Everything You Need to Start a YouTube Channel And The Tools to Monetize it Effectively
Here's the page where most website owners just paste a bunch of links to paid products to earn juicy affiliate commissions, often ignoring free tools that are just as good just so they can get profit$.
Not me, my friend. I mean, I'm not a saint and some tools cost money, but you'll notice that most things I recommend here are free. The truth is that you don't need a huge budget to start making videos.
In fact, my number 1 recommendation is to start with the smartphone you already own. Most phones have a top-quality camera included, some of them even record 4k, which is something a lot of new cameras still aren't offering—I'm looking at you CANON! SHAME! *rings the bell*.
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. But if I included them that's because they're truly worth the price or you actually NEED them for certain things.
I always try to give free recommendations if they are worth it.
You will get a better return on investment if you invest in one of my courses instead ;D — but seriously, always invest in yourself first before buying an expensive camera.
If you're just starting on YouTube, or you already started but are looking for ways to earn more while helping your audience, joining our community is the first step you should take. I'll teach you (for free) how to create a system that turns your viewers into buyers, even if you don't have any product or you think you can't sell anything.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These are the tools every video content creator will need for YouTube.
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.
A lot of people like iMovie. It is free after all and has all you need to create YouTube videos. If you prefer Apple's user interface, you have my permission to use it—kidding.
This is a tool that I highly recommend you install as you start on YouTube. You just need to create a free account and install the Chrome extension. It will add a ton of useful features to your channel like finding related tags, keyword research, competitor and channel analysis, and more. It's worth installing even if it's just for the free features.
This is vidIQ's main competitor. Both of them have really nice features and I like both of them. People prefer one to the other, so just try both of them out for a while and decide which one to keep.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is extremely important: START BUILDING AN EMAIL LIST NOW.
These are all the good things that happen when you have an email list:
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is the all-in-one solution that is taking over the online business industry. You can host your website, build beautiful landing pages, charge your clients, build your email list, host webinars, and more, all in one place. If you get the complete service, you don't need anything else. Highly recommended when you're more advanced and you're already running webinars to sell your products automatically.
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.
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.