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

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Oh, YouTube. The video-sharing beast that knows no bounds. Since 2005, the website has been churning out a steady stream of cuddly cats, cute kids, and overly-dramatized rants about how we should just leave Britney alone (don’t act like you haven’t seen it). The video diversity spans countless topics including how-to shorts, comedy routines, news reports gone wrong, music videos, sports recaps, and pretty much anything and everything in between. The sheer amount of video data being uploaded amounts to more than 100 hours of video a minute, representing more than 50 countries from around the globe, a never-ending contribution to the six billion hours of video watched each month on the Google-owned phenomenon. To say it hasn’t changed the Web, and the world, would be an understatement given it’s profound imprint and integration into society.

Considering you’ve landed on this page however, there’s good chance this is your first time tackling your own video. The basics for making a YouTube Video – deciding content, recording, editing, uploading, etc. – are easy tasks to perform, but difficult ones to master. Perhaps you want to start up your video blog series like Japanese-American comedian Ryan Higa, AKA Nigahiga, or launch your own cooking channel to combat the Heavy Metal Vegan Cooking. Or maybe you want a viable avenue to show the world just how adorable your 3-year-old daughter is, or a place to showcase your latest flamenco rendition of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” or blistering cut of “Canon in D.”

Here’s our overarching guide on how to make a YouTube video. We can’t guarantee a sizable two billion views like the always-rollicking “Gangnam Style,” but at least your creation will be on the Web for all the world to see – or you know, not. Also, check our our guide on how to make money on YouTube if you’re looking to hone those entrepreneurial chops without leaving your home.

The process:

Step 1: Choosing your YouTube video’s content

The first step in creating a YouTube video is deciding its content or purpose. Are you seeking to inform or entertain? What type of audience are you aiming at? How long do you want the video to be? These questions elicit some of the countless factors you should consider regardless of whether your goal is to be the next YouTube sensation or you’re merely trying to showcase your work in a vast public forum. If you want your video to catch on, do something original and buck the trend, or mull over an ongoing series if you think monetization will be key down the line. If you’re looking to go viral, try to grab your audience’s attention within the opening moments to combat the overwhelming amount of audience ADD that seemingly proliferates with every passing year.

Try to keep your goals reasonable and within your capabilities considering you may not have the prowess of big-name producers (or big-name budgets). A YouTube video doesn’t have to be of the highest-caliber as far as technical design goes because the content itself will likely speak volumes more than your potentially poor audio or sub-par video ever could. Also, depending on how intricate or complex you plan on making your video, consider scripting, storyboarding, or other pre-production tasks outlined in YouTube’s stripped-down production guidebook.

It all starts with an idea – so make it one worthwhile.

Next Page: Recording your YouTube video

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