So, you decided you want to become a YouTuber. We don’t blame you – with 2 billion logged-in monthly users and over 500 hours of video content uploaded every minute, YouTube is the place to be. However, being a “recreational” YouTube consumer and actually creating content on the platform are two completely different things. In this article, we will teach you how to start a YouTube channel from scratch.
Create A Google Account
Assuming you don’t already have one, creating a google account is super easy. All you have to do is go on YouTube and click “Sign in” at the top right corner of your screen.
Then, click on “Create Account” and fill in the details. You’re good to go!
Next, go to YouTube.com.
Click on the circle icon with your initials in it on the top right corner of the screen. Then, click on “Create A Channel”.
In the popup window, click on “Get Started” to launch your channel.
On the next screen, click on “Choose A Custom Name” to name your channel.
Then, you’ll need to fill in your custom channel name, check the little box and click on “Create”.
In the next screen you’ll be prompted to:
- Set your profile picture
- Write your channel description
- Add links (such as social media profiles and websites)
When you’re done, just click on “Save and Continue”.
Next, you’ll move on to this screen:
Click on “Customize Channel” to further edit your channel.
On the next screen, you’ll be able to set your channel art.
Things You Should Keep In Mind When Starting Up Your Channel:
Finding Your Channel Niche:
Creating an account and starting your YouTube channel is the easy part. The real work starts now, with finding and choosing your channel’s niche. Just like everything else in life, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to YouTube niches. Every person’s talents, passions, and capabilities are different from the other person’s. Just because a certain niche is considered profitable, doesn’t mean you should choose that specific niche if the content doesn’t “speak” to you.
How To Choose The Right Niche?
YouTube success starts with choosing the right niche for you. The “perfect” YouTube niche doesn’t exist globally, meaning it’s very individual to each person. When choosing the niche for your channel, keep the following three points in mind:
- Passion: What are you passionate about?
- Choosing a YouTube niche that you’re actually passionate about will make content creation easy and fun for you and will help you upload content consistently.
- Furthermore, it’ll make you that much more compelling and interesting to watch and will affect your watch time directly.
- Knowledge: What do you know?
- Use the knowledge you have and utilize it.
- Give your audience extra value by showing them what you know and teaching them further about a specific topic you’re passionate about.
- Make people think – and learn.
- Supply and Demand: Are people looking for what you’re offering?
- Look up some videos in the general topic – or niche – you have in mind and try to see if this is something people are interested in.
Picking Your Channel’s Name:
Your channel name will appear in the search results, on your channel page, and on every single video. It’s the official name for your channel on YouTube and it’s very, very important. It’s a huge defining aspect of your entire channel as a whole, and it’s important to choose a channel name that will represent your brand accurately.
So, when you’re about to choose your channel name, do yourself a solid favor and take your time. Don’t rush into it. Your channel name is something that will stay around with you forever. Before you make up your mind on your channel name, come up with a few options, and see which ones you like best. Furthermore, you should keep the following in mind:
- Try to work your keyword into the title. If your channel is about DIY projects, for example, try to include “DIY” into your channel name for better discoverability.
- Avoid profanity, vulgar language, and “inside jokes”. While it might be hilarious for you and your friends to call your channel “buttwipe”, it might not be a good idea for your overall brand. Moreover, YouTube will never promote your channel if it has vulgar language in it.
- Make it easy to spell and pronounce. You want people to be able to search for your channel and find it easily, and you want them to be able to talk about it. Make sure you keep it nice and simple with the spelling and pronunciation.
- Make sure the name is available. The worst thing ever would be to come up with a channel name, only to find out that someone already used it. For some, the best route to go on when it comes to channel name is to use their first and middle/last name. Because they want to become a brand on the platform, doing so seems like the most professional and unique choice (unless your name is John Smith, in which case you might want to consider using something a little less common).
- To find out if your channel name is available, just head over to YouTube’s search bar and type in the name you had in mind. For a more accurate search, add “ “ and use the channel filter. If anything pops up, you might want to rethink your channel name and change it to something more unique.
Picking Your Channel Art
YouTube channel art is the unsung hero of YouTube channels. While most YouTube channel visitors are obviously there for the channel’s video content, the channel art itself is part of what makes them want to subscribe to the channel. Yes, you read that correctly: your YouTube channel art really matters when it comes to “hitting that ‘subscribe’ button”.
Your channel art is essentially your branding. Your channel art’s design is the key behind turning it into something that supports and defines your brand and will lead people to want to subscribe to your channel and see more of what you have to offer. The more time you invest into creating your perfect channel art, the more you will see better engagement and conversions (meaning, random viewers “converting” into actual subscribers) on your YouTube channel.
