colorful candy pieces serving as channel artwork when starting a YouTube channel

Starting a YouTube Channel is Easy – An 8 Step Guide

Hello friend and welcome! My Spidey sense tells me you’re interested in starting a YouTube channel.

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Today we’re gonna tackle the surprisingly simple task of creating your very own YouTube channel.

Actually it’s way easier than you thought.

Let’s face it – things ain’t what they used to be.

For most of us the majority of our interactions with other people are digital.

Or at least we want them to be.

We communicate now more than ever via email, text and comment sections. That trend is only rising.

YouTube is where you need to be to be seen in 2020. That’s the reality.

People have plenty of reasons for starting a YouTube channel:

  • Educate – Wanna share what you learned? Teach us how to do stuff.
  • Inform – What’s going on around here? Give us the deets.
  • Entertain – Think you’re funny? A daredevil? Show us what you got!
  • Inspire – Have some insight? Motivate us to be or do better.

What’s yours?

With just a few steps you’ll be on your way to creating your own videos and sharing them across the globe!

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.

So…. why is starting a YouTube channel the way to go?

We don’t think about how much time we actually spend on the Internet. For example the first thing I did this morning was check my email and news headlines.

Then I went to YouTube.

man leaning against wall with laptop and laughing
I wonder whose finger Charlie bit today…

Watched a strongman obstacle course. Next recommendation was a nerd who creates weird food mashups. Then a clown makeup tutorial. Then a fail compilation.

All of these channels are made by people like you.

They have something to say.

An idea.

A message.

They have something to share with the world.

The home base for these ideas is YouTube.

Did you know:

“I go on YouTube when somebody says to look something up.” – George Clooney, Actor

You want to be seen. YouTube is the place people will see you.

So what all do you have to do?

Let’s take a look.

1. SETTING UP A YOUTUBE CHANNEL

First you need to create a channel.

There are a few things to keep in mind.

Make a channel name that’s:

  • catchy – CandyBarStar is a good example
  • easy to read – CandyBarStar reads better than candybarstar
  • easy to remember – CandyBarStar vs. StarofCandyBars

Choose a relevant profile pic and banner. For example:

  • An engine block is a good profile pic if you repair cars. A bong isn’t.
  • A stuffed animal is good banner pic if you talk about child development. Beer isn’t.

The Fish Whisperer nailed it:

banner of fish with profile pic of man petting fish

There is no guessing what this channel is about. Fish. How do you know?

  • Username – The Fish Whisperer
  • Banner – dozens of fish
  • Profile pic – man petting fish

You won’t catch this channel commenting on an account about home decor.

Well you shouldn’t anyway.

That’s because…

Your YouTube channel should be separate from your personal browsing account.

This is important!

  • Treat your YouTube channel as a business.
  • Comment only on related content.

The views of the individual do not necessarily represent those of the company.

It really isn’t worth losing subscribers.

Sure if you have 50 million subs you can get away with anything.

Not a good move when you’re just starting a YouTube channel.

As a wise man once said, “you gotta keep ’em separated.”

2. PICK A DIRECTION AND STICK WITH IT

You just created your channel. Now where the beans do you go from here?!

Ask yourself. What are you good at? What are you interested in?

The two are not the same.

Which one can you see yourself doing for a long time?

 That’s it. There’s your answer. Great!

Now, what’s your angle? What do you want to do with that theme?

Let’s use drums as an example. Do you want to:

  • Teach people proper techniques to play drums
  • Show people other awesome/crappy drummers
  • Have a how-to on creating furniture with broken drums
  • Give an insider tutorial on how drums are made
  • Offer the top 10 reasons to play drums
  • (insert YOUR super rad idea here)

Congratulations. You now have your niche.

3. TELL THE WORLD WHO YOU ARE

People have no idea who you are. Tell them.

USE THE CHANNEL DESCRIPTION BOX

Now you can write a bangin’ description about your channel.

What do you have that people want?

Think about:

  • what you can offer
  • the message you want the viewer to know
  • where you want your channel to go
  • why your channel is better than the competition

RealToughCandy has crafted her channel description:

A solid channel description will let people know who you are.

RealToughCandy didn’t write this overnight.

Take your time on this.

As your channel grows your description will change.

Start with something simple like:

“Do you like cakes and pies? Do chocolate bars make you weak in the knees? Are you a fan of all things sugar?? Tune in every Friday at 1pm EST where I review the latest confection to hit the shelves!”

Got a description? New’s a good time to…

ADD A CHANNEL TRAILER

Your first video should be a channel trailer. This will let the audience know what you’re all about.

