This guest blog post was written by Amanda Christensen, Extension Associate Professor at Utah State University. Amanda serves the people in Morgan County, Utah with Family & Consumer Science and 4-H youth programs. She also regularly vlogs about personal finance on her YouTube Channel and contributes to the livewellutah.org blog. You can follow her on Twitter at @FamFinPro.


Since I started filming, editing and uploading Extension financial literacy videos to YouTube I have started receiving so many questions from my colleagues, like: “What is your creative process?” “Do you use a storyboard to create content?” “What equipment do you use to record?” “What program do you use to edit your footage?” “How much time does it take you to film, edit and upload?” Occasionally, I even get asked the all-time critical question, “What shade of lipstick were you wearing on your last video?”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after only six years in Extension, it’s this:


When you get asked similar questions over and over again, it’s best to put answers in writing and give them a home online.


Here are my answers to the top five questions I receive about creating videos on YouTube:


Question 1: Why YouTube?

I’ve been watching YouTube videos my entire life for entertainment, how-to’s, etc. About two years ago I started to watch with the intent to create my own financial literacy videos. I took note of what made one video “good” and what made another video “great” from a technical standpoint. I see amazing value in what I call the “content creator to viewer relationship” that develops over time when you subscribe and watch the same YouTube channel consistently.  I hoped to re-create that relationship in my videos with future subscribers aka Extension audiences. Finally, I am passionate about filling the gap in Extension online education that still features trusted Extension professionals with trusted reputations. YouTube is the perfect fit.


Question 2: Do you use a storyboard to create content?

Yes. This is what it looks like currently, but it’s always evolving:

  1. Attention grabber
  2. Title page
  3. Introduce myself/USU Extension
  4. Introduce topic
  5. Tip 1, Tip 2, Tip 3
  6. Summary of main points
  7. Call to action
  8. Outro
  9. Title page
  10. Bloopers

Question 3: What equipment do you use to record?

Answer: I wrote for grant funds provided through USU Extension for the equipment I needed to get started. My filming set up includes a Cannon Rebel T5i on a Proline tripod, a 64 gig memory card, and 2 studio lights from Steve Kaeser. I ordered everything through Amazon Prime.  Recently a colleague recommended a wireless lapel mic that plugs right into the camera. I have added that to my equipment list as well.


Question 4: What program do you use to edit your footage?

I edit my footage in iMovie on my MacBook Pro. iMovie is basic and easy to learn and use. I use Audio-Technica ATH-M30 headphones when I edit so as not to annoy everyone around me (trust me on this one) and I’m usually accompanied by an ice cold diet coke with lime and coconut.


Question 5: How much time does it take you to film, edit and upload?

I can do it all in a day (8 hours) from start to finish: write the storyboard, film, edit, upload, write the content for the description box, publish, and publicize the video on social media. However, I prefer to film content for 2-3 videos at a time and do the editing over a few days. The editing takes me the most time so it’s nice to break it up.


I knew from the start that creating quality content for YouTube would be a time commitment. I delegated some of my responsibilities and allowed some less important Extension activities to fall off my plate so I could get the ball rolling. I could not have done this without support from my administration who value the time I spend creating online content and recognize the required time commitment. Whether it’s a YouTube video, a podcast, a social media campaign, or another similar outlet, Extension professionals must be supported to continue to provide quality online content accessible to the communities we serve.