Running a successful YouTube channel is hard work. Not only do you have to keep pumping out fresh and original videos regularly, but you also have to promote them effectively with social media, SEO tactics, and other marketing methods.

Another important point is ensuring your videos feature that professional polish. While some content creators can get away with an amateur-like style and setup, newcomers can often be off-putting to a channel.

Fortunately, achieving a professional touch is not as difficult as you may think. Here are five ways that you can improve your YouTube videos instantly.

1. Purchase a professional mic

All too often, YouTube videos are spoiled due to the audio quality. Someone sticks with using the microphone built into their laptop or purchasing a cheap mic from a discount store. This results in audio being distorted, too low, and simply painful for the ears.

The good news is that you do not have to spend big to achieve crisp, clear audio for your videos. There are various high-quality mics that can be found for less than $100.

2. Use video effects

During the editing process, there are numerous ways in which you can take your videos to the next level by using effects. Whether it is a film grain overlay or slick transitions, popular video effects can be download instantly and used on multiple video projects.

Plus, depending on the video editing software you use, these will often come packed with useful features and effects.

3. Light up

Nothing says amateur hour quite like a video where it looks like you shot it in an unlit closet. Lighting plays an integral role in your video’s overall finish, so make sure it is a main priority during filming.

Of course, the easiest way to benefit from light is to use the sun if possible. This is great if you are shooting on a clear day, during the morning or evening, and have plenty of natural light in your location. Yet when shooting indoors, you may need to invest in a professional lighting kit.

4. Remain stable

No, this does not mean keeping your emotions in check – although that is always wise. What it does mean, however, is to keep your camera as stable as you can. Even though the selfie way of filming is popular, the shakiness this can cause when not using any specialist equipment can cause viewers to feel rather seasick.

A tripod is ideal if you are filming in a static location. Otherwise, a stabilizer like a gimbal may be needed for those on the move.

5. Act natural

Okay, this is easier said than done. Yet if you are timid, nervous, and plain uncomfortable on camera, this can suck the energy – and professionalism – right out of your videos.

As a result, you need to work on your camera presence. Not all hope is lost if you are not a natural, as this can be improved with practice.