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13 Tips to Edit YouTube Videos Like a Pro

Virtually every video you produce will require at least some level of editing and post-production , even if you’re looking for a low-budget, basic look. Plan to spend considerable time editing and re-editing your videos until every second, scene, and shot work together to achieve your goals , adhere to your company’s image, and meet the needs of your audience.

The video editing is a technical and creative process. Before you begin, back up all raw footage and pre-produced items to an external hard drive or a cloud file-sharing / storage service. Then when you’re done editing each scene, save and back up your work. Since you will be working with extremely large files, it is not uncommon for the computer or software to periodically crash. If that happens, you don’t want to lose more than a few minutes of work.

Start by opening your editing software and importing your raw video and other multimedia assets. Write  detailed notes on what you’ve recorded and where each component is stored. Document how many times a scene was shot, or if you used multiple cameras during the shoot, so that when you’re editing each scene, you can review all the footage and choose the best shots.

Check your storyboard  and shooting script as you piece together each scene and put it together. Start editing the ‘raw’ video , using the tools and functions of the software. You can trim sections of the video, separate the footage into scenes and rearrange them, and start shaping the production. After the raw video is edited, import and insert other media , such as PowerPoint slides, digital photos, or graphics. Then add video effects and filters and insert  animated transitions as needed.


After the main components have been assembled, create a sequence for the opening title and closing credits , and insert the subtitles or other text-based elements throughout the video. Make sure your message and call to action  are incorporated clearly and intelligently, and that the near-finished product speaks to your target audience.

13 editing strategies for a more professional production

Quality Content

Make sure each scene in your video flows well into the next, from a visual, audio, and contextual aspect.

Don’t Add Static Images

Avoid static images or ‘talking head’ shots. If you use them, keep them short and change camera angles or perspectives frequently.

Best Quality Audio

Make sure the overall audio levels are consistent throughout the video.

Rule of Thirds

If you forgot to use the ‘rule of thirds’  when recording your video, use the software’s editing and cropping tools to reposition the main subject off-center in the frame.

Stop Overusing of Elaborate Transitions

As you edit each scene, incorporate different shots and camera angles, but make sure to use the proper transitions that allow the video to flow. Most editing programs have dozens or even hundreds of scene transitions that you can drag and drop to combine two video clips. When one scene is abruptly cut off to move on to another, the jump cut is the most frequently used. But alternate with animated transitions so your video isn’t too choppy. Two of the most common editing mistakes are the overuse of elaborate transitions and repeatedly using the same transition in a relatively short video. The goal of a transition is to help one scene flow smoothly into the next, not to distract the viewer.

Keep text titles, credits, and subtitles short and concise

Keep text titles, credits, and subtitles short and concise, so that your viewers can easily read them, even on the small screen of their smartphone. Similarly, keep horizontal and vertical scrolling text moving slowly and steadily.

Don’t abuse the visual effects and filters

While they can make your videos more visually appealing, too many can distract your audience from the core message and call to action.

Choose your background music wisely

It can set the mood, keep the momentum going, or just be entertaining, but most of all it can help convey or detract from your message. Think about what genre, volume, tempo, lyrics, and, of course, what specific piece of music is most appropriate and, once you are sure that there are no copyright issues, choose when and how to incorporate it best.

Keep the production elements simple and straightforward

Your message and the call to action are the key components of the video, not the audio or visual effects that you throw like candy to the ears or eyes.

Remove secondary content

A short, cohesive video that achieves your goals in a concise way is far better than a long masterpiece, packed with elegant production elements that your editing software adds easily.

Add Animated Photos

Consider adding animated photos or PowerPoint presentations in addition to the live-recorded images.

Add Social Media Page/Profile Links

Don’t be afraid to promote your company’s website, Facebook page, Twitter account, blog, and other social networks. The URLs can be cited by the presenter of the video, announced with a voiceover, and displayed in the credits and subtitles. You can also include these links on your YouTube channel page and within a video description. Within the videos themselves, this information can be included on cards and end screens.

Review your complete video editing

Once you’ve got the visuals edited and you’ve created a draft of the video, start mixing the audio elements, such as background music, sound effects, and voiceovers. Each audio component should be placed on a separate track, so you can control and adjust each one independently.

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