YouTube Thursdays - Let's Begin to Edit!

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

In our rebooted YouTube Thursdays series, we've had a few weeks of inspiration from other video creators. I hope you've been inspired for what potential there is for what is possible in creating video. Have you been thinking about your own YouTube channel? Creating video is NOT going to be for everyone. But if I can nudge even a small percentage beyond the "thinking about it" into "giving it a go" mode, then this series is successful!

Now it's the time for action phase of our project. If you want to lose weight you can't just watch a series of exercise videos, you've got to get up and follow along. So if you want to create videos, you can't just watch others do it. Time to step up! Don't worry, the goal line comes after a whole series of baby steps.

The two fundamentals for video creation are: (1) recording content and (2) editing your clips into a final composition. We're going to leap frog over into the editing topic as the focus for this post. We'll come back to the other fundamental point in other blog posts.

It's true, you could have a YouTube channel without ever doing a single edit. Press record, press stop, and upload. But if you look at any content creator that you enjoy watching, there are edits involved. The more complicated that you want to make it, the bigger the obstacle to the goal, and the less likely that you'll hit that goal. Let's start with some very helpful and useful BASICS. Trimming and cutting your footage is the first fundamental skill that you'll want to know. Consider recording yourself on a brief talking video. Won't you want to trim a little from the start where you walk from your camera to your seat? And the same applies to the end of the clip where you get up from your seat so you can hit the stop button. You don't want those parts in your uploaded video.

You are three minutes into a short explainer video, when your phone rings. Do you have to record the whole thing from the beginning again?

Also consider that you are recording a talking video that's a couple minutes long. Right in the middle, your phone rings because you forgot to silence it. You think "but the beginning part of this video was going so well, I don't want to lose what I already recorded!" So what you do after you silence your phone is roll back in your mind to the last sentence that you finished before the interruption. Recompose yourself in the shot and then begin speaking right where you left off. In post production, you can split your clip into parts and simply delete the part that you don't want!

So for this editing process, we need to work with a video editing app. If you are on Mac, you've probably heard of iMovie. It's built in and ready to use with no additional installations. For Windows, we for a long time had the Windows Movie Maker app. That has since been discontinued and now Microsoft is including the ClipChamp app. I have done a little experimentation with ClipChamp and it has potential. However, I recently became aware of another app called CapCut that works both on Mac and PC and it's the one I'll feature in this series. We can put it through the paces and see how it performs. In order to recommend an app, I look for a good set of tools that we'll need for both simple and advanced edits and yet the interface should not be overly intimidating for beginners (like looking at the systems panels on in the cockpit of an airliner). Whether you choose to do your edits in CapCut, iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Davinci Resolve, Adobe Premiere Pro, or very long list of other options, the concepts that we mention will remain the same.

You'll see in the snapshot below, the interface is a really good balance. It's not too simple where you wish it could do more. It's not too complex where you don't know where to start. The bottom of the window is the timeline where you assemble your clips and trim them as needed. The top left is the bin where you assemble all the media (video clips, music, photos) that you want to use in your video composition. The top middle is the preview window. The top right is the properties panel where you can make adjustments to whatever element you currently have selected.

For the purpose of your first homework assignment, we're going to skip over the part of recording your own videos. That comes next and that's a whole new discussion. For now, let's get some video clips and see how we can assemble them in to a little composition. Let's head over to for some free and royalty free video clips. For the homework, use one of these two links to get some source videos. Here's a link for animal clips and here's one for cooking clips (and you could also search for eating if you wanted a mix for a food theme) Pick one the two themes above and download 5 clips.

Next you will need to decide what video editing app to use. If you want to use CapCut, you can click that link to go to the download page for the desktop app This app is free to use. They have a subscription paid tier, but all the editing we need to do is in the free tier.

For the purpose of the homework assignment, you should assemble and cut all 5 of your clips down to the same length of 7 seconds each. That means if your downloaded clip was 12 seconds, you should scrub through each video to find the best 7 seconds and trim off some from the beginning and/or end to get it cut down. If you follow this pattern for each of your videos, 5 clips times 7 seconds and you will have a 35 second video that you should export to mp4 file once completed. If you have a YouTube channel, upload the mp4 and mark it as "unlisted". This means that you can get a link to the video to share with us but that anyone following your channel won't see your practice video. Come back to this post and share your link to your unlisted video in your comment. Will you take on this challenge? I hope so!

Meanwhile, you say, "Wait! I have no idea how to use the video editing app!" I'm so glad you mentioned that. Here's a getting started video by Jamie Keet from the Teacher's Tech Channel on how to use CapCut.


