How do you make YouTube videos? If you’re interested in making YouTube videos, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to show you how to make a YouTube video by breaking down three major steps: 1) planning and conceptualizing, 2) equipment needs and shooting, and 3) editing and uploading. By the end you’ll know everything you need to know to make your own YouTube video! But before we jump into the game plan, let’s review what kind of video you might want to make.

How to Make a Video for YouTube

What kind of video are you making?

Before you plan anything, you should think about what kind of YouTube video you want to make. There are certain formats that work for certain types of content. So, the first step is to nail down your content (if you haven't already) so you can figure which format works best. Here are a few options:


How to Make a YouTube Video Vlog  •  Beginner’s Guide by Jeven Dovey

If you want to vlog — aka video log — you’re going to need a camera. Your camera could be a smartphone, a DSLR, a mirrorless camera, or a 360 camera. I’d say that 360 cameras are the best option for vlogging because they’re omnidirectional and offer a wide FOV (field of view). Learn more about 360 videos and how to make them.


A Short Film Made with StudioBinder  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Short films require more research and planning than most other kinds of YouTube videos. Here are some resources you can use to make sure your short film is going to be successful:


How to Make a Video Comedy  •  How ‘Dear Sister’ Changed Comedy by Karsten Runquist

Sketches require a similar game plan as short films but they’re a little easier to pull off. It may sound ridiculous, but if you’re planning on making a YouTube sketch video, I recommend you read our article on comedy.


How Do You Make YouTube Videos?  •  Worst Let’s Play Mistakes & How to Fix Them by Randomise User

Let’s plays are videos in which one or more people commentate on games that they’re playing. Let’s plays have historically been one of the most popular video categories on YouTube. If you want to make a let’s play, you’re going to need a microphone. You’re also going to need either A) recording software like FRAPS or B) a capture card. Here are a few articles that will help you plan a let’s play.


How to Make a YouTube Video Product Review by Think Media

One of the great things about YouTube is that it’s a platform where you can offer your perspective on a variety of topics — games, movies, TV, music, etc. You can review just about anything on YouTube — all you need is a microphone and a video editing program. You'd be wise to go with either Adobe Premiere vs. Final Cut Pro. If you want to take your review process on the go, you may want to use a video editing laptop.


How to Make a Video Interview by Indy Mogul

Interviews are incredibly popular on YouTube — whether they’re podcast interviews, sports interviews, or news interviews. If you want to make an interview video for YouTube, you should consider using lavalier mics.

Each type of YouTube video will call for a different game plan but there are some universal steps you should take to ensure success. Now that we’ve looked at a variety of different types of YouTube videos, let’s break down the three step process for how to make a YouTube video!

How to Make a Video Game Plan

1. Conceptualize and plan

Once you decide on what kind of YouTube video you want to make, you’re going to need to conceptualize and form a plan. At this stage, you may want to consider writing a script. For that, you can check out StudioBinder’s screenwriting software — it’s free to get started and intuitive to use.

You don’t need to use screenwriting software though. For sketches or let’s plays, you may want to go “off the cuff” and improvise your lines. But no matter what, you’re going to need a plan.

Storyboards also help conceptualize and plan projects — so check out StudioBinder’s storyboard creator software! Click the link below to see an example of what a professional storyboard looks like. 

How to Make a YouTube Video  •  Storyboard Examples

If you need some ideas to get started, check out our article on creative YouTube video ideas — and consider checking out the video below.

How to Create YouTube Videos by PewDiePie

Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg is the most successful “YouTuber” of all-time. He makes millions of dollars every year and his videos (collectively) garner billions of views. 

If you’re looking for inspiration from another successful YouTuber, check out this video from Casey Neistat.

How to Do a YouTube Video Vlog Like Casey Neistat

“I think what fascinated me the most about the entire [vlogging] genre was the idea of using your life as a narrative for a daily series.” — Casey Neistat

I think Neistat’s point is applicable to all types of YouTube videos because they’re all innately personal. While conceptualizing ideas for your YouTube video, consider the things that made Neistat and PewDiePie so successful.

How to Make a YouTube Video 

2. Gather equipment and record

No matter what kind of YouTube video you want to make, you’re going to need some equipment before you get started.

Here are some pieces of equipment you may want to consider using:

  1. Camera
  2. Computer
  3. Microphone
  4. Recording software
  5. Video editing software

If you want to simplify your equipment-needs, consider using a smartphone — iPhones for example cover all five bases. Get more information from our articles on how to make a movie on an iPhone and the best cellphone cameras.

For more elaborate equipment-needs, you may want to rent gear. If that’s the case, check out this next video.

Professional Gear: Buy or Rent?  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Once you organize your equipment and gather your cast and crew, you’ll be ready to shoot! To quote Anakin Skywalker, “this is where the fun begins.” My advice? Don’t sweat the small stuff — you’ve conceptualized what you want to see and organized everything you need — now it’s time to execute.

How Do I Make a YouTube Video Upload?

3. Edit and Upload

Video shoot complete — now you’re ready to compile the footage and upload it to YouTube. First things first, you’re going to want to edit the footage no matter how casual the tone of the video may be. Need some audio? Check out our guide to the YouTube audio library — there you’ll be able to find royalty-free music and sound-effects.

You know how most YouTube videos have intros? Your video should too! If you need help getting started, check out our article on how to make an intro for a YouTube video with a free template.

The last thing you may want to do in the editing process is add subtitles to your YouTube video. Subtitles help viewers understand audio in greater detail and they allow the deaf community to engage with your videos too. 

Now it’s time to upload. You can upload your video to YouTube directly from video editing programs like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, and iMovie so long as you’re signed into your Google account. 

You can also upload your video file to YouTube through the web. For more on the process of uploading videos to YouTube, check out this video from vidIQ.

How to Do a YouTube Video  •  Post Your First YouTube Video via vidIQ

Here’s a list of the supported formats for YouTube uploading:

  • .MOV
  • .MPEG4
  • .MP4
  • .AVI
  • .WMV
  • .FLV
  • 3GPP
  • WebM
  • DNxHR
  • ProRes
  • CineForm
  • HEVC (h265)

Once you’re ready to upload your video, click on your profile in the upper-right corner of a YouTube webpage, then click on “Your Channel.” When you do that, it should bring up a page that looks like this:

How to Make a YouTube Video Upload Video Tab

How to Create a YouTube Video: Part I

Click the “Upload Video” tab and it will bring you to this page:

How to Make a YouTube Video Uploading Video

How to Create a YouTube Video: Part II

As long as your video file is encoded in a compatible format, you’ll be good to go! Set the video to upload and watch as the views roll in. Consider tagging your video with keywords so it will have a higher chance of getting noticed.

And just remember, YouTube may flag your video for copyright infringement if there’s any copyrighted material in it. If that happens, you can contest the ruling but it's better to stick with original content.


Creative YouTube Video Ideas  

That’s it! You’ve uploaded your first YouTube video! Now it’s time to grow your channel. In this next article, we break down creative video ideas to get inspired by — with examples from vloggers, content curators and more. By the end, you’ll have a breadth of ideas to draw from when planning your next video.

Up Next: Creative YouTube Ideas →
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  • Chris Heckmann is a Professor of Media & Communication at Roger Williams University and graduate of UCLA’s Cinema & Media Studies Master of Arts program. When he’s not writing or teaching, he’s probably playing video games (or thinking about the next great Boston sports trade).

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