How to make a YouTube video: A 7-step guide for beginners

Take the first step to become a YouTuber with our simple seven-step guide on how to make a YouTube video.

Sandy Beeson
Image of a camera set up to film in front of text that says 'Make a YouTube video.'

A mammoth 3.7 million videos are uploaded to YouTube every day. If you’re looking to upload your first video and join this awesome global community, you’ve come to the right place. Creating content starts with little more than an idea and some basic equipment. So let’s dive into how to make a YouTube video.

There are consistent steps followed by the biggest YouTubers. Take a look at big hitting creators like Mark Rober or Amelia Dimoldenberg and you’ll realize that YouTube gold doesn’t happen by accident. And even though they cover wildly different niches, you’ll find there’s a common blueprint for success.

We’ve boiled it down into a tried and tested 7-step process, proven to work for everyone from your fellow newtubers right through to seasoned pros. Discover what you need to do before even picking up a camera, and see what it takes to constantly improve with each and every video you create.


New to YouTube? Give yourself a head start by checking out our guide to starting a YouTube channel. It’s full of invaluable tips that can help boost your view counts, right from your very first upload.

Step 1: Start with an idea and plan your path to success

Image of a creator coming up with ideas for her YouTube video.

It all starts with an idea! You probably know what you want your YouTube video to be about, but how do you bring that idea to life? Planning your content lets you fine-tune your concept and think about how to turn good videos into great ones.

Getting your thinking cap on at this point will also help you build a channel with laser focus. Think about it, if your channel covers too many topics, viewers won’t be sure what your channel is about. Which means potential subscribers might decide against following you.

That’s why you want to be clear on what you’re setting out to create. So here’s what you’ll want to consider when planning a YouTube video or plotting your channel.

Research other creators - Start by seeing what’s already out there. Make a note of the creators you think tackle your niche well, or what you might want to avoid in your own videos.

Know your audience - Think about who is likely to watch your channel. Having a picture of who your audience might be will help show you ways to tailor content for them.

Pinpoint your channel’s main theme - Understand what gives people a reason to click on your video and make sure your content always delivers it. By consistently aiming to nail the key purpose of your videos, you give yourself a clear objective that’ll guide you through the content creation process.


Stuck for ideas? No matter your niche, we’ve got you covered with our list of 61 easy YouTube video ideas to try out.

Step 2: Map out your content and make your life easier

Image of a hand filling out a storyboard as part of planning a YouTube video.

This is where you’ll bring your video to life. By planning out the structure of your video, you can spot opportunities to add in little touches to keep your viewers enthralled. And by mapping out each shot, you’ll save yourself the headache of scrabbling footage together in your edit. Plan out stunning b-roll footage, insert a well-crafted joke, and see how to make your video even more engaging. 

There are different ways you can approach the planning stage. You can write a script that contains the story you’re going to tell in your video, filled with as much dialogue and action as you need. Or if your video is more visual, create a storyboard to help you visually represent your video shot-by-shot.


Some people prefer reading scripts word-for-word while others would freestyle around bullet points. Try both approaches and see what feels more natural.

When you’ve written out your script or storyboard, fine-tune the details until you’re confident it meets the goals you set for your channel. Then once you’re at this point, you’re ready to grab your camera and start filming!

Step 3: Capture quality footage and sound that'll keep your viewers hooked

Image of a creator filming himself for a YouTube video.

If you’ve taken the time to properly plan your video, actually filming it should be a breeze. You already know all the shots you need, so simply check each one off as you go. 

Just remember, you could create the greatest story ever posted to YouTube, but no-one will want to watch it if the dialogue is muffled and the footage is shaky. That’s why capturing the best quality audio and visuals possible is so important. 

You don’t need Mr Beast-levels of budget to create awesome videos, just remember to keep these core principles in mind:

  • Capture video in as high quality as possible on your phone or camera
  • Keep your camera steady and consider using a tripod or a gimbal
  • Make sure your audio is nice and clear, and consider capturing it with a microphone if possible
  • Consider the lighting for where you’re filming and consider getting extra lighting if you need it

YouTubers have wildly differing budgets. Whatever you can afford, there’s equipment out there to bring your videos to life. Find the gear you need by checking out our YouTube equipment checklist.

Step 4: Master your edit and make your content unskippable 

Image showing a YouTuber on some footage that's being edited for a YouTube video.

