Video editing is not just cutting and combining clips; it's how you tell a story. When done well, it can help you effectively evoke emotions and tell stories 

However, some video editing mistakes can mess up the process. These mistakes can make a good video feel confusing or unprofessional.

Whether you’re an experienced video editor or a novice, you need to know about these video editing mistakes and avoid them. 

In this post, we’ll talk about seven common video editing mistakes and give you tips to avoid them. This way, you can make sure your video editing is always on point.

7 Key Video Editing Mistakes You Should Avoid

In video editing, it's crucial to steer clear of common mistakes to create engaging videos that deeply resonate with your audience. 

Let's explore key missteps to avoid, ensuring your videos are both technically proficient and emotionally impactful.

1. Inadequate Pre-Production Planning

The first step in making a video is like setting up a solid foundation for a house. It's called pre-production planning, and it's all about getting your ideas ready to go.

Here, you take your vision for the video and lay out a clear plan that will guide your editing from start to finish. 

The lack of pre-production planning can set a domino effect of issues in motion, making it one of the biggest video editing mistakes to avoid.

For instance, without a clear storyboard or shot list, you might end up with video edits that are inconsistent or don't flow well together. 

Additionally, inadequate planning could lead to overshooting, which will not only consume more time but will also stretch the budget.

Take a look at the diagram below, which breaks down the essential steps of creating a storyboard.


Image via Indeed

Benefits of pre-production planning include:

  • Developing a thorough storyboard and shot list to visualize the final draft.
  • Setting clear timelines for each phase to ensure the project stays on track.
  • Having all the necessary resources like video editing software and equipment in place before video editing kicks off.

2. Jump Cut Overuse

A jump cut is an abrupt transition, typically in a sequential clip that makes the scene appear to jump forward in time. This technique is often employed to display the passage of time or the emotional state of a character.

However, when overused, jump cuts can disrupt the flow of the video, leading to a jarring viewing experience. This might distract the audience from the core message of the video.

A classic example of jump cut overuse could be a dialogue scene where the cuts between the two speakers are too frequent, making the conversation hard to follow. 

The abrupt shifts might come off as unnatural and forced, pulling the viewer out of the narrative.

Here are some tips to mitigate jump cut overuse:

  • Use Cutaways: Incorporate cutaway shots to break the monotony of jump cuts, aiding in a smoother narrative transition.
  • Employ Match Cuts: Match cuts can help maintain a logical flow in the video, providing a seamless transition between scenes.
  • 30-degree rule: When cutting between different shots, change the camera angle by at least 30 degrees to ensure a smooth transition. This technique prevents disorientation and maintains the dynamism of the scene.

See the illustration below showing how the 30-degree rule works.


Image via YouTube

The overuse of jump cuts can be a common video editing mistake, but with a thoughtful approach and adherence to basic video editing principles, you can use jump cuts to enhance your videos.

3. Improper File Management

Have you ever been knee-deep in video editing and suddenly, you can't find that one clip you need?

It's like losing your keys when you're already late. Disorganized files are the culprit here. They turn what should be a creative sprint into a hurdle race.

Keeping files organized is key. It saves you from the hassle of sifting through a pile of media clips and keeps the focus on the important task—video editing.

Think about it: when everything’s where it should be, editing flows like a conversation. There's no awkward pause, no stumbling—only seamless storytelling.

But, if you mix up files, it’s like tripping over your words. It adds hours to your work, and when you’re racing against the clock, that’s the last thing you need.

To mitigate the common video editing mistakes related to improper file management:

  • Utilize video editing software that offers robust media management features.
  • Create regular backups to prevent data loss and consider using cloud storage solutions for added security and ease of access.
  • Adopt a consistent file naming convention and folder structure from the onset of your project.

The image below exemplifies an ideal file structure for video editing projects.

File Mangement

Image via TechSmith

4. Overuse of Transitions and Effects

Transitions are the bridges between shots, guiding the viewer gently from one scene to the next. However, the overuse of transitions and effects can turn these bridges into hurdles, hindering the smooth flow of the narrative.

Consider you're watching a brand's promotional video. It has a lot of scene changes and each one comes with fancy transitions like whirls and fades. Instead of focusing on what the brand is trying to say, you find yourself waiting for the next cool transition.

That's not really what the brand intended, right? 

When they were putting together a video marketing strategy, the main aim was likely to get their message across clearly. But, the overuse of transitions took the spotlight, shifting your attention from what's being said to how it's being presented.

Here are some tips for effective use of transitions and effects:

  • Less is often more when it comes to transitions. Utilize them with purpose, to either enhance the storytelling or to convey a specific mood or tone.
  • Choose transitions that fit the context and genre of your video. Many video editing software programs come with preset transitions that can be subtly used to ensure seamless storytelling.
  • Creating visual variation is essential, but a good editor knows where to draw the line. A well-placed transition can work wonders, but an ill-placed one can have the opposite effect.

5. Color Grading 

Color grading is a pivotal step in video editing that significantly influences the mood and feel of the video. 

However, color inconsistencies can disrupt the visual flow, making the video appear unprofessional. That’s why not using proper color grading is one of the biggest video editing mistakes that you should avoid.

