5 Things Stopping You From Starting on YouTube (and How to Overcome Them)
Have you ever watched content on YouTube and thought, “I wish I could do that”? Unlike television or movies that might be a bit harder to break into, the beauty of YouTube is that anyone can create a video, upload it, and find an audience. Despite this, there are plenty of reasons people cite for why they can’t succeed on YouTube.
If you’ve considered creating a YouTube channel but have more than your fair share of reservations about the prospect, let me attempt to change your mind. Let’s take a look at a few popular fears would-be creators have and explain how you can overcome them.
5 Fears Holding You Back from Creating a YouTube Channel
It’s true that you can invest a small fortune trying to get all of the latest and greatest video equipment for your new YouTube channel. However, you certainly don’t have to — and, in most cases, high-end equipment could actually cause more troubles for beginners. Instead of starting at the top of the line, start with what you have and what you know.
First of all, today’s smartphones are equipped with amazing cameras. On top of that, more and more manufacturers are creating accessories that can help improve the video and audio quality you capture on your phone. Because of this, you might consider looking at some of these options before looking to buy a whole new set up.
That said, if you do prefer to start off with an upgrade, there are still ways to save on that plan as well. Personally, I found success in purchasing a used camera (a Sony RX-100 II) on Amazon. This allowed me to save a couple of hundred dollars versus buying the camera new.
As time goes on, you may want to update your equipment or add new elements to your set-up such as additional lighting. However, for the most part, you can get started making videos with what you have and make adjustments along the way. Remember: content is more important than spectacle, so just make sure you are putting out quality content and worry about the rest later.
If you’re a frequent consumer of YouTube content, you’ve probably heard something about creator burnout. Due to the demands that come with growing and maintaining a channel, several creators have expressed the mental toll creating videos has had on them. So if big YouTube personalities that make a living from the platform are having a hard time keeping up, what hope do those of us who might be trying to add YouTube to our already busy lives have?
While creating video content can be time-consuming, there are a few ways to help focus your efforts and combat burnout. For one, you should determine what a realistic posting schedule for you is. Although weekly posts have often been cited as ideal, the truth is that it’s better to post less frequently it if means keeping up a steady pace instead of pushing yourself so hard that you give up altogether.
There are also some clever ways you can work content creation into your schedule. One popular method is to do what’s called “block shooting” in which you can film content for multiple videos at once. This way, you can edit in your spare time and then release videos on a regular schedule. Similarly, one way I’ve helped save myself time with assembling videos is to shoot b-roll and assemble relevant photos for upcoming topics in my spare time before even sending the video “into production.” This practice helps the editing process go much more smoothly, which can really cut down on time spent.
Being on camera
Not everyone feels so comfortable on camera and that’s is completely understandable. However, if this description applies to you, you might assume that automatically disqualifies you from creating videos for YouTube. Well, think again.
Despite vlogging being one of the most popular forms of videos associated with the YouTube platform, there are plenty of ways to create great content without ever having to show your face. For example, a tutorial video that utilizes screen capture may be just as effective if not more so than an on-camera how-to (plus, you can use free software like Quicktime to save money!). You can also try a “slideshow” format where all you do is narrate the video and let screenshots, photos, and other visuals do the rest.
Going back to the time management aspect, I actually use a version of the slideshow format to help me save time creating videos while also addressing one of the issues I have with being on camera. You see, when I was first starting, I realized that it was difficult for me to memorize long portions of a script and recite them perfectly on camera — and, while “jump cuts” are mostly acceptable on YouTube, I’ve never been a fan. Therefore, I decided to structure my videos so that I could simply do an on-camera introduction to each section and then use screengrabs and other images along with voiceover for the rest. Obviously, this approach might not be best for every creator or type of content, but it’s just one example of some creativity can help you overcome your YouTube hangups.
Trying to edit
I’ll be the first to admit that the thought of trying to edit videos was the single biggest thing keeping me from making videos for a very long time. After all, a lot of the channels I watch feature elaborate and impressive editing techniques that I simply couldn’t imagine pulling off. Plus, having tried cinematic film editing in college, I can say with some confidence that I’m just not very good at it.
Here’s the thing: YouTube videos don’t need to be heavily edited to be effective. As I mentioned in the last section, most YouTube viewers have adapted to the “jump cut” style that’s actually surprisingly easy to pull off (keep the part of the clip you want, cut to the next part you want, and you’re done). Although I said I’m not a huge fan of this style, watching these types of videos led me to realize that editing vlog and topical content didn’t have to be elaborate or as challenging as film editing. Heck, in some cases, you may be able to create a great piece of content that doesn’t require any editing! Ultimately, the amount of editing required for your videos will just come down to what type of content you’re creating, what skills you have, and how much time you want to put into it.
Finally, it’s hard to write about the challenges of YouTube without mentioning mean comments and trolls. Unfortunately, these people do exist and there’s a very real chance that you’ll encounter them along your YouTube journey. So how do you deal with them?
The first step is admittedly way easier said than done: grow some thick skin. Now, this is something I actually don’t have. However, I have found success in separating the mean things people say about video me from actual criticism about real me. Let me explain: I realize that most of the people who say hurtful things on the Internet are just trying to get a rise out of you. Therefore, when I see things like “Wow, going to go drink a bottle of bleach after seeing that ugly face” (paraphrasing an actual comment I received), I don’t take it personally and instead attribute their beef to the fictional version of me that appears in the video. Yes, I realize this seems silly but taking a third-party perspective has been surprisingly helpful — to the point where I can actually laugh at how ridiculous some a-hole commenters are.
There’s also another piece of reality that allows me to keep the upperhand on these trolls and that involves the YouTube algorithm. Although it’s hard to know the exact formula used in YouTube’s algorithm for ranking videos, one major ranking factor we do know is user engagement. Well, guess what? Comments count as engagement. Because of that, whenever I get a mean comment I just like to think that they helped boost my videos reach (and bestowed me with an extra view). Honestly, this change in perspective has made it way easier to deal with hurtful remarks more than anything else.
If you’ve ever considered getting started on YouTube, there are undoubtedly several stumbling blocks you could point to that are holding you back. Whether it be the money you think you need to spend on equipment, the time you’d need to invest in creating content, or the fear that trolls will spam your videos with hateful comments, I’m here to tell you that these can all be overcome. Hopefully these tips will help you to start dismantling the belief that you can’t succeed on YouTube and get you thinking about what you’re first awesome video will be.
Also published on Medium.