

When I  wanted to keep my channel and give it a face-lift I needed a new channel banner, end-screen and flashy intro. I am not the best with graphic design so I used PlaceIt to make them for me. They offer easy to edit templates from free to as little as $15 – go check out their website and give your channel a new look to wow your subscribers.

Reviving a Dead Channel

It doesn’t have to be a tale of two channels, of course. Perhaps you have an old channel that you abandoned for one reason or another but have since become reignited by the premise of that channel. In this case, the situation is mostly the same as mentioned in the above scenarios.

If your old channel is in good standing, you could look to reboot it, bringing in new viewers and getting things off the ground once more. If your channel has a spotty history, it might be best to leave that history behind.

Another thing to think about is your channel’s reputation with consistency. YouTube viewers like consistency; they like to know their favorite YouTubers are putting weekly or monthly videos out. And if you have a channel that started strong and then went radio silent for a long time, your viewers may be skeptical about whether any rebrand attempt will last.

5 Time Saving Apps for Youtubers, tools for youtubers, tips for youtubers, free tols for youtubers

Buying a Channel

The vast majority of the time, this should fall into the same bin as buying subscribers. It is possible to purchase channels that already have subscribers and a history behind them.

These can come in two primary flavors;

  • Legitimate channels that are no longer wanted
  • Channels that were created just to sell

With the latter, there will almost never be a case where this is a good idea. Subs for channels like this are typically unfocused. They will not translate into any kind of meaningful audience as their interests in no way align with whatever the channel was purported to be about.

On the other hand, you might be considering a legitimate channel in which the owner has decided to quit and is selling their channel. While subscribers on a channel like this will have matching interests with each other, you will need to find a channel with a similar niche to yours if you hope to translate that purchase to viewers of your own directly.

Other Things to Consider

There are some other things to consider that apply regardless of the state of your existing channel, or how the content of that channel compares to your new idea.

Should I Start a New YouTube Channel or Keep My Old One? 1

Is There Anything to Save?

If an old channel is completely dead; no subscribers, no links, no views, then there isn’t really any point to rebranding it. There might not be any harm, either, if the channel is in good standing. But there will likely be no benefit.

In this case, it is entirely up to you. It could come down to something menial, such as not wanting another YouTube account to manage. Whatever the reason or path you decide to take, you should be fine.

Copyright and Community Guideline Strikes

YouTube isn’t always the most forgiving of platforms when it comes to rule-breaking. If you have an account—even one with a lot of followers—that has some black marks on its permanent record, it is probably best to abandon that channel as a base for your new venture.

Of course, we’re sure you have no intention of breaking any rules going forward. But with a platform such as YouTube, where the rules are continually changing, accidents can happen. You don’t want to fall afoul of an unfortunate incident, only for YouTube to obliterate your channel because it has a history.

Link Authority

One of the main reasons you would want to rebrand a channel rather than start over is to take advantage of the established reputation of that channel in the eyes of search engines. There are two main things to consider here.

Firstly, if you are revamping the content of the channel, the authority of any links leading to old material may be weakened. Secondly, if you are entirely rebranding the channel and removing or making the existing videos private, you should completely disregard any existing link authority to this channel, as it will soon disappear.

In the latter case, not only will search engines stop viewing the channel as relevant to those links, but any people who click on those old links will be frustrated to find that the video they wanted isn’t there any more!

Should I Start a New YouTube Channel or Keep My Old One? 2

How to Revive a Dead Channel

If you do decide to bring an old channel back from the dead, the approach is largely similar to starting from scratch… but not exactly. The main differences lie in old channels that had something of a following. Re-engaging with subscribers after your channel has been AWOL is tricky business. Many subscribers will immediately forgive and forget. Others will have forgotten they were subscribed to your channel and immediately unsubscribe once you remind them with a new video.

Make sure you are up to date. Take a look at videos from competitors channels to see if anything has changed significantly since you were last making videos for this channel. If it has, consider incorporating these changes in your revived content.

If you still have an audience on this channel, think about talking to them, asking them what they would like from your new content. Again, you run the risk of merely reminding some people that they were subscribed, causing them to unsubscribe promptly, but there isn’t much you can do about that.

