How To Start A Youtube Channel

How To Start A Youtube Channel: The Definitive Guide

Hey there! I’m here to teach you How To Start A Youtube Channel from scratch.

I’ll even show you examples of successful YouTubers who’ve done it quickly.



How To Start A Youtube Channel


Let’s talk about channel positioning.

So, channel positioning is about making your channel unique and different from the rest on YouTube.


What goes into your channel’s positioning?

  • Your unique style
  • The kind of videos you create (vlogs, tutorials, comedy, music, etc.)
  • How often do you post videos
  • Video length
  • Who you’re targeting
  • And lots more!


Why does channel positioning matter?

It helps you get noticed in the sea of YouTube content.

Now, let’s position your channel.

Start by defining your target audience.

Who are your videos for? Maybe:

  • College students?
  • Busy moms?
  • Coffee lovers?
  • Marathon runners?

Be specific!

Avoid creating a generic “gaming channel” or “parenting vlog.”

Pinpoint who your content is for, so when they find your channel, they’ll be like, “This is perfect for me!” and share your videos.

Take Antonio from Real Men Real Style, for example.

Real Men Real Style
Real Men Real Style


His channel is for men who want to dress up and look stylish.

So, who’s your channel for?

So, let’s say you’re a guy who wants to look fantastic in a suit.


Antonio’s channel is perfect for you.

But if your idea of dressing up is wearing a clean hoodie, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Antonio’s well-defined audience is why he has a whopping 3.34 million subscribers!

3.34 million subscribers
3.34 million subscribers


Now, let’s focus on your value proposition.

What kind of value will you offer your audience?

Maybe your videos:

  • Help busy moms cook healthy meals for their kids?
  • Teach Rocket League players to win more games?
  • Make Star Wars fans chuckle?

Be specific about your value proposition.

Look at Pat from Smart Passive Income.

He showcases his value proposition in his channel art and description.

Pat from Smart Passive Income
Pat from Smart Passive Income


Next, choose your video format.

  • Will you make vlogs?
  • How-tos?
  • Motivational content?

Mix it up, but focus on 1-2 types initially.

As you grow, you can experiment with new formats.


How do you pick the best format?

Go with what delivers the most value to your audience.

For instance, the Pat Flynn channel‘s value proposition is about “Making Money.”

Making money
Making money


When I started my channel, I asked myself, “What video type will help people get higher rankings and more traffic?”

  • Vlogs? Not really.
  • Inspirational videos? Nah.
  • Interviews? Not quite.
  • How-to videos? Yes!


Since how-to videos deliver the most value to my audience, all my videos are how-tos.


Now, let’s talk about your publishing schedule.

There’s no one-size-fits-all schedule, but having one is crucial.

Subscribers and potential subscribers like to see consistency.

Some YouTubers, like Gary Vee, post daily and have 4.14M  million subscribers.

Gary Vee
Gary Vee


Others, like Juns Kitchen, post once a month and still have 5.32M subscribers.


Juns Kitchen
Juns Kitchen


The key is to pick a schedule that works for you and allows you to create amazing content.

Now, let’s discuss your visual style.

Video is super visual, so your channel’s style matters a lot.


Your style includes:

  • Your animated logo
  • On-screen graphics
  • Your wardrobe
  • Video thumbnails
  • Channel art
  • And more


Take time to define your style.

Be consistent across your channel and videos, whether it’s cute, high-tech, or retro.

Which channels do you think to have a unique style?

Marie Forleo
Marie Forleo


Marie Forleo‘s channel page showcases a consistent style, using the same fonts and colors throughout.

Her videos also follow the same visual style.

In contrast, the generic gaming channel on the right doesn’t stand out among thousands of others on YouTube.


Channel sections

These help you organize video content on your channel page, showing potential subscribers what you’re all about and making it easy for current subscribers to find more videos they’ll enjoy.


There are 16 channel section types, but the 5 most common ones are:

  • Uploads
  • Popular Uploads
  • Playlists
  • Live streams
  • Recent Activity

Even if your channel is new, plan how you want to use channel sections.

As you upload new videos, you’ll know where to place them on your channel page.

There’s no “best” way to structure your channel sections, but here’s a simple format that tends to work well:


Channel sections
Channel sections


Take Sean’s Think Media Channel as an example.


