There’s never been a better time to start a YouTube channel: YouTube videos are soaring in popularity, the tech is easier than ever, and there’s still a lot of opportunity for new YouTubes to start and build an income.
More people are watching to video online than ever before and YouTube is the leading platform. It’s also an evergreen platform where your content can stay for several years, attracting new viewers.
As the audience for Youtube videos continues to grow, there has never been a better time to start a YouTube channel for pleasure or for income. If you follow this guide, you will have the knowledge to launch your own YouTube channel and take advantage of this exciting new medium.
Video is a great way to build a genuine personal connection with your audience. YouTube in particular allows you to engage your audience with unique long-form content. The visual element adds an extra dimension which is especially powerful for demonstration, training and review content.
Step 1: Develop your YouTube theme
How to pick a title, format, and theme for your YouTube channel
There are YouTube channels for every niche and they are as varied as the people that create them. Topics range from pop-culture to cooking, travel to marketing and everything in between. YouTube can be an outlet for your creativity or a medium for making an income.
Before we start tackling questions about your YouTube channel name and format we will want to answer a couple more fundamental questions:
“Why am I starting a YouTube channel?” and “What am I going to make videos about?”
Once you’ve answered the why and what for your YouTube channel, the details with follow quickly after.
Why are you starting a YouTube channel?
The first question to tackle is “Why are you starting a YouTube channel?“
To help you get started, here are some common reasons:
- To generate leads for a business
- To be recognized as a leader in an industry
- To share an important message or viewpoint
- To become famous
I would caution against the last one, but many people start a YouTube channel with this goal in mind. It’s good to write your answer down so you can refer back to it as you develop your YouTube channel theme.
What is your YouTube channel about?
The second question is deciding what your YouTube channel is about.
If you are trying to build an income from your YouTube channel, you may want to read my article – How Do You Make Money On YouTube? which will go into more detail on the hot niches for this.
You should choose topic has to be something you’re passionate about — something you’re excited to research and discuss on a regular basis.
Once you have an idea of what to talk about, it’s a good idea to do some market research. Search YouTube and see if there are already some channels in that space. If there are, that is a good thing, it shows there is an audience. Take a look at some of the videos that are ranking well. What are the subject lines, how long are they, could you do a better job.
Designing Your YouTube Banner
Your YouTube channel art and in particular your banner can tell people a lot about your YouTube channel.
It is important to get the design right and also the size so the key information can be seen on all devices.
Fortunately, I have an article devoted to this topic, so if you need help with this, click here.
Step 2: Video recording equipment
What’s the best video equipment?
Picking the best video setup can get confusing, especially if you don’t have a background in video recording. To make it easy, we put together three video equipment packages based on your budget.
Disclosure: Some of these product links are Amazon affiliate links, which means we might receive a small commission if you decide to purchase the
Budget portable setup
- iPhone, iPad or Android phone, you already own
- Audio Technica ATR3350iS
- Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone for Smartphones
- Switchpod – selfie stick and tripod in one.
Entry Level studio setup
- Logitech C920 webcam (setup on PC or Mac)
- Audio Technica ATR2100 microphone
- Limo Studio Lighting kit
Mid-range studio kit
- Canon powershot G7 X MarkII
- Blue Yeti Microphone
- Limo Studio Lighting kit
Step 3: Planning your first video - how to optimize for views
You need to remember that YouTube is a search engine, in fact it is the Worlds’s 2nd largest search engine. So if you want your videos to be found, you need to make them searchable. So, I recommend you do some keyword research before you press record.
Suggested Videos is also important. This is where YouTube suggests videos to viewers which is the second way your videos are going to get seen by your audience. Factors such as watch time and how often people click on your thumbnail come into play here.
Video SEO is a whole topic in itself and I recommend you take a look at a great article by Brian Dean of Backlinko, which takes you through how Brian has managed to grow his YouTube subscriber base with only 26 videos.
There is also a masterclass from Sean Cannell which takes you through the key steps to go through to increase your video views.
Both these tools are available free for the base product and both will give you a lot of insight into what videos are ranking well in YouTube and why.
The algorithm is not interested in video content. Instead it reacts to what people are watching. Subscribers, watch time, skipping over videos, what they choose not to watch, likes and dislikes.
Search terms: what search terms would change your business, change your life. Does the video answer a popular question. Is it going to keep answering people’s questions.
Tip: study your analytics – creator studio. Look at traffic source.
Suggested videos is the currency on YouTube and is worth mastering. A lot of traffic can come from your own video
Step 5 - Adding Your Call to Action
If you are going to earn any sort of income from your YouTube channel, you need to take your viewers away from YouTube
YouTube does prefer you to keep people on YouTube as long as possible, but anyone who is earning an income from YouTube is doing so by first building an email list.
Using a Leadmagnet
A leadmagnet is something you offer your viewers for free in exchange for their email address. If you watch a lot of YouTube videos, you will notice people asking the viewer to “click the link below” to download a free guide or sign up for a free masterclass etc. Clicking on this link will take the viewer to a form where they sign up to receive the leadmagnet by entering their name and email address.
I have put together a free campaign using Kartra that does all this for you. Take a look at my video tutorial to understand how this works.