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How to Start a YouTube Channel: 8 Tips for Vlogging Like a Pro | #youtubescams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating


Over the last two decades, YouTube has exploded as a content creation and monetization platform. A 2022 Pew Research Center report found that 95% of teens use YouTube and kids today aspire to be video creators. But with more than 500 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute, how do you stand out?

Whether you want to monetize your clips or just enjoy creating videos, there are ways to capture the attention of YouTube’s 1.7 billion unique monthly visitors. All you need are a few pieces of equipment, some SEO smarts, and maybe a little star power. Just remember that you’re (probably) not going to become an overnight YouTube sensation, so don’t quit your day job yet.


1. Set Up a Separate Account

youtube channel page

(Credit: Jason Cohen / YouTube)

In order to create a channel, you must sign in with a Google account. Then, click your profile icon in the top-right corner and select Create a channel. Fill in your channel’s basic information like the name, profile image, and header image.

You can either use the name and photo from your personal Google account or customize your new channel with another name and image. If you pick the custom name option, it creates a new Google account with its own settings and watch history separate from your main account.

While using your personal account is fine if you’re just doing this for fun, setting up a separate Google account is a good idea if you plan on turning this channel into a business or brand.


2. Choose a Name That Fits

basic info on youtube channel

(Credit: Jason Cohen / YouTube)

Think about your channel’s identity. Is it quirky or more serious? Will the channel be a way to showcase your technical skills and knowledge, or just a place to have fun and goof around?

Many of the YouTube’s biggest channels—MrBeast, Puggapillar, MoistCr1TiKaL—have strange handles that stuck over the years. Others, like Emma Chamberlain, Peter McKinnon, or Michelle Phan, use their real names instead. Whatever you choose, remember to be consistent. Using your real name from the start can make it easier for people to find you with a web search. If you want to build a brand around an unconventional handle, like some professional streamers or commentators, use it across all platforms.

Change your handle by clicking the Customize channel button from your page profile and opening the Basic info tab inside YouTube Studio, but do so sparingly to avoid confusing your audience. Once you’ve named your channel, add links to your other social media accounts and personal websites. This helps connect your online pages to one another, which can help people find you across multiple platforms and eventually increase your following outside of YouTube.


3. Make an Eye-Catching Channel Aesthetic

Ali Abdaal youtube header

(Credit: Ali Abdaal)

YouTube allows you to use every bit of your channel page to communicate who you are. Your profile image and channel art (your cover photo) can be used to introduce yourself to the viewer and give them a quick rundown of what to expect.

As one example, Ali Abdaal uses his cover art to showcase his background as a doctor, YouTuber, and podcaster. He also states that he focuses on personal finance and entrepreneurship. By comparison, ContraPoints’ header projects a gothic dark academia vibe that serves as a shorthand for what to expect from her channel.

Contrapoints youtube header

(Credti: ContraPoints)

YouTube also lets you have a short intro video that autoplays when people visit your page, so if you’ve already defined what you want your channel to be, record a quick elevator-pitch-style snippet for visitors.

Your page style should be cohesive; the images and art should make sense together, and colors should be unified across all the elements. Don’t get too hung up on making it perfect; you can always tweak it as you go along. Once you’ve laid that groundwork, you can get to the fun part.


4. Decide What You Want to Cover

Now that you’ve set up your YouTube channel, it’s time to plan out what you’re going to post. The advice “write what you know” also applies here.

YouTuber Izzy Sealey —who makes videos about on her experience as a med student and practitioner in London—suggests focusing on topics you enjoy, that match your skillset, and have an audience. It’s much easier to make videos about something you have knowledge of and are passionate about than it is to slog through creating something just because it’s trending. 

What would you enjoy talking about or teaching others to do? What inspiration can you take from your favorite channels and put your own spin on? Maybe you’re a professional photographer who could serve up clips on photo and video editing. Don’t get hung up on the perfect video idea, just get started.


5. Don’t Worry About a High-Tech Home Studio

multiple ring lights

(Credit: Eric Griffith)

You may already follow quite a few creators on YouTube, but don’t be intimidated by their professional-looking setups. When YouTube started, its motto was “broadcast yourself,” so just use what you have now to make a video and upload it. Your first video doesn’t have to be perfect, and you can upgrade later.

