Becoming a YouTuber 101: Finding Your Fame


Confidence is key

I know what you're thinking. How cliché can you be? Am I really going to try explaining to you how important it is to have confidence in yourself? Yes, of course I am.

But really, confidence is important, and you are going to need it if you want to make a name for yourself online. The Internet can be a scary place, especially YouTube. At some point down the road, you are guaranteed to come across an individual or two who enjoys the benefits of anonymity.

You will be verbally attacked and your most mundane actions judged, but you should never let that stop you from feeling confident in yourself. Always remember that you are the one who is doing the creating. It's your channel and your content.

Be open to feedback

Doing your own thing on YouTube not only allows you to express your creativity to the masses, but it also presents the opportunity to accept feedback from anyone who takes an interest in what you have to say. Of course, much like anything that takes place online, this can be both good and bad.

Some viewers will take the time to compliment your work and let you know that you’re doing a good job, while others will make it a goal of theirs to break you down and make it feel personal. No matter what kind of feedback comes your way, it’s important that you remain confident and continue onward. Over time, you will learn how to properly filter the feedback that is worth reading.

On the Internet, everyone is a critic. Don’t take it personally.


Before you publish...

I know you're excited to get your content out into the world, but there are still a few things you should do. This includes tagging your video, as well as giving it a proper title, description and especially a catchy thumbnail.

Tagging videos, while it can seem tedious, is actually quite necessary in determining how well your content is ranked. And as massive as YouTube is, standing out is more important than ever. In other words, don't go cheap when applying tags. Include as many relevant keywords as possible.

For an example of properly tagging a video, these are the tags I would use for an iPhone 7 Plus review: iphone 7 plus review, new iphone features, 2017 iphone overview, iphone 7 plus vs iphone 6s, is the new iphone worth it

Notice how my tags include keyword phrases and not just singular words? When tagging any kind of video, you need to think as if you are the one doing the searching. What would you search for? And how? Apply that to your own work.

In regards to setting up your title, description and thumbnail, I recommend testing different results. Growing your brand on YouTube involves a lot of trial and error. As mentioned previously, try not to restrict yourself. Experiment and see what works.

Publishing your content

It’s time to put the finishing touches on your content and publish it on YouTube for the world to see. This can be done in several ways:

  • Public - Your video is published immediately and can be found via search results
  • Private - Your video is completely private and only viewable by you
  • Unlisted - Your video can only be accessed via its direct link
  • Scheduled - Your video can be published to go live at a specific date and time

Nervous yet? Don’t be. YouTube is an amazing place that can introduce all kinds of interesting opportunities.

Don’t forget to share

Once your video is live for all to enjoy, you might want to consider sharing it with your existing audiences on social media. As described in the beginning of this class, YouTube allows you to connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts, so the process is very straightforward. Consider it free traffic!

Keep creating

Now that you understand the basics of what goes into creating YouTube content, you need to promise yourself one thing… You will not give up. I cannot tell you how often I come across creators who just call it quits within weeks of starting. It’s as if they expect instant results over night. That’s not how it works.

Consistency is critical if you want to succeed on YouTube. Uploading a few videos here and there isn’t going to cut it. If it helps, try putting yourself on an upload schedule. Doing this can help you get into the groove of uploading new videos regularly. It also gives your audience something to look forward to.

Numbers are not everything

Numbers may be important in the long run, but if you’re still new to the YouTube scene, obsessing over them could quickly become discouraging. Instead, set a realistic goal for yourself that you can work toward.

At some point in the future, yes, numbers will be relative. But until then, the best thing you can do is remain consistent and keep creating original content. Focus on what’s working for your channel and expand upon that.


Congratulations! You’ve completed Becoming a YouTuber 101: Finding Your Fame. Reference everything you have learned and apply it in completing the challenge below. I also encourage you to discuss anything of interest in the Di Franco University Forum.


Course Challenge:

Create a YouTube channel, upload at least 10 original videos, and earn at least 50 subscribers. Once you complete this challenge, contact me with your results.

Helpful links: YouTube | Epidemic Sound

Becoming a YouTuber 101: Finding Your Fame


Using the right equipment

Technology in cameras is advancing faster than ever nowadays, which is amazing news for anyone interested in creating video content. This also means that prices have dropped dramatically in recent years, which is why owning a 4K capable camera for less than $100 isn’t out of the ordinary.

But before you spend money on a new camera, you might want to consider using what you already own. You know that phone sitting within plain sight? It’s likely more than capable at recording HD video with decent audio quality. That’s all you need. Just be sure to record in landscape mode.

