Recently I was searching for YouTube videos dedicated to teaching Nigerian languages. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the result. While popular languages were more represented, there was a general dearth of material. The good news however is, herein lies a great opportunity.
You see, YouTube is home to billions of videos today. In fact, IrokoTV which raised $19m in funding started from YouTube. As you read this, hours of videos are being uploaded as you read this line of text. There’s also enough traffic to go round for everybody. YouTube provides a good way to pass knowledge, increase brand visibility, have fun or make money. Subscribing to google adsense offers the possibility of making money from ads.
For blog owners, it could help boost traffic to your blog. A good example is this channel dedicated to repairing smartphones.
Starting a YouTube channel to promote Nigerian culture for example, has the potential of impacting a great community of people. Fringe languages and cultures can be promoted. If possible, one can partner with communities to showcase their culture. Sounds like an exciting prospect already.
Apart from normal videos, slideshows and animations can be added to make exciting content. For an example, see this Urhobo cartoon page that uses cartoons to teach Urhobo language.
Do I need any special skill to manage a YouTube channel?
Not exactly. As long as you’re good with the internet and handling a camera you’re good to go. Everything you need to succeed is available on the internet. Minor video, sound editing skills can be learnt as you grow. If you don’t have the equipment for this, just hire someone with the talent on Fiverr. If you haven’t heard of Fiverr, Fiverr is a service that lets you hire any skill from any country for as little as $5 (less than N2,000!)
What you will need to get started
To make and post YouTube videos you will need;
- A laptop. A 2gb RAM laptop should be enough to handle video editing and browsing.
- Internet source with good speed
- A camera that can record good quality video. Some people use professional cameras (DSLRs) while others use camcorders. A smartphone or computer webcam is also a good choice if you’re on a budget. As long as they can make decent quality videos.
- An external microphone. The internal microphones of cameras sometimes are not enough. If your sound keeps coming out poorly, you might need a better microphone.
- Video editing software. A free alternative is Windows Movie Maker (for windows users).
- Tripod (optional).
Setting up the YouTube channel
To start a YouTube channel you will need a google account. Your personal Gmail account can serve but you can decide to open another for this purpose. To create an account start here. After getting your google account follow these steps;
- Open YouTube.com and sign in
- Click on ‘My Channel’.
- Choose a personalized channel name. The name should reflect the niche you are in. For example, our Nigeria language channel could be named ‘Nigerian languagehub’. To do this, fill required fields and click ‘create channel’.
- Add a channel art, avatar/logo and channel description.
Now your YouTube channel is up and running. For user preferences such as connecting to social media, privacy, monetization, and uploading, explore the settings menu.
Not all uploads on YouTube are hand-captured videos. There are animations, slideshows with voiceovers and even songs. Once you have material ready for upload, sign in and take the following steps.
- Click upload at top right corner
- Select files or drag and drop to upload.
- Write a title and description of the video. These should be short and very catchy. The better it is the higher the chance of getting viewer’s attention.
- Tag the video
- Click on ‘publish’.
- Share to your other social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter etc).
10 Tips for managing a YouTube channel
- Post regularly. Develop a posting schedule and let your viewers know. They’ll most likely return if they’re sure of new content.
- Plan your content ahead of time. You can have a book where you write content suggestions.
- Never stop promoting your channel.
- Make a logo for your channel and upload. This `gives the channel a sense of seriousness.
- Properly edit your videos before uploading.
- Make sure videos are well lit and sound is clear enough.
- Engage commenters even when comments may be rude.
- Always thank your viewers.
- At the end of your videos, include call-to-actions. This can be telling viewers to subscribe to your channel or leave a comment.
- Be wary of copyright infringement.
Managing a YouTube channel requires dedication and consistency. The popular YouTube channels today all started small at some point. Always spread the word about your channel, produce quality material and you could be on your way to YouTube greatness!
P.S I have a business idea on how to take a language learning channel forward. Contact me or leave me a comment if you would like to take this project on.
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