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how to get started with youtube 2019 beginners guide

How To Get Started With YouTube [2019 Beginners Guide]

100 days ago, I threw my fear of failure out of the window, and went all in on YouTube.

I put my blog to one side, minimized Facebook usage, and I launched my own YouTube channel.

But why?

Because YouTube is perhaps the best platform out there to create your own business, to engage with like minded people, to have the freedom to just be you!

As Dr.Seuss says “No one alive is you’er than you”.

digtial marketing quote by dr seuss

I am also building a business as a Digital Marketer, and the people that I look up to, the ones that inspire me and teach me have all told me that YouTube is the place to be.

So before I share what I learnt, and try and help answer that burning question – How to get started with Youtube in 2019?…

Let’s jump into some YouTube stats!

All good reasons to jump on the YouTube bandwagon

I spent a month beforehand procrastinating. Dithering around, too scared to commit.

Constantly worrying about how to get started with YouTube as an absolute beginner. In fact, that doesn’t do it justice.

I don’t do video at all. My family albums are full of precious memories of my young family – vacation films – mostly minus myself!

Honestly – I just don’t like being filmed. The size of my ears, the dulcet tone of my voice, or the fact that my mind goes blank if I am put on the spot and required to give an opinion.

Why You Should Get Started with YouTube?

I know what you are thinking. Surely by the sound of it, I would be better blogging and staying anonymous?

Maybe I should choose a platform a little more suited to my personality.


Firstly, I want to lead by example to my kids. To show them that if your worried about doing something, or scared of what people will think. You push through that and do it anyway.

(also…YouTube = life, to kids these days! I am a superhero in their eyes lol)

Look around YouTube – every type of person you could meet is on there. It allows us all a little space where we can be quirky and weird if we prefer, there will be someone who likes it/us.

anyone can start a youtube channel

Secondly, I want to create a side hustle through affiliate marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

After several years of testing different ways of making a little extra money (eBay flipping, Merch Design, Amazon Arbitrage, Matched Betting), I finally decided that Affiliate Marketing was the thing for me.

My day job is pretty good, but I don’t want to wait until i’m retired @ 65-70 to travel. I want to see the world now whilst my kids are young.

That is why i have sought the perfect side hustle for a few years.

Affiliate Marketing is exactly that. Promoting other peoples products for a commission, should someone buy that product.

There is no messing with designing products, manufacturing, shipping and handling or customer services. All I had to do was promote and encourage people to buy.

Ethically of course. I don’t recommend any products that I don’t buy myself or would advise close friends and family to spend their money on.

Create a YouTube Challenge and Motivate Yourself

Whilst I started learning affiliate marketing a few years ago. I tried to learn it all for free. I never committed and never pushed myself.

In Feb 2019, I finally decided to get some skin in the game. I took the money I had made reselling goods on Amazon and I paid for my first ever course.

I signed up for the One Funnel Away Challenge and shortly after for Zach Crawfords Secret Affiliate Marketing Hacks.

secret affiliate marketing hacks review main image

These two courses changed everything for me.

I bounced out of the other side at 100mph.

Ready to stop consuming content and start creating content. This is key!

My idea was that to force myself to commit I needed to do something stupid.

So, I set myself a challenge. A ridiculous challenge.

I decided to create 100 videos on YouTube in 100 days.

Could it really be that difficult?

All I could think about was how to get started with YouTube? Where do I begin?

I had some training via Zach’s course, but training isn’t going to make it happen – that was all on me!

What Equipment do You Need to Get Started on YouTube?

A little warning. Please don’t look at the big channels and baseline yourself against them. Many of these guys will be paying a team of people to complete each part of the YouTube jigsaw.

Just be you.

Use what you have and start trying to find your voice. It could be that the first 100 videos are awful, but you need to do those 100 before you get to the good one at 101.

Get started with what you have and upgrade as you go and you get a feel for the process.

what equipment do i need to get started with youtube

I started with….

blue yeti nano mic Is my audio good on those first videos? Not really.

Is my video quality good? Not really

Is my editing good on those videos? Actually this was probably my strength. When you stutter and stop talking every 5 seconds you soon get the hang of cutting clips up.

