How to Start a YouTube Channel for Beginners

October 16, 2020 • Zachary Amos


YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for creating content. Some creators use it to make a living while others use it simply for having fun and providing entertainment. If you’re looking for your creative outlet, here’s how to start a YouTube channel for beginners.

1. Find Your Focus

Many YouTubers have one central, general genre or focus for their videos. For instance, the beauty community has countless creators that focus on makeup and styling. Some focus on humorous content. Others focus on gaming.

However, you don’t need to limit yourself — you can have multiple different topics on your channel. When you first start out, it may be wise to choose a genre, though. This tight focus will draw people in and, as you grow, you can expand your content.

One way to settle on a focus is to follow your passions. Viewers love to see a genuine interest in videos that feel engaging to them. You can also look at what’s popular through Google Trends for ideas. What’s getting the most hits and views? Why?

Keep your audience in mind, too. Your demographics influence your topics. Who are you trying to engage? Do you have a broad audience in mind or a niche one? Find the answers to these questions so that you can better hone in on your focus.

2. Come Up with Video Ideas

If you already have an idea in mind that you’re passionate about, go for it. Your first video doesn’t need to be groundbreaking. In fact, after you get a rhythm down for filming, you’ll likely look back and see how much you’ve grown from your first video.

However, you should come up with a bunch of ideas. Take your current thoughts and figure out how you can take them to the next level. What could make it more engaging?

Remember, videos that get views don’t have to be clickbait — you can provide fun, unique content that’s honest. For instance, if you’re creating art, take it to the next level by asking your audience to follow along or get involved somehow.

YouTube has countless types of videos. From long-form podcasts to quick tutorials, anything can work if you do it right.

3. Buy Your Equipment

One of the scariest steps in how to start a YouTube channel for beginners is buying your equipment. It can feel intimidating, but there are cost-effective ways to go about it. The camera will likely be the most expensive part of your setup. However, if you’re on a budget, you can stick with your smartphone camera — these cameras often have good quality audio and visual.

Lighting is an important aspect, too. Light must fill your video, illuminating whatever the central focus is. You can use a room with plenty of natural lighting. If that isn’t an option, though, you can find lamps and high-wattage bulbs to add more light off-camera.

Test the sound quality after you record as well. Do you need microphones? Audio can sometimes sound distant and grainy without them. They might be a worthwhile investment.

4. Create Your Account

Don’t let the simplicity of this step fool you. Creating your account is one of the most important parts of starting a YouTube channel for beginners.

Remember that YouTube is a search engine as well as a social media and entertainment platform. You’ll want to construct your content and your account to fit these features. For instance, your channel name could involve your content. If you’re a gamer, having some variation of that word in your name could help draw people in.

Upload pictures for your icon and banner then add a description. When you fill out your profile to its fullest extent, it shows viewers that you’re active and creating content. Additionally, you can add some keywords to your description, making it easier for people to find you when they search for content.

Creating a YouTube account comes with a lot to explore. Make sure you personalize it, make it unique and bring it to its full potential. You’ll stand out in the crowd once you do.

5. Film and Edit Your First Video

Now, you’re ready to film your first video. It may feel awkward at first, but once you get the hang out of it, you’ll find it’s a fun experience. Remember, just be yourself and create the best, most engaging content possible.

You can follow an outline for your videos if you’d like. Before you film, write down what you want to do and where you want the video to go. If not, a more spontaneous approach works, too.

Afterward, editing your video is crucial to produce great content. While you film, remember to talk slowly and give yourself enough time between cuts. When you edit, you can cut out all the gaps and empty space to create one cohesive project.

Editing also provides you with many tools for comedy and for standing out. iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are free options and good for beginners. Adobe Premiere Pro is a more advanced option if that’s what you need.

6. Upload the Video

You can be deliberate about when you upload your video. Many YouTubers stick to a schedule where they upload once or twice a week on specific days. That way, viewers know when to expect new content and can tune in.

When you do upload, make sure you add tags to your video. Tags are how people can find your content. You must include keywords and key phrases in these tags — it boosts your videos on the search engine side of YouTube.

7. Promote and Market Your Video

You’ll want every video interaction you can get for each upload. Whether it’s a like, comment, subscription or view, you need it all to grow. Here is where your other social media platforms come in handy. Use your accounts to promote the video.

You can create social media accounts for your YouTube channel, separate from your private accounts. That way, you can build a following and promote your videos there. However, when you’re starting out, post to your private platforms if you’d like. Get your friends and family involved. Keep spreading the word however you can.

Paid advertising isn’t necessarily a must. You can invest if you’d like, but there are ways to grow your channel naturally, without spending as much.

8. Commit to Your Channel

The last step is to commit to your channel and have fun. YouTube is a place to express yourself and show off your creative side. Your content must be engaging, stepping outside the box to go above and beyond.

Remember, there are thousands of others trying to grow their channels, too. You want to commit to yours so that it can stand out. Stick to a consistent upload schedule — many YouTubers upload one, two or three times a week.

Find out what works best for you and then stay with it.

Ready to Record

YouTube is a database of millions of videos. You can find almost anything you’re looking for, which is why it’s become so popular. Anyone can use it for any interest. As you follow these steps on how to start a YouTube channel for beginners, remember to be yourself. Standing out becomes easier when you enjoy your time and do what you love.