A few months ago, I, a freelance writer and publication layout artist, was contracted to make a series of videos. Of course I was thrilled and my imagination went wild with creative possibilities, but as with many projects, dreaming is easier than doing.
In the past, I’d only worked with Windows MovieMaker to produce rather simplistic videos, but for this project, I would have to step up my game. I soon discovered that I was already in possession of Adobe Premiere, one of the best video editing software programs on the market. Unbeknownst to me, it had come bundled with my copy of Adobe Creative Suite. The bad news was that I had absolutely no idea how to use it; and being such a highly technical, professional-grade program, it’s neither user-friendly nor intuitive. With Adobe Premiere, you gotta know what you’re doing from the get-go.
For the first few days, I futzed around with the help files, but to no avail. Sure, they provided the basics for getting started, but for the kinds of bells and whistles I wanted in my videos, they were an exasperating labyrinth.
Just about the time I’d decided to lower the bar and revert to my old friend Windows MovieMaker, on a whim it occurred to me to see what YouTube might have to offer in the way of tutorials.
Gadzooks!…I’d hit the Motherlode! On my first try, with a few well-chosen keywords, I discovered top-notch tutorials on every technique I would need to make my video vision a reality, not to mention a few nifty little tricks along the way.
Just out of curiosity, I began exploring tutorials on other software programs that a freelancer might need. What I found was a seemingly endless array of video lessons on every task and topic imaginable:
Need to learn how to do a mail merge in MS Word?
Want to sharpen your advanced Excel skills?
Like to find out how to add eye-popping special effects to a digital image in PhotoShop?
Thinking of starting a blog on WordPress?
Fancy a professional Facebook page for your freelancing services?
Crave a makeover for your website?
Then head for the University of YouTube. It’s not just for goofy fratboys anymore.
Celeste Heiter is the author of Turn Your PC into a Lean Mean Freelancing Machine, the creator of the LoveBites Cookbook Series for Kindle Fire, and the author of Potty Pals , a potty-training book for children. She has also written ten books published by ThingsAsian Press; and spent eight years posting her recipes, food photographs, and film reviews on ChopstickCinema .