You’ve created a YouTube channel, and you’re eager to kick off your content creation. But what’s important to keep in mind before uploading a video to YouTube? Storyteller and photographer Sylvio Raz, shares his best tips with us in this blog post.
Q: Before uploading a video to YouTube or other platforms, what’s important to keep in mind?
A: It’s always a great idea to rewatch your exported video at least once to make sure everything looks and sounds as it is supposed to. You might find some things you’ve overlooked or missed, which would be impossible to change once you’ve uploaded the video. Other than that, I would also prepare a list of places you plan to share your video, like Facebook, Instagram, and even public sites like Reddit.
Q: Is it important to choose the right timing for uploading the video?
A: The one thing I keep hearing from successful creators is that consistency is vital to get your channel growing. Therefore, I would highly recommend considering uploading your first video at a time you think you could consistently repeat. With your first video, it’s hard to make any analytical decisions on when to upload since you probably won’t have much of an audience anyway. Still, generally, I am a fan of uploading in the afternoon or early evening, which is around the time people have finished work/ended school.
Q: What kind of video was the first one you uploaded to your channel?
A: My first video was a storytelling travel video about when I asked a stranger to join me on a quick adventure to Tokyo. It was part one of three and focused more on the backstory to the Tokyo trip rather than the actual trip.
Q: How did you create it, and what gear did you use?
A: A majority of the video was talking head sections, recorded with my main camera at the time: Fujifilm X100F. This camera isn’t partiucuarly known as a video camera, but it was what I had, and it did a pretty decent job! I was quite keen on using equipment I already owned and maximizing the production quality. However, I did buy a H1n hand recorder which I used as an external audio source, since I unfortunately broke my mic input in my X100F.
I was pretty happy with the sound quality but it was a bit of a headache to sync and add in the audio. I edited the video in Adobe Premiere, which I was very new to, but I think having experience working with music production software helped understand the fundamentals of the program. The editing process consisted of editing talking head sections with past footage from the trip to fit the script that I had written.
Q: Would you mind walking us through your creative process? Please, share all the details!
A: I usually start by looking at the footage I'm considering using. Since most of my videos right now are about past trips, it's a great way to re-live a lot of the memories as I go through the videos and photos. After that, I start writing the episode's core focus, so for example, in my last video, it was about the time I was doing street photography, and I met a girl who ended up asking me out after I shot photos of her (!) The focus of the episode is to talk about what I did prior to shooting on the street that day and what happened after I met the girl.
Once I have some sort of loose script, I record my talking head sections, which I use as the driver of the episode. My recording setup includes my main camera, currently a Fujifilm XT4, three softbox lights (which allow me to record at any time of the day), and a condenser microphone (WA-87). My videos always jump between a talking head and past footage. Sometimes I might use my GoPro to provide additional angles to my talking head videos.
Eventually, I edit the talking head parts with footage from the trip. Once the main cut is done, I add text where I think it's needed. I often used text to emphasize certain sentences or words I say, or sometimes during dialogue where the audio quality may not have been the best, subtitles would help the viewer keep track of the conversation.
I then continue with color grading and adjusting the video's brightness if I feel it's needed and add layers of film grain and light leaks if I think it fits the storyline and aesthetic.
Lastly, I export the video from Adobe Premiere using the best settings for YouTube and then create a high-resolution thumbnail from Canva. I can't stress enough how easy and efficient Canva is for thumbnails!
Q: Now, would you mind walking us through the technical and practical process of uploading a video to YouTube?
A: Uploading a video to YouTube is pretty simple. You go to the YouTube Studio and click the upload button in the top right corner. After selecting your video file, it will take some time uploading the video depending on how large the file is. In the meantime, you can fill in all the details like title, description, picking a thumbnail (I recommend choosing a high-resolution image made from Canva). Make sure you click on “more options” so that you can add your video tags, which are very important for video SEO!
Q: After uploading it, what do you do? How do you maintain your channel and keep track of your videos?
A: Once your video is uploaded, you should focus on spreading your video, especially if it is your first one! After a few days you can check the analytics section of YouTube studio to give you insights on how people respond to your video.
Q: How do you make sure people watch your videos?
A: I personally share my videos on my social channels like Instagram, Facebook and even in my work channels! You can’t force people to watch your video, but you should do your best to get them intrigued. Begging someone to watch your video or leave likes and subscribe to you is never a good option!
Q: What’s the next step?
A: My next step is to continue to put out a new video as often as possible. I am currently aiming for once a week, which is often said to be the minimum for YouTube’s algorithm to start pushing your content!
Once I get my past adventures out of the way, I will focus on a lot of “domestic” content; projects shot in Sweden, mostly in Stockholm. Lastly, as mentioned earlier, I hope to introduce a lot more of my own music in future episodes!
Q: Do you find creating content hard? Do you get any sort of help doing it?
A: I would definitely say making YouTube videos for myself is hard. Mostly because it’s so time-consuming. For my first videos, I easily spent 50+ hours on each one. There is the technical side – the editing – which takes a lot time, but then there are things like planning, scripting, conceptualizing, which can take up even more time. Currently, I don't have any help when it comes to my videos besides my best friends giving me some feedback (generally after the video is already up). However, I have considered eventually hiring an editor so I can free up my time for making music.
No matter if you upload videos to your channels each week, or if you’re about to do it for the first time, we hope this blog post provided some useful tips and guidelines for your next project. And hey, if you missed the first part of this series, How to Create a YouTube Channel, don’t forget to check it out!
Sylvio Raz is a Creator Partnerships Manager at Epidemic Sound as well as a photographer and creator. Check out his YouTube channel here.