The Beginners Guide to Starting a YouTube Channel
First, this guide is about helping you get your YouTube channel started. No matter what kind of YouTuber you want to be - beauty blogger, musician, or vlogger - it's important to get off to a good start. Getting those first subscribers is vital because they can become long-term fans if you continue to put out high-quality content.
What is a YouTube channel?
A YouTube channel is essentially a website with videos on it. But rather than just being able to read about your favorite YouTubers, you can also watch them live on camera!
What types of YouTubers are there?
YouTube has many genres, such as Beauty, Vlogs, Funny, and Music. If you have a certain talent or interest that you want to share with the world through video content, YouTube is a great platform for sharing it.
Before you can start making videos, you need to sign up for a free account on Youtube.com. Download my free YouTube Starter checklist to help you get started.
How to get started with a YouTube Channel:
Register for a free youtube account.
Here's a free checklist that will make it easy to get started. Decide what kind of channel you want to run and plan your first video. Do some research on how you can grow your audience as fast as possible. Pick out what kind of videos you're going to make, and then get to work editing together your first video.
Upload the video to your YouTube Channel and promote it on other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
To get the best results for other people seeing your video you will want to create a thumbnail image for your video by using an online tool like Canva.
Tips for Success for your YouTube Channel
Here are some helpful tips to get you started getting views on your videos:
Build a community around your channel. You can do this by live streaming on YouTube, where you can talk directly to your audience. Or if you prefer a more intimate setting, try doing Facebook Lives or Instagram Lives. Another good trick is to post links to each of your new videos on social media. This way, people who don't subscribe to your channel will still see what you're up to.
You will want to create a regular posting schedule for yourself and be consistent about it. It might seem like extra work, but having a set time where you publish a new video every week, month (or day) can help viewers plan for what to expect.
Another great way to grow your audience is by collaborating with other YouTubers and vloggers who have similar audiences. Another bonus here is that you are indirectly tapping into their fan base, too!
Common Questions/FAQ About Having a YouTube Channel
Do I need a fancy camera?
No! You can use your smartphone or a webcam to start your YouTube Channel. Use whatever you have!
Do I need expensive editing software?
You do not need high-end video editing software such as Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro CC to get started with a YouTube channel! There are lots of free video editing tools you can use to get started. If you have a Mac, I highly suggest using iMovie. I have a lot of iMovie videos for you here. The free Windows equivalent of iMovie is called Windows Movie Maker. There are also some great online editing tools that will provide more editing options for no money at all.
Even if you want to spend money on video editing software, it's better to start with a simpler tool that is not too overwhelming.
Also, don't forget to have fun! There's no reason why you should feel intimidated by the process of making videos. If you have a camera and a computer, that's all you need to start making awesome videos!
What kind of videos should I make?
Get creative! You can share tutorials by showing other people how to do stuff, you can share funny videos or even review products. Whatever your passion is, there are lots of opportunities for interesting content on YouTube!
How often do I need to publish a new video?
It depends. If you want to be productive, you can set up a schedule so that you know what is going on and when content will be out there for people to see. Most YouTubers make videos at least once per week - but many successful channels publish content much more regularly than that.
How long should my first video be?
There is no set length for a video and it doesn't matter. You can start with short videos, or do like many people and make long-form content that goes on for more than an hour. Either way, if your idea catches the interest of people you will get views on YouTube!
What to Do Before Publishing Your Video:
No matter how good you are at production… If your audience can't understand you, it's going to be hard (if not impossible) for them to enjoy watching your video. Even if you're making videos in a foreign language, subtitles and closed captions can make the difference between an audience that is engaged and an audience that leaves your video.
Whether you're talking about the best way to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or the newest gadget on the market, subtitles ensure your content is as easy to consume as possible.
Use subtitles where appropriate. This plan can be especially helpful for those who speak English as a second language. If you are simply making a video for fun or to share with friends, this isn't as important for your channel's growth. But if you want to make content that is accessible to more people and seek wider viewership... subtitles matter!
It's important to remember that people trust videos because they can see what is happening and hear what is being said. Writing subtitles for a video can improve your channel's trustworthiness and make it easier for people to understand what you are trying to teach them, so they feel more confident in the content you're sharing.
