You've been telling yourself for years that you want to have a YouTube Channel. We all have at one point or another. For the longest time, I told myself the same thing. But if you don't get started, who's going to see your content? Just go for it! Listed below are some helpful hints to get your started on the path of YouTube stardom!
First off, you need an idea for your channel. Are you going to craft? Review products? Do comedy sketches? While some folks have a variety of different content, most focus on one central theme that can get them noticed. Markiplier started out playing video games and streaming, but then once he gained popularity, he was able to branch out and do a little more to keep himself interested as well as his fans. I, myself have a channel completely dedicated to Pokemon. I originally was going to do crafting and tutorials, but worried that they would either not make sense or be too complicated for my fan base. That's not to say that I can't go back later and create a crafting/tutorial channel, but right now, one channel is more than enough.
Once you've decided on your central theme for your channel, you need to come up with a name. Something that may have to do with your content, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. If you do something with My Hero, maybe choose a hero name that goes with that. If you stream games, using your gamertag would be best so if you play multi-player games, your fans will also be able to find you on whatever platform you play on. Puns go a long way for folks, but if you're like me, you stick with something that can be linked to your other platforms. My channel is "SeiferNoir," as is my Instagram, TikTok, and my gaming names. I unfortunately don't get to stream, but that's on my list of to-dos! If you're having difficulty naming your channel or finding a theme, friends are always good support, as well as a soundboard to bounce ideas off of.
Once you've figured out your name and theme of your channel, you should look into either making an icon and banner, or commissioning one of your lovely friends to make one for you (shout out to the ever talented lightningbug_arts on Instagram!) I went for the watermark/banner combo instead of the icon, since I have hundreds and thousands of pictures of myself in onesies to get the point across. If you're doing an art channel, this is your moment to shine and create a stunning entry to your content without folks clicking on one of your links first. Some things to add to your banner are your different links to your other social medias, what days you stream/upload/etc, and your channel name so that folks have it right in their face.
While the above step isn't absolutely necessary starting out, you do want to eventually get that going so that your channel has "curb appeal." For the first month of uploading videos, I didn't have a banner, but I also have less than 100 subscribers, so I feel like it balances itself out. If you'd rather crank out content while you figure out what you want your banner to look like/waiting on your commission, take this time to draw up an upload schedule. While it doesn't have to be solid, uploading at least once a week keeps subscribers interested and your channel up higher in the results. If you're planning on streaming video games, it's best to upload at least once a day for a hot minute before you start to gain traction. One of the upsides of living in this day and age are that you can stream on Twitch and upload it to YouTube, so you're hitting two birds with one stone. Not every video is going to be super long, and some aren't even going to be interesting, so you may need to make a highlights reel for the YouTube audience. This is where you'll want to invest in some editing software.
While you can use YouTube's editing software, it's not going to be as in-depth or expansive as some third party software. Personally, I use Filmora Wondershare, which is really easy to learn and play around with, and also comes with a free version (if you don't mind a watermark across your videos. Starting out, you may get away with the watermark, but eventually, you'll want to invest in that premium version. I paid $40 for one year of premium, and making 3-5 videos a week, I feel I get my money's worth. There are so many incredible editing programs, that you don't just have to use my suggestion; even just typing into Google, "Video Editing Software" brings up hundreds, if not thousands of different programs.
After you've edited the video to your liking, you'll want to have some background noise. Unless your channel is making music, you will be wanting to get royalty free music or pay out the butt to be able to use the licensing. Royalty free music is music that is free to the public and can be perfect background sound without getting your videos taken down. This is extremely important because most times, YouTube will bring down the ban hammer and then you'll have to start over from scratch. This is also important if you upload your videos to Facebook as well. There are plenty of awesome websites that you can find Royalty Free music to use for your next video. Sometimes, if you're lucky, your editing program will have some songs that you're able to use.
You've got the banner, the name, the software, and the posting schedule. So, what are you missing? The camera, of course! Frequently, it's best to buy a camera, but if you're just starting out, you don't want necessarily want to invest hundreds of dollars into a new camera. Luckily, newer phones have incredible cameras that are able to be used until you get that sweet, sweet ad revenue/commissions/etc. The only drawback for using your phone camera is that phone memory is garbage, and unless you have absolutely nothing on your phone, you'll have to keep deleting them off your phone as you edit them. I know this from firsthand experience. It doesn't help that I have a ton of photos of commissions I still haven't been able to post. You can also potentially borrow your friends' camera, but I can't say for sure. It doesn't hurt to ask, but also try to have back ups in case you don't have a friend you can borrow a camera from.
I know this sounds really intense and to be fair, it can be. It's okay to take breaks from filming and posting content, but letting your fanbase know is important. It's better to let folks know that you need to step away than come back feeling better and are immediately bombarded with negative comments because "how dare you think of yourself." One way to also still create content while not necessarily dealing with the burnout subject is to collaborate with other YouTube folks. You can ask your friends for help or even local YouTubers to see if they would like to make content together. As I have found, most everything is better when you have friends doing the thing with you.
I really hope that I have helped you get some introspect into creating a YouTube channel and have helped you get at least a step closer to creating that content you've been swearing for years that you'd do. If you already have a channel, please link it below! I'd love to check you out and hype you up! We're all here to help each other and I want to foster that friendship. I wish you the very best on your journey of self-discovery and creation. If you'd like to check out my work, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLRDF5KYDpqHN1_jpbs8ocg