Starting my own YouTube Channel – How and Why?

Salaam, Namaste, Ola and Hello!

I have recently started my own YouTube Channel called ‘I am IT Geek’ where I have started to publish video series all around different Microsoft Cloud services – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt5sNdu14RterwDfEDEJidQ . It has so far been an amazingly fun experience and I thought I would get my experience down on paper in a blog in case anyone else within the wider online IT community wants to start there own and was not sure how!

Where it all started!?

Almost 12 months ago I took part in the Azure Advent Calendar Azure community initiative where I did a video based on Multi-Factor Authentication – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thep3IYzg2k . This was the first time I had dipped my toe into the video content world and it was awfully painful. I spent most of the day recording (a good 8 hours) and found the whole experience of being in front of camera very stressful. The equipment I used at the time was owned by my employer at the time and was pretty good and included a camcorder and multiple mics for optimum sound. The saying ‘All the gear and no idea’ comes to mind and with this being my first experience it was very much the case!

What little did I know that recoding the content was probably the easy part and the fun of editing was to come! Much like the recording of the actual video, at the time it was my first experience editing video content as well. I was lucky enough at the time that a good friend of mine, Neil Roberts, was kind enough to loan me his MAC Book laptop which had some amazing free video editing software on it. I spent hours editing and all in all it was a vey traumatic experience.

I decided at that point that I was not ready to make video content, however less than one year on things have changed! Where as with this fist video, I jumped into it without really doing any research into equipment, watching how other people in the community record theirs or even what software is needed. I made sure I did all of these things this time around and it has made a lot of difference.

Why start video content?

I have been contributing to the Azure and Microsoft communities with mainly blog posts and occasionally taking part in some of the community initiatives like the Azure Spring Clean and the Azure Back to school, however these have again all been blog based. I wanted to contribute more so back in July I presented at my first Azure User Group (Leeds Azure User Group) and due to the COVID situation it was virtual. It was the first time since the YouTube video I was presenting to people on camera and the experience was much different. Obviously there was no editing to be done, however I felt much more comfortable speaking on camera to people and I enjoyed preparing the slides! Since then I have presented at several more User Groups and the more I have done the more confident I have become. However I still felt like I wanted to contribute more, so what was left? Making video content!

How did I go about I differently this time?

As I mentioned earlier, once I made the decision to create YouTube content I invested time in looking into the right type of equipment first. Sound and video are vital so I reached out to others within the online Azure community to see what they had used. In the end I went with:

This mic had great reviews and was also within the budget I had set myself. It has honestly been a god send and removed a lot of the echo I was getting when trying to record without it!

This mic was also essential to making sure the quality of the content was clear. I was lucky enough to be given this as a gift from some friends earlier this year so it was perfect timing!

  • Software: The first time I was loaned a MAC Book with some free video editing software on it, however I did not have that luxury now. I once again looked to the always helpful online Azure community for advice and I have been using a combination of OBS Studio to record the content and CyberLink Power Director to edit the videos before uploading them into YouTube. OBS studio is free however Power Director is not free. A lot of people recommended Camtasia, however this was again outside my budget, but this may be something I look at using in the future.
  • Branding: Another aspect I believe to be important but maybe not all people will agree is ensuring you get good branding done. I had been recommended to use an artist called Mary Crews – https://twitter.com/MaryCrewsGFX to get my logo, banner and intro video done and the output was amazing. Having a reliable and talented artist to create the designs and branding was what I believe really helped finish off my channel and presentation content.

Having all the correct kit and branding is of course all pointless if you don’t have any content to share! During my research I watched a lot of channels, including Gregor Suttie’s – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Z6po-HoVP6NEp88KYXSPw, Derek Campbell – https://www.youtube.com/user/Delboy3g and Dwayne Natwick – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIWicD_sUxH6EMH4ndG5NxQ to name a few. They all had different methods of sharing content, Derek does more podcast style interviews, Gregor does short, very helpful videos on how to configure and fix cloud related services and Dwayne does video series on a specific topic and breaks them down into episodes. I decided I would do a mixture of all these on my channel at some point. At the moment I have started off by doing Video series based on different topics (currently the Azure MFA series), but I will also be doing some interview style videos as well as some quick short ‘how to’ and quick fix videos as well.

In summary this all really comes down to me wanting to share and contribute more to the Azure/Cloud online community, one that has given so much to me. I feel like I want to repay that and try to help others who are maybe starting on there IT journey like I once was.

Hope you find this helpful, if you would like any more information feel free to tweet me @shabazdarr or ask a question in the comments section below! Until next time, ‘IamITGeek’ over and out!

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