What Was The First YouTube Video

Learn about the first video that was posted on YouTube and 10 videos to help you understand YouTube, even if you are a total beginner.

What Was The First YouTube Video?

The first video was uploaded on April 24th, 2005.  This 19-second video was titled “Me at the zoo” by one of the Cofounders, Jawed Karim. In the video, Jawed talked about how cool elephants are because they have really long trunks.  As at the time of writing, the video has 199 (199,048,447) million views.

Who Was The First Youtuber?

Jawed Karim – The first YouTuber was Jawed Karim who was also a co-founder of YouTube. He founded Youtube in 2005 with Steve Chen and Chad Hurley. Jawed was born in Merseburg, East Germany on October 17th 1979. He moved to the United States when he was 18 years old and studied computer science at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He worked for PayPal before starting YouTube with Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.

According to Statista, YouTube has over 1.7 billion users worldwide

It is safe to say that YouTube is the second most popular app on the internet today. It is the only social network that has more monthly users than Facebook.

And it’s no surprise that many people are opening new YouTube channels monthly. 

YouTube has a large pool of resources (people), even marketers and advertisers are jumping on this train.

How and Why?

  • It allows anyone to upload an unlimited number of videos.
  • Anyone can watch as many videos for free
  • The mass number of users increases monthly
  • The ability to find any type of content you want. Literally, anything and everything has an answer on YouTube

YouTube is the ultimate new form of media. 

In other words, YouTube is a multi-faceted platform.  

You can be watching a video and, at the same time, scroll through the comment section and check out recommended videos in the home menu while still watching the video.

What is YouTube?

In simple words, YouTube is an online video sharing web application

Before we dive deeper, let’s take a quick backtrack on how YouTube started.

YouTube Origin Story – How Did YouTube Start?

Funny how most recent stories start with Elon Musk. 

Well, not quite, but he did have a foot in this. 

Elon Musk co-founded the now popular payment platform called PayPal.

Three of PayPal’s employees went on to build an innovative video sharing app called YouTube. 

Their names are Chad Hurley, Steve Chan, and Jawed Karim.

Initially, they developed a Dating app called “TuneIn Hook Up,” where people could upload videos of themselves to find dates. 

Unfortunately, that didn’t go as expected, and most people weren’t interested in the idea.

However, on a fateful day, Jared had a striking revelation. 

He noticed how difficult it was to replay videos of Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction. 

This brought up the market need for a platform where people could go watch videos over and over again, all for free. 

They reinvented TuneIn, and that led to the birth of the app called YouTube. The website was founded in a room above a pizza shop in California.

Youtube realized it’s first 1 million hit video from a Nike ad.

 It made Nike one of the first companies to embrace YouTube. In June 2006, NBC and YouTube made a deal. 

It wasn’t long before YouTube had caught the attention of Google, in October 2006, YouTube was acquired by Google for $1.65 billion.

Since then, the on-demand video application has embraced a large community of creators. 

They cover all sorts of niches such as health, business, comedy, entertainment, infotainment, beauty, the list goes on and on.

YouTube has changed the world of many, and its huge impact is undeniable. 

We are now able to get almost all kinds of videos under one platform. 

YouTube has shifted the status quo from CDs and Theater to on-demand videos available at the tip of our fingers.

Now that we have acquainted with the history and benefits of YouTube, it’s about time you get to know how you can set up a Successful YouTube Channel today.

How to Get Started with YouTube and build a successful channel in 2020

Are you clueless about which way to go before you start uploading random videos on YouTube? 

Do you just want to go with the flow and see what works? 

Are you getting started with YouTube and don’t know how to grow a YouTube channel? 

Do you have a list of content ideas written down, but you are not sure if that niche is profitable?

Then sit back, get a pen and a notebook as we answer all your questions and clear the grey areas.

Niche or Target Audience, what should you focus on?

I know we all get worked up about what niche to belong to. 

Will it be profitable? 

Will I run out of content to talk about? Will brands want to pay me?

Hold up there!

When you want to get started with YouTube, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to figure out a niche. 

Although having a niche is very important, however, you should focus more on your target audience. 

In other words, think about who you are trying to attract with your channel. 

Begin to think about what content to create for a particular set of people and watch how your niche will find you.

Here is a list of things to think about

  • Your target audience interests 
  • What they might look for online

Most importantly, try out a little bit of trial and error. 

Eventually, when you follow this method, you will be able to find what videos are doing better than others, and that’s your niche will find you.

Have you thought about creating searchable content?

When getting started on YouTube, people tend to create content that is more focused on their personal interests. 

That might work out if you are a celebrity. 

