YouTubers aren’t always the lively extrovert bunch they are often thought as.
Not every YouTuber is eager to plant their face in front of a camera for the world to see. Fortunately, thanks to the enormous range of variety within the YouTube audience, there is still plenty of things you can do on YouTube without showing your face.
Why Avoid Showing Your Face on YouTube?
The most obvious reason you might want to avoid showing your face on YouTube is because you are very shy or self-conscious.
There are arguments to be made about how it could be good to push through those discomforts, but that’s not what this post is about; we’re just looking to give you ideas to work within your current situation.
Of course, there are other reasons why you might want to keep your face off camera, the main one being anonymity. While there are some quite serious reasons for wanting anonymity (such as those living in a country with questionable laws about free speech), the most common reason is one of reputation.
Perhaps you’re a forward thinking parent who’s making slightly risque content and doesn’t want it to come back in ten years time when your child is old enough to be embarrassed.
Perhaps you’re a happily employed individual who makes content with unpopular messages and doesn’t want to get “cancelled” from your place of work. Maybe you have you no specific reason for wanting to keep your identity hidden, but you’d rather it not be out there just in case.
Whatever the reason, keeping your face off-camera is an important part of maintaining that anonymity.
Our 12 YouTube Video Ideas Without Showing Your Face
Now, to the bit you here for; our video ideas without showing your face. Of course, this list is not a definitive collection of all potential faceless video ideas, just the top ones in our humble opinion. If there’s something you think should be on this list, drop it in a comment!
And, as always, the best solution for you is the one that you are most comfortable with, but it doesn’t have to be a single idea. Don’t be afraid to experiment, mix and match, and create something that truly works for you.
Commentary videos can cover a wide range of things, from commenting on live events to giving a kind of directors commentary style of video for a film or TV show. Another popular version of this type of video is reacting to new trailers and announcements.
The key point here is that, while your voice is a pretty crucial part of the formula, your face never needs to be involved if you don’t want it to. Just be careful not to breach any copyrights if you are doing something like commentary on a film.
2. Gameplay Videos
The gaming industry has steam rolled over the competition to become the biggest entertainment industry in the world, so there’s naturally a lot of content being made around it. With gameplay videos, the game is the focus, so you don’t need to be onscreen.
While the typical image of a gaming video is the Twitch streamer setup, including a face-cam in the corner, there is no requirement to make your gameplay videos with your face on display. Indeed, many gaming YouTubers have made very successful channels without ever showing their face, and some without speaking, either.
3. Screen Recorded Tutorials
Screen recorded tutorials can be thought of as basically the same as gameplay videos but for software instead of video games. Of course, you should also be teaching the viewer how to do something with said software, which is a bit of a departure from gaming, where you can literally just be playing the game.
With screen recording, you will ideally be showing the viewer how to perform specific tasks, or perhaps doing a series where you make something from start to finish using the chosen software. If you have expertise in any software, this could be a good niche for you.
4. Whiteboard Videos
If you have expertise in something like physics or mathematics, you could make whiteboard videos where you explain concepts and techniques while using the whiteboard as a learning aid, much in the same way that a classroom teacher would. Also, don’t let the name fool you; it doesn’t have to be a whiteboard specifically. You could also use pen and paper, chalk boards, or even digital tablets.
If you already have a podcast, this should be a no-brainer. But, if you don’t and would like to get into YouTubing, podcasting could be the way to do it. In this type of video, the audio would be your podcast while a static image would grace the screen. If you wanted to make it a little more interesting, you might change what is onscreen to correspond with what is being said.
6. Crafting/Cooking/Building Videos
These types of videos obviously require some skill on your part to carry out the thing you are demonstrating, but assuming you have that skill (or want to learn it) there is no reason to put your face in the frame.
If you are making a model house, you only need to show the house and the tools you are using. The same goes for cooking videos, and we can also throw things like repairing tech, and anything else small enough that you can carry out your task with your hands while otherwise staying out of shot.
7. Product Reviews and Unboxing Videos
Not a million miles away from the last idea, unboxing and review videos don’t need you to be on camera either, and for those parts that benefit from your physical interaction, you can just have your hands in the shot!
This style of video works best with smaller items that can be handled, though you can review things of any size if you don’t need to physically touch it.
8. Point of View Content
This one is a little more out there, but point of view content is something that definitely has its place in the YouTube pantheon of niches.
Point of view videos are videos where the YouTuber straps a camera to their head and does things while the camera records, giving the viewers a first-hand look at what its like.
