Video Editing Tips for Beginners

Rean Uehara
Co-authored with Rean Uehara

Evolving technology makes it possible for anyone to become a video creator. However, with numerous social media and their various video types - shorts, reels, stories, boomerang, live, GIF, and more - it is not easy to generate exceptional content.

Hence, knowing how to edit videos is still one of the key determinants of viral content.

This article compiles a list of the best video editing tips to help beginners create outstanding content. Keep reading to become a master of video production!

1. Pick the right video editor

Nowadays there are tons of applications that are used by both, professionals and amateurs, to edit videos into outstanding content.

A professional video production program offers high-quality editing capabilities - color correction, effects, subtitles, etc. However, most of them are too complex and require time to master.

Luckily, there is a free video editing software that will easily meet your basic needs - Icecream Video Editor.

There is no point in buying an expensive professional program if you are not planning on becoming the next Oscar winner for best film editing. Also, most advanced video editors are based on a subscription mode.

So, unless you need to use a video creation program daily, it would be a waste of money. Hence, as a beginner, getting a free app to advance your video editing skills will be a great start!

2. Mind the computer RAM

Some would not consider this as video editing advice, but it all starts with your device. Video editing software that works best and offers a wide range of features requires a large amount of working memory.

You will need at least 8GB of RAM (Random Access Memory) for the most comfortable experience with such software. 16GB will give you a smoother experience with sophisticated video editors.

However, if you do not have a lot of free space or just do not want to load heavy programs, some applications are lightweight, yet capable. For instance, the Icecream Video Editor only needs 4 GB of RAM. Yet, it performs the most popular operations you might need to edit video content.

Icecream Video Editor - system settings

3. Explore the video editing software you pick

In regards to editing videos, the software you choose is a very important factor. Before uploading videos to the software, spend a few moments examining the capabilities of the program you have chosen. You may be surprised by all the options available.

Different programs offer various tools and unique capabilities. Look for ones that have an extensive set of tools, like motion tracking and color correction. Pick an open-source application if you want a video editor without watermark.

To get familiar with the video editor, watch reviews and tutorials online. All programs have a website, and many run a YouTube channel - both can be full of helpful videos. Watching these can help you become more comfortable with the video editing software.

Another good way to explore your application is to test out the instruments before you edit the video for your project. This will provide you with a clearer comprehension of how each tool functions and what type of outcomes you can anticipate from them.

Invest some time to explore the functionality before you start working on video production. By doing so, you can take full advantage of the program and make better videos.

Start working with Icecream Video Editor

4. Set your goals

Before beginning your video editing project, it is essential to set expectations for the final result. This will aid you in staying focused and creating a successful outcome. These pointers can guide you in setting effective video production goals.

How to set goals for video editing:

  • Determine the purpose of the video. Is it intended to educate, entertain, or promote?
  • Think about the target audience for the video. Who are you trying to reach?
  • Set a realistic timeline for completing the project.
  • Consider what message or story should be conveyed in the video.
  • Decide what elements need to be included such as background music, graphics, interviews, etc.
  • Determine the budget, if applicable.

By setting clear objectives before you begin to edit your video, you can ensure that your final result will be successful and meet its intended purpose. However, being flexible and willing to adjust your goals based on challenges that may arise during the process is also necessary.

Utilizing these tips, you will be set up for success in producing an excellent video!

How to set goals for video editing

5. Think about the result when filming

In terms of video editing, the key is to plan ahead. Before filming, think about the outcome you are going for. This will help you get the best footage that you can use when editing. To make sure your video looks professional, plan your shots. Consider angles, lighting, and background. This will make video production much easier in the end.

It is also important to shoot extra footage. Take multiple shots of each scene and dare to explore different perspectives with various angles and camera movements. This will grant you plenty of options you edit your video later.

Make sure to capture audio too. This can be done with an external microphone or a field recorder. To ensure quality sound, record in a quiet environment and keep the microphone close to the source.

Finally, think about how long your video should be and plan accordingly when shooting. Cut out any unnecessary footage that does not contribute to the story, so your viewers stay engaged throughout the entire video.

By keeping these tips in mind while filming, you'll have all the components necessary for creating videos successfully!

Video production - filming

6. Have B-rolls

A B-roll is essential for creating videos that are interesting and dynamic. This is when all the extra footage comes in handy.

B-roll footage is supplementary clips that enhance the main subject of the video. It helps create transitions, add context, and make a video more visually appealing. (Adobe)

Incorporating a B-roll into your video editing is a key element of crafting professional and captivating content. By adding it to your video production, you will possess all the tools you need to create great videos that will hold viewers' attention until the end!

Video Editing Tips: Have B-rolls

7. Watch video editing tutorials

If editing videos is something you have not done before, the first thing you should do is watch tutorials. This is a great way to acquire skills for basic video editing and understand what techniques you can implement. This can help you understand how different software works and provide you with an introduction to the tools available to edit videos.

