A Beginner's Tutorial On How To Use YouTube VideoA Beginner's Tutorial On How To Use YouTube Video

Whether you're wanting to distribute your videos for personal or business, YouTube is the easiest way to get started in web video. All you need is a video capture device (webcam, mobile phone, digital camera) and a computer with an internet connection, and you're ready to go. The other part is to create interesting, informative or compelling content that would attract viewers. This is the part that most users forget to focus on. So here's how to get started:

1) Decide if this is for personal fun or business reasons. YouTube is used for business, but most use a professional video production company to film and edit their video first. YouTube is only used as a distribution channel. You don't want the first impression of your business to be amateur webcam video, so leave it to the professionals. If you're doing YouTube for fun, then technical quality doesn't matter...only content matters!

2) Plan your video content. YouTube videos that get watched are the ones that are UNIQUE. It's something amazing or informative that people have never seen before. Maybe it'll be something fun, like rolling a 15-foot ball made out of Legos down the street, or filming your cats and overdubbing them with voices. Or you can take a journalistic approach, like the guy that was stuck on a plane for three hours on the runway, without any a/c or water. He grabbed his cellphone and made a video of his experience, and uploaded it to YouTube. It was such a PR nightmare for the airline, he got a $100 voucher out of it! The other approach to your YouTube content can be for educational information. If you're an expert at a piece of software, you can use screen capture software that automatically records your screen and narration on how to use it. Maybe there's a political, religious, or industrial topic you would like to debate on a particular channel. Just remember to always create compelling content that will attract an audience.

3) Setup your video capture devices to record. If you use a webcam, you can record directly at YouTube's website. First create a free account, then select "Upload" text link at the top middle of the page. Click "record from webcam" and Adobe flash player will ask you permission to turn your webcam on. Click "Allow" and you'll instantly see yourself on the webpage! Then click "Ready to Record" and you'll be recording. After you're done, click STOP, and you can watch what you did, publish, or re-record. If you're recording your video on a cell phone, some will let you upload directly to YouTube, or it makes a digital file that you can transfer to your computer when you connect via your USB cable. In that case, click "upload video" and point it to your video file on your computer. The other option is to use your digital camera, most of which take decent video. After you take your video, simply transfer the video file to your computer, and select "Upload Video" on the YouTube upload, and select your video file. The file will automatically upload and show you the progress of the upload.

4) Specify your video title and keywords. After you've uploaded or published your video file, you now need to specify the content of your video so users can find it. Craft the title of your video to be descriptive and exciting. Instead of "talking cats" something more like "Hidden camera catches cat conversation" or "What cats say when no one is around" would be much more intriguing. In the description field, you can expound on your video with a few more sentences. The "Tags" field is for keywords that people would be searching for. If you're doing an informative video about a political issue, you'd want to include keywords of each of your main points in this field.

5) Designate the broadcasting and privacy options for your video. Most of these can be left to the default settings, as they are the most popular. If you want your video to only be viewed by a link that you send to people directly, and not viewable or searchable to the general public, then select "Unlisted". If you only want certain viewers that you specify, select "Private." Decide if you want to enable public comments, or if you want to be able to approve or disapprove of certain comments before they're posted. There are a few other options for your video but if you're just getting started there's no reason to mess with them. Then just click "save changes" and you're ready to go! Depending on the length of your video, it could take a few minutes to fully process and become searchable.
by Paul Lyke
References and Bibliography
Paul Lyke is a video producer at MidSouth Visual, Inc., a Nashville video production company.
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