You should strongly consider giving your revived channel an overhaul when it comes to artwork, even if you still like the original design. By starting over with the design, you can do your into what YouTubers in the same niche are doing, and incorporate some of those elements into your branding. It will also help to give the channel a fresh feel.

Think carefully about how far you want to take any rebranding. For example, do you want to change the name of the channel you are reviving?

If so, are you at risk of losing out on any brand recognition that your channel’s old name might command? Similarly, are there any negative connotations to the old name?

This doesn’t have to mean universally negative, but rather negative in relation to the new content you plan to release. For example, a channel that covered political issues might struggle to attract a crowd from the gaming section of YouTube, as it is typically hostile to this type of content.

content is king

Content is King

It gets said a lot but it always worth reiterating; no matter how many times you rebrand a channel, no matter whether you are starting from scratch or reviving a popular dead channel; content is the ultimate dealbreaker.

If your content is poor, your channel’s performance will also be. There is simply no getting around this universal truth. A channel with little to no advertising can do really well with good content, whereas a channel with a hefty advertising budget will always be fighting a losing a battle if the videos it puts out are below par.

Always be prepared to put as much effort as you can spare into your content, as it will pay off in the long run. You don’t have to spend money to get seen just share your videos in the right places – I did a blog the the best places to share your videos for more exposure.

Conclusions

For the most part, any advantages you might think you’d get from using an established channel to kickstart a new premise will probably not apply, unless the channel happens to have the exact same kind of content as your new videos.

And, if that were the case, you would have to wonder if rebranding was necessary when you have the ideal set up already in place.

When you are sticking with the original premise of the content and are just looking to breath new life into a forgotten channel, overhauling the look of the channel can help. Still, ultimately it will be your content that will bring new viewers to the party.

Having said all of that, if you only take away one piece of advice from this posts, let it be this; buying subscribers—either outright or as part of purchasing an old channel—seldom works. Even if you get lucky and manage to find a channel for sale in a similar niche to you, there are no guarantees that the viewers will respond to you as favourably as they once responded to the previous owner of the channel.

And that’s assuming those viewers are real!

Get your viewers the old fashioned way. You’ll thank yourself later.

If you need help to pick the right titles, optimizing your descriptions, tags and giving your videos the best launching pad they need then check out VidIQ – I use them to optimize all of my videos and their browser plugin is free to download on their website.

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Good Places to Record Videos in Your Home

YouTube might be an excellent medium for expressing your creative side, educating people, and even just making money.

Still, it is not exactly a low footprint medium when it comes to creating those videos. At least, not all of the time. We’ll get into that.

Finding a space to make your YouTube videos can be tricky, especially if you live with other people, or have a small home. Or both! Fear not, however, there are always options. They’re not always free options, but there are options.

In this post, we’re going to go into detail on how to choose and prep a place for recording your videos. What makes a great space—and what you need to do to prepare it—will vary greatly depending on the kind of video you make.

The right equipment can make a huge difference to how and where you can record – but it doesn’t have to cost the earth. That’s why I made a deep dive blog into YouTube Equipment on a Budget – spend a little, get a lot of freedom in your recording options.

Before we talk about the types of video, let’s go over some of the attributes that make good places to record videos in your home.

How To Start A YouTube Channel - An Illustrated Guide, Open A YouTube Channel, YouTube Tutorial

What to Look For

If you are lucky enough to be in a position where you have a large room to yourself, a spare room you can make use of, or even the ability to build something new, then you’re already most of the way there. For the vast majority of us, however, we have to make do with what we got.

The first thing to consider when looking for a place to record your videos is permanency. That is, somewhere you can set up recording equipment and leave it in place.

Granted, this might not be an option, but if it is, it should be a strongly considered option. A space that may seem far more appropriate for recording videos isn’t necessarily the best choice if you have another area that you could set up permanently.

For one thing, it makes the time required for recording a new video considerably shorter, because you don’t have to worry about setting up or tearing down your equipment.

An example of this would be a large room with nice acoustics and natural lighting that you could use, but couldn’t leave your equipment in versus a tiny room—even a closet—that you could claim for the long haul.

The larger room would undoubtedly be better, but you could make the small room work. As with many things in life, it is a matter of deciding what best suits your situation.

