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How to Write a Script for YouTube

5 script writing tips for beginners

Team Nas Academy

04 May · 8 mins read

What does it take before you learn how to write a script that resonates with your viewers on YouTube? What words do you use, how do you start the script – and how do you make people stick around until the end?

So it sounds like you’re relatively new to creating Youtube videos. And now, you’re freaking out because the simple idea of writing scripts that people (possibly millions of them!) will see is intimidating as heck.

young woman sitting on a chair in front of a desk writing on a notebook

Especially with the rise of content creators on YouTube, writing film screenplays has become more of the “old-school” way of producing content. Scripts that last 30 minutes to 120 minutes are watched very selectively, and YouTbue videos of 10 minutes or less are a part of people’s daily routine.

Which means you have a lot of competition and have to learn how to write a script that stands out amongst the masses

So, we’ve compiled 5 top tips to help you learn how to write a script from scratch. Whether you want to learn how to write cooking content, lifestyle, people stories, tech or more – here’s a list of elements you’ll want to consider before starting.

How to Write a Script in 5 Steps 

1. Write What You Know

When it comes to storytelling, your strongest stories are what you know about. Pick something you’re passionate about, something relatively familiar to you and do thoughtful research to fill in the gaps. 

But be careful not to spend too long on it. Narrow in you focus on what story you want to tell, and use only enough information to convey that one story.

Block out a designated amount of time to do the research that you need, and stick to it like a director would stick to a production schedule. 

In production, time is money. Treat your YouTube script the same way.

2. Find Your Unique Perspective 

There are over 30k hours of YouTube videos being uploaded every hour. 

30,000 hours. 

That’s why it’s important to find something that helps you stand out, and that will convince people to watch your video over other peoples. 

This is where your angle comes in.

vue d'un objectif a travers une perspective montrant une jetée en bois sur l'étang au coucher du soleil

Your angle is all about finding something that is unique to you, and injecting that thing into your story as much as possible.

So how do you find your angle when writing scripts? Try asking yourself:

  1. Why does this story interest me so much? 
  2. What do I have to say about it? (controversial opinions – that don’t harm others – are welcome here)
  3. What personal connections or experiences can I relate to this? 
  4. How can I show this story in a way that I haven’t seen before? 
  5. If I were telling this to a friend, how would I say it? 

Questions like this will help you tap into the personal connection to the story you’re telling, and make it something that couldn’t be told by anyone else.

3. Create Your Outline

Now it’s time to start organizing your script details! 

While some people like to skip the outline stage entirely and jump right in to the writing (and if that’s your style – go for it!), sometimes as a beginner, having a bit more structure helps reduce that inevitable fear of the blank page.

Depending on the style of YouTube video you’re writing, the actual sequence of your points are going to vary, but here are some simple elements you may want to map out in advance to make sure you’re covering all the bases: 

The Audience

Make sure you get clear on who your audience is, and who you are talking to. This is going to influence many things later on in your script – including language, examples, references and more. It’s important to immediately understand your target audience before getting down to writing.

The Message

What about this topic are you hoping to share with your audience? What is the impact and the change that you want to create with this script? Knowing your motivation and goal behind the script is going to help you in how you word everything, and what you cut in the editing stage.

The Problem

What are you going to solve for your viewers? When someone comes to watch your video, what are they looking for, and how are you going to give it to them? 

Make this very clear up front in your script and let the audience know that you understand their mental state, and that you’re there to give them what they need by the end of the video. 

The Hook

Mastering the art of writing hooks is difficult. But it’s crucial in learning how to write a script – in fact, it’s crucial in any kind of writing. It’s what will catch your viewers attention immediately, and help them decide whether or not they’re going to stick to watching your video or not. 

Ideally, you want your hook to play on an emotion. Humans react emotionally first, and logically second. So think about something that would make people stop and listen. It could be a shocking statement, a question, a stat, a sound effect – anything to draw your audience in. 

successful blogger who makes a heart to his subscribers

The Body

Here is where you’re going to share all of your wisdom. Write out your research and all the points you want to include in your script – we’ll organize it all later. 

Make sure that the problem is answered and that you follow through on your promise here about what you promised to cover. If you don’t, people aren’t going to come back and watch the next one.

The Conclusion

The conclusion often incorporates a call to action (CTA) where you direct your audience to do something, act, come back for the next video – or simply to reflect on some food for thought.  

You’re going to reinforce your core message that you want to convey with the script, and make sure you wrap up the problem you are solving. End your video with a nice “full circle” moment by referencing back to your hook in one way or another. This is satisfying for viewers and makes your video feel cohesive and connected.

