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 second most visited website and the second 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 8 tips on how to start a YouTube channel for beginners to help you get started as well as a guidance on how you can start to make money on YouTube.
What are the benefits of starting a YouTube channel?
Every day, YouTube attracts a significant number of daily users, including creators and fans. In fact, at least 29% of children in the U.S. want to become a YouTuber or vlogger when they grow up. Let’s explore some of the benefits of having a YouTube channel for creators:
- It helps expand your reach. YouTube is the second-largest social media platform globally, with 2.7 billion active users. This global user base provides a unique opportunity to connect with fans worldwide. The platform's algorithm recommends videos tailored to users' interests, and by consistently creating content, your videos can reach people who share an interest in your niche.
- It diversifies your content.. YouTube is a popular platform for every industry - you can find a wide range of content, such as cooking videos, makeup tutorials, fitness guides, and much more.. The platform’s versatility allows creators to choose from various formats, including vlogs, tutorials, and documentaries, and you can choose a format that best suits your style and message.
- Market your brand. YouTube is a powerful platform for sharing your brand's story in a compelling manner. As you consistently create content on the platform, you increase your chances of building a thriving community. Your dedicated fans can naturally become enthusiastic "ambassadors" for your content, effortlessly sharing it with like-minded peers in your niche or interest group. This organic process can effectively amplify your brand's presence and influence.
- Generates leads. Lead generation on YouTube can be done through partnerships, collaborations, live streaming, and webinars. Partnering with other creators can introduce your brand to new potential leads. When you make your videos, you can incorporate actual CTAs, for example, nudging your fans to subscribe to your newsletter or accessing valuable content like e-books or whitepapers.
- Monetization. Creators can explore channel memberships, allowing viewers to subscribe with monthly payments. Additionally, YouTube Premium enables creators to earn a percentage of the fees paid by fans for an ad-free experience. You also have the option to activate Watch Page ads and Shorts Feed Ads.
How to get started with creating your YouTube Channel
1. Choose your niche
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? Are you trying to make your YouTube channel your business? Defining a purpose will help guide you while you start creating content.
Before you start creating content, you’ll want to conduct market research in your niche. Check out what other creators in your industry are up to and see what they're dishing out to their fans. You can also tap into YouTube's trending videos to spot the top-performing content in your niche, tune into podcasts to catch the latest buzz in your community, and take the time to nail down your audience persona. Consider their interests and the challenges they face. This understanding will steer the direction of the content you create.
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.
Step 1: 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.
Step 2: Click on your profile icon.
Step 3: You’ll then be asked to create a channel.
Step 4. You’ll then be prompted to upload a picture, write your name, and create a YouTube Handle.
Step 5: Click on “Create channel”.
Step 6: 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.
Step 7: Navigate to your “Channel list” and click on create a channel.
Step 8: You’ll then be prompted to create a channel name. You can use your brand name or another name.
3. 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.
4. Create a channel trailer
When people land on your channel's homepage, there shouldn't be any confusion about what your channel is about, who you are, and what type of content fans can expect from your channel.
A channel trailer is a great way for your audience to get to know your brand at a high level. In your video, introduce yourself and tell viewers about your channel.
Your channel trailer provides you with an opportunity to reinforce your brand identity, so be sure to incorporate your channel’s logo, colors, and style throughout your introductory video. Make sure to include a call to action (CTA) in your trailer, encouraging viewers to like, subscribe, leave a comment, or visit other social media platforms.
You can also provide a taste of the kind of content you’ll be creating by offering engaging content previews to your fans.
5. Write a channel description
Don’t forget to write a channel description! Think of your channel description as an opportunity to improve your channel's ranking in search results, which, in turn, will help you attract more viewers.
For example, take a look at this description from the creator "Ryan’s World," one of the top-performing channels on YouTube. As you can see, the text clearly outlines the channel's purpose in concise words, leaving the reader with no room for ambiguity about what the channel is all about.
