How to Start a YouTube Channel (Simple Steps)

Woman starting her YouTube channel

Are you thinking of getting into the world of YouTube? If yes, you are making a smart decision because every single minute, there are 300 hours of video uploaded to the platform.

This means that there is a market for whatever content you want to create. However, creating a successful YouTube channel is not as easy as it sounds. But you are at the right place because I’m going to show the most important things to do when starting a YouTube channel from start to finish.

Basic Set Up

The first step is incredibly simple because if you already have a Google account, you automatically have a personal YouTube account. You can like, watch, and subscribe to channels with only a Google Account, but if you need to upload videos, or make playlists, you will need a YouTube channel.

If you are looking to start a personal YouTube channel, everything is straightforward from there, but if you want to set up an account for your business, you must set up a Brand Account.

How to Set Up a Personal and Business YouTube Channel

To create a personal YouTube channel, follow the steps below:

  1. Sign in to YouTube with your Google Account on your mobile or computer.
  2. Click on your profile icon and then ‘Click a channel’.
  3. You will be prompted to create your channel
  4. Check the details with your Google Account personal info and photo and confirm to create a channel.

In order to create a YouTube channel for your business, follow these YouTube tips and instructions. A business channel can have multiple owners or managers.

You can also link your personal channel to a Brand Account if you wish to use a different name on the channel than your Google Account.

Let’s Get Started:

  1. Log in to your YouTube account on the mobile or computer site
  2. Head over to your channel list
  3. Click to create a new channel or simply use a current Brand Account.
  4. Create a new channel by selecting “Create a new channel”.
  5. Create a channel for a Brand Account you already manage by selecting the Brand Account from the list. Note that if the Brand Account has a channel, you cannot create another one. Once you select the Brand Account from the list, you are taken to that channel.
  6. Complete the form by filling in the details of your new YouTube channel and click “Create” to create a new channel for your Brand Account.

You can easily add a channel manager by following the instructions provided by Google.

Fill in the About Section

This is the section that will determine whether your new channel draws a lot of attention and views or not. Filling your profile as well as the description and setting up your channel art can help the SEO of your videos.

Once you have set up your YouTube, this is the first option that will be presented to you. Just provide a description of your brand or objective of your personal channel and what your viewers should expect from your channel.

You can also add links to your social media channels as well as your website. This should not be mistaken with the video description, which is a text that appears below each of your videos and helps users find your video and decide whether or not to watch it.

If you get it right, your description can significantly boost the SEO of your videos, increase subscriptions, watch time, and view counts. It can also help your videos to rank in the “suggested search” feature.

To write an effective About description of your YouTube, follow these useful tips:

  • Use specific keywords: Chose up to 2 keywords that describe your content precisely to increase search traffic to your channel. Include them in both the title and description of the video to increase ranking.
  • Repeat keywords: When you repeat certain keywords, YouTube perceives them as relevant to your channel or video. But you want to avoid overdoing the repetition and limiting it to three times.
  • Use complementary keywords: Find related keywords and include them in your description to offer additional information about your content.
  • Start with important information: Make sure you begin your description with a compelling summary of your channel or video. Include your top keywords in the first sentences of your description to enhance your performance. Note that the algorithm used by YouTube focuses mostly on the beginning of the description, thus getting this part right is important for your SEO.

Channel Art Getting Started

Every YouTube channel has a huge banner that has the name of the channel/brand you want to create. There is a cover photo and an area to introduce your brand. It is up to you how you want to create a cover photo. You want to make sure that the focal point is your brand since this will be the first thing someone sees when they visit your channel.

Utilizing this space is not difficult, especially with the availability of great tools to help you get started even if you know nothing about graphic designing.

Keep in mind that YouTube recommends using a cover photo/ channel art with dimensions of 2560 by 1440 pixels with a maximum size of 4MB.

Tools to help you create the most attention-grabbing YouTube banner include:

  • Canva
  • Pickmonkey

Know Your Market, Know Your Content Type

Create a content plan and what type of videos will you make. Make sure you stay in a niche and not make random videos about everything.

If you are starting a channel for your brand, you want to ensure that you have a sufficient source of material to use. Luckily when it comes to business, you can approach video content in multiple ways.

Sometimes you will have to deal with complex content in which case make sure you empower your viewers to learn more about it. Use a video tutorial to explain complex products or services so that your customers fully understand them.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Being a YouTube content creator will require some basic knowledge of video tools, including camera, lights, and sound.

Luckily, there is a price for everything depending on your needs. If you don’t want to spend huge amounts up-front, you should begin with purchasing the most affordable tools and equipment, then you can always upgrade later on as your traffic increases.

The camera is perhaps the most important choice you can make when buying your equipment. Start by outlining what you want to achieve with your channel and videos because in cameras there is no one-size-fits-all.