If you're like me and don't have time to write out your subtitles you can use a tool like rev.com to get your subtitles made quickly. Prices start at just $0.99/minute and I've used them many times before to successfully subtitle videos for my business. Try rev.com here!
Do I need to have a niche?
- There are lots of profitable YouTubers who have built up their channels in different ways. If your audience knows what kind of content they will get, this is really helpful to make a successful channel!
- But many people start by just trying different videos and seeing which ones catch the attention of their viewers. In fact, it was only after years of posting videos on his channel that Casey Neistat decided to focus on daily vlogs and started growing a huge audience.
- I recommend trying different types of content to see what kind of videos have the most success for your channel. But here's the thing, only make videos that you are passionate about. If you make videos that you don't enjoy, your audience will be able to tell and it won't be as fun for anyone!
How do I get my first 100 subscribers on YouTube?
Once you have created and published your channel, the next step is to tell people about it. It sounds simple… but don't underestimate how hard this can be when you first start!
When you're just starting a channel, many YouTube video ideas can feel like "been there done that." We get it — we've watched videos for years, and it's tough to find content that feels fresh.
But don't let this discourage you! It's okay if your first couple of videos aren't the most exciting. The best way to grow a small channel is with consistency and dedication. The more regularly you post new content, the more likely you are going to get new subscribers.
Social media is a really important place to share your videos. Make sure you tell your friends and family about your channel, ask them to watch and subscribe and cheer you on as you start this journey! Also, be active on YouTube watching other channels in your niche so that when people come across your channel they see that you are actively engaged.
The simplest thing you can do is to ask people to subscribe — in your video description, and when you reply to comments on other people's videos and posts. The more comments you leave on other channels the better so that YouTube will show your name more often in a personalized recommendation feed.
It's very important not to get discouraged. Even big channels like this one take time to grow. You'll find that by making a commitment to post regularly and encouraging others often, you will eventually start growing your small channel into something much bigger!
How do I make my first video?
When it comes to YouTube videos, consistency is key. Your first video may feel very daunting — and it is! Making videos takes a lot of time, and you should only start when you're ready.
But what if I told you that your first video doesn't have to be the best thing ever? You don't need a fancy camera or a complicated script. Just record your voice and take the viewer along with you as you explore something you're interested in.
iJustine's very first video was just her sharing how she made oatmeal in the microwave! So go ahead and take a look at your own life and see if there are any interesting experiences you've had recently that would make a good video. Is there something you're passionate about?
The best way to think about your first video is to consider what other content you can create from it. For example, if your video was just a simple tutorial on how to make a great cup of coffee then maybe you could make more videos showing the viewers how to prepare other types of coffee and share all the different flavors out there too!
The most important thing in making YouTube videos is authenticity. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true. Content created exclusively for the views and monetization will not engage your audience; at best, you may be able to trick viewers into clicking a link, but they'll probably never come back. That's the opposite of what you want!!
Trust your gut and create content that you would enjoy watching yourself — like this video on how to make a great cup of coffee!
What kind of equipment will I need?
There are no specific requirements to start creating videos on YouTube. Almost every device, from your smartphone to your laptop, can record and upload video content directly to the platform — but you don't necessarily need any of them. Do whatever works best for you!
And even if you do go out and buy some recording equipment, don't feel pressured to use it. In your videos, content is king — not production value. Even using a webcam or smartphone can create interesting and engaging YouTube video ideas.
However, if you do have an iPhone or another smartphone that supports HD-quality video recording, it's certainly worth considering using it to shoot your videos. You'll be able to record in better quality (especially when it comes to audio), which means the finished product will look more professional.
After you've recorded your videos, of course, you'll want to edit them. Editing tools like iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro are widely available — but again, don't feel pressured to use them. Your first video doesn't have to be perfect!
You don't even need a script, a few talking points will work just fine!
And even if you want to edit your videos, there's no reason why you can't learn the basics and create simple cuts and transitions using free editing software. YouTube videos don't always have to look slick. Sometimes they're just about sharing an interesting experience or idea with people who are also interested in the same topic!
How many subscribers do I need to make money?
It depends on how much you want to make. There are lots of options and revenue streams for YouTubers, so it's important to think about what kind of content you're making and the size of your audience because this will determine how much potential there is for income too.
How can I earn money from my videos?
