Starting a Youtube channel is a lot more work than one might think. There are many things to consider and learn in order to start and continue making content through this platform. How do you know what to avoid and what to incorporate into your videos?
The main things not to do when creating content for Youtube are to be dishonest with yourself and your audience, leave mistakes in your editing, and not put in enough effort. Avoid click-baiting your viewers and make sure your content is the quality that the audience expects.
There are plenty of helpful articles and videos on starting your Youtube channel right, but what should you watch out for or avoid? Here’s a list of twenty things NOT to do when starting on Youtube.
Clickbait titles and thumbnails have become less popular as of late, which is great for viewers. While some might not think so, it is also great for content creators. Clickbait might gain you increased interaction with that video, but it usually will not earn you a follower.
When viewers are tricked by clickbait they will not want to interact with any of your other content because you have done nothing to earn their trust or interest. Even if you already have followers clickbait can drive them away because of how annoying it can get. Even fans who enjoy your actual content could find themselves avoiding or abandoning your channel because they can never tell what your video is really about. It is best to stay truthful to yourself and your audience.
Not Planning Your Titles or Thumbnails
Carefully planning your title and thumbnail before even filming your video can benefit your content greatly. If the presentation of your video is interesting it will organically get your audience’s attention and interest. This interest can then grow and extend to you and your channel if the viewer enjoys your content.
Make sure you craft your title and thumbnail to tell a story together and make sense when put together. One trick is to ask yourself: “If my title and thumbnail were separated and mixed in with others, would I be able to match the two up?” This is your goal. The content and topic of your video should be presented in an interesting way that makes the audience want to know more.
The line between clickbait and a good title and thumbnail lies in the relevance to the video. The title and thumbnail should leave the reader asking questions such as ‘why’ or ‘how.’ If these questions are answered in the video, congrats, you’ve made a great title and thumbnail!
Having a Boring Intro or Hook
The intro and hook of your video are just as important as the title and thumbnail. Your video has gotten the attention of a viewer and now you must keep it. It is great to start with an interesting edit or a clip from the middle of the video that makes the viewer laugh or want to get to that point in the video. This is the viewer’s first impression of you, so it should also show a bit of your personality.
Another option for the intro is to simply jump right into the video. You can quickly introduce yourself before moving on to the topic that the audience is there for. This adds another layer of trust to the relationship your viewer has with your channel.
Not Having a Channel Banner
A channel banner is much more important than some may think. It can often show a lot of personality within your channel. Your banner shows up when a viewer is on the home page of your channel. The banner should show you, your content, or some type of running theme of your channel. If you have a logo, here would be a great place to put it.
Your banner makes your channel much more interesting as well as comprehensive. It shows the audience that you know who and what you are and can help your viewer understand your channel more readily.
Not Having a Script or Outline
A script does not have to be a word-for-word dialogue that you create for your videos. A script might look more like an outline for some. It simply helps you organize your topics when you are filming and keeps you on track.
A script or outline is helpful because it helps you avoid awkward pauses or mistakes in your pacing or phrasing. Nobody wants to watch someone stumble over themselves with ‘um’ and ‘uh’ and ‘what was I saying?’ A clear outline makes for clearer information and a cleaner delivery of such. This clearness also gives you more credibility because it will truly sound as if you know what you are doing.
A poor background could mean a too plain, or a too busy one. Make sure your background is pleasing to the eye but does not draw the eye away from you, or the subject of the video. It should be well lit and interesting and perhaps even related to the content of your video.
For example, a great background for a book reviewing channel would be a bookshelf full of books, with some facing forward and showing their titles, and others simply lined up and presenting their spines. A background that shows what the video is about, or even shows the personality of the creator is great and interesting, but not too interesting as to be distracting.
There are plenty of options for lights and artificial lighting. You might be lucky enough to have great indoor lighting that looks great on the camera. However, it is more likely that you will need a small amount of lighting equipment in order to show off the colors and ambiance of the video correctly.
Artificial light is great, but natural sunlight is by far the best lighting for a video. This might need planning, but if you only record when the lighting from your window is perfect, you will not have to deal with expensive lights such as softbox, LED, or ring lights.