Obviously you can upgrade all of those, you can get a nice camera (most i know use the Canon M50), nice lighting, and a fancy mic, but you don’t NEED them to get started with YouTube.

I actually upgraded my Mic halfway through my challenge as a birthday gift which was a pretty nice investment (I bought the Blue Yeti Nano Mic for YouTube).

How to Edit Videos for YouTube?

Video Editing, one of the key challenges I have had to overcome whilst figuring out how to get started with YouTube.

I am not a natural on camera. My brain farts and stuttering meant I had to learn to edit – whereas I know people who can rattle of a 40 minute video without a moment’s hesitation (therefore doesn’t edit!).

I mentioned above that I used Wondershare Filmora.

wondershared filmora video editor for youtube

If you have a Mac then I have heard Screenflow is good, and if you use Windows then another option many YouTubers use is Camtasia. I have had chance test Camtasia and I liked it but I wasn’t blown away by it.

Admittedly, I did use an older version Camtasia. It was alright and very good for screen recording i.e. YouTube tutorials where you share your screen.

Ultimately I went with Filmora because it:

  • Reasonably inexpensive for a lifetime licence
  • Simple to learn and use
  • Has some nice included effects i.e. Transitions, Titles

They offer a trial if you wish to test it yourself (click here), I promise it won’t take long to pick up.

The video below shows my current editing process and gives you an idea of how to use Filmora for YouTube editing:

What to vlog about on YouTube?

A niche is kinda like a theme or a subject. Generally what is the topic you are going to create content on?

Your niche could be broad such as:

  • Weight Loss Journey
  • Cheerleading
  • Graphic Design
  • Student Life

Or it could niche down, such as:

  • Training your pet Rottweiler
  • Glitter Makeup for Girls
  • Renovating your country home for less than $5,000

It is a fine line between creating something so niche no-one would ever look for it, but niche enough that you don’t vanish in obscurity as so many others are doing the same thing.

This also really depends on what you hope to achieve with your YouTube channel?

Are you wanting a place to express yourself and share your thoughts or skills? Are you looking for way of making money through YouTube? or maybe both?

Remember. YouTube is one the best ways of creating a laser targeted audience who will learn to know, like and trust you.

So think about how best you can serve that audience and yourself.

  • What are you good at?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What have you always dreamed of doing?

Russell Brunson’s Expert Secrets book convinced me and gave me the self belief that we don’t have to be the expert to succeed.

anyone can get started with youtube

Think about documenting your journey, that is what I am doing. I’m showing the ups and downs of getting started with a side hustle.

I am not standing in front of an Italian sports car saying “look at me, I make $20k a day to fund this lavish lifestyle”.

My videos are about working my ass off until 1am trying to figure out how to add scene transitions in Filmora (for ZERO pay.)

One day though, you will watch my videos and I will be earning a second income stream. Travelling to places I always wanted to see but couldn’t justify the costs.

When that time comes you will be able to look back at my older videos, the first 10, 50, 100, 500 that were absolute rubbish as I was busy finding my own style and voice.

It is about the journey.

People can relate to that more than extreme success and wealth that doesn’t feel tangible at all.

So if there is anything you have ever wanted to do, that you have no experience of, then why not choose that? Show your own journey and inspire others.

What is the best YouTube Content to Make?

One of the best reasons to get started with YouTube is the fact that it can be so rewarding in terms of its shelf life.

Facebook updates are old news an hour later. Instagram posts are forgotten minutes later. Yet with YouTube, good videos that are valuable and relevant to the audience can appear as the number 1 results for years to come.

It is this longevity that makes it the ideal choice for Affiliates and many others aspiring YouTubers.

getting started on youtube logo

Personally I started quite broad in terms of my niche, and in one of the most competitive subjects too – make money online.

Naively competing against multi millionaires and huge companies.

Probably not the greatest strategy but I wanted to talk about areas that I was comfortable with. Now my challenge is over I will spend longer on new content – that I can afford the time to research and learn.

There are many different content types you can create too:

  • How to videos
  • Viral videos
  • Funny videos
  • Review videos
  • Reflection videos
  • And so on….

For my 100 day challenge I created content on blogging, YouTube, Sales Funnels and Affiliate Marketing.

