What do you need to start your own YouTube channel?
Starting a YouTube channel is something that has become more appealing to a wider audience, with people of all ages looking to make use of the platform for vlogging, or something more serious. Starting a channel of your own is much easier than it used to be. Here is what you need to start yours.
Your Channel Idea
The first thing you need for your YouTube channel before you can do anything else, is your idea. You need to ensure that you can make content about the subject of your channel comfortably and confidently. If you have a hobby for example, it can be a great thing to focus on for your channel. You will also need to decide on the style of your channel content. Is it going to be a casual blog style, or something more structured?
Some of the Hardware You Will Need
There is a huge array of equipment available for making videos, with an even wider price range. All you need, especially for a vlog style channel is a mobile phone that records decent quality video. Obviously, the better the quality of the camera directly affects the final quality of the videos on your channel.
Most modern mobile phones can record reasonable quality video, especially newer high end Apple and Android devices. If you can afford to get a better camera though you should. Ideally the camera should be able to record in 720P at the very least, and ideally 1080P. While 4K video is great, it isn’t necessary, especially when you are starting out. I use a Powershot Canon G7X Mark 2, which is a great camera for vlogging or more structured videos. it is a firm favourite for content creators along with the Sony RX100 Mark 3. You can get cameras for much less though; it really depends on your budget. If you can afford it, a DSLR camera such as the Canon EOS 80D are amazing.
While people are often tolerant of variable video quality, they are much fussier about the sound quality. It is important that the sound quality is as good as you can afford. Some people use an external microphone, which can often have much higher audio quality, but this would need syncing up to the video footage. At the moment, I use the audio from my Canon G7X while out in the field, although I use sticky windshields over the microphones to prevent wind noise. Wind noise is an instant turn-off for viewers so it is important to use wind shields for any microphone that you use. For indoor studio recordings, I use a good quality compressor microphone. In my case, it is the Audio Technica AT2020. This does require a mixer, although you can get good USB studio microphones too.
Tripods and supports
It is important to have good stable footage on your videos. Where possible it is good to use a tripod, especially for time-lapse recordings. If you are doing a vlog style recording some movement is OK but a good camera with image stabilisation can really make a difference. I use a gorillapod myself. This is great because it is good as a static tripod for smaller camera, but also makes a good handle for a vlog style setup. Casey Neistat can often be seen using one to hold his camera while out and about.
Video editing software is a personal choice, often dictated by budget. If you can afford it, Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere are pretty much the industry standard to use. Because they are so popular there will be a large number of tutorials on how to use both. Whatever you have, even if it is iMovie. It doesn’t matter, as long as you can edit your scenes as required. It is important to know that editing video is a very CPU intensive process, which can take a long time to render. The faster your computer is can really pay dividends in this department. A good multi core Intel CPU is a great starting point, although some of the new AMD Ryzen CPUs also look promising.
There is loads of information out there about creating content for YouTube channels. A good resource that I like is YTtalk, which is a great forum. The people are really helpful there.
Sometimes people want to make money from their YouTube channel, but this is something that you will have to work at. Only the best channels can do this reliably, and you should focus on delivering the best content that you can for now. People can really see when you are genuinely interested in what you are making videos about, or just ticking boxes. Whatever your skill level and setup, it is important to remember to have fun. Creating videos is really great fun, although it can be stressful at times. It really is worth the effort. It isn’t easy and can be frustrating but do persevere. It really is worth it. Have fun making your first video!