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5 Skills New YouTubers Need to Be Successful On YouTube!

Success on YouTube requires learning certain technical skills to help you create quality video content to stand out on youtube. In this article you will learn 5 skills to grow a successful YouTube channel.

Many people talk about starting a Youtube channel. However, few really dig deep to figure out what skills they need to learn to create great videos. Unless you live in a blue van and own a pet snake, moving into 2020 and beyond, you are going to need to develop technical skills to help your videos stand out. Read on to learn 5 skills new YouTubers need to be successful on YouTube and stand out above the rest!

5 Skills new YouTubers need to be successful on youtube!

  1. Know how to operate a recording device (phone or digital camera)
  2. Learn how to edit videos for Youtube
  3. Research how to get the best lighting for your videos
  4. Understand how to record external audio
  5. Learn how to design captivating thumbnails 

1. Know how to operate a recording device such as a smartphone or digital camera

When I first started making YouTube videos with my smartphone, it was pretty straight forward. However, when I decided to upgrade to a mirrorless camera, I wasn’t even sure how to turn it on!

Video Resolution

Eventually, I did figure that out. Then I had to learn how to configure the best settings for my videos. And not just any videos. Quality videos that have captivating colors and the HD image resolution of 1080p at a minimum. HD 1080p is the ideal video recording quality you will want to use for your videos on YouTube. 4K is becoming more popular, but the files produced are bigger and take much longer to upload. 4K footage requires a computer or laptop with certain specifications to edit quickly and without glitches or crashing.  

Frame Rates

One of the most important skills that every new YouTuber needs is to understand how frame rates work. The frame rates are an important aspect to consider. A typical sit down talking head video may be recorded in 30fps (frames per second). However, if you’re into a more cinematic vibe, 24 fps is recommended. However, it has become popular with some vloggers to record in 60fps. This may be a bit too high-def and jarring to watch for some. The benefit of recording in 60fps is that it allows for slowing down the footage and creating some cinematic slow-mo. Some cameras can even record up to 120fps. this frame is also recommended to only be used if you plan on putting that scene in slow-mo.

man looks at the lcd screen of a digital camera - skills that new youtubers need to be successful on youtube
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Color Profiles

Lastly, setting the right picture profile or creative profile on your DSLR or Mirrorless camera can enhance colors (or go black and white) and set the mood or vibe you’re going for, so play around and experiment to see what colors you like best. Certain picture profiles are flat and colors look gray. These are called LOG profiles and hold a more dynamic range of video color information. Basically, it is like recording a video in RAW. This is an advanced videography skill, that isn’t necessary to learn. Most digital cameras have quality colors straight out of the camera. Check exposure first, to make sure the screen isn’t too dark or too bright.

2. Know how to edit videos on a smartphone or using a computer program

When learning skills that new YouTubers need to be successful on YouTube, you must include editing! Naturally, after you record a video, you will probably need to edit some parts of the video. It is important to cut out the “ums” and “ahs,” parts you don’t like, and add words, pictures, or B-Roll (additional footage). Editing also includes adjusting frame rates to create slow-mo or adjusting the colors to get that perfect look. Many of the cinematic videos you may come across on YouTube, also have LUTs (filter-like presets) and another color presets applied to manipulate the colors to achieve a certain look. 

Editing Programs for Smartphones and Computers

Smart Phones 

If you are editing on an iPhone, iMovie is an easy way to get started. There are plenty of YouTube videos to teach you how iMovie works. If you’re not an iPhone user, there are still numerous editing apps available. Some are very basic and others more professional. A few of the popular ones include Luma Fusion, Filmorago, Kinemaster, and Power Director.  

Computers and Laptops

When it comes to computers and laptops, a relatively light learning curve program would be Filmora or Vegas Movie Studio. At the more professional level, there is Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and Davinci Resolve. There is a steeper learning curve to using these programs as a beginner with no experience. However, with time, you will be able to get more creative in your editing. Personally, if it is a quick sit-down and chat video, iMovie or Adobe Rush is sufficient to get the video edited quickly and efficiently. 

Many of the programs have websites that can provide free courses on how to use the programs. UDEMY has some great courses as well. Set aside a few hours over the weekend and you can learn lasting skills that will be very valuable for producing great video content! 

example of different types of lighting umbrellas
Photo by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash

3. Know how to get the best lighting for your videos

So you’ve got your camera skills and editing skills going, but if you film in a place with bad lighting or low lighting, then it may not be much good. You can achieve great lighting by sitting in a place with a lot of natural light. The only downside to this is that it means you will have to film during the day, and hopefully, it’s sunny. If that is not possible, you may want to look into additional lighting resources for filming when natural light is not available. 

