At any moment there are more eyes on YouTube than all other websites (excluding Google). YouTube’s 2.3 billion users watch an average of 5 hours of video per month. That’s a big audience, and a huge opportunity for anyone looking to make money with content.
The best thing about YouTube is that it’s accessible to everyone; there’s no real barrier to becoming a content creator. If you can make a video that people want to watch, there’s no limit to how many people you can reach, and ultimately how much money you can make. In 2021 alone, the highest earning channel, Mr. Beast earned its creator $54 million! Setting aside YouTube millionaires, plenty of people make a living either directly from their channel or using YouTube to market their other business.
Garnering 93 million subscribers, MrBeast also became one of the 10 highest-paid YouTubers of 2020. Screenshot: MrBeast
There are various ways you can make money from YouTube videos. You can be paid by YouTube for the revenue generated by ads, you can create sponsored content where you talk about brands or products in your videos, or you can use your videos to promote your own business. But before you even think about how to monetize your channel, you need to get views. Depending on how you’re monetizing your channel, the number of views you’ll aim for will vary, but in short, the more views the better.
With more than 51 million channels, there’s competition for viewers’ attention. This guide is designed to get you started on your way to a successful YouTube channel that gets views.
In this guide you’ll learn how to:
- Create a channel and a naming it
- Customize your channel
- Identify your audience
- Determine your audience’s needs
- Choose equipment
- Prepare your content
1. Create a channel with Google
First, you need an email account to set up your YouTube channel. If you have a Google account, you're good to go. Setting up the channel is a simple just enter all the channel details based on your preferences, one of the first things to do is to create a channel name.
When creating a YouTube channel name, always choose a unique name which is catchy and simple, so that your chances of getting more views, subscribers, likes, and shares.
YouTube channel name is an essential part of every successful channel. It can make or mar your brand. Think of it as your YouTube business card containing information about you and your services.
Your channel name should be unique, memorable, and search-friendly to stand out. Besides, choosing the appropriate YouTube channel name will increase your chances of getting more views, subscribers, likes, and shares.
Note that using a consistent name is key to building your brand. For example, if you’re a famous influencer known with a name or an alias, you can use that alias or name as your YouTube channel name.
Generally, the following guidelines will also help in deciding and choosing a YouTube channel name that best suits your brand:
• Use a name that’s easy to remember.
• Ensure your channel name resonates with your target audience
• Select a name that is relevant to your niche.
• Lastly, YouTube channel names are case-sensitive; you can use capitals for easy readability.
Although your primary goal is to engage your viewers with your content, a memorable channel name makes it easier for them to check back or recommend your channel. So, make sure you select your name carefully and thoughtfully.
Fortunately, YouTube allows users to change their channel name later. This means you can use a temporary channel name and change it as you deem fit in the future.
2. Customize your channel
After choosing an appropriate channel name, you can now customize your channel. It's where the bulk of the work is. To get started, select the Customize Channel button.
Customizing your channel is in three stages, including the following:
a. Basic Info section
Select the Basic Info subsection and follow the prompts.
Generate a strong description along with the keywords that you want to target. Adding keywords in the description increases your chances of appearing in the search results of your prospects and audience.
The Basic Info section contains your channel name, contact info, description, external site links, and other necessary details about you and your brand.
It would help to know that your description will appear in the About section of your channel, YouTube’s search results, and even other search engines.
Your Basic info is the first thing anyone who stumbles on your channel will check. So, it should represent who you are, your personality, and the kind of services you offer on your YouTube channel.
The Basic Info section also contains your channel’s URL, which is the standard web address for your channel. It's often a complex combination of lower- and upper-case letters and numbers that’s difficult to remember. Your original URL also contains your unique channel ID.
Interestingly, you can customize or replace your default channel URL with a simple, shorter, professional, and memorable channel URL. But to do that, YouTube’s policy demands your channel is at least 30 days old with a minimum of 100 subscribers.
Once you're qualified for a custom URL, YouTube will send you a notification via email. You’ll also get a notice in your channel's Basic Info setting and on your channel's dashboard.
You can also add external links to other channels or your website in the Basic Info section.
b. Add branding elements
Once done with the Basic Info section, you can add channel art (branding elements) to the channel. They'll give your channel an outstanding style. They include your brand's custom picture (or profile picture), banner image, and video watermark.
To add these elements, simply click on the Branding section. The following are the branding elements specifics:
Branding elements are one of the most important aspects of creating a YouTube channel as it gives users a visual sense of your channel's content.
Your channel’s profile picture provides an excellent opportunity to engage your users, showcase your brand, and make a first impression. Your profile picture has to be strategic because anywhere your channel appears on the platform, you can rest assured that YouTube will display it.
Select the Upload button to choose a suitable profile picture from your device (mobile phone or pc). However, your profile picture must meet the following criteria before a successful upload:
• YouTube only supports JPEG, GIF, BMP, and PNG file formats. It does not support animated GIFs. Anything other than that will not upload.
• YouTube recommends using an image size of 800 x 800 pixels for optimum quality. But it also supports any image size that is not lower than 98 x 98 pixels.
• Lastly, the maximum supported image size is 4 MB.
