With the continued rise of the video blogging culture, it’s completely understandable for any tech-savvy adult to be enticed learning starting a YouTube channel. After all, it’s a fun and interactive hobby with the potential to turn you into a popular online personality —with the added benefit of helping you meet new people, get free stuff from companies, and of course, earn a pretty impressive income.
But if you want to become a YouTube success story, gain a steady increase in followers, or at least publish decent content that gets a good number of views and likes, you’ll need to do more than just become a contributing member on YouTube.
The most viewed YouTube channels target their content and postings with a few key criteria in mind. Paying close attention to your process, audience, analytics, and SEO are crucial to ranking among the fastest-growing YouTube channels.
Taking on a new creative venture is hard, even when you’re fully prepared. It’s intimidating to make the leap from what’s familiar to what’s unfamiliar with the good faith that your hard work will pay off in the long run.
If you’ve been working toward a specific goal for some time — *cough* starting a YouTube channel — then the stakes probably seem monumentally high right now. And looking at the statistics isn’t always the best way to alleviate that pressure.
But, with that being said… There are 38 million active channels and 500 hours of content uploaded every minute on YouTube.
If you’re one of the 22,000 content creators with one million subscribers, this data isn’t so daunting — but for someone who’s just starting out, it’s a big pill to swallow.
To start a YouTube channel, the actual sign-up process takes seconds — we’re talking create-an-account-and-go fast. But it’s not enough to add your channel name and upload a profile picture. There’s more to it than that.
A YouTube channel is an ongoing investment. To get the best outcome at the end of the day and reap the benefits of YouTube monetization, you have to put in the work and follow through on the most important steps (ahem, the seven steps covered in this guide).
Want to start a successful YouTube channel?
- Develop your channel concept and niche
- Take a cue from successful YouTubers
- Invest in your own pre-production protocol
- Make your concept a reality during production
- Bring everything together in post-production
- License music the safe (and smart) way
- Optimize, optimize, optimize
This guide will break down each of these steps so that you can showcase your YouTuber brand and create content that your target audience will love. To help your YouTube channel stand out among the 38 million others, we’ll also share a few easy-to-implement marketing tips.
With all that being said, let’s jump right in.
How to Set Up Your YouTube Channel
Setting up a new YouTube Channel is simple. It helps if you already have a Gmail account, which allows you to associate your new channel with your email address.
- Sign in to YouTube
- Click your picture in the top right corner (desktop version)
- Select “Create a Channel”
- Decide if you want to use the name associated with your email address or create a custom name for your channel
- Add details to the “about” section
- Customize the look of your channel with a cover photo and profile picture
- Upload your first video
Add playlists, fill out your profile with more details, customize your YouTube account settings, and link to your other social media accounts
Tips for starting a successful YouTube Channel as a Beginner in 2023
Now that your YouTube account has been set up, it’s time to lay the foundation to create a successful channel. As a beginner, it’s important to understand these steps or you can end up wasting a lot of time and money.
Knowing how to make a YouTube video is an important first step. You’ll want to gather the ideal equipment, practice using it, and start creating polished content.
Find the Best Video Equipment
Having crisp audio and clear video on all of your videos can set you apart from a lot of other Youtubers out there. We consider buying the right equipment from the get-go to be the 1st step in launching a successful YouTube career.
When planning your gear investment, you may find yourself asking “is it profitable to start a YouTube channel?” As long as you make strategic decisions and work hard to create great content, you’ll find that you have plenty of opportunities for generating profits.
What’s the Best Audio and Video Equipment for Starting a YouTube Channel?
Using your smartphone is certainly an acceptable way to start vlogging, but if you want viewers to enjoy your content, it really helps to invest in the right equipment. Most YouTubers use DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, along with other essential accessories for videography such as tripods, lenses, and studio lighting. For those who normally vlog on the go, a mirrorless or action camera, and a good monopod or handheld gimbal stabilizer are typical gear staples.
Remember, though, that a good vlogging camera is not everything. If you neglect other things like audio quality and lighting, your viewers may still lose interest in your videos after the first few seconds and won’t subscribe to you at all.
Invest in a good microphone that you can mount on your camera. At the same time, mind your recording conditions and make it a habit to check if your audio is clear enough for your viewers to understand.
For best results, use a shotgun microphone that’s designed to pick up sound mostly from the front so noise from the sides and behind the mic can be canceled out. Some vloggers even go as far as to invest in multiple microphones for different recording situations—you may require a lavalier mic (small microphones that can be pinned to your shirt) for shooting fitness videos or any other type of video that requires you to be far away from the camera, or a good condenser mic (or any mic that is commonly used for podcasting) that will allow you to do clear voice-overs.
