How I Started A YouTube Channel & 3 Lessons Learned

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Last week I finally realized a long-standing goal of starting my YouTube channel.

I wanted to start a YouTube channel so that I can create content that comes to life more than a blog post or an Instagram photo.

Videos are also a great way to make a blog post come to life.

They’re also a powerful way to get a message out there, connect with and serve a specific yet global audience, showcase a business (online or brick and mortar,) and direct traffic to a website.

But even considering all of these positive benefits, I delayed getting started for different reasons/excuses.

But last week, the timing seemed perfect to start.

I was feeling increasingly limited by only writing and sharing pictures on my blog and social media. This feeling was making me feel a little stuck when it came to creating new content and posting.

I want my website to be my “hub,” and social media outlets to be the spokes leading into it.

So just as I was feeling all of this, one of my favorite YouTubers released a video that inspired me to get off the fence and yes, be stronger than my excuses.

I gave myself until Friday to get something uploaded, and as much as my first video is a little cringeworthy, I’m so glad I started!

In this post I share …

  • 12 tips to show the process I took to get my first video uploaded and

  • 3 lessons learned as a result

By sharing the process I took and lessons learned, I hope to inspire anyone who’s sitting on the fence about starting whatever it is they want to start.

I’d also like to show how awesome it is to have original video content embedded in a blog post!

Let’s get into it!

12 Tips To Help You Get Your First Video Uploaded

  1. Give yourself a window of time to create your first video. It takes a little practice to get used to staring into the camera lens (and not have your eyes wander) as well as getting the message to flow from your mind so work on it a little each day for a few consecutive days.

  2. Set a deadline to post your first video. Without a deadline, you probably won’t take this too seriously.

  3. Pick a searchable topic and something that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. I chose to review Steve Perry’s “Traces” album because it’s along the lines of something that inspires me, it’s a current searchable topic, and I noticed there weren’t too many reviews out there. In addition, I knew it was a topic that I could speak from the heart about.

  4. Make an outline of what you’re going to talk about. Don’t craft a word-for-word speech for your video. Just keep an outline handy that you can refer to as you practice. You’ll fill in the blanks as you go.

  5. Watch your energy. This is something that I’m really picking up on. Make sure you’re energy is elevated because it’s easy to pick up on video. Listen to energizing music or whatever works for you just before filming if you have to.

  6. Keep your setting simple. Don’t get too fancy with the location of where you shoot your video. I did attempt going outdoors but I found wind, sun, and sand difficult to deal with. I will work up to this as I go. Oh, and make sure your camera is mounted so it’s not wobbly.

  7. Start practicing speaking into the camera lens. Look directly into the lens and fight the urge to look away!

  8. Be kind to yourself and let go of perfectionism. Once you get started, you’ll realize this looks easier than it is and you may feel a little discouraged but just keep going. You’ll feel yourself improving if you work on it a little every day. But remember, you’re just starting so allow yourself to be a beginner.

  9. Relax and speak like you’re speaking to a friend. Once I did this, it was a game changer.

  10. Craft your video’s title in a way that’s searchable. Remember, YouTube is a search engine so think of how you’d craft your search terms if you were searching for your video.

  11. Edit, if necessary. Personally, I did my video in one take and in order to honor the deadline, I uploaded it “as is.” I know it could’ve been condensed with editing, but the goal was to just start by the deadline. I look forward to showing improvement as I go.

  12. Upload your video & celebrate! I had no idea how to upload a video until I actually did it. It was very easy and if you have trouble, search for a tutorial on YouTube. It does take a few minutes for a video to show up on your channel so before you think it didn’t work and upload it twice (like I did,) wait a few minutes. Now take a moment to celebrate! You’re now a YouTuber! Honestly, it was a little surreal to see my face on YouTube but it felt great to realize this and think of the possibilities for video ideas.

And here’s what I uploaded as my first video to kick off my channel:

3 Lessons Learned

In my second YouTube video created the following week, I share some insights about what I learned from the process to help others who are on the fence take action and not waste time like I did!

Additional Resources

Below are a few awesome YouTube channels that are great resources for newbies on YouTube. Check them out because they have lots of great videos for newbies!

  1. Video Influencers

  2. Roberto Blake

  3. Think Media

  4. Channel Notes

Good luck going for it and getting your channel up and running! Feel free to email me your channel or leave it in the comments below because I’d love to check it out!

15 Ideas To Help You Win Your Day

15 Ideas To Help You Win Your Day

We all have days when we wake up and feel as if we can handle whatever comes our way as well as days when (for no apparent reason) we feel the heaviness of the day-to-day. It's part of being human. The key to making most of your days in the positive category is learning how to "win" your day.

