Starting a YouTube Channel on a Budget

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Creating video content on YouTube can be a stressful experience for new creators, especially if your funds are limited. And let’s face it, not everyone has the financial flexibility of dropping a few thousand dollars on quality video equipment. It’s simply not realistic.

But is spending a lot of money necessary in order to get your YouTube channel off the ground? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, you are probably already off to a good start and don't even realize it. Allow me to motivate you.

Your phone is an excellent camera

Most of us are fortunate enough to own a phone that was made within the past few years. Whether it’s an iPhone, Android phone or Windows phone, it’s likely capable of recording video in a resolution of at least 720p. That is more than enough, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Of course, your phone can only do so much, which is why I recommend looking into purchasing a few affordable accessories to improve your overall quality.

First and foremost, look into getting a miniature tripod to stabilize your video. This is essential if presentation is important to you. And believe me, it should be. Presentation is always your top priority when producing any kind of video.

Even if you are looking to only create vlogs and nothing else, it still doesn’t hurt to own a tripod. This is an important factor to keep in mind, as you never know what direction your YouTube channel may end up taking.

Audio is more important than video

Without good audio, you’ve got nothing. Now thankfully, most modern phones have decent onboard microphones and they can usually get the job done. However, if you’re looking to kick things up a notch, why not invest in an external mic? Like miniature tripods, prices on mics are actually pretty low — especially considering how big of a difference you’ll notice in quality.

I recommend checking out the Rode VideoMic Me for starters. Rode is a reputable brand and very well known for their microphones.

Believe me, you’ll be happy knowing you spent a bit of money on good audio. It can often be the deciding factor on whether someone subscribes to your channel.

Buy used equipment

If you are looking to save some serious money, then you might want to consider shopping around on sites like eBay and Amazon. There are some great deals to be found, especially if you’re a fan of the more expensive equipment.

For example, buying a used DSLR on eBay can save you hundreds of dollars. If it works properly, then what’s the problem? And even better, audio/video equipment often comes bundled with extra accessories — saving you even more money in the process.

Focus on your content before anything else

It’s so easy to get caught up in buying the best of the best, when in reality, your content should always come first. This is actually a common issue that I see on YouTube now and then. Some creators are so concerned about spending a lot of money early in the game, when they forget what matters most.

You need to figure out your content. Test a few ideas with your audience to see what sticks. Personally, I think it’s safe to begin with vlogging. Not only does this type of content require less work when compared to something like tech reviews, but it’s also your chance to express yourself and show the world the real you.

YouTube is an incredible platform that will be around for many years to come. Don’t rush greatness.