How to Edit Videos for YouTube

If you can not get your cut to hit the right frame or weave your shots seamlessly together, your video may quickly disengage the user. Every frame, cut, and transition has to look neat and polished if you want to gain traction from your video marketing budget. There is no chance for hiccups in the cut-throat YouTube world. With that out of the way, let us go over some practices to remember while editing your videos for any platform, especially YouTube.

Create Engaging Thumbnail for Every Video

Thumbnails are the introduction to a video, and it is the first thing a viewer sees. They cut through the noise, boost your video's click-through rate, and lift your search rankings. So make sure they are scroll-stopping, eye-catchy, and one that draws the user in. There are many ideas that can be used for making a thumbnail. For instance, you can create a thumbnail from a screenshot of your video or text-based screen. Do not rely on a simple freeze-frame to let the user guess what the video is about.

Your thumbnails should excite the user and leave some room for intrigue. Even if you are not a professional, pulling freeze-frames is not an ideal way to go about thumbnails. There are several options to choose online from. You can opt for a YouTube video editor, made specifically for people who might not have a ton of design experience but can still create customized thumbnails in a professional way.

Add a Simple Intro

A YouTube intro leads the way for viewers into your content. Edit an informative and stylish intro to create an identity for your channel on YouTube. But keep it short. People want to get to the meat of your content fast. You can use the intro throughout all the videos on your YouTube channel, a playlist, or just a single video.

Include Engaging Elements Consistently in All Your Videos

While editing your video, ensure that you are making your content engaging through elements that will keep your audience hooked. Examples of engaging elements include pictures, text, animations, music, and transitions. Use elements moderately so you do not overwhelm the video's main idea. Remember, the quality of the content is above everything else.

Develop a Baseline Video Editing Style

Developing a baseline video editing style means consistently editing your videos, which will save you time from searching for new elements every time to start editing. It will also help you build your brand and ensure there is familiarity with your style of content.

For example, maybe your videos always have a snippet of information at the start of your videos. This could be any moment later in the video. Keep this style consistent, and you will always leave your viewers wanting to watch more content from you.

Keep Your Editing Simple.

It may be tempting to add some of the features you see in the editing tool, and this may overwhelm the viewers and quickly jump out of your video. An overload of music, transitions, pictures, and text can easily focus away from the actual content. While editing, strive to bring a balance between the video and the supplemental elements.

Weave a Story

Professionally, video editors are some of the best storytellers out there. When you sit to edit, always use the basics of storytelling - beginning, middle, and the end. Without it, you would have a collection of random shots with nothing to tie them together. 

Create Lower-Thirds

Lower-thirds are texts or logos or images placed at the lower third portion of the screen, usually to the right or left. It is a simple way to provide users with information that you want to make known. Usually, lower thirds include name, website, socials, or other useful information.

Carefully Consider Your Sound.

YouTube viewers have high standards for audio quality. Music can go either way. It can elevate your video or be completely distracting. YouTube videos are shared publically, so think about the copyright implications of your music. Royalty-free music is the safer option to go for.

Organize Your Clips Beforehand

Most YouTubers take several days or weeks to complete filming their videos. Several hours of primary clips and B-roll footage can help you create the most high-quality video. However, just sorting through all of it in the editing stage to choose from can help you become overwhelming very quickly. 

Before attempting to piece everything together, take some time out to organize the footage. For this, you can watch the clips and name them appropriately. You can take this a notch further and use a spreadsheet with several columns of information about each clip. Columns can be named as clip name, clip length, brief description about the clip, and any further comments in the next column. You can organize the clips based on the order of importance or the order they will appear in the video. 

At this point, it may seem tempting to delete low-quality or irrelevant footage, but you may need to access them later just in case. So instead, you can mark them "poor" or "low-grade" so you do not have to watch them again.

Think About the Color

You may not have considered color as a part of video editing before. A video's color scheme is not noticeable unless there are color-correction errors. For the best quality video, you need to incorporate color grading seamlessly. A cohesive color scheme also creates a visual identity for your channel.

Add a Compelling Video Outro.

Now that you have got captivating video content, you need to edit an outro to compel your viewers to take action. Your outro clip can include a call to action to visit your website, subscribe to your channel, watch additional videos, contact your team, or more. Either way, give them something to watch or click.

Do not leave them hanging at the end. Also, make sure to create a seamless entryway from your video to your outro. All your other elements, including visuals, music, voiceovers, and more, should come to a graceful close, so you do not create a jarring end experience for your viewers. 

Over to You

If you are trying to create a successful YouTube channel, video editing should be a key area of focus for you. Because there are millions of videos on the platform, viewers will not think twice before leaving your page for one with higher-quality videos than yours. Use online tools and employ a professional editing style for your videos today.


Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on

Read More from Pete White