However, it might turn the other way around for a regular YouTuber. 

Doing things people aren’t searching for isn’t going to perform well on your channel.

People are searching for ways to help themselves feel and know better. 

If you can find the problems and offer solutions, people will naturally be attracted to your content.

You want to search for grey areas people have little knowledge of, areas with unanswered questions. 

Offer tips, tricks, how-to videos, entertaining, educative valuable content

You need to think about what people are searching for on the internet, not just guesswork. 

To lay emphasis, create more valuable content that is focused on what the public wants.

What do you know about SEO?

Are you acquainted with the tern SEO? 

What does it have to do with YouTube? I’ll tell you. 

The term SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. 

What it implies is optimizing your videos to be ranked higher in the search results. 

In other words, making sure your video is optimized to help the right people find your content.

That includes adding relevant keywords in the titles, tags, description, and also int the video content. Why? 

Well, when YouTube transcribes your videos, and you add captions, all these will help you rank better in SEO. 

It will also help you become more searchable.

To illustrate, Let’s say Amanda wants to upload a video on “How to Make Delicious Chocolate Cake in less than 1 hour”, she ensures that

  • The main Keywords “How to Make Delicious Chocolate Cake,” “Making Chocolate Cake,” are included in the title of her video.
  • The keywords are included in the description box and tags
  • The selected keywords are mentioned in the videos as well

When you follow these steps, your video will be truly optimized.

Do you know about Thumbnails?

Thumbnail is a visual picture that depicts what the video is about. 

Paying attention to the thumbnail of a video is a prerequisite.

Thumbnails have a vital part to play in making your videos clickable. 

If your thumbnails aren’t attractive enough, all the tips listed above won’t matter.

But here are some of the things to consider when creating thumbnails 

  • Thumbnails have to be compelling enough to be clicked
  • If you are adding texts to your thumbnails, make sure it is readable. You have to make your fonts big, bold and legible 
  • Keep the texts short and sweet. At least 1-5 words are enough.
  • Stay consistent with your branding. Use the same size of fonts, color, and position of your thumbnail. This will make it easier for your content to be recognized.

Action Plan & Tips for Creating a Successful YouTube Channel

In no particular order, here are some helpful tips for creating a unique YouTube channel

Create a professional-looking channel page

You need to write a detailed about page

An About Page is a place where people can learn more about you and what you do

This sometimes determines if people will subscribe or not.

A typical About page description should include 

  • What audience your channel is for
  • What types of videos you upload
  • When you upload new videos

Once that’s done, you need to upload an attractive channel art and icon.

Channel art is the first thing people see when they visit your Page. 

Your channel icon is your profile picture.

For your Channel art, it has to look interesting and inviting. You can use free tools like Canva to design a banner.

Now to your channel icon. 

It shows up in multiple places on YouTube, like search results, video comments, etc. 

So, make sure your channel icon looks clear and good.

Use the right keywords

When creating a video, conduct research on keywords that a lot of people are searching for on YouTube

We recommend you use YouTube auto-complete. 

This feature shows popular keyword suggestions for what people search for. 

These keywords can make it easier for you to optimize your Title in that same manner.

Plan your videos ahead of time

It’s no doubt that planning your content is not only strategic but important to limit mistakes to the barest minimum. 

If your video is freestyle, you can disregard this tip. 

However, if you are not a natural on camera, you need to plan

How do successful YouTubers plan? 

They either use a Script or an Outline.

A Script is a detailed word for word written guide that includes everything to be said in the video

An Outline is a less detailed guide, and it leaves room to improvise.

You can choose to use any guide that works best for you.

How to get more comments

Do you know that videos with a lot of comments tend to rank higher than videos that get little to no comments? 

Now you know. 

It tells YouTube that the video is interactive, and as a result, it gets highly recommended.

So, how can you get your viewers to drop comments? 

It’s quick and easy

  • Ask your viewers for opinionated questions in this format, “Tell us in the comment section what you think about ABC (the question).” Pin the question, so it stays at the top.
  • Reply to as many comments as possible, this will lead to more people commenting and thereby, increasing your engagement.

How to grow your subscribers

There are many ways to achieve this. 

However, we recommend you follow the quality over quantity rule of thumb. 

There are so many YouTube videos posted daily, but what matters is the value that the video offers.

It doesn’t matter how often you publish, but what matters is giving people more of that quality valuable content


Another tip is to optimize the end screen. 

Your end screen is the screen that pops up at the end of every video on YouTube. 

Include a big subscribe button in the middle of the end screen to encourage people to subscribe.

