YouTube offers a unique platform for individuals, businesses, and small businesses like the people who run affiliate marketing websites that bridge the gap between them. In addition to creating a social media presence on a popular website (along with Google+), a YouTube profile allows you to comment on other people’s videos, subscribe to other channels for your own benefit and to improve the channel’s visibility, and create playlists of your own videos and the videos of others. And, naturally, it also lets you create videos you can embed in your website.

A Quick Word On Public Speaking

Public speaking is hard. It is incredibly hard, and for some people it can be outright impossible. If this is true in your case, it’s alright to take a step back from producing your own videos and sticking to promoting and commenting on the videos of others. It’s also just fine to create videos that don’t directly feature you, although you still need to make sure you’re creating unique content and not copying videos or music created by others.

But if you do want to create videos and you do want them to feature yourself, either talking directly into the camera or narrating over other footage, you should learn a few things about public speaking first. Even if you love talking with others and discussing the topics that interest you, presenting a speech to an audience is a different skill. You can find plenty of information about it online, and you may want to take a speech class at your local community college to get some practice in. Acting lessons can help, too.

As for the videos you produce, the amount of preparation you’ll want to put in depends on the kind of video you want to create. If you just want to create an informal vlog series where you talk about what you’ve been up to lately and what you think about random topics, then all you need to bring to the table is your stream of consciousness and a little skill at holding a one-sided conversation.

If you have some specific topics you want to explore and present, you should do some research, prepare some notes, and then practice the speech a few times until you’re confident you can do it all in one take. Finally, if you want to produce a video with acting and everything, you’ll want to create a full script and have everyone involved memorize it.



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The Hard Task Of Editing

YouTube today has a lot more editing tools than it used to, but that’s only because it has some where it used to have none. Windows, Android, and iOS all have some editing software at their disposal, but for the most part it’s pretty basic stuff. On the other hand, you can find some pretty powerful editing software online, but for the most part it’s either expensive or complicated. YouTube also offers a live streaming option if you think you can do everything you want to in one take.

Ultimately, the thing you need to realize is that video editing has a difficult learning curve, and you’ll need to accept that your first few videos won’t be as good as the ones you’ll eventually put out. Still, that puts you in good company, because every professional director and editor starts with a few terrible student productions, too.

Still, there are a few first-timer pitfalls that are easy enough to point out. Many types of editing software come with things like exotic scene transitions, color filters, and other flashy things you can add to your video to make it stand out. However, while these may be fun to use in a quick video you send to a friend, using them in a video you want people to take at all seriously is like deciding to write a letter to your congressperson on a sheet of green construction paper.

To Monetize Or Not To Monetize

One other opportunity that YouTube presents is the ability to make an income off of people viewing your videos and generating ad revenue. It’s especially enticing when you look at all the people who manage to make a living from this income and gain international fame and recognition in the process (and it sure doesn’t too hard to do).

However, making a good income off your YouTube channel is at least as hard as making a living running an affiliate marketing website, and it’s very likely harder. Each view on each video gets you a very tiny amount of money, and you’ll need thousands of views per week if you want to see any visible income at all. On top of that, YouTube’s copyright claim structure leans very much in favor of corporations who tell the system that they own every piece of music out there, and if YouTube’s automated system dings you, you can’t make money on a claimed video.

So even if you decide to monetize your videos and your YouTube popularity takes off, you probably shouldn’t quit your day job with any haste. You’ll need to produce a lot of fresh content every day to make a good income, at a rate that makes maintaining an affiliate marketing website feel like a quiet walk in the park by comparison.

Using videos for your website can really help bring its design to the next level, and a presence on YouTube is another good way you can spread the word about your site, but you’ll need to invest a lot of time into video production if you want to make a living from it.