YouTube is wildly popular and a great place to showcase your business and digital products. With over one billion hours watched daily, YouTube is now the 2nd most visited website and 2nd biggest search engine after Google. With so much to gain by sharing your videos with the world on YouTube, why not start now?
We’ve compiled 10 tips on how to start a YouTube channel for beginners to help you get started.
How a YouTube channel can help your knowledge business
Before we dive into the tips, let’s go over how YouTube can help your knowledge business. The main advantages are:
- You can build an audience of fans that you can eventually sell to.
- You can build up credibility and authority on topics. From there, you can sell courses about that topic, write books, speak at conferences, coach and much more.
- YouTube can be a great driver of traffic to your website. Once they’re on your website, you can get them into your sales funnels to eventually drive revenue.
1. Know your channel’s purpose
First, you need to know your YouTube channel’s purpose. This is one of the most important YouTube tips for beginners. Do you want to share your passion with the world? Is YouTube part of your video content marketing strategy to promote your business? Are you looking to integrate social media and video marketing strategies? Are you trying to make your YouTube channel your business? Defining a purpose will help guide you while you start creating content.
If you are starting a YouTube channel to promote your business, you’re probably going to want to brand it with your company’s name. You can also link your channel to your company’s website and other social media accounts. Having a strong grasp on the purpose can also help you seed ideas for the types of video content that will most likely resonate with your audience. If you go into your YouTube channel blindly, you may suffer from having unfocused content that lacks cohesiveness and drives would-be subscribers away.
2. Create your YouTube channel
Now you’re ready to create your YouTube channel. Here’s a high-level walkthrough to help guide you through setting up your first YouTube channel.
- If you don’t already have a Google account, you’ll need to sign up for one. After creating a username and password you’ll be asked to provide your phone number for account verification.
- Once you have created, and can access, your Google account, head over to YouTube and sign in with your username.
- Next, take any action that requires you to have a YouTube channel. These include leaving a comment on a video, or creating a playlist. We recommend the ‘upload video’ action as it will give you prompts to guide you through creating your own channel.
- You will be asked if you want to create your channel using the name associated with your Google account, or with a brand account. The advantage of using a brand account is that you’ll be able to give channel management access to multiple people. Once you choose which option you’d like to use, YouTube will set up your channel. It’s as simple as that.
3. Verify your account
After you create your YouTube channel, you’ll need to verify it. This will enable certain features that you will not have access to without verification. This includes things like the ability to customize your video thumbnails. Having an engaging thumbnail can be the difference between people clicking to watch your video, or completely ignoring it.
To verify your account:
- Navigate to “Channel status and features” in the YouTube settings.
- Once you are redirected, click on the blue “Verify” button towards the top of the page.
- You will be prompted to give your phone number, at which point you can select between getting a verification code via text or voice call. This verification code should arrive quickly.
4. Create a banner
We all know how important first impressions are. They can set the tone for your entire interaction with any given person in any given circumstance. Your YouTube channel banner will likely be the first thing your viewers and possible subscribers will see when visiting your channel. It’s big and sits right atop your channel’s main page.
This is your chance to make that good first impression. An effective banner will let the viewer know where they are, entice the viewer to stay and check out some videos, and may even get them to trust you a little.
Creating YouTube channel artwork should be no problem if you have design skills. If you’re not as confident in your craft, there are several tools and templates online that will make the whole process much easier. Canva is one easy-to-use graphic design platform with several YouTube channel art templates that can help you get a jump start on designing your own banner.
There are some size restrictions for banners to consider:
- Minimum size for the banner is 2048 x 1152 pixels
- Maximum file size is 6MB
- Your banner will look different depending on whether you are viewing it on a mobile or a desktop device
- Place your logo and critical text in the center 1540 x 427 area of the banner to minimize the risk of getting content cut off. This area is considered the ‘safe zone’.
Once you have your design finalized, go to your channel and hover over the area where your banner would be. You’ll see a camera icon flash up on the top right of the banner area. Click on the icon and upload away!
If you have yet to upload any videos, you will need to click on “Customize Channel” towards the top right of the page. Here you will see a preview of your channel’s home page. Click on “Add channel art” where the banner would be, which will prompt you to upload your banner. Nice and easy.