It’s time to take your raw footage and transform it into YouTube magic. It’s all about editing your video down so it holds your viewers’ attention. Because if you don’t keep them engaged throughout, you’re giving them a reason to click away.

Start by using your script or storyboard to build out your video, making sure your edit meets the overall goal you set out to achieve. Cut out unnecessary scenes and consider adding transitions and effects to keep your content punchy. 

Don’t forget the power of sound too. A well-chosen backing track and on-point sound effects can help to make your footage hit even harder. Head to Uppbeat’s awesome copyright-free music catalog to find your ideal soundtrack.

Visit Uppbeat

Find your ideal soundtrack. Trusted by 2M+ creators 🤙

Browse copyright-free music

Not sure where to start when it comes to editing software? We’ve rounded-up the best free YouTube tools for creators, including different options for editing tools.

Step 5: Use YouTube’s full features to get more viewers

Image of a YouTube video thumbnail standing out on YouTube's homepage.

You’re almost ready for the grand unveiling. But before you hit publish, there are tools at your disposal that’ll help YouTube share your content further. Here’s three ways to boost your potential view count while you upload.

Catch people’s eye - Take the time to create a title and thumbnail combo that demands to be clicked. Remember, you’re competing with literally millions of other videos, so you need to give people a reason to choose your video over everyone else’s.

Make your videos easy to watch - Use timestamps and chapters to help people find the part of your video they want to watch. And consider adding subtitles for viewers who might need them. They’re simple steps that improve your audience’s experience of watching your video and means they’re less likely to click away.

Showcase your channel - Once you’ve uploaded multiple videos, you’ll be able to point people to other content on your channel. But even if you’re posting your very first YouTube video, you can still give viewers the lowdown on your channel and give them a reason for them to come back to watch more videos.


If you’re completely new to sharing your content, you can check out our guide on how to upload a YouTube video for a step-by-step guide and helpful tips.

Step 6: Share your YouTube video far and wide to rack up more views

Image of a creator's newly uploaded YouTube video on different devices.

When you’ve put your heart and soul into a video, you want people to actually watch it, right? Racking up early views is critical for getting the attention of the YouTube algorithm. If it sees your video is driving views early on, it’s more likely to share it to a wider audience.

The easiest way to guarantee views is to share it yourself. So send your video to friends and family, and share your content across social media. Don’t be shy about searching the relevant corners of Discord, Reddit or independent forums to find people that are interested in your niche. 

And once you’ve got people watching your video, make sure you’re encouraging them to drop a comment or share your content further. They’re vital signals that show YouTube’s algorithm your content is engaging enough to spark interaction from viewers. 

It’s like a snowball effect. The more you build an engaged community that interacts with each upload, the easier it will be to get those all-important early views. So invest the time in building your audience and always remember to respond to people’s comments!

Step 7: Track your video’s performance to see where you can improve next time

Illustration of YouTube Studio's channel analytics pages.

Constantly looking for ways to improve your content is how the best YouTubers operate. You can see how far massive creators like Airrack or Ryan Trahran have come over the years by comparing their oldest content with their latest uploads.

So how do you keep evolving as a YouTuber? By becoming familiar with YouTube analytics and how it shows you where to improve your videos. 

Get to know metrics that help you understand where your views are coming from and how to get more. Explore graphs that show you where people are dropping out of your videos so you can figure out how to keep them watching longer. And work out which of your videos are most effective at turning viewers into subscribers.


Want to level up as a creator and see how analytics can boost your channel? Check out our guide to YouTube Analytics to find out how it’ll power your growth and help you improve with each video.

Follow these steps to create awesome YouTube content

Image of a creator looking pleased with themselves having followed the seven steps to making a YouTube video.

Joining the 62 million YouTubers posting videos couldn’t be easier. Making content and uploading it to YouTube for a global audience to discover takes just seven simple steps. It’s the blueprint followed by the most successful YouTubers.

It all starts with fleshing out your initial idea and planning how to execute your video. If you do this right, capturing and editing the content becomes a breeze. And then it comes down to uploading your gem to YouTube, before using its features to get your video seen by as many people as possible.

Before you know it, you’ll be on the road to constantly improving your videos and becoming a better creator. Wherever you want to take your YouTube journey, we’re with you every step of the way. So if you’re looking to grow your audience, check out our guide on how to get more subscribers on YouTube.

Share this post