Ready to learn how to make a YouTube channel?
Ready to kickstart your journey into the exciting (and often profitable) world of video content creation?
This guide gives you the essential steps to help beginners navigate the exciting world of YouTube.
Follow these tips and you’ll set the stage for a successful channel.
Let’s dive in!
How to Start a YouTube Channel in 7 Steps
1. Log Into Google (or Create a Google Account)
Start by signing into your existing Google account.
If you don’t have a Google account, don’t worry. It’s easy and free to create. Click “Create account” and follow the steps to get started.
2. Create Your YouTube Account
Once you’re logged into Google, go to YouTube.com. Navigate to the top right-hand corner where your profile icon is displayed and select “Create a channel.”
3. Click the Customize Your Channel Button
It’s time to make your YouTube channel your own. Click on the “Customize channel” button.
4. Set Up Your Channel’s Essentials
Click on the “Basic Info” tab to customize your channel essentials.
Choose a memorable channel name that gives an instant idea of the content you’ll be sharing. Ask yourself these 2 questions:
- Is what I offer viewers clear or confusing?
- What does it communicate to your viewer?
And then brainstorm a list of potential titles. Ask your team or your existing students or customers their thoughts on your list.
Your handle is your unique YouTube identifier that can be used in promotions and social sharing. It should be closely related to your channel name for consistency.
Communicate how you prefer to be addressed by adding your pronouns.
Write a description that explains what your channel is about. Include keywords related to your content for better search visibility. Your description should clearly convey who you are and your unique value proposition (this is the unique value you’ll provide to your target audience through your videos).
Add links to your social media profiles, website, lead magnets and offers. This can drive traffic to your other platforms and help viewers connect with you across the web.
Provide an email address or another form of contact information for business inquiries or viewer feedback.
5. Brand Your Channel
In the Branding tab, you’ll create a cohesive brand image for your YouTube channel.
This image represents your channel across YouTube and appears next to your videos, comments and mentions – make sure it’s super clear and easy to see on a mobile device (needs to have a clean background). People love faces!
The banner or channel art is the large header image at the top of your channel page. It’s one of the first things visitors see, so it should be eye-catching, easy to understand and reflect your channel’s content. Don’t be too text-heavy here. You may consider just including an image, a quick slogan or tagline that showcases what your channel is about and either a CTA to subscribe or when you’ll be releasing new videos. Hop on mobile and make sure that at a quick glance, your banner image is easy to understand.
A watermark appears on all your videos, often in the bottom right corner of the video player. It’s a subtle way to brand your content and can be a logo or a unique symbol representing your channel.
6. Enhance Your Channel for User Experience
The Layout tab is where you add elements that make your channel more engaging and easier for your audience to navigate.
A channel trailer is a short video designed to give viewers a quick preview of your channel’s content. This is your chance to make a great first impression. Make your trailer captivating, informative and reflective of the content you create.
Select a featured video to highlight. This could be:
- your most recent video
- one of your most popular uploads
- a video you feel represents the best of your channel.
It’s the first video subscribers see when they visit your channel, so choose one that encourages them to watch more.
Customize your channel homepage by creating sections that showcase different playlists or categories of videos. This helps viewers find more of your content that interests them and can lead to longer watch times. Feature sections for new uploads, popular uploads, where you want new visitors to begin or any other playlists you’ve created to categorize your videos.
7. Begin Loading & Optimizing Your Content
Now, it’s time to bring your channel to life with content. Click the “Create” button:
Then click the “Upload Videos” button to add your videos:
When uploading, remember to optimize each video with compelling titles, detailed descriptions and relevant tags to improve discoverability. And then add cards that’ll pop up at certain times in your video — this can be a link to a resource you mention or even another video for them to watch.
One quick tip is to add cards where people are dropping off in your video… for instance, if you notice people are dropping off at the 5:10 mark in your video, you can add a related video that those people might want to watch instead. The goal is to keep them on your channel, watching your content!
And one of the BEST things you can do to keep people watching — eventually turning them into subscribers and then buyers — is adding an end screen. This is a great way to keep people watching your content! For every single video, you want to film a CTA that directs your viewers to the next videos to watch or even a particular playlist. Then, you’ll add a compelling end screen where viewers can click to continue watching… the goal is to keep them on your channel.
It can be something simple like this where you pitch the next video with a CTA to watch or check it out…
And as you grow your channel, you can even experiment with adding an end screen that includes a free guide, like Video Creators does…
10 Tips for Starting a YouTube Channel
1. Develop content consistently.
Consistency helps build a loyal viewership and can improve your channel’s ranking in YouTube’s algorithm. A consistent schedule assures viewers of regular content and gives them reasons to subscribe and return.
Posting new content once or twice a week does well, but test posting consistency to see what resonates most with your viewers.