Increase Session Time

Session time is how long someone spends on YouTube after they start watching one of your videos. 

Session time measures the amount of time that someone spends on the YouTube platform as a whole.

The more you keep people on YouTube because of your content, the more your content gets seen.

How do you maximize session time? 

  • First, use a “next video” button in your end session and add links to your other videos people could binge-watch too
  • Use a “next video” that someone would want to watch after they finish watching the video

Create a playlist

A playlist is a list of related videos in one group that follows a particular sequence.

You want to organize your playlists around outcomes and benefits. 

Don’t forget to name your playlists with a benefit-driven Title. 

Add the related videos in one playlist. 

This would help viewers binge-watch on your videos and increase session time.

YouTube studio technique

YouTube studio feature provides you with analytics. 

It is quite helpful for YouTubers that have had a few hundred subscribers.

Here’s how you can go about it.

Look at your videos top traffic sources. 

This tells you where most of your views and watch time are coming from. 

You can then use this information to get more views. 

If most of your views come from SEO, double up your effort in creating the best SEO keywords and optimizing your video.

Look at the audience retention report to see where your audience stops watching your videos. 

And of course, do a lot of trial and error to find out what works best for you.

How To Build A Cheap Home Video Setup

There is a whole lot involved in making a video on YouTube. 

Here are some important setup tools to build a home set up

Have a space in your house designated for the setup.

A strong desk to place all your equipment.

A Camera (preferably Sony or Canon)

Tripod extension pole, head, and screws

LED light

Vesa arm system

3.5mm Extension Cable

With all these tools, you have all it takes to build a proper home video set up.

How To Professionally Light Your Videos

What is a video without lights? Dim! 

Your videos will look better when it’s well lit.

With whatever lighting gear you go with, it should be lighted down a bit but not too close to the face. 

Usually, when lighting up a video, you need to have a Key light, rim light and Fill Light.

Another way to light up your video is from lightly above, hanging from the top. 

It gives it a more dramatic/ cinematic look. 

Using this method can be really great for shooting objects for a product.

And that’s how you can professionally light up your videos.

How To Create YouTube Videos With Your SmartPhone

For recording, 

You will need an iPhone or Android to create the video.

First, try test shots, put your phone in selfie mode, and get the best-looking angle.

Get your video gear and accessories ready (a lighting kit, a microphone, tripod, and Smartphone mount)

Use the rear-facing camera to get the best video quality.

Plan the content before you start recording

And finally, start shooting!

For Editing,

We recommend you use InShot. There is a free and paid version of the app.

First, upload the video file you have created with your phone.

There are three editing tools to either trim, cut, or split the video.

After editing, you can add texts, social media handles, and icons.

You can add music with InShot, there is a wide selection to choose from. 

You can add sound effects 

When you are done, you need to save and export to your phone album. And that’s how you create your first video on YouTube

How To Professionally Record & Edit Good YouTube Videos 

How To Edit Your Videos With iMovie


Once you are done recording, go through the video and begin to cut out unnecessary clips in the video. 

One helpful trick when including time lapses in your video is not to use too many.


There are two different types. The first is to have an already recorded screen. The next is to go to Canva and create templates you can use many times. So your videos can be familiar to your audience.

Color correction

When shooting, some parts of your videos might look bright or dark. 

To fix that, when you are editing, increase the exposure in saturation to get the exact color you are going for. 

Then copy that clip and paste in the scenes you want.

Intros and Outros: 

This saves the best for last. 

Usually, during the beginning and end of videos, soft music should be added for a few seconds. 

One tip for adding music with iMovie is to go to the bottom section where the audio can be added. 

Even when the clip is removed from the video, the sound still flows. 

We advise that you watch your videos over and over again and look out for some mistakes to hiding somewhere.

YouTube recently introduced new settings on how creators are paid. 

This step by step guide will teach you how you can receive money made from YouTube.

First, to be eligible for YouTube payments, you need to have 1000 subscribers on your channel and 4,000 hours watch time on your YouTube videos. 

Then, go to your YouTube studio and click on monetization to set up your channel payment. 

Here, you will find your eligibility status.

If you aren’t eligible, click on notify me, and YouTube will send you an email once you qualify.

Once you become eligible, you have to sign the YouTube Partner Program terms and conditions

Then, sign up for a Google Adsense account

Is that all? Nope, you are almost there.

Finally, you have to wait for YouTube to review and approve your channel before getting paid.

It will take up to thirty days.

After being verified by YouTube, you need to make a $100 revenue on your channel. You will need 50,000 views to achieve that. 

After that, YouTube will begin to pay you.


You are all set to go on your YouTube Journey.

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