How to Edit My YouTube Videos

January 29, 2020

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Editing YouTube videos is a distinctly personal activity. Everyone has their own style and preferences, so there really aren’t any rules.

That being said, there are some basic steps to follow to ensure you upload the highest quality content. So, without further ado, we’re going to get started because we have a lot to cover.

The 5 Best YouTube Editing Tools

While you might want to just jump in and start editing right away, you need to decide on the tool that works best for you. There are tons of programs to choose from but these 5 are the best ones by far.

iMovie

It’s free and it’s fabulous (if you have a mac of course).

You can make 4K videos as well as high-class trailers. It has proven to be the best for complete beginners as applying intros, transitions, and filters is super easy.

The Pros

  • 4K resolution
  • Easy to use
  • Accessible
  • Has a mobile app
  • Lots of title and credit options
  • Clean
  • Loads of features
  • Straightforward upload system

The Cons

  • Only works with iOS
  • Limited editing
  • Interface can’t be personalised

LightWorks 14

Lightworks 14 can do a lot. The creators of spectacular films like The Wolf of Wall Street, Pulp Fiction, and Hug used it as their editing software. Yep, you read that right.

Your videos are bound to be better than all the rest after you’ve gone Lightworks crazy!

The Pros

  • Intuitive interface but still simple
  • Works with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux
  • 4K ready
  • Publish straight to YouTube
  • Easy timeline manipulation
  • Supports lots of file formats

The cons

The free version only lets you use MPEG or H.264 file export formats

Filmora9

Much like iMovie, Filmora9 is exceptionally beginner-friendly. To tell you the truth, it’s far more elegant than iMovie! That’s just our opinion though

The Pros

  • Works with Mac and Windows
  • Allows over 50 file formats
  • Incredibly user-friendly
  • Elegant interface
  • 4K support
  • Works alongside Filmstocks
  • Basic editing features like noise removal, social media import etc
  • Advanced features like audio mixer, green screen, split-screen and more

The Cons

  • Doesn’t support surround sound
  • No closed captioning or multicam
  • Isn’t great for the all-rounder, high-class editors
  • Doesn’t work with 360 degrees videos
  • No moving object tracking

Final Cut Pro X

If you’ve ever watched any videos created and edited by super big YouTube stars, you will quickly realise that they talk about Final Cut Pro a lot.

It’s made by Apple and has been used to edit videos of many kinds. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, you’ll get along great with this software.

The Pros

  • Sleek and clean interface
  • Modern
  • Supports 360 degrees video editing
  • 4K ready
  • Advanced editing features
  • User friendly
  • High-quality templates available
  • Lighting and colour correction tools
  • Automatic YouTube uploads

The cons

  • Only works with iOS
  • No save function, it only uses autosave

Animoto

This one is great for making tutorials, promotions, advertisements, photo slideshows and more. It does have a few limitations but for the novice editor, you should find it pretty handy.

The Pros

  • Easy to use voice over option
  • HD downloads
  • Stock photo and music library access
  • Easy to personalise colours, text and styles
  • Lots of templates
  • One-push social media sharing
  • Simple to use
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Makes professional-looking video

The cons

  • Not for professionals
  • Fairly limited editing tools
  • Loss of many features

Okay, now you have a great bunch of programs to decide between, let’s jump right into how to edit your videos. We know that’s what you’re here for but the above was super important.

We promise we won’t spend long on step one. 

All you have to do is pick a program from the 5 we spoke about earlier, download and open it up. Make sure it fits your needs first of course!

For now, we’re not going to worry about creating a blemish-free video. Here, we just need to get all the clips uploaded into the editor.

Regardless of the editing software you choose, there is a timeline view that holds the individual clips. You’re adding mini-videos into the timeline of your master video. Does this make sense? Great!

At this stage, you will want to make sure everything is in the right order, is the right length, and no unwanted sections are present.

Remember we said that you shouldn’t think about creating a seamless video just yet? Well, now you should!

Special effects include transitions which will ensure all your clips blend perfectly together so it doesn’t look choppy (unless that’s what you’re going for).

You can even place pictures or other graphics into your videos (called “picture in picture”) to add another layer of quality. Make sure it’s relevant to the content — don’t go adding things willy-nilly as this will detract from your main message.

The same goes for text. Before placing it, decide whether it’s really necessary. If it is, then you’re good to go!

Top tip: Throughout your videos, try to make the font and general “theme” the same so users know what to expect from your content.

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