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If you thought that you could just start a youtube channel, upload a video, and go viral, then you may want to sit down for a moment.
Because the truth is, that is rarely ever how it works.
Matter of fact, most people who want to start a channel completely underestimate how much work actually goes into building a youtube channel.
As well as the results that you can expect to get from it.
Having gone through the new-tuber struggle myself, I want to make sure that you don’t have to hit a brick wall as I did.
So in this article, I am going to give you all of the tools and tips you need to start a youtube channel with a good foundation.
Now before we get started, I have to be clear. If you are just doing youtube as a hobby and not thinking about making it into something bigger, then this is not the article for you.
However, if you want to actually grow on youtube and possibly make money from it, then you are in the right place.
1-Starting Your Youtube Brand
One of the first things that you are going to hear when you start a youtube channel is:
“Pick a niche!”
I say: Pick your brand.
A lot of YouTubers get stuck when they niche down so much in the beginning that they are not even able to scale or grow.
Focus on what you want to be known for.
Do you want to be known for making reaction videos about hot topics? Or do you want to be the guy that cooks amazing food but never shows his face?
Let that be your brand and start making content from that perspective.
Don’t put yourself in too small of a box because then you may struggle to get out.
Choosing A Youtube Channel Name
For some reason, this is where a lot of YouTubers spend most of their time.
People really get stuck on choosing a channel name.
That’s because it is Choice Overload. There are literally millions of possibilities.
This is why I insisted on defining your brand first because it makes it so much easier. Take some words that are common in your brand and start to play around with them.
Some people make it easy and just use their own name as their channel name.
But if you are creating a brand that is not personal, then you may want to choose a creative name that people will likely remember.
Create a New Google Account
You can’t create a youtube channel nowadays without a Google Account. If you already have an account, great.
Don’t use it.
Instead, create a brand new google account with your brand name as your email address.
It is essential that your brand name is seen on all of your contacts. It will look a lot more professional to have an email address with a brand name.
Until you actually decide to subscribe to a professional email hosting service.
Not only that, but it will make your life as a youtube a lot easier to be able to separate your personal email from your “work” email.
You can even have all of your Drive documents for your youtube channel completely separate, which will make organizing your files a lot easier.
OBS! Make sure you enable two-factor authentication as it is now a requirement to join the Youtube Partner Program
Create an Audience Profile
Before you start creating content, you might want to know who you are creating the content for. You will want to step into the mind of the person you are trying to attract to your content.
This is where you create an Audience Profile.
This is going to be your little cheatsheet where you write everything that you feel is important to know about your audience.
What do they want from you? What are they looking for? What are their goals?
Having these things in the back of your mind will help you to create content that is tailored for them.
You may be thinking: “Don’t I need to have an audience for this?”
And the answer is no, you don’t.
When you are first starting on youtube, you are going to have to work to find your audience. Not just wait for them to find you.
Knowing who you are looking for is going to be essential.
2-Customizing Your Youtube Channel
Once you have signed up and created your channel, you are going to want to customize it from the get-go.
You want to make sure that anyone that comes to your channel page is going to have a reason to stay.
If you don’t have a lot of content yet, the least you can do is make your channel look nice and professional.
In the beginning, all you are going to be able to do is fix your banner and logo. Once you start making more videos, you will be able to make channel sections and playlists that will really set your page up for success.
Creating a Youtube Channel Banner
I am still surprised by how many YouTubers to this day, do not have a channel banner.
This is going to be the centerpiece of your youtube page and one of the few things that you are actually going to be able to customize.
I personally recommend Canva if you want to make one yourself and find photoshop to be a bit complicated. Canva actually has templates ready for you that you can edit and use.
Did I mention that it is totally free to use?
Creating a Youtube Logo
Having a logo is going to be another big step in your youtube brand. But youtube logos are not like regular logos.
There are a lot of channels that simply use a nice picture of themselves as their channel logo.
And some people have cats.
With that being said, on youtube, you can be as creative as you want when it comes to your logo. If you are like me, then you may even change up your logo a few times to really get a nice feel for it.
If you want to design one yourself, I recommend you use Canva since they give you all rights to use their logos.
3-Youtube SEO 101
At this point, you are probably thinking: “Okay so when can I start filming?”
Patience, young Padawan.
Remember that I am trying to set you up for youtube success. So the last thing I want you to do is to start creating content and not have any direction of where it is going.
I did that before and those videos are very embarrassing.
Before you turn on that camera, let’s make sure you know what you are doing. And to give you a good road map, you are going to need to understand the power of Youtube SEO.
When you first want to get some eyes on your content, you are going to want to focus on Youtube SEO. If you don’t know what SEO is, it is the process of making your content optimized enough to show up in search results.
You can read all about SEO for beginners on my blog.
