Yes, I’m talking about YouTube, and here’s how you can get over your video-phobia.
I recently conducted a poll on Twitter asking people what’s the one social media platform they are terrified of building a presence on.
Guess what the most common reply was? YouTube!
What is it about YouTube that makes so many people (87% on my poll results) so terrified of starting a channel? I think it all comes down to the lack of creator tools on the platform.
What are creator tools, you ask?
Well, if you log onto Instagram (possibly one of YouTube’s biggest competitors right now), you’ll see filters, music, and tools for cutting, trimming, and editing your video clips. Heck, you can even save the audio from another trending reel, turn on your camera, and lip-sync to that to create a brand new video. The wide range of filters makes sure the lighting in your room also need not be of a studio level.
On YouTube, there are no creator tools. There isn’t even a “camera” on YouTube where you can just start creating content, unlike Instagram.
This gives off the impression that your YouTube videos need to be “perfect,” that you need to produce professional-level content to do well on the platform.
To be honest, this is the exact reason that held me back from creating content for YouTube for so many years. I only started in mind 2020, and that too after overcoming a lot of internal struggle.
Now, more than a year into my YouTube journey, I’ve understood some key lessons. In this post, I’ll share them with you. But before we go ahead, here’s a look at my YouTube stats and everything that I’ve achieved in the past 15 months.
1. You don’t need the best equipment…at least, not initially
Like on all other social media platforms, the audience on YouTube cares more about honesty and authenticity from its creators than they care about perfection.
In fact, if your audio is great, you don’t even have to worry if your video is pixellated or not professional level.
I started making videos on my phone and edited them myself using a stupid app on my phone! It took me about 30 minutes to just cut and smooth out a 12-minute video, but the end result wasn’t too good. Case in point:
Then, I got a camera and a video editor, which has significantly improved my presentation and video quality. But there’s still a long way to go. Here’s an example of one of my newer videos:
I think the change in quality is pretty visible.
So yes, you don’t need the best equipment to start out, but once your channel grows, you can start investing in good quality equipment and a professional editor.
Since you’re a writer, you don’t need to do all the equipment hunting yourself. You can trust what best gadgets thousands of Redditors from all over the world recommend on Reddit Bests. It’s a website I swear by whenever it comes to buying any equipment that I’m not too well-versed in. I can see everything ranked according to the reviews on Reddit (the only social media site I trust), and then pick one of the top-rated ones.
2. You’re allowed to make mistakes
Here’s the first video I made on YouTube:
Compare this to one of my newest videos:
Notice how much the quality of my videos has changed in terms of:
- The camera placement and production quality.
- Thumbnail design.
- My camera presence and confidence.
- The way I talk to the audience and hold their attention steady as the video progresses.
- The intro, outro, transitions, and the general video experience.
I was nowhere near perfect when I started. In fact, if my current video is 6/10, I’d rate my first video not more than 2/10, that too, mostly for the effort and the courage it took to start recording.
And that’s all you need to start: courage.
You don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need an outstanding camera presence. You don't even need a script. I winged through most of my first video. I wouldn’t recommend it, but if a simple script is stopping you from starting on YouTube, let me tell you your excuse is baseless.
3. You don’t need a niche
In the beginning, I made videos about:
- Game of Thrones episode predictions (GoT S08 E03 Predictions: Who is going to die next? | Game of Thrones Fan theories)
- Book reading sessions from the books I’ve written (Book Reading | What happened to our forever | Anangsha Alammyan | New romantic thriller novella)
- Hardcore psychology tidbits (How to deny TRAUMA | Dissecting Adlerian Psychology | Courage to be Disliked Book Summary — Part One)
I explored different genres until I started making videos about Medium. One of my first-ever viral videos was how Indians and people from countries where Stripe isn’t operational can make money from Medium:
I didn’t have a niche, and you don’t need it either. Instead, here’s what you can do —
- Make a list of 10 topics you are super passionate about, and start making videos on them. They don’t have to be related to each other and can be as diverse as you’d like.
- Make at least 50 videos on all these 10 topics.
- After your 50th video is out, sort your videos by stats and see what the top 10 videos have in common.
- You’ll know that your audience wants exactly this from you.
- Start making videos, and keep refining your strategy every 50 videos (sort your 100 videos views-wise and analyze what’s common among the top 10 most-watched videos).
You don’t need a niche. You just need consistency and the belief that if you post one video every week for 2 years, your life will change. I don’t say it. Ali Abdaal does, so you better believe him.
If you’re terrified of starting to build your presence on YouTube, don’t worry, you’re not alone. But here are three truths I learned from my own journey that I’m sure will help you as well:
- You don’t need the best equipment…at least, not initially. You can start recording from your phone and editing it yourself and later upgrading your equipment as your channel grows.
- You’re allowed to make mistakes. That’s the only way you learn. Don’t worry, the audience appreciates authenticity and honesty, not perfection.
- You don’t need a niche. Keep posting what you want, and let your stats decide what your audience expects from you.
What are your thoughts on starting a YouTube channel? If you already have one, please share a link below and let all my readers find your work and follow you if they like it.
If you’re thinking of starting one, what’s the biggest thing that’s holding you back? Let me know in the comments.
If you’re struggling to get started as a writer, my FREE 5-day course on how to be a highly paid writer will definitely help you.
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