If you're new to YouTube, don't have much money to spend on equipment, or just straight up don't want to be seen on camera, here are a few video ideas to consider:
*This post was most recently updated 4/13/2021.
1. Social Media posts with commentary
One new type of YouTube video I've seen is where someone covers a topic on Reddit and shares the best posts or comments.
One of the best examples of this is a channel called “EmKay.”
They basically find the best posts in a subreddit and use that as the visual while reading the posts and adding funny commentary as the audio.
Here's an example:
2. Live commentary for an event
Another type of YouTube video that seems to be catching lately is live commentary during live events (like sports).
For instance, many people don't like the commentators the TV station picks to cover certain sporting events.
This is where you can come in and be the alternative while getting paid to do so.
As an example, you could do commentary with YouTube Live during the Super Bowl and people would just listen to you while watching the game.
A famous YouTuber you actually does this is Joe Rogan. When he's not commentating in person at a UFC or other martial arts event, he'll sometimes have a live “Fight Companion” show with some of his best friends on YouTube.
I would have an example of a Fight Companion episode here, but since Joe Rogan signed an exclusive deal with Spotify, most of those videos were taken off of YouTube.
So, instead, here's an example of this same concept, but with a group of friends that watch and break down live basketball games:
3. Explaining or drawing on whiteboard
Another popular YouTube video style without being on camera can include explaining something on a whiteboard or using whiteboard animation.
This is a VERY effective way to create popular videos without having to show your face.
Look at this video by Fight Mediocrity, for instance:
You can use some whiteboard animation software like VideoScribe to create these kinds of videos yourself on whatever subject you're trying to outline.
I find that this format works especially well for educational channels.
Another alternative could be to draw on a virtual whiteboard as you explain something or just show off your artistic abilities.
You can use a free tool like Sketch.io to do this.
4. Game streaming/recorded gameplay
Believe it or not, you don't need to be on-camera to stream or record yourself playing video games.
Just look at TheRadBrad, for instance.
He has around 12 million subscribers on YouTube, as of me writing this, and you never see his face in his videos.
His videos consist of just gameplay footage and commentary. Here's an example:
Then, you just upload the videos to YouTube from there.
5. Podcast with static image
Another interesting way to make YouTube videos without being on camera is by using a podcast with just a static image as the visual.
This is one of the easiest ways to create YouTube videos because you don't have to deal with people, animation or any other type of moving visual.
A great example of this would be The Tim Ferriss Show podcast episodes like this one:
As long as you have a decent podcast that keeps people engaged, people will use YouTube to search for your episodes and just have them playing in the background.
6. Office or home tour
Another great video to do if you don't want to be on camera is an office or home tour.
You could even do a gaming setup video if you're a streamer.
What's nice about this video style is it can work for pretty much any channel type that you have.
Have a cooking channel? Do a kitchen tour.
Have a gaming channel? Do a gaming room tour.
Are you a vlogger? Do a house tour.
And no, you don't have to get a camera person and show yourself walking around. Just use your phone or camera and explain as you show the equipment and rooms for your visuals.
Here's an example of this (the YouTuber's face is only in the very beginning:
7. Screenshare reviews
If you have more of an educational channel, you might try doing screenshare reviews.
These can apply to any website, social media profile, app, software, etc. that you might review for people who are interested.
I know it's an old video that doesn't have the best quality, but here's an example of what this could look like:
8. Tutorials on screen, cooking, etc.
You can also do a lot of different kinds of tutorials without showing your face.
For instance, you can do just about anything on a screen (like coding tutorials) or even anything that just involves viewers seeing your hands (like drawing or cooking tutorials).
Here's an example of how you could do something like a website tutorial without being on-screen:
9. Compilation of clips, memes, etc.
I've been finding more and more YouTube channels that literally take memes and content from other social media sites like Reddit and commentate on them in the form of videos.
One example of this is how a channel called “EmKay” will use a popular subreddit and its top posts as the subject of videos while adding some funny commentary.
Here's a video from EmKay:
While this method of making videos may seem simple compared to many other top channels, I must remind you that they have over 2 million subscribers.
It seems to work.
10. Product unboxing or review
Another type of video you can do without being on-camera that can apply to any channel is product unboxings or reviews.
Have a makeup tutorials channel? Unbox and review makeup products.
Have a motivational channel? Review the top books in the industry.
You can apply this to anything and some channels are even built on this very concept.
Just look at all the popular toy unboxing channels out there!
Here's an example:
11. How much YouTube pays me
And of course, we have the “How much YouTube pays me” video.
Any YouTuber in any niche can do this because you're all on YouTube.
Plus, many people are curious about what it's like to make money creating videos all the time.
Now, can you do one of these videos every week?
But, it can be one of your most popular videos ever if you do it right and are transparent with people.
And all you have to do is screenshare your YouTube Analytics page and add a little commentary.
Here's an example:
Now, I know this YouTuber is in the video, but you don't have to be. Just focus on showing people the analytics.
12. Explainer videos with stock footage
Another great YouTube video idea without being on camera is an explainer or even motivational video using stock footage as the visual.
For example, the FightMediocrity and Motivation Madness channels will take parts of speeches or interviews and combine them with stock footage to create popular videos.
Here's an example of how FightMediocrity does it:
And here's an example of how Motivation Madness does it:
If you're wondering where to get stock footage for these kinds of channels, I recommend either Canva or StoryBlocks.
Canva will cost around $10/month or so, while also providing lots of other graphic design tools and templates.
StoryBlocks will cost around $30/month or so, and will just be a huge library of stock footage.
What's nice about these is they both let you download the footage and keep it even after you cancel your membership (which doesn't cost that much).
13. Film breakdowns
If you're passionate about any kind of sport, video game, movie, etc., you can do film breakdown videos.
The main thing you're going to need for this is a screen recorder, video download tool, or other way to get the footage from the source you need.
As far as a screen recorder, I like and use Camtasia.
They way these types of videos work is you breakdown the tiniest details that people might want to know about something they really enjoy or want to be good at.
So, for a sports example, you could break down the shooting form of the best NBA basketball players, kind of like this:
For a video game example, you could do breakdowns of how to beat bosses like this:
For a movie-related breakdown, you could cover small details people may have missed in a popular movie like this:
There are SO many applications for the breakdown video style and many of them can get MILLIONS of views.
Animation videos are also very popular on YouTube if you have a unique style and keep people entertained.
Obviously, this may take some artistic talent to pull off, but if you want to make popular videos without being on camera, its one of the best options out there.
One of the best ways to build a new animation channel is with parodies or popular cartoons, TV shows, movies, etc.
Here's an example of a short Thor parody that did really well:
If you have funny pets, you might make them the stars of some of your videos.
Funny cat, dog, and other animal content is popular on pretty much any platform, whether it's Reddit, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or anything else.
Some YouTubers even have entire channels dedicated to their pets that give millions of views.
Here's an example from a channel called “Kittisaurus” that has over 2 million subscribers:
16. App recordings
A unique type of video that I haven't seen a lot of people do yet is app recordings.
This is a versatile type of video because you can apply it to gaming, tutorials, reviews, reactions or just about anything else.
For example, here's a video I did back in 2017 where I reviewed and walked people through making money with an app:
To record this, I used a free Android app called “AZ Screen Recorder”.
With this app, you can record your screen just like you would on a PC and upload it directly to your Google Drive, YouTube, or just about anywhere else so, you can edit and publish it.
It's just another interesting type of video you can do without being on camera.