I was having to create content daily and it was a huge effort so my content creation wasn’t as focused as it could have been.

I would recommend creating a content system so that your organised.

Sign yourself up for a FREE Trello account.

I would create content lists in there. As soon as I had a random thought or idea I would write it down and add it to the list, and I would then go back and expand or delete that suggestion later.

Also, look at your peers, the ones that inspire you the most. Find the videos that are working and save them to a playlist.

Later on you are going to go back to these winning videos. The ones that are on the first few results pages and have lots of views, and your going to try and improve on them.

Recommended YouTube Content Strategy for Beginners
⭐️ Create Consistently (3 times per week, every week)
⭐️ Demonstrate core values and a consistent message
⭐️ Be organized and create a schedule
⭐️ Model what works and improve it
⭐️ Don’t quit. The hard work now will reward you in the future

Perhaps the biggest metrics to be successful on YouTube are CTR (Click Through Rate) and Watch Time.

Click through rate is largely dependent on your thumbnails but also trying to get your videos positioned in the “suggested videos” section, more on those shortly.

Watch Time is a biggie.

youtube app on mobile

They say the magic video length is 10-15 minutes. Long enough for people to be engaged and build up your average watch time.

You have to keep your content engaging though. Paying attention and showing patience isn’t a strong point for may of us.

They ALSO say you have 5-7 seconds to grab someones attention – so make the most of it.

Script your videos so that they want to stay tuned for as long as possible. Video hack some of the leading YouTubers – what do they do?

Here are some suggestions to keep your videos engaging and also structured to try and retain them.

  • Start by telling them what your going to tell them
  • Give them a hook, a reason to stay to the end – bonus content or free thing
  • Tell them what you said you would tell them
  • Summarize and tell them again
  • Give them the hook and then a CTA (Call to Action) (Next video, subscribe, go to your blog)
  • Change scenes – film your face, use a whiteboard, walk and film, use slides
  • Short content such as lists – Top 7 reasons to XYZ
  • Vary your tone and delivery – get excited and wake them up

There are numerous different ways of creating engaging content – ultimately if its entertaining or informative enough that they have to know more then that will be a big help.

Set Your Channel Up in YouTube

When you first create your channel there are a few components that you will need to configure:

  • Channel Name (Personal or Brand)
  • About Page
  • Channel tags
  • Channel Art
  • Avatar Photo

Read the rest of this post as I will explain how keywords work and these can be the basis of your message on your about page.

You want to briefly describe who you are and how you intend to help people – utilizing keywords and your specialist subject into the text.

Channel Art – Don’t procrastinate on this. Go to Canva (free) and use a pre-built template. Modify it to fit with your brand and color scheme. try and get your face on that image too so people can start to recognize you.

A lot of YouTubers also add their schedules for new content i.e. “New videos every Monday and Friday” but you can always come back to this once your up and running.

Remember when it comes to setting up your YouTube Channel – Done is better then perfect. you have plenty of time to come back and modify this.

It is more important to start getting content created.

jon davis youtube channel art

Learn to Understand Keywords on YouTube

As part of that content strategy you will need to understand the basics of keywords. Which are basically search terms.

Keyword = what you type in to the search box

The trick is to find keywords that people are searching for and also aren’t so competitive that your brand new channel doesn’t stand a chance.

To do this you may have to go a little more random on the content. Let me explain.

Keyword = Affiliate Marketing

There is absolutely no chance I could rank for that! Too competitive. Look at the results – these people are hugely successful and have a team of people help produce their YouTube content.

tubebuddy for keyword research youtube

However if we use Long Tail keywords (Longer and more specific keywords) then there is less competition:

Long Tail Keyword = Does Affiliate Marketing still work 2019

tubebuddy for keyword research youtube

As you build your audience and your channel then you can start to be more competitive

Another reason it is good to start understanding keywords is because you will want to use these for:

  • Tags
  • Title
  • Description
  • The content itself…. open your video and mention the keyword at the beginning of your video and a few times throughout

YouTube Artificial Intelligence is amazing – they analyze many parts of each video. The words, the images, the thumbnails. The reaction from your viewers.

So learn how to use those keywords.

If you want to succeed on YouTube as a beginner, then answer the questions people are asking. (The questions are often the keywords!)

