Self-teaching or Professional Course?

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When you want to start a business online or offline, getting to know your audience is imperative. This is particularly difficult if you are new to that domain. A perfect example is YouTube. You need a wide array of skills to learn and develop to grow. This is necessary as a content creator.

Unfortunately, there are absolutely no professional courses out there that teach you How to better yourself at YouTubing. Fortunately, there are associated courses that require bettering yourself at YouTubing. I will list them below.

So, what should you opt for? Professional courses associating with YouTubing or self-teaching? I believe, if you have the finance and the time – go for a professional course. If you choose to do that, understand no course exists in this world that will make you the Jack of all trades.

What are the courses you should consider?

1. Graphics editing – You will need to know this for posting better thumbnails. You will be surprised to know and even learn concepts like colour theory, colour wheel and many more.

I was not aware of these theories until I took the plunge. That is when I realised my lack of understanding of these concepts. Having a background knowledge regarding colour theory is not at all important but necessary. It will help you understand why some colour does not get along well with other colours no matter how fond of them you are. Although YouTube contains many tutorials that explain such concepts – they are not structured and they are not comprehensive either. YouTube has its drawbacks and when you look for some kind of information on it, you will realise the lack of it. 

This does not mean you cannot learn anything from free courses on YouTube. You can and this depends from person to person.

2. Voice-overs – this is the least effort you would need for developing the skill. As long as you speak the language of your audience fluently, the only other thing you would need is pronunciation. I have already discussed this skill in one of my blogs and will not delve into details. Please click here to read that post.

3. Video editing – this is also very subjective depending on the extent of editing you need. If your editing work is not extensive, then any free program like Shotcut Pro, KdenLive, Openshot, or KineMaster for Android, etc., will do. You can easily learn them slowly at your own pace on YouTube. 

 If you can afford it, you can also go for professional industry grade software like Sony Vegas Pro, DaVinci Resolve, HitFilm Express, Premier Pro, etc. The paid software can handle most of the tough work with ease. This does not mean the free software mentioned above is not good enough.

Please remember, no matter what you choose, there will be a learning process associated with it. You may take learning faster or slower depending on how much time you spend.

The list below is optional and can also be taken after your channel gains a foothold online. You can also leverage your channel if you already have blog live:

 1. Website/Blog: I’ll be blunt. Launch your own website to complement traffic to your YouTube Channel if and only if you love blogging, can hire someone to write for you on a regular basis (you may or may need to pay), hire a team of freelancers who can write for you or if you are willing to put in the effort to write yourself weekly. No matter what you do, it will never be easy.

2. SEO/SMM: If you are planning on launching your own website, you will also need to know Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is a very vast subject and there are paid versions too. All you need to know is off-page and on-page SEO. You can also learn the basics yourself that’s all you will need. You can also take help or guidance from your SEO friend if need be.

SMM is Social Media Marketing. You will need to do this to promote your videos. Promotion is essential to make your channel discoverable online. Your channel will not blow overnight. It may take days, weeks and months and may even take years depending on the niche.

No matter how unique your niche you will always find competition.

Unless and until you do not have a studio, a handful of the skilled and knowledgeable workforce to launch your channel, achieving the kind of success you are looking for most of the time is not always possible.   

 Website/blog, SEO and/or SMM is necessary but not important. It expands your reach online. Search for my YouTube channel GamerPhoenyx on Google. Let me know what you find in the comments.

So, what should you opt for? Professional courses associating with YouTubing or self-teaching? I believe, if you have the finance and the time – go for a professional course. If you choose to do that, understand no course exists in this world that will make you the Jack of all trades.

What are the courses you should consider?

1. Graphics editing – You will need to know this for posting better thumbnails. You will be surprised to know and even learn concepts like colour theory, colour wheel and many more.

I was not aware of these theories until I took the plunge. That is when I realised my lack of understanding of these concepts. Having a background knowledge regarding colour theory is not at all important but necessary. It will help you understand why some colour does not get along well with other colours no matter how fond of them you are. Although YouTube contains many tutorials that explain such concepts – they are not structured and they are not comprehensive either. YouTube has its drawbacks and when you look for some kind of information on it, you will realise the lack of it.
This does not mean you cannot learn anything from free courses on YouTube. You can and this depends from person to person.

2. Voice-overs – this is the least effort you would need for developing the skill. As long as you speak the language of your audience fluently, the only other thing you would need is pronunciation. I have already discussed this skill in one of my blogs and will not delve into details. Please click here to read that post.

3. Video editing – this is also very subjective depending on the extent of editing you need. If your editing work is not extensive, then any free program like Shotcut Pro, KdenLive, Openshot, or KineMaster for Android, etc., will do. You can easily learn them slowly at your own pace on YouTube.
If you can afford it, you can also go for professional industry grade software like Sony Vegas Pro, DaVinci Resovle, HitFilm Express, Premier Pro, etc. The paid software can handle most of the tough work with ease. This does not mean the free software mentioned above is not good enough.