Here's a sample that I created by composing 5 different animal shots. I trimmed each clip down to 7 seconds. So the total runtime here is 35 seconds.


We're not getting fancy quite yet with transitions, background music, adding text, and more edits like that. If you can get these 5 clips assembled and trimmed, then you took a fantastic first step into the world of video editing!

Now whether or not you plan on creating business videos on a YouTube channel, having a video editing skill is a fun and useful thing anyway. Perhaps you want to assemble some clips into a highlight reel from a vacation or some special day. Now you are on track to being able to do this!

Also, a couple of reminders to all you following this YouTube Thursdays series. If you are creating and using videos in your blog posts, be sure and include your post in the YouTube Thursdays group. Visit the group page from time to time and see who else has been posting videos so we can encourage one another. 

Also, you won't want to miss the next ActiveRain Zoom scheduled for Tue Feb 6 at 2:00pm eastern. In this call, our presenter will be Charlie Dresen who you can learn more about in my post linked above from a couple weeks back.


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Craig Daniels
This blog is all about technology and helping you to use it smarter! Your digital footprint is your chance to attract new clients. What kind of impression are you making via your website, blog, and social media? We’ll be talking about that! Are you as productive as you can be? What apps might help you out? Do you know how to use all the best tools inside the apps? I enjoy photography and videography, you can expect to see those topics also on this blog.
Are you ready to learn?
Welcome to Craig’s Classroom!

PS - get ready for some homework… :) 

Comments (19)

Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Editing is probably one of the reasons that I have not done much with my video channel since I didn't want to take the time to learn how to edit.  The videos that I have done have merely been uploading a video to YouTube, haha.

Feb 01, 2024 04:24 AM
Craig Daniels

It is a little investment of time but ultimately is not too hard to do Brian England 

Feb 03, 2024 11:27 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Craig. Being retired I can take my time learning and getting up to speed. Not sure I will ever get there but value your posts and inspiration. Thanks! Enjoy your day.

Feb 01, 2024 04:51 AM
Craig Daniels

thank you Wayne

Feb 03, 2024 11:28 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

Great information. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your week!

Bill Salvatore, Realtor- Arizona Elite Properties

Feb 01, 2024 04:53 AM
Craig Daniels

thank you Bill

Feb 03, 2024 11:28 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I have definitely used iMovie quite a bit - after the first few times, it's definitely a lot easier!

Feb 01, 2024 05:35 AM
Craig Daniels

That's great! iMovie is definitely a good editing app!

Feb 03, 2024 11:28 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Craig,

OMG..this is so helpful and I'm hoping to make some time to actually do this! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise! I'm so excited Charlie Dresen is presenting on Tuesday! I love all his videos! 

Feb 01, 2024 06:41 AM
Craig Daniels

I hope it works out to spend some time to acquire some basic video skills. Be sure and let me know! Dorie Dillard Austin TX 

Feb 03, 2024 11:30 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

I have been using clipchamp for a while, and still think the old windows movie editor was better, probably because I was used to it. Have always been impressed with Charlie's videos. Good reason to be on the call next week.

Feb 01, 2024 08:10 AM
Craig Daniels

Windows Movie Maker app was surprisingly full featured. I was sad to see it gone. But we have other tools now to fill the void. thanks Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 

Feb 03, 2024 11:31 AM
Joyce Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Joyce Marsh Luxury Homes & Interior Designer

Very informative tutorial with easy to follow steps and instructions. Thank you very much.

Feb 01, 2024 08:40 AM
Craig Daniels

glad you liked it. Thanks Joyce

Feb 03, 2024 11:31 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

This is a wonderful tutorial, Craig. I can see I have a lot to learn - video editing is certainly a weakness for me.



BananaTUDE Group logo  Featured in BananaTUDE

Feb 01, 2024 09:07 AM
Craig Daniels

I've seen your videos Jeff. I really hope you join us to make 2024 a new content year for video! See you Tuesday (I hope) : ) Jeff Dowler, CRS 

Feb 03, 2024 11:32 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Craig you make things look easy to do, even for someone challenged like me.  ☺️

Feb 01, 2024 01:35 PM
Craig Daniels

I'm glad to hear you think it is well explained George. We have to break down into small enough bits and then it isn't so intimidating! See you Tuesday George Souto 

Feb 03, 2024 11:33 AM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Company - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

I know I'm not out of line when I say - YOU'RE THE BEST!! You make me want to do videos again! (I've been waiting to have my house back, but looks like I need to get back to it because I'm going to have guests for a while 😬). Thank you. I have several I want to try, so I'll learn this app. THANK YOU!

