YouTube is a platform for people from all over the world to come together, create entertaining or helpful content, and possibly make a career out of it. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done.
It can be costly to get started in some cases, you have lots of competition, and it takes a lot of time, dedication, and perseverance.
Creating videos that draw in viewers means creating high-quality content with substance. This means that most people will need more than just an unedited video taken directly from their phone to do well.
You don’t need to start with a top-of-the-line camera, but you do need to learn the basics of recording and editing to ensure your viewers are getting the best video they can get.
These 7 tips are for aspiring YouTube superstars who want to learn how to create high quality content, draw in viewers through promotion, and edit like a pro.
7 Tips to Edit YouTube Videos Like a Professional
1. Gather All of the Footage in One Place
This seems like an obvious tip, of course. Most people work with one long video then edit it down. However, if you’re doing a compilation of your best gameplay, some big event, or anything else that involves turning multiple short videos into one long video, make sure you put all of them in the same place.
Organizing all of your footage into one folder on your computer or phone makes the rest of the work much easier. You don’t have to worry about looking for a specific clip that you forgot to include or tracking it down in your emails to yourself.
Raw footage and the edited videos you make out of them will take up lots of hard drive space, so you might want to look into getting an external hard drive or using a cloud storage solution like DropBox, iCloud, OneDrive, or Google Drive to store your content.
The editing process is long. A lot of people wonder how long it takes to edit a YouTube video when they’re starting. The answer ranges from a few hours to several hours per video. This organizing tip helps you save time and energy that can be better spent on other aspects of the video.
2. Choose the Right Video Editing Tool
To edit YouTube videos well, you’ll need a good video editing tool. It might seem obvious, but not everyone is aware of it when starting out.
Back in the day, video editing tools were all expensive pieces of software that you had to buy for hundreds of dollars or, occasionally, freeware that would sometimes turn out to be viruses or adware. Nowadays, you can use them during a trial period for free, rent them with a subscription, or even use websites instead.
Many beginners ask, “can I edit YouTube videos on my phone?” Trying to edit videos on your phone with the built-in software is possible, especially with more recent phones, but it usually doesn’t do what you need it to. The quality might seem great when watching it on your phone screen without headphones, but it might look terrible on your actual YouTube page while listening with headphones. This is one of the main reasons using powerful editing software is important as it can help you improve the quality of basic videos.
It’s hard to pick which software to use as there are many good solutions depending on your needs, budget, and preference. The following is a list of software that all come highly rated:
Premiere Pro, the video editing software that Mr. Beast uses along with many other YouTubers, and Final Cut Pro, Mac only, are high-end pieces of software used by professionals that can be bought or paid for via subscription.
Pinnacle Studio and InVideo are more affordable options.
Canva can be used on your browser or as an app on your phone and is very easy to use with built-in templates for YouTube and TikTok as well as art and sound assets, although it might not be as powerful in the long run as something like Premiere Pro. The nice thing about Canva is that it has a strong pro version with lots of assets, but it also offers a simpler free version meaning you can get a YouTube editor for free.
There are many more editors out there that are worth looking at, but these are some of the most commonly used and suggested ones. No one can tell you which one is right for you, so do your own research and try them out until you find one that you’re happy with.
3. Leverage Annotations in Your Videos
You might not know what an annotation is by name, but you definitely know it from some of the most famous YouTubers using it. At the end of many YouTube videos, the creator will say something like, “Why not check out some of our other videos? Be sure to click the subscribe button and ring the bell to stay up-to-date on all of our new releases.” The clickable video buttons that pop up at the end are annotations.
One of the most important things you can do as a YouTuber is to promote your own content. Using annotations to link to your other videos or social media accounts is just one of the ways to do it. It’s quick, easy, and leads to results. Consider uploading and promoting your content on less competitive platforms, such as Earneo.tube, to grow your community more easily.
4. Know Your Niche and Keep Your Audience in Mind When Editing
Whether you’re a writer, podcaster, or videomaker, when you’re looking to gain an audience, you need to cater to that audience. This can be a tricky balancing act for new creators – some aspiring YouTubers create videos that only they and their mothers can love, because they treat themselves like their target audience while others will see what works for bigger channels with large followings and try to copy that without putting any of their own heart and soul into the content.
