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    Practical Guide to Creating and Editing Video for YouTube

    YouTube has become a favourite playground of video creators, both amateur and professional. Thus you are likely to find all sorts and types of videos that cater to different types of consumers. While some people only upload videos on YouTube for fun, some are monetising their creative efforts. Who wouldn’t be tempted, when the money that comes in can be more than what a regular employee receives?

    One good thing about creating videos for YouTube is that a creator can use even simple video creation and editing tools. People thinking of uploading videos may wonder how YouTubers produce and edit their videos, so we feel that this calls for a practical guide.

    Top videos on YouTube

    Before we go to the practical details of YouTube video production, look at the most popular types of videos people watch on one of the favourite video streaming and sharing sites.

    • Product reviews
    • How-to videos
    • Vlogs
    • Gaming videos
    • Comedies/skits
    • Haul videos
    • Memes/tag videos
    • Best of/favourites videos
    • Educational videos
    • Unboxing videos

    You can add question and answer videos, prank videos, and collection videos to the list of YouTube content that enjoys high viewership.

    Producing videos for YouTube

    The list practically gives you a general idea of the types of videos that people like to watch. Does this mean that these are included in the five million videos people watch each day? Perhaps, considering that according to many reports, about 1.3 billion people worldwide use the site daily across all platforms.

    The growth and potential audience reach of YouTube encourage many entrepreneurs, social media influencers, brands and products, and anyone and anything in between to use it. It continues to prove that it is still one of the best online marketing tools for building an audience and reaching more customers.

    If you are intent on joining the bandwagon, we’re presenting this guide into two parts – producing the video and editing the video for YouTube.


    The initial step is to produce the video. We’re outlining several conditions to help you set up the video production. Understand that the preparatory steps you do before the actual video shoot keep your creative juices flowing. It helps you to keep thinking about other ways to approach the video production or add more to what you originally planned, without straying from what you have initially conceptualised.

    1. Develop a strategic plan

    Although you know the types of videos that people enjoy, your video should be something that will fit your target audience. If you want to start everything right, see to it that you define your specific target. You either want to educate, engage or make people aware. Your video should not be about what you want but what you think your audience wants to see. There might be some contradiction here. If you are a beginner, it is vital to choose a topic that you know and understand, as this will help you build the story from the beginning.

    Next thing you have to consider is the audience profile. You do not have to learn everything about audience demographic if you are not a marketer, but at least you should know about your audience’s problems.

    The third thing you should consider is the benefits your target audience will get from watching your video. Will it provide solutions to their problems? Will they gain knowledge from your video? For example, if you are doing a software tutorial, you should ensure that you present the steps chronologically and that by the end of the video, the viewer understands how to use the software successfully.

    Other things to consider:

    • Budget
    • Filming assistants
    • Video length
    • Location for the shoot
    • Method to shoot the video
    • Script for speaking part
    • Sounds for the video
    • Equipment for the video shoot
    • Editing
    • Text and images
    1. Equipment preparation

    After finishing and polishing your plan for the video, the next step is equipment preparation. The choice of tools depends on the type of video you are producing. You will need more when you are doing a tutorial, for example.

    Typically, you will need the following:

    • Camera – mobile phone to an expensive DSLR
    • Microphone – should be external for better sound
    • Lighting – artificial or natural
    • Storage – where to store the file (raw footage)
    • Editing program
    1. Stage setup

    Determine where you want to shoot your YouTube video. Many vloggers choose a place inside their room that has good lighting and a simple background. Such a simple setup allows the video to focus on the speaker. A simple environment eliminates distractions. At the same time, using a consistent background creates a better atmosphere.

    If you are shooting a cooking tutorial, you should prepare the area in your kitchen as best as you can. Choose an area where you can easily access your stove or oven, refrigerator, prep table, utensils, and sink. Avoid clutter and choose only the things that you need for the cooking demonstration. Determine where you are going to place the camera and lights. Experiment with camera angles.

    P.S. Determine if you want to be in the video or not.

    1. Start recording

    Once you have everything set up on your stage, it’s time to start shooting. Turn on the camera and press the record button. If you have speaking lines, avoid stressing over it. Choose the part before you made a mistake and reshoot the section. Do not turn the camera off, and just continue recording. You can fix everything during the editing session.

    The thing about shooting a video is to have fun while doing it and learning new things. You do not have to know everything. It is more fun to learn something new while completing the process.


    Several years back, video editing (also called post-production) was an expensive process using professional equipment. Today, several tools are available for video editing. The tools are more powerful, allowing people to use a personal computer, with the help of a low-cost or free editing program. The quality of the output is usually comparable to what more expensive video editing equipment can produce.

    1. Choosing video editing software

    You can select the video editing program that fits your budget and your editing capability. A professional video editor often uses a proprietary editing program since they are doing videos for companies and organisations. Most people are satisfied with the software that they can purchase cheaply. Several other programs are free or have free versions.

