Your Guide to YouTube Video Production – Pre Production and Video Editing Tips

This is a technical part of an article about getting started on YouTube where we have mentioned how to create a YouTube channel and what type of content you should be making for your audience.

If you haven’t read that article I had, they recommend you do it before or after reading this article. You can find it here

The Video Idea (Before You Start Creating)

Here is a small piece of information you should have before creating your video. The more elaborate article can be found on the tool for teaching blog.

The Idea File

You should have an idea file with you, and it should be accessible to you all the time. So that whenever you get an idea, you can note it down. It could either be a notebook or an online app, like Google Keep or Google Docs.

It’s basically where you put all your brainstorming for clarity. So that you can go back and forth whenever you want.

Content Chain

The idea is to create many topics for a consistent flow of content to your YouTube channel. In my workflow, I have a Google Docs file accessible on my phone to note down any topic and arrange it to make it somehow interconnected.

Doing this in advance helps you have a clarity of creating high-quality content, cover everything required in a single video, and create a series of lessons, not just one video.

Pre Production (Before You Hit Record Button)

Pre Production is the part where you do all the things required to make your video before you hit the record button. It is an essential step because it helps you stay organized.

Get Your Gear

It can go as broad as getting different cameras, buying different lenses, having different microphones, lights, etc. It can also go as small as using just your mobile phone to record your videos.

If you have a mobile phone with a decent camera, no one stops you from creating content using it. You can save a lot of money you would spend on purchasing video gear, and the amount can be spent on other things.

But, if you want to go professional from day one, and you have a little bit of money to invest, I would strongly suggest you get a dedicated camera.

Fortunately, there are cameras available in different categories. You may not require the high-end cameras that are used in filmmaking. But it depends on your budget. Some YouTubers are using a $200 camera as well as there are YouTubers using a $5000 camera.

Since you are getting started, you can spend $200 to $300 on a camera with lense kit, so that you don’t have to buy it separately, which can cost as much as the camera itself. You can check out this article for camera recommendations.

The same goes for other video equipment, such as a microphone and lights. You don’t necessarily have to think about getting them on day one, but it would surely help you. So, get a decent microphone. It’s not just the video, but the audio also helps your viewers understand what you are teaching.

There are different categories of microphones, and there is a dedicated article which you can read here.

Create Consistency

It’s not just the camera and microphone required to create a high-quality video, and it’s also about what is shown in the video—for example, the background, and the subject, whatever you are filming, or it could be you.

Creating consistency means having some similarity in every video you will be making. You should be aiming to have consistent background or color theme for a series of videos if you can’t do it for every video.

This is why you may find a lot of YouTubers having a dedicated YouTube setup, which helps them have a consistent backdrop.

Getting a dedicated place also helps you maintain consistency with lighting as well. You can surely use the natural light coming in from a window, but that restricts you from making videos when there is no sunlight. This is why video production requires a studio setup where everything can be controlled, and videos can be recorded any time of the day or night.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a dedicated room. If you don’t have a dedicated space, you can find a corner of the room, select your framing, make the background cleaner and minimal, and try using it most of the time.

Indeed there is an exceptions, you can create videos anywhere you want, but having a similar mood to your videos will help.

Prepare Your Notes

Presentation is another skill that is improved over time. You cannot compare yourself with the YouTuber that has already uploaded 1,000 videos.

The best thing you can do is to go back to the old videos of your favorite YouTube creators and see how they were at the start of their channels. So don’t worry about not being perfect in front of the camera. You can create a workflow to minimize the time it takes to record a video.

Some people are gifted to be in front of the camera get everything they want in one go. But for many of us, we have to make notes of what things we have to talk about. Some people even write entire scripts, word to word. And it takes time to create scripts, but it dramatically reduces the time it takes to record a video.

You can see it for yourself. If noting down only the important things helps you create videos faster, you can do it. You can try writing scripts and see if it saves a little more time while editing the video, because you will have to make fewer cuts to edit out the portions you don’t want.

Post Production (After You Are Done Recording)

Post-production is a part when you are done recording the video, and it’s time to put everything into one package that can be presented to viewers in a single video form.

Video Editing Software

Many video editing software are available, and every software will get the job done. The only thing to choose is what operating system you are using, which video editing software is available for your operating system, and the features you would use in your videos.

If you use your mobile phone to record videos, you can also edit those videos on it. There are some fantastic mobile video editing apps such as Kinemaster for Android and iPhone. You can go through this series of mobile filmmaking if you are interested in creating content using your mobile phone.

If you create content using digital camera, every camera will save the videos on an SD card that will plug into your computer. So it would be best if you use desktop-based video editing software.

The top two video editing software used by the majority of the YouTube content creators are, the Adobe Premiere Pro, available for both Windows and Mac, and the Final Cut Pro, available only for Mac.

Both the video editing software are great, but my inclination is more towards Final Cut Pro since Adobe Premiere Pro is quite complex and is aimed towards filmmakers. If you have to make tutorial videos, you can use Final Cut Pro. But since it is only available for Mac, the cheapest machine you will get is MacBook Air.

Or, you can go for video editing apps available for Windows. Filmora Pro by Wondershare is a great video editing app and affordable since it can be purchased for a one-time payment.

I suggest choosing one video editing software and learning everything about it. Learn about the keyboard shortcuts, learn how to add a specific effect to your video, and learn how to speed up your process. It won’t happen on the first video, but you will surely get accustomed to the video editing app by creating more videos. I know friends who use filmora and have become so much that they cannot move to another software.

