Starting a YouTube channel can be both scary and exciting. It can be a little overwhelming to put yourself out there for the first time. When I started my channel, I was really just planning on using it to supplement some blog posts and enjoy sharing my budget updates every month. Turns out, I actually love creating videos too! I now use YouTube as an additional income stream. Let’s talk about how to start a profitable YouTube channel that you can use to grow your business!
Choose a Name and Topic
The first thing you need to do when creating your channel is decide what the heck you’re going to talk about. What could you talk about all day long? What could you create that would enhance your blog content and grow your brand? Whatever topic you choose, make sure you can talk about it regularly and with a lot of enthusiasm.
Once you know what you want to talk about, you need to start thinking about your target audience. If you have an existing blog, this will likely be the same audience. What specific person are you talking to? Make sure this target person is very specific. You don’t want to try to talk to everyone, pick a specific person you want to help. The more detailed and specific you can get about who you are trying to reach, the better.
Set Up a YouTube Account
It’s time to actually set up your channel!
If you don’t have a Google account that you are going to want to use for your business, that is the first thing you want to do. When you go onto YouTube, up in the top right corner there should be a blue “sign-in” button. If you click through there, it will give you the option to create a Google account. Go ahead and do that, following instructions, and then come back here for the next step.
Now that you have a Google account, it’s time to actually create your channel. Again, up in the right-hand corner of your screen will be a circle with a letter in it. Click that, and then select “Create a channel” from the drop-down menu.
A window will pop up asking if you want to get started creating a channel. YouTube will then start walking you through the entire process of starting your own channel! Here, you will enter your new channel name, upload a profile photo, enter your channel description, and add links to your website or other social media accounts.
Once all that setup is finished, you’ll get right into the back end of your new channel!
Create Channel Art
Once your channel is set up, it’s time to start building your brand.
First, upload a great profile photo for your channel. Usually, photos with faces do the best, so choose a great photo of yourself that you think would represent your brand well. If you don’t want to use your own photo, you can also use the logo of your business.
Next, update the channel description to describe exactly what you are going to be talking about on your channel. What value are you going to be offering your audience and why should they subscribe to you?
Make sure to add links to your website and social media accounts if you have them! This is a great opportunity to get your subscribers to find you on other platforms.
Finally, you want to create great channel art that fits with your brand. Use a program like Canva to do this. You want to include the name of your channel, how often you post, and give a general idea of what type of content to expect. I also like to include a little promotion for one of the freebies available on my blog and point the viewer to my website and social links.
Use your channel art and profile photo to convey a cohesive message to your audience. Make sure both are easily viewable on mobile and make sure nothing gets weirdly cut off or shrunk!
Decide What Gear You Need
You will need a little bit of gear to get started with your channel, but you definitely don’t need to go out and spend a bunch of money to get started. Many YouTubers start out using their smartphone for filming. The cameras that most of us have on our phones are great quality and can work just fine as you’re getting your channel started.
If you do want to invest in some gear, I would recommend starting out with something like the Canon G7x Mark II. This is actually the camera that I am currently using on my channel. Since it isn’t a DSLR, it is a great option for starting out when you don’t really understand all the ins and outs of filming.
Other than something to film with, you may also want to invest in some lighting equipment. This can make a big difference in the quality of your videos. Again, this doesn’t have to be anything incredibly fancy. You can get a set of box lights on Amazon for around $70. If you don’t want to spend money on lighting right now, make sure you have a place to film that gets a lot of natural light.
You will also need some type of video editing software. A lot of computers come with some sort of free video editing software that works just fine – I know iMovie is pretty popular with Mac users. I personally use Filmora, which you do have to purchase. Whatever you choose, make sure it can do the basics like splitting and trimming clips, adjusting audio, and adding titles.
Outline Your First YouTube Video
Outlining videos makes it a lot easier to film. When you’ve already thought out exactly what you want to say in your video it makes it a lot easier to talk on camera. Decide what topic you want to talk about for your first video, and then create a rough outline of all the points you want to cover.
Make sure your video has a clear point that will be interesting and will provide value to your target audience. Try to solve a problem for them in an easy to understand way. Or, make sure your content provides great entertainment value if that is your goal.
Basically, you want to make sure you have a written out plan for how you want your video to go before you start filming. This will keep you from feeling frustrated and overwhelmed when you don’t know what to say on camera.
Tips for Filming
So you’re ready to film your first video! This is the point that can be a bit scary and frustrating. You have a great idea in your head for this video. I’ll be honest, you are probably not going to be happy with a lot of the footage in your first try. Give yourself a break here.
When creating a YouTube video, lighting can go a long way. If you don’t have lighting, try to film in a well-lit area, preferably with lots of natural light. Make sure your camera is set up straight and look into the lens, not at the screen!
Make sure you are speaking clearly and at a good pace. I personally tend to get caught up in the topic and start talking way too fast! Refer to your notes if you need to remember what all you wanted to talk about.
Keep in mind that most YouTubers aren’t able to sit down and film an entire video in one take with no mistakes. There are a lot of second (and third, and fourth) takes before things come out right. You can definitely start over a clip if you mess up, but don’t get too caught up in making it perfect and just get it filmed!
How to Edit a YouTube Video
A discussion about strategies for editing a YouTube video could be an entire blog post in itself. When you’re getting started, you really just want to focus on having a clean finished product. This means cutting out any awkward pauses and clips you don’t want or need. Make sure the audio is clear and loud enough to understand. You can also add background music and speed up clips depending on what type of video you’re creating.
Don’t worry about getting too fancy with your editing at this point. When you’re just getting started, having it done is better than having it perfect. You’ll learn a ton of editing tricks over time to make the editing process go quicker and your videos even better. For now, remember that done is better than perfect!
Uploading to YouTube
Your video is edited and ready to be shared! What now?
It’s time to upload to YouTube! Head over to your channel and click the camera icon in the top right. Then go ahead and upload your first video!
When you upload, YouTube walks you through the process of entering all the details. This includes adding a title, choosing a thumbnail, filling out the description box, and adding tags to your video. Don’t overthink this right now! Try to create a catchy but accurate title for your video and add a description that explains what you’re video is about. If you have social media channels or a blog, make sure to link those as well!
You’re a YouTuber Now!
Congratulations on starting your own YouTube channel! Video is a great way to enhance your blog content and grow your brand as your audience gets to know you even better. So you’ve started your channel… Now what do you do?
First, do some brainstorming. Sit down and try to come up with as many video ideas as you possibly can. Write them all down so you don’t lose track of them. Try to brainstorm often and keep all of your ideas in one place you never run out of video topics!
Next, create a set content calendar. Decide how often and what days you want to upload content. Being consistent is important, both for the YouTube algorithm and your audience! Would you want to subscribe to a channel that uploaded 5 videos one week and no videos for the next three weeks? Probably not. Set a schedule and work on being as consistent as possible.
Finally, work on growing your audience! It takes time for your videos to start getting shared and show up on YouTube’s radar. Post consistently and direct your content at solving a problem for your target audience, and your channel will be growing in no time!
Want to learn more?