Also known as a “cover” photo, your YouTube channel art is one of the first things people see when they land on your channel page. In simpler terms, it’s the huge banner that’s displayed at the top of the screen. Here are some things to remember about your channel art:
- YouTube themselves recommend an image that’s 2560×1440 px in dimensions for the best results on all device types.
- Your file has to be smaller than 4MB.
- Keep it minimalistic – you don’t need to overcrowd your channel art with emojis and graphics.
- Make sure you keep your elements “centered” – meaning, that all of the text and images you want to portray in your banner are in the middle of it and not on the sides. This will prevent important aspects of your banner from “cutting off” on different devices.
Creating Your Channel Trailer
Your channel’s trailer is a short video that you can add to your channel page. It will let anyone stumbling upon it know who you are, what type of content you create, and more general information about your channel that you choose to add to it. This video automatically plays when a person lands on your channel page. Your channel trailer plays a huge role in converting random people into engaged subscribers. It should not be overlooked.
When Creating Your Channel Trailer:
- Make it short and sweet. The most effective trailers are up to 90 seconds long (don’t worry, that’s plenty of time!)
- Write a script for your trailer. Make sure you fill each second with valuable information and content. Tell your audience who you are, who they are (“if you like x, y, and z…”), what kind of videos you make, and your posting schedule.
- Remember your goal: to encourage newcomers to subscribe! Show them the value of subscribing to your channel and keep your message contained and concise.
Uploading Your First YouTube Video
Allow us to assume you have a video that you’ve shot, edited and that is ready to go. To upload your first video, all you have to do is go to your channel page and click on “upload a video”. You can do this from this page:
Or from this page:
Next, you will be prompted to select your video file or drag and drop it into this pop-up window:
In the next window, you’ll be prompted to add your video title and description, choose a video thumbnail, determine if your video is made for kids or not, and add your video to a playlist – although that last part is entirely optional.
Clicking on next will lead you to a window that allows you to add elements to your video like end screens and cards:
And on the next screen, you can choose the visibility of your video (make sure you set it to “public” so the entire world could see it!)
Now that you’ve got your first video up, it’s time to get some eyes on it. To do that, you’ll have to learn the basics of YouTube SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
A Basic Guide To YouTube SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
YouTube Keyword Research
The YouTube SEO process always starts with YouTube keyword research. Generally speaking, a keyword is an idea or a topic that focuses your content around it. From a YouTube SEO perspective, a keyword is the phrase or word that people type into the search bar to find content to watch.
When choosing a keyword to focus your content around, you want it to be as low-competition as possible. This is even more important if your video doesn’t have a lot of views and your channel doesn’t have a lot of subscribers yet.
You’re going to use your keywords in your channel’s metatags as well as in every single video’s metatags. Furthermore, you’re going to say your keywords out loud in your video, so make sure you make those keywords count.
YouTube Video Tags
YouTube video tags are keywords and phrases that you can insert into any of your videos.
- These keywords and phrases are important because they help YouTube classify your video correctly and give the algorithm context about your video.
- They’re also important because they can help your rank in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and thus get your videos more and more views.
- This, in turn, will increase watch time on your video.
- The best video tags represent your content accurately. Therefore, when choosing youtube video tags, make sure you “frontload” your focus keyword and organize your tags in order of importance.
To read more about YouTube video tags, click here.
YouTube Video Title
Your YouTube video title is pretty self-explanatory. This is the title you give your video and it’s how people will know what your video is about.
- Your YouTube video title is very important and it should represent what your content is about accurately.
- Writing a great title will really affect your video’s CTR (Click-Through-Rate) from both YouTube’s internal search engine and from external search engines like Google as well.
- Well-written titles make all the difference between people just browsing past your video and people clicking on your video to watch it.
When you write your YouTube video title, make sure you use your focus keywords as early in the title as possible. Keep your titles as short and as concise as possible because YouTube cuts them off after 66 characters. Finally, make sure you use “power words” in your titles to really draw the audience in. To learn more about YouTube video titles, click here.
YouTube Video Description
YouTube video descriptions are part of your video’s metatags. Like the other meta-tags, video descriptions help people and algorithms understand what your video is about. A great video description is crucial for a number of reasons:
- YouTube video descriptions are good for SEO. Together with the rest of the meta-tags, YouTube video descriptions can help the algorithms figure out what your content is about by providing valuable context.
