YouTube has over one billion users and one billion hours watched per day. It’s an incredible resource for both learning and sharing. But for people new to content creation, uploading your first video can feel intimidating. Follow this timeline to take you from step one all the way to published content.


1. Intent

Congratulations! You’ve already completed the first step: deciding to make your own videos and start a channel.


2. Create Your Channel

Sign in to a Google account (required to use YouTube). Go to and click the link on that page to create a new channel.  We recommend using a brand account, which allows you to keep your channel information separated from your personal Google account.


3. Build Your Profile

Add a channel description, fill in your “about me” section, and add a cover photo. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can also add a channel trailer, which is meant to show people what your YouTube is all about.


4. Have a Plan

Before you start filming, decide what kind of videos you want to provide. In the beginning, we suggest sticking to your strengths, so whether it’s a specific nail art technique or how to do an amazing gel fill, you know you’re sharing quality content.

Also, think about what kind of content you would find valuable as a viewer. Comparisons, swatches, and reviews are super popular on YouTube for a reason!


5. Lights… Camera…

When it comes to filming, it’s best to get plenty of raw footage. You can always edit it down later.

Our suggested filming setup looks like this:

  • DSLR with multi-point video autofocus or your smart phone
  • Tabletop tripod for your camera, or mounting system for your phone
  • Plenty of good, bright lighting, preferably coming in from multiple angles
  • Plain, non-distracting background. (If you struggle with focus in your videos, opt for something in a solid color instead of a patterned or glittery backdrop that can attract the focus.)


6. Time to Edit

Good news: You don’t need fancy software to edit your videos. Most basic edits can be made with the editing software that comes with your OS: iMovie for Apple products or Microsoft Photos (formerly Movie Maker) for Windows.

1. Load your footage into the program.
2. Drag and drop or select your clips to load them into the movie’s “timeline.”
3. Get rid of any extra, non-essential footage by trimming your clips.
4. Experiment with speeding up clips to help make your videos more digestible (we recommend 2x speed to start).
5. Crop your clips in closely so your viewers can see more clearly.



7. Polish it Up

These additions can turn your video from “meh” to “wow,” so don’t pass them up!


Recording a voiceover after your movie is assembled lets you have more control over the finished product. Here are our tips:

  • Describe what you are doing in the video and clue the viewer into any helpful tips you may have.
  • Most computers have a built-in microphone you can use to record. If possible, do it in a quiet room; the fewer echoes there are, the better.
  • Speak clearly and with a friendly tone. Try smiling while you record to get the hang of it in the beginning.
  • Don’t forget to mute the audio from your original footage so only the voiceover can be heard.


Title cards and transitions

  • Use title cards to share your social handles, website address, video titles, and other important info.
  • Play with transitions between clips for a more professional-looking final product — we recommend fade to black, fade to white, and cross blur effects.



  • Look for royalty-free music online to use alongside your videos.
  • The YouTube Audio Library is a built-in resource that offers hundreds of songs that you can download and legally use in any of your uploads.


8. Upload

1. On, click the video camera icon with a plus sign in it, then “Upload video.”
2. Click the big arrow button to select your file.
3. Title: Make it descriptive and keyword rich to help people find your videos.
4. Description: Include any additional details, links, or social media URLs.
5. Tags: Choose relevant keywords like nail polish, nail art, acrylic nails, beauty, tutorials, etc.
6. Make sure your video privacy is set to Public.
7. Click “Publish.”


9. Engage

Congratulations! Your video is now live. Hopefully, this will lead to viewers visiting your content and leaving comments. If they do, be sure to engage with them. Be open to constructive criticism, but don’t bother responding to trolls. Hit that block button instead.

Also consider engaging with the rest of the nail community on YouTube. Not only can you potentially get the benefit of networking with your peers, but they may also give your videos a watch in response.


10. Analyze

Use YouTube’s built-in analytics to monitor how your videos are performing and what is being received well by your viewers. You can use this information to plan your content moving forward.

Learn more about YouTube and social media on the whole at the first ever Salon Digital Summit, Nov. 4-6, in Los Angeles. For more information, visit


Sarah Waite

Sarah Waite

NAILS’ social media columnist Sarah Waite is a licensed nail tech and the creator of the popular nail art website Follow her on Instagram @chalkboardnails.

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