Youtube SEO is by far the easiest that I have ever worked with. Not only is it easier to do the keyword research, but you can also rank very quickly.
The best thing is you do not even need to have a single subscriber to rank in search. It will all depend on how well you have done your SEO.
Keywords are going to be the cornerstone for this process. Keywords are the search terms that youtube viewers are looking for. So the idea is, to find out what people are searching for and make content for it.
My favorite tool for this is Tubebuddy. The keyword research tool is the best one that I have used for youtube and they even have a free extension that you can download.
Go download it and just take a day to search for as many keywords that you can that have to do with your brand and niche.
Then take all of them and put them in a spreadsheet and keep them because those are what you are going to use to create content.
This is crucial so don’t skip it.
There is an ongoing debate about youtube tags and if they are important or not.
YouTubers in the past have done things like keyword stuffing and using wrong tags on their video just to get people to their video.
People picked up on it and now, youtube says that tags are no longer that important.
Safe to say, when it comes to tags, make sure you have them just in case. They will probably end up doing more good than harm.
So use the keywords that you got from your keyword research and use them as your tags. But do no more than 15 tags at a time.
And if you used Tubebuddy as I suggested, then you will get even more keywords from the tool.
Youtube Video Descriptions
Another thing that I see a lot of YouTubers doing is not doing SEO writing in their video descriptions.
Remember the keywords that you got from Tubebuddy?
What you should do is incorporate a few of these into your description.
Here is an example of the wrong way to do an SEO description:
“Hey guys! Here is this week’s video! Don’t forget to subscribe for more! Byyeeee!”
Cute. But it won’t get you far.
Now here is how it should look:
“If you ever wondered what it is like to go viral, then listen up! In today’s video, I am going to walk you through how my channel went viral, how I got views to my youtube video fast, and how much money I made from my viral video.”
All the highlighted parts are actually keywords that people have searched on youtube and that can help your video show up in search results if you put them in your description.
Channel authority is basically a reputation that you build on youtube.
Here comes the bad news: Reputation can only be built with time.
That means that you will have to be consistent and build momentum over time to start really gaining traction.
That does not mean that you can’t have a viral video because those happen all the time. But what you should be aiming for is having videos that work so well together that you have several videos that get picked up instead of just one.
Once you get to that point, that is when the algorithm will almost automatically push out your content as soon as you release it.
4-Creating Content For Youtube
Now we can get to the fun stuff: Making content!
Each youtuber does things differently and you do have the possibility to do whatever you want with your channel.
So when it comes to style, that is totally up to you.
If you want to film yourself in front of the camera, do it. If you want to do voiceovers and screen recordings, that’s great! There really is no wrong way to go about this.
Nevertheless, there are a few things that I can still help you with.
Creating A Youtube Content Calendar
I love content calendars.
I think it is so nice to have a list of content that you want to make and to know when you are going to make it.
Instead of having to think of a new idea every time you turn on the camera, it will save you time to just look at your content calendar.
If you are someone who is super organized like me, then you can make a spreadsheet like the one below:
Can you tell that I love spreadsheets?
This is just an example of what a content calendar can look like. But do what suits you the best.
Optimizing your Youtube Thumbnails
Thumbnails are going to be your best friend or your worst enemy.
Not only are they the poster for your video but they set the whole theme of your channel as well. When a viewer goes over to your youtube page and sees a nice cohesive pattern style of thumbnails, it makes it look like you know what you are doing.
As far as the search engine goes, you have a quick shot on the search page to grab someone’s attention with your thumbnail and title.
You literally have less than 15 seconds to get someone hooked.
Unfortunately, thumbnail styles vary from niche to niche. There is no one way to do things because different videos call for different thumbnail styles.
You will have to test out different thumbnails and styles, as well as study the other videos in your niche to be able to see what resonates with viewers.
CTR and Watch Retention
CTR means Click Through Rate. This is the rate at which people see your video and then decide to click your video.
100 people see your video on the homepage and 3 people click through to watch it.
That is a CTR of 3%.
A good CTR on youtube is anywhere between 3%-10%, with 10% being extremely good. On average, the CTR is somewhere between 4-5%.
The higher the CTR, the better and the more likely you are to get pushed out onto the browse feed of youtube.
Once the viewer watches your video, you want them to stay. This is going to define your Watch Retention for that video.
The more you are able to get people to stay and watch your video, the higher the watch retention. If you have both a high CTR and long watch retention, then you have a higher chance of getting picked up by the algorithm.
That is it.
But each youtuber is different. My advice is to buy the absolute essentials that you need to start making content and then add the rest as you go.
I suggest you take a look at some of the Youtuber Kits on Amazon and see if you find something that is within your budget and that you like.
If you are doing screen recordings, then a good free tool that you can use is OBS.
Don’t overcomplicate it. Sometimes your smartphone and a tripod are more than enough.
