How to Create a YouTube Channel to Grow Your Brand and Make Money

Fun fact: YouTube is the second most visited website in the world after Google, YouTube's parent company.

Funny suggestion: your brand should be there.

The opportunity to reach your audience on YouTube is huge. It's the most popular social platform among adults in the United States, and nearly 75% of Americans use the website for social video, compared to 69% who use Facebook.

More than half of these users visit YouTube every day. Wouldn't it be nice if they checked out your content while they were there?

Fortunately, creating a YouTube account isn't difficult. Creating a successful YouTube channel is a little more work. But don't worry, we treated you there too.

Bonus: Download the Free 30-day plan to grow your YouTube quickly, A daily challenge workbook to help you grow your Youtube channel and track your success. Get real results after a month.

How to Create a New YouTube Channel in 5 Easy Steps

Creating a successful YouTube channel starts with creating a YouTube channel. How to create your account

Step 1: Create a Google Account

If you're using Gmail, Google Maps, or Google Play, you probably already have a Google Account. Proceed to the next step.

If you're starting from scratch, click here to sign up for a new Google Account.

The name and email address are not publicly associated with your brand. So don't worry about these staying in the message. This is just your key to getting into the YouTube door.

Step 2: create a YouTube account

Your Google account will automatically set you up with a personal YouTube account. However, to use YouTube for your business, you'll want to set up a branded account.

Just go to your YouTube account page and click Create a channelThen enter a name for your branded account. You are in!

When you create a YouTube branded account, you can give multiple people administrative access and customize the name and appearance to match your brand.

Another cool thing about branded accounts: they give you access to YouTube Analytics. This is helpful information about who is watching your videos and what content is popular. (For more information on using YouTube for marketing purposes, see our post.)

A channel will be created on the YouTube account page

Create a branded account

Step 3: customize your YouTube channel

Time to make this cute new social media profile your own.

From your channel dashboard, click Adjust channel. Go through the three tabs – layout, Branding and Basic information – to enter information that will help you optimize your channel for target audience recognition.

Channel customization layout branding and basic information

When filling in this information, use descriptive keywords that will appear when your account is searched.

Keywords can include your channel's topics, your industry, questions your content can answer, or products.

Under BrandingYou have the option to upload your channel images and icons to give your channel a unique look. One that ideally adapts to your overall brand and visually connects that YouTube account to your other social media platforms and web presence.

Branding profile picture and banner picture

We have some YouTube channel art templates here to get you started.

Step 4: Upload your first YouTube video

That is exciting. You are about to become a YouTube content creator! I am not crying, you are crying.

To get your first video out into the world, press Create Click the button in the top right corner and follow the instructions.

Upload YouTube video

Step 5: make your YouTube channel recognizable

As the old saying goes, when you have amazing content on YouTube but nobody sees it … what is it about?

To get views and subscribers, you need to optimize your channel and videos for discovery. We have a complete guide on how to promote your YouTube channel if you want to dive deep. In the meantime, here's the 30-second rundown:

Optimize video titles

Use concise, descriptive titles that include Google-friendly keywords. Titles are the first thing users see, but they also help the search engine understand what your videos are about. So make sure that all of your titles are punchy and intriguing, but also clear and with keywords.

Optimize your YouTube description

Again, it's important to be clear, concise, and descriptive. Make sure to reload your keywords and add links to other playlists.

Another good video description trick? Create a "table of contents" with timestamps so viewers can find what they're looking for.

For more tips, check out our full guide to Writing a Successful YouTube Description.

Add tags (in moderation)

While it can be tempting to load up this section with clickbaity tags, make sure you only include tags that are relevant to your content. Be honest and choose quality over quantity. The goal is to reach viewers who actually care about content like yours.

Tags can also help the YouTube algorithm understand what your content is about. Make sure you add a category or two so that the search engine will present your videos to the right audience.

Cross promotion

Add a link to your YouTube channel on your other social profiles, on your website, and in your email signature so your existing fans know that you are starting a video empire.

Understand the algorithm

If you haven't already, now is the time to get started with the YouTube algorithm. This AI not only determines search results, it also makes recommendations for the all-important "What's next?" Sidebar.

9 tips for starting a YouTube channel

1. Use eye-catching channel images and thumbnails

Your channel art and thumbnails are your billboards, so make an impression!

An effective thumbnail is clear, accurate and works in tandem with the title of the video. But it also has to be noticed.

eye-catching thumbnails

With thumbnails, viewers decide what they want to see when browsing search results. This means that you don't just have to communicate what your video is about. You also need to stand out from the competition.

And a lot of the competition is … loud.

