Starting a YouTube channel could become a substantial source of income once you reach a certain threshold – the highest-paid YouTuber earned approximately $16,500,000 in 2017 😱 .
With more and more people opting for online video streaming services, starting a channel on the YouTube platform is a brilliant move. It also seems like everyone is using YouTube – from performing artists to huge brands and businesses.
Here are 11 tips for successfully starting a YouTube channel
Plan your content. Before you even open your YouTube channel, think of the topics you’re interested in and what it is you want to say. YouTube has a lot of niches (there’s something for everybody to relate to) – try and decide which one suits you best. Once you’ve got your niche figured out, try and come up with a “theme” for your videos – will you mainly do reviews? Sketches? Challenges? Walkthrough? There are countless ways to use the platform and stand out among the crowd. Don’t try to do anything you’re not comfortable with.
Have the right equipment, but not right away. If you’re just starting, you can use the camera on your smartphone (or laptop if it’s excellent!) for your first few videos. See how it feels. Gain confidence in standing alone in a room and speaking to “invisible people” on camera. Make sure your videos are well lit (sitting in front of a window right around sunset usually gives the best lighting) and as you grow, slowly grow your arsenal. Start with getting a good camera and move on to microphones, lighting, props, and any other gear you’re interested in.
Don’t freak out if you feel like “you’ve done this” before. Coming up with innovative, never-before-seen content is virtually impossible. Gather inspiration from other people on YouTube (and always give them credit for their ideas!), make “sequels” or “episodes” to your videos. Just like a good tv series, people like consistency, which also brings me to my next point.
Have a consistent schedule. As you’ll grow and gain more subscribers, you’ll find people are waiting for your videos to be uploaded. Try to plan a program you can keep up with: start with posting a video once a week. Make your videos’ length consistent too – it’s ok to “veer off course” now and then, but if you usually upload videos that are 10-15 minutes long, try and keep it that way.
Edit your videos. It seems obvious, but a lot of people don’t do it when they just start – they’ll upload “raw” footage as it as and although it is entertaining at times, people don’t want to see you “uh…” and “what was I about to say?” all the time. If it makes your videos shorter than you’d like, so be it. People come to your channel for entertainment, after all.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Everybody struggles on YouTube in the beginning, and the struggle is real even when you’re a “big shot” on the platform. Be your person and stay true to yourself, don’t try to mimic other YouTubers. The more authentic you are, the better.
Do SEO. YouTube is the second most used search engine online. The road to success on YouTube doesn’t start and end with uploading content – you need to make sure people will know it’s there. Use descriptive titles incorporating relevant keywords – try to think like a viewer typing a search query – and make sure you use tags in your video’s description.
Make friends and share your channel with your existing friends. The more connections you have on the platform, the more potential exposure you have. Let’s say you’ve befriended another YouTuber and decided to make a video with them – now you’ll have their audience watching you too, and if they like you, they will go to your channel to see more of you. Collaborations are a great way to grow your channel. Also, use links on other social media platforms to promote your channel and update your friends and family on videos.
Read your comments but don’t take them to heart. This is easier said than done, but it is possible. Try to make the best of the situation and don’t get into fights with viewers who don’t like you – it’s pointless.
Give yourself a boost. I know people like to get on their high horse and pretend like they never did or will never do this – but purchase a few subscribers when starting your channel. I’m not talking about buying millions of subscribers on a channel with one video. When starting with one video, try buying up to 20 subscribers and views. Make it look real and feel real. As you grow, purchase a few more if you think it necessary. There are plenty of places where you can buy subscribers, and there are plenty of scammers out there. When purchasing subscribers for your channel, try to find a provider that delivers “real” or “organic” subscribers (GetFans got some great reviews!), which are real people that are being paid to follow you. No, you won’t be able to interact with them or receive any engagement from them, but they will give you that social proof you need to start growing.
Be friendly. People will comment on your videos and give feedback (positive and negative), they will share their own stories and will try to start conversations. Participate. Don’t ignore any feedback and be accessible to your subscribers and viewers. Take the time to answer your fans (because that’s what most of them are, as weird as it may feel at first) and be down-to-earth.
Content to Avoid for a successful YouTube channel
Ultimately, it’s all up to you what kind of content you want to make, but there are some types of channels and topics that I advise against you covering or becoming:
- Panderer to the Lowest Common Denominator: Nobody will like you except for five-year-olds who search for how to get free V-Bucks on YouTube. Channels like Morgz, N&A Productions, and the like are great examples of this type of channel content. Yes, you will most likely get lots of ads, and therefore money, but the rest of the YouTube community will look down on you like scum under the bottom of the figurative barrel of YouTube. Channels like this usually do stuff like unoriginal challenge videos or just generally try to surf trends as frequently as I surf TV channels.
- Challenge Video YouTubers: Now, there’s nothing wrong with challenge videos as a concept, and they are entertaining when you put a fun spin on them or create new, original challenges like Mr.Beast, but if you’re just doing a regular challenge video that everyone is doing, or if your challenges are boring or staged (*cough* *cough* Morgz *cough*), then almost no one is going to be interested.
- Clickbait YouTubers: As a creator, you should avoid clickbait whenever possible. This means no teasing any sexual topics, exaggerating, or even just lying about things that happen in your video, and NO EMOJIS ANYWHERE. Put your eggplants away. It’s totally fine and even encouraged to use a creative thumbnail and title, but always be sure to describe only what happens in your video. Just describe what the video is about, and let the views come in on their own.
- Reaction Channels: These can be a fun thing to watch, but you have to add stuff to what you’re watching and comment on them as soon as they come up. You only have one chance to make a reaction to a video, otherwise, the reaction’s not going to be as genuine. And you also can’t watch the video you want to watch unless you record it, which means waiting.
- Drama Channels: If you decide to talk about the drama in the YouTube community, then you are pressured to make a fully logical and in-depth video about it. If you say the wrong thing, then you can anger a large portion of YouTube until their faces become as red as their logo.
Last but not least, Communicate with your fans. Be active in your comment pages. Answer emails and messages. Be approachable. Always. Stay persistent. Never give up. The ride is bumpy and the road is long.