For instance, a video with drastic color changes between scenes can jar the viewer, pulling them out of the narrative.

To prevent this and enhance the professional quality of your video, it’s essential to focus on ensuring visual harmony through color consistency.

Here are the ways to achieve this:

  • Understand Color Theory: Learn about color theory to understand how different colors evoke emotions and moods. You’ll need it to guide your color grading decisions.
  • Maintain a Consistent Color Palette: Stick to a consistent color palette throughout the video to maintain visual cohesion and enhance the viewer’s experience.
  • Use Professional Color Grading Tools: Video editing software solutions like Adobe Premiere provide color correction features to ensure color consistency across the video.

Take a look at the primary color wheels in DaVinci Resolve 18—a video editing software solution—in the image below. 

By adjusting the Lift, Gamma, and Gain, you can manipulate the shadows, mid-tones, and highlights, while the Offset control allows for overall color balancing.

Color Grading

Image via DaVinci Resolve 18

6. Incorrect Text and Graphic Placement

Incorrect placement of text and graphics is one of the common video editing mistakes. It can make your videos look unprofessional and juvenile and also affect clarity. 

Imagine a video editor meticulously crafting a scene, only to have the key message lost behind poorly layered text. It's like building a neon sign that points in the wrong direction—eye-catching but ultimately confusing.

When we see instructional YouTube videos, the intent is to educate. But what if text overlays block the view? That's when viewers might miss out on crucial instructions, rendering the video less effective.

To avoid such mistakes, you'll need to know how to create graphics that complement your content, not compete with it.

Here are some ways to avoid this mistake:

  • Proper Planning: Before starting the video editing process, plan where the text and graphics will be placed to avoid clashing elements.
  • Use Safe Margins: Employ safe margins to ensure text and graphics are well-placed and easily readable.
  • Visibility Checks: Regularly preview a video to check the visibility and readability of text and graphics, adjusting as necessary.

Here is an example of how you could use text in your videos. The text in the image below is positioned to be clearly visible without obstructing the video's subject.


 Image via YouTube

And remember, the software solution you choose plays a pivotal role. Selecting from the best graphic design software will determine the finesse of your final cut. 

It's the difference between a hammer and a scalpel; both are tools, but only one gives you the precision needed for delicate work.

7. Ignoring Audio Quality

In video editing, audio quality significantly contributes to the overall impact and effectiveness of the video. It's not just about what the viewers see, but also what they hear that makes a video engaging and professional.

Common audio issues like background noise, poor sound quality, and audio syncing can distract the viewers and deteriorate the perceived quality of a video. 

The stakes are even higher when you’re looking for social media content ideas for a small business.

For small businesses, social media is a vital platform for connecting with customers and building brand identity. When the audio quality is poor, viewers are likely to bounce off even if the video is visually appealing.

Here’s how you can improve the audio quality of your videos:

  • Invest in a Good Microphone: A quality microphone is necessary to record clear sound and minimize the need for post-production fixes.
  • Use Audio Editing Software: Tools like Adobe Audition or Adobe Premiere can be employed to enhance audio quality, remove background noise, and ensure proper audio syncing.
  • Apply Audio Effects Judiciously: Adding appropriate audio effects can enhance the sound quality, but its overuse can make the audio sound unnatural.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.1 What is the 321 rule of video editing?

A. The 321 rule is more of a safeguard for video editors. It suggests keeping three total copies of your data: one primary and two backups. 

Spread them across different media or platforms, and store one offsite to guard against any physical mishaps.

Q2. What is the 30-degree rule in filmmaking?

A. The 30-degree rule is a film editing guideline ensuring a change of at least 30 degrees in camera position between shots of the same subject. 

This shift keeps the visuals engaging without disorienting the audience. It's a fundamental trick to maintain a coherent flow while offering a fresh perspective.

Q.3. Is video editing hard?

A. The perceived difficulty in video editing largely depends on a project’s complexity and the editor’s expertise. 

For a beginner, it might seem daunting, but with practice and patience, it gets easier. Every project is a learning curve, with its own set of challenges and triumphs.

Q.4. What's one mistake most video editors make?

A. A common mistake for many video editors, especially novices, is the overuse of transitions and effects. 

While these elements can spruce your video, excess use can divert attention from the main content. It’s a delicate balance that gets better with experience and feedback.

Q.5. What are the 6 Murch's rules of editing?

A. Walter Murch's Rule of Six outlines principles for making a good cut. The rules prioritize emotion, followed by story, rhythm, eye trace, the two-dimensional plane of the screen, and the three-dimensional space of action. 

These guidelines aim to preserve the emotional essence of the narrative while ensuring a logical and visually appealing flow.


Video editing is a meticulous journey where every cut, transition, and effect holds the narrative thread. 

Avoiding common video editing errors, from pre-production planning to audio quality, is pivotal in crafting a compelling, professional video narrative.

By following these tips, you can improve your video editing results. This will make your videos better and help you connect with your audience.

Now, let's turn the spotlight on you—which video editing mistakes have you made and how did you overcome them?

Share your experiences and tips in the comments below to help fellow editors refine their video editing skills.