There’s no shortage of tutorials from YouTubers saying you just need a camera and a laptop to kickstart your YouTube career. While that’s somewhat true, you’ll need more to keep going. That’s because being a YouTube creator isn’t just about filming and uploading videos. You need to edit those videos, create a personal brand, and find ways to monetize all that work you’re doing. With the right tools, it can be a lot easier to build your YouTube channel and earn money from it.
Below, we cover some of best tools for YouTube creators to grow their audience and revenue.
YouTube video creation and editing tools
As a YouTube creator, you’ll obviously be spending a lot of time making videos. Here are some of the best tools for turning your ideas into footage, and that raw footage into an engaging video.
1. YouTube video editor
Did you know that every YouTube creator has access to a built-in video editor? If you don’t want to mess around with complicated software, this is one of the best options for editing YouTube videos.
To access this tool, go to one of your videos, hit the blue Edit Video button, then hit Editor in the left-hand menu. From there, you can trim your videos, add audio effects, design an end screen, and more.
Online video editor Kapwing has many features you need to create great videos, like built-in social media optimization, and the ability to edit collaboratively with others. Kapwing can be used for free, but unless you purchase a paid plan, your videos will have a watermark on them.
3. Davinci Resolve
If you want a professional-grade video editing solution, DaVinci Resolve is your best bet. With this tool, you get a full editing suite, color-correction tools, and even special effects. You can use most of DaVinci Resolve’s features for free — which will probably be enough for the average YouTube creator — or pay a one-time fee of $295 for the full version.
4. OBS Studio
Are you creating content for the gaming niche? Maybe you want to dip your toes in the streaming game? Either way, OBS Studio is one of the best options for capturing your screen and live streaming. Best of all? It’s completely free.
YouTube thumbnail and graphic tools
While video creation and editing make up most of what you do as a YouTube creator, there are other tasks you need to take care of — like designing eye-catching graphics for your videos. Here are some tools that can help simplify those crucial graphic design tasks, from creating a logo for your channel to customizing your video thumbnails.
5. Adobe Express
This free tool from design powerhouse Adobe offers numerous templates ideal for YouTube creators — from custom logos and banners, to social posts, ads, and more. Simply come up with an idea, and Adobe Express will guide you through a step-by-step process that’ll give you the asset you need in no time.
Want to combine ready-made design templates with seamless collaboration? That’s where Canva comes in. Whether you’re working with other creators, a team of freelance designers, or a partner of your YouTube channel, Canva is a great tool for creating fantastic artwork together. Just pick a template, start customizing it, and you’ll get a design that everyone will love.
Placeit lets creators build design assets from templates and mockups for everything from thumbnails to logos to banners. But where this tool really shines is in its wide assortment of merch templates, perfect for creators who want to sell their own merch on YouTube. With Placeit, you can get snapshots and videos of models wearing your merch in just a few minutes.
YouTube analytics and performance tools
Creating content and making sure it looks great go a long way. But to successfully grow your YouTube audience and revenue, you also need to know how your videos are performing. Here are some of the best tools for analyzing your YouTube channel’s performance, and figuring out what to do next.
8. YouTube Studio
All YouTube creators have access to baseline analytics within the app itself for reviewing the performance of their videos. You might have used them without realizing it, especially if you’ve looked into the monetization status of your videos. To access these tools, click on your profile picture at the top right, hit YouTube Studio, then tap Analytics. From here, you’ll get stats on your audience, your content, and your channel’s overall performance.
If you want to go all-out with YouTube channel optimization, vidIQ is a great option. This tool can automatically generate video ideas, track search keywords, and more. You can even use it to keep an eye on other creators in your niche to see what they’re up to — and how you can create better content than theirs.
10. Ahrefs YouTube Keyword Tool
Want to supercharge your SEO game? Ahrefs is a tool that many marketers and SEO specialists use to ensure their content ranks high in Google search results. While pricing for its paid plans are steep, Ahrefs offers a free YouTube keyword tool ideal for conducting research on keywords and phrases that you can include your video titles, descriptions, and tags. You can even use this tool for brainstorming new video ideas, checking against its database to determine the search volume of certain topics.
Merch and monetization tools
If you’re a content creator, you don’t want to rely on a single source of revenue. Sure, it’s great seeing ad revenue come in from the YouTube Partner Program, but eventually, you’ll need to branch out. Here are some of the best tools for YouTube creators looking to generate income from multiple sources.
When YouTubers look for new ways to generate income, they’d often think of selling merch. But there’s another way to make money with a lower investment: online courses. With Thinkific, you can create and sell online courses, build out an exclusive community, and even manage paid subscriptions. It’s one of the easiest ways for YouTubers, who already have the content creation skills, to bring in extra income.
If you want to sell merchandise on YouTube, look no further than Shopify. Millions of people trust Shopify to get all sorts of products to their customers. Once you get your merch designed, you can build your own online store with Shopify and start selling in minutes. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you get started.
Want to go from “online presence” to “online domination?” Squarespace is more than just a website builder, it’s an all-in-one solution for people who want to make money online. You can create a website, post videos, and even sell products all from a single platform. For YouTube creators who want to have their own website where they have complete control, Squarespace is a great option.
The YouTube creator’s toolbox
As a YouTube creator, your toolbox needs to handle a ton of jobs. Video creation and editing are a big part of your day, sure, but there are dozens of other tasks you’ll need to tend to as well. From branding and graphic design, to selling merch and analyzing video performance, you’ll need to wear many hats, and you should have tools to help you do that. Make sure to try out free tools available online first, and look into upgrades if you find them too limiting.