Starting a YouTube channel is not easier than you think, but it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Plenty of YouTubers out there started their channels for cheap but still managed to make their dream career. And none of them ever regretted their decision!
YouTube has no shortage of channels to help you start your own. The only thing stopping you are the time commitment and the size of your pocket to create it. If you think along the same lines, here we’ll cover all the steps to create your YouTube channel on a budget. We will break the costs incurred from production, lighting, cameras, microphones, and more!
Steps To Create A YouTube Channel On A Budget
So, let’s quickly figure out the steps you should be looking at to kickstart your channel. We will also look at the minimum budgetary considerations to back the production.
Pick A Niche:
Pick a subject you like and make sure it’s video-based. Think about what you like and want to share with the world, and make sure it isn’t too niche or small. If you know your audience will love your videos, why would they want to see other kinds of subjects? It’s not worth doing what others are doing if your goal is to create videos for YouTube for a long time.
So, take an idea and work on it. ( we have an excellent article on how to come up with unique content ideas. Click here) Because an idea is a core to success, don’t worry over the technicalities now. So, select a niche or category you are interested in, note down thoughts, have a schedule, and work on it.
You don’t need money to spend unless you have a pen and paper or a cellphone to brainstorm or research your ideas.
Find Content That Gets Views:
So what makes starting a professional YouTube channel easy? Well, one word: Content! There are no limits on how much content people want these days.
But to get organic views and make your channel grow over time, the mantra is to figure out what people are eagerly searching for. How? Well, you can use the YouTube Search Bar.
Type a word and see how many keywords are on top. It gives you an idea or insight on searches. Make videos on problems people are facing. Please give them a working solution! Clickbait videos might get you views initially, but they won’t build a reliable channel if the YouTube algorithm finds out your Content is more hype than the matter. Plan to make videos on what people are willing to see.
So far, no money is needed. The only thing you are investing here is your time.
Create Valuable Content Regularly:
If your channel is about tech tips, create tech tips regularly. If you want to share your life adventures or world travels, do so regularly. You can even create vlogs regularly if you love sharing the goings-on in your life with others. Just make sure you’re consistent so people can find you and come back regularly to see what you’ve shared with them.
But, never repurpose the Content that is already on the net. So, try to give your point of view. If you are more popular than the sources you use, people will always go to your channel to see new Content.
If you can create well-made videos with lots of variety, payment isn’t an issue either. Just make sure your videos are genuinely high-quality in terms of value, though!
Launch Your Channel:
The first step is to have a catchy name and a logo. Decide the category and type of Content you will upload. Next, set up your YouTube channel by uploading a profile picture, social handles and verifying your channel. Plan your weekly uploads. Make a list of topics you will work on. And, to work on it, you will need some accessories.
Creating a YouTube channel is absolutely free. YouTube never charges you a single penny to register your channel. The only cost you incur is the video-making cost. This cost usually includes one-time investment equipment required for recording videos. (Equipment like your mobile phone, DSLR, tripod, hands-free, mic, and lighting lamps.)
Till now, you are doing things free. For a logo, You can use Canva fonts for free.
Get The Equipment & Accessories:
It’s a myth or a misconception that to be a YouTuber, you need to invest a hefty amount in the tool and its accessories. Maybe because of the video quality or the high-end gears that look so cool. In either case, that’s not the reality.
There’s no reason to wait until you have an expensive set up before getting started with YouTube. Your favorite YouTubers might be using those fancy gadgets, but you need to understand that they took time to reach this point. The chances are that they started with a mobile phone and gradually brought new gadgets over time.
- Click on their channel, and then click the “videos.”
- Go down till you reach the last row of videos.
- Watch them. You will get your answer.
A viewer never expects you to upload 4K or HD-level professional videos on YouTube as they are there to solve their problem, enhance their knowledge, or just to have a fun time. So, you don’t need to buy those high-end gadgets.
You can start with whatever things you have, like your mobile phone or PC. Your content and idea will fetch you more viewers than just bragging about your gadgets. So start with whatever things you possess by just paying attention to few types of equipment discussed further.
