Here we show you how to make a YouTube video, included a few different ways to make a video using a variety of recording devices. Being able to make a YouTube video to supplement the other techniques you use to market and promote your website or blog is a useful skill to have. It can bring you traffic that you would not otherwise have had, and videos often have high click through rates.
There several different types of video, such as social videos people make that have no connection with marketing or advertising a product, service, blog or website. We shall focus less here on such social videos and more on those you can use in marketing or to explain certain tasks and otherwise provide useful information to your readers. The most common types of such videos are:
- ‘How to’ Videos, showing you demonstrating certain tasks. For example, sharpening a chain saw, how to carry out car maintenance and how to make a soufflé.
- Screen recordings showing tasks such as how to download and use a software application or cell phone app. This can be with or without an audio commentary. These are generally used for marketing or to explain how a product you are selling should be used.
The basic process is to first make the video and then upload it to YouTube. You can then promote the video on your blog, website or through social media. Let’s start with the equipment required to make a video for YouTube.
Video Equipment and Software
You can shoot a video using a smartphone, digital camera, webcam or a video camera. A smartphone is fine for a short video of 5 minutes or so, but it will take up a good chunk of your storage space: around 380 MB. So first make sure you have enough space for your video before you begin. Most Facebook videos are shot using cell phones.
The average smartphone such as an iPhone will do a reasonable job and also record audio. However, you can get better quality by using a paid app at around $5 or less. MoviePro is an excellent example, available on iTunes for the iPhone and iPad. If you have an Android you could use the Google Android Camera app.
One tip when using a cell phone as a video camera: make sure you shoot with your phone in a horizontal position and not vertically. Videos look much better on YouTube when shot with a horizontal orientation of the phone. Also, if you are including audio, speak louder than normal. You will get a better result, and listeners will not have to turn up the volume on soft sounds.
A webcam is ideal if you are recording yourself talking. It can also be set up to demonstrate you carrying out simple tasks such as rewiring an electrical plug or baking a muffin. You can record the video onto your laptop or iPad, and also add audio through your computer’s microphone or via a sound recording app.
Portable USB webcams incorporating a microphone, such as those marketed by Logitech, can be used to record videos directly onto a laptop. They can be used in any location and can be either hand-held or set up in a fixed position. These are ideal for the amateur video maker, and many of the videos you view on YouTube have been shot using these.
You can use either a hard-wired USB webcam or a wireless version. There is no difference between with regard to video quality, only in terms of convenience and the ability of wireless versions to be located more remotely from your laptop; and price of course!
c) Video Camera
You can also use a dedicated video camera, but these are generally needed only for professional videos. Bloggers can get by more than adequately using a cell phone or portable webcam. The days are over when you had to purchase an expensive video camera – or even an expensive digital still camera – to get acceptable picture quality.
The average cell phone is more than capable of producing results than can be enhanced using a camera app or one of the many photo enhancement software packages you can find free online. However, if you intend to produce a professional video of more than 5-8 minutes, then you should choose between a webcam and a video camera. A digital still camera with video facility can do it, but you will need a high-volume SD card for storage.
Making the Recording
Most YouTube videos are under 4.5 minutes (average is 4’20”). Taking the above information into consideration you can therefore use any of the above-mentioned types of equipment for this.
It is usually best to take multiple recordings or ‘takes’ where this is possible. You can then select the best for your final video. It also a good idea to keep recording where relevant, and cut the parts you do not want to use later rather than wish you had added a bit more footage once it is too late. You can use a variety of editing software to get your timing spot on and include or cut your recordings to get the best possible end result.
There’s not much to say about making the recording. With today’s equipment it is intuitive, although the level of lighting could be factor. Nevertheless, if you can’t get this right most half decent digital recording and movie enhancement software can compensate for poor lighting conditions.
How to Edit a Video Recording
Windows Movie Maker: If you use Windows, then Windows Movie Maker is an excellent basic application that enables you to cut and join video clips together to produce a professional-looking seamless video. You can erase any areas of your video you want to remove, and add effects such as a Title screen, various transition effects between parts of the video and even add an extra soundtrack afterwards if you wish.