When making your channel, you should pick a niche for your content. Are you making Let’s Plays? Cooking, home decor, or art tutorials? Vlogs about weight loss, mental health, or something else personal?
Knowing your niche will help you know who your competition is. You can then watch your competition’s videos and see how they do their editing. Never copy directly as that leads to the heartless, soulless content mentioned above, but take inspiration from them.
Some Let’s Players like to put their faces in their videos as it plays up the parasocial relationship between creator and audience. Some cooking videos are shot and edited in a style similar to Cooking Channel shows while others get more creative with silly, comedic edits or having the cooking done by a mascot like a dog. Some vlogs are shot like a personal Zoom or Skype call between creator and viewer while others involve going around the house, traveling outside, going to events, etc. with the creator.
All of these styles have their place, and it’s important to get an idea of what you want yours to be early on as they each have their own editing requirements. Let’s Plays showing your face will require a high-quality webcam and game video/sound capturing software with more intensive audio editing in programs like Audacity. Cooking videos with lots of jump cuts or pets will require tripods and patient fur babies. Vlogs where you take viewers on a journey will mean getting special microphones or editing in sound over footage later on.
If you create truly interesting content that fits into your niche with solid editing, you’ll start to see your hard work pay off when you get views, subscriptions, likes, and shares.
5. Use Filters in Your Videos
Since video is a visual medium, color plays an important role. If you’re creating something like a short film or an advertisement, color can be one of the ways you tell your story. If you’re doing a personal vlog entry, color is still important as it helps keep viewers’ attention from drifting away. Most raw, unedited footage looks bland which is why color fixing is a popular subject for YouTubers.
Not that long ago, if you wanted to color correct, make certain hues pop more, etc, you’d need a combination of special lighting equipment and hours of video editing. Nowadays, you can simply apply filters that do all the work for you.
Some of the software and sites recommended in tip #2 have built-in filters that will help your videos come to life. Others might require downloading additional resources. Thankfully, Google is your best friend here – simply search for “best free filters for [editor name]”, and you’ll get tons of results. Just make sure they’re from legitimate websites before downloading anything.
6. Vary Shots in Your Raw Footage
If you watch the most popular YouTubers, TikTok creators, or just plain old film and television, you’ll find that they rarely keep the camera in one place.
Great videos switch between multiple cameras, move the camera around, do sudden jumps between different camera angles, etc. The camera doesn’t always need to be in motion, but YouTube isn’t a Zoom meeting – you should be doing something interesting visually with your camera.
As you try to grow your viewer base, you’ll learn the importance of analytics – things like view counts, viewer demographics, and more that affect your ranking for video search terms. One of them is how long a viewer watches a video on average. If you have boring camera work, you can get thousands of views on one video, but lose out on thousands of more views on other videos due to viewers only watching 5% before leaving for a channel with better editing.
7. Keep Learning and Trying Until You Succeed
As was said at the start of this article, you need perseverance to get anywhere on YouTube. There will be days when you get zero views at the start, but if you keep making great content and improving your editing skills, you’ll eventually get somewhere.
Some people who have a decent-sized budget for their channel look to other YouTube creators with more experience to edit their videos, help them with marketing and SEO, or write scripts for them.
One of the great side effects of having your own YouTube channel and knowing how to edit is that you can eventually offer your own services to people who are looking for a YouTube editor for their own content on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or marketing agencies. You can turn your hobby into a side hustle or even a full-time career if you work at it enough, whether or not you become the next Game Grumps, Cooking with Dog, SSSniperWolf, or Mr. Beast.
This article provided you with many tips for how to edit YouTube videos, but you don’t have to try them all out at once. Pick one or two tips to try with each video until they become second nature, then move on to the next ones. Some of your videos will turn out great, others will be an embarrassing mess – it’s part of the creative process.
If you stick with it, dedicate time to learning, and do a little bit each day, you’ll eventually see results. Maybe we’ll see you featured on YouTube recommendations soon! Good luck!
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