But here are two of the most popular types you should consider buying:

  • DSLR cameras: These types of cameras are known for delivering a more cinematic appearance, though usually have a steep learning curve. Nevertheless, they utilize interchangeable lenses, making them a little bit trickier to properly focus. Moreover, they are also heavy. DSLR cameras can cost between $500 and $2,500 and are ideal for individuals looking for a professional or artistic appearance.
  • Point-and-shoot cameras: unlike DSLR, point-and-shoot cameras are usually simple to use and are more all-in-one equipment, making them great for vlogging in nearly any setting. Some models tend to feature a reversible LCD screen that allows you to see your shot. Moreover, these cameras are affordable compared to DSLR (about $500) and can offer full HD image quality.
  • Web Cameras: You can use a webcam to share your screen for tutorials and it will show your face live in the corner. I use this for all my tutorial videos to show someone how to do something online.

But you might not need any of the above cameras if you have a nice smartphone. A mobile device camera is always the start for most YouTubers, but this will not give you the same level of precision and quality as a professional camera.

Sound Quality for Your Videos

Apart from the camera, good sound is also a must if you want to have any success in your channel.

The audience might not mind bad lighting, but they will have issues with your poor sound. But there is no reason to have bad sound, especially with plenty of great, affordable microphones out there.

One thing you need to understand is that if you are using the onboard mic of your camera, you will need to stay within three or four feet.

If you decide to go with an external microphone, your setup will depend on a number of factors such as your location and distance.

Some video creators prefer shotgun microphones (cost around $150 to $250) because they tend to have a directional recording, thus can be great at picking natural audio from far.

So, if you intend to do a lot of interviews on your channel you may look into having a shotgun mic or a wireless lavalier microphone (which costs between $200 and $600).

Wireless microphones can be simply attached to another person’s clothing. Or if you plan to create videos that involve a lot of demonstrations and movements, you can use a lav mic.

What about lighting? Most creators prefer a two-point lighting system, which involves just lighting your subject from two sources of lights in opposing directions. The key light offers the primary lighting as fill light cancels out the shadows.

You may also want to do some video editing for your YouTube video. You need to check the software out there that will best fit your needs. Check out software editing programs such as VSDC Video Editor, Vegas Pro 365, or Lightworks.

Upload Your First (Official) Video

You have assembled the equipment, create the first video and now you are ready to upload it to your channel. At this stage, you have probably done a lot of research about your first ever YouTube video.

When creating your first video, remember to also make a trailer for your channel. Uploading videos to YouTube is the simplest thing you will ever do. Because the purpose of the platform is to upload videos. The upload option is always at the top of the screen, the top-right edge after logging into your account.

If you want longer videos, anything past 15-minutes you need to enable longer videos on your channel.

Once you have uploaded your first official content to your channel, it is time to optimize it for YouTube. You will be prompted to fill in a title, description, as well as tags to make your videos highly discoverable in searches.

Just like Google, YouTube also has its own guidelines on how you can optimize your video for search, so don’t skimp the title, description, and tags sections. Fill them out to the best of your knowledge using keywords in the description and title.

A well-optimized video for YouTube can also rank high web search engines and since Google owns the platform, YouTube has a close connection with the search engine. So, if you get it right, you will find your content ranking high on Google and YouTube.

Money-Making Tip: You can put affiliate links in the description for products you might be recommended in the video. This is a great way to make money on YouTube on top of ad revenue.

Stay Consistent

When it comes to YouTube videos, consistent is a great determinant of success. Don’t expect any success if you just upload a single video and then forget about your channel completely. It takes time and a lot of effort to create a successful channel. Viewers will not take you seriously if you have only one video from one year ago.

Hopefully, you had a second and third video in the pipeline when you were creating your first one. Always prefer shooting multiple videos when you have time because you never know how tight your schedule will be tomorrow.

Integrate Your Channel Into Your Website and Social Media

If you have a website or social media handles, you can integrate them with your YouTube channel. This allows you to share your content outside YouTube to boost engagement and views.

Consider adding your video to the home page of your website so that it is among the first things visitors see. Or if you have a blog on your website, you can embed the videos into new blog posts and ask your readers to subscribe to your channel.

There are two main ways in which you can embed your YouTube channel to your website – manual or automatic.

With manual, you just copy-paste your video embedded code offered by YouTube while automatic uses a third-party application or plugin with direct integration with YouTube to collect and sync your entire YouTube channel with your site.

To choose a manual method, follow the steps below:

  • Head over to your video and click “Share” just beneath the video.
  • Click “Embed”
  • Copy the short code provided
  • Past the short code on a page on your site.
  • Repeat this for all your videos or those you wish to embed.

Share your content on your social media networks to get more shares, more engagement, and more exposure.

Engage

YouTube is about viewing and engaging, without it, your channel will not succeed. When viewers engage, ensure you engage back if you want to leverage your popularity and increase your viewership or even make money off your channel.

Community is the king nowadays and you need to build one around your new YouTube channel. Reply to comments and answer questions asked by viewers.

By engaging with your audience, you will more likely get free word of mouth.

Think About Investing in YouTube Ads

Organic traffic alone might not be enough to advertise your content, and you may want to consider investing in YouTube ads to get your brand further. With YouTube ads, you can target a specific segment of the audience based on age group, interest, gender, or location.

Analyze, Optimize, Repeat

Once your channel has picked the momentum, it is time to start analyzing the numbers behind the performance. YouTube analytics can help you get a clear insight into the performance of your channel as well as guide you on how you want to optimize your future content.

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