The 100 Best Resources and Tools for Aspiring YouTubers
If you've just finished reading my book — From You to YouTuber — and you're ready to dive into creating a profitable YouTube channel as quickly as possible, then you're going to love this list of resources I've put together. There are so many useful tools and resources available for YouTube creators to take advantage of (many of which are free), but until now I don't think there's been a really easy way to find them all.
Whether you're looking for new sponsorship opportunities, a boost to your marketing capabilities, actionable data about your channel (or the competition), places to find great music for your videos, industry news, the best software or cameras or ways to find collaborators, you're in the right spot. I plan on keeping this list updated as I find new items so make sure to check back from time to time. Enjoy!
YouTube Optimization and Marketing Tools
Whether you are planning a video, doing repetitive tasks like adding end screen elements or entering descriptive text or are looking for useful data to help you make smarter content decisions, there are several tools that can help you save time and work more efficiently. Thanks to the tools below there is no need to work blind; used in combination, these services can help you plan your content and make sure it ends up in front of more eyeballs.
TubeBuddy - Stop wasting time on channel management.
SocialBlade - Analytics made easy.
Epoxy - Make clips, GIFs, images and memes from your videos.
Google Trends - Find trending searches to make content around.
Content Idea Generator — Plug in your subject and get some ideas.
YouTube Keyword Tool - Free keyword tool for YouTube videos.
BirdSong Analytics - Get in-depth analytics for any public channel.
MOZ - Powerful SEO tools.
NewsWhip Spike - Predicts what topics will drive engagement.
YouTube Blogs and News
Staying up-to-date on the latest YouTube changes and trends can give your channel a real competitive advantage. Plus, it's just useful to know what's happening across the platform and what other YouTubers are up to. Whether you're looking for YouTube tips or news, the blogs below are definitely worth checking into from time to time (or following on Twitter for a constant feed of updates).
Tubefilter - Industry news, web series reviews, events and more.
VideoInk - Must-read reporting on the video industry.
We The Unicorns - The ultimate YouTube and YouTuber guide.
Vlog Nation - Online magazine for YouTube vloggers.
Vtrep - Online magazine for video entrepreneurs.
No Film School - Learn how to make better videos.
Fullscreen Blog - The latest for creators, brands and fans.
Vidooly - YouTube marketing and growth hacks blog.
Tubular Insights - Video marketing insights.
Official YouTube Creator Blog - Official info and tips directly from YouTube.
The faster your channel can turn a profit, the better. That's because the more financial resources you have, the better the content you can produce (which in turn will bring more subscribers and better opportunities). Paid video and channel sponsorships often represent the best chance smaller YouTube channels have of earning sizable amounts (compared to affiliate sales, ads and merch sales). Fortunately there are several influencer marketing platforms and marketplaces just waiting to connect you with potential sponsors.
Social Blue Book - Know your worth (what to charge for sponsorships).
gen.video - Do-it-all video platform for influencers.
IZEA - A leading influencer marketing platform.
Patreon - Let your fans be your sponsors.
TapfInluence - Turn influence into financial freedom.
Famebit - Retain full control over your deals and accounts.
Influencer Bay - Paid mentions for products, apps, service, events.
Grapevine - Browse opportunities (must pitch to brands).
Revfluence - Maximize revenue from social accounts.
Chamboost - Another influencer marketing marketplace.
Music for YouTube Videos
There's no doubt about it: good music goes a long way toward making a YouTube video feel more professional. It also keeps viewers more engaged. When I first started out on YouTube I thought it was hard to find good music for my videos. I also thought music was a bit of a luxury considering it seemed like it could be quite costly. Fortunately I discovered that there are several great options for sourcing royalty-free music for YouTube videos and some of them are actually surprisingly affordable!
Artlist.io - Music licensing reimagined.
Epidemic Sound - Carefully curated music subscription ($15/mo for YouTubers).
Audio Blocks - Pay $49 for 100K+ music tracks, loops, SFX, and more.
Audiojungle - Top quality royalty free tracks starting at $1.
Soundstripe - Unlimited music for filmmakers.
Amazon - A HUGE collection of free and cheap royalty free music!
Musicbed - Licensing relevant music.
Pond5 - A massive library of royalty free stock music tracks.
PremiumBeat - Hand-picked production music.
YouTube Audio Library - YouTube’s official (free and copyright free) music catalog.
