PewDiePie, Dude Perfect, Whinderssonnunes, and Badabun: what do they have in common? They are the world’s top four YouTubers.
Between them, they have over 50 million subscribers. Their success on YouTube has inspired countless people to want to start their own YouTube channels. Many people, however, stop at the ‘wanting’ stage, and never really get to do it. They’ll give excuses such as “I don’t have time” or “I don’t have money” or “I don’t have the equipment.”
Stories about successful YouTubers only tend to focus on where they are at present and don’t mention how they started out. Nobody starts out successfully in their career. Success comes after years of hard, anonymous and thankless work, until one day that one video that you make goes viral and you become a sensation.
Even so, this doesn’t happen for everybody. Most people will plod along that road to success slowly, but constantly, until one day they look up in surprise and find themselves at the finish line. The key is to start.
In this article, we will look at some basic aspects of YouTube, what you need to start a channel, and how much it costs.
So, How Much Does it Cost to Start a YouTube Channel? – It can be surprisingly cheap. All you really need is a cheap device to capture video, this can be a smartphone, a webcam or a compact camera. This could start from as little as £30/$40 these days second hand. Video editing apps can be free, and uploading costs nothing!
YouTube – A Brief History
YouTube was started by three former PayPal employees after they were frustrated by their inability to find videos that they were looking for online.
It is a video-hosting platform that enables users to upload, view and share videos. True to YouTube’s mission to give anyone and everyone a voice, anyone could upload a video on YouTube.
YouTube’s popularity was such that Google noticed it and, with laudable foresight, purchased it for $ 1.65 billion. With the rise of terrorism and other hate crimes, this has changed, but only because hate crimes are illegal and no one should have the right to share videos about them anyway.
There are many reasons why you should have a YouTube channel. Some of these are:
- Large audience- YouTube has a large and diverse audience, and is used by over one billion people all over the world.
- Due to the wide-ranging nature of its content, YouTube also reaches a wide demographic of users, from teenagers looking for the latest musical sensation to middle-aged women looking for cooking recipes.
- The ease of access of this platform also makes it desirable both as a search engine and a form of entertainment.
- Uploading videos to YouTube is a simple process. All you have to worry about is producing the video.
- Monetizing- Videos with enough views get monetized. YouTube has thus become a source of livelihood for many creators.
- Marketing- Investors have also tapped into the business potential of YouTube. Organizations have started their own channels to market their products and penetrate new markets.
Who Can Start a YouTube Channel?
Anyone, and it’s free. If you have a Google account, you can sign into YouTube using your account details.
With these, you can watch videos, subscribe to them, and save videos to watch later.
However, to upload a video, you need a YouTube channel. You can easily create one while signed in to YouTube. Just attempt an action that requires a channel, like commenting on a video. You will get a prompt to create a channel.
If you need help in starting a YouTube channel and opening an account I wrote a full deep dive tutorial in my blog.
For your viewers to know more about you, complete your profile and description. Market your brand in a simple, attractive manner. You can also include additional links about yourself or your content here. Make sure your profile picture is clear and appealing.
In addition to a cover photo, you can also add cover art as a background for your profile picture. Again, it has to capture attention. Your channel is now ready to use.
So far, all you’ve spent creating your channel is the cost of your internet connection (if any) and time. We will now look at the basic items you need to run your channel.
What You Need To Run A YouTube Channel?
Since YouTube is about making videos, you need some form of video recording equipment. If you are starting out, you probably don’t have a lot of money. Due to the growing population of video bloggers, or vloggers, a number of companies now produce cameras specialized for vlogging. This website gives a list of cameras you can get for not more than $100. Not to worry.
Start with what you have. Many YouTubers began their channels with nothing but a smartphone camera. Don’t wait until you can buy a good camera to start creating, because your channel will remain dormant. For your channel to grow, you need views.
If you need help in picking a some good starter equipment check out my resources page where I list my equipment and give you a few tips on tools you may find helpful too.
In addition to a camera, you need something to hold it steady while making your videos.
Shaky videos can be quite disconcerting to watch. A tripod stand is a three-legged piece of equipment with a head for mounting a camera. It helps to keep the camera steady during filming and maintains the right angle and height for optimal results. A suitable tripod stand can cost about $170 including shipping.
However, if you don’t have one yet, never fear! You can improvise with a stack of books placed on a desk or a table.
People lose focus when they can’t hear a speaker properly. No matter how good your camera is, without good sound, it will not hold your viewers’ attention.
Aim to own a good external microphone as mobile phones and laptops don’t have very good ones. A good microphone can cost upwards of $150. However, in the meantime, use your phone or laptop microphone. Remember, consistency is key!
I use the Boya BY-MM1 for filming on my camera. Its easy and cheap, great quality sound. I did a deep dive blog into the Boya BY-MM1, its features and how it works, youll be amazed how different microphones work.