To start earning money for your YouTube content, you'll need to connect your channel to an AdSense account and apply for monetization. This can be a somewhat complicated process but there are lots of articles on Google that will help guide you through the steps.
When your channel is set up to allow monetization, you'll see an icon in the bottom left corner of every video that will give you information about the available formats. You can also click on the icon to get more information about specific ads that are running with your video.
Creating great content and building a loyal audience is the first step to earning money from your YouTube channel. Once you're able to show Google that people love watching your videos, they will be happy to deliver relevant advertisements for products and services your audience would be interested in.
Why do I need a YouTube channel?
- Your YouTube channel helps to build your online presence. Using video on YouTube allows you to show people what you're all about — whether that is through videos of you talking or showing things related to your business or personal life!
- Some businesses have found success by using their YouTube channels simply as a customer service tool. For example, one company that sells computers posted videos for people who needed help setting up their new computers.
- Creating a YouTube channel can help you promote your business, teach or inform others about your topic of expertise, and connect with people you'd otherwise not be able to reach - just from sharing your life experiences online!
How do I get my videos discovered?
- There are a few factors that will determine how easy it is for people to find your content on YouTube. The first thing you should do is make sure that all the information you include in your video description is easy to understand.
- Have a look at the other videos in the same category as yours and see how much information they share about their videos. When people choose which videos to watch, they are looking for information like: the title of your video (so it appears in searches), who you are or what company you represent (so they know it's not spam), and whether the video is interesting to them.
- When you put all this information in the description of your videos, it will help people find your content! For more tips on getting discovered on YouTube, visit: http://bit.ly/1EZ5Rc
Do I need to hire someone to make my thumbnails?
The thumbnail is the small picture that appears next to your video in your channel, search results, along with other places on YouTube.
At first glance this might seem like a detail you could overlook, but when you're trying to make an impression and be found it's important to have an attractive avatar associated with your content. It's also something that viewers will see before they decide to watch your video.
The good news is that you don't need to hire someone else to create a thumbnail for your videos. YouTube does offer tools for creating thumbnails but if you're not a designer or don't have access to one, there are lots of places where you can get creative and have fun.
If you want to create a thumbnail that people will notice, I suggest grabbing my YouTube Thumbnail Template pack here.
What will a YouTube channel do for my business?
- Many businesses are turning to YouTube to help promote their brand and connect with their audience. Whether you're a small business owner looking for recommendations on how to grow your business using video or an established company seeking new ways to engage customers, YouTube can be a powerful tool.
- With more than 1 billion active users every month, YouTube offers one of the most effective ways to establish yourself as an expert in your field, share information with others and connect with a new audience.
And remember, when you are making content:
- Talk like you talk normally - Don't try to be someone you're not.
- Be kind to others - Don't offend people and don't put out content that you wouldn't show friends or family.
- Be yourself - You are creating a space where you should be able to share your thoughts without editing yourself.
- Keep it relevant - Video is great for sharing information about your business, but don't spam your channel with the content just for the sake of posting. Make sure that every video you make adds value to your viewers.
- Create original material - It's really important to share things that are relevant to your business and in line with what you want people to know about it. Sharing other people's property without permission isn't a great way to win fans.
- Keep it short - YouTube has bigger ambitions than to be the place where you share hours-long lectures or conference presentations.
- Get the basics right - Look into using titles, descriptions, and tags for your videos so that they are easily found by relevant viewers.
Now, get to work! I can't wait to see what you create!
- Becoming a YouTube Partner
- YouTube Creator Academy
- To find out more and connect with other people who are creating content on YouTube join my Lindsey Hazel Insiders here.
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Starting a YouTube channel.
Starting a YouTube channel is easier than you might think.
I've created YouTube videos over the past few years and being a YouTuber may seem like an easy way to make money for some however it takes time to build your brand, get subscribers, build views and be notable. I'm not saying it's impossible but don't go on thinking that you'll become a YouTuber overnight.
Do your research and make sure that you're interested in making videos for other people to watch and paying attention to the fact that it's not going to happen overnight. Create content you can be proud of, work hard at marketing yourself and if you do all of this properly then I'm sure you'll be successful.
So, I hope that this article helped you to learn about starting a YouTube channel and you're ready to get started! Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you further down in the comments below.
Have fun and happy creating!