Leave an impression. The right impression:

  • NO — “Whuddup losers?! *fart* Check me out and watch me do my thing! Fast cars day and night baybee! NO UGLY CHICKS.”
  • YES — “Hey guys welcome to the channel! If you’re interested in keeping up with all things NASCAR this is the place to be! We’ll go over cars, gear, stats, race highlights and interviews of the hottest players. Stay tuned and thanks for watching!”

Here’s a clean channel trailer:

Erin Elizabeth tells us what it’s all about.

This trailer told us everything you can expect to see on her channel.

She also included a brief summary in the description box:

“I wanted to sum up what my channel is about and the type of content that can be found here. My channel is an all-around lifestyle channel so you can find everything from fashion content, to beauty, to travel, and wellness. I hope you enjoy this little summary video, it was really fun as a creator to put together!”

There’s no question what this channel’s about.

And it looks good and sounds good.

She keeps your mind busy.

This is important because…

4. YOU HAVE 10 SECONDS TO HOOK THEM

Starting a YouTube channel is the easy part. Now you have to keep your viewers.

Distractions are everywhere. People’s attention spans are shorter than ever.

You are competing with anything that can take the viewer’s attention off you. Steal their attention before something else does.

Check this out for example:

Starting a YouTube channel you have 10 seconds to impress

This has my attention before I even click:

  • World’s Strongest Man vs Unbreakable Box. The first punch is the title.
  • The imagery of a huge brute in a goofy situation. Punch two.
  • Third punch is the introduction. A blast of action packed visuals and audio. Plus the monetary reward?

See you after the video.

You have 10 seconds to create an explosion.

What’s it gonna be?

A good way to do this is…

LOOK AND SOUND GOOD

Your viewers want to see and hear you clearly.

  • Get a nice backdrop or go outdoors. No one wants to look at stinky socks and an empty jumbo bag of cheese curls.
  • A good microphone will keep you sounding clear and crisp.
  • Get a nice camera. A clear image (720p or better) will keep you looking sharp.
camera with smartphone, microphone and lights
Check out this setup from Peter McKinnon’s video Ever wonder how I make YOUTUBE VIDEOS ?!?

If you can’t invest in new equipment right now that’s okay.

But you can still…

SCOPE OUT THE COMPETITION

  • What are they doing better than you? Figure it out and do it better.
  • What are they doing that is the lamest thing ever? Never do that.

BUILD YOUR NETWORK

  • Connect with viewers. Interact with them. Ask and respond. Be available.
  • Collaborate with other YouTube creators. This will generate interest and more traffic.
  • Super secret competitive advantage: Work with experts outside of YouTube. Be the channel to go to for special guests that aren’t anywhere else.
  • Cross promotion. Slap your stuff all over social media! Instagram. Twitter. Snapchat. Do it all. Show the world where to find you.
  • Comment on bigger channels. Post relevant content to be noticed. Side note: Never ever ever ever ever leave spam comments! There’s a name for this. SPAM! You don’t want it attached to your channel.

Here’s one heck of a power collab with Jack Black and Tony Hawk:

Jack Black has a YouTube channel?? Yes and Tony Hawk’s on it!

THAT is a collaboration with competitive advantage.

They both have individual value. Being together creates more.

There are multiple high value guests on Jack Black’s page.

This is a smart move.

If you want important guests on your channel you have to …

5. BE CONSISTENT. BE RELIABLE.

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING like ever.

If you have an appointment Monday at 2, the doctor sure as heck ain’t gonna see you on Friday at 6.

Same goes with YouTube.

Where is that dang YouTube video?

Viewers like consistency. Reliability.

YouTube creators come and go all the time.

People are not gonna wait around to see if you’re coming back.

If you say you’re going to be there. Be there.

Make it easy on yourself:

Decide when you want to post. Once a day? Once a week? Once a month?

What can you handle?

Some of us only make it to the gym 3 times a week when we wish we could go 5.

Be realistic.

Speaking of realistic….

6. ASSUME EVERYONE IS WATCHING … BECAUSE THEY ARE

Don’t use trash language. This is very important to remember when starting a YouTube channel.

People just don’t want to hear it.

Hey I swear it up with the most gnarly of sailors but I don’t bring it to my mom’s dinner table.

She won’t tolerate it.

Neither will YouTube.

YouTube bots comb through every millisecond of your content. These machines are smart. They use AI to make sure you are keeping it clean.

You don’t want to curse if your channel is monetized.

