Ivan's Guide to Video Streaming Equipment for PC
Average Total Cost: $200 to $450
NexiGo - https://www.amazon.com/Microphone-Streaming-AutoFocus-NexiGo-N680P/dp/B08CL56SDS
Anything with 1080p HD quality, but this would be mind pick, based on lots of research and comparisons.
Whatever you get, it also needs to come with software, which allows for controlling the image coloring and contrast output.
Softbox Lighting - https://www.amazon.com/HPUSN-Professional-Photography-Continuous-Reflectors/dp/B07NBP6D98/
Portable Photography Lighting - https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Portable-Photography-Lighting-Adjustable/dp/B07YFY7H7J
I use the full Softbox Lighting solutions, and they sit to the sides of my desk 24/7/365.
I've never had to replace the bulbs, over the few years I've had them.
If you didn't want such a cumbersome lighting solution, then the smaller portable lights may work better for you.
Either way, you'll have to use your webcam software to correct the coloring, or you'll look white-washed.
Generic Stand - https://www.amazon.com/Studio-Adjustable-Background-Backdrop-Support/dp/B00MTF6ZVC
Two Backdrop Sheets - https://www.amazon.com/Elegant-Comfort-Wrinkle-Free-Egyptian-Quality/dp/B01MEEXIQD/
You don't need paper, so I just use a black king size bedsheet as a backdrop.
I also don't use a backdrop stand, but rather I fashioned something from Home Depot using PVC pipe, and nailed it to a beam on my ceiling.
With two sheets, I can part them, and walk through the area unhindered.
I have a large desk behind mine, where my scraping servers reside.
Cheaper - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QLNYBG9/
Better - https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Condenser-Microphone-Streaming-Podcasting/dp/B07QKQJL17
Make sure to grab a "mic cover foam windscreen" as well.
If there are any issues with availability, then just make sure you get something that is at-least above the $60 price range, and that has a desktop mic stand.
You don't need to have a mic holding stick that sits right-up next to your face, unless you want it to sound like you are a radio broadcaster.
This is a silly style that is preferred by the podcasting culture, but it's totally unnecessary.
You can set the mic about 1ft away from your face, on your desk, out of the view of your webcam, and it will still sound great.
Cheapest Pleather Studio Monitors - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07T8MKM94/
Cheapest Non-Pleather Studio Monitors - https://www.amazon.com/Samson-SR850-Semi-Open-Back-Reference-Headphones/dp/B002LBSEQS/
Best Non-Pleather Studio Monitors - https://www.amazon.com/Philips-SHP9500S-Precision-Over-ear-Headphones/dp/B00ENMK1DW
I got my current pair of Studio Monitors over at Guitar Center on a clearance sale, years ago.
They were $30, marked-down from $70, so that's an option, as well, if you wanna see some pairs locally.
Pleather is cheap, but every two years your pleather products will begin to flake and disintegrate, so anything made with pleather is NOT a cost-effective long-term investment.
6. Recording Software
Faster - https://www.screencastify.com/buy
More Flexible - https://obsproject.com/
FREE - (any platform that supports LIVE broadcast, like YouTube or Facebook)
I still use Screencastify for all my screenshares, but it is VERY limited.
The main reason I use it is because of it's direct connection to my YouTube channel, which allows me to save a ton of time.
The output is higher quality, and significantly more flexible, with OBS, but there is a small learning curve, and it takes some handling to get your videos to a finished state.
You can also just use a LIVE broadcast utility, like the ones offered by Facebook or YouTube, etc.
There are some advantages to doing your on-page beforehand, but if you make a mistake, or accidentally reveal some sensitive data, then there's a bit of risk involved.
7. Editing Software
FREE - https://shotcut.org/ (or none at-all, which is my preference)
Here is my video guide for how to use this software: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrKJ7XcUhHc
FREE - https://inkscape.org/ (for thumbnails)
Here is my video guide for how to use this software: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaSv8sY_tTs
As far as editing, unless you are trying to do something comedic, then the speed doesn't need to be at the obnoxious Vine's or TikTok level of editing that people have become accustomed to.
I'm also intentionally leaving-out a section on stock media and outsourcing, because you don't really need it, and incorporating that stuff will take more time than most of your videos take to actually record.
Once your channel starts bringing-in big traffic, then you can circle-back, and start incorporating more sophisticated media, but for now, my recommendation is to not waste your time with it.
If you make half an image a picture of your face, and the other half a text description, or basic icon, then you'll be ahead of most of your competition.
You can also skip making thumbnails altogether, then go-back and add something nice, later on, if a video starts gaining traction.
8. YouTube SEO and Strategy
YT Keywords - https://keywordseverywhere.com/
I sometimes use a tool called "MorningFame" for YT keywords, and insights, as well.
That tool tells me that the majority of my traffic, which is small yet still gets me steady subscribers, comes from internal YouTube SEO.
So, it makes a big difference to invest time into setting your on-page features, like titles, description, hashtags, and tags, with the appropriate keywords you wanna rank for.
It's ideal to vlog everyday, but any level of frequency will get you progress, using any kind of keyword research.
Getting your videos embedded, on other sites, will increase rankings a bit, and link-building works, here, as well, but the main thing is to do good on-page, and create a lot of content.
You can always improve rankings later, if something is on-its-way to ranking for something legitimate.
Make sure to put your most important link at the very top of your description, as a small part of that area is visible without needing to click "show more".
If that link is also a location where you have embeded that video, then you will receive a powerful SEO boost for both properties.
You can join my mailing list, if you wanna stay up-to-date with all my free content and innovations: https://sendfox.com/getivan
Best to you, and thanks for reading!