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The Ultimate YouTube Video Upload Guide 2021

Eddie Goldendberg

The Ultimate Guide To Uploading Videos To YouTube: 2021 Edition

Wondering how to navigate YouTube’s ever-changing interface to keep uploading your videos to the platform? We’ve got everything you need to learn how to upload videos fast!


Whether you are a budding videographer looking to get your videos seen by viewers or are simply in need of uploading a video for a presentation, YouTube makes it easy for creators to quickly find and post videos on their platform.


Founded in 2005 by former PayPal team members Chad Hurley, Jawed Karim, and Steve Chen, YouTube quickly grew to become one of the internet’s most popular online media channels.


YouTube enjoyed incredible success over the next year, being picked up by Google for just over 1.5 billion in November of that following year. As a part of the greater Google service pack, YouTube has become a premier place for individuals and businesses to share videos, comment on content, and build a brand.


Today, YouTube is used daily by those who enjoy watching and uploading videos on nearly any topic imaginable. With 2.3 billion active users and 720,000 hours of content being uploaded to the platform daily, YouTube is where you need to be if you want to be part of the conversation.


Are you looking for a fast and easy guide to uploading videos to YouTube in 2021? You’ve come to the right place. Let’s break down how you can quickly upload videos to YouTube and start sharing your very own content right now.


How To Upload Videos To YouTube

While YouTube does change its processes over the years to introduce new features and video analytic software capabilities, the process for how to upload videos has remained fairly consistent. Even if you have never uploaded a video to the site before, this guide will help you learn the step-by-step process of uploading successfully!


Step 1: Have Your Content Ready

It should go without saying, but before you can upload a video to YouTube, it’s vital that you have a video to load.


Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare your video for uploading:


1. Know your size and ratio. The recommended size for videos being loaded to YouTube is 16:9. If you load a video that is in a 4:3 ratio, you may find that it loads with black bars on either side of the video.


2. Have your video located where you can find it fast. As part of the upload process, you will need to either drag-and-drop your video to the YouTube upload screen, or you will need to link to it. Make sure it’s in a place where you can easily locate it on your computer or device.


3. Log into an active YouTube account. You will need to have an active YouTube account to upload content to YouTube. As part of the Google system, your Google account will often work for this as well.


Once those steps are completed, you ready to start uploading!


Step 2: Find The Video Upload “Camera” Button

To upload your video, navigate to the YouTube page and locate the CREATE button in the top corner of the page. This button will only appear if you are logged in to your YouTube account.



Select that button, and you will be given two options: Upload Video and Go Live. To upload a new video, select Upload Video to be taken to the YouTube Creator Studio, where you can upload videos and take several different actions to make sure your video is seen by the masses!



Step 3: Upload Your Video



Already uploading on step three?


It’s true! YouTube makes it fast and simple to upload videos on their platform quickly. Once you select the option to upload a video, you will be taken to the Creator Studio, and a pop-up screen will appear, asking you to either drag and drop the video or Select Files.


This is where knowing where your video file is located is key. If your video is already on your screen in another window, you can simply drag and drop the file right on top of the window to start uploading. Otherwise, select Select Files to search through your file library to locate the proper video.


Once you drop your video (or select it) in this screen, YouTube will automatically start uploading the file. If the file type is not accepted, YouTube will notify you of the issues, and how to fix your file for uploading.


Right now, YouTube accepts the following file types for upload:

  • .MOV
  • .MPEG4
  • .MP4
  • .AVI
  • .WMV
  • .MPEGPS
  • .FLV
  • 3GPP
  • WebM
  • DNxHR
  • ProRes
  • CineForm
  • HEVC (h265)


If you aren’t sure what file type you are working with, you can typically find the type located at the end of the file name.


Step 4: Fill In The Details

Once you start uploading your video, YouTube will being to load and optimze the video automatically on the backend.