Lighting can make a great difference to your video. With good lighting, even videos and photos shot from a smartphone can look highly professional. Simple lighting equipment can go for about $110, with the cost rising as the equipment becomes more complex.
If you’re starting out, you probably won’t be able to afford quality lighting. Work on making your videos outside, during the day, as the quality of natural lighting is far better than the lighting in your room.
Video Editing Software
Established YouTubers have professional teams of video editors. Video editing can turn a simple mundane video into a piece of art. You won’t start out with a team of experts, but you can do your video editing yourself using video editing software available online. A good place to start with this is Movavi, an easy to use video editing software that comes with features like color filters, animated transitions, and captions.
I use however use, Adobe Premiere Pro. Its reliable, top of the industry tool with some great, easy to use features. I am not a video editing pro but I can make some great looking videos. The software starts from as little as $10pm and they even offer discounts. Why not check out their website for more details, discounts and deals.
A Screen- Capture Tool
This is software that enables you to take a screenshot of your entire screen or a part of it. If you plan to make how-to videos, this would be a useful investment to make.
A good screen capture tool is Camtasia, which enables you to record an audio as you capture the screen. You can get it at a one-time cost of $249. It also comes as a 30-day free trial. Alternatively, you can use the inbuilt screen-capture feature inn your PC, although the effect won’t quite be the same.
What if I can’t afford to make videos? Or what if I want to have a YouTube channel but I don’t want to use videos of myself? Well, enter Doodly.
Depending on the content of your videos, you may not even need a camera, to begin with. For example, if you plan to upload explanatory videos, instead of making a video of yourself talking, you can use video tools.
A good tool you can start with is Doodly. This is a desktop software that allows you to create explainer videos using existing templates that you can suit your needs. It comes with a number of features that can turn you from a YouTube amateur to an expert.
Features that make Doodly an ideal companion for beginners on YouTube include:
- Drag and drop- You can add images simply by dragging them onto the application.
- Variety- Doodly uses a variety of boards as a background for the function of explaining. You can choose between whiteboard, blackboards, green board, and glass board.
- Quality- Doodly offers low to high-quality videos so you don’t have to worry about how your videos look.
- User-friendly- Doodly is designed to be used by people with little or no technical knowledge about making videos, so you don’t have to worry about lack of IT or video editing experience.
- Voice recording- You can record your own voice while making the video, or upload a pre-recorded voice.
- Extensive music and Image Library- Music and images can turn a dull video into a masterpiece. Doodly has a large library of free music and images that you can use to make your video more attractive. You can also add your own images to your video, which Doodly incorporates seamlessly into the presentation.
- Different hand styles- Doodly has both right and left-hand styles to cater for everyone.
You can purchase a standard Doodly version for $39 per month with basic features. A yearly plan is cheaper and goes for $20 per month. A more advanced version, Enterprise, goes for $ 69 per month, or $40 per month for a yearly plan.
Reaching Your Audience
You now have basic knowledge of how you can start a YouTube channel. You can make high quality, entertaining and educative videos. How will your audience know about you?
First, you have to link your YouTube channel to all your other social media accounts, so that every time you upload a video it is seen on multiple platforms. As you consistently upload videos, more and more users will see your channel, and YouTube will begin to recommend it frequently.
You can also amplify your visibility on YouTube using Search Engine Optimization Tools. These are tools that increase your chances of getting more views by optimizing your presence online.
Successful YouTubers have made use of these tools to grow their audience and penetrate niches they would never have been able to reach. A good SEO tool you can use for this is TubeBuddy.
This is an extension you can add to your browser to help you manage your channel, is used by more than 3 million creators. It enables you to know the trending keywords relevant to your channel and how to maximize their use to amplify your channel visibility. With TubeBuddy you can ‘spy’ on your competitors and learn which keywords they use, search for relevant keywords, and constantly update your channel with the best selection.
Using numerous inbuilt templates and tools, you can also save time spent in publishing your videos. TubeBuddy comes with tools that amplify your channel presence across the web, making you rank higher in search results.
Thumbnails are crucial in getting your video quickly noticed. TubeBuddy has a feature that improves them to make them more appealing. The best thing about TubeBuddy is that it is free.
We have looked at the basic items you need to make a video for YouTube. We’ve seen that you don’t really need much money to start your own channel.
You don’t even need a formal location, like a production studio. You can do this from your basement or any other spare room in the house. We’ve seen why you should have your own channel and even how you can optimize it to increase your views and rank high on search results.
There is no shortage of easy to use tools to help you make professional, appealing videos. If you have your ideas ready and you know who you want to target, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have your own channel.
Investing in the items listed here will only bring you positive results quickly but it’s also possible to start your own channel even if you don’t have these things yet.