5 things NOT to do when making your YouTube video

5. Filming without proper lighting

Using lighting properly in your videos seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people just start filming without even thinking about how to light their subjects properly.

If you’re outside, you should be thinking about natural light and how to get the best out of that first. Positioning your subject well in an area where there’s uniform light will really help prevent overexposed images in your film later.

Using additional reflectors to keep the light consistent will also help a lot, just remember that straight sunlight will massively overexpose your subject making it unpleasant and unprofessional to look and affects the colours as well.

4. Filming without planning

That’s a recipe for disaster isn’t it? If you don’t have an idea of what you’re going to film, how you’re going to film it, how to do difficult shots etc., you’ll reach a point where you’re winging it 100%. And when you wing it, there’s a big chance it will go wrong!

Even if you sketch out a basic storyline or a quick storyboard to highlight how your film will have a beginning, middle and an end, it’s worth every second of the time spent. Trust us on this one, your film will be so much better as a result.

3. Invest in cheap equipment

You don’t need to go overboard, but you should have a set up that is capable of producing a decent result, one that people do not look at and mumble to themselves “that’s got such poor production quality”.

Start with the camera – although iPhones and mobile cameras are getting better, you’d be far better getting something that you can control the focus and exposure of for example. There are lots of good cameras out there (the Canon T4i is a good prosumer example), so do some research into one that really works for you based on other people’s videos and, of course, that works within your budget.

The microphone is also an important consideration and something you should get separately. Good audio is very very important in a film if you want people to hang around watching your film. There’s only so much scratchy and lo-fi audio listeners can take before they click that next video, so invest in a decent directional microphone as well if you can.

2. Recording audio without planning

Plan on shooting your interview on a windy pier, noisy street or while the neighbours are playing Metallica? Not the best idea, unless you like the constant distractions.

Think about where you’re going to record. There will always be moments where you are caught off-guard when filming, but the more you think about where and how you’re recording your audio the better the result will be.

Audio could be considered as one of the most important parts of film making as viewers tend to be more forgiving of poor quality footage than they are of audio. As George Lucas says: “The sound and music are 50% of the entertainment in a movie”. Which leads us on to…

1. Using cheap music

Yes, we know, we’re biased as we think you’ll find the best music for your video here. But it goes without saying that bad music can totally destroy a good video, so picking the right track that fits the mood and has good sounds is becoming really important these days.

If you use music that sounds dated, cheesy, cheap or not fit for purpose, your video will suffer, so search for some of the good stuff here.

Please note, some blog posts may contain affiliate links to products. If you click on them and decide to buy the product, we earn a small commission which helps us support our work creating posts like this and videos etc. Thank you for your support!


  1. […] The video below by Entrepreneur takes you through a few of the tips above. Notice how you really can do this on a budget if need be, you just need to make your videos stand out and try not to make these common mistakes! […]

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