You can find tons of free video editing tutorials online. You can even enroll in a course if you want to get more advanced knowledge of the subject. Focus on one topic at a time – like color grading, audio mixing, or motion graphics – and practice, practice, practice!

Video editing tutorials

8. See what other video creators do

When it comes to video editing, sometimes it is best to learn from the pros. Observing the work of professionals can give you a better understanding of how to edit your videos.


  • Research popular creators in your niche and watch their latest videos.
  • Pay attention to their video editing style, techniques, and tools they use.
  • Read up on tips from experienced video editors.
  • Take notes on their advice and find ways to apply them to your own work.

By watching the process of editing videos and the final result, you will gain invaluable insight. Bearing these ideas in mind, you will be well on the way to creating stunning videos of your own!

How to edit videos

9. Ask for help

Crafting a video may be a difficult endeavor at first. It requires a lot of patience, creativity, and technical know-how. But do not be afraid to ask for help.

Whether you are just starting out or have been editing videos for years, there is always something new to learn. Numerous online communities are dedicated to video editing, where people share tricks and answer questions.

Experienced video producers can provide valuable insight into best practices and help troubleshoot any problems that arise during the editing process.

If you know someone with experience in video production, do not hesitate to reach out and ask for advice. Remember, seeking assistance is an essential part of becoming an expert video creator. It can make all the difference in your outcome!

Video Editing Tips: Ask for help

10. Organize your files

Imagine, you have shot about 300 raw clips and now you need to edit a video. You have to combine videos, apply effects, add music, trim extra parts, incorporate transitions, and more. Without proper organization, you will get confused with all the material on your video editor's timeline.

It is highly recommended to change the default file names and gather them into appropriate folders. This tip will definitely increase productivity and help locate the necessary clips more easily. Before you start editing videos, it is important to review all your footage and select the content you plan to edit.

Organize files for video editing

11. Work with one task at a time

The main rule of video editing like a real professional is to focus on one fragment of the timeline. Do not jump from one task to another, like do not begin to edit video and audio at the same time.

Do each modification one after another. For example, if you apply transitions and effects, modify all the clips that need that particular change. Such a steady approach will make editing videos logical.

In such a way, you will know for sure that all your clips were stabilized at the beginning. So, you can now focus on adjusting their exposure and later move to add transitions in between.

Media Library of free video editor

12. Crop extra parts

As basic as this part seems, many people tend to forget about getting rid of unnecessary parts of their clips when they edit videos. As a result, there are too many distractions for the viewers that make them lose interest.

Video editing is not just about effects, music, and text. More often than not, it is a job that requires close attention to detail. For example, if you need to highlight an object in the background, otherwise viewers may miss an important detail of your story.

With video editing software, you do not have to do anything extra. Simply crop your video right on the timeline. Keep the following tip in mind.

Crop files in video editor

13. Keep the same aspect ratio

If you have not planned in advance what aspect ratio you want your shot to be - portrait or landscape - this can be a problem when you start editing your videos. The different aspect ratios of the shot most often indicate an unprofessional and unaesthetic approach by the creator.

Respect your audience and at least cover the blank space with blurred bars. Many video editors offer such a solution, while other even sophisticated software, simply leaves black borders around.

Crop video and keep the same aspect ratio

14. Color correction is the key

What you see is not always what you get. Have you ever wondered what a raw picture looked like before cropping, framing, or color correction? Ask a photographer or a video creator and they will tell you that those are two different pieces of media.

To make sure all the scenes match each other in terms of light, saturation, hue, white balance, and more, you need to do at least some basic video editing color correction. For that, video editing software has filters that you can apply to give your entire footage a more aesthetic look.

Color correction in video editor

15. Remember the "static-dynamic" rule

You have probably encountered videos that are so boring and completely unimpressive that they make you yawn. Or, conversely, super-fast changing content that makes you dizzy. Both are examples of why you should remember the "static-dynamic" video editing rule.

Static footage should be mixed with dynamic in video production. People usually lose interest after 5-15 seconds of watching the same frame. (Flocksy)

For a better video experience, you can crop one static or dynamic frame and mix them on the timeline. With the video editor, it is a matter of seconds.

Video editing tips - static-dynamic rule

17. Add transitions

Effects can be applied not only to videos but between scenes, too. Video editing software provides endless options for transitions: from the simple fades to complex ones like the brush effect.

However, do not overload your short videos with lots of transitions. Either choose one and apply it to all of them, or stick to 2-3 options in the most appropriate places. Too many transitions will give your content a "cheap" look.

Various transitions are present in all modern video creators. Video editor we are reviewing is no exception. It has 20+ simple transition effects that are available for free.

Add transitions between the scenes on the timeline

18. Add music to set the mood

Visual effects are certainly an important part of video editing. But do you know what comes first? The right music. And it is not just MP3s that can get your audience to follow you. It also applies to sounds.

