Turn magic moments into social clips, in the blink of AI.
Learn More >


How to Make a YouTube Video (The Right Way) - Riverside.fm


How to Make a YouTube Video (The Right Way) - Riverside.fm

For many creators, YouTube is the ultimate platform for publishing their content. But getting your big break and creating that viral YouTube video can seem an impossible task. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be. With Riverside.fm, recording an HD YouTube video is easier than ever, and we’ve got all the tips and tricks to maximize the success of your video. 

Follow our step-by-step guide to making a YouTube video from start to finish. We take you through content ideation, YouTube strategy, video SEO, all the way to recording your video with Riverside.fm, and finally publishing it on YouTube. Let’s jump right in. 

Create a Youtube Video Strategy 

Before you start thinking about your specific YouTube video, it’s useful to consider the broader picture. This means creating a longer-term YouTube video strategy. This will help you come up with relevant video topics and ideas, as well as understand how each of your videos fits into your strategy. 

Though it might sound intimidating, coming up with a YouTube channel strategy doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s essentially a ‘branding’ exercise where you consider your overall target audience, what kinds of content would be effective, and what you want your output to look like. 

Look at your competitors 

Looking at your competitors and similar channels is always a good place to start. If you’re not sure where to start, simply type in keywords or broader themes and topics in the YouTube search bar to see what comes up. 

Have a browse of YouTubers who are active in the same space and note down which of their videos have the most viewers or garnered the biggest response. Make sure to notice elements of their channel content that you like and dislike - this will help you to refine your own vision. 

Consider your target audience, what are they looking for?

Your YouTube channel can be whatever you want it to be. However, if you want to maximize the views on your videos, it will pay to consider what your target audience actually wants to see. 

If you’ve already got a subscriber base, however small, listen to what they’re asking for. First, look at your YouTube analytics to understand which of your videos performed the best. Take a look through the comments sections of your most successful videos to date, and see if any of your viewers are asking for a specific type of content. 

Don’t limit your market research to YouTube. If you’ve got followers on other social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, use this to your advantage. Ask your community what they’d like to see from you. 

If you’re new to YouTube, don’t worry. Think about what kind of audience your potential content will appeal to, and as above, use existing ‘competitor’ channels to understand what kinds of videos are the most successful. 

Consider your channel identity & branding  

A major part of your YouTube strategy is your channel identity and branding. A well-branded channel will ultimately help attract the right audience, elevate the overall production quality of your videos, and help you refine your channel content. 

For example, if you’re planning to be a lifestyle-fashion channel, publishing a factual and information-dense video tutorial will probably be against your overall channel branding. Instead, you should be focussing on content that is in line with your overarching channel tone and theme.

Plan Your Video 

Once you’ve settled on your YouTube strategy, you can turn your attention to your first video. The beauty of YouTube as a creator’s platform is the creative freedom you have to bring your vision to life. 

What kind of YouTube video should you make? 

The type of YouTube video that you publish will depend on your channel. Here are some of the most common formats:

  • Tutorial or ‘How-to’ 
  • Lifestyle or ‘Vlogs’ 
  • Reviews and testimonials 
  • Reaction videos 
  • Comedy videos
  • Talk-show 
  • News & Current Affairs 

For obvious reasons, some video formats will better suit your channel than others. That being said, as above, there are no limits, so you really can do what you want. 

Ideas and Topics for your YouTube video

If you’re struggling to come up with some ideas or topics for your first YouTube video, here are some popular ideas, topics, and formats: 


  • Comedy sketches
  • Comedy reaction videos 
  • Pranks
  • Challenges 


  • How-to or tutorial 
  • Lecture
  • Life-hacks 

Fashion & Beauty 

  • Outfits of the Day 
  • Beauty product reviews
  • Makeup tutorials 
  • Fashion hauls 


  • Workout routine
  • Yoga flow 

Food & Cuisine 

  • Recipe walkthrough 
  • What I eat in a day’ vlog 
  • Mukbang 


  • Livestream gaming 


  • ‘Day in the life’ vlog 
  • Daily routine 
  • ‘What I eat in a day’ vlog 
  • Travel vlog 
  • Q&A video

Movies, TV and Podcasts

  • Movie and TV reviews
  • Short films 
  • Video podcast 

News & Current Affairs

  • Talk-show 
  • Interview 

Come up with a video storyboard 

When you’ve narrowed down your video concept, create a video storyboard or script. Obviously, this will be more helpful for some video formats than others. For example, a ‘day-in-the-life’ vlog will not require much planning, other than remembering to bring your camera with you. 