The Best YouTube Chrome Plugins to install

Disclaimer. The plugins I am about to tell you about will help you with your channel setup, your keyword research and and really assist you figure out how to get started with YouTube.


They are not 100% accurate, so use them as a guide whilst you develop your understanding.

I will create more in-depth blog posts on each of these but for now I would pick one of these (or both) and install them. they do have paid versions but the free version gives you plenty too.



Both of these are similar, all singing and dancing plugins that help you research, create and publish YouTube content

I would say these are a essential tools to help you get started with YouTube and start developing an understanding of keywords.

How to Rank on YouTube as a Beginner

I won’t lie.

Until your channel has built an audience then generally your only going to rank if you find a niche that isn’t competitive, or stumble on some keywords your competitors hasn’t found yet i.e. a brand new product in your niche.

Or you create a viral video.

youtube logo

The main strategy most YouTube beginners go for is to model what works. Improve on it. Try and get featured in the suggested videos sections.

That is where the shortcuts to glory are held.

When I say “model“, I am not encouraging you to copy.

Look at the top 5 videos for that keyword term. Study them and see which parts work, then create your own that improves upon this, adds your own style and any extras you feel necessary.

Does their thumbnail work? Could you make yours stand out and catch the eye even more?

How to Create Engaging Thumbnails on YouTube

Your thumbnail is the first point of contact – the initial hook.

Your chance to stop the viewer from scrolling and click on your video.

Once again, look at the others, what colours do they use, what images, are they using pictures of themselves ?

How could you improve on the top thumbnails.

To start I would recommend you try making your own. There are some really good and free options out there for creating YouTube thumbnails.

Canva is one of them.

There are loads of built in templates on Canva that you can modify to your own taste. Add photos, change the font, change the color scheme.

You can also create your YouTube channel art on here too.

This is my top recommendation.

Other options are Snappa which is good but I find it less intuitive.

Or if you are more familiar with using graphic design applications you could use Photoshop or GIMP (Which is free) – but there is a steeper learning curve.

YouTube Monetization For Small Channels Like Me

Good news and bad news!

Bad news…..

YouTube have made the platform much more difficult to monetize. They have set targets that you have to hit before you can enable adverts and start trying to monetize your channel as a YouTube newbie.


4000 Hours Watch Time

1000 Subscribers

That is much harder than it sounds. I have finished my 100 Day Challenge and have just over 100 hours watch time. Still pretty epic, but I have 3900 hours before I can enable adverts!!


There are other ways though – my favorite – Monetize Youtube using Affiliate Marketing.

This is probably a blog posts in its own right but if you want to know how I believe you can monetize a small YouTube channel then check out his video:

Summary of How to Get Started with Youtube (2019)

I hope this post helps you in some way. I wanted to create an overview that doesn’t overwhelm you.

If there is one thing I have learnt over the years – you have to get focused on creating rather than consuming. Sure, take the right training where possible but keep creating.

I now aim for 80/20.

80% creating content. 20% learning and researching content.

If you are like myself then the biggest challenges aren’t going to be creating thumbnails or finding content to create they will be the mental aspects.

THE TOUGH PART = trying to overcome self doubt, fear of failure, imposter syndrome where you don’t feel qualified to talk about a subject.

Remember that you are always one step ahead of someone. Look at me for proof!

You have just read a guide on getting started on YouTube from someone who never imagined for a second he could create a single video.

Push your own fears back. As you create and find your voice you are laying down the foundations.

Be consistent and model what works and I believe your channel will grow and grow.

Engage with others in the YouTube community. Help them on their journey and seek the support of people around you too.

More importantly – enjoy it.

Enjoy the learning, the getting 1% better every day, the challenge.

I would love to see how you get on – leave me a message on my own channel and I will follow you and give you some encouragement.

P.S. You may have wondered how that challenge went. Did I create 100 videos in 100 days?

Sadly not, I managed 88 which I am still extremely happy about.

But that was just the beginning for me. It was my wake up call and reminder that I must create content in order to be successful with my side hustle as a Digital Marketer.

If you want to hear my reflections on my first 100 days, and how to get started with YouTube [2019 Beginners Guide] then checkout the video below:

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