Types of Lighting

RGB LED Blue light behind a computer screen and desk
Photo by Banter Snaps on Unsplash

The types of studio lighting available are endless and can range from cheap to very expensive. One light that many YouTube channels typically start with is a ring light. These can be very small and attach to your phone, or quite large and stand on its own tripod. Other options include softboxes and LED panel lighting. 

A recent trend in the last few years is RGB LED Lighting in the form of a tube or bulb that casts an array of different colors in the background of the video. This type of lighting is especially popular on tech and camera channels. 

4. Know how to record external audio for best audio

Of all the skills new YouTubers need to be successful on YouTube, this one is the least talked about. There is a saying that filmmakers often quote, “people will forgive bad video, but not bad audio.” Have you ever clicked on an interesting-looking video, only to have it ruined by an irritating music choice? Or maybe the audio is way too quiet and you can barely hear it? Occasionally, it is so loud and has too much feedback, that it’s irritating. This is the difference between good and bad audio. For this reason, learning how to achieve quality audio is an important, but often overlooked skill for Youtube.

Types of Microphones 

People who use smartphones to record videos directly can often get by with average audio starting out (though there are micro mics that can be attached to phones). However, most DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras have very poor audio and require the use of some type of external mic. 

A popular option is a hotshoe/shotgun mic which can be attached to the top of most DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras directly. Another option is a lavalier mic (lapel mic) which can be wireless or with a cord that attaches to the person’s shirt. These are the two basic options for audio on YouTube. However, when it comes to capturing quality audio, there is no shortage of expensive and technical equipment if you have the budget for it. 

a shot gun mic on a digital canon camera
Image Source Takstar Amazon

5. Know how to create engaging creative thumbnails

One of the most important skills you need for YouTube is learning how to design an enticing thumbnail (without being click-baity, of course). When just starting a channel, some people only focus on the actual video. They don’t put much thought into the importance of the thumbnail. Usually, they just allow YouTube to choose a frame for the thumbnail. Imagine if an amazing Hollywood movie only promoted their movie with a frame (awkward frame at that) from the movie as their only promotion for the movie. It probably wouldn’t lure you in to see the movie. The same with thumbnails, don’t let them be a casual afterthought or you may lose viewers.

The thumbnail design shows people the quality of the content they are clicking on. Additionally, it shows what the video will be about, and uses vivid colors, or a relevant theme to convince the viewer to click and watch the video.

Thumbnail Inspiration

To inspire your YouTube thumbnails, check out some of your favorite YouTubers or really successful people in your niche. What type of font, colors, and pictures do they have in their thumbnails? Do they have a branding theme or pattern for their thumbnails? How big is the font and what words do they put, if any at all? The more you study well-done thumbnails, the better your thumbnails will become. 

example of good thumbnails by Graham Stephan - Skills new youtubers need to be successful on youtube

Graham Stephan thumbnails are clear, interesting, with big easy to read fonts for mobile viewing and stick to a color scheme.

example of good thumbnails by Vanessa Lau -Skills new youtubers need to be successful on youtube

Vanessa Lau uses attractive colors, consistent font, and an intriguing question to pique the curiosity of subscribers to watch her videos. 

Apps to Design thumbnails

You don’t need to start out using Photoshop to make great thumbnails. There are many free and low-cost apps, that are easier and faster to use. Two of the most popular apps (also websites) are Canva and PicMonkey. They have a basic version, but payment is required for access to certain elements but can be worth it if you are making consistent videos. 

Another app that flies under the radar is Adobe Spark. It is a free app and what I really like about this app is that it has a word shape wheel. You scroll the wheel around and it creates all different ways to write words on your thumbnail. Also, you can use any app to add photo filters or get creative with the picture before opening it in Canva or Spark to add words and other creative elements. Some vloggers only put an engaging photo without words as a thumbnail, which is sometimes all you need. 

However, once you are ready, using photoshop can definitely upgrade your thumbnails. When it comes to thumbnails, don’t skimp, take time to make them represent the hard work you put into your video! 
Creating great thumbnails is one of the most important skills new YouTubers need to be successful on YouTube!

Canva Website Landing page -Skills new youtubers need to be successful on youtube

Canva Website

What skills do you need to learn or have learned to produce your YouTube Content? What programs or apps help you to create that content? Let us know in the comments! 

Also, Check out this article on BIG MISTAKES small channels make!

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