This style of video is very popular for things like extreme sports (see what it’s like to base jump from a skyscraper), but is also finding a home among the ambient experience YouTubers, with videos like “Relaxing Walk Through a Japanese Village” becoming increasingly common.
If you can find the interesting enough subjects to interview, this could be your niche. Not only do you not need to have your face on screen for an interview video, it is often preferred that way. After all, the subject of the video is your interviewee, and the focus wants to be on them.
It’s worth remembering that the subject of your videos doesn’t need to be a celebrity or someone noteworthy to be good content. Think of the topic; there would be plenty of viewers interested in seeing a video with a power plant foreman talking about how it all works.
10. Animated Content
Now, granted, animation isn’t something you can just pick up straight away (though you can hire people to animate for you), but if it’s something you can do, there is a wealth of video types to take a crack at. You could make an animated show, animate yourself, do sketches, and any number of other types of content.
Just be sure to make sure you have all the permissions you need to use what ever clips are going to feature in your videos.
12. Become a VTuber!
VTubers are being increasingly popular these days, so there’s clearly a growing market for it. VTubers are YouTubers who represent themselves with a digital avatar. This could be a posable 3D model, a live face-tracked image, or even a hand-drawn animation.
Many VTubers choose to create characters and make their videos as though the character is the YouTuber, while others just make content as themselves while using the digital avatar as a mask between them and the audience.
Hopefully we’ve made it abundantly clear that it is not necessary to show your face in a YouTube video to have a successful channel, and there is no shortage of ideas for what to do without your face being in shot.
In truth, as long as your videos deliver what the viewers are coming there for, your content has a good chance of succeeding, regardless of the style or whether your face is onscreen. The trick is working out what you are trying to deliver, and then honing in on the best way to deliver it within your chosen style.
For a long time, the image that often came to mind when someone thought “YouTuber” was that of a bright and bubbly youngster talking earnestly into the camera, oversharing and jump-cutting all over the place. While there’s still plenty of this today, and though there’s nothing wrong with this format, there is certainly more variety on display these days.
This is fortunate for a lot of would-be YouTubers since it is the idea of getting in front of a camera that acts as a deterrent to them following their YouTube dreams. One of the great things about YouTube is that it provides a path for you to get started in content creation without having to go down the conventional routes of getting a book published or self-funding a short film. It is a low-barrier-to-entry medium that you can cut your teeth on, hone your craft, and, all being well, make a name for yourself. But for those of you that are not comfortable being in front of the camera, it can be a scary prospect in the beginning.
We promised you ideas for videos that don’t involve showing your face, and that’s exactly what we’re going to give you. Please note that this is by no means a definitive list of all possible videos styles you could make without having your mug in the shot. There are always new and interesting ways to make content, and, while there are usually reasons that these types of videos are most often seen, that doesn’t mean they are your only options.
Of course, you’ll want to be realistic about things—at this point, YouTube is a maturing platform, and there has been plenty of time for people to work things out. The most popular types of content are the types that work. That being said, YouTube is a big platform, and there is room for a lot of different styles. If you dream of being the next PewDiePie, you’re going to have stick to things that have broad appeal in order to capture that large audience. But, if you are happy with a smaller audience, you have much more creative freedom with your content. Don’t be afraid to experiment, think outside of the box, and find your feet as a YouTuber. You just might be the first to think of something new and innovative.
Please note that some of these video ideas have overlap. For example, we mention the “Hands-On” style of video-making and the “Review” video. Many review videos utilise the “Hands-On” method to make review videos. If you think two (or more) types of video listed here might work well together, have at it!
Just as the name suggests, clip shows are videos that are made up of several different short clips along the same theme. There is no specific type of content that you have to stick to with clip shows, but one of the most popular examples is short, funny clips, such as animals acting weird, people having amusing (hopefully non-lethal) accidents, and generally, anything you might expect to find on the UK TV show, You’ve Been Framed, or America’s Funniest Home Videos.
The tricky part about this kind of video is getting the amusing clips in the first place. We’re going to assume that you don’t have an enormous stash of original funny clips waiting on your hard drive—if you do, great!—but it’s important to remember that content ownership is taken increasingly seriously these days, and you will need to at least try and get permission to use any clips that aren’t your own.
If you can’t find the owner of a particular piece of content and you decide to use it anyway, make every effort to find the original source of the content and credit it in your description. Many pieces of content are managed by companies who will license the clips to you for a fee, which may be something to consider as your channel grows.
