How To
8 min read

How to Start a YouTube Channel for Beginners

William Ellis
November 20, 2022

Learn everything you need to create a YouTube channel, along with some tips you’ll need to become a successful YouTuber.

Since 2005, YouTube has been the top platform for online video-based content. Every day, thousands upon thousands of new channels are created by people, brands, and companies looking to share their video content with the world. 

There were 14 million YouTube channels (and counting) added in 2022, with over 51 million active YouTube channels in 2022, up from 37 million total in 2021.

YouTube channel statistics

Not only has YouTube been a source of entertainment for billions of people, but it is also an extraordinary source of income and a creative outlet for millions of users to share video content.

Starting up your own YouTube channel today is, on one hand, just as easy as it has always been. On the other hand, some considerations come with making a YouTube channel that were unheard of when the platform first launched. Achieving popularity on YouTube was as simple as having a consistent upload schedule and a good YouTube video idea.

Success on YouTube starts with setting up your account properly. If you are thinking of starting your own YouTube channel but are unsure where to begin, this guide will help you get started on your content creator journey.

What type of channel are you making?

It may seem like an obvious question, but before you set up your YouTube channel, you need to ask yourself what kind of channel you want to create. 

Are you a single person trying to share your life? A brand attempting to market yourself? Are you part of an organization spreading a message?

Knowing what kind of YouTube account you'll create is the first step. You'll need to consider not just your current vision, but how it may change in the future. 

What happens in a few years if you are a single person looking to do daily vlogs (video logs)? Do you have a family? Will they be included? These are all things you should consider when building your channel.

Of course, you must consider the type of niche for which you wish to create content. While YouTube is full of absolutely everything you can imagine, there are still corners of the universe not covered and even previously done videos that you can put your spin on.

The next thing that needs to be considered is whether or not you wish to set up your account for strictly personal use or if you intend to use it to try and build out a brand for yourself. If you are simply creating an account for fun, then there is not much to consider apart from what kind of videos you would enjoy making.

Personal YouTube channels

A personal YouTube account is a relatively straightforward affair. You simply upload the content that you feel like uploading whenever you want. The most popular kind of personal YouTube channels typically feature vlogs.

The great thing about a personal channel is that you can do whatever you want with it without considering format, video length, subject matter, or even editing choices. You can do what you want whenever you want.

However, if you were thinking about making a living with YouTube videos, you may find doing so on a personal channel more complicated than it may seem worth. Fortunately, it is possible to have more than one YouTube channel. You can later create a new YouTube channel to pursue branding and monetization if you decide.

One of the most significant things you'll want to set early on and stick to is your video schedule. The easiest way to lose followers and potential YouTube views is by being unpredictable in your upload times. People want to know when they can expect new content from you. A set day that you upload will give them that and force you to be more structured about how you build your channel.

Professional or branded YouTube channels

More factors must be considered if you want to create a YouTube channel for professional or branded content. Creating branded content means having quite a few more rules to follow if you want to monetize your YouTube videos. YouTube has a complex algorithm that is constantly changing and growing, and you will have to follow likewise for your channel to be successful.

Branded content also requires a lot more consistency than a personal YouTube channel. Like with the personal channel, you must upload your videos at specific, reliable intervals to make a profit. Views are one thing, but to keep them and convert them to YouTube subscribers, you must be consistent with your content and upload times.

More consideration needs to be taken into how one can lose monetization on their videos. One misplaced song and you can lose monetization on a video that would otherwise be a high earner for you. 

The content of the videos must be consistent as well. Jumping in a million directions has been done before, but the channels that stay consistently higher in rankings are the ones that stick to their niche and do well in it. There is less freedom in this regard, especially when dealing with a brand.

Know your niche

When creating a YouTube channel, particularly a branded one, you need to know your niche inside and out to plan your content strategy accordingly. By knowing your niche, you can create video content that engages. The best way to do this is to consider what you like to watch on YouTube. 

What kind of content makes you want to engage further? Take what you realize through that introspection and use it to build a content strategy. After all, why would anyone want to if you aren't making content that you would watch?

Once you have your desired niche, do some research. Find the content that seems to gravitate towards that niche. Listening to the reviews and responding to the comments is a critical daily task. Take constructive criticism and keep it in mind as you make more content.

How to create your YouTube channel

Setting up your own YouTube channel is as simple as having a Google account, using your email, or creating one to use for YouTube. Let’s start logging in to create a Google account if you don’t have one.

In the top right corner of the page, you click “Sign in.” You will be met with a screen where you can log in to your Google account if you already have one. 

If not, beneath that area is a link that says “Create account”, where you’ll choose between yourself, your child, or to manage your business. Create your account with an email address you already have (which you will need to confirm that you own), or create a new Gmail address to use. 