6. Make your YouTube equipment list
Before you start creating YouTube videos, it's essential to ensure you have all the necessary tools and equipment, including a microphone, tripod, lighting kit, editing software, and a camcorder.
The good news is that Amazon makes it super easy to find exactly what you need! You can explore "YouTuber kits" on the platform, which will provide you with a curated selection of items to set up your home studio and create your first video.
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.
Additionally, 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.
7. Leverage YouTube tools
The good news is that there are plenty of YouTube tools available to help you manage your channel while you grow your audience on the platform. Let's explore some of these tools to ensure that your channel is performing at its best!
You can think of YouTube Studio as a home for creators.
Creators can use either the YouTube Studio app on their mobile device or their desktop to effectively manage, foster growth, generate revenue, and interact with their audience. Within YouTube Studio, you can gain a bird's-eye view of the activity happening on your channel, track performance metrics, tailor your channel’s layout to align with your brand, handle comments, and manage your YouTube Partner Program monetization settings.
YouTube Creator Academy
If you lack prior experience in creating YouTube videos, the good news is that you won't be left completely in the dark. YouTube Creator Academy is here to teach you the fundamental skills to grow your channel.
The Creator Academy boasts a wealth of free online lessons and courses, spanning from basics to advanced topics. These resources include lessons, quizzes, and exercises aimed at enhancing your content creation skills on the platform, fostering audience engagement, and pinpointing the most effective strategies to establish your channel for success.
YouTube Keyword Research Tools
Search engine optimization (SEO) doesn’t only apply to Google. Using keyword research tools for YouTube will assist you in discovering popular and relevant keywords related to your video content. This, in turn, will help viewers find your content.
YouTube keyword research tools also offer data on the best-performing keywords, assist you in adjusting your content strategy to match evolving audience interests, and provide you with content ideas.
For example, Ahref’s all-in-one SEO software provides a YouTube keyword tool that helps creators gain more views on their YouTube channels by researching keywords audiences are looking for. The tool provides you with data on the top searches on YouTube in over 170 countries and sheds light on relevant keyword ideas related to your content.
8. Get to your 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.
The more engaging, the greater the chance your video will be ranked high and/or featured by YouTube.
Best practices for recording your first YouTube video
Recording your first YouTube video can be exciting, but it’s important to follow some best practices to ensure a finished product you can be proud to share with your audience.
- Choose a suitable location. Make sure to record your video in a well-lit, quiet location. Avoid loud background noises, turn off notifications on your devices, and close any open windows and doors. If possible, set up a recording location that clearly reflects your brand. Decorate your space with items that highlight your personality. Remember, you not only want to make it enjoyable for your audience but also for yourself!
- Perfect your lighting. You'll want to appear clear and focused to your audience. Avoid dimmed lighting, and ensure that your camera settings align with your desired outcome. Adjust camera settings such as exposure, white balance, and focus as needed. Natural lighting is always the best choice. If possible, position yourself facing a window, and make sure that you are the subject in the center of the frame.
- Check your audio quality. Always test your microphone before recording to ensure you capture crisp and clean sound. Lavalier microphones are a good choice for filming because they can isolate your voice from any background noise.
Practice your craft. “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. Play around with camera angles. Search for your voice. Test different content ideas. Figure out how to light your shots. Dabble with editing. This is your time to start gaining experience. Just start filming!
How to monetize your YouTube Channel
Now, let’s just into the good stuff: how to make money from all the awesome content you’ll create!
YouTube Partner Program
As a YouTube creator, you can earn anywhere between $1.61 and $29.30 per 1,000 page views through the YouTube Partner Program. According to Influencer Hub, On average, a YouTuber earns around $0.018 for each view.
However, before you join, there are certain eligibility requirements that you must meet:
- You need to live in a country where the program is available
- You must adhere to YouTube’s Community Guidelines
- Follow YouTube channel monetization policies
- Have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers
- Accumulate 4,000 public watch hours within the first 12 months of starting your YouTube channel
As a member of the YouTube Partner Program, you will gain access to the YouTube Creator support team, who can assist you with any specific technical issues that may arise on your YouTube channel. Additionally, you'll have access to benefits such as YouTube Premium subscription fees, the YouTube merch shelf, which allows you to sell your products directly beneath your videos, and features like Super Chat and Super Stickers, enabling you to connect and engage with your fans during your livestreams.
