The cheapest and easiest way to make a better YouTube video is to…
1) Get To The Point
Audience retention is THE killer stat that will cause your YouTube channel to grow (or not grow). Your retention graphs will look like the following graphic if you don’t get to the point (and your channel will fail).
That said, getting to the point is easy to fix. You can try to be more engaging on camera. But, I recommend writing a YouTube script to keep you on track and doing some video editing to cut out all the fluff in post.
2) Don’t Repeat Yourself
Most new YouTubers are shocked to learn how many times they repeat themselves on camera (you’ll definitely notice it when you start video editing).
Repeating yourself is just as bad (if not worse) than not getting to the point. Not only are you not getting to the point, but the audience starts to feel like you’re wasting their time. They heard you the first time!
3) Cut Out Dead Air While Editing
People HATE long awkward silences.
There will be dozens of small audio gaps in your video (even if you drank lots of coffee before recording). Luckily, you can easily get rid of these gaps in your video editor of choice by simply looking for them in the waveform. You should start your editing process by simply removing all of the long audio gaps in your file.
4) Story, Story, Story (Not Fact, Fact, Fact)
I’m guilty of doing this in virtually all of my first 50 YouTube videos.
Typically I’m doing a how-to video, and I get right to the point. And that type of approach can work with a how-to video.
But, for virtually all other types of videos, it’s absurdly boring. And boredom will cause your viewers to drop (which kills your viewer retention and thus your channel).
I intend to write an entire post on how to tell a story in the future. For now, just frame everything as the characters involved -> what they want -> obstacles that got in their way -> outcome. This will turn out more watchable than fact, fact, fact, I promise you.
5) Add Music
I wrote an entire blog post on finding the perfect songs for your YouTube videos.
And while it’s too big a subject to go over in this post. I mainly want you to know that music will make your videos way more engaging. Also know that you can use the YouTube audio library to download royalty-free tracks for free (at no risk to your channel).
Does the YouTube audio library have the best music in the world? No, but it’s an OK selection to get started with, and the price is right ($0).
6) Add Sound Effects
The first time I added sound effects to one of my videos, I was shocked at how big a difference it made. The video felt so much more engaging!
Luckily, the YouTube audio library also has sound effects! Go nuts! It’s free! They’re decent sound-effects, even if more expensive libraries have slightly better ones.
7) Edit Your Videos!
This tip is practically cheating because each of my first 6 tips involved hardcore video editing. If you can’t tell by now, the key to better YouTube videos is mostly just good editing.
But, before you go, I wanted to point out that DaVinci Resolve is FREE (and a very good video editor). Check out my post on the best video editing software for more options.
And while you will need to buy or own a decent computer for video editing, you can easily find one that’s capable for only a few hundred dollars these days. You don’t need a top-of-the-line $4,000 M1 Max MacBook Pro for adding music and making basic cuts to a video (though they are nice).