If you’ll be filming in one location, writing a script or overall video structure is an effective way of organizing your thoughts and ensuring your content is clear and well-communicated. Plus, when you get around to filming, having a crib-sheet to hand will make sure you cover all your main points. 

If you’re planning to shoot in a number of locations, a storyboard will help you to plan out your desired shots and structure your filming day accordingly. 

How to make sure your video is found on Youtube 

Once you’ve settled on your video idea, you’ll need to make sure it’s actually searchable on YouTube. Firstly, making sure your video focuses on a specific topic or niche will automatically rank your video a little higher and ensure your target audience finds your video. 

Secondly, it may sound strange, but you’ll need to ensure your video SEO is robust. 

SEO tips for your YouTube video:

  1. Do your keyword research using the same tools you’d use for any other SEO content. Try Google’s Keyword Planner, MozSemrush, or Ahrefs. Make sure to choose your keywords carefully, considering factors like search volume and how competitive they are.

    Choosing the most obvious, and therefore probably the most competitive, keywords is not always the best way forward. Perhaps opt instead for lower-competition, more specific long-tail keywords. These have lower traffic, but you also won’t be competing with hundreds of other videos either.

  2. Use your keywords in your video title. This is all about answering your target audience’s search intent. If you can do this successfully, your video will rank higher in the search results.

  3. Use your primary keyword in your video file name. This may seem irrelevant, but it’s not. YouTube reads your video file name to understand whether it’s relevant.

  4. Use keywords in your YouTube video description. Using SEO best practices in your video description is crucial for maximizing your search ranking, and boosting views and watch time.

    Here are some tips from YouTube’s Creator Academy:
  • Make sure your description reads naturally, don’t just list your keywords. 
  • Ensure to use your most important keywords in the beginning of your description 
  • Focus on 1 - 2 keywords that describe your video and use them in both your description and title 
  • Avoid irrelevant words or information 
  1. Use video hashtags in your description. Use hashtags that are relevant to your video to help guide your target audience to your content.

  2. Add tags to your video description. Tags are descriptive keywords that are relevant to your video content. They can help viewers to find your video.

  3. Make sure to categorize your video correctly. This will ensure your video is listed within the correct genre.
  4. Add subtitles and closed captions. Firstly, this ensures your content is accessible as it should be. Secondly, in terms of SEO, since closed captions and subtitles are essentially transcripts of your video, search engines will read them and this will improve your searchability.

    Luckily, Riverside’s text-based editor automatically produces a transcript of your video, so you don’t need to put in any additional effort to get all the benefits of a video transcription!

Essential Equipment for Filming a Youtube Video

When you’re all ready to go, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got the right filming setup. Here’s what you’ll need: 


Clearly, you’ll need a camera to record your YouTube video. If you don’t have the budget to invest in a new camera, you can use your computer’s in-built webcam or use your phone. 

If you do want to purchase a new camera, here are two of the best out there: 

LogiTech C920s Pro HD Webcam - $59.99

Nikon D300 - $599.95

Explore more options in our guide to choosing the best camera for your setup. 

Good Lighting 

Good lighting is essential. It will help maximize the quality of your video and help capture you at your best. You don’t necessarily need a professional lighting set-up, but you should endeavor as far as possible to shoot in a space with good and consistent natural lighting. 

If you do have the capacity to invest in some lighting equipment, here are 2 of the best options out there: 

Flashpoint Solo Softbox Head & Shoulders 320M 1 MonoLight - $169.95  

Fovitec 3-Light Fluorescent Studio Lighting Kit - $189.95

Our guide to video lighting will help you get that professional setup you’ve always wanted


Investing in an external microphone will ensure you capture your video audio in the best quality possible. Here are some of the best on the market right now: 

Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB - $99 

Rode Podcaster - $229 

Find other great microphone options using our guide to choosing the perfect mic for your setup. 

Recording and Editing Software 

Once you’ve got all the hardware, you’ll also need recording and editing software for your YouTube video. Choosing the best software for you will come down to your personal preference, what you’re used to using, your budget, and any specific functionality you’re looking for. 

For example, not all recording and editing software offers the ability to include remote guests in your video or to record your screen during filming. Have this in mind when choosing your software. 