The banner image only appears across the top of your channel. However, it's an essential part of your channel because it gives users a visual sense of your channel's content.
Your cover photo should contain the following vital elements:
• A solid value proposition
• Matching color with your brand
• External links to other social networks, blogs, landing pages, and so on.
Note: your banner image (cover photo) will appear differently on various devices (mobile phones, TV displays, and desktops). Plus, depending on the device, YouTube might crop larger images. For optimum results, YouTube recommends uploading images with at least 2048 x 1152 pixels, an aspect ratio of 16:9, and a maximum size of 6 MB.
Choose a banner that must provide a visual sense of your YouTube channel’s content.
A video watermark is a graphic logo that contains your channel's name, the video's (or content's) name, and any other relevant information about your channel.
It appears at the bottom-right corner of your live streams and uploaded videos. It provides your content's copyright. Some are clickable and allow users to subscribe to your channel through them.
But, you need to set a display time for it to take effect. Depending on your preferences, your watermark can display at any of the following display times.
• Custom start time: this option allows you to set the time to display your watermark during the video.
• At the end of the video: this preset option will display your watermark during the last 15 seconds of the video.
• Entire video: this option will display your watermark throughout the video.
YouTube recommends using a video watermark of at least 150 x 150 pixels and less than 1 MB file size.
c. Customize your YouTube channel layout
This section allows users (you) to select and organize what viewers will see when they visit your channel.
Set up a layout for your YouTube channel to give a preview to your viewers, subscribers and non-subscribers. You can add a video spotlight, channel trailer and also set up a featured section.
First, you need to set up a Video Spotlight. A Video Spotlight is the main video your viewers will see when they open your channel. Depending on whether the viewer is a subscriber or not, YouTube allows you to display two types of videos with Video Spotlight.
For non-subscribers, you can create a channel trailer to engage them and make an impression. A good channel trailer will have the following information. It will:
• Specify the services you offer on your channel
• Highlight your video content, and
• Encourage viewers to subscribe
For returning subscribers, you can add any featured video. You can change or delete both videos at any time.
Also, you can set up featured sections.
With featured sections, you get to customize what viewers see and how they see it on your channel's homepage. To do this, select the Add Section option to feature playlists, videos, or channels.
You can also highlight playlists you or others created in the playlists section.
Besides, you can display your collaborators and other channels in the channels section.
Lastly, YouTube has some preset playlists that can automatically group videos for you. For example, all your newly uploaded videos (content) will appear under your channel's Uploads section.
But you can only add a maximum of 12 featured sections to your channel homepage.
The ultimate goal of YouTube's layout structure is to help users organize their content and not overwhelm viewers with their videos. It also helps to declutter and present your channel in the best light.
How to Create YouTube Video Content
This is another critical aspect of starting a successful YouTube channel. Uploading content is easy on YouTube, but creating relevant and engaging videos (content) is the real deal.
You can get a good head start by considering the following factors:
1. Identify your audience
YouTube is the largest user-generated online video transfer or sharing platform with more than 2.3 billion active users globally. With that large audience, you can rest assured of a diverse targeted demographic for your videos (content).
However, the key to success is not to target everybody. Instead, it's to focus on a smaller group and get them to like and share your content. It will help create a base you can expand on later.
Also, identifying your audience and their needs will help you create and develop better content topics.
2. Determine your audience’s needs
Creating irrelevant and non-engaging content for your audience will reduce your channel's following and rating. So, before you put out any content, the first thing to do is to research your audience's needs. Then you can develop relevant content that will engage them and meet their needs. Researching what kind of content engages audiences is easy using a social media analytics tool like Mandala Analytics.
Using keywords related to your channel’s topic area, Mandala shows you which related YouTube videos and channels get the best engagement and views. These tools have become essential for content creators who need to cater to audience’s preferences. You can use Mandala for free for 7 days and see for yourself how powerful and easy to use it is.
Increase the reach and views of your YouTube channel by identifying your audience and their needs, relevant and interesting content, best time to engage audience, etc., with the help of social analytics tool, Mandala Analytics.
3. Select the video type
After researching your audience's needs, you need to determine how best to pass across your content to them. Below are some of the popular YouTube videos types:
● Product reviews
● How-to videos
● Video tutorials and so on.
4. Choose the appropriate equipment for the shoot
Your equipment choice depends on the video type.
For fresh starters or small businesses, you can save resources by taking videos with your smartphone or via other cost-effective means. You can also upgrade to better equipment later.
And if you can, or if your content demands it, you can get more sophisticated equipment, such as lighting, tripod, shutter release, etc. The better the equipment, the higher the quality of your videos.
5. Prepare video scripts for your content
Many channels have a low rating and following not because they contain irrelevant content but because of poor organization.
Preparing an outline or video script for your content before shooting helps put your thoughts together. It also ensures you don't miss any vital information.
More importantly, it aids your organization and helps maintain the flow during the video shoot.
Once your outline's ready, you can proceed to create your content.
We all have something worth sharing and there’s a YouTube community out there for just about anything you can imagine. The key is to find that niche and cater to it. Now that you have all you need to get started, the only thing left to do is get started!
What are you waiting for?
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