YouTube – How on earth do you even get started?

It’s 2022. YouTube was created in 2005 and started off as an idea. Fast forward 17 years and it’s as popular as ever. In this post I want to look at how (and why) you may want to get started on YouTube.

Why get started on YouTube?

First up is the why. Why do you want to get started? For me, I want to teach everything I know and hopefully it may be useful to someone out there. I also want to improve how I am on video, as well as start building an audience.

Teach everything you know

There may be other reasons why YOU want to get started. Here’s some of the main reasons.

1. You want to make money.

There’s no hiding this one. YouTube can make creators a lot of money and if this is what you’re going for then good luck with it. It will take a lot of work and quality content to make a strong, sustainable income from YouTube ads.

Ads are like anything, you can monetize any content with ads (even your WordPress website, with WordAds).

Don’t get caught in “YouTube Entrepreneurial Porn” and watch countless creators instead of actually just getting started yourself.

2. You want to start a course.

Sure, you can create courses on YouTube and even start charging for access to videos now. This might be a great way to get your content out there. You’ll be giving a cut to the platform (vs selling your course directly through your site for free) but the benefits there are YouTube brings the traffic (YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine after all).

3. You’re a gamer and want to put your stream up.

Hi Mike, pretending to know what you’re talking about here? Hell no. I’ve never streamed my gaming and I’m not on Twitch. It’s a great reason to use YouTube though and I’ve certainly enjoyed various Call of Duty highlight videos on YouTube in the past.

How do you get started?

I’m going to skip the “How to sign up for a YouTube account” as it’s Google and if you’ve not got a Google Account (or a means to sign up using a different account) then head over and read this.

Back? Good. You’re on YouTube and you’ve got zero videos and zero subscribers.

Hit that little video icon with a +

Then upload your first video. Here’s another post I wrote on Sharing Your Story on YouTube where I go into my initial YouTube setup – but I’m going to go a little deeper into getting started and go into what’s worth doing on each video.

  1. Add a bit of background music.
  2. Add a good description.
  3. Use end videos.
  4. Add a subscribe & be notified call out.
  5. Try and shoot videos that are over 8 minutes long.
  6. Be consistent.

1. Add a bit of background music

I use bensound.com for mine but there’s plenty of more out there. It’s important that it’s music that won’t trigger YouTube’s copyright issues checks – especially if you plan to monetize your account later.

Whoops

2. Add a good description

Grow this over time as your gear grows. Include links in the description and in your video, mention there’s links in the description to what you’re talking about. Here’s what I put on my last video.

Wow. What a change. In this video I cover what I’ve been tinkering with this past week and how my video is looking by the end of it. It’s nothing fancy and using kit under $250 (the majority of this is the mic) assuming you already have a smart phone in your pocket. Links covered in the video

I’m Mike. I’m a product developer, dad and part time YouTuber. On my channel I share my journey after starting out in 2022 and looking to teach everything I know and everything that I learn through the process.

Why?

YouTube is a search engine and owned by Google, it uses algorithms for showing your content to people searching. It also measures engagement on your videos, watch length, description clicks, likes, comments.

3. Use end videos

This helps viewers see other videos related to the one they’ve (hopefully) just watched. Go Pro and when shooing your video take a few minutes at the end to actually talk about the end videos.

You’ll need some videos to mention of course.

Add a subscribe & be notified call out.

There’s plenty of these over on Pinterest and across the internet. Grab one on green screen and then when editing your video add the scene as a new track and choose green screen as the option (rather than cutaway).

Also, remember to actually point in the correct places for the subscribe and notify bell – which I totally messed up at the end of the video below

Oops. I bloopered at the end.

Try and shoot videos that are over 8 minutes long

This one’s important if you ever do want to monetize your content later. If your content is over 8 minutes you can add in “mid-rolls” which (or so I’m told) can drastically increase your revenue from ads.

When you upload videos that are eight minutes or longer, you can enable ads during the middle of the video (known as ‘mid-rolls’) in addition to having them at the beginnings and ends of videos.

YouTube help docs

Be consistent

Here’s how my YouTube channel is looking after the first couple of weeks.

Should I give up?

Not many views at all so far, and some short levels of engagement. This isn’t a post about growing a YouTube channel – it’s about how do you even get started.

I’m hopefully going to be putting out at least one video a week on my channel. So if you want to help me boost my views I’d love it if you head over to my channel and check it out.

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