Think Media Channel
Think Media Channel


He uses the suggested channel section format effectively.

Notice how he features one of his best videos as his channel trailer.

Think Media Channel
Think Media Channel


Sean also puts the “Uploads” section at the top of his page to showcase recent videos.

Moreover, he organizes his videos into different playlists, making it super easy for viewers to find what they want to watch.


Channel Name


What’s a Channel Name?

A Channel Name is your official identity on YouTube.

It can be a person’s first and last name (like Casey Neistat) or a name that describes the channel’s topic (such as 5-Minute Crafts).

Channel Name
Channel Name


Why is it important?

Your Channel Name appears on your videos, channel page, and YouTube search results.

It helps people understand what your channel is about, so choosing a name that accurately represents your brand is essential.


Best Practices

  • Name (e.g., Taylor Swift)
  • Brand (e.g., Nike)
  • Category (e.g., Classic Game Room)
  • Descriptive (e.g., Epic Rap Battles)

Using your first and last name as your Channel Name is easy and works well if you’re the ‘face’ of your channel. For example, entrepreneur Marie Forleo named her channel after herself.

Marie Forleo
Marie Forleo


However, consider these best practices if using your name isn’t a good fit.


Your name should describe your topic


Ideally, your Channel Name should help people understand the type of videos you create.

Instead of a literal description (like “Videos for Weight Lifters”), think of a creative way to highlight or hint at your channel’s topic.

For instance, consider the Video Influencer‘ channel.

Video Influencer' channel
Video Influencer’ channel

Video Influencers convey the channel’s topic (growing your brand through video) without being dull or generic.


Your name should be unique


Make sure your Channel Name stands out from others on YouTube.

For example, if you wanted to name your channel “Action Laboratory,” it might be confused with the existing science channel, The Action Lab.

Action Laboratory
Action Laboratory


Before settling on a name, search for it on YouTube and Google to avoid similarities with other channels or brands.

Screen Junkies, a movie-focused channel with 6.82M subscribers, has a unique name that sets it apart from other movie-related brands on and off YouTube.


Screen Junkies
Screen Junkies


Your name should be “sticky”


A memorable Channel Name helps people remember you.

The more unique your name is, the more it will stick in people’s minds.

Epic Meal Time, one of YouTube’s most popular food-related channels with over 7 million subscribers, has a catchy and memorable name.

Epic Meal Time
Epic Meal Time


Naming Tips and Strategies


Here are some quick tips to help you choose the perfect Channel Name:

  • Avoid using numbers: Numbers in your channel name (e.g., CookingWithMelissa85) can seem autogenerated and make it harder to search for.


  • Use name modeling: Consider what makes memorable brands stand out, both on and off YouTube, and try to apply their formula to your Channel Name.


  • Check domain name availability: As your channel grows, you may want a consistent Channel Name and domain name. A .com is ideal, but .net, .co, or .io can work too.


  • Ensure social media account availability: Check if your Channel Name is available on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other popular platforms. Matching account names and URLs can be helpful.


  • Keep it simple: Make your Channel Name easy to pronounce and spell. Use 2-3 word phrases (e.g., The Film Theorists) rather than one complicated word (e.g., FilmTheorology).


  • Use a tool: Try the Shopify Business Name Generator if you’re stuck. Enter a word or phrase related to your Channel Name, and the tool will generate 100 name ideas incorporating that term.


Shopify Business Name Generator
Shopify Business Name Generator


Channel Icon

What Is a Youtube Channel Icon?

Your Channel Icon is crucial because it appears on numerous YouTube places, such as:

  • Watch pages
  • Channel pages
  • Video comments
  • Subscriptions
  • Featured channels
  • Related channels
  • Search results
  • And the community tab


It is often the first thing people see on your channel.

Channel Icon
Channel Icon


Here are some best practices for choosing a Channel Icon:


  • Headshot: If your channel features one person as the “star,” a clear headshot makes your channel seem inviting and personal. You can also include the entire group if your channel is a group effort. Consider taking a headshot in a relevant setting to hint at your channel’s topic.
Evan Carmichael’s Channel Icon
Evan Carmichael’s Channel Icon


  • Your Logo: If your channel features several people or you don’t want to use a headshot, use your logo as your Channel Icon. Ensure it is clear and visible in the small space provided for the icon.
  • A VisualA Visual: Some channels use a visual reflecting their videos as their Channel Icon. This can work if the visual uniquely communicate your channel’s topic. Make sure it stands out from other channels.



