11+ Essential Video Editing Tips in 2024 [For Beginners]

video editing tips

In today’s digital world, video content is consumed by millions of people every. single. day.

With the rapid growth of social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, there has never been a better time to learn the art of video editing! Here’s a quick summary of my best video editing tips – I’ll go into details for each section later in this article:

What are the best video editing tips?

  1. Invest in Hardware: Get good RAM, CPU, and GPU.
  2. Pick Software Wisely: Choose editing tools that fit your needs and budget.
  3. Stay Organized: Sort your files in a predictable way.
  4. Plan with Storyboards: Outline your scenes before starting the editing process.
  5. Keep it Short: Capture the audience’s attention quickly.
  6. Edit on Motion: Use smooth transitions with action shots.
  7. Use Shortcuts: Learn key commands for efficiency.
  8. Perfect the Audio: Ensure clear sound for your video (this is SUPER important!).
  9. Use Free or Cheap Music: Add royalty-free tracks, or use an AI music generator for unique music.
  10. Color Correct: Enhance your visuals with color settings.
  11. Export The Right Way: Export your video with the right settings for each platform.

Whether you’re editing your own video content or somebody else’s, mastering the best video editing tips and techniques can help you create fantastic content that conveys your message and impacts others (and isn’t that why you’re making videos to begin with?!).

In this article, we’ll we’ll discuss essential video editing tips and the best video editing tools for beginners, covering everything from mastering the basics to enhancing your videos with color correction, graphics, and the perfect soundtrack.

Get ready to take your video editing skills to the next level!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

infographic with main tips for video editing

Mastering the Basics: Essential Video Editing Tips

man in red t-shirt sitting in front of computer

If you’re wanting to create a successful video, mastering the basic concepts of video editing is crucial. Let’s take a look at a few basic video editing tips.

1. Hardware Requirements

Video editing tips and tools

Understanding RAM, Processor, and GPU Requirements

Video editing requires the right software and hardware components, otherwise you’re in store for loooong days sitting and watching the video play back at 0.00025% speed.

RAM plays a huge role in managing your computer’s multitasking capabilities. A minimum of 16GB RAM is recommended for video editing, but 32GB or more is preferable, especially when working with larger files, complex projects, or motion graphics.

The processor is the heart of the computer and is responsible for executing the commands in your video editing software. For optimized performance, a multi-core processor is recommended. A faster processor with more cores will give you faster rendering time and smoother previews.

A powerful GPU (graphics processing unit) is needed for video editing because it handles color grading, color correction, visual effects, and video rendering.

Again, if you’re only editing your simple social media videos, you don’t really need to pay attention to hardware requirements – you can even use a tablet for video editing! But if you’re a serious professional, spending the money on a proper system will save you lots of time, and therefore lots of money (and headaches), in the long run.

Storage Solutions: SSD and External Hard Drives

Storage is another vital aspect of your video editing setup. An SSD (solid-state drive) offers significant advantages over a traditional hard drive, such as faster read and write speeds, improved durability, and reduced latency.

Most of the time, you’ll want to purchase an external SSD to hook up to your computer, as you can store way more video files, completed projects, and backup files on your external hard drive than on your internal drive.

This will help you organize your workspace and reduce the strain on your computer’s internal storage.

2. Choose the Right Software

Selecting the right tools for video editing is essential in creating high-quality content.

Comparing Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and iMovie

Adobe Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro is a powerful software suitable for professional and semi-professional video editors. Developed by Adobe, it is compatible with Windows and macOS. Key features:

  • Supports all kinds of plugins

  • Integrates with all Adobe Creative Cloud Suite softwares

  • Versatile multi-camera editing

Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro is another high-end video editing software favored by Apple users. Exclusive to macOS, it offers a clean, user-friendly interface. Features include:

  • Magnetic Timeline

  • Multicam editing

  • 360-degree video editing

iMovie-Apple

iMovie is an entry-level software, perfect for beginner video editors. As a free Apple product, it is available for macOS and iOS. With a simple interface, users can create basic video projects. Features:

  • Pre-built themes and templates

  • Integrates with iTunes and Apple Photos

  • Supports 4K resolution

*Pro Tip: If you’re serious about becoming a video editor, spend the time and money to learn one of the other software programs, as iMovie is considered amateur. But if you’re just trying to edit your own home videos, iMovie may be the easiest for you.

DaVinci Resolve and Other Alternatives

DaVinci-Resolve-18-Blackmagic-Design

DaVinci Resolve combines video editing, color grading and correction, and audio post-processing in one software. Both professional and amateur editors can use this software on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Key aspects:

  • Fairlight audio workstation

  • Node-based color grading

  • Collaboration tools

Even newer AI video editing software programs exist, such as InVideo, Pictory, and Synthesia (for digital “talking head” avatars).

Depending on your skill level, budget, and needs, pick the best video editing software for you!