Recommended Cameras and Gear
If you're just starting your channel and have no idea what camera gear you should use (or what it might cost) then this section is for you. I've listed some of the most popular cameras for YouTubers (including vloggers) here along with some cameras that just happen to be personal favorites. These links in this section are affiliate links which means I'll earn a small commission if you buy something through them but hey, if you appreciate my recommendations then it's a win-win!
Panasonic Lumix GH5 - Easily one of the best affordable mirrorless 4K cameras.
Sony a7r II - Shoot 4K in full 35mm.
Sony RX100 V - Compact 4K shooter with awesome slow-mo.
Canon G7X Mark 2 - Point and shoot with a nice flip screen and great zoom.
DJI OSMO - For smooth stabilized footage on the go.
GoPro Hero 5 - The standard in action cam footage.
Yi 4K+ - A budget action cam with really impressive quality.
Rode VideoMic Pro - For better sound.
Zoom H5 - Portable audio recorder.
Neewer Ring Light Kit - Great for even face lighting.
Essential Software and Plugins for YouTubers
When I was a brand-new YouTuber I had no idea what software I should use (much less which plugins could make my life even easier and/or make my videos feel more polished). I'm currently doing all of my video editing on a Mac so FCPX is my editor of choice but use whatever makes the most sense to you!
Final Cut Pro - The best video editing software for Mac users.
Adobe Premiere - The best video editing software for Windows users.
DaVinci Resolve - Pro tools for video editing and color correction.
iMovie - The perfect mobile editor for beginners with iOS devices.
Corel Video Studio Pro - Alternative editing software for beginners.
Adobe After Effects - Create incredible motion graphics.
Motion - Special effects for Apple users.
Crumplepop - Effects plugins for Premiere Pro and FCPX.
Color Finale - Professional color grading for FCPX.
Teleflow - Desktop and mobile screen recording software.
Events for YouTubers
As you might have heard, collaborations are one of the best ways to grow a YouTube channel. Of course it can be hard to connect with other YouTubers who might be open to a collab by just reaching out online. That's where YouTube-focused events come in handy; there's nothing like being able to network with other YouTubers in real life. Plus, meeting other YouTubers you've only talked with on Twitter can be fun as well! Finally, events often offer really great opportunities to learn how you can improve your YouTube channel. My advice? Start with an event that is closest to you and then see about expanding attendance as your channel grows.
VidCon - For people who love online video.
Playlist Live - Like VidCon for the East Coast.
SXSW Interactive - Everything that matters in the digital world.
VidTalks - Video marketing events.
Buffer Festival - Showcases exclusive YouTube video premiers.
Creator Viewer Experience - Social media convention.
CES - The year’s hottest tech launches.
BeautyCon - The beauty and fashion event.
TwitchCon - The biggest Twitch party of the year.
Social Media Week - Reimagining human connection.
YouTube Classes, Tutorials and Learning
If you don't want to learn about YouTube as you go then you might want to take a class or at the very least check into the many great free tutorials that are available on the subject. Obviously you'll want to pore over everything that's available from YouTube's Creator Academy, but there's plenty more you can learn elsewhere as well.
YouTube Creator Academy - The official resource for aspiring YouTubers.
Vimeo Video School - Original lessons to make better videos.
Cinematography Database - Lots of cinematography tips.
CreativeLive - CreativeLive’s YouTube classes.
Udemy - Udemy’s YouTube classes.
Dave Dugdale - In-depth camera videos.
Skillshare - Skillshare’s YouTube classes.
Lynda.com - Several high-quality YouTube-related courses.
Video School Online - Subscription based learning.
Videomaker - Premium online courses.
Other Miscellaneous YouTube Resources
I've saved some of the best for last here so if you've scrolled down this far, congratulations! The items I've included here didn't necessarily fit into any of the above categories, but some of them are services I use every week and couldn't imagine going without.
Amazon Associates - Amazon’s high-paying affiliate program.
CoHost - Handcrafted to grow your channel.
Kit - Show off your gear and earn affiliate money.
Gleam.io - Giveaway platform to drive channel growth.
GeniusLink - Smarter links for commerce (affiliate links).
YTTalk - A huge community of YouTube creators.
ChannelPages - Connect with collaborators.
Amazon Merch - Sell your designs on the world’s largest market.
NewTubers - A subreddit for new YouTubers.
SideKick Collab - Easy YouTube collaborations.
YouTube Money Calculator - Calculate how much money you can make.
Spreadshirt - Sell your branded merch.
Videopixie - Find professional help for that extra polish.