Channel Icon Dimensions:

Your Channel Icon should be an 800 x 800 px image.

As it appears in different shapes and sizes on YouTube, ensure it looks good as a round or square image at 98 x 98 px.


Youtube Channel Icon Dimensions
Youtube Channel Icon Dimensions



YouTube Channel Art


What is Channel Art?

You know, that big banner at the top of your channel page?

It’s also called a “Channel Header Image” or “YouTube Banner.”

This eye-catching image helps you show off your channel’s brand and personality.

YouTube Channel Art
YouTube Channel Art

Why does Channel Art matter?

Well, it’s the first thing people see when they visit your channel.

You want to make a great first impression, right?

Plus, it’s perfect for sharing key info about your channel, like your upload schedule, tagline, and social media links.


Ready for some best practices?

First, pick an image that really represents your channel.

It should tell viewers:

  1. What your channel is all about
  2. What sets you apart from the rest

You’ve got three main options for your Channel Art image.


Option 1: “The Creator Shot”

This is a photo of you, the star of your YouTube channel!

It’s great for personal brands and vlogs. Just look at Charisma on Command‘s Channel Art – a professional shot of the creator in a cool pose.


Charisma on Command's
Charisma on Command’s


Some channels show their creator in an “action pose.”

It’s a shot of the creator doing what they’re famous for.

For example, Dance Fitness With Jessica has Channel Art with Jessica in the middle of a dance workout.

It’s perfect for her channel!


Dance Fitness With Jessica
Dance Fitness With Jessica


Another option is the “Representative Shot.”

Use an image that symbolizes your channel’s content.

Dude Perfect, for instance, has a picture that hints at their channel being about guys doing crazy stunts.

Dude Perfect
Dude Perfect


Or go for “The Logo.”

Just make your logo the main focus of your Channel Art.

Jamie Oliver does this with his black and yellow logo.


Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver


Don’t forget about “The Image Collage.”

Combine several images to showcase your channel’s topics.

Think Media uses four images, highlighting cameras, lighting, and photography.


Think Media Channel
Think Media Channel


Now, your tagline.

It’s a short description of your channel’s unique value.

Add it to your Channel Art so new visitors instantly know what you’re about.

Jenn Johns, for example, uses “Cookies, cupcakes and cardio.”


cupcakes and cardio
cupcakes and cardio


Channel Art Links are external website links in the lower right corner of your YouTube banner.

Most people link to their websites and social media profiles.

You can also create a “subscribe” link.




If you have a regular upload schedule, feature it in your Channel Art.

This way, visitors know when to expect new videos.

LOL Network, for instance, announces new videos every Thursday.


LOL Network
LOL Network


How To create Channel Art

You can DIY with Photoshop, use Fotor, Canva, or Snappa, or hire a pro on sites like UpWork, Fiverr, or People Per Hour.


Some tips and advanced strategies To create Channel Art:

  • Follow YouTube’s image requirements (2560 x 1440 px recommended)
  • Add credibility by showing where you’ve been featured
  • Keep it professional-looking
  • Use a subscribe call-to-action (CTA) to encourage subscriptions


Channel Description


What Is a Channel Description?

Your Channel Description, or “YouTube About Page,” is a quick snapshot of your channel’s content.

It shows up on your Channel Page and in YouTube search results.

Channel Description
Channel Description


Why does it matter?

A great Channel Description helps visitors learn about your videos and can turn them into subscribers.

Plus, using keywords boosts your YouTube SEO.


Start with a bang!

The first 100-150 characters are crucial.

YouTube displays this snippet next to your channel in search results, and it’s the first thing people read.

Make it count!

Unbox Therapy, for example, includes their tagline and a brief description of their unique approach.


Unbox Therapy
Unbox Therapy


Focus on your viewer.

Instead of making it all about you, show the benefits they’ll get from watching your videos.

Vox’s YouTube channel description highlights what viewers will gain.


Vox's YouTube
Vox’s YouTube


Use keywords wisely

A well-optimized channel can rank high in YouTube search.

