How to Avoid Common Beginner Mistakes as a YouTube Creator

How to Avoid Common Beginner Mistakes as a YouTube Creator

How to Avoid Common Beginner Mistakes as a YouTube Creator

YouTube is a great way to reach a broad audience and build profit streams. However, many new YouTubers make big mistakes that prevent them from getting views on YouTube. Raw sound, ragged editing, copyright infringement — we analyze these and other problems of inexperienced YouTubers. YouTube is one of the most promising platforms for bloggers and entrepreneurs. With a huge audience and focus on visual content, the platform creates tons of opportunities to promote ideas, products and services. But creating videos and promoting them is not as easy as it might seem.

For every way that you can increase your chance of making a successful video, there are just as many pitfalls that are commonly overlooked. Recognizing these potential mistakes is something every new content creator should make a priority. By avoiding common mistakes, you’ll make your videos shine. This article will help you to avoid some of the typical problems that new authors face.

How to Avoid Common Beginner Mistakes as a YouTube Creator

Do not ignore the rules of shooting and editing

Many authors believe that to create high-quality content, it is enough to understand the camera settings and editor functions. When shooting and editing, such people do not rely on the theory of video production, but on intuition. As a result, their videos look mediocre due to incorrectly placed light, too sharp transitions, strange angles, and other shortcomings.

If you want to rid your content of such problems, learn the basic theory of shooting and editing. Among other things, this will help to evoke the right emotions in the viewer, manage their attention and communicate their thoughts more clearly through the video.

Let’s take a simple example. Every operator knows the rule of thirds. According to him, the most important objects — for example, the face of a person speaking to the camera — are not placed in the center of the frame, but on the border of the right or left third. Such a composition unobtrusively focuses the viewer’s attention on the main thing.

You can master the theoretical minimum in a few days. For this, for example, online courses in camera work or editing directing are suitable. You can easily find them on the Internet. And you don’t have to spend money on it. On the same YouTube, there are enough free video tutorials on this topic.

Stop underestimating the sound

One of the most common mistakes newbies make on YouTube is poor audio quality. Beginning authors consider beautiful images more important and don’t pay enough attention to audio. As a result, their videos suffer from low volume, noise and other problems. Speech in such videos becomes slurred or simply unpleasant to hear, which quickly scares off the audience.

In fact, the sound on YouTube is at least as important as the visuals. What’s more, videos with average picture quality and good sound almost always make a better impression than videos with great picture quality and mediocre audio. In addition, some YouTube users periodically ignore the visuals and simply listen to the content while doing other things. This is especially true for long videos.

How to improve sound quality :

  • Do not record audio with the microphone built into the camera. You won’t get good quality from it.
  • Use an external microphone. If you’re voicing videos on the go, buy a lavalier-type model — these are miniature portable devices that are attached to clothing. If you’re recording audio locally, you can purchase a USB desktop microphone that plugs into your computer.
  • Master Adobe Audition, Audacity, or other audio processing software. With their help, you can cut out unnecessary fragments, increase the volume, add effects, remove noise, and so on.

Don’t skimp on packaging

The number of views of a video largely depends on its packaging — the title and cover (preview). It is for them that the user decides whether to include the video. Even the most interesting and useful content will not attract attention if it is poorly packaged. That’s why you can’t whip up a headline and cover art. This process should be taken as seriously as the creation of the video.

How to title youtube videos:

  • Relevant. The title must be relevant to the topic of the video. Otherwise, it may mislead users. Then viewers will abandon the video, which will cause the algorithm to stop recommending it.
  • Short and capacious. Try to keep the title length under 60 characters with spaces, or at least put the most important things into this segment. This is important because other characters may be truncated by YouTube.
  • Containing keywords. According to them, users will find the video through the search, and it will get more views. Popular search queries can be tracked through the Google Trends service.
  • Attracting attention. Where appropriate, use numbers, interrogative sentences and exclamation marks, keywords at the beginning of the headline, all of which grab viewers’ attention.