Please remember, no matter what you choose, there will be a learning process associated with it. You may take learning faster or slower depending on how much time you spend.

The list below is optional and can also be taken after your channel gains a foothold online. You can also leverage your channel if you already have blog live:
1. Website/Blog: I’ll be blunt. Launch your own website to complement traffic to your YouTube Channel if and only if you love blogging, can hire someone to write for you on a regular basis (you may or may need to pay), hire a team of freelancers who can write for you or if you are willing to put in the effort to write yourself weekly. No matter what you do, it will never be easy.

2. SEO/SMM: If you are planning on launching your own website, you will also need to know Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is a very vast subject and there are paid versions too. All you need to know is off-page and on-page SEO. You can also learn the basics yourself-that’s all you will need. You can also take help or guidance from you SEO friend if need be.

SMM is Social Media Marketing. You will need to do this to promote your videos. Promotion is essential to make your channel discoverable online. Your channel will not blow overnight. It may take days, weeks and months and may even take years depending on the niche.

No matter how unique your niche you will always find competition.

Unless and until you do not have a studio, a handful of skilled and knowledgeable workforce to launch your channel, achieving the kind of success you are looking for most of the time is not always possible.   

 Website/blog, SEO and/or SMM is necessary but not important. It expands your reach online. Search for my YouTube channel GamerPhoenyx on Google. Let me know what you find in the comments.

Self Teaching:

Self teaching is time consuming. This is by far the most easiest and economical method. You have the freedom to choose your sources anywhere online to learn from them.

The ‘problems’ with self teaching: 

  1. Initially you do not know where to begin: This is a bear fact. You are lost. For example, if you start with Thumbnail design for YouTube videos, you can get many search results on Google and YouTube. If I would break that search, I can segregate the channels based on the software they use. Chances are, you can do it very easily on Adobe Photoshop, GIMP is an excellent free alternative. It is not as powerful Photoshop but it does the job done.
  2. The learning curve is bigger. This could again be subjective, but you do not find a GIMP expert, Kdenlive expert or even a YouTube expert living next door to answer your questions. Sure you can ask questions in the comments and other forums. Goodluck if you get an answer at the earliest in an ocean of questions! In other words, it is a challenge and you should know where to look and how to look.
  3. There is too much theory. When YouTubers come up with tutorial videos, they design the learning structure as per their own experiences and the learning they have received. It is not flawed but not structured. However, YouTube is a great place if you are looking for specific things. For example, if you want to know about Chroma Keying or in the layman’s term it is called as Green Screen which is commonly used in VFX; if you search for green screen term in YouTube, you will get hundreds and thousands of results. Chroma Keying can be conveniently done on any video editing software or app. You can even narrow down your search to the name of the software your use, as in, ‘green screen tutorial sony vegas pro’.
  4. Applying what you have learnt: Not making notes is another thing. I honestly don’t make notes because I have an excellent retention capacity when it comes to receiving knowledge. It is an acquired skill! Taking notes is a good thing. I suggest you to make a dedicated word document. Make a rough document and then structure it with proper formatting. Organise your work and you will never develop to need to search for it. Make a proper folder and store your files in it. Preferably, store it on the cloud or an external media for easy access. Google offers you 15 GB of free storage. Make proper use of that.


There are difficulties in self-learning as I have highlighted above as per my experiences. Despite the drawbacks, there are benefits.

If you are hard pressed for time, then going by the self-teaching method is the only way. Except that it is time consuming and you will eventually get disorganised on what you should learn. The best way to get around it is to make a time table that will dictate what you ought to do that particular day.

For example, I get most of the time on the weekends. My priority is to upload the videos first. To do that, I need an idea to begin with. I get that very idea by playing games and no I don’t have a time table set for that. After the idea is firmly placed in my mind, I write the script and being audio recording.

The idea of the time table is not to have a hard and fast rule. You must be flexible to it because circumstances demanding you may have to prioritise something else. This gets challenging when you are married and are endowed with responsibilities. At the time of writing this, I did not have kids but they are expected to arrive later this year. How will I manage as my kids grow up, I don’t know. Only time will tell.

If you are single or still unmarried, you should start right away.

Ultimately, whether you should opt for a professional course or self-learn. The choice is yours. I would like to stress – if you have the time and the finance, please enroll for a professional certificate course. You will learn a lot with it.

All the very best!

I am a blogger, YouTuber and Indie Music Producer navigating my way through a massive sea of words, games and soundwaves!

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House Of Phoenyx: Blogger, YouTuber & Music Producer

Friday, Feb 23, 2024
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