Think about terms people would use to find your channel and include them in your Channel Description.

Don’t overdo it; keyword stuffing can sound robotic and hurt your rankings.


Use Keywords
Use Keywords


Consider adding your schedule (optional).

Your Channel Description is a great place to showcase your upload schedule, like Clevver Style does.


Consider adding your schedule
Consider adding your schedule


End with a call to action

Encourage people to subscribe while they’re on your channel page.

Jared Polin, for instance, wraps up his Channel Description by asking viewers to subscribe.


Jared Polin
Jared Polin


Channel Trailer: What’s that?


A Channel Trailer is a short video that helps people quickly understand your YouTube channel.

For non-subscribed visitors, it appears at the top of your Channel Page.

Why do you need a Channel Trailer?

A well-crafted Channel Trailer can turn casual visitors into subscribers.

After seeing your Channel Art and Icon, the trailer catches their eye and encourages them to learn more and subscribe.


Top Tips:

  1. Keep it brief (30-90 seconds). YouTube advises to “keep it short,” and experts recommend a 30-60 second length. With a well-planned script, you can cover everything needed to convert viewers.
  2. Include these elements:
    • A quick intro of you and your channel
    • An overview of your video content
    • A highlight reel of your best moments
    • Your posting schedule (optional)
    • A call-to-action to subscribe

For inspiration, check out Fitness Blender’s snappy Channel Trailer that covers all these aspects.



Try the “T.O.P.” Formula!

The “T.O.P.” Formula is a simple, effective method to structure your Channel Trailer.


Here’s how to do it:

T = Target Audience

Kick off your trailer by identifying your target audience. Whether they’re scuba divers, tech enthusiasts, hikers, or bloggers, let them know right away.

Your viewers should feel at home in the first 5-10 seconds.


O = Origin Story

Share the story behind creating your channel.

This personal touch distinguishes you from countless other channels in your niche.


P = Pitch

Ask viewers to subscribe in a way that fits your channel’s style and personality.

Some common pitches are:

  • “If that sounds good, make sure to subscribe to my channel right now”
  • “Make sure to hit that subscribe button”
  • “So go ahead and subscribe. Or don’t”
  • “And now it’s time to subscribe!”

For example, Sean and Benji from Video Influencers nail the T.O.P. formula.



Show a Highlight Reel

As YouTube suggests, “Show, don’t tell.” While it’s essential to inform people about your channel’s purpose, also show them what to expect from your video content.

If you’ve already published videos, create a highlight reel of your best clips for your Channel Trailer.


Pro Tip: Use highlights as b-rolls while talking about your channel.


For example, Gemma Stafford includes shots from her other videos in her trailer.


Optimize Video Title and Description

Your trailer’s title and description appear next to your trailer on your Channel Page.

Make sure they support your trailer’s message, using compelling titles like “Welcome to…” or “Why You Should Subscribe to…”.

Optimize Video Title and Description
Optimize Video Title and Description


In the video description, briefly highlight:

  • Your tagline or positioning
  • Types of videos you produce
  • Publishing schedule
  • Subscribe call-to-action


For instance, iSURFTRIBE’s trailer has a title and description matching its style and message.



Tips and Advanced Strategies

  • Go “Trailerless”: Some YouTubers use one of their best videos as a Channel Trailer instead of a traditional one. For example, the Good Financial Cents channel uses a popular, high-converting video as its trailer.


  • Use a Script (or Outline): Consider using a script or outline for your trailer, even if you don’t usually plan your videos. This ensures you cover key points in the shortest time possible.


  • Represent: Make sure your trailer represents your videos’ look, feel, and personality.


  • Assume Nothing: Viewers might not know much about you or your channel yet. Introduce yourself and describe what makes your channel unique.


  • Add an End Screen: YouTube automatically adds a subscribe button at the end of your trailer. Consider adding a 10-20 second end screen for another chance to gain subscribers.



In conclusion, creating an engaging and informative Channel Trailer is crucial for attracting new subscribers and showcasing your channel’s unique value.

By following the tips and strategies in this article, you can optimize your YouTube Channel Page, making it an irresistible destination for viewers to subscribe to and become part of your community.

Remember that it’s essential to represent your channel’s personality and style, so don’t hesitate to let your creativity shine.

Happy YouTubing!



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