How to Start with YouTube: A Guide to Creating Your First Channel
Creating a YouTube channel doesn’t have to be hard. Learn how to start with YouTube in 15 easy steps, create your channel, and become the next YouTube star.
In April 2005, YouTube’s co-creator, Jawed Karim, became the first man in history to upload a vlog on the platform. Since then, things have moved forward at a pace faster than the speed of light. Today, thousands of creators are interested in a vlogging career and wonder how to start with YouTube.
If you happen to be among those who want to become a YouTube vlogger or a YouTube creator, you’ve landed on the right page. Sit back, relax, and keep reading for a complete guide on getting started and becoming a successful YouTuber.
But before we dive into the details of what is needed to become a YouTuber, we need to address the elephant in the room.
To become a YouTuber, you need to be a YouTube lover first. Take music creators, for example. Music producers love music, and this is what has helped them identify trends right off the bat, work around them, and create and plan accordingly.
So, if you’re wondering how to become a YouTuber or (even more) how to become a paid YouTuber, the very first thing you need to do is that you must get familiar with what is already out there. Look into YouTube trends, tactics, and types of videos that prominent YouTubers prefer as well as how they perform.
This will help you during your brainstorming process and while you’re starting to develop content for your channel.
With that being said, your ultimate guide on becoming a YouTube star begins here. Enjoy the ride!
For the first five tips for becoming a YouTuber, we’re zooming in on the steps you need to make even before you create your channel.
This might sound like an easy process, but this doesn’t mean that it’s not crucial. Because they all revolve around your brand as a creator, a channel, a persona, and a YouTuber.
Tip #1: Find a Niche You Own
YouTubers today are not just video creators. They don’t simply upload content and pray for an audience to follow. Basically, when you’re looking for tips on how to become a YouTuber who earns money, you’re looking for tips on how to become a YouTube influencer. And this “influencer” title is what makes people earn money on social media like YouTube today. But influencers usually have a niche.
Whether it’s fashion, beauty, lifestyle, healthy living, or just being yourself, you need to make clear right from the start what your channel and your personal brand are all about. If you come up with a niche that you know in the early stage of your YouTube career, you’ll be able to establish your channel’s identity.
However, you want to make sure that your niche is specific and that a substantial amount of people care about it. You might be wondering how to become a YouTube beauty influencer, for example. Yes, this is a niche — and a very profitable one. But if you want to raise your game, you can post videos about everyday makeup, or makeup for dates or work. The more specific your niche is, the more authority you will be in it.
And after you find a niche, you need to…
Tip #2: Define Your Audience
This is something that not many people will tell you, but most YouTube newbies go with the flow, see a wave, try to ride it, and eventually fail. The main reason is that they’re left with a divergent audience they’re not able to control.
Make a list of the top five traits or interests you want your potential viewers to have. Think of them as actual people and ask yourself “what content do they want to watch?” In the marketing world, we call them “user personas.” Brands generate fictional characters upon user research to represent real people that they’re trying to target.
This will make the next step easier.
Tip #3: Generate More Ideas. And Then More. And More.
Now that you know the content your viewers would be interested in, you’re ready to start your brainstorming sessions.
Everything starts with an idea. You’re a YouTuber and it’s a solo performance. You’re responsible for bringing fresh ideas to the table, judging, enhancing, and also rejecting them. But generally, the more ideas you have, the more content you’ll be able to produce. In fact, coming up with video themes should be the very first skill on every “How To Become a YouTube Star” list.
Keep a notebook to collect random ideas whenever something comes up. After a day or two, go back to your draft ideas and see if they can work.
Tip #4: To Become a YouTube Vlogger, You Need to Be Original
We know that you need to be aware of what’s going on on YouTube at any given time. As a result, you are going to watch other successful YouTubers, but there’s a common pitfall you need to avoid. And it’s no other than imitation.
Try to stay original and never copy what other YouTubers put out there. The right question you need to ask yourself is not “Can I become a YouTuber?” It’s “Can I become an original YouTuber?”
Be yourself because, at the end of the day, this is the brand that will follow you for the rest of your YouTube life. Pewdiepie and Tana Mongeau, for example, have a specific extravagant style. It might not be applicable to every single YouTube lover out there, but by staying original and on-brand, they’ve won and retained an engaging following.