What should the YouTube cover look like:

  • Relevant. Like the title, the preview should match the theme of the video.
  • Informative. A good cover conveys the main idea of the video. To do this, you can place on it, for example, the key moment of the video, repeating or supplementing the title of the text, the face of the author, if this is a personal channel, etc.
  • Enticing. The ideal cover contains intrigue, provocation, or other elements that spark interest. But it is important to follow the rules of YouTube: images with elements of eroticism and pornography, insults, discrimination and cruelty are unacceptable.
  • Quality. For crisp images, YouTube recommends using 16:9 files with a minimum width of 640px. Recommended formats: JPG, GIF or PNG. Allowed size: up to 2MB.

You can create a cover in editors such as Canva or VistaCreate. They offer templates that you can quickly edit to fit your needs.

Study the titles and covers of popular YouTube videos, analyze them and borrow successful ideas.

Don’t drag out the intro

If YouTube statistics show that your videos are abandoned in the first minute, it’s most likely a lengthy intro. Internet users are impatient. When the author starts from afar, making lyrical digressions, the average viewer rewinds at best. And most often — just closes the video and moves on.

Long screensavers can cause the same reaction. Some authors like to insert a fragment with an animated channel logo or information about the author at the beginning of the video. But the viewer does not want to see this at all, but the content stated in the cover or title of the video.

To keep the viewer, go straight to the point. From the first second, let’s understand what the current video is about. This information can be presented as a cut of the most interesting moments or simply spoken. The main thing is not to pour water and not to delay. The introduction should be short and concise.

Screensavers are, of course, allowed. But it is very important not to stretch them. To show the channel logo, 1-3 seconds is enough. Such a length of the splash screen should not cause irritation even among regular viewers who have seen it many times already.

Don’t infringe copyright

If you have to use other people’s tracks, videos or images in your videos, this can lead to copyright problems. The violator faces the blocking of selected publications or the entire channel, and in rare cases, even legal proceedings. Both beginners and experienced YouTubers find themselves in such situations.

But the current restrictions do not mean at all that the platform prohibits authors from using other people’s materials. There are several legal ways to do this.

Use content available under Creative Commons (CC) open licenses. There are many sites on the web with images, videos, music, sounds and other materials that can be easily added to videos for free. In exchange, you only need to comply with certain conditions that require the license of the selected file. Usually this is a mention of the author. To find such content, simply Google the file type you want and add the name of the license: for example, “creative commons music”.

Buy rights to use content. A huge number of videos, music and other materials are distributed under a royalty-free license. Unlike Creative Commons content, these materials are paid. But, as a rule, they are of better quality and inexpensive. You can find sites selling such content in a search engine using a query like “Royalty-free music”.

Operate within Fair Use. This doctrine of American law allows you to use almost any third-party content on YouTube — for free and without the permission of the author. For example, fragments from music videos or videos of other YouTubers.

But this is possible only if certain rules are followed. For example, you need to mention the author of the content used, the selected fragment must be a small part of the original or be creatively reworked, and so on. For more information about the rules that must be followed, see the “Fair Use on YouTube” section of the platform’s official help.

It’s impossible to imagine YouTube without Fair Use. For example, thanks to this doctrine, journalists can use other people’s pictures to cover socially important events, and film bloggers can use movie fragments when creating reviews.

Forget about cheats

There is an opinion among novice YouTubers that users do not want to subscribe to channels with a small number of subscribers, likes and views. Therefore, the authors begin to wind up indicators using various services and all sorts of tricks. But such actions only bring harm: artificially inflated channels run the risk of falling out of recommendations or even getting blocked.

In fact, if the channel has interesting and exciting content, then users will subscribe to it. Even if it’s a brand new blog with hundreds of views. So focus on the quality of the content. And for promotion, use white methods:

  • Crops on other sites. Share links to videos on your social media pages. If you have a blog or newsletter on the same topic as the channel, use those too.
  • Placement of advertisements with bloggers. Look for channels whose audiences may overlap with yours. Offer them to place a sponsored link to your content in exchange for an adequate reward.
  • Targeted advertising. Use YouTube’s built-in advertising tools to promote your videos.
  • Collaborations. This method can be used when you reach at least 10,000 subscribers. Look for channels of comparable size and agree on various formats of cooperation. For example, it can be a joint video in which the authors recommend subscribing to each other, or just a mutual mention of channels.

