YouTube for Beginners: Tips, Best Photo & Video Editors


When you want to learn how to start your vlogging channel, you need more than a great idea for content and some examples to follow. You need to set up your channel, decide which software tools to use, and craft your public persona. Even if you are going to be yourself as much on camera as off, you’ll still have to decide how to interact with your viewers. 

Will you allow comments on your videos? Will you respond? How will you attract new viewers and subscribers? How will people find you? We’ll tell you what we’ve learned here.

The Best Photo Editing Software for Creating Your YouTube Vlog

Photo editing software might seem to be an odd place to start for making videos, but many vlogs feature still photos. And what is a recording if not a series of still images captured in succession? Besides your channel art, you might use still photo overlays in your video or make a how-to tutorial with only photos and text.

An example of using still shots in a video is this promotional video for Castle Mountain Lodge. The entire presentation was created with photos and editing software. You could also create a short film or incorporate an image into transition screens, like this trending video.

Photoscape X​


This photo editor allows you to perform basic touch-ups as well as combine images into one for collage effects. You can remove backgrounds, blend colors, and apply filters to your photos. Film effects add a vintage look to your photos while the cutout feature helps you to create custom illustrations or abstract art.

Photoscape X is a free software tool that you can download for Windows or Mac computers. It is easy to use, runs well, and includes almost all of the features you might want, including file conversion and proprietary icons.

Adobe Photoshop


The premier tool for photo and image editing is for serious photographers and illustrators. You’ll need a paid subscription, but you can get it as part of an Adobe package of services for $20 per month. Adobe has moved to a “Software as a Service” business model, and it’s not bad. You can subscribe to get the newest features automatically and cancel anytime you need to.

With Photoshop, you can remove elements from your images, pair them with abstract items, change their proportions, fill-in textures, and license stock images. Most YouTubers won’t need the professional features of Photoshop, but if you’re going to use a lot of still images in your videos, you might want to look into it. It will take a while to learn the program, though. There are many features with a long learning curve.



This editor is an online tool for the semi-professional or hardcore enthusiast. You won’t get the advanced features of Photoshop, but it gives you more options than Photoscape X.

For $6 per month, you can edit and accentuate your photos with advanced filters and color enhancements. Make your images appear with the grain of antique cameras or blur backgrounds to focus on one element in the photo. PicMonkey is a great tool for YouTubers who want to make great images but don’t need the technical expertise Photoshop requires.



Similar to Photoscape X, this software tool allows you to make basic touch-ups and alterations to your image. The value, however, is their templates and stock photography feature. You can quickly create a professional-looking image by selecting the template you like and either uploading your own images to snap into the template or paying $1 each for their photos.

Canva is a smart choice for fast editing and creating custom presentations without much effort. If you find that you need different templates and images than those that come with the free version, you can upgrade your Canva membership for about $13 per month. As a YouTube vlogger, you probably won’t need to go higher than that. If you are using your channel to market your own brand, you’ll enjoy using Canva’s templates for letterheads, stationery, and invoice documents. You can also share your membership with your team members.

The Best Video Editing Software for Creating Your YouTube Vlog

We’ve reviewed the top 3 best programs for video editing. As with the photo editors, we’ve tried to include a range of options in regard to functionality and pricing. If you’ve never edited a video before, start with the less complicated programs and work your way up if you find that you need more options.



If you have an iOS device or Mac computer, you can download and use iMovie for free. It’s easy to use and works well with phone recorded videos. Film your vlog or a special entry on your phone and then transfer it to your Mac computer for editing. You can add a film grain overlay to make your videos appear like vintage footage, or you can slow and speed up individual frames.

With iMovie, you can customize your video with built-in templates and text fonts, add sound effects or music, and record voiceovers if you want to narrate or comment on your videos. It’s a great beginner tool for those who don’t need to do much editing. The downfall is that it is an Apple product, so you need an iPhone or Mac to use it.

Adobe Premiere


This paid video editing software provides full functionality for your capabilities. You can change colors, speed, clip length, backgrounds, use cutout features, and include overlays for special effect animations. If you are working with a team and both have a licensed version of Adobe Premiere, you can collaborate on and edit the same project.

Adobe Premiere supports all file formats and is available for Mac and PC. You can license the software for $20 per month or include it in your Creative Cloud package for $50 per month, which will allow you to use both this and the Photoshop image editing software as well as a host of others. Adobe Premiere is a very versatile program that is more intuitive than Photoshop, so there’s not as much of a learning curve. It’s a great product if you have a budget for making videos or want to learn how to make professional movies.