Tip #5: Build a Network (Yes, Even Before You Start Posting Videos)
You might not be looking for tips on how to become an Instagram influencer or a TikTok celebrity. But this Internet world is interconnected, and the more you succeed on a social platform the more chances you have to succeed on another one.
The world today wants to quench their thirst for content. All you have to do is solve this problem before you launch your YouTube channel. Wondering how to start with YouTube? Start with one or two more social media beforehand.
Provide content on as many platforms as you can. Post cool Instagram stories, breathtaking posts, funny TikToks. Build a network of followers and fans even before you hit that “Publish” button on your YouTube Creator Studio for the first time.
This will give you a definite leg up, and it’s been a tested formula.
Successful YouTubers create new social media accounts all the time. When they see that a new social network is gaining popularity, they want to make sure they have already booked their place, and no one will ever create an account under their brand name/username. The paradox is that even if they have published no content on this new social medium, their fans always rush to follow them. Because this is how the Internet Internet and social media world works today.
You’ve done all your preparation, and all your hard job has left you with a niche, some good ideas to get started, and an engaged audience. Now, it’s time to get down to work and start producing.
Let’s take a quick look at what you’re going to need as an aspiring YouTuber. Whether you’re looking for tips on how to become a YouTube beauty influencer, a comedy YouTuber, or just someone who fancies video production, these tips are the best fit for you.
Tip #6: Start With Your Video Recording Device
Yes, a video recording device it is. Not necessarily a camera; not a DSLR. Just a device that films in high quality.
You can have the budget and the equipment that could make even Steven Spielberg green with envy. You might have the best 4K video camera in the world, but the truth is that it doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that you need to produce high-quality content that will engage your viewers and, luckily, smartphones today come with excellent built-in cameras that will do the job. After all, as a YouTube influencer, your smartphone will be like your home office. This is where you’ll work, send emails, post on social media, and eventually earn and manage money.
So, especially for you who are looking for ways to become a YouTuber for free, filming with your smartphone is the only way to go.
Tip #7: But Your Sounds Matters
Unlike video, your sound should be as good as it could ever be. As a YouTuber, your one and only concern should be to communicate your message with your audience. And how on earth would do that without clear audio?
Of course, there are high-end, costly microphones you can invest in, but since we’re talking about what is needed to become a YouTuber from scratch, again you can always use your smartphone.
Make sure you film your videos in a room without too much reverb or echo, mind your audio input levels, and use an audio editing mobile app that will make you sound ten times better.
Tip #8: Lights, Lights, Lights
If you’ve ever watched a Matt D'Avella video, you’ve definitely noticed how great the lighting is. Good lighting doesn’t only make your skin look smoother or your house’s floor shinier. It can really turn a basic video into a professional (and sellable) final product.
Professional video lighting doesn’t have to be expensive. A basic search on Amazon can come up with lighting kits for under $50. But if it’s still too much of an investment for you, you can always take advantage of one of the most essential gifts that Mother Nature has ever granted humanity. The sun.
Stand in front of a window, make sure your background is clean, set up your smartphone, and you will see how much of a difference it will make compared to darker footage.
Tip #9: Steps to Become a YouTuber or a Video Editor? Both.
So, you’ve filmed your video. First of all, congratulations! This is a crucial step towards becoming a successful YouTuber. Now, you need to edit your footage, and this is where many creators give up.
Video editing can be a long, exhausting process, so our very first tip would be to take your time. Don’t try to edit everything in just an hour, and don’t start with advanced software tools straightaway.
Applications like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere are top-notch choices, and, to be completely honest, these two are the most popular solutions among the YouTube community. But they can be intimidating — especially for a beginner.
Luckily, in this world that everything is getting a few taps (and not clicks) away, mobile apps can help you start editing your videos. There are many tools out there to experiment with and all you have to do is practice. Because, in editing, practice does make perfect.
