How to be a budget Youtuber

If you read last week’s post then you’ll know I recently joined the Youtube train and the ride has been pretty fun so far.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how it grows but starting a channel wasn’t necessarily an easy choice.  In fact, the process became quite daunting as I knew I couldn’t afford expensive DSLR cameras/ lenses/ soft box lights/ and microphones.  It’s wise not to splurge serious cash in the beginning anyway but when many viewers judge the quality of your videos within the first five seconds, it’s easy to feel like your stuck between a rock and a hard place.  However, your content is ultimately the most important element of any video and I’ve learnt a few ways to film on a budget.  If you’re considering joining Youtube but feel slightly overwhelmed by production costs, take a deep breath and take a look at my tips.  I still have a hell of a lot to learn but I now know that when there is a will, there’s a way.

  1. Camera – Obviously, this is quite an important piece of equipment but don’t be fooled into buying a pricey DSLR camera. Many flourishing Youtubers use smartphones to record their videos, which isn’t a bad alternative when camera phones are becoming more and more powerful.
  2. Lighting – I took the advice of other Youtubers and invested in a rustic (cheap) soft box light as many people told me that good lighting can change the whole quality of your video.  However, if you’re on a really tight budget, then sitting in front of window on a bright day is just as good.  I tried it for one of my videos (can you guess which?) and I thought the results were very encouraging. So, to conclude, lighting is a very important but potentially inexpensive element for you to consider.
  3. Audio – If you don’t consider your audio recordings then you may bore your audience quickly. Very quickly. The bad news is that most camera microphones are pretty poor and some of the best microphones on the market come with a hefty price tag.  The good news is that there is actually a super cheap option that has surprisingly decent results . . . your phone.  My experience has only ever been with iPhones but I’ve been really surprised by the quality of the recordings. You still have to be pretty close to the microphone in order to get good material so be prepared to stack books to create a platform but this is one of the easiest options I’ve found.
  4. Tripod – A tripod is undoubtedly useful for filming because it allows you to record in variety of locations and set ups.  Thankfully, there are plenty of cheap options out there, I’m pretty sure I got mine for £10.  However, if you want to save the pennies then a desk, a bookshelf, a stack of boxes can all be a great makeshift alternative.
  5. Editing – You’ve guessed it, editing software can also be really expensive, especially if you’re looking at the Premier Pros and Final Cuts of this world.  Thankfully, there are some cheap, and even free, alternatives.  Google can tell you plenty of free options, like Lightworks and Videopad, and most computers come with their own editing software too.

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