Feb 02, 2024 06:37 AM
Craig Daniels

aww, thanks!! 😊 I can't wait to see the next round of Mimi's videos
Mimi Foster 

Feb 03, 2024 11:34 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

You ARE the best, Craig! I've learned how to make reels on Facebook and Instagram, does that count? I've learned to trim the beginning and the end of a video on my phone. Is there a recommended editing app for an Android? I don't do a lot of video but can see myself trying to learn more and incorporate it into my FB pages. Probably won't ever get proficient with a YouTube channel but that's ok, too. Thanks for all your help. I'll try to make the Zoom call this coming Tuesday. :)

Feb 02, 2024 07:04 PM
Craig Daniels

It's great that you have started with some videos (reels). That certainly counts! You can get the CapCut app on your phone as well. It is in the play store. On a small screen, I personally wouldn't want to do too much editing but I'm sure it's good for some of the basics Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty 

Feb 03, 2024 11:36 AM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

I've been playing around with CapCut's mobile version to create reels, Craig because my daughter told me to :) I did not know there was a desktop version, too. Thank you! I've found the app pretty easy to use. It looks like it's a similar setup on the desktop. 

Feb 03, 2024 06:32 AM
Craig Daniels

I was happily surprised to see that they have desktop versions too! They've done a good job and really appreciate that they kept a very decent amount of the tools in the free version! If you work on any video creations using the app, be sure and let me know so I can check it out. Andrea Bedard 

Feb 03, 2024 11:38 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Craig- what would we do without your tech expertise and your easy-to-follow tutorials?  When I first got into some videos...many years ago, I uploaded my videos to YouTube but became frustrated when they kept changing the video editor. I'm going to try CapCut!!!

Feb 03, 2024 05:55 PM
Craig Daniels

I look forward to hearing about your progress. Keep me posted! Kathy Streib 

Feb 04, 2024 09:47 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Feb 03, 2024 06:11 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

     Before opening up whatever editing suite, mentally or physically do a story board of the future video. The biggest failures of YouTube video channels is just charging in without a plan.

     Your SEO optimizing starts BEFORE you shoot, before editing a video, not after the fact just like blogging.

     Shoot in sequence to save time searching for what you drag into your time line helps speed up the editing process Craig Daniels.

     Missy Caulk told me in excuses for not doing video that 4 hours fooling around with editing was not going to cut it.

     So shooting less but precisely and "seeing" the order and length of video and audio  pieces is the first step to editing. No matter what editing app you use to stitch together your video productions snippets. 

YouTube Real Estate Video Channels

Feb 04, 2024 04:59 AM
Craig Daniels

It's good to have a strategy to what we do. Wasting time on anything is never a good thing. Successful videos can be both SEO and non-SEO targeted. Sometimes a potential client discovers us some other way but GETS TO KNOW AND LIKE US via a video that wasn't part of a google search. But just like handing in a resume that's either outstanding or very sloppy, a potential opportunity is either gained or lost based on the quality of what we produce. We'll be talking about all of these thoughts in the upcoming weekly series. Thanks as always for your thoughts Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 

Feb 04, 2024 10:10 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Craig Daniels: I ask questions and no one answers. They are simple. I understand you are teaching editing here, but what if you want a quick hello transferred to YouTube from your phone?  

I plan to be at the Zoom meeting 

Feb 04, 2024 03:05 PM
Craig Daniels

If you have the YouTube app on your phone, you can click the plus + button in the app to upload a video from your device. That's it. :) See you Tuesday. Hannah Williams 

Feb 05, 2024 05:14 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Craig Daniels  glad we connected and thanks to Kathy Streib  I am here, now with that said next day or two I will have to focus on this post, Endre

Feb 04, 2024 09:43 PM
Craig Daniels

Glad we connected Endre. Thanks!

Feb 05, 2024 05:14 AM
Ben DeHaven
Haven Realty & Investments - Lakeland, FL
Proudly serving Winter Haven & Lakeland, Florida

Thanks for sharing Craig! I've not used Capcut but came from iMovie to Filmora, I have downloaded Davinci Resolve and may test that out. I'm shooting 4K and my computer doesn't like it!

Feb 05, 2024 10:51 AM
Eileen Burns 954.483.3912
Trans State Commercial Realty Inc. - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FLorida Real Estate Connector

Making progress with CapCut Craig Daniels I listened to a webinar earlier in the week and downloaded the app on my Galaxy S22.  When I opened it to upload my clips I lost interest quickly.

I listened to beginner's guide video you provided.  I installed the app on my desktop.  I imported my clips.  I cannot seem to find the place to name them. Now onto editing.

Stay tuned for another progress report 😎

Feb 22, 2024 10:42 AM