Start with Simple Editing Software
Just because you’re creating videos doesn’t mean you need advanced video editing software (like Final Cut Pro) to edit your content. These software programs don’t necessarily improve your content, particularly if you’re going to be struggling with it a lot during the first few weeks.
If you’re new to video editing, you’d do much better with simple programs like Windows Movie Maker or Apple iMovie. These are a lot more user-friendly and are easily downloadable (for free) if you don’t already have them on your computer.
Tips for Creating Great Content
Plan Your Content
Before even starting a YouTube channel, you’ve probably already decided on the kind of video content that you want to show. The best ways to increase your views and gain followers is still to keep your content interesting and engaging; the more people can relate to it, the more they’ll want to click on it and watch until the end.
The most viewed YouTube channels usually stick to a theme. For example, many successful YouTubers have dedicated channels for travel, tutorials, or their daily lives. Viewers like living vicariously through the people they watch, so let them know what they can expect and deliver interesting material that they can enjoy.
Look for Inspiration
As you go along, it may be more challenging to come up with fresh, new content and YouTube channel ideas that will match the hype of your first few videos. But don’t worry—even established YouTube artists go through the same thing every once in a while. The secret is to look for inspiration everywhere—even when you’re out and taking a break from recording. List down your ideas. Check out other videos and build upon their ideas to make them your own.
Avoid comparing yourself to others and focus on your own channel. As long as you like and enjoy the concepts you come up with, your viewers will sense your sincerity and love for your craft, and this will help pique their interest. While you’re at it, take every opportunity to improve and evolve in other areas. Explore other camera filming techniques, editing styles, and approaches to your presentation.
Tips to Find Ideas for Your Content
Some of the most viewed and appreciated content answers questions we all have in common. Think about topics you’ve wanted to learn about, and then consider making videos to help others who have likely wondered about the same things. “How to” videos are among the most sought-after YouTube channel ideas. What can you teach your viewers?
Make Every Second Count
It’s equally important that you produce quality content and delete anything that you think may not contribute to making your videos better. This means that you need to be selective with the clips you include in the final cut. Choose only your best shots (and clip out moments of dead air) to keep your viewers interested and engaged t
How to Market Your YouTube Channel
Now that you know how to make a YouTube video and upload new videos to your channel, the next step is marketing your channel so you can build a following and subsequently a successful youtube account.
Optimize Your Videos for Search and SEO
Another secret to giving your videos more visibility is to optimize your content to help it rank on YouTube. As soon as you upload your first video, give it a good, descriptive title that viewers are likely to write on the search bar—and make sure to include your main keyword or key phrase. For example, the title “Hawaii Birthday Travel Vlog 2023” is much better than “Hawaii Here We Go!”
Also, make sure to use relevant tags that will help put your video under multiple related categories. When in doubt, scope out the competition and check what tags other similar videos are using. Finally, write a good description with at least 200 words, and include your target keywords, synonyms, and long-tail keyword variations. Not only will this help viewers figure out exactly what your video is about, but it will also help your video rank in search engine results pages.
Build Your Network with Social Media
While not necessarily categorized as a social networking site, YouTube is all about connecting, sharing, and collaborating with other users. Thus, to be successful, you need to make an effort to build your network. This is particularly critical in the YouTube community, as collaborations among creators have proven effective in helping a channel grow and gain new subscribers because it helps both collaborators gain exposure with the other’s subscriber base.
Talk to other creators, make friends, and don’t be afraid to contact larger YouTubers to inquire about a possible collaboration. It can certainly be intimidating, but you won’t get anywhere unless you try!
Connect with Your Viewers
Over time, you’ll slowly gain followers and get more comments from fans on your videos, and eventually, you’ll get messages on your personal social media accounts—you may even get some fan mail, should you decide to share your P.O. box. As much as possible, make time to connect with your viewers. Remember that your social media accounts are an extension of your YouTube channel, so try to share tidbits of your life on popular social platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. It’s also important that you try to read and respond to all the tweets, comments, and any other messages you get (as much as you are able).
Such interactions are important as they help your subscribers learn more about you, plus it can help you foster a sense of community and online camaraderie among your own little community. It’s not enough that they like your content—they have to like you and their overall experience with your channel as well.
Interacting with your viewers can also help you gain inspiration for new content ideas. And at the very least, it will keep you inspired to go on despite the difficulties of growing and sustaining your channel.
Ignore All the Negative Comments
No matter how big or how small your channel is, there will always be negative comments. After all, YouTube is a hotbed for ruthless people hiding conveniently behind their blank avatars. No matter how good your content is and how hard you work on your channel, there will always be people who will make hateful comments and try to bring you down.