Start recording with Riverside
Easily record high-quality podcasts & videos remotely
Get Started

Best Youtube Video Makers 

Every YouTuber will have their own specific workflow, so don’t be afraid to go with your gut about what will work best for you. Here are some of the best YouTube video makers out there right now: 

Youtube Studio

Price: Free

  • Trim and cut your video 
  • Add music 
  • Blur out people or objects in your video 

Best for: 

YouTube Studio is best for basic editing and simple processes. This might suit you if your video is basically ready to go and just needs a few tweaks. 


Price: Free or starting at $15/month


  • HD local recording that doesn’t rely on internet connection
  • Multi-track recording, each participant is recorded on their own individual track for greater editing power 
  • Remote participants can join from wherever they are 
  • Editor that gets your video ready in no time 
  • Automated transcription of your video at no extra cost 
  • Share your screen during your recording and it will be saved as a separate track 

Best for: 

Riverside.fm is the best all-rounder YouTube video maker. Not only is HD quality guaranteed, but you can include remote guests in your videos, and use the Editor to save yourself time. 


Price: Free with all Apple Devices 


  • Add effects & transitions to your video 
  • Stabilize your footage
  • Add text and overlays 
  • Add music and sound effects 

Best for: 

iMovie is a great for both beginners and more experienced YouTubers. If you’ve got an Apple device already, using iMovie is a no-brainer. 

Final Cut Pro X

Price: $299 


  • Magnetic timeline that’s easy to use 
  • Collaborative editing for team working 
  • Clips organized into ‘roles’ that help you organize your video 
  • 360-degree video compatible 

Best for: 

Final Cut Pro is best for YouTubers looking for a more professional editing software. Though the price tag may put some creators off. 


Price: Free


  • Cutting, splicing, and other basic editing tools
  • Color grading and video masking 
  • Lens calibration and footage stabilization 

Best for: 

YouTubers who want a robust editing software on a budget. 

Wondershare Filmora

Price: $49.99/year 


  • Custom animations that you can add to your video 
  • Wide array of video effects 
  • Green screen 
  • Auto reframe 
  • Color matching so that you can apply color settings from one clip to the next 

Best for: 

YouTubers who want to get creative with their editing and really make their video their own. 

How to Make a Youtube video (with Riverside.fm) from start to finish 

First things first, if you haven’t already, you’ll need to create a YouTube channel. 

  1. Head to YouTube and clicking click ‘sign-in’. Here you can log in using the Google Account you want to be linked to your YouTube Channel. 
  2. Once you’re logged in, click on your profile icon in the top right corner and click ‘create a channel’ 
  3. Name your channel, upload a profile and cover picture, add your channel description, and link to any relevant social media accounts or websites 

As we mentioned earlier, it’s good practice to personalize your YouTube channel as much as possible. This will reinforce and communicate a consistent and cohesive brand voice for your channel. 

How to name your YouTube Channel 

Although actually creating your channel is simple, naming it might not be. Here are some tips: 

Top tip: your channel name should relate explicitly to your content.

  • If you plan to be the ‘face’ of your channel, or your channel is about you and your life, use your full name or a web pseudonym you want to be known by. For example: Casey Neistat
  • If your channel will be promoting your business, name it after your brand. For example, Apple

  • If you’ll be offering a specific type of content, a descriptive name that explains what your channel content is about can be effective. For example, Mega Fails

  • If your channel will publish content revolving around a certain theme, you could name your channel around that category. For example, BBC Comedy Greats 

What makes a good YouTube channel trailer 

It’s also worth taking the time to create a channel trailer. A good channel trailer should: 

  • Quickly and succinctly tell your viewer what your channel is about
  • Give a quick taste of your content, brand, and style 
  • Mention how often you upload new videos
  • Include good branding such as your logo and channel music

Finalize your video plan

Once you’ve got your YouTube channel set up, finalize your video plan. This could include reviewing and tweaking your script or finalizing your shot-list. 

Set up your backdrop

If you’re going to be recording in a single location, ensure your backdrop is aesthetic but not distracting. You don’t need to set up a green screen, but plain or well-considered backgrounds tend to work best. 

Review the frame of your shot to make sure your camera is positioned correctly and that you’re not accidentally filming details you didn’t want to be seen. This is also a good moment to check that your lighting is exactly as you want it. 

Log in to Riverside.fm and create your recording studio 

Once you’re all ready to go, log in to your Riverside.fm account. If you haven’t already, create your recording studio. You can do this in advance or on the day. 

If you’d prefer, you can watch our video walkthrough on how to use Riverside.fm 

Invite your remote guests

Share the recording studio link with your remote participants, again, you can do this in advance or on the day of recording.

All they have to do is click the invite link and they can join from their browser or iPhone (if they download the Riverside.fm iOS app). 