While YouTube is doing it’s magic, you can use your time waiting wisely by filling in the necessary information on your new video. These details will help others find the video online, and are essential for helping your video rank on YouTube’s site.



There are several pieces of information you can update in this first screen while your video loads:


Title: A required field, you will want to make sure your video has a great title that is eye-catching and explains what the video is about.


Description: While not required, the description is a great way to let viewers know what they are watching. In the description, you can give background information on your video, link to other websites, and offer credits to those who helped you make your content. You can also create links within the description that allow viewers to “fast forward” to the parts they want to watch!


Thumbnail: YouTube will automatically generate what it believes is the best thumbnail for your video based on a series of still frames. You can select from the options that YouTube gives you, or you can select and upload your own thumbnail. There are plenty of online YouTube thumbnail creation systems available to make a truly engaging thumbnail that will make users want to click and watch!


Playlists: If your video is part of a playlist of other videos, you can select that playlist or make a new one.


Audience: This one is ESSENTIAL to ensure your video is uploaded properly.



After the passing of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), YouTube requires every creator to designate whether or not their video is specifically made for children viewers. Unless this is true of your video, simply select “No” to avoid any potential upload issues or legal actions. You can learn more about this new requirement on YouTube’s website.


Paid Promotion: If your video includes promotional content from a sponsor, you will need to select this box in order to let YouTube users know that paid content is included in your content.


Tags: If you are looking to have your video optimized for those searching for a specific topic online, you can include keywords that are relevant to the content. Select several key words or phrases that describe your video - and watch as YouTube works its magic to help your video appear across Google’s SEO services!


Language & Captions Certification: Here, you can select your video's specific language and, if needed, a caption certification for closed captions.

Recording Date & Location: You can add when and where your video was recorded to help viewers search for videos by location.


Shorts Permissions: Users can now use part of your content to create their own “Shorts”. This check will allow other users to make Short content from your video.


Category: This will help place your video in YouTube’s category library.


Comments & Ratings: Choose whether or not you wish for comments to be enabled on your video, as well as ratings for “likes” and “dislikes”.


Once you are satisfied with your information on your new video, select “Next” in the bottom right corner to move on to the next step!


Step 5: Add Creative Video Elements



The next screen will offer you a variety of options to add creative elements to your video. These can include subtitles for your video, an end screen that leads viewers to other videos on your YouTube channel, and “cards” which are promotional content that pops up during your video.


If you want to add any of these items to your new video, select through them and follow the steps. Otherwise, select “NEXT” once more to move forward!


Step 6: Choose Your Video’s Visibility



One of the last steps is to select your video’s “visibility”. This determines who can watch and interact with your video once it is uploaded and ready to view.


Private: This option allows you to keep your video private for only your account, and any individuals that you share your video with through a private link.


Unlisted: Your video will not be private, but only those who have the URL to your video will be able to find it on the web. It will not be searchable on YouTube for others to find it.


Public: The default setting, this makes your YouTube video open and public to anyone on the platform! You can also choose to set an Instant Premier, which will allow you to “premier” your video at a specific time for viewers to join in live - perfect for pre-recorded talks and performances that want that “live” feel!


Once you choose the visibility, you can choose whether you want to schedule your video to go live at a certain time, or select “SAVE” to launch your video to the platform!


Step 7: Watch, Share, & Enjoy!



Once you are done setting up your video, the screen will let you know that your video is still processing and will be available shortly, or is done and ready to view!


You will receive a YouTube link to go directly to your new video, as well as several buttons to share your new video across various social media platforms. Once you see this screen, your video is now uploaded and ready to be viewed!


Your new video will be in your Creator Studio, and should you want to update or change any part of your video, you can do so from that page.


Start Uploading On YouTube Today!

Now that you know how to upload videos on YouTube, it’s time for you to start creating and sharing your content with the world!


What will you create, and will you be the next viral sensation? Time will tell! Meanwhile, have fun and enjoy the incredible capabilities of YouTube for creating and enjoying videos of your own fast.


Cover Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

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