5 Top Tips for Video Editing (for Beginners)

Have you tried to edit your videos but found the process overwhelming and given up?

Here are my 5 top tips on how to get started with editing your videos – with the first one being about getting organised!

TIP 1: Organise your footage.

Before you start editing, get all the files and footage stored in one place.

It’s a good idea to create a folder structure on your computer to keep your video clips, audio files, photos, etc together.  You may even decide to buy a hard drive for larger projects, and keep all the files on that.

This saves time when you’re looking for specific things while you’re editing, and when you come back to the project in the future you’ll have everything at your fingertips.

TIP 2: Follow the story outline.

Before recording, you probably created a story outline or at least had an idea of the story you wanted to tell with your video.

Use the outline to guide your editing process so that the story flows well.  You may find that the order you filmed your story is different to the order of the story outline, so be prepared to move things around to make it flow better.

Also remember to have your hook in the first 5-10 seconds of the video, so you capture attention straight away and keep the viewer watching to find out more!

TIP 3: Use simple editing software.

When you first start editing videos, there’s a bit of a learning curve.  There is new terminology to learn and a lots of moving parts, which can be overwhelming if you use a high spec editing suite such as Adobe Premiere.  It’s a great product for expert users, but  I don’t recommend it for beginners.

Choose user-friendly editing software that’s suitable for beginners. Video editing software like iMovie (for Mac users) or Filmora (for PC users) are easy to use and provide really good basic editing functions, without overwhelming you with advanced editing features that you probably won’t need anyway.

TIP 4: Master the basics.

Learn and practice the basic editing techniques. Things like cutting and trimming clips, adding transitions (like cuts or fades), adjusting audio levels, and adding photos to your video.

Get familiar with these basics before delving into more advanced editing features.  There is sometimes a danger of over-editing just to try out new bells and whistles – but you’re better to keep it simple as you want the story itself to be the focus, not the special effects.

TIP 5: Use music and sound wisely.

Music and sound effects can really lift your video’s impact, but make sure the audio doesn’t overpower the visuals or distract from your story. The volume levels should be carefully set, especially if you’re using background music in an interview clip.

Be sure any recorded voice audio is crisp and clear – you may get away with poor quality images but if the sound is bad your viewers will not stay.


Video editing takes practice and patience. Don’t be put off by initial frustrations. Keep experimenting and learning as you go – and enjoy the process of creating.  There are some great tutorials on YouTube that you may find useful too – search for “video editing tips for beginners” and you’ll find some useful expert advice.

I can recommend following the Primal Video YouTube channel for lots of cool video tips, and I will also soon be adding some simple and practical editing tips for beginners on my Saving Family Memories YouTube channel linked below.  Please subscribe to my channel for new tips & ideas each fortnight.

Resources & Links

10 Tips for Video Confidence (Free E-book)


Free list of 30 life story interview questions:


My YouTube channel – Saving Family Memories (new videos are uploaded each fortnight):


Books I recommend:

Your Story How to write it so Others Will Want to Read it – by Joanne Felder:


The Stories We Tell – Every Piece of your Story Matters – by Joanna Gaines


(These book links are affiliate links and for delivery only in NZ & Australia –  I receive a small commission from Booktopia at no additional cost to you).

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