Master YouTube Video Editing: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Emily Olson
3 min readJan 10, 2024

Every successful YouTuber knows that a secret to viewer engagement and retention is compelling, well-edited content. 🤫

Today I’m going to answer 4 of your most burning questions about YouTube video editing and some practical tips on how to edit better videos!

One question that brand new YouTubers often ask is: What do most YouTubers use to edit their videos? The truth is, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this. Different creators prefer different editing software based on their needs, experience, and budget.

Popular choices include Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Davinci Resolve, and iMovie. If you’re unsure which software is right for you, watch this video to find out which software is your perfect fit.

But what if you’re just starting and don’t have the budget for professional software? Is there a way to edit YouTube videos for free? Absolutely!

There are several free editing platforms available. CapCut is an excellent option that is beginner-friendly and has an array of built in plugins and editing tools and is great for PC or Mac users. iMovie remains a great choice for Mac users.

Next a popular question is: How do you edit a YouTube video that is not yours? In terms of downloading and extracting a segment from someone else’s video, there are tools available online that can help you download YouTube videos. Remember that using another person’s content without permission could potentially lead to copyright infringement!

If you need to use a clip from someone else’s video, and you obtain permission, you can then use a YouTube video downloader tool to download the video and import it into your chosen video editing software, where you can trim out the specific clip you need.

So, you’ve edited your video and it’s ready for the world to see. How do you edit videos already on your YouTube channel? YouTube provides its own built-in editor, which allows you to trim your videos, add end screens, and more. To access it, simply go to YouTube Studio, select the video you want to edit, and choose the “Editor” tab.

Now, let’s delve into some actionable steps you can start working on today:

1. Understand Your Software: Whether you’re using a free or premium editing software, spend some time exploring its features. Watch tutorials — the YouTube channels that teach video editing tips can be a goldmine of information.

2. Plan Your Edits: Before you dive into editing, have a clear plan in place. What story are you trying to tell? What day of the week do you plan on editing? Block off that time!

3. Learn Basic Video Editing Techniques: Familiarize yourself with fundamental techniques like cutting, transitioning, adding music, text, and sound effects, and adjusting the color and lighting. After you master the basics, start asking yourself: “What style of editing do I like to watch? How do I want to edit my unique personality into my videos?”

4. Keep Learning and Practicing: Video editing is a skill that improves over time. Be patient with yourself and continue learning and practicing. To make it less overwhelming, commit to learning one new skill every week or month, over time!

For those looking for accelerated growth for their video editing skills, check out Editing Recipes, a beginner’s course that offers bite-size easy-to-follow video editing tutorials for Final Cut Pro or join my free newsletter for monthly tips on how to elevate your video editing effortlessly.

Remember: the key to successful video editing is practice and creativity — don’t be afraid to experiment and make your videos uniquely yours!