How to Set-Up Your YouTube Channel
If you’re committed to growing your online business, you have to have a visible presence – and offerings to choose from – on YouTube. You can integrate your YouTube videos with your website, blog and all your other social networks. And what YouTube does is act as a gigantic boost powder to all these other arenas you engage in, on the net. So you simply cannot choose to ignore it.
The good news is, for those who are camera shy or technologically-challenged:
- A YouTube account – and your own Channel – is easy to set up
- It’s free
- You can start small
- You don’t need special equipment
- You don’t even need to appear in front of the camera
Once you’ve set up your YouTube account, it’s time to set up your own dedicated Channel. Think of this exactly like a TV channel. You get to produce your own shows. You get to decide what other shows to feature. And you can make that Channel anything you want to be.
Step 1. Your YouTube Goals
Before rushing into creation, take the time to think about your Channel.
- What do you want your YouTube channel to do for your viewers?
- Who are your viewers? Why will they watch your videos?
- What sort of videos do you want to create?
- What skills or experience can you share?
- What would you like to teach or demonstrate?
- What do you want your viewers to take away?
- How big a proportion of your offerings would you like your YouTube channel to provide? 2%? 15%? 25% More?
- How “professional” do you want it to be? A mini-network, populated with multiple series episodes or the occasional helpful “how to” or inspirational video?
Focusing on what you want your YouTube Channel to do for your viewers – your target market – should be first on your list, when you start setting your YouTube goals. The time you spend now thinking about this will turn out to be a valuable investment. If you narrow your YouTube goals and create a vision for your Channel, every action you take will be that much more focused and effective.
Step 2. Naming Your Channel
Our first priority is gathering data to be used in the set-up, so you don’t lose your focus and you have everything in place before you start going through YouTube’s set up wizards.
Naming your Channel is a small step, but an important one. Your Channel name can grow your traffic all by itself – simply by having an edge over Channels belonging to your competitors.
Decide what you want to brand with your videos:
- Yourself (as a niche expert)
- Your business (e.g. “Ace Accounting”)
- Your niche itself (e.g. “Vegan Pancakes”)
TIP: If your Channel name is not going to be the same as your existing website or blog name, do register the identical domain name to your Channel – even if you don’t have time to do anything with your new domain for the time being.
Google and YouTube are now joined at the hip; you will access YouTube using your Google Gmail account, so be sure to have your Gmail address and password at the ready.
If you don’t yet have a Google Gmail account, don’t worry. YouTube’s sign-up process will take care of that.
Step 3. Signing Up Via Google Gmail
- Go to YouTube and click the blue “sign in” button at the upper-right corner of your screen. A new page will open, offering you the chance to sign in via Gmail or click on a red button prompting you to create a brand new account.
- If you have an existing Google Gmail account, simply sign in. If you don’t, click the “Create An Account” button and you will be prompted to create a Google account and new Gmail address.
If you are planning to have more than one Channel, create a specific Gmail address for each Channel.
TIP: If you see a message that your first name and last name is already taken, add a keyword or something like “TV” or “videos” to the end of your first and last name for your Gmail address, if you’re planning on using that address strictly for YouTube (e.g. “firstname.lastname@example.org”).
Complete all the information in the right-hand widget and finish your Gmail setup. (Note: If you enter your mobile phone number, you will get an automated Google phone call or text, just to verify that you are the real deal.)
Once you have set up your new Google Gmail account, you’ll be returned to the YouTube homepage. Simply sign in.
- Once you’re signed in, you’ll see your name and avatar at the top right of the new page that opens. If the Gmail account you used was brand new, your photo won’t populate the avatar yet.
Click on your photo or blank avatar, and select “My channel” from the drop-down menu.
- A blank Channel template will open up. Click on “Channel Settings” in the top-left menu bar.
Note that you can always skip personalizing any aspect of your Channel, and edit it later. But let’s take a quick run-through Channel customization…
- You will now be able to customize your Channel. Let’s start with “Appearance”: Click on the tab, and change the background, if you wish.
You have three options for customizing the background area of your Channel:
- Uploading a custom background file in .JPG or .PNG format
- Simply selecting a color from the Color Selector (“Choose a color”)
- Entering your website or blog background color, if you know the HTML code (e.g. “#088A85”)
Consider having a custom background made if you want to increase your branding.
- Next, Click on the “Info and Settings” tab. There are more sections to customize – to include a good description targeted at your ideal viewer’s tastes and needs; and put in your Tags (keywords).
The moment you click on the “Edit” hyperlink for your profile, however, you will be taken back to your Google Profile. There, if you haven’t already done so, you can:
- Upload a photograph (minimum 250 X 250 pixels)
- Add your tagline
- Highlight your top accomplishments
- Put your URLs and work history
- Edit your search visibility
- Google won’t automatically return you to your YouTube account, so simply press “Done editing” (top-left, above your Profile photo) and repeat steps 1 and 3 (you’ll still be signed in). Or click on the YouTube window Tab (it will still be open) and refresh your Channel page.
Step 4. Customizing Your YouTube URL
Next, we come to a really important step – customizing your YouTube URL. Do this, and people will be taken straight to your Channel featuring all your videos if they click on your new customized URL or enter it into their browser bars.
- Underneath your Channel URL, click the “Edit” button.
As soon as you click “Edit”, a new window will open up. Replace the random numbers assigned by YouTube with your preferred Channel Name.
- Press “Create Channel URL”.
Step 5. Customizing Your Display Options
Next, click on “Tabs”. This is where you choose in advance how you want to share your videos.
- The first thing to do: Change the default “Allow channel comments” setting to “Don’t display until approved.”
You don’t want people leaving ignorant or obscene comments, which can happen if you allow unapproved comments.
- Look over the other options and decide which will work best for your business.
Click the “Done editing” Tab when finished.
Step 6. Upload Your Video
Finally, it’s time to upload your first video. There are a few options for doing this, but we’re going to combine it with taking a look at your Video Manager.
- Click on your Profile photo again, and select “Video Manager” from the drop-down menu. The Video Manager is your YouTube Dashboard, so get into the habit of using it.
- Here you will find all sorts of options, including “Analytics”. Later, when you have multiple videos open, you will see them all displayed in a list fashion with thumbnails. You can edit right from your Video Manager. But for now, your Video Manager will be empty, so go ahead and press the green “Upload” button, top-right.
- Now press the red “Upload” button.
This will open a new window.
- Select your video from your computer. Then fill in the details.
Most important will be:
- A strong Title
- A short, direct description (slanted at your ideal viewer)
- Your Tags (YouTube will “suggest” existing Tabs, which you can add.)
- The correct Category
Be sure to choose your Category well. Think where your ideal viewer might search.
- Wait until you see the sign “Your video has been saved” in the bottom right-hand corner before viewing your video or adding more.
Your video is uploaded. You can now view it on your new Channel!