The next thing we would recommend you consider before moving your gear into a particular area is how much control you have over that area. Similar to the previous example, a space that you can modify may prove to be better for you than a space that you can’t, even if it doesn’t look that way, to begin with.

After that, the main things to consider are environmental. For example, areas that are subjected to a lot of noise, perhaps from traffic. There are things you can do to mitigate that, but if you have other options, maybe consider something with less noise.

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Guide to Make Money Online 5

Camera-less Videos

Not all YouTubers need a big, adequately lit set up. If you make software tutorials where you’re not on camera, such as list videos that consist of clips and still images, or any other type of video where you are not actually filming yourself, you have a higher degree of flexibility in terms of the areas you can record in.

As your primary concern will be the quality of your voice over recording, it will actually benefit you to record in a smaller space, such as the closet we mentioned before.

Your main goal for the recording space should be to cut down on acoustic reflection and in a smaller room. This is much a much easier prospect. For one thing, you can always coat the entire space in acoustic foam tiles, which will all but eliminate reverb and echo.

If you do not have such a space—a common situation for YouTubers is recording in their bedrooms—then you will need to be smarter with your preparation. Thick packing blankets can act as excellent acoustic insulation and can be draped over any number of household objects to create a capable acoustic screen around your recording area.

Having issues with echo? You’ll be amazed what you can do from home for next to nothing to make your videos sound professional. For a more comprehensive guide to soundproofing check out my deep dive blog.

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers 2

Shared Spaces

Now, assuming you are on camera but you don’t have anywhere you can claim in the name of YouTube, what are your options? Firstly, if you are going to have to pack up your gear when you’re not using it anyway, you may as well opt for the best spot you can find.

This may mean recording at inconvenient times so as not to irritate family members or roommates. Not to mention avoiding having people walking through your shot in their dressing robe!

You will be a bit limited in terms of your “set”, as the people you share a the space with won’t necessarily be happy about you putting up acoustic treatment and set dressing while they’re trying to watch Netflix!

One thing you can do in these cases is to use the room as your set. It might require doing a bit of tidying up, but most people wouldn’t complain about that. Even a drab looking space can be a serviceable YouTube set with the right focus and a bit of lighting.

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers 4

Dual Purpose Spaces

This is the kind of situation most YouTubers find themselves in; you have somewhere to yourself, but you can’t dedicate it to your YouTube exploits.

The most common instance of this being a bedroom. Sure, you have the bedroom to yourself, but you do have to sleep in there. The good news is it’s your space, and you can do as much to it as you can endure.

You’re probably not going to want to hang set dressing over your bed, forcing you to take it down anytime you want to go to sleep. But you can certainly put things on the walls, arrange lighting in a way that suits the video, and move furniture around.

Good Places to Record Videos in Your Home 1

The Attic

…or loft, depending on what you call it.

Unless we’re talking about a converted attic, the chances are you’re going to need to do a lot of work to get things going up there. You will need lighting, acoustic treatment, and you will probably be sharing your recording space with decades of accumulated boxes.

The good news is, if you can get all of that sorted, you have a secluded space all to yourself. Just bear in mind that you will have to climb in and out of the attic any time you need to record, which isn’t always the easiest prospect depending on how the is laid out property.

Of course, if we are talking about a converted attic, there is no reason to treat it differently to any other room in the property.

Good Places to Record Videos in Your Home 2

Garages and Sheds

Let’s face it; nobody uses garages for cars anymore. And garden sheds are being converted into secluded getaways all the time. If you have access to such a thing, it can make a great recording space. But there are things to consider that you wouldn’t have to think about in a regular house or apartment.

Firstly, in the case of a typical garden shed, it is considerably easier to break into. If you leave a bunch of expensive recording equipment in there, you will have to weigh up the risk of it being stolen.

You can add security to the shed, remove the equipment when you’re not recording, or just hope that you never face that problem.

Another concern to think about with garden sheds (and, to a lesser extent, garages) is things like damp. These structures are not designed for use in the same way a typical home is, and they are prone to things like condensation and leaking. As you can imagine, this isn’t ideal when you have a potentially expensive computer, and a bunch of recording equipment sat there.

The other problem you will face is acoustics and set dressing. Having your own dedicated little space is great, of course, but your typical garage or garden shed is terrible from an acoustic point of view, and not exactly pretty to look at. Be sure to factor all of this in before moving your gear in.