- The “Suggestions” algorithms like video descriptions too. When the suggestion algorithms see that your video description’s keywords match another video’s description keywords, they are more likely to recommend your video after other, similar videos.
When writing your video descriptions, make sure you:
- “Front load” your keywords in the first 2-3 sentences of your description, because the algorithms put a lot of weight on keywords that appear in those sentences.
- Use specific keywords that accurately describe your content. This will help you maximize traffic to your content.
- Repeat your keyword 2-3 more times in the entire video description and use related keywords as well. This will give the algorithms even more context regarding what your video is about.
To learn more about video descriptions, click here.
YouTube Video Thumbnail
On YouTube, first impressions are everything. To get your channel off the ground and to make people click on your videos, you’ll need to have great thumbnails. You’ll want to have as many people as possible clicking on your video, rather than on someone else’s.
This is called CTR: Click-Through Rate. The higher the CTR on your videos, the more compelling the algorithms will find them and the more they will “push” them up the ranks in the search engine results page (SERP). The best way to increase CTR is to create compelling thumbnails and video titles.
There’s a lot that goes into creating a great thumbnail. You’ll need the right combination of visuals, colors and text to make your thumbnail look aesthetically pleasing and stand out from the crowd. Moreover, you’ll have to verify your account on YouTube if you want to be able to upload custom thumbnails, which brings us to the next section –
Verifying Your YouTube Account
To verify your YouTube account, go to YouTube.com and click on your channel icon. Then, click on “Settings”.
Next, click on “Channel Status And Features”.
Then, click on “Verify”.
You will then need to answer some verification prompts. Once you’re all done, you’ll be good to go and able to upload custom thumbnails!
Developing A Schedule And Strategy For Your YouTube Channel
If you want to succeed on YouTube, you’ll have to be consistent with your uploading schedule. This can be a pretty tough task when you’re “spitting out” ideas for videos off-the-cuff. When you don’t have an organized content calendar and strategy, you’ll find that maintaining your YouTube channel might be a little too difficult.
That’s why you need to have a good strategy and content schedule in place. Planning ahead with your content and organizing your work on your YouTube channel will help you tremendously, especially when you’re first starting off.
The first thing you’ll have to do is give yourself a realistic content goal. If you want to upload every single day, you’ll have to make sure you can film, edit and publish videos every day. This might not be realistic for people with full-time jobs, kids or anything else that might cause a distraction.
We find that a great beginner-friendly content schedule would be to post a video once a week. This will give you plenty of time to do everything you need to in order to pump out a weekly YouTube video. If you click on the hyperlink above, you’ll be redirected to our guide for producing YouTube videos within a week.
Create Highly Engaging, Optimized Videos
Plan Your Videos Before You Create Them
- Think of your video’s topic and come up with general bullet points for your video. You can use TuBeast’s Advanced Topic Research tool to come up with video topics based on a general keyword or idea. It will also help you find what keywords and phrases you should mention inside your next video and what your competitors are doing.
- Scripting your videos is crucial for your video’s success and for your own confidence on camera.
- In addition, scripting your videos will save you lots of time while you’re filming and reduce your use of “fillers” (like “uh”, “um” etc.). No “fillers” means your content will flow better and be more entertaining to watch, which will lead to increased watch times and engagement rates.
- It will also make Closed-Captioning your video a breeze, and increase your content’s accessibility to viewers with hearing impairments.
- The last thing you want to do is stumble over your words and have to improvise on-the-spot, especially if you’re not used to doing that.
- Proper planning helps keep your ideas on point and gives you the advantage of intentionally including keywords in your video, which will help with ranking.
- YouTube’s algorithms are smart enough to listen in to your videos and detect your keywords when you use them.
- They will then cross-reference what you say with your video’s metadata and context to make sure you’re staying relevant.
- The higher the correlation between what you say and what you put in your meta-data is, the better your chances are for top rankings in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and being promoted / suggested organically across YouTube.
- To read more about planning your content, we recommend looking at the first part of our video production guide series. You can start reading by clicking here.
- Mind Your Surroundings. Make sure your background is clean and tidy (especially if you’re filming at home) and that there are no “background noises” in the audio. You can do this by running some tests before you start filming.
- Film More Than One Take. You’re never going to “get it right” on the first take unless you have years of experience standing and speaking in front of a camera. Take lots of takes so you can pick out the best scene of each take and edit it together to create the perfect YouTube video.
- Film B-Rolls And Save Your Bloopers. B-rolls are bits of video that are meant to support your main clips. For example, if you’re talking about becoming a better basketball player, a good b-roll clip would be a shot of you shooting some hoops. Also, bloopers make great b-rolls as well. Don’t be afraid to mess up!