3. Organize Your Footage

Having an organized workflow is the best habit to build. It will save you tons of time if you ever need to go back and re-edit that project, and it will give you the ability to work with a team in the future. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Folder Structure: Develop a consistent folder structure that mirrors the project’s organization. This will make it easier to locate assets and track revisions.

  • Version Control: Maintain multiple versions of the project file. This allows for reverting to previous versions if necessary and helps track project progress.

  • Backups: Regularly back up project files to avoid losing progress due to technical issues or errors. Consider using cloud storage or external hard drives for additional security.

Tips for organizing media:

  • Align file names with the storyboard and scene numbers.

  • Separate media into folders based on type (e.g., video, audio, graphics).

  • Use color-coding or labeling to indicate media status (e.g., raw, edited, reviewed).

  • Create folders on your hard drive for each project, with subfolder organization (e.g., media, assets, sounds, project file, exports).

4. Make a Storyboard

white printer paper on gray table with a storyboard

Imagine trying to write a book without an outline – you have no idea what the characters are going to do or where they’ll end up. Hey, maybe it’ll turn out great. But most likely, you’re going to get stuck along the way, and you’ll end up with a story with no clear beginning, middle and end.

Video editing is the same way!

A detailed workflow is essential for efficient video editing. If you’re editing someone else’s video, sometimes they’ll give you a storyboard to follow. The storyboard visually shows the video’s scenes, helping editors understand the narrative and anticipate editing needs.

Sketching out each scene and adding descriptions in the pre-production stage can streamline the editing process in the post-production stage.

But if you’re editing your own project, or didn’t receive a storyboard from the client, then you’ll need to make one yourself. Draw each scene and arrange them in a way that you believe tells the story best.

Using a storyboard can help you save time and money by avoiding any “editor’s block” where you’re not sure what scene to add next.

*Pro Tip: You don’t need to create a literal storyboard if you don’t want to. Just take some time before you start editing to really think about the goal of the project and jot some notes down for a rough outline.

5. Keep It Short and Engaging

People have crazy short attention spans these days! So what makes you think that they’ll watch your full 10-minute “get ready with me” video?

Social media videos, as well as educational and business videos, need to be short and engaging.

When you’re editing your own video, it’s hard to be subjective, but you really need to look at it from an outside perspective and only include essential information.

A great way to cut down the video is with jump cuts, which allow you to cut out big portions of time.

*Pro Tip: When editing social media videos and ads, make the first five seconds count. Put the most polarizing statement or flashiest graphics at the beginning to peak the viewer’s attention.

6. Cut on Action for Smooth Transitions

Another essential tip for creating smooth and engaging videos is to cut on action.

This technique involves cutting from one shot to another while the subject is in motion, creating a more dynamic and engaging scene.

You can seamlessly transition between scenes and enhance visual storytelling by cutting from one shot to another while the subject is in motion. For example, if you have two angles of someone sitting down or someone picking up a cup, cut to the second angle in the middle of that action.

Another useful technique is matching the action, which is cutting from one visually similar shot to another – like cutting from one shot of the camera panning from left to right to another shot in a different location of the camera panning from left to right.

7. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

black and orange computer keyboard

Using keyboard shortcuts can significantly speed up your video editing workflow, allowing you to work more efficiently and focus on the creative aspects.

Many video editing software programs, like Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve, have built-in keyboard shortcuts that you can learn to help you edit more quickly.

Customizing Shortcuts

In addition to using built-in keyboard shortcuts, most video editing softwares allow you to customize your own shortcuts.

This can be especially helpful if you frequently use specific tools or prefer a different key combination than what’s provided.

8. Balance Audio Levels

woman in black long sleeve shirt using black laptop computer, looking at audio levels

Bad sound quality is the #1 reason why someone might stop watching your video. It screams, “THIS WAS CREATED BY AN AMATEUR!” And why would someone want to spend their time watching that?

Scrub meticulously through your video to make sure all the audio is clear and balanced.

Some effective techniques for audio balancing include balancing volume levels throughout all the scenes, using a denoiser effect to remove background hums, and using EQ to fine-tune.

9. Add the Perfect Soundtrack: Music and Audio Tips

flat-lay photo of headphones, MIDI keyboard, and speaker on black surface

Adding the perfect soundtrack to your video can enhance its overall impact.

Choosing Royalty-Free Music

Royalty-free music is a great option for adding high-quality music to your videos without having to worry about copyright issues or spending a fortune on licensing fees.

Sound effects are also a perfect way to add production value to your video.

Numerous websites and services offer a wide range of good music and sound effects, both free and paid, allowing you to find the perfect soundtrack for your video. Or, try an AI music generator for unique and tailored music!