Think Outside the Box

While not strictly in your home, gardens can provide an excellent backdrop for a video (depending on the video, of course).

You will need to do a little research into your gear if you want to record outdoors, as getting the best video and audio in the midst of Mother Nature is not quite the same as getting it in your bedroom.

The weather may also be a factor. If you live in a particularly wet region, the garden might not be very practical when you have to wait for the one dry day a month to shoot a video!

And The Rest…

It is also essential to put some thought into the rest of the video-making process, as you will need somewhere to do this as well. If you have set up a nice little audio recording booth in a closet somewhere in your house, it may not be the best location for slaving over endless hours of editing. Assuming, of course, you edit your own videos, but things like scriptwriting can go down in this category as well.

If you can split the various aspects of YouTubing across multiple machines, it might be worth having a dedicated device for the recording that can be left in place. If not, portable devices such as laptops are always great for those times when it’s not possible or feasible to edit and record in the same place.

Of course, if your set up is a big, roomy desk with a nice, comfortable chair, there’s no reason not to use that same location for your off-camera work.

Essentials

Any space you choose can be made into a serviceable YouTube recording space with a few essential tools.

Firstly; lighting. The amount of difference lighting makes to a video cannot be overstated. It is often the case that a cheap camera with good lighting can do a far better job than an expensive one with poor lighting. Lighting doesn’t need to be expensive, and it can come in very portable form factors, and with the right placement, it can be used to effectively remove the background entirely. Perfect if you are recording somewhere with a less than ideal look for your videos.

Acoustic treatment is also essential, though a little trickier to make portable. If you have a dedicated space, consider getting some acoustic foam tiles on your walls and ceiling, and perhaps a thick rug for your floor.

If you need more help in soundproofing your newly discovered record set I have a deep dive in my blog on soundproofing tips for youtubers – this should get you started and can be amazingly cheap!

If your setup needs to be portable, thick packing blankets are always a good option. Draping them over something around your recording space will make a massive difference to the acoustics, and you will be able to easily take them down afterwards.

Finally, for those times when the space is just not fit for screen time—or just because you want to—there is a green screen. Green screens can be picked up relatively cheaply on Amazon, or sites like Wish, and there are free options for implementing Chroma Key (the name of the green screen effect) either live or in editing.

Don’t Be Discouraged

It is essential to remember that, ultimately, it is the content you produce that will make or break your YouTube career, not the space you are recording in. If you can’t make a great looking set to record in, do not let that stop you from making videos.

Just do the best that you can do with what you have and then set about creating great content. Always be on the lookout for ways you can improve your recording space, of course, but don’t wait until it is ready, because it may very well never be ready. Especially if you are a bit of a perfectionist.

Viewers will forgive you for less than perfect backdrops, or subpar video quality. And as you progress, if your content is good enough, you may well find that is financially practical to upgrade.

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS ON YOUTUBE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers

Soundproofing can be the secret weapon in a new YouTuber’s arsenal.

If you were to ask a significant sample of YouTube viewers whether they would prefer better video or audio from their YouTubers, the answer might surprise you for a video platform.

While there are undoubtedly channels where good video quality is essential (software tutorials spring to mind), there are a considerable number of channels where the video element really isn’t as important as you might think.

Vlogs, educational content, interviews, list videos, we could go on. The point is, for a vast chunk of YouTubers, sound quality is considerably more important than video quality (within reason, of course). This is because hearing is the primary sense being used.

Don’t believe us?

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers

Think about all the times you’ve put a YouTube video on and ended up doing something else while it plays. Maybe browsing the web, writing an email, checking your phone.

Not only that, but think about how many times audible cues have grated on your last nerve. People chewing while they talk, tapping, distant car alarms—audible cues can be very annoying. This is especially true when it comes to unwanted echoes, artefacts, and overall poor audio quality in YouTube videos.

Many things contribute to poor audio quality, but we’re not going to get into microphones and audio interfaces here; that deserves a post of its own – or you can watch my deep dive video on my youtube channel.

So, before we get into some tips on soundproofing your recording space, let’s quickly go over why you might want to do this.

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers 1

Why Soundproof for YouTubing?