- Editing. You’ll want to make your video engaging for your viewers, and therefore will need to add b-rolls and have a variety of shots and framing in your video.
- Use “Pattern Interrupts”. A “pattern interrupt” in your videos is basically changing the pace, style, and tone. Using pattern interrupts in your videos will help you keep the viewers engaged and concentrated on your content, and will increase watch-time significantly.
- Entertain with stories or narratives. YouTube is an entertainment platform, but entertaining isn’t always easy. Make sure your videos have some humor in them (if appropriate, of course) and keep your audiences interested and smiling while watching your videos.
- For more information on filming your video like an experienced, professional YouTuber, click here. For more information on editing and post-production, click here.
Optimizing Your Content
Optimizing your content for people and for the algorithms is crucial if you want to succeed on YouTube. When we say “optimizing your content”, we mean optimizing your actual video:
- The First 15 Seconds. The first 15 seconds of your video are crucial because that’s how long it takes for the average viewers to decide whether they want to keep watching or not. To make sure they stay tuned, start with a strong hook.
- Make Sure Your Intro Clip/Channel Intro Doesn’t Exceed 5 Seconds. This is YouTube, not network television. No one wants to sit through a whole 30 seconds clip of you making funny faces/snippets of random clips you’ve made. Make your intro clip or “splash screen” short and to the point.
- Use TuBeast’s AI Video Analysis Tool. This tool is trained to find more than 50 issues and mistakes in your video and gives you valuable feedback and advice on how to improve and fix your video. The tool will help you create videos that are optimized for both algorithms and humans. The “end result” of this process is to help you create content that will generate more interactions and yield higher audience retention and watch time rates. These, in turn, will make YouTube’s algorithm to reward your content by promoting your videos across the YouTube platform, which will bring you lots of views and subscribers.
- Use TuBeast’s AI Thumbnail Analysis tool. With this tool, you can upload your thumbnail designs onto our systems and let our AI go through them. Our AI will find every single mistake or setback that might appear on your thumbnail and give you valuable feedback and advice on how to correct it. Like with the AI Video Analysis tool, the “end result” of this process is to help you create thumbnails that will generate more interactions and clicks and yield higher CTR and watch time rates. And again – It will make YouTube’s algorithm to reward your content by promoting your videos across the YouTube platform, which will bring you lots of views and subscribers.
Working Towards Monetization
Monetization happens when YouTube enables users to show ads on their YouTube videos, and allows YouTubers to make money off of their content. When you’re first starting your YouTube channel, you won’t be able to monetize your YouTube channel through the YouTube partner program.
That’s because to be eligible for monetization through the YouTube Partner Program, you’ll need a fulfill five requirements:
- You’ll need to live in a country that works with the YouTube Partner Program.
- Your content will have to comply with all of YouTube’s community guidelines and policies.
- You’ll need to reach 1,000 subscribers
- You’ll need 4,000 hours of watch time gained over a period of the recent 12 months.
- You’ll have to have an AdSense account linked to your YouTube channel.
What Is The “YouTube Partner Program”?
Since 2003, Google AdSense helps online content creators make money from their content without having to deal with advertisers directly. Almost anyone can have an AdSense account, and you can monetize your content by linking between your content (i.e, YouTube channel) to your AdSense account.
Google AdSense provides a way for all online content creators to earn money from their content by publishing ads. AdSense matches ads to your content based on what your content is about, as well as a given user’s previous browsing history. The advertisers are the ones creating the ads and they pay different prices for different ads. Consequently, your income may vary depending on the prices of the ads.
It’s Too Early For AdSense! What Else Can I Do To Make Money On YouTube?
- LiveStream. On YouTube, you can broadcast live-streams. While you do that, your audience will have an option to send a “Super Chat” and donate money to your channel. While you might not make a lot of money at the beginning, the more you grow – the more super chats people will use and the more money they will donate to your channel.
- Patreon/Ko-Fi. Patreon and Ko-Fi are crowdfunding platforms that allow creators and fans to connect and are a great way to monetize your content online. The premise is that you create content that is exclusive for Patreon and Ko-Fi and get people to subscribe to your content on different tiers, giving them the option to decide how much they want to pay you.
- Creating Merch/Products. This is a great way to monetize your channel if you have a specific product to sell or if you have merchandise you want to sell to your most loyal fans.
- Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn a little money off of your content. With affiliate marketing, you will get links to specific products that will earn you a commission whenever someone makes a purchase through your link. Just make sure to mention your affiliate links and write them down in your video descriptions.