Voiceovers and Sound Management

tips for video voiceover

Incorporating voiceovers are great for social media videos or business explainers. Here are some tips you can follow:

  • Use suitable background music: Select music that enhances your video, considering the mood, genre, and tempo. You can use an AI music generator to help you create unique music for your video.

  • Adjust audio levels: Ensure that your voiceovers and background music are appropriately balanced.

10. Color Correction and Grading

Color correction and grading are essential techniques in video editing that can help you enhance your video’s visuals and create a unique look.

Color Correction Basics

Color correction is adjusting the colors in your video to make all the different scenes match and look like they belong in the same group.

By mastering the basics of color correction using concepts like highlights, shadows, midtones, hue, saturation, and luminance, you can ensure that your videos look professional and visually appealing.

Color Grading Basics

Color grading is applying a unique color style to your video to achieve a desired look.

You can even use some color grading tools directly in your editing softwares themselves, like Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve.

11. Export and Share Your Videos Online

black iphone 4 on brown wooden table

Once you’ve completed the video editing process, it’s time to export and share your videos online.

Export Settings

It can be confusing to try and figure out the best settings to use to export your final video. These settings will depend on whether you’re exporting a first draft for a client review, a social media video to post online, or other circumstances.

Many online video platforms, like YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo, provide guidelines for export settings, which you can find on their websites.

If you’re working with a client, you should ask them if they want the video in any particular export setting. If they don’t, then I recommend exporting at 1080p with matching source settings.

12. Bonus Tip – The Power of Storytelling: Editing for Impact

antique, yellow pages, chapter of a book

Storytelling is a powerful tool in video editing, or I would argue that’s the whole point of creating a video to start with. Telling the best possible story with your editing requires you to select the best shots and use transitions wisely.

infographic defining visual storytelling

Selecting the Best Shots

When selecting the best shots for your video, you should consider the message you want to convey to your viewers and the emotions you want them to feel at each point in the story.

Carefully consider the story arc, characters, and themes, and you will be able to communicate your message effectively. Remember to use techniques like cutting on action and matching action to create dynamic and engaging scenes.

Trimming, Cutting, and Rearranging Clips

Next, you’ll need to trim, cut, and rearrange the video clips you have. Once you have made the necessary cuts, rearrange the clips on your timeline and perfect the video’s pace.

Remember to continuously preview your work to make sure the edits are seamless.

Using Transitions and Effects

Transitions play a big role in maintaining viewer engagement and enhancing the storytelling aspect of your video, but make sure to use them sparingly! Some common transitions include:

  • Fade in/out: Gradually increases or decreases the clip’s opacity, creating a smooth beginning or end.

  • Crossfade: Overlaps two clips, transitioning from one to the other by gradually fading out the first clip while simultaneously fading in the next one.

  • Wipe: Affectively “wipes” one clip off the screen, revealing the next clip underneath. You can learn more here.

Experiment with various effects and find what works best for your video.

Remember that less is often more when it comes to transitions and effects! Too many can distract or overwhelm the viewer.

Using Stock Footage

Adding stock footage, or b-roll, into your projects can help elevate the production quality and create a more professional looking video.

Multiple platforms offer free and paid high-quality stock footage, such as Pexels or Shutterstock. Using stock footage not only saves time and enhances visual elements, but it also helps you avoid copyright issues that come with using footage without permission.

Motion Graphics and Text

Adding motion graphics and text to your videos can enhance storytelling and convey the most important thing. Various techniques for creating professional-looking motion graphics and texts are:

  1. Keyframing: This is the process of assigning specific values at different points in time, allowing you to create smooth animations.

  1. Templates: Pre-made motion graphic templates can save you time and maintain a consistent style. Websites like VideoHive offer a range of customizable text and animation templates.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a pro video editor requires a combination of techniques, the right tools, and a creative approach.

The possibilities are endless, from mastering the basics and enhancing your workflow with keyboard shortcuts to elevating your videos with color correction, graphics, and the perfect soundtrack.

Why not start experimenting with these video editing tips and tools today and unlock your potential as a video creator? The world is waiting to see your masterpiece!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get better at video editing?

To get better at video editing, practicing regularly and learning new techniques and skills is important. You should also watch tutorials and take courses, experiment with different tools and software, use keyboard shortcuts, create a story when editing videos, and seek feedback from other editors. Learn as many video editing tips as you can!

What are the 3 aspects of video editing?

Video editing is essential to creating films and videos, and has three primary aspects – cutting segments, re-sequencing clips, and adding transitions and other special effects. Effective video editing allows a filmmaker to draw viewers into their story and entertain them with powerful visuals.

Which editing software should I use?

The editing software you should use is completely up to you! The most popular software used by most average people and video editors are Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut, but if you’re just editing for yourself, then iMovie would be a great easy start.

Interested in video production? Check out these other great articles!

The 7+ Best AI Video Generators [Text to Video]

7 Best AI Video Upscaling Software (Free & Paid)


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