There’s an application process that you’ll have to go through to get accepted, and you’ll receive a status update on your application through the “Earn” section of your YouTube Studio account.
If you meet all the eligibility criteria for the YouTube Partner Program, you can set up an AdSense account and start earning money from various types of ads, including display, overlay, and video ads. These ads can appear in different types of content, such as long-form videos, Shorts (short-form videos), and during live streaming sessions on your YouTube channel.
You can choose all ad formats as your upload default to maximize the variety of ads served on your videos. Before you enable ads on your videos, it's crucial to ensure that your video complies with the Advertiser-friendly guidelines. This means that your content should not feature suggestive material, drug-related content, or hateful content. Adherence to these guidelines helps maintain a positive and advertiser-friendly environment for your channel and viewers, and in return, helps you earn the money you deserve!
Before selecting the types of ads to display on your videos, it's important to consider your audience and how they will interact with your content. For instance, you wouldn't want an overlay ad to obstruct a critical step in your cooking video, or a disruptive ad to interrupt a guided yoga meditation. Ensuring that the ad placements align with the viewer's experience and the nature of your content is essential for maintaining a positive experience for your audience.
Once you've established a strong presence on YouTube, it's time to begin your search for brands that resonate with your content and target audience. We’ve all heard the “this video is sponsored by” spiel.
It's crucial to be well-prepared before reaching out to potential sponsors. Consider creating a comprehensive media kit that provides essential information about your channel, including details about your audience demographics and engagement metrics, such as views, likes, and comments. This media kit will help you present yourself professionally and attract potential sponsors more effectively.
If a brand chooses to work with you, it's essential to ensure there's a contract in place outlining the specifics of the collaboration, including the amount you'll be paid for the project, deliverables, and expectations.
Ensure that you are consistently delivering successful results, as this will play a crucial role in building long-term relationships with brands and increasing the likelihood of them choosing to work with you in the future.
Other ways to make money from your content
Don't forget that there are other ways to make money online outside of social media! If you're familiar with us, you'll know that we're all about creators diversifying their revenue streams. We understand that social media platforms can be a volatile space, and you don't necessarily own your audience. That's why it's crucial to have a backup plan, just in case! If you’ve built up your YouTube audience, include CTAs for lead magnets in your videos to drive your followers to your website or digital products.
Here are some ways to make a consistent form of income outside of just YouTube:
The coaching industry is worth $15 billion. Someone could always benefit from your knowledge and expertise. If you've spent a significant amount of time in your industry and understand how to navigate it, consider teaching others actionable tools they can apply to their own professional journeys. This is an excellent way to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
The E-Learning market hit an impressive USD 399.3 billion in 2022, and is on track to keep growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% from 2023 to 2032.
Needless to say, there are many benefits to selling courses to your audience! You can reach a global audience by leveraging your expertise and providing a continuous learning platform for people eager to learn and grow in their professional journeys.
Kajabi assists in turning your knowledge into a profitable online course with its course builder tool. This tool offers customizable templates and design features to help you create a comprehensive course that aligns seamlessly with your brand's vision.
Memberships and subscriptions are a sustainable business model that provides a steady, recurring income stream. By offering a membership option to your audience, you won't have to worry about meeting your monthly revenue goals; you can expect to receive a consistent income based on the membership you offer to your audience.
In your membership offering, you can include various types of content to enhance the value for your members, such as live Q&A sessions, exclusive discounts and deals, early access to new content, access to unique merchandise, workshops, and, as previously mentioned, courses and coaching.
Use your YouTube channel to boost your creator business
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.
One of the best ways to monetize your YouTube channel is by selling digital products. Kajabi makes it easy to turn your knowledge into products you can then sell to audiences from YouTube. Try Kajabi for free today!