Buying a proper camera, if needed

Provided you are in the market for a camera, you’ll have no problem in finding plenty of different models to choose from. From point-and-shoot cameras to professional DSLRs, there are several ways of going about this. Let’s break it down by camera type.

Point-and-shoot cameras are excellent for video creators who are often out and about, otherwise known as vloggers. They can be easily stored in one’s pocket, while still offering exceptional video quality and that shallow depth of field effect that everyone seems to enjoy. The only downside? Audio quality is usually subpar, due to the small form factor of the camera itself.

Going the DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) route can be considered royalty. DSLRs are often large and bulky, but for good reason. They offer the best possible video quality and usually include the option of using an external microphone. Throw in the ability to swap out lenses and you’ve got yourself a video creator’s dream come true.

Action cameras are also quite popular on YouTube, with the GoPro being the most obvious choice. While they’re perfect for those looking to participate in extreme sports (snowboarding, hang gliding, etc.), there’s no reason why action cameras cannot be used for occasional vlogging. Just don’t expect stellar quality when it comes to audio.

And finally, let’s touch upon camcorders. They’re not exactly the go-to cameras that they once were, but they are still quite reliable. From exceptional quality all around to support for accessories like lights and microphones, it’s hard to ignore the fact that camcorders still have a place in the market today.

Consider using an external microphone

Capturing video is one thing, but what about audio? This is one area that many creators tend to overlook. After all, audio quality is arguably more important than video quality. Would you continue to watch a video if its audio was poor? Probably not.

Depending on the type of camera you are using, an external microphone may be supported. This is often the case if your camera of choice is either a camcorder or DSLR. To be certain, I suggest looking around on Google and seeing what you can find. If you're curious, I prefer the RØDE VideoMic Pro when shooting with my Canon 80D.

So, what’s the big deal about using an external microphone? To put simply, quality. The differences between using an onboard microphone and an external microphone are night and day. You might have to spend a bit of cash, but I can assure you that it’s a purchase you will not regret.

Let's talk about video editing software

Unless you plan on uploading your recorded clips directly to YouTube, you're going to want to think about which video editing software to use. Before you consider your options, however, you might already have access to software without even realizing it. Of course, this entirely depends on the kind of computer you're using.

Using a Mac?

If you're a macOS user, you likely have iMovie installed by default, as it comes preinstalled on all new Macs. To check, simply press Command+Spacebar and search for “iMovie” using Spotlight. Don’t see it? Not a problem. You can download iMovie here in the App Store for free.


iMovie is, without a doubt, the best way to learn the ins and outs of video editing. It offers a ton of functionality and control, while keeping everything simple and easy to understand. And if that’s not enough, iMovie is also available for iPhone and iPad, allowing you to sync and edit your projects while on the go.

Of course, iMovie is only one of several video editing apps available on macOS. If you are looking for something more advanced, I recommend trying Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro. Each offers a free trial.

Using a Windows PC?

Windows users, let’s get the harsh reality out of the way. You don’t have it as nice as Mac users do, at least when it comes to taking advantage of bundled software. I’m referring to Windows Movie Maker, which is often mocked for its lack of creativity and inspiration. It’s just… not that great.


I do, however, have good news for you. There are plenty of video editing applications that are worth exploring — the first being Premiere Pro, which just happens to coincide with the Mac version. This is made possible by Creative Cloud, a subscription service from Adobe that can save you a ton of money.

Perhaps Adobe apps aren’t your thing? I suggest giving Sony VEGAS a fair shot. While I have yet to use VEGAS myself, I’ve heard good things. But just to be safe, you can download the free trial here.

Creating your content

Choosing the right video equipment and software may be important, but without quality content, you've got nothing. This is the part of the YouTube process that tends to become difficult — which, by the way, is perfectly normal. After all, if just anyone could excel in creating successful video content on YouTube, this guide would not be necessary, now would it?

Thankfully, succeeding on YouTube does not have to be cumbersome. In my experience, there are four things you should keep in mind when presenting yourself as a creator.

Choose a topic you’re familiar with

First off, you need to choose a video topic that you’re comfortable talking about. Otherwise, you are going to find yourself stuck with no ideas too early in the game, thus giving you hardly any room to grow.

Your focus doesn’t necessarily have to be just one thing. I have been making YouTube videos for years now, and I’ve had great success talking about topics that are often complete opposites of one another. Some days I prefer to get personal with my vlogs and other days I enjoy making product reviews. And that’s why I urge you to…

Never restrict yourself

Do you want to know what the best thing about YouTube is? It's a platform that allows you to express your creativity on a scale that was previously never possible. In other words, you are never restricted to exploring just one style in content creation.

