13 Things You Need to Know About Launching a YouTube Series
Here's the thing, whether you are looking for some new, edgy music to listen to on your commute to work, nerding it up with some Lord of the Rings history, or searching for a tutorial on how to make banana bread, YouTube is the place to go. But, someone had to make all of these videos, right?
Thousands of creators, activists, and artists have flocked to this crazy-successful media platform and uploaded all sorts of videos, some of which have become wildly popular.
For those of you interested in becoming a content creator on YouTube and making your mark, there are a few things that you should know.
Today, we are going to take a look at 13 important aspects of creating excellent quality, and expertly created video-series. Whether your thing is makeup tutorials or historical documentaries, these 13 helpful tips will break down the learning curve and allow you to get the ball rolling on your journey to becoming a content creator.
1 - "Choose your subject wisely."
Before jumping into the world of content creation, filming, and broadcasting, you have to have a thing. It is as simple as that.
Take a subject about something that you are already intensely interested in (or currently very well-read in), and imagine compiling all of that information into a cohesive and interesting series of videos.
This subject could be anything! Maybe you are into D&D, or perhaps software engineering is your thing. If you feel a calling to put out everything you know or would like to expand your knowledge onto YouTube, then you are off to a great start!
If you have a few things and can't commit to a single one, that is okay too. Start by doing some research into what out of all of your things is the most popular at the moment. This will ensure that whatever you are planning on publishing will be well received and acquire the most views.
2 - "Capture the audience."
This one can be tricky. According to a study done by Microsoft, the attention span of the average person today is an astonishing 8 seconds. So if you haven't captured the attention of your viewers within 8 seconds, they may or may not stick around for more.
YouTube Studio allows you to see the statistics on each video including average view time. As you begin to upload content, analyzing your stats will help inform your content strategy. For future content, you can come up with ways to better keep the attention of your audience.
As a general rule, smile. This one simple tip will go a long way. If the audience sees that you are having a great time, they will feel as though they will have a great time watching.
3 - "Reference reputable sources."
If you are already very knowledgeable about your thing, that is great news! However, you still have to be able to back up your claims from sources that will be taken seriously.
People will see that you have done your research and can do their own studying based on the references that you can provide in your video description box. This also can be a fun way for you to learn a little bit more about whatever your subject may be, and add to your arsenal of content.
Search engines such as Google Scholar and Project Guttenberg are excellent places to start, especially if your content is heavily research-based.
4 - "Know your audience."
Whatever it is that you are planning on publishing on YouTube, it should be geared toward a specific crowd. If your thing is fairies, you can bet that almost everyone who comes across your videos, is interested in the folklore of the fae as well. This means that you should include content that pertains specifically to that subject, and choose interesting pieces of information that may not be widely known.
What this also means is that your audience should feel included. Your opening line should be a personal introduction and should make the audience feel as though they can trust you, and they may take whatever you say next with a higher level of interest.
You may even choose to end your video with a segment, asking your viewers to comment down below in regards to how they liked your video or if they have any interesting information that they would like to add. Doing this also gives your videos a bit of structure and really gives your audience the feel of taking part and the feeling that their voice and opinion on the matter is valued.
5 - "Build authority."
The most popular types of videos on YouTube currently are 'How-To' videos and product reviews
With that being said, it seems pretty obvious that when people are scouting for a video, it is primarily with the intent to learn something that they had little to no prior knowledge of. You should be able to deliver your content in a way that not only makes the audience feel comfortable but as though you have all of the answers (even if you don't.)
Take a look at some of the most popular How-to videos on YouTube today, and take some notes. What is the creator's demeanor? How do they make you feel when you are watching their videos? How can you bring something similar to your own videos with your own unique personality?
6 - "Intentionally structure your subject matter."
Everyone has a different writing and or speaking style. It is just one of those things that makes us all unique. However, structuring your videos in a certain way helps the overall cohesiveness of the message that you are trying to deliver.
For instance, if you are making a video about baking a cake, you wouldn't start with how long you have to bake said cake. You could, but it would immediately confuse your viewers and deter the audience from listening any further.
As mentioned before, you may want to start your videos with an introduction that describes what your channel is all about and introduces what that particular video will cover.
From there, move on to the subject matter in a way that has cadence and a good flow of information.
7 - "Implement batch-filming."
This little trick is probably one of the most important tips that we will cover today with respect to taking a load of stress off of the entire process of creating your YouTube series.
It is a little thing, but it will play greatly into time management and save you a ton of time overall.
