How to become a YouTuber: Online classes and equipment to get started

Anyone can post a video on YouTube, but the channels you follow that have a million-plus subscribers take serious work and commitment to build and sustain. Being a YouTuber can be a full-time job, and it’s a competitive field. Your brand and content have to stand out in a vast sea of work by other people who want the same thing you do. 

If you’ve got an idea for a channel and are serious about trying to hack it as a YouTuber, knowledge is power. There’s no formula for internet fame (side-eyes all those moth memes), so there’s no guarantee that you’ll win a YouTube Creator Award or walk a red carpet in the near future (should coronavirus lockdowns get lifted, of course). It’s important to keep your expectations reined in and to set attainable goals. 

But online education classes can help you build a solid foundation in branding, camera use, video editing programs, social media marketing and staying motivated.

Check out these five online classes and our list of must-have equipment to start your new YouTube channel off strong, or for help refreshing an old channel:

Skillshare; screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome/CNET

Australian content creator and brand identity designer Jeremy Mura offers a course on starting a YouTube channel from scratch on Skillshare. In YouTube for Beginners, Mura guides you through the logistics of how to set up a YouTube channel, researching trends for content, analytics and monetization, and tips for growing (and keeping) your audience.

In the discussion section of the class, Mura also provides personal constructive feedback for his students as they build their channels. Mura’s course has 34 lessons, all of them 10 minutes or less. He also has helpful videos on his own YouTube channel, though they aren’t as laser-focused on content creation as the ones offered on Skillshare. 

What it costs: Some online classes on Skillshare are free when you create an account, but most require a premium membership, which costs $99 annually or $19 a month. You can sign up for 14 free days of unlimited classes. The premium membership is also ad-free and lets you download classes to your mobile device and watch offline. 

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