Should you start a You Tube channel?
Why not? Everyone else is. Starting a You Tube channel is the easy and fun part. Keeping your You Tube channel going is the hard part. There are hurdles and diappointments. The lack of subscribers will upset you and cause you to rethink your channel, many times. It takes awhile for a You Tube channel to grow. Content needs to be interesting and informative. Double points for you if your channel has both.
If having a You Tube channel interests you, just do it. Don’t think you’ll never be good enough. I started my first You Tube channel in 2014 and thought those same thoughts. I sorted through YouTube, studying popular channels, and thought of ways to emulate them. This is a mistake. Those channels are very popular because of their personality. People love watching for this reason. People subscribe because they want to see more of what they love. Subscribing means they click the SUBSCRIBE BUTTON. This adds the channel to a list of favorite channels. When the You Tube channel has a new video, the subscriber is alerted via email.
Who would want to watch you? You’re unknown.
What if you’re not interesting? Don’t think that. It’s natural to think you won’t be popular or liked, for most people, especially when you’re putting yourself out there for all to see. Entertainers do this all the time. Until you stand on stage, in their shoes, you won’t understand. I’ve played guitar in front of many people, and although it was a great adrenaline rush, I was alway incredibly shy. It was very difficult for me. Many times I dreaded it. Something about ALL EYES ON ME, I couldn’t stand.
As I type this, my youtube stats show there are currently 120 people watching one of my channels. That would make some people nervous, but not me. I’m not LIVE. I’m not IN FRONT OF THEM, the video is. So I’m out there, but I’m not OUT THERE. See what I mean? When I film, I’m alone, talking to the camera, but I pretend like I’m talking to a friend. This is hard to do at first. It feels a bit silly being alone and pretending not to be. This is part of acting. I’m not an actor, I just got used to it, and you can too.
I have been into cinematography since 1988 and with YouTube being so popular, my art can finally breathe. People all over the world view what I film and create. You can do anything you want. It’s so much fun! My advice is just be yourself. That’s what I did and it worked. My subscribers say they love the channel because it’s me. They like me. Being yourself is the best thing you can do because it’s organic. No one else can be you. If this inspires you to film, remember what I said, just do it. Plow through negative thoughts.
What should your YouTube channel be about?
Do you cook, bake, train dogs, paint, play music? There is something you love doing so do it. People can learn from you. Many popular youtube channels are based on this. If you get lucky enough, you can make extra money to supplement your income by allowing ads to show up on your You Tube channel. If you get really lucky, you can live off your income. Although it’s a lot of hard work and luck, many You Tube creators are making 6 figures. Some make more than that! Most people don’t make any money, while others make enough to pay the water bill. Every little bit helps. Some kids make money by building legos. It sounds silly but kids love watching it.
Here is a video from one of my channels, Rotter Photography, showing a stop motion animation test with legos.
You need to upload a video once or twice a week and reply to all comments left by your subscribers. Visit other You Tube channels and leave comments on videos. This takes time to network, and is a job, but as others see you in the circle of other channels, they will check you out as well.
It will take time, but after a bit, you won’t feel shy or nervous in front of the camera. There were times I thought, eh, this is too silly to post, what will everyone think? I did it anyway. Most, if not all the time, it went over well. Be yourself. People like to be entertained.
Do I need expensive equipment?
You can film on an iPhone and upload to YouTube directly from it. You don’t need fancy equipment. Although I have my studio, I film most content with my iPhone 6 since it’s handy. The other two cameras I use, when in the studio at home, are the Canon XA10 and the Panasonic GX85. Both are great for use anywhere. I have filmed commercials, music videos and YouTube videos with them both.
I will write more on YouTube and channel creation for those of you interested.
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GEAR USED IN YOUTUBE VIDEO CREATION BY ME: