How to Create Amazing Inexpensive Videos

(Last Updated On: December 19, 2017)

and why you should make them

It just makes good marketing sense to make use of YouTube videos. If you are on a tight budget, it also makes sense to learn how to make your own inexpensive videos. Ponder each of the 5 reasons below.

This post has 2 parts:

  1. 5 reasons why you should use videos for your marketing
  2. How to make inexpensive videos.

On this blog post you will be learning how to:


1. YouTube has 1.5 billion monthly active users

2. YouTube viewers spend > half an hour/day watching

3. YouTube is second largest search engine in the world

4. YouTube is available in 88 countries

5. Facebook is only social media with more active users than YouTube

Creating inexpensive videos

You will need:

Good option to have:

Photo editing program such as GIMP or Photoshop. (GIMP is cheaper if you wish to buy one of them. You may even be able to get a free copy.)

The faded image on the right was created by using GIMP to add a translucent white screen to the image on the left. I used GIMP to reduce the opacity of the white screen.inexpensive videos

I often use this faded image technique to give a background for some text. Watch the very short video below for examples.

1. Use text to add movement

As a general rule, you should never go more than 3 seconds without movement in your video. One way to add movement is to add text with a Keynote effect.

As explained in the video above, you can use Apple Keynote to add text over an image. Then you click the Inspector icon and add an effect.

There are 29 different text effects available in Keynote. The animated GIF here shows 4 of them.


Before going on to the next section, practice with Keynote:

inexpensive videos

  • With White theme selected, click Choose
  • Open Keynote
  • Delete boxes with text
  • Click View > Show Rulers
  • Drag right and bottom margins so that they are at 44 and -22 respectively.
  • Click on the Text Box icon at the top
  • Make Text Box wider
  • Select buttons at top to make it
    • A larger font,
    • A different colour and
    • Different alignment
  • Add different interesting text to the text box
  • Click blue Inspector icon at top and add different text Effects
  • inexpensive videosEach time you add a different Build In text Effect, immediately follow that by a Build Out text effect.
  • Do that for all 29 Effects
  • Drag & drop them one on top of the other (Because you built them out, they will have been deleted from the screen before the next one shows up)
  • Save it with a descriptive name for use in the next section.


2. Record Keynote presentation with ScreenFlow

  • inexpensive videosOpen ScreenFlow
  • Click on movie-camera-shaped icon at top of page
  • Click Configure Recording
  • Record Desktop from iMac should be checked
  • If you want to narrate a short video, check off Record Audio from Built-in Microphone
  • inexpensive videosNow click Camera icon > Record
  • Making sure the top slide is selected, click the Play button that is above the slide templates
  • Keep clicking the Play button until all of the text effects have finished playing
  • Click Stop Record
  • inexpensive videosClick File > Rename and give video a descriptive name
  • Select a video clip and then click Resizer near lower left-hand corner
  • Change video size to 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • inexpensive videosUse Video Size Slider to size video to match size of box on screen


YouTube video

The video below is meant to supplement the bullet points in the section above. To really understand the idea of creating a video with text movement, you should study both the bullet points and the video. Each has information that the other does not have.


Before going on to the next section, practice making simple YouTube videos. The only way to get good at making videos is to make lots of them. Keep trying new things.

3. Add your own voice to make inexpensive videos

By now you have finished making a few inexpensive videos. Your next step is to add some of your own spoken words to one of them.

Record Voice

  • Write out an appropriate script
  • Click on ScreenFlow camera icon at top of page
  • Click Configure Recording link
  • inexpensive videosCheck off
    • Record Desktop from iMac and
    • Record Audio from Built-in Microphone lines
  • Click Camera Icon > Record
  • Read your script into built-in microphone
  • When finished click Camera Icon > Stop Record > OK
  • Click File > Rename and name it something simple such as the date


vThe bottom of your video recording will have a timeline.


The timeline you will work on right now will not be as elaborate as the one in this image. However, if you diligently study this blog post, you will have a timeline this complex by the time you are finished.

Edit your simple video

inexpensive videosThe following bullet points tell you what to do after you have renamed the recording that has your voice.

  • Select the clip that has green sound waves
  • inexpensive videosClick Audio icon (looks like a speaker)
  • Move volume slider to highest point (190%)
  • Click Action > OK
  • If there are end points with no sound waves
    • Move scrubber (vertical red bar) there
    • Right-click on clip and click on Split Clip
    • Discard ends with no sound waves
    • If you accidentally delete wrong clip, Cmd Z will restore it
  • Select sound clip and press Cmd C to copy into clipboard
  • Open video that has video clips
  • Move scrubber to beginning
  • Press Cmd V to paste sound clip
  • Notice the green sound waves
    • Starting on the left, you should click Right-click > Split Clip after the point where first thought is spoken
    • Drag it so that it is above the corresponding video clip
      • All video clips must be touching
      • Otherwise there will be black screen spots in final production
    • inexpensive videosLeave a second or so between audio clips
      • Gives viewer time to process the information
    • The process is this:
      • Isolate first audio clip above corresponding video clip
      • Move rest of large audio clip over to right
      • inexpensive videosIsolate second audio clip above corresponding video clip
      • Move rest of large audio clip over to right
      • Continue process until you are finished
  • Save your work and play it over
  • If it is good enough, upload it to YouTube
  • Click on File > Publish to > YouTube

4. Make inexpensive videos using special shapes

inexpensive videosinexpensive videosSpecial shapes (called Annotations in ScreenFlow) are things like arrows, boxes, etc. You can use them to emphasize a point in your inexpensive videos.

To get started:

  • inexpensive videosClick ScreenFlow Pencil icon
  • Click plus sign
  • Immediately one of those orange timeline clips shows up to hold the shapes
  • Click one of the 5 shapes
  • Using your mouse, draw a shape some place on your ScreenFlow screen
    • Use it to emphasize a point
    • If click plus sign & have more than one shape, they will both be in same orange clip
  • inexpensive videosTo make a blinking shape such as green arrow in animated GIF above
    • Cut skinny slice off orange clip
    • Cmd C to save into clipboard
    • Cmd V to paste it many times like this screen shot
    • Timeline you see on the right is for the Annotation animated GIF you see above
  • To change color:
    • Select shape
    • Click color icon
    • inexpensive videosSelect color from palette
  • Opacity
    • Slide Opacity slider to left.
    • The more you slide it, the more translucent it will become
  • Experiment by clicking on shape and moving thickness slider


Before going on to the next section, practice adding annotations to your previous video. Make sure you use

  • All 5 shapes in different orange clips
  • A blinking arrow
  • Different colours
  • Different thicknesses
  • Different amounts of opacity for various shapes.

When you are finished, upload your video to YouTube.


5. How to transition between 2 special video subjects

Occasionally you have two adjacent subjects in a video that add equal value to the entire idea you are trying to get across. Use a ScreenFlow transition to convey the idea that both of them are important.

To create your transition:

  • Move red vertical scrubber to point between equal-valued subjects.
  • Right-click > Split Clip
  • Move scrubber to where transition should begin
  • Drag right-hand clip to scrubber
  • Notice pink rectangle in above image
    • That’s the place where the 2 overlap
  • Right-click in the pink rectangle
  • You will see over 3 dozen transitions such as those in this image
  • Experiment with different ones until you find one you like
  • Look at it again and save it
  • Watch the video below to see this explained differently.

Final exercise

Watch the short YouTube video below. It tells you to reproduce a 45 second sections of the video using different pictures & different text.

If you can do that, you understand this blog post very well.



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