Want to become a successful YouTuber? Start here

Anyone can post a video on YouTube, but the channels you follow that have a million-plus subscribers take serious work and commitment to build and sustain. Being a YouTuber can be a full-time job, and it's a competitive field. Your brand and content have to stand out in a vast sea of work by other people who want the same thing you do.

If you've got an idea for a channel and are serious about trying to hack it as a YouTuber, knowledge is power. There's no formula for internet fame (side-eyes all those moth memes), so there's no guarantee that you'll win a YouTube Creator Award or walk a red carpet in the near future (should coronavirus lockdowns get lifted, of course). It's important to keep your expectations reined in and to set attainable goals.

But online education classes can help you build a solid foundation in branding, camera use, video editing programs, social media marketing and staying motivated.

Read more: Best vlogging camera for 2020: Sony, Canon and more compared for YouTube

Check out these five online classes and our list of must-have equipment to start your new YouTube channel off strong, or for help refreshing an old channel:

Basic equipment you need to become a YouTuber

You don't have to break the bank to assemble a working studio for your YouTube channel. Do your research. As your channel develops, you'll get a better idea of what equipment works best for your needs and budget. Here are a few starter suggestions:

Webcam

A lot of people film videos on their phones, but you might want to use a webcam to improve your video quality and camera angles. A solid option is the Logitech C920S HD. It uses full HD 1,080P video recording with HD autofocus and light correction. In addition, the C920S has stereo audio with dual mics and a privacy shutter.

Read more: Ultimate webcam tips: How to look and sound great online

Microphone

If you're filming with your phone, the Rode smartLav+ Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone is a good budget option. Just connect the mic to your phone or tablet headphone jack to get started. If you're looking for a studio mic, the Blue Yeti USB Mic is a popular choice. It's more expensive than a lavalier microphone, but it has three condenser capsules that help you record in many different situations.

Tripod or gimbal stabilizer

A tripod can enhance the quality of your video and also lets you film without worrying about whether there's a secure place to prop up your camera. The Manfrotto PIXI Evo 2 Section mini tripod costs about $40 on Amazon.

You can also go the gimbal stabilizer route if you're filming with your phone. The Hohem Smartphone Gimbal 3-Axis handheld stabilizer supports up to 280 grams and has a trigger bottom for sports mode and recentering shots. The stabilizer works with a mobile app to take advantage of beauty retouching and AI face and object tracking.

Lighting

Never knock the natural light a window can provide, but finding the right LED Ring light can take your videos to the next level. The LED Ring Light 6" with tripod stand has three light modes and 11 brightness levels. You can also check out the Rovtop 6" Ring Light with tripod. Though it has only 10 brightness levels, it does have a phone holder built in.

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