To create a steady stream of videos, invest time in content planning. Develop a content calendar that outlines future topics, dates for filming and scheduled release times.
Try batch-producing your content by filming multiple videos in one session. This maximizes your time and can relieve the pressure of constant deadlines.
2. Optimize for search.
Discoverable content is pivotal for growing your YouTube channel.
Start by doing keyword research to understand what your target audience is searching for. Then, weave those keywords into your video titles, descriptions and tags. Descriptive, keyword-rich titles help viewers find your content, and the YouTube algorithm ranks your videos.
But you want each title to be a combination of keyword(s) and click bait… because not only do you need your video to be searchable… you need your target audience to WANT to watch it… so adding a click bait element is key.
Let’s take a look at a quick example from Video Creators…
They had a video called: “Should I Pay for YouTube views and subscribers?” that wasn’t getting the views it should have been getting.
So, they made a slight adjustment, changing it to: Should I Buy YouTube views and subscribers?
The new title worked to gain massive views! Do you see the slight difference? The word “buy” is more compelling than “pay for”.
So, craft your titles to be clear and compelling, integrating your primary keywords at the beginning if possible. And don’t be afraid to make some slight adjustments to make your titles more “click baity” so they stand out and get people to actually click to watch.
Each video’s description is also a great way to get your video ranked. The first couple of sentences are crucial for descriptions as they appear in search results and above the fold on video pages. So, make them count.
Tags should mix core and long-tail keywords related to the video content.
Optimize each video’s metadata with relevant tags to categorize your content effectively, and consider captioning your videos to enhance accessibility.
3. Create simple playlists.
Playlists are a powerful yet underutilized feature on YouTube. They do more than organize your content; they increase watch time by guiding viewers from one video to the next, which is a key metric for YouTube’s recommendation algorithm.
Start by grouping your videos together in thematic collections, which can be based on series, topics, or even the level of content—beginner, intermediate, advanced.
When creating playlists, consider the viewer’s perspective. What progression makes the most sense for someone discovering your content for the first time?
Make sure each playlist has a clear, descriptive title and a logical sequence that narratively or thematically links the videos.
In the playlist description, include keywords for search optimization and summarize what viewers can expect to learn or experience.
Regularly update your playlists, adding new content and removing outdated or less relevant videos to keep viewers engaged.
4. Engage with your audience.
Audience engagement is an essential part of growing your YouTube channel and community.
Start by encouraging viewers to comment on your videos, then take the time to write thoughtful responses.
Show appreciation for their feedback by occasionally featuring viewer comments or suggestions in your videos.
Create interactive content like Q&A sessions, polls, or contests to foster community and help viewers feel involved. Use YouTube’s Community tab to keep the conversation going between video uploads by posting updates, teasers, or questions.
You can also acknowledge milestones and express gratitude to your subscribers. Create special thank-you videos, giveaways, or live streams. These gestures make viewers feel valued, so they continue supporting your channel.
Pay attention to the analytics behind your engagement metrics. Which videos are generating the most comments? What topics are sparking the most discussion?
Use this data to guide your content strategy. Tailor your future videos to what engages your audience the most.
5. Use attractive channel art and icons.
First impressions matter, especially on YouTube, where visual appeal can make or break a viewer’s decision to stay on your channel.
Your channel art and icons are the visual identity of your brand. They should be cohesive, high-resolution, and reflect your channel’s content and personality.
For your channel art, also known as the banner image, choose a design that stands out and is clear and legible across various devices. Use it to communicate information about your channel, such as your posting schedule or your content’s unique value proposition. Check out this example from Sunny Lenarduzzi for some inspiration…
The channel icon, which functions like a profile picture, should be easily recognizable even at a small size.
Consider hiring a graphic designer for your channel art and icon if designing graphics isn’t your strength.
Update both elements periodically to reflect any branding or content strategy changes.
6. Make easy-to-understand thumbnails.
Thumbnails are the billboards of your YouTube videos. A compelling thumbnail is a visual summary of your video’s content and should be easily understood at a glance.
Include faces with expressive emotions when relevant.
Text overlays should use bold, readable fonts that complement the imagery without obscuring it.
The thumbnail also needs to be legible on mobile devices, where many users watch YouTube.
Avoid misleading thumbnails, or “clickbait,” as they disappoint viewers and harm your channel’s reputation.
Lastly, maintain a consistent style across your thumbnails to create a recognizable brand aesthetic. Consistency can help viewers quickly identify your content amongst YouTube’s recommendations.
7. Promote your channel on social media.
Leveraging social media can amplify your YouTube channel’s reach. Start by identifying which platforms your target audience frequents and establish a presence there.
Share snippets, teasers or highlights of your YouTube videos on these platforms to pique interest and encourage viewers to watch the full video on YouTube.
