How to create a YouTube channel: Beginner’s guide

10 min read
22 October 2020

How to start a YouTube channel

If you think that YouTube is all about making videos from time to time lying on the couch and doing nothing else – then you are completely wrong.

You should be a content creator and marketer at the same time because you need to promote your videos. You should also manage financial issues because you will start getting money, so you should decide what to do with them: keep some for yourself and invest the rest in your channel development. You are also the channel owner and its editor (if you are going to edit videos by yourself).

Most people have fears and barriers in their minds when they think about starting a channel. One of them sounds like: “It’s too late”. But it is never too late — there are lots of niches with plenty of opportunities. The level of content consumption increases every year. YouTube still needs more content.

The easiest way to find your niche is to watch other popular channels on your topic.

It is good if you have found YouTube channels on the topic you want to publish on. Even though those channels differ from what you expected. Do the research and check what channels already exist on the platform.

YouTube video formats

You should choose the format for your future videos and observe YouTube video size. What formats exist?

A talking head

The easiest format that does not require a lot of resources is the talking head. You sit in front of the camera and start recording a video on the topic you are familiar with or studied well.

A mini-documentary

It has something in common with the previous format, but you can also add an interview with someone or create a piece of content for your vlog. That is a format with some catchy content and information but of better production quality.


If you use this format, you can even not show yourself. But it is not a very good idea, because fewer people will follow you if you will not show your personality. But this is the simplest format to choose if you are an expert in some field.


You can also create videos in the form of traditional interviews, making a 30-40-minute video. It is better to mix interviews with other formats. For example, you can create a short documentary: you choose one topic and then record both in the talking head and interview formats. You will get more views if you invite famous people. In this format, you should improve your interviewing skills all the time. Otherwise, you will get lots of negative feedback.


Many people want to start with a format of a vlog. These are videos where you show your life. But if you are not a famous person or you cannot show famous people in your videos, then it will not be a good idea to start your channel with this format.

For kids

Kid format or kid channel is another universe on YouTube. YouTube is now trying to collect everything about kids (under 13) through the YouTube kid app. It has an own monetization system and an own system that allows confirming that you are adult enough to view the content. It is not so easy to promote your channel using the kid content now, but it is possible. There are a lot of views, but YouTube pays very little for each view, unlike other formats.

How to find your niche on YouTube

Choose the main topics. And later, you can cover other themes that show your complex personality. But there must be main topics that attract the audience and through which your channel grows.

The most important thing is to show your interests on the channel.

It is helpful to make a list of 10-20 topics that you usually discuss with friends, think of, and are related to your work or hobby. And then, you should choose one from these topics for your YouTube channel, and do research on popular channels on this topic.

After that, you can analyze the chosen niche from the perspective of future opportunities.

Niches that bring the most of money:

  • finance, investment, marketing, blogging, money-related topics, gadget reviews, e-commerce, business, career, real estate.

Niches that bring the least of money:

  • children, pranks, celebrities, music, humor, politics.

What defines a niche that brings a lot of money? For example, YouTube pays you $ 4-5 for videos on online marketing or finance (CPM - per thousand views), and it pays you $ 0.5 for children content and 70 cents —for running a vlog. Thus, if you doubt which topic to choose, you can also think of these niches in the view of money.

Equipment for recording videos

YouTube is about your creativity. It is not about production or just using the camera. Later, you will gradually improve the quality of shooting and pictures. But it does not matter in the beginning. Your channel can grow just due to videos made with your phone.

What is the crucial thing about equipment? Sound, light, and clear picture. That is enough. In terms of the sound, get at least a lavalier microphone. You can opt for a BOYA BY-M1 model. It is enough for you to make your videos sound good.

At first, shoot using your phone. You can take a tripod and put it on the table. It is better to shoot with the main camera to see yourself.

Light up your face. Or sit slightly at an angle to the window to avoid the direct light. Or you can buy a simple tripod circle lamp that is usually placed behind the phone. But if it is possible, record videos near the window — it will save you.

