If you have ever thought about how to start a YouTube channel, now is a great time to do it. YouTube is more popular than ever, and the YouTube Partner Program continues adding new monetization options.
While the traditional method of earning money on YouTube through paid ads is still viable, new methods give channels in the Partner Program more control over how they leverage their content for profit. Popular new revenue streams include channel memberships for exclusive content, Super Chat for Livestreams, and merchandise shelves for selling products directly through your YouTube channel.
No matter what types of content you want to create, there is surely a monetization option that will work for you. Even if you aren’t interested in being a professional content creator, below are some effective strategies you can use to start your very own YouTube channel and find your audience.
Setting Up Your YouTube Channel As A Beginner
Setting up a YouTube channel is easy! If you don’t have a Google account, you will want to create one.
Simply sign in to your Google account and go to your YouTube Studio. If you aren’t automatically prompted, attempt to upload a video, and you will be asked to create a channel. The process is very simple; just add your name and a name for your channel (don’t worry, you can change these later and add a channel description and picture).
Steps to a Successful YouTube channel
While creating a YouTube channel is easy, filling it with aspirational videos might not be.
That isn’t to say making your YouTube channel successful is impossible, or even difficult, but you have to consider that there are tens of millions of other channels producing content for the platform, so you will need to find a way to make your content stand out.
Ask yourself: “What will make my videos special?” You might have a unique channel idea, an underserved niche, or just the best, highest-quality content related to your topic. No matter what your angle is, the tips below can help you on your journey to becoming a successful YouTuber.
Perfect a Channel Concept and Niche
A common mistake among new YouTubers is going in blind without any plans or direction. While it is exciting to start creating content and go live with your channel, having a focus is important for long-term success.
Before you even create your channel, you should have an idea of what you want it to be about. Will you create gaming videos? How-to videos? Shorts? Selecting a niche will help keep your channel focused and attract an audience interested in that topic.
Do some research before you start investing time and energy into making videos. Is there very similar content already out there? What is your unique angle? You need to give viewers a reason to watch your videos over the ones already on YouTube, so be sure to give some thought to your channel concept before diving in, or you may struggle to take off.
Get to Know Your Target Market
Understanding your audience is vital for success. Once you have decided on your channel concept, consider whom you are creating content for. Keeping your audience in mind will help you make better decisions for your content and channel.
This can include basic demographics like age, gender, and location, but also try to picture your ideal fan and what kind of content they want. This will further help you stay focused during content creation so your videos are engaging and appeal to your target audience.
Assuming your goal is to monetize your channel, it can also help to target a marketable audience. For example, creating entertaining videos is a good way to get views and subscribers, but creating entertaining videos around the newest tech gadgets can get you views, subscribers, and lucrative sponsorship deals.
Learn From Successful YouTubers
If you want to learn what works and what doesn’t on YouTube and other social media networks, just watch the pros. There’s a reason mega-influencers are so successful. Check out their content and explore your favorite channels for ideas and inspiration.
Invest in a Pre-Production Strategy
Filming and editing videos can take a lot of time. While it can be tempting to just dive in and start having fun filming, you may end up with a lot more editing if you’re winging it.
There are a few things you can do pre-production to help the actual filming process go smoother and reduce the time needed to edit your final cut. Consider these tips before you turn on the camera.
Develop Video Content Ideas
Beyond finding your niche and understanding what your fans are looking for in your content, you need ideas to fill each video on your upload schedule. Instead of trying to come up with a new idea each week, consider sitting down for a brainstorming session to come up with a bunch of ideas at once.
This is not only more efficient, but some ideas might inspire others, and you may end up with a big-picture campaign strategy instead of just a string of standalone videos within your niche.
Create a Shot List for Better Consistency
A shot list can help you plan your vision and foresee any complications before they arise. Like creating an outline before writing an essay, creating a shot list before filming allows you to see the big picture.
A shot list is a list of scenes or “shots” that make up a video. It is often more efficient for films to be shot out of order, then edited back together. The same could be the case for your videos.
A shot list can also help with pacing and ensure that you don’t leave out any critical topics in your video. Spending a little extra time in the pre-planning phase can save you a lot of time and headaches during and after filming.
Invest in Gear for Better Videography
Picture quality can be very important depending on the type of videos you make. For example, in a how-to video, viewers probably just need to be able to see what you are doing. But in a makeup tutorial, you probably want a high-quality camera and professional lighting so viewers can really see the results. If you use animation or CGI, you might not need a camera at all!