If you have a knack for animation, you already have the perfect avenue for making videos that don’t involve your face being on camera. As an added bonus, if you are looking to parlay your love of animation into a serious career, getting your work out on YouTube is a great way to add to your portfolio to show future employers.
Animation content can cover an enormous range of video styles and topics. For example, you could animate your commentary videos to show a quirky cartoon character talking along with your voice. You could make full-featured cartoons with plots and story arcs that continue from video to video. You could make unusual art pieces with important messages.
The main point is that you do not need to have your face on the screen to make an animated video. Or you could strike an interesting middle ground and animate your face, using that instead of your real one.
As countless shows like South Park and Rick and Morty have shown us, cartoons don’t have to be visually artistic masterpieces in order to be popular and successful. If you are putting your animation out there with a view to using it in a future portfolio, do your best work. But if you are making something bigger and animation is just the medium you have to work with, don’t get too caught up in making every frame look perfect. Animation is a lengthy process, and you don’t want to end up taking months between videos.
Also, as a brief side note, animation does not necessarily mean hand-drawn art brought to life. You could also use claymation (or any kind of stop-motion animation) as well as 3D animation, just like VTubers do. If you have a skill, put it to use!
Reviews are an excellent way to create content on YouTube without showing your face since the focus of the video is the product or service that is being reviewed. In many cases, the viewers won’t have any interest in your face, especially if the review is of a video game or physical product. In those cases, the viewer often prefers to get a good look at the subject of the review, and having your face in the way makes that harder.
If you have a burning interest in a particular field—such as a particular type of electronic gadget, or a certain genre of game—reviews are also great in the sense that they are easier to monetise away from the YouTube Partner Programme. You can join affiliate programmes like the ever-popular Amazon Affiliates, and give your viewers a way to get to the product you are reviewing in a single click with the advantage that, if they buy said product, you get a cut of the profits. It should be noted that if you do go down this route, be sure to keep your reviews honest. If you get a reputation for saying nice things about your subjects in order to get your viewers to click on affiliate links, you will pretty quickly lose those viewers.
Like animation, hands-on videos have a lot of range. For example, just as we mentioned at the top of this section, the hands-on style of YouTube video is a good match for the above review videos. But what is a “hands-on” video?
In this type of video, your shot is focussed on the subject, which will typically be something small. As a rough guide, no bigger than a typical portable electronic device or board game. The name for this style of video comes from the fact that only your hands play a part, visually speaking. You narrate your content while your hands demonstrate, manipulate, and generally give the viewers something to look at.
A particularly apt example of this kind of video is keyboard demonstrations. The community around mechanical keyboards is a vibrant one, and there are plenty of videos that involve talking about a particular keyboard and then giving a typing demonstration, with nothing but the keyboard and the YouTubers hands ever being in shot. For the review style videos we mentioned, you would use your hands to move the subject to see different angles, highlight different features, and so on. All the while, you would be talking about the product and the aspects you are showing off with your hands.
If you have a flair for storytelling and a healthy curiosity and interest in things, you might want to try your hand at making YouTube documentaries. One thing that the Internet has helped to fuel is an increasing interest in all things by making it easier for people to find those things that they are interested in. The net result is that even the most obscure interests can typically be serviced online, and that applies to documentaries as well.
Documentaries are no longer limited to people braving the wilds of nature to capture breathtaking shots of beautiful but dangerous animals in their natural habitat. These days, YouTube has plenty of smaller documentary makers, making short but interesting pieces on a huge range of things, and the chances are there will be an audience somewhere for whatever you choose to make a documentary about.
Try to remember that documentaries are more than just raw information delivered in the form of a video. You should try to tell a story in your content to keep the viewer engaged, but without distorting or twisting the truth to make things more interesting. The best documentaries are engaging regardless of whether the viewer is interested in the subject matter.
If your healthy interest and curiosity revolve around more current events, such as the latest news, celebrity gossip, political events, and things of that nature, you might prefer a commentary video to a documentary. This type of video allows you to voice your opinions on things, deconstructing them and putting your point of view across. And, because you are just talking, you don’t ever need to step in front of the camera.
You could choose to combine this type of video with the clip show method, showing related video clips as you speak. You could even have an animated version of your face.
The scope of commentary video potential is vast. You could be talking about the latest atrocities committed by some government or another, the results of a big sporting event, even a just-released trailer for a new comic book-based movie. With this kind of video, it is especially important to inject plenty of personality into your content. Remember, there are lots of people online making these kinds of videos, and you need to give viewers a reason to want to come to you over a different YouTuber. Your personality may put some people off, but appealing to the lowest common denominator only works if you can get into a position of immense success, to begin with.
