Handy YouTube tips for beginners!

Editor Alina Celeste shares a few tips she’s learned over the past several months as she wades into the wide world of YouTube.

You tell me, does this make you want to click?
You tell me, does this make you want to click?

YouTube is one of the fastest-growing networks in the world of kids media. The best part about that is that it’s no longer necessary to wait for a network or producer to start a TV show. You can make your own! YouTube wants you (and everyone) to get in on the action, so they’ve created a wonderful, exhaustive resource called the Creator Academy. Even that can be overwhelming for a beginner though, so I went ahead and compiled five simple things I’ve learned:

1. Thumbnails are important.

They’re like the ad you don’t have to spend money on. Make it fun! Make it colorful! Make it something people want to click on! Above is an example of one of mine. As you explore the YouTube universe, check out the thumbnails of creators you admire. They’ll probably have some good, clickable stuff.

2. Ask people to subscribe.

This seems weird, I know. You’re thinking “if people like it they’ll just subscribe of their own free will” but they won’t. They’ll just watch and go about their merry way. If you say, “Hey! If you liked this, you should subscribe!” They’ll be all “ooo I can see more of this great stuff, how fun!” And then they will.

3. Be consistent.

If you want people checking in to your channel regularly, you have to give them something to check in to. To put it in another way, you have to stay in people’s heads! One way to do that is to, you know, stay in people’s heads. Like with writing or any creative endeavor, you have to do it regularly, not just when you’re inspired.

4. Tell everyone you know, always.

The thing about social media and networking is that it is not removed from the actual, physical world. At a party? A show? A school? Talk up the YouTube! Let people know what you’re doing and encourage them to check it out, right there on their smartphones.

5. Do something you enjoy.

The truth is, no matter what sort of videos or subjects you want to cover on YouTube it’s going to take time and work. So even if you know that videos about Monster Trucks have a lot of views but you absolutely despise Monster Trucks, don’t do it. It’s really not worth it. It’s hours and hours of your time, so make sure it’s something that makes you smile. With a little luck, it will make other people smile too.

The thing about YouTube is it’s anyone’s game. While there are lots of things you can do to increase your chances at success, no one is 100% sure why some people take off and some never do. In that way it’s like any other creative endeavor. You do it because it excites you, because it challenges you, and because you want to make something that makes you proud. The rest is just timing and hard work. Good luck!