Film your YouTube video in full HD 

When everyone has joined the recording studio, and you’re happy with everyone’s set-up, click ‘start recording’. 

Each individual participant will be locally recorded in full HD, so don’t worry about a dodgy internet connection - this won’t be reflected in your final video recording. 

Share your screen with Riverside.fm 

If you want to screen share during your video recording, simply click the ‘screen’ icon at the bottom of your screen. You can choose to share your entire screen or a single application window or Chrome tab. 

You can also choose to share both your screen and its corresponding audio. 

Your screen share will be automatically recorded in HD as a separate track so that you can edit your recording during post-production. 

Remember to record a video intro and outro 

Having a simple and consistent intro helps to reinforce your branding and channel recognition. Typically, YouTubers will introduce themselves, their uploading schedule and remind their viewers to subscribe. An outro will usually thank the viewer for watching and once again, remind them to subscribe. 

Some YouTubers prefer to have a set opening and closing line that they say in each video whilst others have a pre-recorded clip that they insert to bookend their content. It’s up to you which option you go for. 

Use Riverside's Text-Based Video Editor to get your video ready

When you’ve finished recording, you’ll find all your video files in your recordings dashboard. You can then polish your video using Riverside's text-based editor. With Riverside, video editing is just as easy as editing text, and we mean this quite literally. With the editor you'll have tools for:

Automated Ai Transcription

Riverside’s  automatically creates Ai transcripts straight after any recording. You can transcribe recordings in over 100 languages and you can expect unmatched transcription accuracy. While you can download these transcripts to create captions or repurpose content for SEO, you can also use them for editing your recording.

Text-based video and audio editing

With these Ai transcriptions, video editing becomes accessible to anyone who can edit a text document. You can use these transcripts to:

  • Create precise and quick cuts: Any text you delete in your transcript automatically removes the corresponding video or audio content. 
  • Navigate through your recording without rewatching it: When you select text in your transcript, the timeline playhead will jump to the same point in your recording. You can also find an exact phrase using the search bar. The editor will even show you which speaker uses your search term.

After editing, you don’t have to worry about any files going out of alignment. With Riverside’s multitrack sync, all your separate tracks stay fully in sync when you export them. 

Magic Clips tool for easy content repurposing

Draw more viewers into your podcast with irresistable little teasers. With Riverside, this can litterally take just a quick tap of a button. Riverside's Magic Clips feature uses Ai to identify your recordings' highlights and clips them into 15-90 second long videos. You can edit and adjust these , or you can post them as is.

Easy tools to polish your video

You can adjust your video's background, add a logo and even fine-audio with just a few quick clicks. Riverside also has an AI Speaker mode which analyzes your recording and automatically switches to whoever is speaking 1 second before they start talking. This ensures your video has seamless transitions. 

Here’s how to use Riverside.fm’s Editor: 

Step 1: Click the 'Go to Editor' in your recording dashboard

Step 2: Choose a dimension layout

Step 3: Edit and trim your video with the text-based editing tools. Simply select text, and click 'remove' to cut our sections of video. You can also our Magic Tools to cut out long silences.

Step 4: Polish your video with our editing tool bar features. You can:

  • Add captions to your videos then style and position them as you like
  • Adjust your video layout and background
  • Add your own custom logo
  • Select which tracks you want in your final video

Step 5: Once you’re happy, name your recording, and then export your file. 

Want to learn more about creating a video with Riverside? Watch our platform walkthrough below.

Design an Effective Thumbnail

When you’ve exported your video file and you’re ready to upload it to YouTube, it can feel like you’ve done the hard work. 

However, don’t forget about the all-important video thumbnail. Typically, YouTubers will select a still from their video or a photo taken on the same day, and use this as the basis for their thumbnail.

Top tip: the dimensions of a YouTube thumbnail are 1280 x 720 pixels 

What makes a good YouTube video thumbnail?

Here are four things that every YouTube thumbnail should have: 

  • High-quality photo or artwork as the background 
  • The title of your video in clear and bold font 
  • Attention-grabbing design that stands out 
  • Your channel branding or logo 

How to upload your video on Youtube 

Once you’ve got your thumbnail and your video ready, log in to your YouTube channel and follow these steps: 

  • Click on the video icon in the right-hand corner of your screen 
  • Select ‘upload video’ 
  • Drag and drop or manually select the video file you want to upload 
  • As above, add your SEO video title, description, hashtags, and video tags 
  • YouTube automatically generates three thumbnails from your video footage,  but you’ll be able to upload your custom thumbnail if you’ve verified your YouTube account. 
  • Ensure to add your end screen and cards to the conclusion of your video. These can link to your other videos, encourage viewers to subscribe, and more. 
  • You can also add subtitles at this stage. Simply upload your Riverside.fm SRT file and you’re ready to go. 

