When you want to grow your channel, hiring a video editor for YouTube is something you’ll have to consider sooner or later.
Countless lists and how-to guides for beginner video creators suggest outsourcing certain parts of your production process. Editing especially takes up lots of your time, and so it’s often given as the first task to outsource.
But before you get out your credit card, you’re probably thinking: Is it really worth it?
This article takes a look at the most common arguments in favor of hiring a video editor for YouTube – and helps you decide whether it’s the right choice for you.
Assess Your Own Skills
First off, take stock of your own video editing skills. Are they good enough for the kind of video you want to produce?
Video editing is an art in and of itself.
Cutting in all the right places, layering over music, animations, special effects, creating great intros and outros. Not to mention adjusting aspects like lighting and color grading.
All these skills take professional video editors years to master and hone to perfection. Editing is a serious, in-demand job.
If you want to produce high-quality videos with more complex effects, you’re definitely better off hiring a professional straight away. (Unless, of course, you want to become a master editor yourself and have the time and resources to acquire the necessary skill set.)
In contrast, if the video clips you’re aiming for are fairly simple and you already have solid editing skills, you might be better off handling your projects yourself. For instance, this could be the case if you produce YouTube Shorts, or coding tutorials that consist of a screen recording and your voice-over.
Even then, there’s a whole other consideration: Nobody pays you for DIY editing. You might want to spend that time more productively. Content creators like you have a lot on their plate to begin with.
Olivia Tan, the co-founder of CocoFax, told us about her experience: “At first, I was thinking that I should really be able to do the video cuts myself. But once the channel took off, and I had to think harder on what to focus on next, it was just the question where I’d rather invest my time – into planning more content, or sticking with editing. I chose more videos.”
Consider Your Content Output – And Your Goals
The next point to consider is your current content output, and your long-term goals.
- How many videos are you producing?
- How long are they?
- And how much time does it take you to edit each one?
Even if you’re a proficient editor yourself, video editing is time-consuming. Typically, editors take 30 minutes to an hour for a single minute of finished video – if they know what they’re doing.
If you want to up your content output, hiring a video editor for YouTube helps you free up your time. That’s a lot of hours you’ll no longer spend looking for downloads of particular effects, optimizing templates, or fine-tuning the color grading on your footage.
Instead, you can invest this time into generating content ideas, drafting your scripts, and shooting your footage. In a word: professionalizing as a creator.
A big reason why most professional YouTubers hire video editors is that they produce large numbers of videos – often several each week. Keeping up that pace is a key reason for their success.
Creating more content can be a good way to increase audience loyalty and engagement – and YouTube’s algorithm, in turn, rewards that with higher rankings. And that’s not yet counting the video content you can remix and export as previews for your other social media platforms.
Nobody has unlimited time, of course. In addition to giving you more time to plan, create and polish content, outsourcing can also give you vital space to recharge and regroup.
Balance Your Budget – Think Time and Tools
Finally, it’s time to dig out your calculator and crunch some numbers.
The question we’re trying to answer here is whether hiring a YouTube video editor actually pays off for you.
Let’s talk outsourcing costs first. The answer here isn’t all that simple, because costs for video editing services vary.
How much you end up paying per video depends on a bunch of things: whether you hire a company or a freelancer, whether you opt for a subscription or per-video pricing, how complex your edits are, and how fast you want results.
As a rule of thumb, you can expect to pay around $250 for a professionally edited YouTube video.
Against that, you need to weigh the amount you save in terms of time and tools.
Think about what an hour of your time is worth to you. As a content creator, you’re your own boss, so how much would you pay yourself hourly? And how many hours would you save by handing off your edits to someone else?
The Video Editor Toolkit
In addition to that, there’s the cost of the professional video tools you’d need to do your own editing.
Yes, there is a lot you can do with free video editor tools and filters these days (without getting a watermark slapped on). Even your mobile device’s built-in editor – whether on your iPhone, iPad, or Android – can get you surprisingly far. The user-friendly interface of these apps is a great way to get your feet wet.
But for more advanced features and effects, such as complex transitions, overlays, motion graphics, chroma key, and a heavy-duty timeline, pro desktop software is the way to go.
And we’re definitely not talking about Apple iMovie or the Windows Movie Maker of old.
The best video editing software, like Final Cut Pro, can easily cost several hundred dollars. Subscription options, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, are even more expensive in the long run.
In addition to that, you might need graphic design software, separate animation tools, something to clean up the audio track, and – not to forget – powerful hardware to handle the rendering. There is a pretty good reason why creative pros favor Macs, even though they’re relatively pricey.
For YouTube beginners, you’ll probably get more mileage out of a better camera and mic than an editor’s kit.
Should You Hire a Video Editor for YouTube?
At the end of the day, whether you should hire a video editor for YouTube depends on three main factors: your own skill set, your content volume, and your budget.
You have solid tools and editing skills yourself and make few, straightforward videos? Then hiring a video editor doesn’t need to rank high on your list of priorities.
Otherwise, hiring a video editor or video editing company is a great option: If your own editing know-how is limited, if you’re upping your content output, or if you want to free up your time for other creative tasks. In this case, a professional editor is a fantastic partner to help you grow your channel and find YouTube success.
Yes. High-quality content and professional editing are a must if you’re serious about YouTube, both as a content creator and as a business.
Yes. Most creators who are serious about their channel eventually hire a video editor to reclaim huge chunks of their time.
Smaller hobbyist channels often do edit their own videos, but larger channels typically use a video editing service.
As a rule of thumb, expect to pay about $250 per edited video. The actual cost depends on your footage, video length, editing style, and the editor’s experience.