Arranging the Footage

This is also a big part of having a smooth post-production process after recording the video. You must learn about how other people arrange their video footage so that you can create your own by making changes to someone else’s workflow.

For example, my workflow is, I have a folder for every property/youtube channel. Inside that folder, I have a folder called ‘Raw Footage.’ Under ‘Raw Footage,’ I have a folder for a particular video project (project 1, project 2 etc). And under each project folder, I have folders for every camera source (camera 1, camera 2 etc). It depends on the kind of video I am making.

For example, if I am making a vlog where I have used my Mobile camera for some footage, my Action camera, and my Digital camera, I will have three folders for different cameras and put the footage there.

So, in the parent folder of the YouTube channel, I will also have a folder called RAW photos, and there will be another folder called Published videos where the exported videos are saved.

Get More Storage

When you’re working with videos and making a lot of them, you will quickly run out of space in no time. I strongly suggest you get an SSD. After the camera and microphone, that should be in the list of top 3  investments for your YouTube channel.

I have one 500GB SSD from Samsung, where are my projects files are saved, and I have another 2TB Hard Drive, where I move all the raw footage from SSD once a month or so. You can choose to delete the raw footage once you have edited the video, or you can keep it, depending on your requirement.

Apart from the Raw Footage, Raw Photos, and Published Videos folder, I have another folder called Media Assets, where I have other folders such as Intro & Outro, and Music.

Intro, Outro & CTA

Creating Intro & Outro using Canva

The Intro is a clip that plays before your video is started, but it is a part of your video. It is generally a welcome screen that shows your logo or the name of your channel, and it is basically to tell people where they have landed on.

Outro plays at the end of the video, and it’s of different types, as you may have seen in many YouTube videos.

CTA is a call to action. For example, the Subscribe text or graphics appear on the video at the end of the beginning.

You can use your existing video editing app to create an intro, outro, and CTA. You can also find it on YouTube, and they are many resources from where you can get it. You can even use sites like canva to create intros and outros.

The goal here is consistency in all your videos, so using the same intro outro in CTA is advisable. It is something you can improve over time, but you should give it a lot of thought so that you don’t have to change it in every video.

Finding the Music

Putting background music in the videos positively affects the footage as it becomes more enjoyable, and people tend to watch longer. But, it’s a personal choice of a YouTube creator to add background music. There are a lot of categories where background music is distracting. So, you will have to decide for yourself.

If you are planning to add music to the background of your video, you will have to find copyright-free music because you cannot adjust any music. You can easily find a song or a tune if used for 30 seconds or more.

The original creator of that music or song can claim the copyright, and all the revenue generated on YouTube via ads will go to the original creator of the music.

Most people find copyright-free Music on YouTube itself as there are a lot of channels dedicated to curating music that is free to use on videos. But I have had a bad experience with it. Sometimes the original owner of the copyright-free music sells e copyright of the music tour company. They start claming the revenue of every YouTube video that has used that song.

So it would help if you used YouTube audio library to find a song that you can use in all your videos.

You can also buy a subscription to premium music sites such as Epidemic Sound that offer some great music tracks. Music from these sites will be copyright-free even after your subscription is ended.

Uploading (After You Make the Video)

After the video is exported and you have got the final product that is ready to be uploaded, here are certain sections that also require your attention

Writing the Title

At this point, you already know the topic of the video. You can use that and create an exciting title for your YouTube video. Please include the keywords in the title. It should be easy to spell and read, and you can get creative to create some curiosity.

This depends on the topic of the video. There is a 100 character limit on the title, so you can utilize that title to make it search-friendly and a little bit of curiosity.

Creating the Thumbnail

Another element of your video where you can utilize curiosity to get the maximum number of people to click on your video is a thumbnail.

I came across a great analogy from MKBHD in his YouTube creators course. YouTube thumbnail is like a signboard of an amusement park. The rides are fantastic, and people will enjoy it, but it’s the signboard on the gate of the amusement park that will encourage more people to get into the park.

If people won’t click on your video, they will also not watch your video. If another video has a better thumbnail in the list of videos, it will have more chances of getting clicked, making your video lose in the eyes of the YouTube algorithm.

There are some basic rules you should follow while creating a YouTube thumbnail, such as, it should have elements that are in your video. You can grab a screenshot of an exciting part of your video and use Canva to add some text to it to generate curiosity. You can study other people’s YouTube thumbnails in your topic area.

Tags and Other Elements of YouTube

You can set up other things while uploading the video, such as adding a related video or link in the Card section, Tags, Related video, Subscribe in the End screen.

You don’t necessarily have to do all these things, but YouTube offers some features to optimize your video.

For example, you can use the Card and entry feature to direct the user to another video or a webpage. It is particularly helpful for teachers who have created multiple lessons in multiple videos to lead the user from lesson 1 to Lesson 2 and so on.

You can also automatic some part of it by using Chrome extensions such as Tubebuddy or VidIQ. We have made a comparision article to help you pick the best one for you.

Promoting (After the Video is live on YouTube)

Promotion is wide and cannot be summed up in a paragraph. That’s why we have a dedicated category called marketing and promotion, where you can read different ways you can try to promote your content.

If you have a large audience on some other platform, you can utilize it by promoting your YouTube video link. You can read this study-created article that talks about promoting your video content in the right way. You gain something in return for your effort of putting your YouTube content on other platforms.

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