If you’re like many people then you don’t like having your picture taken. Never mind recording yourself speaking on video!
Yet you still want to launch a YouTube channel and earn cash from the Youtube Partner Program. Don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to make videos for YouTube, even if the thought of speaking on camera makes you blush.
Many of the ideas only need you to record your voice over stock images or b-roll video. Others let you tap into a skill you already have.
Start Now – Get Good Later.
Don’t worry about being too polished when you start. Many of the following examples show how successful channels started out.
As you’ll see many of their first few videos have poor production quality. The critical thing to remember is that they stuck with it. You have to grind and persist in the early days while your channel grows.
You can always improve your production quality as you go along.
So let’s get started with 12 ideas for YouTube channels you can launch without showing your face.
Remember if you need help with graphics, banners, subtitles or many other of my secret weapons to grow faster on YouTube then check out my resources page – dozens of tools I couldn’t live without.
With over 100 million subscribers, PewDiePie has one of the biggest channels on YouTube. Run by Swedish gamer Felix Kjellberg, he uploads a blend of comedy, gossip, and gaming content.
When Kjellberg launched the channel in 2010 though, he started with short, simple clips of him playing games like Minecraft.
Are you a gaming great? If you can do with your thumbs what others can’t, then you too could launch a channel demonstrating your skills. Not that good at gaming? Flip it around and show gaming fails instead.
Make your clips compelling by adding a funny commentary, or show how to defeat a tricky boss. Rember, it’s all about adding value to the viewer.
Here is the first video PewDiePie uploaded.
Top List Videos
People love to rank things: the best striker, the funniest animals, or richest actors. Lots of YouTube channels list all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff from 10 to 1, 5 to 1, or whatever number to 1!
From the weirdest things caught on camera to the biggest waves ever to hit ships, there are plenty of possibilities.
It doesn’t have to be weird (though that does attract curiosity). You could rank the top 10 luxury watches or 5 best shades of green nail polish.
One channel with over 4.5 million subscribers, who only record commentary over images and b-roll footage stitched together is Top 5 Best.
Below is a selection of the videos they started with. Today they get over 24 million views per month.
People are always on the lookout for tasty new recipes and cooking guides. And as the focus is on the food, you can film from overhead only showing your hands.
It doesn’t have to be gourmet cuisine; you could create a channel based on quick meals to build muscle or easy breakfasts to make before work.
Below is the first video created by a popular channel showing how to make Nepali food. Yummy Food World has over 600k subscribers, and it looks like they shot their first videos on a smartphone.
They don’t even have voice commentary, just some basic captions. Below is the video they got going with.
Do you think you could make a good living filming your hands doing some simple life hacks? That’s precisely what the owner of the channel 5 Minute Crafts has done.
Attracting over 67 million subscribers, they show how to use everyday items in canny ways. While their early videos don’t show any faces, they have more recently used models to demonstrate the hacks.
Take a look at one of the early videos from them, showing you smart ways to peel fruit. The production level is quite good for a first video, but nothing you couldn’t manage yourself with a little practice.
Are you handy in the workshop? Another popular niche on YouTube is restoration videos. These types of videos film the process of repairing old, tired and worn out items. Some people find them therapeutic, almost a mindfulness practice and they have become are very popular.
Along with some filming equipment, you will need the tools and workspace to restore the items. One of the popular channels in this niche is Black Beard Projects. He restores knives and vintage tools to their former glory and has over 1.6 million subscribers.
Here is one of his first videos, with 133k views, it’s low production, and shows him removing rust off an old anvil.
Beauty has always been popular on YouTube – there are plenty of Youtubers making a good living doing makeup tips. If you are not ready to show your face, how about starting a channel demonstrating Nail Art?
Simply Nailogical is a channel that started with low budget how-to videos for nail art. A channel showing a mixture of pictures, static video, and simple captions, has grown to over 7.6 million subscribers.
When you show others how to do something, you also have other ways to earn money. Add in affiliate links in the video description for products you have used and make extra earnings.
One niche that is very popular on YouTube is meditation videos. In today’s hectic world, many people seek out a moment of peace through mindfulness and meditation.
Meditation videos come in several different formats. Some have a voice guiding the mediation, and others have only calming music. Additionally, there are even some with only the sound of a bell marking the beginning and end of a timed meditation period!
So, you could create these videos with stock images and music, and could even outsource the writing and audio recording of guided mediation on Fiverr.
You can see from the first videos from Meditative Mind that they started with just stock photos and sounds. They didn’t even loop the videos into the longer lengths which are popular today.