Also you can buy the Adobe Premiere for 1 year here.

Final Cut Pro X


This is another Apple tool and is the logical step up from iMovie. It is specifically designed for 360-degree editing capability and VR projects. You can edit 4 frames at once and blur portions of the footage to accentuate the focal point of each shot.

Final Cut Pro X provides for immense customization with third-party plugins and content. It costs a one-time fee of $300, so if you’re not using 360 or VR in your videos, this might not be the software you want to start on.

Keep in mind that there are many software editing programs. Those we’ve enumerated are simply the most recognizable names for quality and functionality. Depending on your needs, you can find other programs that will work just as well for you.

How to Engage Your Viewers?


With so much content on YouTube and other sites, you need to know how to grab your viewers’ attention and keep them watching your content. There are a number of ways you can accomplish this, but each one needs to be intentional. Think about and plan how you are going to implement these strategies in each of your episodes.

Have you ever read a book or magazi- Most squirrels can breed twice per year, once in the early spring and once…

Did you see what I did there? I started talking about one thing and then switched topics. A lot of blogs and vlogs do the same thing, and it’s why they fail to hold people’s interest. You might have more than one topic or theme you want to make videos on, but if so, it’s best to separate them by channels. Staying focused on one topic will help your viewers know what to expect. If they like your type of video, they’ll watch others in the same series.


You can cross-promote your topics by featuring your other channels on each page. Just remember that not everyone has your exact same interests, so a person who follows you on one channel might not care about your topic on another.

What does your channel add to the web? What’s unique about it? Are you telling an original life story? Are you showcasing your unique personality or sense of humor? Are you providing needed information?


People will watch and subscribe if they either find you entertaining or find your content useful. Teaching an in-depth skill over multiple videos is a great way to keep people following you. Yanfly is a perfect example of this technique. He continues to demonstrate and introduce new tools for amateur video game developers, keeping his subscribers coming back for more information and tips.

Today, I am going to show you something that is extremely cool, but I am going to do it in the most boring way possible. Will you continue watching my video or will you switch to another channel covering the same topic?


You would turn me off, of course, and look elsewhere! You need to show your excitement with the tone of your voice. You need to be expressive. You need to overact and over-enunciate your words to make sure that the camera picks up your inflections and emotions. You don’t want to watch a boring presentation, and neither does anyone else.

How do people relate to one another? How do they bond and form strong relationships? It’s through emotions, isn’t it? You might be friends with someone, but your friendship will be much stronger after you share an emotional event or open up to each emotionally. You can help your audience bond with you in the same way.


Showing your range of emotions will move people to empathize with you. Sadness, excitement, joy, bewilderment, and even anger are triggers that people will connect with. Don’t manipulate emotions or focus on one emotion for all of your content, though. Repetition gets old, and people can only connect emotionally with you when they see you as being genuine. Anything less seems angsty and trite.

How do people relate to one another? How do they bond and form strong relationships? It’s through emotions, isn’t it? You might be friends with someone, but your friendship will be much stronger after you share an emotional event or open up to each emotionally. You can help your audience bond with you in the same way.

Showing your range of emotions will move people to empathize with you. Sadness, excitement, joy, bewilderment, and even anger are triggers that people will connect with. Don’t manipulate emotions or focus on one emotion for all of your content, though. Repetition gets old, and people can only connect emotionally with you when they see you as being genuine. Anything less seems angsty and trite.

Once someone is interested in your program, you need to keep them interested. If you go a long period of time without adding new content, people will assume that you’re not making videos for the channel anymore. A regular television program keeps their viewers interested by telling them when new episodes are going to air and sticking to a set schedule. Blimey Cow is a lone vlogger with a published, regular schedule.


Make a few videos before you even publish the first one to give yourself a backlog of material. Then publish the first one, schedule the next to go live the next week, the next the week after that, etc. while you continue making new episodes. Post what days and time your videos will go live.

Have you ever noticed how short paragraphs are? Good writers know that paragraphs need to be as short as possible. If people see a long paragraph on a page, their eyes glaze over, and they consider if reading so much text is worth their time. People nowadays have short attention spans, so you need to create content that is short and fast-paced. Think of each video on your channel as a short paragraph in the playlist of your chapter or book.


Limit your entries to a maximum of 10 minutes long to accommodate people’s average attention span. Cut unnecessary material and speed the video up through certain sequences. Make transitions short and get back to the action.