5. Know your niche
Focused content is important. Try to find your niche and stick to it. Discover the area/subject matter/topic you want to speak about and who you want to speak to. Audiences are more likely to trust and engage with content creators who hold authority and proficiency. Be sure to direct your video content strategy toward your area of expertise.
If you are building a video content marketing strategy to promote an existing business, there’s a good chance you already know what services/products you have to offer and to whom you are offering them. But if you are getting into YouTube with hopes of making it your business, you might have a harder time finding your niche. Focus on things you are already proficient in or have established credibility for. Think of a subject you are passionate about and want to share with others.
Can your niche be too specific? Sure. Creating content solely around how to change your guitar strings is probably a little too focused. But a video on how to change your guitar strings could be an excellent candidate for your guitar repair and maintenance channel. It is easier to build authority and trustworthiness around a specific niche than for a variety of quasi-related subjects, so be sure to align this with your area of expertise.
6. Just start recording
“Practice makes perfect” might be a cheesy saying, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Watch enough professional YouTubers and you’ll find a similar sentiment. While it might be easy to critique the quality or consistency of your early work, you should be proud of the effort it took to get there. Plus, early work can still generate subscribers!
Just press record. Start making your videos as soon as possible. Learning how to start a YouTube channel as a beginner is largely about pointing that camera and shooting.
Play around with camera angles. Search for your voice. Figure out how to light your shots. Dabble with editing. This is your time to start gaining experience. Just start filming.
7. Don’t forget SEO
YouTube is not only a video platform, it’s a search engine for videos. YouTube videos are often some of the first results you see when searching on Google. It’s important to familiarize yourself with SEO best practices for YouTube.
One important strategy is putting targeted keywords in the name of the video file, video title, and video description. If appropriate, you might even put targeted keywords in your channel’s brand name. You can also tag your videos with the relevant keywords you want to show up for.
Much of basic SEO transfers over to SEO for YouTube. Build a foundation with solid keyword research. Find out what terms are being searched for in your niche and target them. While you’re getting your bearings, shoot for keywords with less competition but substantial search volume.
Don’t forget competitor research. See who is ranking for your target keywords and terms and try to pinpoint the things they are doing well. This will give you inspiration for what you should be doing and, most importantly, seed ideas for how to do it better.
8. Get to know YouTube analytics
Data is the key to understanding if your videos are performing and if your SEO efforts are working. YouTube analytics will provide several key points of data, including how many views your videos get, where those viewers are coming from, and how many subscribers you have. Views and subscribers can serve as a good pulse point for initial audience engagement.
As you continue to grow your YouTube channel, one of the most important data points you’ll find is Watch Time. This is the amount of time people have spent watching your videos.
This is important because YouTube tends to rank videos with longer watch times higher. YouTube is also more likely to feature videos with high watch times. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you should create super long videos.
YouTube also factors in average duration time (how long people spend on a video on average) and average percentage viewed (how much of the video people actually watched). Both metrics can be accessed through YouTube analytics.
These are the three metrics YouTube uses to measure how engaging your videos you are. The more engaging, the greater the chance your video will be ranked high and/or featured by YouTube.
9. Don’t worry too much about your camera
A common concern people have when looking into how to start a YouTube channel for beginners is their camera set up. Some YouTubers might be afraid of looking like a rookie with bad equipment, while others might just be excited for a new toy.
Either way, getting the best camera should not be a top priority. Your smartphone could probably do the job for now. Instead of getting a new camera right away, look into getting tools that might make it easier to shoot with your phone such as a tripod or stand.
Eventually you’ll want to upgrade your camera and a solid DSLR should suffice when the time does come.
10. Do worry about audio
One of the most common mistakes new YouTubers make is concentrating too much on video quality and not enough on audio. It should actually be the other way around because nothing ruins a video faster than poor audio. If your audio is not clear, your background music is too loud, or you speak too softly, you’re sure to see complaints in the comments.
Make sure that what needs to be heard is heard. The best and most immediate way to do this is by having strong mics. An often overlooked YouTube tip for beginners is to invest in a good microphone before a good camera.
Start your YouTube channel today
We hope these beginner tips for starting a YouTube channel will boost your confidence and empower you to start creating. There is so much potential you can reach by creating video content. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, or course creator, video is a great way to connect with an audience and share your expertise with the world.
Whether you are looking to grow your audience or market to existing ones, Kajabi can help transform your expertise into profitable digital products. Start growing your business today!