Recap videos are a little like commentary videos but with less personality. These videos revolve around current events, and there are two significant factors in their success. The first is timing, and the second is exclusivity.
If you are targetting a recap—rather than a commentary video—you are generally going to be delivering content based around something that has just happened and that many of your viewers might have missed. An example of this might be a high-profile boxing or MMA fight that was only available through an expensive pay per view. In an example like that, getting a recap video up as soon as possible after the event will typically net you a lot of views. And the fact that many people will not have access to the fight itself (exclusivity) will also get you a lot of interest.
Now, we mentioned that you don’t necessarily need to inject as much personality into these videos to succeed—and that is true—but it should be noted that if you can get the timing, exclusivity, and personality, you will have a strong foundation for success on your hands.
Do you cringe when you see a picture of yourself? Is it even worse when you watch a video of yourself moving and talking? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Psychology Today says that you could be suffering from something called self enhancement bias.
A self enhancement bias means that it’s common to think that we are more attractive than we actually are. We’re used to our reflection we see in the mirror. But when we see ourselves on camera, our face isn’t mirrored – we get to see our actual face as others see it.
It’s the unmirrored image that makes us cringe.
This can be a problem for aspiring YouTubers. There is a bunch of money to be made on the platform. And you want in on the action too.
Well, there is a way for you, if you suffer from self-enhancement bias, to make a bundle of money from YouTube without showing your face on video. There are a whole host of channels with thousands of subscribers where the channel owner never appears on camera.
Here are 13 video ideas for YouTube you can steal, or use for inspiration, and launch your own YouTube channel without ever showing your face.
Top-Down Video Ideas
One of the first ways you could choose to film your YouTube videos is using a top-down camera shot that only shows your hands. The top-down camera shot is suitable for a wide variety of niches. Here are a few of them.
Crafts are a popular niche on YouTube, with lots of people looking for hints, tips, and tutorials on how to express their creativity.
PPO – Proud Paper Official – is a crafts channel that shows the viewers how to fold origami shapes and planes from paper.
Social Blade (a social media statistics aggregator) says that they have nearly 5 million monthly viewers and earn as much as £12.9k per month from the videos.
Not bad for a channel that is seven years old but only has 77 videos uploaded.
Fingernail art is not a recent invention. The history of nail polish goes back over 5000 years, originating in ancient China. Today, nail art remains popular as ever.
The millions of potential combinations of colours and patterns mean there are always new nail designs you can demonstrate.
A nail art channel is ideal for top-down filming and only needs to show you applying the designs, plus a commentary explaining how to do it.
20 Nails is a channel that shows its viewers how to create all manner of nail art designs, from the simple to extravagant.
With 59 videos uploaded in just under a year, 20 Nails has built an audience of 288k subscribers. Social Blade says that they get 2.33 million views per month and earn as much as £6.1k monthly from the channel.
Lots of people like to draw. Stephen Wiltshire, an autistic savant, can draw an entire cityscape from memory, and others struggle to make a stick figure look human.
Drawing is a skill, though, and can be learned with patience and practice. There are lots of people teaching the craft of drawing on YouTube using only the top-down camera shot.
Dan Beardshaw is one of those. Dan uploads short videos every couple of weeks demonstrating hints and tips on how to improve the different elements of drawing.
He has uploaded 167 videos over four years and has grown the channel to 361k subscribers. Social Blade says he has about half a million views per month and earns as much as £1.3k per month from advertising.
Dan also supplements this income with nearly 400 Patreon members and affiliate links to art materials in his video descriptions, so is likely earning a full-time income from the channel.
Cooking is an awesome niche for using the top-down filming angle. And while numerous channels focus on top-down cooking videos, there is also never-ending demand.
We all like to eat tasty food, and many want to try new recipes or improve their cooking skills.
You may need to find a unique angle to stand out in the niche. But if you can find a way to make your videos compelling, there is no reason you can’t make a successful cooking channel.
You Suck At Cooking has 117 videos that doesn’t do anything revolutionary with the cooking recipes but inject a large dose of humour instead.
The production quality is good, and the videos are well-scripted, but nothing that you couldn’t produce yourself with a bit of thought and planning.
Social Blade says that the 5 million views per month the channel’s 117 videos receive, earn £13.4k per month in advertising revenue.
