How to Create a Successful YouTube Channel

    February 03 2021

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    How to Create a YouTube Channel #1: Set Up a Google Account

    Ok, so first things first – you need to set up a Google account. Once you pull up the YouTube website, navigate to “sign-in” in the top right corner of your screen. 

    At that point, you’ll be taken to the Google sign-in page. Here, click “more options” and fill out all the necessary fields to create a Google account. 

    If you already have a Google account, you’ll still need to navigate to the “sign-in” button and login with the account you want associated with your YouTube channel.

    How to Create a YouTube Channel #2: Create a YouTube Account

    Now that you have a Google account, it’s time to set up a YouTube Channel. The first step is to click on your user icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

    From there, scroll to “Settings” on the dropdown menu. Here you’ll see your “Account Overview” where you’ll want to click “Additional Features”. Finally, under “Additional Features,” you will see a tab named “Create a New Channel.”

    This is also where you’ll sign-up for a business channel. You will be asked to “use a business name” and you will follow that up by entering your business account name.

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    How to Create a YouTube Channel #3: Optimize Your Page for Discovery

    Once your channel is up and running, you’ll want to begin optimizing it to fit your brand aesthetic. To begin that process, on your channel dashboard, click on “Customize Channel.”

    Here, locate and click the cogwheel icon and from there find its Advanced Settings tab. This is where you’ll enter some basic information about your channel including your country of origin and select keywords that you want associated with your channel.

    These discovery keywords should include what your channel is about. Think about being a chef and someone searching for cooking guides. Some of your keywords might be – cooking, chef, food, recipes, etc. 

    From the Advanced Settings page, you can also decide whether you want your channel to appear as a recommended channel on other pages. This is a great option to optimize discovery outside of your traditional audience. 

    This is also where you can link a Google Ads account to make advertising decisions for your channel. Moreover, you can also link your Google Analytics ID so that you can track your engagement metrics.

    How to Create a YouTube Channel #4: Upload Links, Photos, & Cover Art

    As you continue to customize your channel, the next thing you’ll want to do is add any important links and upload your photos and cover art. 

    This step is critical because it connects your channel to your brand. With links, images, and descriptors, you’ll tell your viewers and subscribers what your channel is about and why they should tune in. 

    Remaining under your customization dashboard, click on the “About” tab to begin filling in your channel description. Here, make sure you detail exactly what your channel is about and use keywords to enhance potential discovery. You’ll also want to add any contact information.

    Next, you’ll want to add a high-quality image of yourself or your brand logo alongside your channel cover art. Although the former is pretty straightforward, you’ll want to be very specific about your channel art. This will entice viewers and potential subscribers to click on your channel! Here are the image dimensions you should keep in mind:

    • Channel icon: recommended as 800x800 pixels – displays as 98x98 pixels
    • Channel banner: 2,560x1440 pixels – mobile /web recommended is 1546x423 pixels

    Lastly, YouTube allows up to five link uploads. Navigate to the “Links” section under the “About” tab and upload your links for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and your personal website. You can use any of these links to overlay your channel art.

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    How to Create a YouTube Channel #5: Add YouTube Channel Trailer

    Your YouTube channel trailer is a video designed to help viewers learn more about you and your channel. This video will automatically play when a viewer navigates to your channel.

    A channel trailer is a quick and impactful way to turn viewers into subscribers. This quick 30 to 90-second video should achieve the following:

    • Intro you and your channel
    • Provide insight into the type of video content you will publish
    • Showcase a quick reel of your video content
    • Invite viewers to subscribe (Call-to-Action)

    How to Create a YouTube Channel #6: Verify Your Account

    To ensure that your channel is deemed as real and YouTube doesn’t view your channel as one run by some internet robot, you need to verify your channel. It’s extremely easy to do!

    You’ll want to click on the channel icon at the top right of your YouTube home screen. Next, click on the “YouTube Settings” pull-down menu. From here, navigate to the “Account Settings Overview” page. Find the “Verify Feature” and click to bring up the “Account Verification Page.”

    You will then be prompted to verify your account via a two-step verification process. Since you had to add a mobile number during your account setup process, you will be sent a text message with a verification code. Simply enter the code you receive and your new YouTube account will be verified.

    How to Create a YouTube Channel #7: Upload Your Videos & Optimize for SEO

    Let’s upload some videos! This might be the last step to creating a successful YouTube channel, but there’s no doubt it’s the most important.

    Outside of creating the content for your videos, during the upload process, you’ll need to create great titles, add descriptions, tags, and add categories – all in the name of YouTube SEO. Let’s break down each category below:

    Title - video titles play a big role in discovery. When viewers are searching for videos, think about what words they would search for given a particular topic and build your title around that search query. The title will largely determine whether someone clicks on your video. So make sure the title is enticing, concise, and direct. 

    Description - Your video description is what viewers will see underneath your video after they click on it. This is where you summarize your video content. You should implement the proper keywords for your content and keep this description under 1,000 characters. Why? Well, YouTube will only showcase 100 of those characters in the description preview. So you’ll want to make sure the critical items in that description are near the front of that copy.

    Tags - Tags help your viewers and YouTube know what your video is about. Think of them as hashtags, but for YouTube. This helps the platform align your videos with other similar content. Be sure that tags aren’t misleading and speak directly to the content of your video. YouTube does penalize users for misleading tags.

    Categories - Categories help group your videos with others of a similar nature on YouTube. Think about what works for any particular category and use categories that will give your content the best chance of being discovered. 

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    Setting up your YouTube channel isn’t near as daunting a task as it may seem. If you follow the steps above, you’ll be up and running in no time – generating more engagement and growing your audience!

    Once your channel is all set and you’re ready to upload your videos, learn all about YouTube SEO here!

    Learn more about Darren Griffin, on PLANOLY

    Darren Griffin

    Darren Griffin was a contributing Senior Writer at PLANOLY. His expertise includes culture, fashion, and social media marketing.

    More by Darren Griffin

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