Cut the recordings into two or more smaller uploads. You’ll build your playlist by doing so while providing viewers smaller chunks of content that they can watch at their leisure.

There are 5 psychological triggers you can target to arouse and keep people’s interest in your videos. First, you need arouse their curiosity. Come up with an interesting title or channel name that makes people wonder what your content is about.

Then, within your video, present a felt need. If you’re posting a how-to or informational video, the need you are addressing might be something like, “How to Fix Your Microwave.” People need the information, and you are providing it. A more subtle approach is showing your life and how people can relate to you. People need to see what other families are like, or how other people live. You never know who will connect with you and form an emotional bond with you via your channel.

Third, ask questions. These will be rhetorical questions posed to your audience. You can also invite them to reply in the comments sections. “Is your microwave failing to power on?” “What should I do about my daughter’s behaviors? Comment below with your advice.”


When you ask questions, you make your viewers think of an answer. You are engaging their minds so that they have to be mentally active while watching your content rather than passive observers.

Fourth, take interesting shots. Use interesting filters or special effects. Don’t intentionally try to confuse your audience throughout the whole video, but do start a scene or two by making them wonder what they’re looking at to arouse their curiosity and stimulate their minds.

Finally, end each post on a cliffhanger. People can’t stand knowing how a situation resolves or what happens next. Television shows use this technique by showing a character in peril and then saying “To be Continued.” Novels do the same thing by resolving one part of the story but then introducing a new problem or villain on the final page. It builds anticipation for the next episode or book in the series.

We’ve talked before about how you don’t need to overly polish your videos, but neither do you want to present sloppy editing. There’s a fine line between natural and rushed. And sometimes, you do want to expressly show your creativity and expertise in the editing process. If you’re creating posts that are artistic in nature or a how-to video about photography or filmography, you need to demonstrate your skill on the topic. Viewers will appreciate your aesthetics and learn from your expertise. Art lovers will follow you and return to see more of your work.


The fastest way to grow interest in your channel is to post what people want to see. Sounds obvious, right? But you have to find a niche that you can do well. Don’t think that you can make videos about any popular topic. Focus on one category.


You can browse YouTube and see what’s trending or what channels are growing. Some ever-popular areas of focus are gaming, animals, pranks, family relationships, and movie reviews. Do one well, and you could be at the top of YouTube’s recommended list in no time.

Problems with Vlogging


Creating a vlog channel isn’t simply recording and posting. You’re going to receive comments and have to deal with copyright issues. Let’s look at how to best handle these two top concerns.

Negative Comments

Some comments you receive will be encouraging. Others won’t be. People tend to enter the first thing that comes to their mind. If they’re mean-spirited, mean comments will come out. If you don’t want to see negative comments, you could either disallow comments on your channel or simply not read them. But there are better ways to handle comments that will help your channel grow.

First, let us be clear that you want to allow comments on your videos. It’s a way for viewers to interact with you. When YouTube and their parent company, Google, rank search results, two of the factors they use are the number of views your content receives and how many people have liked, subscribed, and commented on your videos. That’s why YouTubers invite people to do all three at the end of each video.


One of the best ways to grow your channel and interact with your audience is to answer the positive comments with a thank you and answer any questions that people ask. You will show your viewers that you are responsive and willing to engage in conversation with them. When it comes to negative comments, you could either ignore them or make a video responding to negative comments.

If the comments truly hurt you, show it. Your fans will empathize with you. If you have a thicker skin, make fun of the comments themselves. If you’re mature enough, you can read the negative comments and learn from them. People might have good points critiquing your videos even if they stated those points in a rude manner.

Copyright Music and Clips

It’s not uncommon to want to use a clip from a movie, a snippet from a song, or video gameplay footage in your video. Are you allowed to feature other people or company’s copyrighted material? The answer is yes if you do it properly. The most legitimate method is to get permission from the copyright holder. Some companies have already given permission in their Terms of Use. Otherwise, you’ll have to contact them to get permission.


If you post copyrighted material in your videos, you will most likely get flagged for an infringement. You can, however, file a dispute and win an exception based on The Fair Use Act. This law states that you can use copyrighted material if you are using it to make a commentary or review, providing news about the topic, making a parody of the content, or showing it for research purposes. In most cases, you cannot monetize videos based on other people’s content unless their Terms of Use specifically allow it.

Did you find this post useful or have any ideas to start a YouTube channel? Comment below.

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