Everything You Need to Start a YouTube Channel And The Tools to Monetize it Effectively

I always try to give free recommendations if they are worth it.  But if I included some paid ones that's because they're truly worth the price or you actually NEED them for certain things.

The services and tool below that aren't free have an affiliate link—I get a commission if you buy through the link at no extra cost for you.

The BEST YouTube Tool


TubeBuddy makes having a YouTube channel A LOT easier. It will save you hundreds of hours of work, believe me. And not only that, it also helps you get more views thanks to its built-in tools for video ideas.

Equipment Guides

This is all the equipment that you actually need to get started. You can get a channel easily to 1000 subs, 10000 and more with this equipment. Although you should get at least a microphone some day (some cost around $25, more on that below).

Your Current Smartphone

Did you know there are YouTube channels with over 5 million subscribers that still use their smartphone? Yes! This means that you don't need a big equipment investment. Start with what you have, or make sure your next smartphone upgrade can record 1080p video. Here's a list to help you out if you're planning to get one soon. 

A Small Tripod to Hold It: UBeesize Tripod S

Regardless of the type of camera you use, you will always need some sort of tripod. I recommend tabletop tripods because they are easy to carry around and are versatile. The Ubeesize Tripod S is especially versatile and has great price/quality relationship.

A 1080p Camera with Useful Features for YouTube and Vlogging (OPTIONAL)

If you REALLY want to invest in a nice camera to make your videos look the best possible, check my article on the best vlogging cameras. These are the top on the market for all kinds of YouTube channels, not only daily vlogging. If you're going to spend on a camera, go big and get something much better than your phone's camera. If not, just use your smartphone, PLEASE.

Manfrotto Evo Pixi 2 - One of the best vlogging tripods

Tabletop Tripod for Cameras

These are the tripods that you can use to hold your camera for easy transportation. There aren't too many options, so I've made a selection of the top ones on the market.

DSLR Camera Lens

Lens for Vlogging and YouTube (OPTIONAL)

If you get an interchangeable-lens camera, choosing the right lens can take a long time. I've done the research for you and I've selected the best lenses for YouTube and vlogging in general from the hundreds available.

Equipment You Should Get Soon After Starting

As soon as you can, invest in these two. Mic and lighting are pretty important and cheap. They will increase the quality of your videos and help people enjoy your videos more.

A Good Microphone

Instead of investing in a camera, get first a good microphone. It's more important that people are able to hear you well so you can keep them watching. They are also much more affordable than a camera.

Lighting Kit

Investing in good lighting will give you more return than going from an "okay" 1080p camera to a "good" 1080p camera. Do not understimate lighting. This is by far the most cost-effective way to improve image quality.

Essential Tools

These are the tools every video content creator will need for YouTube.

Best Editor for Newbies: Filmora

Filmora is an editor specifically made for content creators that don't know anything about editing. This is great because the tool will save you a lot of time. It's worth it if you value your time.

Best Editor: DaVinci Resolve (Free)

Avoid Adobe Premiere at all cost. No need to pay for something so expensive when DaVinci Resolve has everything you need to edit YouTube videos and it's compatible with every OS. You can consider replacing it with iMovie if you have an Apple computer. The downside is that it takes a lot of time to learn as it's not meant for newbies.

Best Editor (Alternative): iMovie

A lot of people like iMovie. It is free after all and has all you need to create YouTube videos. If you have an Apple computer, you have my permission to use it—kidding.

Basic Thumbnail Design: Canva.com

Canva is an excellent free tool for anyone that needs to create designs but lacks the designing skills. It's an intuitive online tool anyone can learn to use in minutes. Use it for your thumbnails and all the YouTube art you need. It's free and with the subscription you get an unlimited amount of stock images and elements to use in your designs. I recommend it to everyone.

Advanced Thumbnail Design: Adobe Photoshop

Canva is great for starters, but it will never be better than Photoshop. You don't need to be a designer to use it. I learned it when I was a kid. This program is worth every penny as a YouTuber. Learn to use it—it really isn't that hard—and you'll get more clicks on your videos by creating thumbnails that stand out and that evoke curiosity.

Content Planning: Asana

Asana is my favorite project management tool. It's incredibly useful if you're publishing a lot of videos. It will allow you to keep track of your videos in every stage, from ideas, research, planning, and editing to publishing. Mandatory if you have a team.

Content Planning (alternative): Trello

Asana vs. Trello is like Real Madrid vs. Barcelona. If you're American, sorry about that football reference—yes, football, not soccer. What I mean is that people prefer one to the other but both of them are great.

Monetization: The Tools to Make a Living From Your Channel

This is extremely important: START BUILDING AN EMAIL LIST NOW. 

These are all the good things that happen when you have an email list:

  • You make sure you OWN your audience. It has happened before on Facebook and YouTube that the algorithm suddenly decides to destroy random channels across the platform. Avoid being a victim of this and start owning your audience for real.
  • You're making sure your audience receives a notification when you publish a new video (YouTube gives a sh*t about your content and will promote to your subs whomever they think will make people watch more, even if they aren't subscribed).
  • You build a deeper connection and trust as you communicate with them directly.
  • You can launch your products, services and promote everything you do, like sending them to your social media account, or ANY action you want your entire audience to take by sending them a direct email and notification to their phones.

If you know me, you know I don't teach you how to make money through the YouTube partnership program. Instead, I teach you how to think like a business owner to monetize your audience, even if it's small, so you can earn your freedom a lot faster. My biggest mistake was not starting collecting emails from the first day. Here are the tools you'll need to start doing it ASAP and monetize your audience.

Best Email Marketing Platform: ConvertKit

If you're publishing videos already and you don't have an email list, please join ConvertKit right now and start sending your subs to join your email list.

  • It's the only way to make sure they know when you publish a new video.
  • YouTube has destroyed entire channels from one day to the other because of "algorithm bugs" and changes.
  • Email marketing is the best kind of marketing. It will be your main source of income.

Convertkit includes everything you need, even landing pages to host your opt-in form on so you don't have to pay for a website.

I've tried 3 different email marketing providers in the past, and I can only recommend ConvertKit. They are ridiculously superior to the competition because of how easy and customizable everything is.

Use the button below to sign up to 500 people in your email list for free with my link.

Online Course Building and Hosting: Teachable

I use Teachable to host my online courses. You can charge your students by accepting credit card, PayPal, and you can even create a sales page, and different payment plans (one-time payment, recurrent, or membership).

One of the best things is that it has an affiliate system that is really easy to set up. You can tell others to promote your course and they will get a commission (% of your choosing) if someone buys your course through their own unique link.

Teachable will handle everything: student registration and charging, payments to your affiliates and to you without you moving a finger.

Useful Websites

Hiring End Screen / Intro / Outro / Animations / Thumbnail Designers: Fiverr.com

Fiverr is the best place to find people that can do quick jobs like thumbnail design, end screens, intros and outros or any sort of animation that can be done for $5-20. Be aware: you can find extremely low quality stuff but I've also find a lot of things worth the low price.

Hiring a Video Editor: Upwork.com

This is the place I recommend to find freelance members for your team, like a video editor. I've worked and hired on Upwork for the last 5 years and it's awesome. Use it for mid-to-long-term hirings that you need for your channel or business. You can use it also for one-time jobs, in fact, that's the most I've used it for.