    For 2020, some of the best free video editing programs include the following:

    For Linux, Mac and Windows

    • Blender
    • Lightworks
    • Shotcut
    • DaVinci Resolve
    • Openshot
    • Avidemux

    For Windows and Mac

    • HitFilm Express
    • InVideo

    For Mac

    • iMovie

    For Windows

    • VSDC Free Video Editor
    • Machete Video Editor Lite
    • VideoPad
    • Freemake Video Converter

    For mobile phones (Android and iOS)

    • Quik
    • Adobe Premiere Rush
    • Horizon
    • com
    • GoPro

    While many of these are open source and easy to use, what is essential is to ensure that you learn the features of the editing software. Practice makes perfect, as many people love to say. It will be of great help if you practice editing an existing video, just to get a feel of how the editing tool works and test the capabilities of the other features. Most programs include a tutorial, so take the time to check it out, to learn how to use the software, know the basics of video editing, and how to improve the appearance of the video.

    1. Edit your raw footage

    The aim of editing the raw footage is to put them together in a cohesive and seamless single video file. Each shot you took is an individual file. Most video editing programs allow the user to drop and drag the file into the timeline of the master video file. At this stage, you can move each shot around and shorten some files. Once you think that your raw file can tell the story that you wish to convey, you can add some transition effects, such as:

    • Fade in/fade out
    • Wash out
    • Cross dissolves
    • Ripple dissolves
    • Jump cut
    • Cutaway
    • Iris in/iris out (wipes)

    While transition effects can make your video enjoyable, it is a good practice to limit their use. Choosing where to add transitions to your video gives your production a more professional look.

    1. Add graphics, texts and other effects

    After putting together the individual shots into a single video file and adding the usual transition effects, you can think of more video effects to enhance the visual look of the video. You can add a title to the beginning of the video and probably a toll-free phone number, website URL and other relevant information at its end. For most video editing programs, you add a text layer at specific points of the video.

    For other sections, you can superimpose graphics or pictures are selected points in the video, or add other effects, such as change its colour, add soft focus or split the screen.

    1. Save your file

    After completing the editing process and you are satisfied with the outcome after reviewing the final footage, save the video in the right file format. Most video editing programs support WMA, MP4, or AVI file formats. YouTube supports other file formats, such as MOV, MPEG4, FLV, MPEGPS, WebM, and 3GPP, as well as HEVC (h265), CineForm, ProRes, and DNxHR.

    If you are unsure, you can always follow YouTube’s recommendation: MP4 format.

    Since most TV screens and monitors are rectangular, YouTube likewise recommends using a 16:9 ratio widescreen format, which fits the aspect ratio requirements of mobile phones. See to it that you render your video in 720p or 1080i high definition, which gives you high-quality resolution.

    Although not all viewers can watch videos in high resolution due to issues with internet speed, you should always upload your original video file in the highest resolution. Always think that people are watching your video on high definition, big-screen televisions.

    Additional technical requirements

    It is critical at this stage to ensure that you are complying with the technical requirements of YouTube. These things will ensure that you can upload the video on the platform and generate interest and high viewership.

    1. Video size

    Avoid video cropping by following the right video size. The minimum size is 426×240 (240p), while the standard is 854×480 (480p). For high definition resolution, the minimum is 1280×720 (720p), and the maximum is 1920×1080 (1080p), which is the ideal size. Follow the correct file size so that your video will not have white frames on both sides.

    1. File size

    The maximum file size you can upload on YouTube is 128GB, which is about 12 hours in length. The minimum length is 15 minutes.

    1. Upload encoding settings

    Use MP4 as the container with no edit lists to ensure its correct processing. For a fast start, the movie atom (moov atom must be at the file’s front. The recommended audio code is AAC-LC, with stereo or stereo + 5.1 channels and a sample rate of 48khz or 96khz. YouTube supports H.264 video codec.

    The platform also recommends videos with progressive scans instead of interlacing.

    Uploading your video

    We assume that you already have a YouTube account. You need one to upload a video to the video streaming and sharing platform. While YouTube processes your video, you’ll notice that it will be in low resolution. There’s no need to panic since it is the method the application use to ensure that it uploads faster.

    While it is uploading, YouTube automatically creates random thumbnails. You do not want a thumbnail that will not be complimentary to your video. The best way to see to it that you can use the thumbnail for brand awareness, create the customised thumbnails yourself. Some of the programs you can use are Canva, Fotojet, Snappa, Adobe Spark and Fotor.

    They are available online, and you can use most of their graphics, fonts, images, illustrations, frames, and backgrounds. Most are free to use. However, Canva charges you for using their clip art and stock photos. On the other hand, Adobe Spark will not charge you for using their pre-made templates.

    We hope that you have a better idea of creating and editing videos for YouTube. Remember to plan carefully, create a suitable environment for your filming and have fun while shooting your first or your nth YouTube video. Editing will take care of producing an exciting story.

    Image: https://pixabay.com/photos/edition-video-edit-cut-paste-1677458/

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