Tip #10: “Start with YouTube” Means “Experiment Like Crazy”
As time will go by and you’ll be getting familiar with filming, editing, mixing, etc., you will want to experiment. One day, an inner voice will tickle your brain and ask for more. Listen to this voice. It’s your creator’s muse, and it’s only meant to help you become a better YouTube vlogger.
Test ideas that you might have. As a beginner and with a small subscriber base, you are free to experiment more, test your imagination, and see what works for you and what doesn’t.
Do you want to add a cool transition to your video? Do it. How about sound effects? Do it — there are plenty of royalty-free sound effect libraries. You’re free to do whatever you want and also ask your viewers for feedback.
Your first video is now up. Time to briefly explore how you can become from “another” YouTuber to a successful YouTuber. This is where things start to get just a little bit more complicated.
But don’t fret, young creator. Follow these five tips below and see your views shooting up like crazy:
Tip #11: Create a Schedule and Stick to It
If you’ve subscribed to any big YouTuber and you’ve also “hit the notification bell,” you might have noticed that most of them have a regular upload schedule. This simple trick creates a special bond between the creator and the audience.
A regular schedule makes you look professional and passionate about what you do. And viewers usually appreciate hard work and effort. What’s more, they are going to know when their favorite YouTuber (a.k.a. You) are going to upload a new video and be there to watch it first.
However, you don’t want to break this promise. Ever. And if you do, make sure you announce it on your social media accounts beforehand.
Tip #12: Become a YouTuber Who’s Also Approachable
You might have heard YouTubers referring to their audience as a “community of people.” This community is actually every YouTuber’s power. People can turn you from a zero to a hero and vice versa. You need to talk to your audience, no matter how large or small it is.
Make sure you reply to every single comment under your YouTube videos, like them, and engage in conversations with your subscribers. This way, you will appear more human, and approachable and viewers will want to watch your video because they like you as a person.
This is the thing about YouTube: you are the brand. Not your channel — you. Be likable, approachable, and (again) on-brand.
Tip #13: Collaborations Create Careers
Becoming a great YouTuber comes with a tiny shortcut that’s been an open secret at vloggers’ dinner tables for quite some time now: collaborations.
Building a substantial subscriber base from scratch can take some time. Depending on how often you upload videos, your starting social media following, and luck (of course), hitting the first milestone of 1,000 subscribers can take an average of 22 months.
If you, for some reason, are in a rush, and can’t wait to build your audience, you might as well “steal” one. Partnering up with a YouTuber will get you out there without even doing anything different. New users will get the chance to see your face for the first time, and all you will have to do is to win them over by being awesome.
So, if you happen to know another YouTuber in your network (Tip #5, much?), ask for a collab video. You want to keep it friendly, though. Put a simple subject line like “Collaboration request,” and write a simple email that doesn’t read too pushy.
Do they follow you on social media? Even better. A direct message is ten times friendlier.
Tip #14: Optimize Your Videos and Be Found
You must never forget that YouTube is a search engine. The second-largest search engine in the world, actually, right after Google. If you haven’t heard anything about SEO, it refers to your content’s search engine optimization, so users searching for stuff that is relevant to yours, can find you.
For YouTube video optimization, you don’t need any advanced skills to do it, but it will still help you become a successful YouTuber because more pairs of eyes will get the chance to see you.
Simply, include the keyword you want to rank high for in your title, your video’s description, and your tags. You’ll be all set.
Tip #15: Set Small Goals As Soon As You Start With YouTube
Among all the things you need to become a YouTuber, patience is still one of the greatest virtues. Becoming a YouTube star is not going to happen overnight. You have to give it some time and set small, realistic goals.
With this little trick, you make sure that your eyes always remain on the target, and you’ll feel good and motivated every time you celebrate a small win.
Climbing the YouTube career ladder is not easy. If you don’t take one step at a time and set unrealistic goals, you will soon feel demotivated, and give up. Focus on creating high-quality content, and the rest will follow.
You will hit your goals. Only one by one.
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
Sure, all the tips that we described above are great to get your channel up and running fast and to help you grow it to a satisfactory level. With so much competition, emerging trends, and a restless YouTube community, these 15 tips on how to become a YouTuber are just the beginning.
But for more tips on how to succeed on YouTube, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog. The best is yet to come!