THERE have been over 31 million YouTube channels set up since the video-sharing platform was launched in February 2005.
Anyone can create, use and make the most of a YouTube channel – and best of all the platform is entirely free to use.
How do you create a channel on YouTube?
In order to create your own YouTube channel, you will need to make sure you have set up a Gmail (or Googlemail) account.
Then take the following three steps:
- Go to www.youtube.com and click on ‘Sign In’ in the top right-hand corner. Your Gmail account will prompt you to sign in. If you do not have one, click ‘Create Account’, and then use it to sign in.
- You will be taken back to the YouTube homepage once you have logged in. Click on the circular icon in the top right-hand corner. This should contain the first letter of your name. Select the first option, ‘Create a Channel’.
- Click ‘Get Started’. You will be given the option to use your own, full name, or to create a custom name for your channel. Once you have selected an option from these two, your channel will be set up.
You will now be able to start uploading videos.
You’ll first be taken to a page where you are given the option to upload a profile picture, write a short biography for your channel, and link any other social media sites.
Is a YouTube channel free?
Yes – a YouTube channel is completely free to set up, and upload video content to.
Depending on how serious you are about the production value of your video content, that’s when you start to incur additional costs.
For instance, you might want to buy a microphone to record a voiceover for your videos, while other video equipment can give your videos a more professional look.
However, YouTube does not charge you anything to set up a channel or upload content – and there are no fees applied, no matter how long the length of a video is.
How do you optimise your channel?
Creating your content is the first step. But how do you create a channel on YouTube that actually gets traffic?
After you've set up your Youtube Channel, the next step is ‘optimising’ it.
Here are a few, simple beginners’ steps to ensure you get the best out of what you have created – and will help you get as many views as you can on your channel and your videos.
Upload a profile picture/cover art. This is the first thing viewers will see displayed when they click through to your channel.
This is especially important if you are trying to create a ‘brand’ for yourself on YouTube.
It will make your channel look more welcoming. Additionally it will give viewers an idea of what kind of content they can expect.
Writing a brief biography for your channel can be used to promote yourself.
Make sure to include keywords on what sort of content to expect from your channel.
A good tip is to also include these keywords as much as you can in the descriptions of any videos you upload to your channel.
Not only does this provide consistency across your channel and helps create your ‘brand’, but also gives your channel and your videos a better chance of appearing on Google or search engine searches relating to those keywords.
Verifying your channel helps to unlock additional features that will improve the content you put out.
But to verify the channel, you need 100,000 subscribers – which will allow users to upload videos over 15 minutes in length.
To do this, click on your profile picture in the top right corner, and click Settings.
Then select ‘Channel Status and Features’, and click ‘Verify’ under your username.
You should instantly see that you have access to additional features on the bottom half of the page – meaning your YouTube channel can be improved using these features.
YouTube gives you the option to add a small ‘watermark’ link to the bottom right corner of your videos.
This could be a hyperlink version of your profile picture, which takes viewers through to your channel or, alternatively, it could be a ‘Subscribe’ button.
This automatically subscribes viewers to your channel, meaning they will see your other content on their home page.
This is particularly useful if viewers have come across your video from searching one of your aforementioned ‘Key words’ on a search engine.
To create this branding, go to your YouTube channel page, and click ‘YouTube Studio’.
Then select ‘Settings’ in the bottom left corner. Choose ‘Channel’ settings, and then ‘Branding’.
You can then upload the watermark of your choosing.
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