To draw attention to a dramatic moment, you can include some intense sounds from your library. Many sites provide license-free music libraries, so you do not have to worry about violating anyone's copyrights.

Also, always use quality headphones or earmuffs to better understand what the audience will hear when you add music to video.

Quietly start with music and sound effects. Why? The audio comes before the visuals. It may seem shocking at first, but we guarantee that once you start following this rule, your video production content will go to the next level.

Add audio to video in video editing software

19. Add text and graphics

To enhance your video or add subtitles, use the editor's ability to add text and graphics. You can download easy-to-use applications to insert any words or subtitles.

However, such programs often lack a variety of placement and customization options. There are special presets for more complex programs, but they can be either free and hard to find, or expensive.

Either way, you can make beautiful content by adding text to video as well as some stickers right in our video editing software. The Icecream Video editor offers such a possibility, so you can do it in a few clicks!

Video editing tip - add text to video

20. Learn keyboard shortcuts

Mastering keyboard shortcuts significantly improves your editing efficiency and speed. When you don't have to interrupt your creative flow by searching through menus, you can focus more on the creative aspects of your project.

Commonly used shortcuts:

Basic editing

  • Cut: Ctrl + X (Windows) or Command + X (Mac)
  • Copy: Ctrl + C (Windows) or Command + C (Mac)
  • Paste: Ctrl + V (Windows) or Command + V (Mac)
  • Undo: Ctrl + Z (Windows) or Command + Z (Mac)
  • Redo: Ctrl + Y (Windows) or Command + Y (Mac)

Timeline navigation

  • Play/pause: Spacebar
  • Go to beginning/end: Home/End (Windows) or Command + Left/Right Arrow (Mac)
  • Next/previous edit point: Up/Down Arrow Keys

Timeline editing

  • Ripple edit (trim): B (Final Cut Pro), T (Adobe Premiere Pro), R (DaVinci Resolve)
  • Blade/cut tool: C (Adobe Premiere Pro), B (Final Cut Pro), Ctrl + B (DaVinci Resolve)
  • Select all (timeline): Ctrl + A (Windows) or Command + A (Mac)

Zoom in/out

  • Zoom in: = (Equals Key) or Scroll Up
  • Zoom out: - (Minus Key) or Scroll Down

Keep in mind that these shortcuts may vary slightly depending on the video editing software you're using, but these are general and commonly applicable across various platforms. Refer to the documentation to find the specific ones for the program you are using.

Overall, investing time in learning and mastering keyboard shortcuts is a foundational skill that enhances your overall video editing proficiency. As you become more familiar with these shortcuts, you'll notice a significant improvement in your efficiency.

21. Save regularly

Another thing newbies and even amateurs forget is getting into the habit of making multiple backups. This applies to both, having the original footage stored on a different device and saving your progress frequently so you do not lose it in case of a video editor's crash.

Once you finish editing videos, save the file in multiple forms. For instance, export the content to your PC, upload it to cloud storage, and have it on a flash drive. That way you will not lose anything, even if your computer crashes or one of the storage devices goes missing.

Video project export

22. Re-watch what you create

It is good to leave your computer to have a cup of tea to take a break from editing videos.

When returning, always refresh where you were and what you have done so far. You will get a fresher look at your video production and may see mistakes you have not noticed. That way you will correct them right away, not after you export the finished file.

Overall, this habit is very useful and increases your productivity. A good video editor is not all you need to create amazing content. The video creator - YOU - is what makes the film unique!

Media player in video editing software

23. Focus on telling a story

Every video is a story. Whether it is a music video, news episode, or a film for a family gathering, as you edit your video, it needs to tell a story.

Creating a memorable and effective video requires more than just a few cuts. Stick to the idea you had before you began video editing. Use all the tools of the video editor to keep your audience engaged.

Crop videos while video editing

24. Be creative

Video production is a great way to be creative and express yourself. Do not be afraid to experiment and explore things you have not tried before.

Finally, take your time when editing videos, and do not rush things. Creating videos involves experimentation and finding what works best for your project. Do not get discouraged if things do not turn out the way you first imagined them. That is part of the learning process!

Add text to video in video editor

Video editing tips: conclusion

In this article, we have covered some essential video editing tips that we hope many people will find useful. From a practical point of view, you do not have to learn all the terms on this list to become a better video editor.

However, a fundamental knowledge of these concepts can help you master your skills and become a true professional.

Aiden Anderson

Icecream Apps Staff Writer

Aiden Anderson, a talented tech writer, serves as a staff writer at Icecream Apps while also contributing articles to Video Candy and Resume Trick. At Icecream Apps, he delivers compelling content with his expertise in the tech industry. With a diverse range of topics under his belt, Aiden ensures readers across these platforms receive valuable and informative articles.


Rean Uehara

Rean Uehara

Expert Tech Writer

10 min read
Rean Uehara
Co-authored with Rean Uehara
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