YouTube Improvement Checklist

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Note: this is a personal post. A self-review of my own channel. I’m posting this in the spirit of building in the open, and to show my process. I hope it may be helpful to others. That being said, this isn’t a tutorial, and isn’t meant to apply to everyone. Leave me a comment if you have anything to add to the conversation!

I posted on YouTube for the first time in a long time yesterday.

It was on the Fuel Your Photos channel.

A simple one-take video about Google’s SGE.

I’m great at reviewing other people’s websites/channels, but I rarely take the time to self-critique my own work.

In this post, I’m going to come up with a list of things to improve about my YouTube channel and video production.

This Video


The volume on this video was WAY too low. My headphone jack in my microphone is broken, and that is my main way to connect my headphones to computer audio. I probably need to replace my microphone, it’s a Blue Yeti from at least 7 years ago.

I also REALLY need to do something about the popping of my “p” and a few other sounds. I guess that’s why they make pop filters.

But in the short term, I think I can adjust some levels in Streamlabs and probably get this close enough.

For the next video, the main goal is to get the audio at an appropriate level.


On some devices, I think I look VERY orange in this video.

Some options:

  • Adjust light temperature
  • Adjust camera white balance
  • Add more white light to the whole scene

For the next video, I will test a few different light temps and white balance settings to see if I can get this closer without much editing or a major change to my lighting setup.


Speaking of my lighting setup, I think the office is too dark behind me.

I want to at least light the river picture.

Over the course of the next few videos, I’ll experiment with adding various light sources to give the background some more depth.


I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this one. I do feel like I’m slouching a bit, but maybe it fits with the backwards hat approachable vibe? Not sure. I did notice that the desk shakes when I lean on it, and that shakes the camera.

For the next videos, I’ll test sitting vs. standing, and also try to be careful not to shake the desk.

Structure of Content

I’m pretty good at just turning on the camera and talking, and making it all work in one take. However, I feel like I’m losing the opportunity to really polish what I have to say by starting with a specific outline.

I’d like to experiment with using a few title slides in between sections of the video.

I think I did a good job with that in my PowerPoint OBS video. The main thing I want to avoid is sounding TOO “youtubey.” If you watch that video you’ll see what I mean. I guess this tone works well for many people doing this style of video, but I also want to be more approachable, genuine, and natural.

For my videos that go with blog posts, I can even make the structure of the post match the points of the video for a cohesive viewing and reading experience.

I’ll experiment with this on an upcoming video.

Polishing and Editing

This video was LITERALLY zero editing. I took the raw recording and uploaded it.

I’m not sure I need to do more editing if I can use some slides to keep me on track. I think music might feel annoying.

However, I think having a really solid intro and outro would do wonders for the vibe.

For the next video I’ll draft an intro and outro, memorize it, and try it out.

Thumbnail and Description

I didn’t add a thumbnail on this video. It is one of the most important steps for any YouTube video, but it takes me too long to do on each video.

For now, I’m going to start a swipe file of thumbnails from successful tutorial/talking head channels and then work on a template system for myself to create branded thumbnails.

I probably won’t get thumbnails right for the next few videos, but my action for now is to study and brainstorm.

Tool to get Thumbnails quickly:

Pinterest Board to save inspo:

For the description, I need to at least make sure people know how to stay in touch with me and Fuel Your Photos. Would love to get some of my top posts as links in the description, giving people some other things to do next.


I feel like my videos are SO slow. Maybe that’s because I do naturally talk slow, but I watch all of my YouTube videos on 2x.

At the very least, I feel like the beginning of the video needs to capture people’s interest, curiosity, and imagination. The beginning of this video feels really dull to me. This is something I’ll need to practice. I’ll also try to take notes on the first 5 seconds of videos in a similar genre that actually capture my attention.

Summary Video Checklist

  • Get the audio levels right
  • Try adjusting the white balance
  • Add some lighting to the background
  • Experiment with standing, and don’t bump the desk
  • Try an outline with some slides
  • Test an intro and outro
  • Brainstorm thumbnail ideas to create a template
  • Create a description template with other actions viewers might want to take
  • Improve the pacing at the beginning of the video

Fuel Your Photos Channel

Phew. The channel needs ALOT of work.

I’m going to start with 3 things to fix, and one goal. I’ll do more in a future review. Baby steps.

Cover Art

This cover is terrible. It’s from like 7 years ago FYP branding, and doesn’t match anything I’m doing today. ANYTHING would be better than this, so I’m going to update it ASAP.

Profile Picture

I really don’t like using the logo here. I’m going to switch this to a headshot at the very least.

Featured Video

It says 2020. That’s such a bad look. Update this to something relevant for 2024! I’ll need to make a new video, but this should be a top goal for me. I’d like to make this a true channel intro to talk about what I do at Fuel Your Photos, and why you should dig into the channel.

Goal – Get to 100 videos Published by Summer

Most people focus on subscriber count, but that’s a number I can’t control. Instead of focusing on my weight, I’m going to focus on putting in the reps.

20 videos in 64 days means I need to be publishing about 2 videos a week to get this number where I want it. I think I can handle that pace, especially if I’m ok with some of the videos being one-take videos like the one I posted yesterday.

Wrapping Up

I’d love to have you along for the journey. Subscribe over at Fuel Your Photos!

If you have any other ideas for me, or topics you’d like to see videos about, leave me a comment below!

One response to “YouTube Improvement Checklist”

  1. Corey Potter Avatar

    I saw this video today, and I think the intro pacing + script is a good goal for the *next* step for me. Maybe not exactly where I want to end up, but feels attainable without much editing.

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