How I Create Art History YouTube Content
Welcome to the Accessible Art History blog! For this post, I am celebrating! You see, I recently hit a major milestone: 500 subscribers on YouTube! (If you haven’t checked out the Accessible Art History channel yet, you can find it here.) So, I thought it would be an interesting idea to share my process for creating video content. In all honesty, there is no right or wrong way to make a YouTube video. What matters most is passion and consistency. An audience will connect with that! To learn how I do things, then keep on reading!
At the beginning of each month, I plan out the videos I want to make. I chose topics based on a combination of factors: series, requests, theme weeks, or things that I find interesting. I prefer to plan only a month at a time because it does give structure, but allows for wiggle room if something else comes up!
Outline and Research
The outline and research for a video is the most important because it’s the foundation of everything! First, I make a bulleted list of what I want to cover on the topic. Then, I fill in that outline with my research. This can come from a variety of sources, but I mainly use the internet and a few art history textbooks that I’ve acquired over the years. I make sure to keep track of all sources in a separate document to make it easier for citing them later. This step takes the longest out of the whole process. I want to make sure that I present an informational video, but in an easy to understand format.
After I have all the research organized, I can write my script. I do so by section, based on what image will be on the screen. Not only does this keep me organized, but it makes recording and editing faster and easier! This process is also a bit time consuming because I have to translate bullet points into a cohesive art historical story!
Audio and Visual
Now that all of the foundational work has been laid, it’s time for me to start building the video. First, I record the audio. I use a computer program called Audacity (link here) to do so. I record the script section by section. Then, I edit out any background noise, my breathing in between sentences, and any other tweaks that are needed. I save each segment individually.
Next, I use Canva to create the visual elements for each section. This website is honestly the best content creation that I have ever used. I can make professional looking images without having to learn a bunch of different software! (If you sign up using my link here, we each get a little bonus! Note that this is not a sponsorship, I just love the website!)
With these images, I want to make sure that they are both visually interesting and make sure that they get my points across to the audience. Once I have all the images made, it’s time to edit!
I use iMovie to put everything together. It came free with my Macbook Pro and I love how easy it is to use. Not only can I stitch my audio and visual clips together, but I can also add transitions and music from YouTube Studio. This program creates a professional looking product without a ton of effort! There was a bit of a learning curve, since I had never done any video editing, but I found Cathrin Manning’s videos quite helpful. You can check out her channel here!
Export and Upload
Alright, now that everything is finished, it’s time to export and upload to YouTube. This part is pretty simple, all you have to do is drag and drop. YouTube will process it, but this will take a bit, depending on how long your video is. One quick tip: make sure to save a copy of your video on another device (I use both Google Drive and an external hard drive.) This will ensure that you don’t lose any of your hard work if something happens to your channel.
While YouTube is processing the video, I change the thumbnail and update the description. Here, I include a brief note about what the video is about, a spiel about Accessible Art History, and the sources that I used. Usually by the time I’ve input this information, YouTube has finished processing my video!
Next, I add two end cards to the last 15 seconds of my video. The first is a prompt to subscribe and the second is a suggested video. I usually select the playlist that the video lives in, but sometimes I pick the option that allows YouTube to pick the video that is best for the viewer.
The final step is scheduling the video. I prefer to do it this way because then I know that my videos will premiere at the same time each week. You can also publish right away if that is more your style!
This is my fairly simple, yet effective process for creating YouTube videos. Take what works for you and add your own spin! That is what is so amazing about content creation: it can be done by everyone!