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From start to finish, DT’s definitive guide to creating and uploading YouTube videos

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Uploading your YouTube video

So your video is recorded, edited, and ready to be posted on YouTube after hours of painstaking work. Fortunately, uploading is the easiest part of the entire video-making process, requiring no more than the simple Web uploader.

Step 1: Sign in to your YouTube account. Navigate to the YouTube homepage and click the blue Sign in button in the top-right corner. Proceed in entering your login information, click the blue Sign in button or click the orange Create an account button in the top-right corner to sign up for the free service.

YouTube Sign in

Step 2: Upload your YouTube video. Once signed in, click the gray Upload button to the right of the search bar at the top any YouTube page. Click the drop-down menu to the right of the Privacy option, select your desired privacy level, and click the giant up arrow before selecting your YouTube video and clicking the Open button in the bottom-right corner of the resulting pop-up window.

Upload your YouTube video

Step 3:  Input basic information. Once uploaded, enter the basic information for your video (i.e. title, category, description, tags) and click the blue Save changes button in the bottom-right corner when finished. Remember, try to keep tags short and relatable as they are descriptive keywords that help other users find your content.

Input basic information for YouTube

Step 4: Monetize your video. Though purely optional, monetizing your account is a nice little way of making some money via Google’s YouTube partner program. Check out our quick guide on how to make money on YouTube if you want to try to cash in on that viral video of you and your cat.

Step 5: Input advanced settings. Click the Advanced settings tab to the right of Basic info and Monetization. Afterward, specify the various settings for comments, syndication, caption certification, and distribution options among others. None of it is necessary to post your video to YouTube, but it does offer a custom options for comment moderation and video embedding.

Additional editing

It’s not always necessary to continue tweaking and altering your YouTube video once uploaded and published with the basic settings in place. However, the following steps are included in case you would like to refine your edits or include additional features such annotation and captions. Feel free to skip them unless you missed something in your initial edits.

Step 6: Access the YouTube editor. Click the Video Manager option on the left-hand side to access your video library and upload history, then click the gray Edit button beneath your video title to access the editor.

YouTube editor

Step 7: Perform enhancements. If desired, click the Enhancements tab next to Info and Settings to access the basic video editor. Then, select a filter on the right-hand side or manually adjust the lighting and color by clicking the sun button at the top and adjusting the various sliders. Other enhancements include an image stabilizer, an auto-fix options, slow motion controls, and a trim function for clipping the video to a specified length. Click the blue Save button in the top-right corner when finished.

Video enhancements

Step 8: Add audio. If desired, click the Audio tab next to Enhancements to access the audio panel and add additional audio. Select or search for your desired track, by genre or specific title, using the navigational pane to the right of your video. Once chosen, click the gray Position audio button beneath your video to trim and position the audio clip in your desired location. Click the blue Save button in the top-right corner when finished.

Add audio YouTube

Step 9: Add annotations. If desired, click the Annotations tab next to Audio to access the various annotation options. Click the Add annotation button in the top-right corner, select your desired annotation (i.e. a speech bubble, note, title) and enter your desired annotation specifics. The specifics will vary based on the type of annotation, but all annotations include options for for text formatting and time placement. Click the gray Save button in the top-right corner when finished.

Add YouTube annotations

Step 10: Add captions. If desired, click the Captions tab next to Annotations to access options for inserting captions. Select the language from the top drop-down menu, type the spoken dialogue in the box to the right of your video, and then click the blue Sync button in the bottom-right corner to synchronize the subtitles with the visuals. Alternatively, click the gray Upload transcript or Upload timed caption file button below the transcript box to upload captions you’ve previously created.


Making a YouTube video is not a tough process, but it can be an increasingly complicated one depending on your goals and methodology. There’s an art to it, an acquired skill that you’ll surely master the longer you work with the software and develop your video-sharing prowess. Remember, your video can always be altered, reposted, or taken down entirely at your own discretion (or at YouTube’s should you violate its Terms of Service). Don’t hesitate to make changes as you see necessary.

What do you think of our exhaustive guide on how to make a YouTube video? Too much to take in or still in need of further clarification? Let us know in the comments below. 

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