Login or create a Google account for YouTube
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Once you are logged in or have created your Google account, you’re ready to set up your YouTube channel.

Create your YouTube channel

Navigate your way into your YouTube account, click on your profile in the top right corner, and click on “Create a channel.” 

Create a YouTube channel
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Then you’ll upload your photo or logo and create your YouTube channel name. Don’t worry, you can change these later if you’d like. 

Upload picture and create name for YouTube channel
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Once inside, you’ll be able to upload a YouTube video, view your channel stats, or customize your channel through YouTube Studio. Click on “Customize channel” to access YouTube Studio, where you’ll be able to do everything you need to do to be on your way to a successful YouTube channel.

Customize your channel with YouTube Studio

YouTube Studio will be where you can upload videos, playlists, view your YouTube analytics, monetization, and customize your channel to be consistent with your style or brand. 

Select “Customization” and the “Branding” tab from the YouTube Studio menu, where you can change or upload your picture, your banner image, and the video watermark.

YouTube Studio channel menu
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Banner image

Your banner image, also known as a cover photo, sits at the top of your YouTube channel page. You can place whatever image you want, but remember that this can also be used as a marketing tool. 

Create a banner image for your YouTube channel
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It is not uncommon for YouTubers to put links in their banner image to stores with which they may do affiliate marketing or to their own personal or company websites.

Next, head to the “Basic info” tab to set up your channel name and description. 

Channel description

Your channel description section is where you can tell your potential viewers what your channel and content are about. You can use the description section to give general information about your channel and feature other channels you have, follow, or collaborate with. 

YouTube channel description
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Another thing to remember with this section is to link to your other social media accounts. Facebook, Instagram, and even a personal website or another blog. Don't leave this section blank and expect to get anywhere far.

Now that you have your YouTube channel set up the way you’d like for now, it’s time to create some YouTube videos.

How to make YouTube videos

Making videos is a process that can be dirt simple or highly elaborate. If you are doing a simple vlog-type video that requires no editing, then you can simply upload it to your channel straightaway. If you want to make your videos a little more professional, then you will need some editing software.

Numerous programs are available to people who wish to edit their videos before putting them on their YouTube channel. Before you resort to spending money on a video editing program, you will be happy to know that there are free editors out there that will do the job well enough.

If you are an Apple computer user, Apple's iMovie program is already available. There are also free programs, such as prior versions of FXHome's HitFilm Express. If you are a more advanced editor, then Blackmagic Design's program DaVinci Resolve is available (though Resolve is intended more for filmmakers). You can also pay a monthly subscription for Adobe Premiere or the current version of HitFilm.

What camera do I need for my YouTube channel?

One of the biggest misconceptions people who first start a YouTube channel have is that they need a fancy or expensive camera that shoots the highest quality. 

The truth is that having a decent camera is nice but not required. If you look at the history of YouTube, you will find thousands of great videos made with cameras of varying quality.

Camera for YouTube

The good news for anyone who starts their YouTube journey today is that there is a good chance that the only camera they will need, at least as they start, is already in their pocket. Year after year, cell phones are equipped with better and better cameras that allow them to achieve stunning results.

How to upload a video to YouTube

Uploading your videos is a process that is simple on paper, but there are levels of engagement that can bring you rewards if you choose to go the extra mile. 

To upload your video, you simply click the “create” button, choose to upload your video (whether from the computer or your phone), and then write a title and a description. That is the process in the simplest of terms.

Taking things further with YouTube SEO

Suppose you are in the process of trying to grow an audience or monetize your videos using YouTube SEO (search engine optimization). In that case, you should know that your titles and video descriptions are a means by which you can make that happen. 

When you write out your video's description, you can use tags and keywords to help your videos potentially have more visibility in YouTube's search engine.

YouTube video

The words in your title can also function as keywords, so take advantage of that fact. If you want to create amazing YouTube video titles that capture the attention of the YouTube algorithm and viewer, then be mindful of current trends. Look at videos in that niche and see what the top results use for their titles.

Now you’ve got your YouTube channel, know how to create and upload videos, and understand the basics of YouTube SEO to have a successful YouTube channel after you put in the work. It will take a long time and a lot of views until you see decent monetization, so stick with it and don’t get discouraged when you start.

Final thoughts on starting a YouTube channel

Starting a YouTube channel as part of your video marketing strategy may seem like a daunting task after one considers all of the necessary steps that need to be taken. However, if you go step by step, you will find that it is not such a huge undertaking.

Once you start consistently producing quality videos and gaining YouTube subscribers, you’ll be on your way as a successful YouTuber.

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