They will demonetize you faster than you can say “Mother of pearl they demonetized me.”

Instead of a swear jar, the YouTube bots will clear out your entire account.

It’s just easier if you don’t ******* curse.

RealToughCandy sums it up perfectly in her book Tiny YouTube: The ultimate guide to starting, growing, & making money from your small Youtube channel:

There are some topics that YouTube will deem too unfriendly for advertisers and there’s really no getting around it. This is especially true with politically-based channels and news commentary. Even cursing is often grounds for demonetization (especially the f-bomb). There’s no surefire way to guarantee you’ll be monetized on videos, but the more PG-rated your videos are, the better chance you have at earning.

Besides cursing is just filler. People coming to your channel want original ideas.

Which leads me to my next point…

7. KEEP YOUR CONTENT ORIGINAL

Don’t use copyrighted songs or videos.

I’ll say this again.

Don’t use copyrighted songs or videos.

A surefire way to kill traffic to your channel is to have your videos removed.

You could even lose your channel.

You never want this to happen to your channel.

Keep your YouTube unique and original.

Finally one of the most important things about starting a YouTube channel is…

8. IGNORE THE HATERS

We all know that haters gon’ hate.

It’s beyond your control. And it’s not your problem.

Don’t feed the trolls.


Well that about sums it up!

With these 8 steps you have everything you need for starting a YouTube channel.

TINY YOUTUBE book cover by RealToughCandy

Ready to build on what you learned?

RealToughCandy has the ultimate guide to starting, growing and making money from your YouTube channel.

Here she will cover:

  • building your channel
  • choosing a niche
  • channel monetization
  • sponsorships
  • much more

Thanks for reading!


What are your thoughts on starting a YouTube channel in 2020? Is it worth your time? Have other platforms filled the void?


  1. What are the 8 steps to starting a YouTube channel?

    1. Set up your channel.
    2. Pick a direction.
    3. Let people know who you are.
    4. Hook your viewers in 10 seconds.
    5. Be consistent and reliable.
    6. Assume everyone is watching (keep it clean).
    7. Use original content. Don't violate copyright.
    8. Ignore the haters. Keep on keepin' on!

  2. How can you build your YouTube network?

    Connect with viewers, collaborate with other YouTubers, work with experts outside of YouTube, cross promote on social media, and comment and interact with bigger channels.

  3. How can you bring more traffic to your YouTube channel?

    Have a nice background and get quality gear. Good lighting, a decent camera and microphone are a great start!

  4. Is it worth having a schedule on your YouTube channel?

    YES. Viewers like consistency. If you keep your schedule you're more likely to keep your viewers.

  5. What is the benefit of having a YouTube channel trailer?

    A channel trailer will get you more dedicated followers. When people know exactly what you're about, they're more likely to subscribe.

1 thought on “Starting a YouTube Channel is Easy – An 8 Step Guide”

  1. Thanks for sharing these useful tips. Create engaging and unique content from the start I agree that keep your content original. Once People click your video, your responsibility to engage them immediately, you do not need to tell them (like, subscribe or share) in beginning, your first 8 seconds will decide whether People will watch your full video or leave for the next video. So, give the best value in starting.

    Your Thumbnail of Videos should be very attractive and clickable; People should click on your video by curiosity (create curiosity on a thumbnail). I use to prefer Yellow Background for a thumbnail as Yellow color is easy to visible. (a Most crucial part of the video).

    Do some keyword research on competitor videos use VIDIQ (free chrome extension), to an analysis of competitor keywords (in YouTube its tags). Do not copy them exactly but You Can use them your videos tags, Title, and Description. VIDIQ Extension will give you a ranking of keywords.

    If you desire to get success on Youtube. Never forget SEO for YouTube marketing. Always Optimize Video Descriptions & Use Keywords in Video Title. Use Tubebuddy to handle Youtube SEO activities easily.

    Embed your videos in Q&A sites like Reddit, Sponsored your content and outreach to different nich bloggers and ask them to include your videos in their relevant posts are some other strategies that can be used to get success on Youtube.

    Increase your subscribers, The more subscribers you’ll have, the more you’ll be successful Youtuber. If you are new on Youtube then getting subscribers may be an intense activity for You. You can buy youtube subscribers to give a quick headstart to your channel. when it comes to increasing subscribers, Instantviews.co (https://instantviews.co) is the best company by far. They provide real, genuine subscribers, and also offer a money-back guarantee. I have had great experience with them.

    I really enjoyed reading your post. It’s informative, interesting and I have certainly learned a thing or two. Thanks

Comments are closed.