Image of climbers on a mountain to illustrate the progress of building a YouTube channel

⛰️ My first experience on creating a YouTube channel

Creating your own YouTube channel might be just a few clicks away if you dare to take the first step. So I took mine and here are the results.

Inspired by Florin Pop’s recent completion of every single Freecodecamp’s Certification in one month 🎉, I’ve decided to give it a go and try to replicate the same model by building my own channel and tackle the same Courses.

As Florin, I’m also a professional software developer. However once out of college, I specialise in mobile development and I did fall out of touch with web development.

I’ve always wanted to create a YouTube channel but that project was always post noted (Just like a lot of other projects). Due to the current unfortunate circumstances, there’s a bigger audience than ever watching YouTube. Now seemed to be the best time time to create something with those extra hours at home.

The experience so far was been positive. I’m one week and 3 videos in and each one is a learning lesson. Each provided a fair chunk of what to do and what to avoid. It’s enough to compile a list of useful advise to everyone considering starting their own thing.

Here are my notes of the experience so far:

🙇 Starting a channel by streaming without any previous followers is a humble experience

The most difficult part was sitting down and actually start recording. There’s an initial resistance that hold me for a while. I always had that feeling that I might had forgot something and the video might go wrong somewhere.

Once I sit down and start doing, all that resistance faded away. It still took me a good hour or so just to setup alone so the first time might take more time than you’re anticipating. My advice is to Start Now and Get Perfect Later.

Direction was also something that bother me for a while. Although You should start with something that you like, you probably won’t go far just being another channel into your niche. What hold me the most from start something was figure out something that was not done to death.

I choose to take the challenge of finishing my Freecodecamp Certification that was on hold. To make it stick as a habit, I choose to stream rather than record and videos which consumes even more time and energy. It’s a good way to simply hit the button and start working on the goal with minimal preparation.

I believe streaming might be a more genuine way of connecting with the audience while showing whatever you’re doing. There are no second takes or post edit, just one continuous take with a direct chat between you and whoever might see your content.

Streaming by default also means longer content which is best suited for an already subscribed audience. It’s a bigger challenge than a smaller video with more focus information.

So I’m going to start also producing small videos doing something that I already did before (but in text): Giving feedback to projects in the Free Code Camp community. Hopefully I’ll create more valuable for the community by creating more video content while also raise my value for all potential viewers out there.

✔️ Check the stream again

I got OBS running and my laptop stable enough to hold a stream. Everything on my side seemed to work correctly. However as I saw the footage of the stream, certain things were not being correctly streamed. Since it’s in real time, it’s hard to edit and impossible to reshoot just some parts.

Here’s some notes from my own videos:

  • Check if your mic is streaming. At my streaming software I could hear but it was muted on the stream.
  • Check if your mic is off. Some initial test audio was present on the stream waiting screen. Some audio and noise was present during breaks. I bet you don’t want private conversations being leaked.
  • Add Audio filters for background noise like laptop fans, mouse clicks and keyboard strokes.
  • Lock your layout in position so that Webcam and other elements in OBS match your previous settings.

🤳 Content is king but some minimal requirements are necessary nowadays

With minimal investment, you can tweak your videos to the same quality as other popular YouTube channels.

This free course Webcam Videography: Better Videos, Webinars, Livestreams takes your default hardware to it’s best possible quality.

If you want a significant upgrade without break your bank, the best and cheapest investment you can do is buying an Boya BY-M1 microphone.

💰 You can get a lot of visual content for free

My channel logo, background and streaming elements were all built using Canva. It provides free template for what you need (YouTube, Twitch, Social networks…) and comes with stock photos, logos and fonts.

It’s a quick and easy way of setting your Youtube Channel without creating everything from scratch.

If you need more content, there are a lot to choose from

I could had paid either someone or some sort of service to make it look more professional with good identity and branding but at this point I’d rather wait for the channel to sustain itself.

I’m going to apply the strategy of the channel paying for itself. Otherwise it will be just a sinkhole of money and material that leads nowhere.

🏋️ Every video is a stepping stone in mastery

Roberto Blake, YouTube marketeer extraordinaire says that in order to create great content you need to create your first 100 crappy videos.

With each video done, I can look back and spot where I could had done better. But instead of going back and redo the video, I try to learn as much as I can to apply on my next piece of content.

It’s difficult to produce what you’re aiming when you’re still taking of first steps. Your goal should be to grow your skills as much as you can. So that once you produce your first batch of 100 videos you have enough practise to aim higher and higher. It’s no different from improve any skill, like drawing or programming.

Even this article, I rewrote it during the course of a couple of days, moving from a pre-launching of the YouTube channel, to an announcement of the first couple of videos to what it is now.

But I got to a point that I had to stop myself and just publish. It might not be the perfect article. It might be even better if I spend more time into it. But that will block me from getting the next better piece of content.

Thrust the process and, while you might not get to the success you want, you definitely will get better at it.

Thank you for reading so far 🥂 If you found this article useful stay tune on my YouTube channel 📺.

See you soon!

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