Apple iMovie App: If you have a Mac, then iMovie does the same things as Movie Maker does for Microsoft computers. Naturally, it is not identical, and iMovie and Movie Maker offer different transitions and ways of presenting your video. Each has its own benefits and unfortunately they are restricted to their own OS. One day somebody will devise a means of using Apple apps on Windows and vice versa. If you have an iPhone, you can buy the iMovie app for under $5 and edit your movie on your iPhone.
Wondershare Video Editor: If you are using a webcam, your computer system likely has software already installed to handle the editing and management of your video. Wondershare Video Editor is one free app that enables you edit your videos: cut, trim, merge, mix videos and add soundtracks and voiceovers to create a professional video for YouTube or your own website or blog.
It is compatible with Androids and iPhone systems, but you can use it on your laptop to produce amazing, professional videos from webcams, cell phones, digital cameras and most other recording devices. What such digital software cannot handle are the old VHS camcorders and home Super 8 cameras. If you still use these it is better to enter the digital age so you can make use of the movie and video applications available that can enable you to create near Hollywood standard movies.
The best way to learn how to use this kind of software is to play with it and enjoy it. There are several free movie editing applications available online, and each is different. First make a master copy of the video, and then check them out and try changing your movie using the various tools each has to offer. If things go wrong, you always have the master to revert to.
There is a wide range of paid and free screen recording software available to enable you to demonstrate activities on your computer screen. If you have a software application you wish to demonstrate you can record everything visible on your computer screen while you use it to carry out a task.
Perhaps you want to demonstrate how to carry out keyword research using a specific tool, or even how to use Google Analytics to set goals or to establish the performance of your blog against that of a competitor. Simply fire up the screen recording app, it will show everything you do while performing that specific task.
We have previously published a review of the Best Screen Capture and Video Screen Recording Software. You can read about this from the link in a new tab/window and come back here after if you wish. Once you have used the software of your choice to record your screen activity, and added any voice-over or commentary you need, you can then upload it to YouTube in just the same way as you would a regular video.
Uploading Videos to YouTube
Once you have shot your recording and used your app to change it into a superb video, you should now be ready to upload it to YouTube. Login to YouTube and click on the Upload button in the top right of your screen. Select the file from your storage disk/drive and that’s all you need do.
You can write some content about it, and must include a title and description and some tags just as you would with a regular blog post. Take a note of the URL or link for your video and publish that on your website, blog or even in published web content so that readers can access your video. Publish a description of your video on Facebook along with a link, or even better: do so on twitter with a link to Facebook.
Another good way to promote your video is email marketing. If you have an emailing list, send it out to everybody in your list with an explanation of how the information it contains can help them. If you have no list then a) think about building one, and b) email to all your clients and readers who have provided you with their email address.
Other Ways How to Use YouTube Videos
Vlogs are Video Blogs, or regular videos that you can use to present your thoughts, tell stories or present a series on topics such as car maintenance, home repairs, solving common computer problems or how to cook Chinese, Italian or Indian food. You can create a vlog or series of video blogs on any topic you feel confident about.
Alternatively, a video can be an ideal way to explain to people how to use your new cell phone app to monitor your health or how to avoid being led up a garden path by a car GPS system. Choose your own topic – if you are good enough you can sell your video courses from your website or blog. Many people make money this way, and all they are doing is shooting a webcam or cell video of themselves changing a car wheel bearing, and adding some voice-over instruction later using Wondershare Video Editor or similar.
If you know how to make a YouTube video, you have a great marketing tool at your disposal and also a very useful way of making money. For some, its marketing capability is what makes YouTube so attractive, while for others it is simply a great way to offer free videos that include a link back to their websites. Others simply sell the videos they make and offer a taster on YouTube.
There are many different ways of making a video for online publication. At the end of the day, however, all you need is a webcam or cell phone, a laptop and a movie-making or video editor app, and you can create a professional video to use as you wish. That’s how to make a YouTube video at minimum cost without any genuine technical knowledge.