10 Video Editing Tips For Beginners

The recording is one half of the process of creating an appealing video – editing is the other. To get a professional-looking video, both have to be on point. Editing requires creativity and a good eye for cinematography. It also requires technical skills – you will need to know how to use all the tools available within the editing software. Most editing tools are very powerful, and by learning how to use editing tools with cinematic LUTs, you can save a lot of time on getting the video to look exactly how you want it to.

 Well, there are some tips and tricks you can use as a beginner to edit videos like a pro, and we have covered them for you in this article.

11 Tips For Beginners To Get Better At Video Editing

  1. Choose A Software That Works For You

The first step is selecting an editing tool that works best for you. You’re looking at compatibility with your computer’s OS, with your computer’s configuration (for performance), and also at how comfortable you are with the software. All brands provide a trial period, so it’s a good idea to give each a whirl and see which one you are most comfortable with. The top editing software in the market today are After Effects, Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Final Cut Pro.

You can also look for the best online video editor, there are great options like Adobe Spark, Animoto, and Flyer.

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  1. Invest In A High-Performance Computer

Editing software is resource-heavy. They take up a lot of system resources to run live previews with effects on and to render the final cut.

If you don’t have a computer that’s fast, you will end up having a laggy experience when editing your video, you’ll have huge render times, and worse, the software could hang mid edit, and you’ll lose your progress.

If you’re going to be editing videos regularly, you should invest in upgrading your computer to a high-performance one.

  1. Learn While You Edit

There are plenty of free tutorials on YouTube that will teach you how to use the editing software from scratch. You can go from being a beginner to a professional just by watching these free videos and practicing. There are paid tutorials that you can explore as well.

It’s good to take up a course and learn how to use the software you have chosen and to learn all the options and features it provides.

When you’re beginning, a good way to learn is to first think of the effect you want for your video and then search how to get it down on the software. That way, you learn just what’s needed for the job and slowly get better at the tool.

All the best online video editors have free and paid tutorials online.

  1. Practice With Project Files

When you’re learning to use the editing software from tutorials, try and get the project files for the tutorial. Most courses provide project files that you can use to practice along.

When you get the project file, you can see first-hand how the edit was made, what options were used, and this will help you learn faster.

  1. Use The 321 Rule

A simple rule for videography – save 3 copies on at least 2 locations with at least 1 physical copy. The amount of work that goes into video editing is huge, and the last thing you want is to lose your files and have to start from scratch.

  1. Have A Story And Direction Before You Start Editing

It’s easy to get carried away when learning a new tool (especially creative tools) and to try and apply effects just because they are available. This is the wrong approach to cinematography.

The right approach is to first plan how the scene should go and how it should look in your mind or on paper and then to edit the video to achieve that effect. You and not the software should direct the video.

  1. Use Keyboard Shortcuts An Get Faster

As you learn to use the editing software, start leveraging the features it provides for quick work, like keyboard shortcuts. Learning keyboard commands will save you a huge amount of time on editing.

It’s quite obvious that it will, just imaging the time difference between hitting ctrl+c vs. heading over to the edit button and selecting copy.

  1. Learn The Terms Involved In Editing

It’s good to know the technical terms involved in editing because it will help you use the software better. It will also help you search for help better and faster. When you don’t know the right terms in editing, you’ll spend time going over each option within the software, looking for what you want.

Of course, this happens with time, but make learning the terms involved in editing a part of your learning journey.

  1. Colour Grade Your Clips When Editing, Not When Shooting

It’s always a good idea to shoot with as much color and light and then color grade the clips in editing software. A camera has limited options for effects, its job is just to shoot clear and crisp videos. Colour grading should be done in the editing phase.

Editing tools will also have a huge number of color grading options that will help you get the right effect you want for your video.

  1. Choose The Right Music To Portray Emotion

Music can make a huge difference in a video, especially to set the mood. It’s sometimes hard to deliver the emotion you want to portray through visuals alone. Selecting the right tunes for each scene will help you deliver the message correctly.

Make sure you are using licensed music or you run the risk of getting a copyright strike on your video.

  1. Export For The Target Platform

Editing software is powerful enough to render and export videos at maximum depth and quality. But these files generally end up being huge. You have to plan ahead and think of the platform you will be hosting it on.

If you are creating a video for YouTube, you need to stick to the maximum limit for YouTube. Doing this is easy, the software will have presets for each platform and all you have to do is export the file by selecting the right preset for your platform.

But if you’re a beginner, should you maneuver around sophisticated editing software or address professional video editing services?


Video editing requires skill and time but can be an extremely enjoyable process for someone who is interested in cinematography. If you’re a beginner, don’t be overwhelmed by the number of options in the editing tool. Use the tips we have listed and as you continue editing videos, you’ll get better at using the tool.

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