How Often Should You Be Posting?
Is there a number of videos you should be posting to be able to go viral?
How many youtube videos should you be posting to be able to grow?
As much as you can.
There is no rule. All the algorithm wants is momentum and consistency.
If you want to post a video every single day, that is no guarantee that you are going to get thousands of subscribers in a few months.
With that begin said, the more high-quality videos you do upload, the more likely you are to build momentum quicker.
But there are no guarantees when it comes to youtube but to give yourself a better shot, upload as much as you can without burning out.
I started with 2 videos a week and quickly realized that I couldn’t keep that up. So I switched to once a week instead.
Funny enough, my channel has actually been growing faster since the switch.
5-Promoting Your Youtube Content
You want to give your video the best shot for success when you publish it. So try to get your content out there as soon as you can.
This will help get some initial views on your content and help the algorithm start to get to know you and your audience.
Posting On Social Media and Forums
A great place to share your content is on social media. But not all platforms are for youtube videos.
Places like Facebook used to be great for publishing youtube videos. But Zuckerberg decided that he want to compete with Youtube so now they almost suppress youtube videos instead of promoting them.
TikTok is another place that is very hard to get the audience to go over to your youtube video. Most people on TikTok just want to stay on TikTok. So you are going to have to give them something that is really worth their while to get them to go over to your channel.
Instagram is another platform that almost feels impossible to grow on at the moment. However, at this moment, they seem to prefer accounts that use Instagram Reels. So if you are willing to take your content and make them into clips, then you could do really well on it.
My preferred platforms are currently Pinterest, Reddit, and Quora.
Should you have a website?
If you are considering making your youtube into an actual business in the future, then you may want to consider making a website.
This is ONLY for those of you that are looking to build a business. If this is not your vision, then don’t waste your time with it.
Making a website as a youtuber is a lot of work and takes time as well.
In my other post, I give 5 reasons why you should create a website if you are a youtuber. If you are really looking to scale your brand, then you may want to think about creating it in the future.
6-Monetizing Your Youtube Channel
Hopefully, you plan to make some money with your youtube channel. If you do then there are going to be a few ways that you can do this.
However, some are better for beginners and other ways are better for more established YouTubers.
We will cover the 3 main ways to make money from youtube today.
Youtube Partner Program
The Youtube Partner Program (YPP) is by far the most popular youtube monetization method. It is the one that every new youtuber is looking forward to joining and getting accepted into.
To be accepted into the YPP, you need 4 things:
- 1000 subscribers
- 4000 watch hours (in the last 365 days)
- Two-factor authentication
- No strikes on your channel
It is a huge milestone.
That being said, it is actually the skimpiest way to make money from your youtube channel.
No offense to youtube.
The RPM (Revenue Per Mille) and CPM (Cost Per Mille) on youtube vary a lot from day to day and month to month. So it’s not very stable.
The “millionaire” YouTubers that you see didn’t become millionaires just from the YPP. But it is still a great source of income and a great way to build wealth on youtube.
Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to make money and is by far the most beginner-friendly.
All you have to do is talk about products that you use and love and get an affiliate link for those products.
Then you can share them in your description box and if someone buys with your link, you get a commission.
Just make sure that you have an affiliate disclaimer on the bottom of your description box as well so that your audience knows you may get a commission.
I recommend you read all about affiliate marketing for beginners so that you can get a better idea of how it works.
I always say: You know that you have made it online when you start to get brand deals.
This is a very lucrative way to make money on youtube.
Surprisingly enough, brands are willing to reach out to you with only a couple thousand subscribers. But unfortunately, if you are a smaller channel, it is a lot harder to get sponsorships from brands.
So this is something that you can expect to start getting once you gain more views and subscribers to your channel.
Selling Your Own Products and Services
A lot of YouTubers sell courses, ebooks, merch, and plenty of other things. This is probably where the majority of YouTubers make the most money.
However, this is also an income stream that is best to have once you already have a bigger audience.
Creating products and services takes a lot of time and effort. It can be very disheartening to put in all that work and not get anything back. Which is what typically happens when creators put out products too early.
So wait until you have enough views and comments so that you can really get a feel for what your audience needs. Then you can start to make products catered to them.
You are going to quickly realize that growing on youtube could take a lot longer than most people want to admit.
I came in with the impression that I would hit 1k subs in no time.
Needless to say, that wasn’t the case.
However, the journey of being a youtube will push you to always try to be better. But that is only if you are willing to put in the work.
Being a new youtuber is a gift.
You are able to literally do whatever you want and test out new things without having to worry about losing half of your audience.
The amazing thing about youtube is that you can make videos for months and get very little results. Then all of a sudden, you wake up to find that your videos hit the algorithm.
You can wake up to a thousand subscribers overnight.
So use this time fully and try to find your groove so that when your audience comes flooding in, you will be ready.