So, I thought it would be a fun idea to talk about my approach to YouTube. I'm no expert, but I have learned a lot since I started making videos roughly a year ago.
I'm being asked all of the time how to get people to watch your YouTube videos (views / hits) and subscribe to your accounts, so here are my tips.
Filming The Right Way Up
First thing and most important, put your camera or phone up the right way. Don't film it upright, it is so annoying to watch. Film it sideways so that your video fills the screen properly, like a TV programme.
This is really important, because lots of people won't watch YouTube videos if they aren't filmed up the right way.
What Camera, Settings and Tripods
Use a decent camera and keep it still. Most mobile phones have pretty good cameras these days, and you can get little tripods really cheaply.
Yes, these include mobile phone tripods for just a few pounds, bendy Gorillia Pod ones, and lightweight full-size tripods for less than a tenner, on eBay and Amazon
I have two cameras, a large semi-pro Canon 70D and a small pocket-sized vlogging camera, a Canon Powershot G7X. These are excellent choices, but they are expensive, and there are much cheaper options out there that are almost as good.
Recording in HD
If you are recording in HD like me, you need to make sure that you have a huge harddrive on your computer. If not, you will probably need to invest in a portable external harddrive with a USB lead.
For about £50, Sony do a really good one that has one terabyte (1 TB) of space. Contact me if you would like more details abut that.
Lighting Is Important
Invest in some good lighting. Softboxes are actually much cheaper than you would think, around £40 for two on eBay, and they are incredible - they make such a difference. Reflector screens can be really useful too, adding more light to your YouTube videos if you get the angle and position right.
Yes, and if your room is bright and has good natural daylight, then make sure that the daylight is shining on you, rather than behind you, so that you are properly lit. For example, don't stand or sit in front of a window, especially if it is sunny. Experiment with different angles until you get the best lighting and position for you.
When you upload your video to YouTube, try to edit out the rubbish bits. I used Final Cut Pro on my iMac computer, but iMovie is just as good if you have a Mac or iPad. Take a look on the App store for more choices.
YouTube Titles, Keywords and Thumbnail Images
Do take time to give your YouTube video a catchy title, a good description and some relevant keywords. All of this helps people find your video and watch it. You can do this by editing your uploaded videos on the 'video manager' page of your YouTube control panel.
Now then, why not create an interesting Custom Thumbnail image with a title, so that it will catch people's attention? Use the proportions of 1,280 x 720 to get it the right size.
I use Photoshop to make mine, but you can try PicsArt, which is a free app design for this kind of thing. This picture what will come up in YouTube's search results, so look at other people's and see what catches your eye, to give you some ideas. Be inspired.
Don't Forget Social Media
Try to engage with people via Social Media, to get a bit of buzz going with your YouTube videos. Use things like Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter and Tumblr to reach out to your audience, as well as Google+.
Yes, and for a little money, you can boost your postings on FaceBook so that they go out to thousands of people.
Always Reply To Comments
If people comment on your video, don't just ignore them.
Comment back to show them that you care about your channel. The more comments there are on your video, the more that people will be likely to join in, commenting themselves and watching it right to the end. If they are really keen on your video and haven't subscribed yet, then maybe ask them politely if they might like to subscribe to your YouTube channel.
Set Up A Website
Consider setting up some kind of a website, even if it is only a single splash page or a handful of pages. It will help people find you and what you are all about.
Google+ And YouTube Profiles
Make sure that you fill in your Google+ profile, so that viewers can see what you are all about. And put up a nice profile picture as well, don't leave this blank. People on YouTube like to see who they are watching.
If you want to be really popular, research your topics and only film popular things - be topical. Or, just have fun, as long as you are enjoying what you are filming, people will enjoy watching it. Ask this question to yourself - 'Would I watch this?'
Quality, Quality, Quality
Remember, quality over quantity, nobody wants to watch rubbish, so think carefully before you film and upload.
Practicing and Planning Makes Perfect
Plan a little behorehand if you can, and maybe make some notes so that you don't forget to say or do anything.
Getting a Proper YouTube Channel URL
And when your YouTube account is really successful, YouTube will contact you and offer you a proper channel url without lots of random letter and numbers, for example, I'm now www.youtube.com/nilipod . This will take time, so don't be disheartened if you don't get your 'channel url' within your first few months.