Engage with your followers on these platforms by responding to comments and sharing behind-the-scenes content. This helps promote your YouTube channel and helps build a broader online community around your brand.
Consider collaborating with other content creators or influencers in your niche to reach a wider audience. Collaboration can introduce your channel to potential subscribers who trust the recommendations of these influencers.
8. Familiarize yourself with YouTube’s guidelines and best practices.
You must understand and adhere to YouTube’s Community Guidelines and best practices to ensure your channel’s long-term success. Avoid copyright infringement, respect privacy and shun content that promotes hate speech or harmful behavior.
Educate yourself on the guidelines around monetization if you plan to earn revenue from your channel. Understanding “advertiser-friendly” content can influence your earnings potential.
Staying informed about YouTube’s best practices can help optimize your channel. YouTube often provides tips on improving video quality, audience engagement, and platform use. Use the resources available on the YouTube Creators channel for information about YouTube content creation.
9. Monitor your analytics.
Understanding your channel’s analytics is integral to making informed decisions and driving growth. YouTube provides data through its Analytics dashboard that can help you decipher viewer preferences, engagement patterns and areas for improvement.
Start by looking at your watch time, view counts and subscriber growth. Then, dive deeper into the demographics to understand who your audience is, including their age, geographic location and viewing preferences. Use this information to shape your content creation and promotional strategies.
Pay attention to the audience retention reports to see how long viewers watch your videos. If viewers drop off at a specific point, you can tweak your video structure or content to keep them engaged longer.
Explore the traffic sources report to understand where your views are coming from, whether through YouTube searches, suggested videos, external websites or other sources. This helps fine-tune your SEO strategies and understand which external platforms are most effective for promotion.
10. Experiment with different formats.
One way to keep your YouTube channel dynamic and engaging is to experiment with various video formats. This keeps your content fresh and helps identify what resonates best with your audience.
Start by exploring different types of videos, such as vlogs, tutorials, interviews, product reviews or behind-the-scenes content.
Consider incorporating live streams into your content strategy. Live streaming allows for real-time interaction with your audience, so you can build a more personal connection.
Try shorter formats like YouTube Shorts. Shorts can be a great way to attract viewers who prefer quick, engaging content and can serve as teasers for your longer videos.
The goal is to see what works best for your channel and audience. Keep an eye on the analytics to gauge the success of different formats.
Be open to evolving your content strategy. Innovation and adaptability can help you stand out in the crowded YouTube space.
Are You Ready to Make a YouTube Channel?
If you’ve been wondering how to make a YouTube channel, you can finally rest easy.
I’ve covered everything you need to know right here, so you’re all set.
Now, I’d love to know about the YouTube channel you want to create! Drop me a comment. 🙂
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Very informative tips 👌🏾 Much appreciated 🙏🏾. Launching soon
Thanks for the guide. Launching my utube chnl is one of the three prongs I will be using with launching my company. My plan is to have Self-Publishing, Utube, and online courses. I want all three to work together and help each other. This has already been 2 years in the making. Unfortunately I have had a lot of “life gets in the way” issues I have had to deal with which has caused a lot of “stop-start, stop-start” situations. I have one more round of health issues I must take care of ASAP, witch is another “stop” but hopefully not a long one. This guide will help me get my Utube project up faster and hopefully smarter. So thanks one more time.
I can 99% absolutely “Ditto ” your statement!! The same “lufe gets in the way” stop-start is real life, no Joke!! Mine started in 2017 with an accident that turned my entire life upside down & sprirled down to multiple surgeries since 2018, next one is 2/9… Then after that’s healed enough to walk in 8 weeks after surgery, will be setting date for shoulder replacement, after previous rotator cuff repair lasted 2 yrs. Im right handed & its my right shoulder. So painful.
I bought EPM in 10/2021 & at this time i still have not had time to restart it & finish it!! My Dad died 12/2022, several other family members 2020-12/2023!! Friends died. Many family/friends had Covid, i did in 1/2021 for 2 yrs & still scars in my lungs!
Im determined to finish EPM & LYM purchases as i possibly can🙏🏼!!
Life is real & our millions of lives dont revolve around “once a year” CTA’s of course creators. So i’ll miss this one. But health is priority.
Best wishes to you & anyone else going through tough times of real life!! Hang in there! When God knows the best time & place for each path that is best, it will come to frutation. If its in alignment with His word! If not, He’ll with hold what we think is best over what He knows is best for each person!!!
I am a health coach. I have an existing YouTube channel where I talked a lot about essential oils and supplements. I have pivoted a bit and am talking more about bloodwork analysis. Should I create a separate YouTube channel? Or go with what I have, which has a decent following, and just add to that. It’s all about health.