1) Mobile Or DSLR Camera:
Nowadays, mobile phones are capable of shooting 1080p to 4K videos. The megapixels you get in mobile phones might look more significant on the specification, but DSLR megapixels are superior in quality.
You can start with a mobile camera if you are on a budget. But, if you have money to spend and the expertise to use DSLR, buy it.
The mobile is readily available when talking about the price range, starting from $100 onwards. Meanwhile, it is tough to find decent DSLRs under $500. Coming to the maintenance, you need to be cautious about lenses in DSLR. But, mobile phones are handy and require less maintenance.
2)Tripod (Cheap Yet Stable One):
You will need a tripod at some point in time. Shooting with your mobile may result in shaky videos. Initially, choose a cheaper one that fulfills your need of stabilizing and holding the mobile. Get a mini tripod or a selfie stick. Later on, you can opt for a better tripod that is fluid and can tilt for shooting dynamic shots.
Tripods are available for a wide price range. You can get the basic ones for $15 and $50 for the sturdy ones. The quality and sturdiness of the tripod determine its price. Always choose a reliable and sturdy tripod. It’s the equipment you will use for every shoot. So a solid tripod is preferable. Never go for cheap tripods and always check for reviews and material used.
3) Microphones For Audio Recording:
Now, a factor that a lot of beginners ignore. The “Audio”! Audio is an essential factor that decides whether your viewer watches it till the end or not. You might have noticed that a video with HQ dimensional audio and voice-over tends to engage more audience. Cinematic videos of matches, AMVs, such videos are super engaging. Meanwhile, no matter how good your content is, no one wants to watch a video with outdoor noise hindering the focus.
Invest in a mic with noise cancellation. This small investment can fetch you more viewers. Clear audio accompanied by video is a lethal combination. It makes the video more engaging and responsive.
Selecting a mic for your YouTube videos depends on the type of video you make. Vlogging needs more of a noise cancellation one.
Lavalier mics are best for almost every type. If you are just starting YouTube, mics offering noise cancellation with USB connectivity are your best ally. These mics are affordable and come with a year guarantee. Lavalier mics are best because they are handy, inexpensive, and smartphone compatible.
Beginners often face lighting issues. If you can invest in some lamps, that’s great. If you don’t wish to, go for natural lights. Use available natural lights to your advantage. Remember that light should fall on you.
For example, stand in front of the window and shoot the video.
Never shoot against the light. Shoot in the daytime and buy some lamps for nighttime shoots. But, if you can ensure daytime shooting, you might never need lamps.
You will need perfect lighting if you shoot indoors, especially at night. Vlogging doesn’t necessarily require a lighting lamp. Lighting is excellent for brightening the complexion, masking flaws, and separating the foreground and the background, thus improving the stereoscopic effect.
Lighting lamps are readily available within $20.
5) Data Storage:
Today’s mobile phone allows you to shoot up to 4K videos. Though they consume a lot of memory, it is pretty powerful in the price range. An average mobile phone can shoot at least 720 p videos. And, your video content is well above the standard. Meanwhile, people don’t often watch videos in 4K; they usually go for 1080P. Overall, a mobile phone is enough to get decent video quality.
The role of storage becomes vital. So, any digital file you store, whether that be images, text, or video, you need to store or back up in a device. The more of these files exist, the more storage you will need. And, video footage with a higher resolution demands more extensive storage. It won’t fit into your cell phone storage. You will need storage for this.
Prices vary depending on the size of your storage needs. There are different deals offered at various companies, but most come with a certain amount of space that you can buy. The problem with this is that it doesn’t actually provide you with the best deal on board. I believe that there’s room for a new company to offer some competition and give new content creators an alternative to the outdated method of paying as you go for as little as $20+ per month.
6) Editing Software:
We have gone through the importance of content, idea, video quality, audio equipment, and lighting. After all these efforts, the one thing that gives finishing to the whole process is “EDITING.” It is the final and most crucial step.
Here you try to blend video, audio, and images to connect to the audience. Initially, you don’t need premium video editing software. You can make videos for YouTube using free video editing software available on PlayStore.
