How to: Start Your Own YouTube Channel

We’re living in the Golden Age of the YouTube beauty vlogger—your onscreen BFF who’s always there to show you how to perfect the messy bun or master romantic makeup. Their non-stop creativity is so contagious, it makes you want to whip out your iPhone camera and start recording. We got the inside scoop on what it takes to break into the vlogosphere from Michelle Ross of Ready Set Glamour and Rachel Weiland of Glow of Grace.

Choose the Right Camera

High quality videos are now the norm, so your built-in web cam may not cut it in the long run. Still, you don’t have to spend hundreds on a DSLR camera. “A point and shoot camera will work just fine while you figure out if doing YouTube is really right for you,” says Weiland, who started out with a Samsung digital camera and later upgraded to a Sony HD Camcorder.

Know Your Lighting

It’s hard to beat natural light—it’s flattering and free, so seek out a large window and make that your home base. If your schedule only allows for filming after the sun sets, consider ordering a ring light like this one. “It’s easy to set up and gives the most balanced light, which is what you need for makeup tutorials in particular,” says Ross.

Get a Little Tech Savvy

Experiment with video and photo editing programs that will make your channel look profesh. Ross and Weiland swear by iMovie for editing. Instead of splurging on Photoshop, try PicMonkey.com, a free image editing website that’s great for upgrading your video thumbnails. As for music, Ross recommends checking out YouTube’s audio library for free, non-copyrighted tunes.

Pretend There’s an Audience

Filming your first few tutorials can be … awkward. The only way to get past the “ums,” “uhs,” and the fact that you’re talking to yourself in an empty room is to practice, practice, practice. “The more you do it, the more comfortable you'll become,” says Weiland. “Just imagine you're talking to your followers instead of a camera.”

Establish a Routine

Keeping your channel consistently updated is the best way to grow your vlog. “It can be tough though because filming, editing, and uploading takes hours,” says Weiland. Set an upload goal and vow to stick to a schedule. Both Weiland and Ross recommend working on up to two to three video uploads a week to keep your followers engaged without bombarding them with too much content.

Become a Social (Media) Butterfly

Just like in the “real world,” gaining a following is all about networking. “It's crucial to interact with your followers,” says Weiland. Other quick tips to grow your channel: make your titles clear and concise (think: “what would I Google?”), and follow, comment, and like other vloggers who share similar interests. Above all, be patient—you won’t have thousands of followers overnight!

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