The channel also earns money from sales of a cookbook and associated merchandise.
If you’re handy about the home, then one idea you could choose for top-down filming is DIY videos. YouTube is often the first place people go to when they have a DIY problem and need a quick solution.
It could be a simple as wiring a plug, or more complicated like changing a tap. Whatever the problem, your videos could help people save money by preventing the need to hire in a handyperson.
There is an endless amount of small jobs you can make videos about. Plus you could approach the niche with a different frame of reference. For example, how about DIY videos for people who don’t have a box of tools?
Ultimate Handyman is a DIY channel that has over 800 videos covering all manner of DIY tasks from big to small. While he does have his face in the video thumbnails, most of his content is simply the camera filming his hands.
Social Blade puts Ultimate Handyman on 1.7 million monthly views and earning as much as £4.5k from advertising revenue in the same period.
Everyone likes a good unboxing video. The idea is a simple one; buy a new product, wait for delivery, then film yourself taking it out of the packaging.
You get bonus points (and more views and subscribers) if you can make the process compelling. It helps if you can show some expertise with your commentary. Rather than merely stating what something is, as you pull it out of the box.
The Relaxing End is one of the more successful unboxing channels. Part of their continued success is that they can afford to buy in (or have a big-enough audience to get sent for free) some of the latest high-end products that people dream about owning.
Apart from the high-end products, the channel’s unique attraction is their use of sound. The host appears too shy to speak as well as not showing his face. Instead, he makes the most of every slash of sellotape or squeak of polystyrene, as he unboxes the item.
The un-boxer also wears signature white gloves to add extra frills.
The Social Blade stats on this channel are impressive. With monthly channel views over 30 million, The Relaxing End pulls in as much as £78.8k per month in ad revenue.
TIP: Technology channels are some of the best earners on YouTube. The ad space is more expensive for advertisers to buy because of high competition for the slots.
If you want to get started on your own top-down videos, you need to make sure that you have some sort of rig to keep your phone and camera steady while filming. Check out Javier Mercedes’ video for how to film overhead shots.
Chest Down Video Ideas
A slight twist on the top-down video is having the camera facing you, but not showing your face in the shot. I’m calling these types of videos chest-down ideas. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.
Cooking Part II
There are a significant number of cooking channels already doing top-down videos. To make your cooking channel stand out from the pack, why not try a different angle?
That’s what Binging with Babish chooses to do for his channel. The camera angle gives the impression you are sat in the kitchen with him, making the effect more homely. Yet you don’t see his face in the cooking videos.
Babish also has a theme for his cooking channel apart from the unusual camera angle; he recreates food found in TV and Movies. If you fancy some Pollos Hermanos from Breaking Bad or some Twin Peaks pancakes, head over to the channel for some mouth-watering videos.
As you can imagine the 7.82 million subscribers of the channel help Babish earn quite a bit ad revenue. Social Blade reckons the channel gets 58.63 million views and makes a tasty £152K, every month.
A different spin on the DIY channel is short-and-sweet tips to help with day-to-day household chores. ‘Hacks’ has become the byword for ingenious tips that help people accomplish usually tiresome tasks.
Many of us often turn to YouTube, looking for a quick way to solve a problem. Get rid of Ants or spend less on groceries. Hacks help us improve our lives, so it’s not a niche that will disappear anytime soon.
Household Hacker makes short videos to demonstrate various hacks for the home, often making use of the chest-down camera shot.
Household Hacker has also branched out to demonstrating those silly products-you-never-knew-you-needed from the TV shopping channels.
Social Blade puts Household Hacker on 1.2 million views per month, which it says brings in the channel owner as much as £3.3k in advertising revenue. The channel also earns income from affiliate earnings for the TV products he reviews.
POV Video Ideas
So far, we have looked at top-down and chest-down filming without showing your face. But there is another angle you can use in your videos too. The POV – Point of View – camera shot.
This camera angle shows the audience the view from your eyes and guarantees keeping your face out of the frame.
Do you have your own workshop? Handy with a belt-sander and happy to mix up some caustic chemicals? You could launch a channel to show you restoring old rusty tools and other whatnots to their original state.
It can be therapeutic for viewers to watch someone restore an item; I firmly believe that these types of videos are beneficial to people’s mental health too.
It’s a content type which is very popular on YouTube.
Awesome Restorations has 2.57 million subscribers and is one of the better channels in the restoration niche. Restoring an item can take some time, so if you choose the restoration niche, you might only be uploading a video every couple of weeks.
