9 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Youtube

by - 03 February

10 January marked one year of video making fun. I bang away at this post as my older videos play in the background and I discover just how much has changed. Why did I put myself on the internet? Candid blogging is one thing, but videos too? Letting strangers into recesses of my bedroom, my things, my thoughts, my name, age, height, body, face. I hadn't realised just how much information I let out about myself until I was stopped by a very excited M&S sales assistant who seemed to know so much about me. If I'm honest, it really freaked me out. It was the first time I'd realised how powerful the internet was as a tool for sharing, more so in recent years.

Less Lonely

It made me feel less lonely. That is the truth. 2014 was the most overwhelming year in my life. I love being a part of the online community and I have been blogging and participating in forums since I was 13 (that cringe-worthy blog is now taken down). So taking on YouTube just made sense. There is something therapeutic about talking to a camera, sketching up camera angles and taking quick notes of the points I want to mention.

Tip: Practise talking to the camera and watch yourself back a few times. Use your phone or laptop, don't invest in anything expensive as YouTube may end up not being your thing.

Have no expectations

I dived into YouTube with hopes, expectations, excitement and fears. I expected certain videos to drive a lot of views while others I thought nothing of. Every single one of my expectations were turned around. Take this video which is now racking up 2000 views. You just never know what people will love. I'm so happy that I was able share an idea to thousands of others. Updated version of that video coming soon, be sure to subscribe.

Tip: I know it's hard not to overthink, but upload your first video with the least amount of expectations and presumptions.

Editing. Editing. Editing.

My experimentation on iMovie has made me more techy. I even undertook the challenge of designing my entire blog. This involved learning to get my head around editing html and css.

Tip: Take your time. Cameras, sound effects and lighting may at first seem overwhelming but within weeks you'll be surprised about what you can learn. 

Be open

I've learnt to be open and let my viewers in. This is how you build a community and people will love to watch you. I've always been a reserved person, but since YouTube I've even learnt to open up and that's translated even on my blog and personal life. I got 1996 blog views last month and my all time popular posts are my most recent ones! I've even got some lovely tweets from readers telling me how much they enjoyed reading my blog or watching my videos.

Tip: Give a little bit of you to the world. You're different, embrace it.

Find your niche

My channel turned itself into a lifestyle channel with a sprinkling of style as I began to learn about what I loved more. I only realised my speciality when my How To Read Boring Books video became popular and viewers asked for more book related videos. People have even contacted me to tell me how they've never read a book in their life but felt inspired to read after one of my book videos. 

Tip: Don't go in with a genre-specific username unless you're very sure you will keep to that genre. Your name becomes your brand and what people remember you by. If your username is MaliaPaints people will associate you with art. At the same time, don't worry if you don't know what to talk about. That's the beauty of YouTube, it's for everyone.

You don't need a Mac

You can't scroll past an Instagram photo without an apple product being decorated next to a lipstick, book or flat lay. But really! You don't need to shell out on a £1000 laptop just for its editing software. See how ridiculous that just sounded? I know people who use Windows Movie Maker and have a successful YouTube channel.

It's not about how you look

I never click back to my older videos, even some recent ones because a) I can't stand listening to the sound of my own voice after all that editing b) I will criticise and pick at myself non-stop. How I look, what I'm wearing, how I spoke, how I sounded. Everything. There have been times, and still are times when I log into YouTube determined to take a particular video down and get distracted by the notification bar with a new comment from a lovely viewer. She told me how she was watching the video again and another viewer told me that she was reading The Fault In our Stars after watching my video. It was that same video I was determined to take down because I felt I didn't look good enough.

Tip: Don't feel the need to take down a video because you feel you don't look good. Most of the time people just don't care!

You Don't Have to Tell Anyone

I worry about what people think of me often, yes this is coming from a blogger  who voluntarily chooses to put her life online. I worried more so what my friends and family would think of my videos so I only told two of my friends and agonised about the rest of my family and friends not knowing.

It's Not That Hard

It really isn't. 

Tip: Your first video will be hard. Awkward to be accurate, but know that it's not always going to be like this.

I hope this post has helped some of you who are thinking of starting your own channel. Visit my channel here.

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