However, if you have a PC, you can use FilmoraGo. It is a paid software, but you can crack its older versions and use it for free. The updated version is powerful, but you can go for an older version or any other software on a budget. OpenShot is super easy to use video editing software for free!
PC / Laptop video editing software offers you more tools but is usually not free. Paid software usually starts from $50 annually. Few software companies provide free software for students or at least at a lesser price. Mobile video editor apps are powerful too, and are decent for editing videos.
iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are built-in free video editor that is used for simple video editing jobs for mac and windows PC respectively.
7) Workstation (Computer/ Laptop):
A computer built specifically for video editing will need at least $500. The processors have become expensive, and for video editing, you need a higher thread processor. Such a processor starts from $200 whether you choose Intel or AMD. However, AMD’s APU can be helpful for you if on budget. These processors are around $150 or less and have an inbuilt graphics card.
So you don’t need to invest in graphic cards separately. It makes it great for video editing and rendering. However, going with an APU limits your upgrade to a certain point. But if on budget, it will help you make thousands of videos without any issue. Later on, you can upgrade the processor with a new motherboard.
Also, never compromise on PSU. Try to get at least 80 plus bronze certified PSU’s. Because if PSU fails, the entire PC may get destroyed. So a powerful PSU is a must. Meanwhile, you will need 8GM of RAM with 1TB of Hard disk space.
Please Note: A great place to look is Craigslist. You can also use social media or Facebook buy-and-sell groups in your city. It’s a good way to find something in really good shape for a fraction of the price.
Keep in mind, production costs can be high, but it doesn’t mean you have to invest a lot of money into them. You can find free ways to film in real locations, and if you have to travel, you can always hitchhike to save gas. It also puts you in contact with interesting people who will become an essential part of your channel. Later, when you turn it into a full-time professional channel, you need to consider all the possible costs.
Time is priceless. But investing quality time in producing excellent content is worthwhile. No matter how much you spend on gadgets and equipment, if you don’t spend time in a precise way, your success might get delayed.
If you have a DSLR, best mic, software, and other equipment, you don’t invest time figuring topics. Somehow you find topics, but you are a bit rusty to script them and make a video. These minor habits delay your video upload. And, YouTube demands consistency to recognize you as a content creator.
How Much Will It Cost To Start A YouTube Channel?
So, for a beginner to start a YouTube channel, you need to invest between $200 – $1500. If you create valuable content regularly, you can quickly have a significant return on investment. Also, if you possess a smartphone you can make your first few videos for free.
The table below shows the breakdown of inexpensive estimates:
|Production Details||Estimated Costs|
|Cellphone||$100 – $300|
|DSLR ( alternative)||$600 onwards|
|Lavalier Microphone||$5- $35|
|External Storage drives||$30-$100|
|Editing Software||Free ( Mobile apps) – $500|
|Editing Workstation||Free ( cellphone) – $500 onwards ( PC/Laptop)|
|Others||Free – $500|
|Total||$200 – $1500 (rough estimates)|
Many of the investment is one time while some are running costs. However, they become inexpensive to free when you start getting traction with your videos. The YouTube monetization is pretty good to get your investment back once you are eligible for the advertisements.
Is It Too Late To Start A YouTube Channel?
It is never too late to start your YouTube journey. There are billions of people watching YouTube daily. So whether you make videos on politics, current affairs, education, cooking, etc., people will be watching you. The competition to rank higher in YouTube increases every year as new creators come in. So optimizing your channel and video description will help you rank higher. Establishing your channel takes time, but it is never impossible. It requires time and consistency.
Is It Worth It To Start A YouTube Channel Today?
Definitely! Starting a YouTube channel today is worth it. However, there are few things to consider. YouTube starts recognizing your content once you upload around 33 or 35 videos. Work on your title, thumbnail, description, and tags. Have patience and don’t run behind numbers. Focus on content to build a channel that viewers trust. Learn from other creators and use their tricks too. Every year the competition within creators intensifies. You need to plan things and work on them.