Winning your day is an intentional daily practice of locking in a feeling of optimism and purpose at the beginning of your day, which typically sets the tone for the rest of your day. Successfully repeating this process over the long-term will reap immeasurable results.

Discovering the best way to win your day is a personal endeavor because we all don't respond in the same way to the same things. But learning how to win your day is critical to your day-to-day happiness, your long-term success, and your ability to make the most positive and meaningful impact during your life.

Over the past seven months I've been more intentional and consistent about self-betterment than ever before, and here is what I've concluded about winning my days:

How A Morning Routine Can Help You Live With More Purpose And Die Without Regret

How A Morning Routine Can Help You Live With More Purpose And Die Without Regret

Back in 2009, Bronnie Ware, a nurse who cared for dying patients, shared the collective personal wisdom imparted by them to her in an online article called "Regrets of the Dying."

Because of the profound impact that her patients' insights had on her life, Ware felt called to share their wisdom publicly. The article went on to be read by more than 3 million people around the globe in the first year.

According to Ware's article, the 5 Most Common Regrets of the Dying are:

1 I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2 I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

3 I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

4 I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5 I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Why Do So Many Die With The Same Top Regret?

Most people carry around regrets throughout life.

We live with regret over the things we still have the power to control or change because we tell ourselves we could have what we desire if only we had more of some resource-- time, focus, dedication, conviction, energy, money, health or maybe even courage.

How To Stay Motivated To Work Out

How To Stay Motivated To Work Out

Getting regular exercise is one of the most healthy and rewarding habits we can practice for ourselves yet it's one of the most difficult to establish and therefore, often neglected. Why is that?

We start. We can't stay motivated. We stop. We start again. Life gets in the way. We stop again. The endless cycles of attempts to master this habit get old and frustrating, making it so hard to achieve results.

During the past two years, I've been the queen of starting and stopping. I've started, stopped, started, stopped and (for a fleeting moment) even considered giving up before deciding that I needed to figure all of this out. I knew I could do better. I also knew that mastering this habit would help me achieve other goals in life.

Now, into my 5th consecutive month of maintaining a strong level of commitment to my workouts, I feel that I have a good handle on how to stay motivated to work out by using the set of tools and practices I've acquired along the way, keeping me on track.

I started paying close attention to my mindset and actions so I could keep myself on track and catch myself before derailing again.

Here are the tools and practices that I've been using. I hope they help you too.

16 Reasons Why Working Out In A CrossFit Gym Sets You Up For Success

 16 Reasons Why Working Out In A CrossFit Gym Sets You Up For Success

If getting stronger physically is at the top of your list of areas in your life where you'd like to make progress, I hear ya.

In September when I began to pursue a long-time goal of writing a book, I just knew that the most important thing that I needed to do initially would be to get stronger physically.

Increased physical strength would carry over into all areas of my life, further supporting me as I pursue my goal.

Since I knew that getting back to the CrossFit gym was the most direct route to getting stronger, I reactivated my membership at JSACF in Manasquan. JSACF was founded by Skip and Paige Chapman in 2006, and it's the 180th affiliate CrossFit gym of the more than 13,000 gyms around the world today.

Around the same time, while waiting for my son at the orthodontist, I was drawn to a magazine headline that read something like "Julianne Hough's 6-Day Workout Routine."

I flipped to the story and read how she works out in a gym 4 or 5 times a week, mixes in either an enjoyable bike ride or hike for the other 1-2 days, and takes one day off. She also explained that her ability to stay consistent is attributed to keeping her workouts scheduled, varied and enjoyable.

Focus On These 7 Areas To Move Closer To Your Goal

Focus On These 7 Areas To Move Closer To Your Goal

Do you ever feel like your life is running you and not the other way around? That's  exactly what happened to me back in April.

After finishing the redesign of my blog, I got sidetracked by what was going on in my life and abandoned my new creation for five months.

Between having work done on our home for a couple of months, followed by the school year ending, my three kids being on summer vacation, and being the team mom for my son’s football team, I got totally off track.

I also stopped working out regularly. I neglected to be mindful about what I was eating. And the only writing I managed to get done was sending emails for my son’s football team.

Since I was so far off track in so many ways, I decided it was best to wait until my kids were back in school to pick up where I left off. I needed some open time and space to regroup.

I also realized that going forward, I needed to be careful about the timing of what I take on in life outside of my goals because things can quickly teeter out of balance. 

What’s happening right in front of me always seems to take precedence over what I desire to cultivate from within. I need a strategy that enables my inner and external worlds to productively co-exist rather than allow the demands of the external world to take my inner world hostage.