YouTube channel design

What you need to know to create an attractive channel

  1. Channel cover. You can use a simple white cover, write the name of your channel on it — and that is all you need. If you want to get a more unusual one, you can add some elements related to the content of your channel — write your name or channel name, add your face. And you can also write a few words about your channel.
  2. Channel name. Some people do not start their channels because they cannot make up a name for it. How to find a good name? You can just use your name and a couple of words explaining the channel key topic. For example, “Sam Smith, interior design”, or “Helen. I can see with my hands.” That will be enough. When you get your audience, you can remove the second part and leave only your name.
  3. Channel picture. Choose one good photo and increase its contrast, because the little profile picture should attract people’s attention. It should be bright and without any small elements. The best option is your face in close-up

How to choose topics for YouTube

If you know how to research topics, if you can choose a topic that will work well, then you are already halfway to victory. Because YouTube will promote your videos for free. And after that, you can redirect this free traffic to Telegram or Instagram and save money.

The two main things you should learn are how to do the research right and how to choose topics that will work.

  1. Choose popular videos on your topic. It would be better to choose recently uploaded videos on small channels with many views. Create a sequel, remake, or review of this video, and cover the same topic from your point of view. This scheme will give you many views. You will get them relating to another popular video, especially if it is getting many views at the moment.
  2. Use search results. Analyze people’s requests on your topic using the vidIQ plugin and the YouTube search engine. Then you create videos according to those search requests. The main thing is when you find a key request on this topic, you need to name your video the way it will sound good and attract people.

Thus, by combining a catchy title and a search request scheme, you will get free traffic from YouTube.

YouTube video cover

When you already have a name, you come up with a cover. The cover must have not more than three elements: - a face showing some emotions. If the video is yours, it is desirable that it is your face; - text (as large as possible!) - short text, five words, maximum 2-3 lines; - an element from the video.

After you’ve done the cover and title, look at it objectively and ask yourself: Does this cover give rise to a specific question or questions? If yes, then you did a great job.

YouTube video script outline

The most important thing for the script is the introduction (the first 30-60 seconds).

If you arouse interest from the very beginning, a person will watch your video. Next, you have to attract your viewers with content. And you need to do it from the very first.

The simplest thing you can do is tell what your video is about.

The second part of the introduction should explain why your video is interesting for viewers and why it is relevant for them.

The third part of the introduction should tell what exactly people can do with the content that you give them.

The conclusion. You can just finish the video like this: “That is all I wanted to tell you. Bye, it was Peter Black. See you again.” That is enough.

Creating a YouTube video algorithm

  1. Try to prepare everything in advance.

Arrange everything: sound, light, camera, background, so that you just need to sit down and start recording.

  1. Make test videos. Go through the script several times — first with the camera off. Then turn on the camera and do two or three takes. And then choose the best one.

Record your video part by part and do not forget to check the script.

  1. You do not need any elaborate editing for the first 10-20 videos. Just do it fast and cut out all unnecessary parts. It will be enough. Later you can hire an editor.

Software for editing from PC and smartphone: Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas Pro, Davinci resolve 16, Inshot, iMove.

Optimizing your video for YouTube

Register and use the vidIQ plugin that will suggest almost all the keywords you need. Use this plugin to track keywords from popular videos on your topic and just pick them up for yourself.

Description of a YouTube video

The first three lines of the description are the most important.

In the first line, you should write some additional information on your video title. This line is visible on the search results page before a user clicks on the video.

The second and third lines should include your important links, for example, to your Instagram page. You can put some other links (to some other social networks) in the description.

Be sure to put time codes. It’s a good practice to have timecodes to allow people to click on them and see particular parts of your video.

Analyze video views

When your video becomes popular (for example, when the first three videos get 100 views, and the fourth video gets 350 views), then something is different about it. For some reason, something worked perfectly. You must urgently analyze that video and create the second part.

Then your new video is likely to get a bit more views too, and you will increase the average number of views of your channel.

Best time to post on YouTube

Choose the day and time when you will upload your videos.

Schedule your posting calendar and stick to it: post two videos a week. Make a schedule for sure not to miss a day.

Do everything step by step. For example, first, you do only the research on topics and choose names. And on the second day, you only write the script. On the third day - the shooting only, etc.

Reply to comments

Reply to comments —it is crucial on YouTube. It is necessary to interact with the audience. Therefore, the first hour after posting, you should spend some time replying to all comments that people leave.