Evaluate what everyone else is doing and try to evade it. For example, choose a specific color palette or go for a minimalist style to stand out from a sea of ​​neon colors and impact fonts.

Experiment with our Channel Art templates here.

2. Choose the perfect channel icon

A channel icon is like a logo for your YouTube presence. It should fit your brand and complement your channel banner.

When choosing an icon, follow YouTube's recommended image dimensions to avoid stretching. Preview your channel on multiple devices to make sure everything looks good.

YouTuber J.J. McCullough uses a comic caricature of himself as a logo to represent both his art and personality.

J.J. McCullough cartoon caricature channel icon

3. Create playlists

Organizing and creating video playlists on YouTube is the best way to keep your viewer on your side.

YouTube playlists not only organize your related content into a neat list, but they also play it automatically. As soon as one video ends, the next begins … and so on. This minimizes the likelihood that a viewer will switch to another channel.

For example, financial advisor Max Mitchell adds all of his TFSA videos to a playlist so viewers can sit back for hours and learn about tax-free savings accounts.

Max Mitchell TFSA Essentials playlist

4. Create a channel trailer

When someone first comes across your channel, a channel trailer is a great way to take a peek at your content. Better make it count.

Just like the Hollywood hotshots get you to watch Avengers: Tokyo Drift, you can give your audience a taste that will make them want more.

Suppose the viewer is a perfect stranger. Introduce yourself and tell them exactly why they should sign up. Keep it short, sweet, and snappy: let them know what your content looks like and when they can expect new uploads, like Yoga does with Adriene on their channel.

5. Consistently create great content

It will sound very obvious, but we'll say it anyway: viewers want to see good videos.

But what makes a good YouTube video is a little different from what makes a video that a foreign film festival would close down.

According to Search Engine Journal, successful YouTube videos offer attention-grabbing intros and great branding, background music, and crisp audio.

Calls to action are also important. Whether your goal is to drive your target audience to your website, increase your number of subscribers, or start a conversation in the comments, the right CTA can help make this happen.

As with all social media content, there is no perfect formula for a successful YouTube video. Some brands thrive on refined, highly produced content, while others grow in importance because of its rawness, unfiltered, and authenticity.

Vanity Fair's YouTube channel is inspiring. It goes beyond what you could read on the magazine's profiles and includes videos of actors sharing everything they do in a day or taking a polygraph test.

Discover some ideas on how to leverage content from other social media platforms to stimulate your experiments.

6. Schedule your videos

Give your videos the best chance of making them big by posting them at the right time: when people are online and ready to watch.

Your channel analysis will show you whether there is a day of the week or a specific time that leads to high viewership or engagement.

Once you have this information, you can use planning tools such as Hootsuite to publish regularly within this time frame.

Learn more about how to schedule YouTube videos.

7. Understand your audience

It's difficult to create compelling content if you don't know who you're creating it for. So make sure you have a good feel for your audience's personality before diving in.

Who are you? What do you like? (Why don't you call me ?!)

When you have a few videos up your sleeve, you can check if you're reaching the mark by diving into your YouTube analytics. Cold hard numbers show you whether, how and when your work of art is making an impact.

Channel Analytics Overivew

8. Experiment with YouTube advertising

If you're not getting the reach you want with old-fashioned organic content, it may be time to throw a few bucks behind an ad campaign.

YouTube ads are available in these four categories:

  • In-stream skippable ads
  • In-stream non-skippable ads (including bumper ads)
  • Video Discovery Ads (formerly known as In-Display Ads)
  • Non-video ads (i.e. overlays and banners)

For more information about YouTube's ad formats and how to use them, see our detailed guide to YouTube advertising.

9. Ask viewers to sign up

When someone subscribes to your channel (and presses that bell button), they will be notified when you start a new video. Hence, expanding your subscriber base is the best way to increase your organic reach.

There's a reason "Don't Forget to Sign In" is the sign-out of choice for YouTubers big and small.

Obviously, growing your subscribers is easier said than done. That is why we have a complete guide on how to get more YouTube subscribers.

As soon as you have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of observation within a year, you can register as a YouTube partner and monetize your channel. Learn more about the YouTube Affiliate Program here.

Channel monetization YouTube affiliate program

This is just the tip of the iceberg for creating a successful YouTube channel. If you want to learn more, check out our blog post on How To Get More Views On YouTube, Find 23 Smart Ways To Promote Your YouTube Channel, And How To Become A YouTube Marketing Master.

With Hootsuite, you can easily upload, schedule, and promote your YouTube channel and videos to multiple social networks from one dashboard. Try it for free today.

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