Promote your video to maximize views 

When your video is up on YouTube make sure to promote your video across all of your other channels. Share the link on all of your social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to maximize the exposure your video gets.

Track engagement with Youtube’s built-in analytics 

Congratulate yourself for putting your video out for the world to see, then use YouTube’s analytics tools to see what kind of reception it is receiving. 

The engagement tab of your YouTube Analytics tells you what your viewers are watching and how they are interacting with your content. The key metrics cards show your watch time and the average view duration. 

You can track which of your videos are performing the best, compare likes and dislikes, and also track which of your end screens generated the most clicks. 

Use this information to refine and rework your YouTube video strategy, then turn your attention to your next video. 

FAQs about making YouTube videos 

How many views do you need to get paid on YouTube?

To monetize your videos on YouTube, you need to join the YouTube Partner Program. There is certain minimum eligibility to be part of the program: 

  • You must be following all the Youtube channel monetization policies 
  • You must live in a country/region where the Youtube Partner Program is available 
  • Have no active Community Guidelines strikes on your channel 
  • Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months 
  • Have more than 1,000 subscribers
  • Have a linked AdSense account 
  • Have an active channel and keep it active 

How do I make my own YouTube video?

It’s really not as hard as it sounds, follow our tips above to make your first YouTube video. 

How much will YouTube pay for 1000 views?

A YouTube channel can receive $18 per 1,000 ad views. 

How to make a youtube video on your phone

The process is exactly the same. In fact, the quality of most phone cameras these days is on par with a DLSR, so you don’t have to worry about compromising that HD video. Plus, with the Riverside.fm iOS app, it’s even easier to record your YouTube video with your phone! Download for free from the App store. 

Is creating a YouTube channel free?

Yes, creating your YouTube channel is free. 

How much does it cost to make a YouTube video?

It can cost as much or as little as you want it to. For example, if you opt for a basic setup in one place, your only costs are your equipment and your time. However, if you choose to shoot your video in multiple locations, you may start to rack up transport costs. 

How do beginners get famous on YouTube?

This all comes down to good video SEO, an effective thumbnail, and good promotion/marketing. Plus, a little bit of patience and investment of time. 

How do you add a video to a podcast for YouTube?

The easiest way to do this is to take a static image and use it as a visual while your podcast recording in the background. A better way to add video is to actually record your podcast with video. You can follow these steps to create a video podcast:

  1. Plan your podcast and decide on a topic, format and guests.
  2. Set up your video studio and get the right equipment.
  3. Find suitable video recording software.
  4. Start recording the audio and video of your podcast.
  5. Edit your podcast with video editing software.
  6. Upload and publish your video podcast to YouTube.

What do you need to make a video podcast on YouTube?

The basic items you need to create a video podcast include a good camera, microphone and quality recording software. You can even use your phone as some phone's have impressive high-quality cameras.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Highly curated content, case studies, Riverside updates, and more.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related articles


min read

Best Social Media Video Makers to Streamline Your Content (2023)

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.


min read

How to Create YouTube Shorts from Existing Videos | 8 Easy Steps

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.


min read

How to Improve Video Quality: 7 Fixes for Stunning Visuals

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.

Try Riverside today

The next gen podcast and video creation platform for creators.

Get Started
Start recording with Riverside
Easily record high-quality podcasts & videos remotely
Get Started
“YouTube has the infrastructure to introduce audio hosting and origination, and match it to video with all the rich analytics it already provides. A seamless creator experience, plus SEO marketing tools, plus the benefit of being a platform most have been conditioned to equal. Give it a turn-key opportunity to activate a more cohesive strategy around both video and audio, to the benefit of all parties.”
A.J. Feliciano | Head of Podcast Network
“People are working from home more and more. Audio-only is not as in-demand because the need to multitask while commuting is no longer there.”
Stone Roshell | Head of Podcast Production
“Live streaming may become the biggest way to grow using video for your podcast.”
Stone Roshell | Head of Podcast Production
“With major platforms like Spotify, TikTok, and YouTube putting more resources into video podcasts.. now is a uniquely opportune moment for smart creators to harness that energy by investing in video for audience growth.”
Ryan Duffy | Head of Audio Operations