The most obvious reason, of course, is to get rid of external noise. No YouTuber wants to have to edit out the sounds of planes flying overhead, cars driving by, the next-door neighbour engaging in some late-night DIY or anything else of that nature. And your viewers certainly don’t want to listen to those noises.

Soundproofing can significantly improve your recording if you record somewhere that tends to have a lot of noise going on. But the benefits to soundproofing are not one-way.

In almost all cases (the exception being ASMR videos) whispering or quiet-talking should be avoided. At best, it’s just a little difficult to hear, but at worst it can be very annoying to some viewers (think the opposite of ASMR).

This shouldn’t be confused with low volume—it’s not the level of your audio we’re talking about. When you whisper or talk quietly, your voice is different. The quality that some people find annoying is not remedied by turning the volume up in your editing software.

But what does this have to do with soundproofing? Well, the most common reason for unintentional quiet-talking is environmental. For example, if your recording setup is in the room next to your parents, partner, or roommate, and you record late at night. The chances are, there’s not a lot you can do about the when and where you record.

But by soundproofing the space you record in, you will be able to make much more noise when you make a new video without worrying about annoying anyone around you.

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers 2

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers

We should state upfront that a number of these tips relate to the construction of the space itself—things like the walls, and floorboards. We understand that most people will not be able to implement all of these tips.

You would have to be building a studio from scratch, or tearing a room down completely to do that. Just know that implementing any of these tips should improve your situation with regards to soundproofing.

Squeaky Floorboards

You might be thinking, “but I don’t walk around when I record YouTube videos.” That may be the case, but very few of us sit or stand utterly still when we make videos. A creaking floorboard can be extremely annoying mid-video.

Unfortunately, there are no products you can go out and buy that will fix this problem, so you’ll have to get the tools out if you want to put an end to it. The first thing to check is what is causing the squeaking. If it is just a matter of loose boards themselves, you can usually remedy the problem with a few screws.

We say screws and not nails—as is probably currently holding your floorboards in place—because screws will not slide over time as nails do.

If it is the joists and noggins (the big pieces of wood your floorboards are attached to), then you might need some professional help. You will certainly need to lift your floorboards. They can usually be fixed with some L shaped brackets at the corners. If you do have to lift your floorboards, you may as well take this opportunity to re-attach them with screws.

Dotting and Dabbing: Don’t Do It!

Unfortunately, this tip is only going to be useful to people who are doing some serious renovation or perhaps building from scratch. “Dot and Dab” is a method of attaching drywall (or plasterboard, depending on where you are from) to the outer structure of your room.

It involves dabbing a healthy amount of adhesive in places (this would be the dotting) and then pressing the drywall up to it. As a means of attaching the drywall, it is inexpensive and effective.

Unfortunately, it creates a significant amount of hollow space behind your walls. In a room that has been wholly drywalled, this would essentially mean one large continuous echo chamber surrounding the place!

Acoustic Insulation

If you are renovating or building a new space and the walls will be framed out, you can take this opportunity to fill the spaces between your studs with acoustic insulation.

Acoustic insulation is denser than regular thermal insulation. It will provide you with built-in soundproofing that will stop sound from getting in or out of your recording space. There are different thicknesses available, and the width you need will depend on the thickness of your studs.

Resist the urge to buy insulation that is too thick and cram it into your walls. That could cause problems later down the line, as well as reduce the acoustic insulation properties of the material.

Windows

Birds, traffic, police sirens, inconvenient helicopter flybys—there’s a lot of unwanted noise that can get in through your window. It may not be ideal in hotter parts of the world, but the first thing you should be doing is making sure that window is closed before you record.

The cheapest solution would be nice, thick blinds or curtains. They won’t cut out all the noise, but they will make some difference.

If you’ve got a little more money to throw at the problem, consider getting a secondary glazing system, which is essentially a second window inside your existing window. The cavity created between this window and your current window makes for excellent sound dampening.

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers 4

Noisy Appliances

Washing machines are loud. We get it. Some washing machines could be at the other end of your home and still get picked up on a recording.

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of us do not have the option to simply move the washing machine—or our recording space—to get around this problem. Though if you do, that would be the best solution.