You may also need to consider sound quality or still images. Depending on your niche and the types of content you create, consider investing in video equipment that will allow you to produce professional-quality content.
This is especially true if you are competing with other content creators in your niche. You want your video quality to be the best, or at least on par with the competition.
Bring Your Concept to Life During Production
Once you have found your niche, brainstormed some ideas, and written your first shot list, it is time to bring those ideas to life!
As with any job or hobby, your skills will improve over time. Don’t expect the first video on your channel to be a masterpiece. Any YouTuber can look back on their early videos and point out a million reasons why they aren’t perfect. Your future content will get better.
The important thing is to do the work, don’t cut corners, and produce the best content you can. Over time you will learn the tricks of the trade and find ways to improve your content. You have to be persistent and keep moving forward!
Create Channel Art and Trailer
In addition to producing high-quality videos, don’t forget to give your channel some TLC. Your YouTube channel is the hub of all your content and somewhere your fans are likely to explore.
Consider investing in professional art for your channel banner and profile picture. Your channel icon and thumbnail picture will become integral to your brand and make you recognizable to fans and users who haven’t subscribed yet.
A compelling channel trailer will introduce visitors to your channel to the type of videos you create and show what your brand is about. You should think of your YouTube content as a business, and your channel as your website, because that’s exactly what they are!
Upload Your First Video
Now that you have taken your idea from concept to creation, it is time for the easy part. Just go to your Youtube Studio and select Upload Video from the top or under the Content menu.
You can upload more than one video at a time, scheduling posting dates or leaving them private for the time being. Aside from that, all you need to do is write a detailed video description, choose a thumbnail, and select any monetization options you want to add. Then you can push the video live so all of your fans can enjoy it!
Design Quality Thumbnails With CTAs
When you upload a video to your channel, it automatically grabs a thumbnail from a still of the video. You can also select a different still option from the video to use.
An even better option is to create a custom thumbnail image. You can do this with just about any image editor, such as Photoshop or Canva, then simply upload in place of a preselected thumbnail option in the Content menu.
A popular practice is to add text to an image or still from the video. A call-to-action with enticing action words is a great way to encourage search users to click on your video.
Optimize for YouTube Search
YouTube is the biggest video hosting platform and the second-largest search engine in the world. That means you can apply many of the same SEO practices from other search engines to your YouTube content.
Namely, target keywords are important for capturing organic traffic from both YouTube and Google. A video title with terms your target audience will type into the search bar will help with monthly search volume and organic channel growth.
Be sure to optimize your videos so they are concise and engaging. In the fast-paced world of the internet, people are not likely to suffer through dead air time at the beginning or end of a video. They also aren’t likely to watch a video with a confusing thumbnail or poor description.
Edit your videos down to trim the fat away from the critical content, and be sure to start strong. The last thing you want is to waste your fans’ time with dead air that could have been edited out.
Your YouTube presence is more than just your videos. Your channel provides a host of opportunities to engage with and entertain visitors. Use it.
A quality picture, cool background, and optimized video thumbnails can make your channel look attractive and inviting. You can also use additional features like channel memberships and merch shelves to add even more functionality and value to your channel. As a YouTuber, you should understand and utilize all of the features your channel has to offer.
Take Your Time Editing in Post-Production
Ironically, filming videos can actually be one of the easiest aspects of running a YouTube channel. You would be amazed at how much time major film creators and YouTube stars spend editing a video.
You can expect the editing process to take longer than the length of the video or even the total time spent filming in many cases. Editing is often what separates good content from great content, so don’t try to cut corners.
Don’t Forget to License Music
One of the most common mistakes that YouTubers make when trying to join the YPP is including copyrighted material in their videos. Using music or video clips without a license or under the protection of Fair Use laws is against Youtube’s policies and immediate grounds for rejecting applications into the Partner Program. Don’t do it!
Fortunately, YouTube is investing in a growing catalog of music for creators to use. This new push gives you access to the music you can use in your videos without violating copyrights.
Consistency is Key
When it comes to being an influencer, no matter which social media channels you use, consistency is key. This means staying true to your brand and niche, but more importantly, posting new content consistently.