Go beyond one format

Although the classic horizontal videos are still the main content on YouTube, the platform also supports other posting formats. By ignoring them, you miss out on additional opportunities for channel development.

Shorts. These are short vertical videos (up to 60 seconds), similar to TikTok videos. Shorts appear in a separate tab in the YouTube mobile app, but are also present in the user’s main feed and channel home page.

So far, Shorts do not allow authors to earn on inline advertising. But this format is promoted by the algorithm according to different rules and gains views faster than classic videos. Therefore, Shorts bring additional reach. You can create independent content for Shorts or post interesting excerpts from your big videos here, thus promoting them on the site.

Stories. And this is an analogue of the stories that have long been on Instagram and Facebook. The stories appear in the feed of the YouTube mobile app, each one is displayed for up to seven days, after which it disappears.

This format, like stories, is suitable for prompt communication with subscribers. While it takes a lot of work to create a classic video, stories are for content that you create on the go with your smartphone: video messages, various quick shots from the scene, and so on. Thus, stories are an easy way to remind subscribers about yourself with minimal effort.

Community Posts. This format is reminiscent of classic Facebook posts. These posts appear in the Community tab and are available on both the mobile app and the YouTube website. Each of them can contain text, image, GIFs, and more.

YouTube recommends using these posts between uploads to keep your audience interested in your channel. You can also preview videos in posts so they get more views.

7 Common Mistakes You Are Making as a YouTube Creator

In case you’re wondering why we creating this post and video, it’s because we asked on Twitter what were your biggest YouTube mistakes and you responded en masse, so we thought we would discuss some of those. Which brings me on to the first of the mistakes you are probably making, even if they think you aren’t:

Mistake #1 Thinking You Deserve Immediate Success on YouTube

Until you prove your value first to your audience, and then to YouTube, I’m sorry to say it but you are entitled to absolutely nothing. Remember, this is a free platform. You get to speak to a global audience and impact their lives, but you’ve got to do that first before you deserve any reward.

Of course, it would be fantastic if YouTube was a completely level playing field, and everybody would enjoy the success that they deserve, depending on the content that they create.

But there will be some creators who have a viral moment with appalling content, while others slave away creating magnificent pieces of work that never get seen by the audience that deserves to see it.

Unfortunately, that is YouTube, but the moment you assume that you should get this or that or this creator shouldn’t get this because your content is better is the moment where you’ve lost the mindset of YouTube and who should be rewarded for the content – it’s your audience first and then you.

Mistake #2 Deleting Content from Your Channel

I’ve never been a fan of this and there are two principle reasons why:

First of all, you’re damaging the metrics on your channel. If you delete a video it removes all of the views and all of the watch time. Which is especially important for people working towards monetization. Secondly, don’t be embarrassed about the content that you’ve already got on your channel.

If you look at channels such as MrBeast, you can see the hundreds of terrible videos he put out on his channel before he was a success. So it’s wonderful and fascinating to see the progress of a creator who went from nothing, and is now a YouTube megastar.

Mistake #3 Neglecting Your Audio Quality

I’ve said this before and I’ve stressed it heavily in the vidIQ academy which of course you can check out, the first tech upgrade should be audio. You can get away with slightly dodgy visuals, or lighting that’s not quite right, but when the audio is off, it is just so grating and annoying to the audience that it will make them switch off more than anything else.

I use a Rode Video Micro which cost me $60, and I still use it today and it significantly improves my video audio. You can read more about getting the best audio quality for your videos here.

Mistake #4 Creating Off-Topic Content

This is an interesting one because it’s often a symptom of a channel that either lacks focus or has too much self-indulgence. You’re creating a series of videos towards a particular audience, and then you decide to do something a little bit different.

And that little bit different video takes off on your channel. And you’re left with a decision whether or not to try and capitalize on that successful video, or continue to target your audience that you were trying to engage with in the first place.

Suddenly you go from becoming a travel channel to a beauty channel, or a financial channel to a laptop review channel. We came across an example where a channel was doing all of this business and financial advice and they randomly did a review on a cheap laptop from Costco. And this video got far more views than anything else on the channel. 7,000 views versus the average which might be a few hundred. What do you do in that situation?