You don’t have to use professional vlogging cameras, complicated studio lighting, or an expensive microphone. If you don’t already have a DSLR or mirrorless camera, use a smartphone instead. Many models now come with high-quality lenses, such as the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Instead of worrying about building an in-home studio, take some time to experiment with angles and the lighting that’s available to you. Direct window light, for example, can provide a more evenly lit shot, and a cheap reflective surface—like a piece of white foamcore—can also be used to bounce light and make up for what is lost from using a smartphone or low-end camera.



Want better sound? Cheap USB microphones are pretty easy to find and deliver decent results for less cash. Even if all you have is an iPhone, a simple Lightning or USB-C mic that plugs in to your phone can raise the audio quality of your videos and make them seem much more polished.

As you learn and grow, experiment with more advanced lighting, sound, and editing techniques. But don’t wait until you have the best to start, or you never will. 


6. Get Clicks Without Being Clickbait

In the early days of YouTube, clickbait was rampant. People still try it, but most viewers are savvy and tend to be annoyed and alienated by that kind of content. Even if a clickbaity title gets views, chances are people will click away once they realize they’ve been duped. And they definitely won’t subscribe or share your work.

Instead, try to draw people in with an emotional or interesting hook that isn’t overly sensationalized. Make sure your headline and thumbnail aren’t lying about what’s in the video, and that they emphasize what people will click through to see—the “hook” of your video. 

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What that is and how you approach it will vary depending on your target audience. MrBeast makes flashy, visually active videos with over-the-top subjects in the style of reality television because that’s what his audience wants. In his above video, he compares a $1 yacht to a billion-dollar superyacht. That style might not translate well to, say, a commentary channel. Think about what style works for your content, not what’s getting views on someone else’s channel.


7. Brush Up on SEO and Analytics

youtube description

(Credit: Izzy Sealey / YouTube)

Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t the most fascinating aspect of social media, but it’s worth knowing when it comes to growing a YouTube channel. Get familiar with common keywords people search for when it comes to your niche and build them into your video in areas like the title and video description. Add as much information as possible to help your content get found via search, like alt-text and hashtags.

Use a video’s description to include an about me section, links to other social media accounts, and timestamps to let people more easily navigate through your content. The titles of those time stamps are also opportunities to build in keywords, so do that if you can—just don’t overstuff your text so it sounds like keyword salad. 

research tab under YouTube analytics

(Credit: Jason Cohen / YouTube)

You should also get familiar with the tools available in YouTube Studio. Click the Analytics section to review data on the content you post. You can see total views, watch time, subscribers, impressions, and other data points. You can even see what your viewers are searching for across YouTube under the Research tab.


8. Refine Your Presentation

Try and make small improvements to your presentation and setup on a regular basis. As you learn and grow, experiment with more advanced lighting, sound, and editing techniques, and make upgrades when you can. That can be in anything from the production value to the complexity of your video edits to your on-camera presence.

Unless you’re used to it, talking directly in to a camera—and making it look natural—can be hard. Sealey shared how strange she found it at first, but says it got easier to speak to the camera if she imagined she was having a conversation with a friend. Using a mental trick like that while you’re practicing can help you become more comfortable on camera, which makes it easier for people to relate to your work.



It also pays to refine your edits. Cutting out awkward pauses, line flubs, and the “um”s and “ah”s we all say, makes the finished product flow better for the viewer. You don’t have to be an editing wizard right out of the gate, but building up your skill with video editing can increase your production value, even if you can’t upgrade your equipment yet. 

When it does come time make an update, many YouTubers recommend upgrading your audio setup before your camera. A video with decent image quality and stellar audio will come across as more professional than one with great image quality but bad sound.

A lot of what your channel will depends on your interests, what you’re comfortable talking about, and your skill level with things like shooting and editing. You probably won’t be the most refined YouTuber in the game when you first start out, and that’s okay. Everyone starts somewhere, so don’t let that keep you from making videos if you really want to learn.

The experience of starting a YouTube channel will be much more enjoyable if you approach it as a fun hobby rather than something to replace your current income. Your channel could look completely different in six months, so don’t be afraid to take time to explore and grow. Who knows where it’ll take you?

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