You don’t need to post daily or even weekly, but try to come up with a consistent posting schedule and stick with it. To gain new subscribers and maintain high audience retention, you need to provide new content on a regular basis. Simply put, active channels are more successful.
Embed Your Channel on Your Website and Social Media
While YouTube has a massive reach and huge pool of users, leaving everything up to the algorithms within the platform would be limiting. You probably have a website, or at least a presence on other social media platforms, so don’t be shy to share your YouTube content.
Did you know that 81% of internet users use YouTube? Of that already massive number, 99% of YouTube users are active on other social media platforms. These statistics make it clear why your influencer journey shouldn’t start and end just on YouTube!
Anyone visiting your website or other social media accounts is probably interested in your content, so you can earn extra watches by embedding videos there. Not only that, but viewers who like a video on another platform might click through and subscribe on YouTube!
Engage With Your Community
Interacting with your fans and the community at large is a key strategy for influencers on any platform. It’s not enough to just post a video once a week and log off.
What differentiates you from the countless businesses willing to pay for influencer marketing is your unique personality and individualism. Be sure to highlight that by responding to comments, engaging in chat streams, and taking suggestions on your channel.
Not only that, but try to interact with the greater community outside of your channel. Comment on other YouTubers’ videos and exciting content in your niche. Check out what your top fans are watching or like videos they create. Take part in safe YouTube challenges. Be part of the community, not just a video producer.
Disregard the Haters
The more success you achieve and the greater visibility your channel attains, the more likely you are to encounter bad eggs. These individuals might disagree with you, be jealous of your success, or simply be out to cause trouble.
No matter what the case, pay them no mind. The anonymity of the internet makes trolling easy. YouTube has policies in place to prevent harassment and other unacceptable behavior, so don’t be shy to report anyone crossing the line.
For those who are simply a nuisance, either kill them with kindness or ignore them completely. Don’t stoop to their level!
Consider Running YouTube Ads
If you want a quick boost in views (and hopefully subscribers), consider running paid ads. This might feel like cheating, but ads are part of the YouTube economy, and investing a little money upfront can help you jumpstart your channel earnings.
Tips to Make Money With Your YouTube Channel
There are many ways to make money with a YouTube channel. Don’t limit yourself to only the Partner Program or options within the YouTube platform.
The most valuable asset influencers have on any platform is their fans. Sponsors will pay good money to get their brand in front of a wider audience related to their market.
Not only that but there are many ways to monetize your content with your fans on your own. However, with all of the great options available through the YouTube Partner Program, there is no reason not to take advantage of the many monetization options once you qualify to unlock them.
Begin With AdSense
AdSense is required to handle payments to and from YouTube. Creating an account is very straightforward; you can use the same Google account you use to create your YouTube channel.
Before applying for the YPP, you must have a Google AdSense account linked to your YouTube channel. You can learn more about the process here.
Sign Up for the YouTube Partner Program
Once you have linked your AdSense account and met the other eligibility requirements for the YPP, head over to the Monetization menu to get started. Double-check that you are compliant with YouTube’s monetization policies, as well as its other terms and community guidelines.
Remember that you need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours of video before you are eligible to apply. After that, assuming you aren’t violating any policies or guidelines, you can apply to become a partner. The process usually takes about a month, and once you are approved, you’ll have access to tons of new monetization options.
Is Starting a YouTube Channel Worth the Hassle?
If you have video content you want to share with the world, there is no better place than YouTube. Not only will you be able to reach billions of people, but you could make some serious money if your content is popular.
Starting a YouTube business channel is relatively easy. The challenge is gaining traction among the millions of other videos being posted on a daily basis. Once you can join the YPP, the monetization process can help you turn views into cash.
The deciding factor is you. Are you willing to produce amazing videos for free until you gain enough of a following to monetize? Is there a topic you are passionate about and want to create content for? If so, YouTube is a great opportunity.
Become a Successful YouTuber With Scalefluence
Learning how to start a YouTube channel is valuable knowledge for anyone who wants to create and share videos online. This is just the first step for influencers who want to reach a broader audience.
Once your channel is up and running, it is time to build your fanbase and monetize your influence. Scalefluence can help with expert coaching and a network of companies looking to partner with influencers to grow their reach. If you want to learn how to start a YouTube channel as the next step on your journey as an influencer, whether your primary platform is YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or something else, sign up for Scalefluence today!