Instead of letting them affect you, take it as a simple reminder that you can’t please everyone, and don’t forget those who appreciate you and what you do. Seek strength from these people in order to move past the negativity and continue producing content for them.
Upload Videos Regularly
Another important tip is to be consistent with your uploads. No matter how imperfect you think your content is, it’s important that you keep getting your videos out there, as it is when you start your own podcast.
Some YouTube channel owners publish videos once or twice a week and they let their viewers know about this schedule (usually at the end of each video) so viewers know when to check back. This gives a channel a bigger chance of getting a steady flow of views. This is especially true once it gains a number of active subscribers.
Remember to check for information about your audience in the Audience tab of your Analytics data to determine the best time to upload to YouTube. Once you figure out a convenient schedule that works for you, stick to it. You should be improving and getting more attention in no time!
Promote Your Videos
Make the most of each YouTube video you create by promoting it across multiple platforms. Creating great descriptions, titles, keywords, and thumbnails will help you get more views from users who are already on YouTube or who regularly search YouTube for content. You should also try to bring in new viewers from external sources such as social media and blogging channels.
Use Social Media
Connect your YouTube account to your other social media accounts. For example, you can link to your YouTube Channel or your latest video from your Instagram profile, Facebook Page, or your website.
Embed Your Videos
Embedding your videos and allowing others to embed them is a great way to get your content seen by wider audiences. For example, if you create a great product review and allow embedding of your videos, the product’s manufacturer can embed your YouTube video directly into their blog or website. You can allow embedding in the Advanced section of your YouTube account settings.
Engage Your Audience
Audience interaction is another key factor for YouTube success. Ask viewers to subscribe to your channel and turn on comments so they can engage with your videos.
YouTube Monetization Tips
Earning income with your YouTube channel is the ultimate goal. After you build a following and audience, there are going to be several different ways in which you can earn revenue. You don’t necessarily need to spend money to make money on YouTube. With targeted efforts, you’ll quickly learn how to promote YouTube videos without paying.
Start With AdSense
If you want to monetize your videos on YouTube, you’ll need to set up an AdSense account and link it to your channel. Setting up an AdSense Account is fairly straightforward. Just follow the steps provided by YouTube and wait for approval.
Become a YouTube Partner
As you gather more views and followers, you can apply for the Youtube Partner Program (YPP). The YPP provides additional user support features related to copyrighting, troubleshooting, and other common friction points for content creators.
Even if you aren’t eligible for the YPP right away, there are plenty of ways you can start making money with your channel’s content.
Monetization: How to Make Money with Your YouTube Channel
YouTube is a great way to generate extra income, and a strategy for how to make money with photography. You can create videos for a money boost now, or leverage your existing content in new ways to grow your passive income. Here are a few different ways to earn some money with your existing posts:
- Use AdSense to get advertising revenue
- Start creating as a YouTube Partner
- Work with companies to create sponsored content that leverages access to your fanbase for income
- License the content you create to other companies and sponsors
- Sell merchandise related to your videos
- Recruit direct payments from your fans and followers using apps like Patreon
- Set up a crowdfunding campaign
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Youtube Channel in 2023?
Creating a YouTube channel is completely free. The part that can get expensive is when you start to create the content for your channel. Even if you’re running a bare-bones operation of unboxing videos or talking straight to your webcam to do movie reviews, you’ll still need a few basic pieces of equipment.
Here’s a list of what you need to help starting a YouTube channel be successful:
- Computer with a webcam and microphone
- A smartphone or other external camera for recording content
- Editing software that makes your life easier when assembling videos
- A clean, well-designed station for working and recording
Is Starting a YouTube Channel Worth It?
Starting a YouTube channel may seem daunting at first, but it’s one of the best ways to leverage a thriving and engaged audience to grow your following as a content creator. The short answer is: yes, it’s worth it to start a YouTube channel if you can engage your audience with unique content.
Do the Work
Remember that large organizations and companies have multiple team members working hard to come up with YouTube channel ideas, record new content, perform video editing, focus on creating thumbnails, titles, and keywords, and organize the monetization process. Doing all of that on your own is a lot of work!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process, just take it one step at a time. The most important step is creating great videos. If your content is informative, original, and entertaining, then you have a head start toward YouTube channel success.
Take Your Time
Take your time to ensure you’re developing your content in the most effective way possible so you can launch it successfully. It’s better to have a polished product that takes a little more time to complete than to push an unfinished product out to your audience.
Create Real Value for Your Viewers
Focus on creating useful videos. If you notice a gap in the video content available, creating that content will appeal to your existing audience and help you attract new viewers.
Over time, the process will feel like second nature and you’ll have a thriving YouTube presence!