YouTube Video Habits to Avoid

Making YouTube videos can be a lot of fun, but are you unknowingly practicing bad habits that could be hurting your subscriber numbers? Believe it or not, the vast majority of folks attempting to gain an audience on YouTube have one or two bad habits that may be keeping them from taking off.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of these habits and how they might impact the first impression many viewers have of their channel. Some of them are incredibly easy to fix while others take a little more time and effort.

Background Lighting Brighter Than the Subject

YouTube Video Habits to AvoidA lot of folks on YouTube choose to talk to their webcam for vlogging and commentary. This is fine, though often we forget just how little a computer screen brightens our face compared to lamps and other light sources behind us. If you take a moment to just the lighting in your room so that it’s behind the camera, the effect could be dramatically better.

Alternatively, you could opt for a small desk lamp that directs a diffused light to your face so that you are lit optimally without sacrificing lighting in your background.

The best rule of thumb here is that if you don’t feel you’re receiving too much light, you’re not bright enough. Video is a funny thing, and often we see someone as being too brightly lit in person while the camera sees us perfectly.

Poor White Balancing

Take a moment to white balance your camera before recording. You can do this by holding up a blank white sheet of paper in front of the lens if it does automatic white balancing, or set the white balance to match the type of lighting found in your room.

Often, colors are either too yellow (warm) or too blue (cool). This makes your video look off to viewers, especially if you’re pointing the camera at someone. We tend to pick up discolorations in skin tone right away, and even a subtle shift can make the image look wrong — even if we can’t quite place why it does.

It’s also important to shoot in an environment with consistent lighting. If you’re walking around your house in a single take and some rooms have fluorescent lights, some are naturally lit with sunlight, and others have incandescent lighting, the camera will have a very hard time keeping up with the ambient color shifts caused by differing light sources.

Confusion in Speech

Don’t get me wrong here; it’s good to be natural in front of the camera. What I mean by confusion is the overuse of “um” and “uh” during speech. These are called filler words, and we use them to fill space as we think about where we’re going next.

It’s okay to use these words on occasion, but you might want to start keeping track of how often you use them and make a conscious effort to reduce that amount each time you step in front of a camera.

Another thing you might consider is editing out those moments where you forget where you were heading in a sentence. It happens to everyone, and taking a moment to reset your sentence and edit out your “blooper” can make a world of difference on your final video.

Practice is key, and the more you get accustomed to public speaking (even if just in front of a webcam) the better your videos will become. Take look at the top personalities in your category on YouTube. Many of them use jump cuts constantly to avoid having pauses and filler words. Their earlier videos will probably look a loss less polished than the ones they’re producing for a larger audience.

Be patient and concentrate on doing each video better than the one you made before. In time, you’ll get where you’d like to be.

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • aphla5

    i would like to know i have some vids up on youtube but havent made a single cent so what causes money to be put onto the youtube accounts? is it ads views or what?

  • aphla5

    i would like to know i have some vids up on youtube but havent made a single cent so what causes money to be put onto the youtube accounts? is it ads views or what?

  • agun

    If all your vids have the same background then all your videos will have a similar thumbnail and people will think: “OOH MOAR OF TEH SAME” and go watch something else.
    Thumbnails are important.

  • Tinman57

    I busted out laughing at a couple of your comments. Not to be meant in a bad way, and I’m no self-appointed speel cheeker grammar or checker, it just hit me as funny;
    “are you unknowingly practicing some bag habits that could be hurting your subscriber numbers?”
    Bag habits!!! BWAHAHAHA!!! I just picture in my head someone doing outrageous things with their shopping bags. lol
    “Don’t me wrong here” OK, don’t be wrong there! hahahaha
    One of my pet peeves is filler words, they’re so darned distracting that I lose focus on what the person is even talking about. I was watching one of our politicians on TV last week and didn’t quite understand everything he was talking about because every other word was “uh”. I got to counting instead of understanding his speech. In two sentences I counted him uttering “uh” 12 or 13 times. Then the next news story was a police chief discussing a mass murder case where he uttered “uh” about every 5’th word. Much better speaker than the politician as far as the “uh’s” go, but still….
    Uh….I think that……uh…..that’s all I….. uh….. have for now. Uh…thanks for the uh… article. ;)