Poor Sound Quality
A microphone can be very important depending on how and what you are recording. However, bear in mind, no one will watch a video that has bad enough sound. Make sure you have a recording device with good sound or buy a small microphone or headphones that will bring your videos clearer audio.
Investing in Equipment
This section might seem conflicting with those previous to it, but bear with me. Investing in expensive equipment from the start can hurt not only your wallet but your videos as well. If you go ahead and buy too much professional equipment, you might not know how to use it. This can result in poorly filmed videos and horrible lighting or sound.
Make sure you know how to use your instruments. It is a great plan to eventually buy professional equipment, but make sure it is something you actually need before you spend an arm and a leg on it. Odds are your smartphone, headphones, and a window will suit you just fine.
Looking Into the Viewfinder
Looking into the viewfinder can seem like a minor mistake, but it can really affect the quality of your videos. If you look into the lens you are able to talk almost directly to the audience and show your expertise or sincerity.
Looking into the lens will allow you to connect to your viewers and feel more personable.
Moving Too Much
Moving too much might not mean what you think it does. Moving your hands when you talk is actually an engaging movement that can help viewers understand or pay attention to your words. However, swaying or fidgetting is not the same.
Swaying or fidgetting can distract your audience and pull away from your message.
If you are monotone you might seem uninterested in your topic. If you don’t seem invested in your content, your viewers will not have any reason to care either. When you are excited and engaged, you present a much more appealing and interesting persona that actually cares about your content as well as the audience.
Disconnecting From Viewers
Disconnecting from your audience can mean a few things. It can mean that you don’t express your appreciation for their support, or you pretend as if they do not exist. This can make all your content feel detached or impersonal. Additionally, if you fail to respond to comments it might feel as if you do not care about your audience, which causes them to not care about you in return.
Copying Other Creators
Copying another person’s work is never a good idea. On Youtube, this is the same. It is fine to get inspiration from another Youtuber, encouraged even. Trends and tags can help increase views based on what people are enjoying at the moment. However, the difference between stealing content and being inspired by it is all in the content you add.
If you review the same item as another creator and repeat their ideas entirely, you are simply stealing content and ideas. However, if you put your own thoughts and acknowledge that someone else did this before you, it allows you to make your own content while still being truthful to your audience.
Spamming is when you go into a popular video or another creator’s video and start self-promoting. This is also referred to as ‘sub 4 sub’ as this is often what some comments say. This means if you follow me, I’ll subscribe to your channel as well. It’s a trade of interest. This in itself is not a bad concept. However, it never works and is simply annoying.
Any subscriber you gain from this practice will likely be a ghost follower. They won’t watch your videos or engage in any way. It is a waste of time, and often annoying and rude to the person who spent their time on the video you comment under.
Being Too Afraid to Cross-promote
Cross-promoting however, is different and essential to growing your reach. Promoting on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter can help you reach a larger number of people than only promoting your videos to followers you already have.
Focusing Only on Growth
Focusing only on growth can lead to insincere content that you don’t enjoy. If you are only interested in building your following and ‘hitting it big’ you will be in for disappointment. Growth is important sure, however, growing content that you enjoy and will not be burned out by is more so.
Make sure you enjoy your content and what you are doing. The audience will notice your passion or lack thereof and this alone will affect your views.
Not posting regularly can really harm your reach on Youtube. When you post regularly your videos are offered to people by Youtube more readily because if you post often, the viewer Youtube sends to you is more likely to find more of your content and continue watching Youtube. This is the incentive for Youtube to keep showing people your content.
Sending People Off the Platform
This is another thing to be aware of within Youtube’s algorithm. Youtube benefits when people watch their videos and stay on their site and platform. Therefore, if you are constantly promoting your work from other sites and platforms in your Youtube videos, Youtube might not show people them because those links and promotions would send them off the platform and Youtube would lose a viewer.
Ignoring your mistakes can be detrimental to your channel’s success. If you are constantly watching your videos and analyzing how you can improve and do better, you will know what to change within your video, whether it be with your posture, lighting, sound, voice, or smile. Watching yourself back and making sure your video is perfect is the surefire way to improve your channel.
Your channel is a representation of yourself and your interests so it is very important that these are presented correctly and as well as possible. Rewatching your videos and drafts for mistakes in script, presentation, and content can help your channel be more polished and professional in many ways.