With all that being said, there are a few actions you can take / pieces of equipment you can buy that will make your YouTube journey more successful.
There are 3 main keys you need to be good at for YouTube: the scene, the message, and the tech.
If you'd prefer to listen to this content from the video above, play it or download it from the podcast episode below.
YouTube Key #1: The Scene
When it comes to the scene, less is more.
Unless you’re blessed with an incredible outdoor shooting environment that fits the theme of your videos, you should stick to a minimalist indoor background of plain wall.
Well, you want to focus of your videos to be YOU. So by removing any background clutter present in your shooting environment, you automatically bring yourself to the center stage.
You also want the levels of noise in the background to be relatively low if you can control this.
YouTube Key#2: The Message / Content
The absolute keys to the content of successful YouTube videos are:
Meeting people where they are
If you can do these 3 things consistently over months and years, you WILL be successful online, in YouTube or anywhere else.
Content Key #1: Meeting People Where They Are
If you want to learn about something on YouTube, what do you do? You type in a phrase in the search box, and look at the results. This phrase is referred to as a “keyword”.
If you want people to watch your videos, you need to be doing keyword research so that you KNOW how to tailor your content to what search terms people are using already.
Then you can find out:
How many people are searching for something
How much competition there is for the results of that search
There’s a lot more to keyword research than you have time for here. You can read this post on keyword research to get into things a bit more, and keep your eyes peeled for a YouTube specific keyword research post coming up soon.
In addition to KW research, you must keep in mind Youtube's goals and the basics of good YouTube SEO, too!
Content Key #2: Being Helpful
Being helpful means that you begin each video by focusing on a problem somebody might have that you want to help them solve.
For example, in the video form of this blog post, I focused on the problem of “how to make a good YouTube video”.
In the video, after a quick intro I got into the nitty gritty of the solution (which we’re going through right now).
Even if your videos involve a lot of personal stories, try to make sure that you begin and end the video creation process with the mindset: “how will my video help someone else?”
And then make sure to quickly get into the meat and potatoes of the solution you are offering to someone’s problem. This respects others’ time and they’ll appreciate you for being concise.
Plus, ain’t nobody got time to watch a 30 minute YouTube video from you UNLESS it is EXTREMELY helpful to them.
Content Key #3: Being Authentic
In this day and age, people don’t resonate with marketing. They don’t respond to companies.
They respond to PEOPLE.
And the only way you’re going to get other people to become emotionally invested in your YouTube videos is by being yourself, which means being authentic.
Being authentic means letting your natural self shine through. It means you share your opinions, especially if you think other people might disagree with them.
It means being a real human being on camera.
This might all sound a little vague, so here are two actionable tips you can use to be more authentic in your next YouTube video:
Make sure to look directly into the lens of the camera. Eye contact is extremely powerful for establishing trust and connections with other people.
When it’s relevant, share a quick personal story that relates to the topic of your video - especially if it involves you overcoming a struggle in your past.
YouTube Key #3: The Tech
You’re reading about the tech recommendations last, which was intentional.
If you can nail the scene and the messaging of your videos consistently, getting the right tech in place will be like the icing on your YouTube cake.
I have an Amazon Shopping cart with all of the gear I use right here, but let me break things down for you piece by piece:
Earlier, I said to just use your cell phone as your vlogging camera, and I wasn’t joking. To be fair, I have a pretty nice phone : the Google Nexus 6P. However, almost any smartphone made within the last few years will do the job here. Honestly, people don’t care as much about average video quality as they care about the audio quality of your videos. So if you were going to buy one thing to upgrade your YouTube setup, you should spend 50 bucks on the lavalier mic recommended below.
If your videos sound shitty, way less people are going to watch. Upgrading your mic setup is an extremely wise investment in your YouTube success.
I like this mic because it has a long cable, it sounds great, it’s not too expensive, and it’s EASY. All I have to do is plug it into my phone that I’m recording with, clip the mic to the front of my shirt, and we’re good to go.
Just be aware: this mic DOESN’T work with camcorders or DSLRs - only smartphones.
Tripods are extremely useful for one simple reason: they keep your camera still! If your video is shaky, people won't want to watch.
When it comes to tripods, I like mine to be lightweight above all else. Since I travel the world while building my business, this is out of necessity and convenience.
Good lighting is essential to a good looking video. If you don’t have the money for lighting kits, don’t worry: you can shoot outside during dawn or dusk, or make a hodge podge lighting kit out of lamps you have at home.
Put lamps above your face level and roughly equal distances from each other and yourself, and you’ll be OK.
I use two $70 light sticks that are color and intensity adjustable. Since they’re super intense, I use some wax paper (yes you read that right) to give the lighting situation a bit of a softer look.
Now you know everything you need to make great YouTube videos consistently. Remember: it’s not about the equipment.
But if you do have some money to invest in your setup, getting tripod for your cell phone, and then a lavalier mic like the one I use should be your first priorities. After that, you can get external lights and some tripods for them as well!
From here, it is all about mastering Video SEO so you can make sure your videos reach your target audience when you publish them.
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Miles is a full time internet marketer who sells information products and a niche membership program with his wife, Melanie. Together they have created a lifestyle business that allows them true location independence and this blog where you get to see behind the scenes and see how they have built their online business from scratch.