Assuming you’re stuck, however, the first thing to consider is an acoustic mat under your washing machine. It will not cut the sound completely, but it will significantly reduce it. If your washing machine (or other noisy appliance) is not right next to your recording space, this might be enough.

If not, we’re sorry to say that your only practical option is to plan your recordings so that any noisy appliances are not running.

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers 5

Change Your Microphone

You might also consider a new microphone that is less prone to picking up the background noise. It should be stated that any built-in or inexpensive USB microphone will likely need upgrading as a matter of course.

But if your mic is picking up a lot of background noise, there may be an alternative model with a tighter pickup pattern.

I use a Boya By-MM1 on my DSLR Camera and this is great when I am stood in front of it recording in stable environment – I did a hands on review video and blog of the Boya BY-MM1 microphone with some interesting facts about its pick up pattern – You’ll me amazed the difference you can make when you match the right microphone to your set up.

In the same realm as a new mic, you could also consider turning your microphone’s input level down and having the mic be closer to your face, or speaking more forcefully. Or both.

If you do decide to go down this route, be sure to have a pop shield on your mic. It’s good practice to have one anyway, but if you’re going to be putting the mic closer to your face and speaking louder, you definitely need one.

Use a Noise Gate

A noise gate is a term given to software or hardware that cuts off audio completely when it gets below a specific volume. Using this, you can cut away the background noise by setting the gate to just above the level of the noise. It will then let the audio through when you speak, pushing the sound level above the gate.

There are a few different ways to employ a noise gate on your recordings. The simplest—yet most expensive—is to get an outboard noise gate device. You would run your mic signal through the gate directly, where it would gate the audio before sending it into your recording software.

Another alternative is live VST (Virtual Studio Technology) noise gates—a software alternative that works as you are recording. This has the advantage of giving you that live feedback, but it also adds strain on your computer.

And, finally, you could apply the noise gate after the fact. This is the cheapest option—free audio editor Audacity has this functionality built-in—but also the most time-consuming.

It is worth noting that if you have unusually high levels of background noise, a noise gate may not be the best option. The louder the gate has to be to cut the noise out, the more obvious it is when it activates. Not to mention, the noise will still be present when you are speaking.

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers 3

Acoustic Foam Tiles

The more initiated of you are probably yelling, “that’s not soundproofing!” right now. And you are right. Those eggbox-like foam tiles you see on YouTuber’s walls are not soundproofing. The job of acoustic tiles is to kill things like echo and reverb in a space.

Imagine you have a bouncy ball. If you bounce that ball on some smooth concrete, you’ll get some good height. If you take that same ball and bounce it on long grass, you’ll be lucky to get any height at all. Now imagine the ball is a sound wave, hitting the wall and bouncing off. Foam tiles work a lot like the grass.

By strategically placing foam tiles around your recording space (or just covering every surface if you can afford that many tiles), you reduce the amount of sound reflection.

If you can only get your hands on a limited amount of foam tiles, consider what kind of microphone you have before placing them. Many microphones have limited pickup around the back, so reducing reflections coming from that direction would be a waste of your tiles.

Carpets or Rugs (or Both!)

A good, thick carpet or rug can address issues raised both in the squeaky floorboards section, and the previous section on acoustic foam tiles. Like foam tiles, a thick carpet or rug will significantly reduce sound reflection, meaning less reverb and echo when you record.

It will also reduce the amount of noise made by you moving around the room. It won’t fix squeaky floorboards, but if you didn’t fancy pulling your floor up, a thick carpet or rug would muffle the noise it makes.

You could also take this one step further by installing some acoustic underlay, which will significantly reduce the amount of noise that gets through your floor.

Soundproofing Tips for YouTubers 7

Microphone Shielding

Our last tip is ideal for people who can’t (or don’t want to) attempt any of the previous tips. Using a product like Kaotica’s Eyeball (or one of the considerably less expensive Chinese alternatives) you can isolate your mic from the outside world significantly.

These products are essentially a hollow ball of acoustic foam that your mic sits inside, blocking noise from all directions except the front. You will still need to worry about reflections from behind you, but the amount unwanted sound getting to your mic is significantly reduced. Just be aware that these are not compact items. You will need plenty of space around your microphone.

If you need any help in finding some of these upgrades then check out my resources page where I have selected some great discounts on products, soundproofing, microphones and more.