Turn a camera on, point it at a piece of fruit, and let it rot. Whoever came up with this concept must have got a few blank stares when pitching the idea to a friend.
But this is precisely what Temponaut Timelapse did when they started their channel 11 years ago. To be fair to them, it’s not all rotting fruit; there are also time-lapses of clouds, flowers, and cityscapes.
But, the concept has proved to be popular, and the channel has grown to 1.2 million subscribers. You can even shoot your first videos on a smartphone or GoPro. Here is one of their earliest videos of a rotting Strawberries.
When faced with something we don’t understand, we often look for an ‘explainer’ video to quickly tell us what it’s all about.
If you can explain complex ideas in an entertaining way, then you could launch an animated education channel on YouTube.
Now, you might be thinking you could never create an animated video. But, you can make professional animations using a tool like Animaker for $30 per month. You could even outsource the whole job on Fiverr for very little investment.
Below is an early video from the channel CGP Grey. It explains the dull topic of a voting system using jungle animals to make it enjoyable. You can see that it’s mostly pictures, editing, and a little animation.
Now that the channel is a success, they have invested some of their earnings into better quality animation.
When it comes to numbers of followers on Instagram, the rich and famous beat everyone else hands-down.
Tap into this hot niche by launching a channel that caters to the demand for knowledge about the lifestyles of the mega-rich. Don’t worry, you won’t need to own a Rolex or a Porsche; you can use content already freely available on the web.
One channel you can draw inspiration from is Alux. Launched in 2014, they edited some photos together and recorded a commentary over it. But as you can see from their first videos pictured below, they weren’t even that long either.
Today their videos have better production value but are still mostly stock video footage, text animation, and a voiceover. Alux now has almost 3 million subscribers.
Unboxing & Reviews
Most of us enjoy the online shopping process. Checking out different products and making a final choice. We often look at reviews to help us make up our mind.
You may think the internet is awash with reviews, who needs yet another review channel?
But many reviews are poorly filmed or miss out on the necessary product information. And the injection of some personality can make you stand head-and-shoulders above other reviewers.
You don’t even have to show your face – you can film a product from above using only your hands.
Do you have specialist knowledge of certain products? It could be something as simple as emery boards or fountain pens. If so, start by reviewing the products you own, borrow others, and if they are cheap, buy a few new ones too.
As you grow your channel, companies will start to contact you and ask you to review their products which they might even send to you for free.
If you don’t have specialist knowledge film unboxing videos instead. Some people like to see exactly what’s in the box of a product they want to buy before they purchase it.
Unbox Therapy has 16.7 million subscribers built around the idea of taking items out of retail boxes. He does show his face today, but when he started, he used an overhead camera in a fixed position filming his hands.
Here is one of his first videos.
‘How to’ Tutorials
People ask the internet ‘how do I…’ millions of times per day. It’s the first place people go when they need help with a problem.
Use your knowledge to set up a how-to channel yourself on something you are good at. You’ll find there are plenty of niches out there where you can educate others without needing to show yourself on video.
For example, do you know a piece of software as well as anybody? Screen-record yourself doing something on your computer; there is always someone on the lookout for a helpful video.
Do you hand-make your own jewelry? That is something that many people would like to learn to do and is perfect for an overhead shot of only your hands.
The channel Beadaholique has 500k subscribers and shows viewers how to hand-make jewelry. And they started nine years ago with simple short videos like the one shown below—just a static camera showing their hands making jewelry.
Where to find stock images and video.
So, as you can see there are lots of ways you can make money on YouTube without showing your face. If you aren’t filming your hands doing something and want to create videos by editing together stock images and b-roll footage.
But if you are looking for engaging video that you can add voice overs to or to illustate your points in a video I use storyblocks – For an example of how this could work check out my video with 25 More Ideas for Channels without showing your face.
From voiceovers on stock images to filming quick and tasty recipes; there are many ways to launch a YouTube channel without showing your face.
Maybe you are camera shy and need a little boost to get started. Have you been thinking about making a YouTube channel for years but worry about putting your face on camera? I talked to one of my clients about this exact issue in a consultation call – the video below might help you too.
Most of the channels covered in this post started as one person, with basic equipment, recording a simple video. So there is no reason you can’t do it too.
Success won’t happen overnight. To make a lot of money, you need to upload compelling, fresh content regularly. But, don’t let the dislike of showing your face on camera hold you back.
Find your niche and make a start. Good luck!