If you are doing a series, it is also a good idea to keep the aesthetic constant in each of your videos and this will be accomplished by filming multiple videos at once. If you have a couple of hours to spare in your busy schedule, try your best to knock out all of the filmings for your video series within that time frame. By doing this, you won't have to worry about making time later to finish filming.
8 - "Get your video equipment in order."
As far as Equipment goes, the possibilities are endless. For starters, you'll likely want to purchase a tripod, some lights, a lapel mic, and if you're feeling especially fancy, stabilizers are great tools to have.
I have found, through my own personal YouTube experience, that using a teleprompter app on my phone worked wonders at keeping my series on track and professional in appearance.
You may also want to invest in a tripod (specific to your model of phone) and a lapel mic, in order to keep your voice front and center in the audio.
9 - "Stage your video series like a pro."
The staging process is an extremely important aspect of your entire series, as it should be visually pleasing. Take a look around your home. Areas that have a decent amount of natural lighting are ideal for this, although, relying solely on natural light puts you at the mercy of the weather on the day of filming.
It would be prudent to use artificial lighting as well as natural light, positioning these lights so as to clearly light up the most important feature in your videos: Your smiling face!
You may also choose to set up the area around where you will be centered in the frame, to give the area a bit of personality that will compliment your subject material nicely.
Once you have completed filming your series, you will need to download editing software to fine-tune your videos. Say that you recited a line or two wrong. That is ok! The editing stage will allow you to chop those rather unfortunate slips of the tongue out of the final product.
At this stage, you will also be able to overlay any stock videos that are relevant to your subject matter. This will give your video a high-quality appearance and, honestly, that is one of the more fun parts!
You will also need to put together an end screen that will make it easier for your followers, or viewers to access your other videos.
Additionally, creating a thumbnail is also an extremely important part of this whole process. There are multiple free, image editing sites where you can easily accomplish this, but when in doubt. YouTube it! When creating your thumbnail, choose an image of yourself to superimpose onto a background picture that is relevant to your topic, complete with the name of your video.
For the final touches, YouTube Studio provides a multitude of free to use, stock music that you can choose from to accompany your videos to add to the ambiance. YouTube also provides a closed captioning option which is ideal for reaching users with a hearing impairment.
11. "Scheduling Your Releases"
Typically, you may choose to publish each of the videos in your series at your own personal leisure, however, keep in mind that you should be available to respond to your viewers' comments promptly, should they take the time to comment on your material.
This means you may want to pick a day of the week where you will not be tied up in multiple engagements. You may also want to space out your videos, ideally a week apart but scheduled to release on the same day of the week as the previous video in the series.
12. Social Media Endorsement"
If you have an Instagram page, Facebook, Twitter, and so on, these social media platforms are going to be an incredible tool for endorsing your material and helping to pull in more views on your channel.
On Instagram in particular, you are able to find users who have similar interests to your own, using the hashtag search. This method can be applied to gain a following that will respond to the material in your YouTube series. Say that you are planning on creating a series about classic poets. You can reach other classic poet enthusiasts through Instagram using #classicpoetry.
Once you have cultivated stable friendships and have a following of people who are interested in the subject of your series, you can begin posting about your upcoming series to steer your following toward your YouTube channel.
13. "Engage with your Audience"
Once your videos have been published, they will be open to the public and all of your hard work will have finally come to fruition! At this point, you may receive some excellent feedback from viewers and some positive comments.
This being said, you can expect that you may not always receive positive feedback, or even find some comments that have little to nothing to do with your video at all! You must be ready to engage with viewers, even those that may have something negative to add to your comment feed. Take all of these comments, especially those with a negative connotation, with a positive attitude if you can.
Allow your viewers the right to their opinion on the matter and be ready to back up your statements; however, if they become hostile, you do have the option to delete comments that are especially uncalled for and make time for the people who are genuinely intrigued by your content.
Content creation can be an incredible journey. Putting together a series of videos about something that you are passionate about, or elaborating on a subject that is widely talked about, can help you to grow as a person and help you to expand your knowledge on the inner workings of multimedia platforms.
In the end, you have to ask yourself, what are you looking to gain out of this experience? Are you looking to gain popularity and monetize your content, or are you simply looking to have your voice heard? Whatever your reason may be, these simple tips and tricks are tried and true methods that will help lead you to success in your journey to becoming a content creator for YouTube.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Arielle Wolfe-Fritz, a creative writing enthusiast, researches anthropology and folklore. Through her captivating mini-docuseries, collaborations, and multi-media projects, she inspires people across the world to open their minds to the sociological, anthropological, and spiritual aspects of legends and folklore. Arielle is a proud affiliate of Truly Free Society, a network of content creators unified by a common mission to deliver empowering perspectives about online media through multi-media projects.