4. Write the Dang Thing!

For anyone who knows how to write a script or who has tried their hand at any kind of writing – you know it’s all too easy to avoid the actual writing part of it.

You get caught up in using the right script format, planning or outlining as a way to procrastinate taking action. This is a completely normal part of any writer’s journey. 

Because we think that if we don’t actually write anything – we can never fail. 

But realistically, if we don’t write anything – we can never find success either.

And the fact that you’re reading this post shows you’re hoping to find success and satisfaction in scriptwriting. So as long as you know your message, your audience and your ultimate goal with the script: you’ve got everything you need to start. 

Just put pen to paper and see what happens!

But be prepared – the first draft might suck. The second one might be even worse. But the more times you do it, the better you’ll get at it.

A big mistake people often make is starting to learn how to write a script, and then expecting a masterpiece immediately. But unfortunately, it doesn’t happen like that for 99% of people. 

If it does for you – koodos. Do share your secret with the rest of us mortal humans.

But until that prodigy steps forward, here are some simple writing tips as you get started:

Focus On Simplicity

As you start to write, think about how you can get the message across as simply as possible. These days, people rarely have time to spend on watching videos – and we’re easily distracted. Focus on getting your message out as clearly and efficiently as possible.

Don’t use fancy words that take people too much time to decipher. Structure your video into sections or points if you have a lot of information to cover. And especially if you’re talking about a complicated topic, try your best to use examples and metaphors – using these elements help give something tangible for your audience to grasp.

Keep it short and to the point. Simplicity helps reach the widest audience possible, and makes sure people don’t lose interest and click off your video out of confusion.

Focus On Storytelling

Another big mistake new writers make is focusing on just writing. But you’re not just writing – you’re telling a story. 

The best kinds of scripts convey a story rather than just conveying information. Think about your beginning, your middle and your end. How are you arranging your tips? In what order? How are you adding mystery or suspense to keep people interested? Think of movies, books and documentaries and draw from these structures for your script.

book with golden magic light

Even if YouTube videos are real life, people are still looking to escape into a story. Things are often better understood when they’re told in a story – which is why movies and books have been around to teach us since the dawn of humanity. 

We remember things when they entertain us, when they’re cathartic, satisfying, uplifting, and it allows us to identify easier with the ideas that are shared. 

In short: they’re easy. And human brains love “easy”. 

5. Cut the Excess

Now it’s time to edit what you’ve created.

You’ll want to go back through your script, read it out loud for flow, and make sure every piece of information, and every word is contributing to the story. Make sure it sounds like whoever is speaking, and remove any unnecessary repetition. The point of editing is to remove the excess content that doesn’t contribute to your single core message.

You also may find yourself going back through these steps and rearranging some things. That’s fine! There’s no single, step-by-step guide on how to write a script or create a successful video. 

There’s no one formula that’s going to work for everyone, all the time.

After all, the beauty of writing and the thing that’s going to create a killer script is the fact that every writer has their own style – even if you don’t quite know what yours is yet. The only way to discover it is through writing continuously, and trying out new things.

But if you are struggling to cut the excess as you go back through your script, revisit your questions:

  1. Why does this story interest me so much? 
  2. What do I have to say about it? (controversial opinions welcome)
  3. What personal connections or experiences can I relate to this? 
  4. What way can I show this story that I haven’t seen before? 
  5. If I were telling this to a friend, how would I say it? 

Revisit your messaging, the problem you’re solving, and the motivations you have behind writing the script. 

Then, cut everything that doesn’t align.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be on to creating a killer YouTube video. Best of luck!

Learn How to Write Scripts with Nas Daily

Nuseir Yassin Course CardWriting is extremely intimidating at first glance, and we totally get that. That’s why Nuseir Yassin, the guy behind Nas Daily (who wrote 1000 videos in 1000 days and grew 20 million followers on Facebook) is here to teach you how he did it.

With no writing experience and just a Harvard engineering degree in his back pocket, somehow this guy figured out the key to writing great social media videos – and he’s sharing all of his secrets with you in this 5 day class.

This online, interactive class is going to teach you how to write to reach the widest audience, how to tell your story in the most effective way possible – and you’re going to finish with a few solid scripts of your own to get you started.

This experience is a series of video lessons and live sessions with expert trainers, and once you finish the class – you’ll get to ask Nuseir all your questions in a live meet and greet.

This is your chance to improve your writing skills in no time, learn tried and tested methods and collaborate with other creatives from around the world. Sign up for the next class today

Nuseir Yassin Course Card

Become a Scriptwriter

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