Mistake #5 – Inconsistency

Ultimately this is all to do with focus. Finding your niche, going two inches wide a mile deep, on a particular topic, and building an audience through consistency. Which naturally leads us to the topic of inconsistency.

This can come in many different shapes and sizes. I think we’ve already talked about topic inconsistencies. But for a lot of creators, it’s the inconsistency of video output. This is why it’s good to have some sort of schedule in the back of your mind. Whether you stick to it religiously, by posting on the same day of the week, at the same time, or by telling your audience that you will publish a couple of several videos a week. But maybe not sticking to a strict schedule.

The truth is for a lot of creators, YouTube should take up a certain portion of your time, versus the rest of your life, but the lines often become blurred. Whether you’re on a roll, or because you’re super passionate about the videos that you’re creating, you spend more and more time on YouTube, but there’s only a certain amount of YouTube adrenaline that you can run off, before you get burnt out. Or life gets in the way and you need to take a break. So that’s why I never recommend running at 100% YouTube capacity all the time.

If you do create five videos in a week, that’s great. Maybe publish four of those and save one for later on when you do need to take a break.

Mistake #6 – Leaving YouTube for an Extended Break

We’ve seen this phenomenon occur several times with channels, when we’ve been auditing them on the vidIQ YouTube channel, every Tuesdays at 11 o’clock, Pacific Standard Time (sorry for the plug there.)

There are channels that have tens of thousands of subscribers. And the most recent videos are getting barely a couple of hundred views. And when we scroll through their list of videos, six, seven years ago the videos they were making were getting tens of thousands of views but unfortunately the channel took a significant break, and in that time the landscape of YouTube has changed radically.

This often happens with tutorial channels that were some of the first on the platform, providing answers to questions that hadn’t been yet asked on YouTube. And there weren’t enough channels providing answers.

So even with questionable thumbnails, and content that wasn’t brilliant, because the competition was so few and far between at that time, these channels were able to clean up. Now with far more sophisticated creators, who are really savvy with their production values, and enticing thumbnails, they’re finding that they just can’t compete anymore.

There is a really fine balancing act here for video creators and their channels. Absolutely if you need to take a break from the platform and do life stuff, I’m never going to tell a creator not to do that. But at the same time, YouTube, from a purely algorithmic point of view, hates procrastinators or channels that are not providing the content that they want to serve to an audience. And YouTube will go and find that content from another creator.

Granted we’re talking about channels that haven’t created anything for two, three, four years at this point. If you’re going to have a break for a month or a week you’re probably going to be okay. But, doing a hard stop on your channel, and then coming back in a few years time and expecting the same traction, I’m afraid that’s just not going to be the case.

Mistake #7- Starting to Create Content too Late

And then there are those on the flip side of this YouTube mistake that are cursing about not starting early on YouTube. First of all, if you’re beating yourself up because you think you’ve missed the boat because you want to start now but you had no intention of doing so years ago, don’t beat yourself up.

This is the same as blaming yourself for not buying Bitcoin when it was uber cheap, or right now not starting on the byte social media platform. Because who knows how that’s going to turn out in the future.

It is how decisively you act on whether or not you want to start a YouTube channel, as opposed to when you first think about when you should’ve started a channel. I guess I will say this, if you’ve been watching YouTube videos for a year or two, and you’ve been thinking about starting a channel over that course of time, yes that is a mistake.

If you want to start a travel channel, and you’ve been thinking about it for a couple of weeks, there’s probably been 500 video creators or more who have started their travel vlog, and they’re stealing your potential audience.

I would always encourage this, whether or not you think you’re ready, start YouTube. Because you will learn a hell of a lot through experience. Right now, somebody is going to start their YouTube channel today, and by the end of the year, they’re going to have a million subscribers. I can guarantee that.


Our recommendations do not guarantee success on YouTube. But they will certainly help you avoid typical mistakes associated with the production and promotion of content on the site. Follow them, but don’t forget to check YouTube for updates. After all, platforms are changing so fast that many tips that are useful today may become irrelevant tomorrow.

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