Three Things to Consider When Starting a YouTube Channel
In 2017 it was my New Years resolution to start a YouTube channel showcasing my video game collection and now that I have had a year and half under my belt I think I can give some advice to those who plan on starting a channel in 2019.
I also have another article about Burnout here
Choose your Channel Theme.
First thing you need to consider is what topics you will cover on your channel. While it seems like a no brainer now, consistent topics will help people coming across your channel determine if they want to subscribe. While you can always change formats in the future, determining what you want to cover now will save you a lot of headaches in the future.
The theme of your channel should be broad enough to allow you some flexibility but concise enough to set you apart from other channels.
For example – being a Madden football channel talking all things Madden is better than being a Madden 95 channel. Of course you can go broader but then the format of each episode should be similar. Scott the Woz is a prime example – his episodes follow a similar format but cover a wide range of topics related to gaming. This gives the audience a reason to stick around if they like that particular episode layout.
Choose your Channel Name
The channel name is not as big of a deal as a lot of people make it out to be. I chose Super Nicktendo because my name is Nick. Unaware that there are several Nicktendo channels out there including the great Nicktendo Direct which hosts a podcast every week and other gaming related news.
Channel branding is kind of important especially if you want to make all your social media accounts consistent. Having a similar name as a lot of creators will cause confusion and make it harder to step out. A channel name should have an indication of the content you provide but also be brand friendly enough that people will want to admit they’re subscribed to you when their friends ask what content they should look for.
Getting your Channel Equipment
So you’ve set a theme and named your channel. Now you need to provide content. This usually trips up everyone because they view established channels and think they require the top of the line equipment to move forward. In most cases the equipment required is very expensive and unless you can afford to make the initial investment for a full rig, it’s easier to start out with the basics:
A camera that shoots video – if you if have a smart phone from the past 5 years, you’re all set. 1080P video is more than enough to get started. While 4K is the pinnacle of video right now, it’s not the standard and more than half of people who watch YouTube watch content on their phone. 4K will be sharper for sure, but unless you have a rig to edit and store the footage, 1080p will do just fine.
Microphone – you’ll probably want to invest in a microphone to focus your voice and cut down on background noise. While camera microphones work, it doesn’t hurt to spend 15 dollars on a wired lavalier microphone that clips to your lapel. Best of all it can plug into your camera’s microphone jack.
Lights – Camera sensors on your phone are small and so the better the lighting is in the room you’re shooting, the better the footage will look. If you want to be super basic, you can get a desk lamp and an LED light bulb with 800 lumens or higher.
If you want to upgrade, I suggest getting a basic light set off Amazon for $53 and replacing the included light bulbs with 1400 lumen LED flood lights. The lighting will be significant and the included diffusers will make it look professional.
Editing software – you don’t have to go crazy with the software. Some free options are available on the app store so you can edit right on your phone. If you have a PC you can find free options as well but if you want to pay for your software, Sony Vegas frequently goes on sale and there are a ton of tutorials to get started. If your just vlogging, basic trimming software will do, but you’ll want to get your video done in one take to avoid cutting out errors.
Once you get that out of the way you're ready to start your YouTube channel. For more tips on how to get started, I suggest checking out Your Player Two for helpful videos.