Welcome to our series about how to make videos & use YouTube! After many requests and lots of phone calls and emails about the hows, whys, and whats of YouTube, I decided it would be best to create a resource that anyone can use. Yes, YouTube has alot of resources and there are tons of videos about how to, why to, and when to use YouTube. But I will approach it from the perspective of a crafter, an indie business owner, a small business, a one-woman-show, and a busy mom. I face many of the same challenges you do in making videos. Over the next few weeks we will be talking about how to make videos, upload them to YouTube and ways to get more views on your channel as well as WHY we make the recommendations that we do.

First, you might be wondering WHY your company should be on YouTube.

Just check out the statistics to see WHY, here: http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html

I want to point out one of the most important stats from the list linked above: 

“According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network”

This group is the next generation of “crafters”. They are indie artists seeking to learn. They are crafters who want to create. They are decorating their own weddings, do their own makeup, DIY-ing their own renovations and home decor. They are buying supplies, tools, and finished products that will make their vision happen….THEY are your clients for the next 30-50 YEARS. And you can access them as easy as making a video and posting it online. In fact, you can MAKE money every time they watch your videos, instead of traditional TV advertising that you have to PAY to produce and air.

So…….. are you ready to get on YouTube? 

The good news is, it isn't as hard as you think.

  • You've seen other videos on YouTube and thought to yourself, “I can do that, and BETTER!”
  • You know how to use the computer and the internet (you got to this here blog, right?!)
  • You are passionate about something that you want to share via video — be it crafts, tutorials, organizing tips, DIY, make up ideas, gardening, comedy ….the sky is the limit!

The bad news is:

  • You don't have a video camera except for the 80 lb Sony camcorder from 1986 in the bottom of your closet
  • You started signing up for YouTube and realized everything seems “locked” – you can't schedule your vids, can't figure out how to add ads to them, and can't do videos  longer than 5 minutes…..why, oh WHY?!
  • You have a Windows computer and doesn't everyone need a Mac?
  • Plus, how do you edit videos?
  • You don't want to spend any money to get equipment or software

Well, the bad news isn't really bad news — it is more a list of challenges that we CAN overcome, some of which might not even be relevant. Guess what? My house is “Mac-free” and I can still manage to make and upload videos. What gives?

Here are the things you need to get started with making videos for YouTube:



  • Camera that takes HD Video, such as the Canon EOS Rebel T3i, which retails for about $500-600
    • WHY?
      • Can shoot in HD which means better quality video for your viewers. With GoogleTV, tablets, and larger computer monitors, people are watching video on bigger screens than ever.
      • A DSLR Camera can still take still-photos so you save money not having to buy both a camera and a camcorder separately
      • The T3i has a flip viewer so you can see what you are doing while recording – I use a T2i so I have to do a few test shots to get my angles & focus correct
      • You can buy more lenses for the camera, depending on what you are shooting
      • The microphone is really good – you likely won't need to do any voiceover if making tutorials
  • Tripod & Overhead video mount
    • WHY?
      • Shaky cameras can make people sick when they watch your video (or make them unsubscribe from your channel – we get into subscribers more later)
      • Frees up your hands
      • An overhead mount will allow your followers a “bird's eye view” or your work space, making it easier for them to following along with tutorials
      • Allows you to be further away from the camera than arm's length
  • At least 2 clamp lights that will give you light from the right and left (you can get these at Home Depot)
    • WHY?
      • Good lighting is KEY — watch a few “dark” videos on YouTube and you'll get annoyed because you can't see what is going on
      • These lights are afforable (under $20 for two)
      • Can be positioned anywhere because of the clamps
      • Allow you to shoot video at night in your craft space
  • Computer with Internet Connection, preferably no more than 2 years old
    • WHY?
      • An older computer's processor, video card, or memory might not be able to handle high quality video or might be slow when processing any edits you make to the video
      • You can upgrade just the RAM, video card, etc but you might as well as get a new computer because the cost of the components is more than a new PC altogether
  • Microphone (optional, only if doing voice over)
    • WHY?
      • Bad video will make people stop watching but bad AUDIO will make them stop before bad video does
      • Sometimes you need to do voiceover and a microphone can be handy
  • Adobe Premiere Pro or Camtasia Studio editing software
    • WHY?
      • If you want high-quality edits and the ability to do alot with your videos, a good editing program is a must
      • You can get 30 day free trials of each to see if you like the programs before committing to buy
      • It is worth taking the time to learn these programs. At some point the waulity of your videos will be limited by the editing software you have available. It took me 8 months to get to that point.

Depending on your current tools, you may have to invest up to $1000 to get started with GOOD equipment. But, there are  alternatives (listed below):



  • Smartphone or Tablet that does video and has an internet connection OR a digital camcorder OR a laptop webcam OR a webcam
  • $15 tripod from Target OR something you can prop your camera on
  • Windows Movie Maker(PC)  or iMovie programs (Mac) – one of these should come pre-loaded on your computer OR a video editing app if using a Smartphone or Tablet that does video http://mashable.com/2013/06/05/video-edit-apps/
  • An overhead light (like in your ceiling or a tall floor lamp) and a table top lamp (can be a desk lamp)
  • Computer with Internet Connection, preferably no more than 2 years old if you are NOT using a Smartphone or Tablet that does video

If you don't have the right equipment, you'll need to get it to start making videos. Consider borrowing equipment or working with a friend until you can earn some revenue (from ads) to help buy better or your own equipment.

In the meantime, take a look around the YouTube Creator Playbook – this will help you get started with YouTube as well.

I hope you'll try all of the strategies I have shared over the last month to help your business tackle the social marketing mountain.



Happy Instagramming,



Author: Jennifer Priest

It started with jewelry, beading, sewing, home decor, painting, basket weaving, pottery, and cross-stitch. Marry that to an entrepreneurial spirit & at 9 years old a girl is selling her wares at craft fairs as far as her parents and grandparents would drive her. These days, Jennifer enjoys crafts of all genres from sewing to scrapbooking to jewelry with a little dabbling in the mixed media world. Her style is approachable and she wants everyone who sees her work to feel that they too can embrace creativity and make their home and life beautiful.

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2 thoughts on “YouTube, ITube, WeAllTube! How to Make Videos & Use YouTube – Part 1

  1. Looks like I need to go shopping for tripod!
    Thanks for your tips. :)

    Posted on August 30, 2013 at 12:00 am