Awesome Restorations has built up their massive following in just over a year, and with only 38 videos.
Their work has paid off too. Social Blade puts them on 14.5 million monthly views and ad revenue earnings of £37.8k per month.
If you don’t want to go down the tool restoration route, there are plenty of other objects you can restore: vintage handbags, antique books, even early smartphones. Restoration is a hot niche and perfect for POV filming because the object of restoration, not you, is the star.
Stop Motion Animation
Stop motion animation is nearly as old as the invention of film itself—the earliest movie dated back to 1898 and was based on Humpty Dumpty. Stop motion is an animation technique where figures are animated by snapping a single frame, then moving the model ever so slightly and shooting the next frame.
As an animation medium, Stop Motion is still hugely popular today. The most well-known is the Wallace and Gromit series of films, which earned three Oscars in the 1990s and 2000s.
Michael Hickox Films is a stop motion animation YouTube channel that uses Lego for its animated characters.
The animated films are short, wholesome pieces that appeal to a broad audience – and it’s a large audience too.
With 1.47 million subscribers, Michael Hickox films have 3.86 million monthly views and earn as much as £10.1k per month.
POV Sports Channels
Thanks to GoPro cameras and associated body mounts, the popularity of filming outdoor activities is on the rise.
At one time, the only way you could understand what it was like to jump out of a plane or surf a twenty-foot wave, was to do it yourself. Now lots of activities are available for a broader audience to experience by viewing a POV video.
There are endless types of outdoor activities you can launch a YouTube channel about with a GoPro camera, chest rig, and perhaps a friend or two.
Ampisound is a channel that makes Parkour videos. Many of the Parkour runs are shot POV-style, placing the viewer at the heart of the action.
Ampisound only releases videos about every month or so, but the content resonates and has built an audience of 2.32 million subscribers.
What kind of YouTube channel could you launch using a GoPro camera filming from your point-of-view?
Maybe you could grow it as large as Ampisound and get nearly 7 million monthly views and pull in as much as £18k in ad revenue.
There is nothing like hitting the open road, dropping the convertible roof, and admiring the scenery of the world’s best cities.
But not everyone can drive. And most people don’t live anywhere near the world’s nicest cities.
So, if you are one of the fortunate ones who does, then how about making videos of scenic drives and tours of famous locations?
J Utah is a channel that specialises in only POV videos of picturesque drives. From L.A. to Boston (and a few overseas), J Utah likes nothing more than mounting a 4K camera on the car and driving about.
You really wouldn’t think this idea would work – it’s just driving around for goodness sake! But it works. Perhaps people enjoy the content because it’s a familiar place to them, or maybe they want to live there one day.
Whatever the reason, the channel has built up 366K subscribers and has 5.4 million monthly views. Social Blade put the ad revenue for the channel as much as £14k per month.
Hairdressing is perfect for a POV video channel, and Health and Beauty is one of the top niches on YouTube.
Now, some of the highest earners are in the makeup category, which by definition is a showing-your-face kind of gig. But there is an alternative for the shy. You can create videos that demonstrate hairstyling using a POV camera shot.
You will need a model to work on who won’t mind appearing on camera. But as you are showing mainly the back and side of the head, they won’t have too much face-time on camera.
There are hundreds of channels I could use as an example for this particular idea, so if you choose this niche, be prepared for stiff competition.
Making a big success of your channel would probably mean that you have found an angle that makes you stand out from all the rest. Perhaps you can be first with new, unusual hairstyles, or dazzle viewers with your humorous delivery.
Nina Starck makes videos about hair braiding. She is so good at braiding that she uses herself as a model, but never shows her face on the videos.
With only 38 videos, Nina has built a subscriber base of 149k people. She gets 650k views per month and earns as much as $1.7k in ad revenue for those viewers.
YouTube is an education and entertainment platform, and you don’t need to be a polished presenter to make some great money on the platform. If you can present content in a compelling, engaging way, it doesn’t matter if you show your face or not.
Most of the ideas mentioned above cover day to day human life; cooking, home hacks, shopping, beauty, sports, and hobbies. And can be filmed in a manner that doesn’t require you to show your face.
The star of the videos is whatever the camera is pointing at – that’s what the viewers will be interested in.
So don’t let your dislike of showing your face on camera prevent a channel you launch from becoming one of the next stars on YouTube.
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.
Another way to validate your idea is by searching for videos over the last month and sorting by view count.
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.
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.
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.
There is a filter on YouTube that returns content where the copyright on a video is creative commons.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.