Let's say, for example, your YouTube channel is primarily focused around vlogging. But a couple months later you're suddenly interested in doing technology reviews. There's no reason why you cannot do both. And the same goes for any other changes that may come to mind in the future.

It’s your channel, your choice.

Continue to page 3 >

Becoming a YouTuber 101: Finding Your Fame

Becoming a YouTuber 101: Finding Your Fame

Launching a successful YouTube channel may be difficult, but it's not impossible. The process, provided you approach it wisely, is actually pretty straightforward. It's simply going to require some careful planning, an end goal that you would like to achieve, and a lot of patience.

Website Building 101: From Build to Launch


Let's talk email

Now that you have a better understanding of how SEO works and how it can benefit your website, let's shift focus to email. Wait a minute... Email? Is it 1996 again?

This may come as a surprise to you, but email is still heavily used. According to Forrester (2014), "72% of U.S. online adults send or receive personal emails via smartphones at least weekly."

Considering there are over 2.5 billion email users worldwide, 72% is a significant percentage and something that should not be ignored. And as someone who is creating a website, it's important that you take action. But how?

Put simply, you need to build an email list. Doing so will allow you to directly contact your most important website visitors with exclusive content. And let's face it, exclusivity sells. People naturally love the idea of receiving something exclusive, which is exactly what you need to offer.

Start an email list (I recommend MailChimp) and sell the idea of giving something away for free to anyone who signs up. This can be a nice incentive to not only grab attention, but it's also a great way of building trust with your audience.

As your list grows, consider new ways of keeping your subscribers engaged over time. Ask questions and reply with answers. Direct communication can go a long way in benefiting the overall image of your brand.

Nowadays, it's all about social media

There's no arguing that email marketing can be very effective, but if there's one thing that has taken the Internet by storm, it's social media. Our daily routines rotate around platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Social media is simply huge, and that's not going to change any time soon.

The instant gratification of reaching out to a particular person or brand is powerful, especially if you are working in customer service. Ask a question on Twitter and you will likely receive an answer within minutes, often faster than you would via email.


If you have any kind of online presence, then you need to be active on social media. Determining which platforms to get started with entirely depends on your website and its focus. For the kind of work that I do, I prefer to primarily interact on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 

Of course, everyone has their own way of doing things, so choose whichever platforms that you feel would work best with your brand. And don't forget to cross promote your social media links with your email list. The more people that you can reach, the better.

Advertising your website

When it comes time to advertise your website, you'll be happy to know that you have plenty of options to choose from. The most obvious places to get started with are usually Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. Having used both, I can say from experience that each has its advantages.

Advertising via AdWords grants you what seems to be an endless amount of ways to customize your ad. From an in-depth keyword research tool to a real-time display of how your ad will appear in search results, AdWords is the service to use.

If you are new to advertising, that will not be a problem. AdWords makes the advertising process fairly seamless and easy to understand. And of course, there is plenty of support documentation to help you along the way.

Going the route of Facebook Ads isn't a bad idea, either. Like AdWords, Facebook Ads provides a variety of tools to aid you in customizing an ad to your liking. You can even target specific demographics in local areas, which can help significantly with particular businesses.

One of the perks of signing up with Bluehost that I did not mention earlier is the added benefit of receiving free advertising credits with your account. This can be an excellent way of getting your foot in the door.

And finally, it never hurts to advertise your website the old fashioned way. Sign up for VistaPrint and get 250 business cards ordered. Pricing is very affordable and the print quality is actually quite good. I've used VistaPrint a few times in the past and can definitely recommend them.

When your business cards arrive, do not hesitate to hand them out to friends and anyone else who could be interested. You can even consider stopping by at local businesses to introduce yourself and explain to others what you're doing. After all, you never know what kinds of opportunities could turn up.

And now it's your turn

Now that you have reached this point, you should feel comfortable enough to get started with creating your website. Remember, the process can be a lot of work, but I promise you that the end result is worth it.

Because I'm excited to see what you come up with, I encourage you to leave a comment below with a link to your website. Don't worry if it's not finished yet, as no website is ever truly complete. There will always be new ideas to implement and experiment with.

After all, this is your website we're talking about. Make it your own.


Course Challenge:

Create a WordPress website hosted via Bluehost and attract at least 100 visitors within a 30-day period. Once you complete this challenge, contact me with your results.

Helpful links: Bluehost | WordPress

Website Building 101: From Build to Launch

Website Building 101: From Build to Launch

If you have never created a website before today, then you've come to the right place. As someone who has built a variety of websites throughout the years, I can assure you that the process is actually quite easy and a lot of fun. You simply need to know what you are doing.