Make YouTube Video Tutorials Like a Pro: The Hardware You Need

  • Want to make YouTube video tutorials that get people talking?

Maybe you've been thinking about jumping in and making your own videos for a while and something held you back. All those new skills and hardware, the tech, the publication process– it seems like an impossible-to-get-out-of black hole.

It's not. With a bit of time, know-how, and work you are more than capable of doing, you can make YouTube tutorials that people want to watch and share.

All you need to do is master three parts: the hardware, the software, and the publication process.

You need high-quality hardware to record the video, software to edit it, and a proven publishing process to give it its best shot of ranking on YouTube so that people can actually find it.

That's why we put together this three-part series. In this post, we'll walk through the hardware– everything you need to make a great video. In the next two posts, we'll cover the software and publication aspects. I'll even share the exact publishing process we use to help the Dotto Tech videos rank on YouTube.

By the end of this series, you'll be rearing to go and make YouTube video tutorials of your own.

The hardware you need to get started

To make awesome videos, you do need some tools. Five tools, in particular, will really help you get started.

1. A computer

Screencasting, the video technique we use for 99% of the Dotto Tech videos, turns your computer into a video-creating powerhouse.

Your computer is the foundation of your system. It's what you'll use to record your video, assemble assets, edit, and publish.

So what kind of a computer do you need?

Any good modern computer will do a good job of handling screencasting. You can probably get started with your current laptop or desktop– all it needs is decent storage space, processing power, and memory.

2. A webcam

You can record high-quality video with a good webcam. I used the Logitec C920 I  for about six years– you can pick it up cheaply and it's a pretty great option if you are looking for bang for your buck.

Recently, I switched to the Logitec BRIO— it's wide angle, HD, and so far I'm happy with it.

If you are looking for an alternative, you can experiment with using your phone's camera– it's not the perfect solution but in most cases, it's good enough to start with.

3. Lighting

Even the best camera in the world can't make up for poor lighting. Light is essential for creating an awesome video.

With the new office, we get a good amount of natural light and supplement this with LED lights.

Make sure your recording space is always well lit– the difference it makes to the quality of your video is unbelievable.

4. A solid microphone

If you could only invest in a single piece of hardware, it should be a good mic.

Our ears are more sensitive than our eyes. People will watch a video with ok quality if the audio is great. But when was the last time you sat through bad audio?

I use an old-school voice-over mic I picked up when the local radio station was changing gear. However, a good quality USB mic like the Blue Yeti is a great option for getting started.

Regardless of what mic you get, make sure you mount it a proper distance away from you– this really has a huge impact on sound quality.

5. A green screen

Using a green screen makes it easy to erase the background with your screencasting software and add other backgrounds.

I use a pop-up green screen— it doesn't wrinkle, it's easy to store, and super simple to put together.

Getting your equipment together

You don't have to get everything in perfect order from the start, especially if you are on a budget. Don't use lack of equipment as a reason not to get started.

Start with a good quality microphone and move up from there.

In the next post, we'll talk all about software. 

Until next time,

Have fun storming the castle!

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