10 tips for starting your own YouTube channel

Courtney Jackson, In-depth reporter

I don’t know about you, but the majority of my time is dedicated to YouTube. Ever since I found this web site, I’ve wanted to become a YouTuber. Many of my friends are just starting out on YouTube or are planning to start a channel. Although they want to start one, they don’t know my 10 tips for starting a YouTube channel.

1: Name

When you pick your channel name, remember that you will be stuck with it, so make it good. Also, make sure it’s easy to remember and not hard to spell. I think the best channel names tend to be witty and a play-on-words. For example, “LaurDIY” is a good play-on-words. I also suggest that the name isn’t too long, either.

2: Channel banner and profile picture

Your channel banner is the huge skinny space at the top of your channel. I suggest actually having something there; it makes it seem more professional. I suggest making your banner simple (not all-over-the-place and crowded), but let it reflect your personality and your video content. As for your profile picture, it should definitely be of your face, so your viewers/ subscribers will know what you look like. Also, your picture should have good lighting and be a representation of you.

3: Video content

Your video content is the most important part. It’s the whole reason to start your YouTube channel in the first place. You need to make your video content stuff you like, not just what your viewers want to see. Your content should be your passion. Some examples include: lifestyle, DIY, music, beauty, fashion, baking, comedy, technology and gaming.

4: Background

A good suggestion for a background is white walls. Having white walls really helps when filming because you can wear any color you want without the colors clashing. Make sure your background is clean, because a messy one is tacky, unflattering, and you could possibly get unwanted hate comments for it. Also, touches of color and light look good, so it’s not so blank and bland. For example, Christmas lights and burning candles look great.

5: Filming

When filming, make sure the lighting is good; you don’t want your video to be of a blurry, hard-to-see figure. I’m not telling you to go out and buy artificial lighting for hundreds of dollars. Personally, I like natural lighting from opening a window. A good camera and a good lens are really helpful, but that doesn’t mean you have to go buy one (an iPhone camera works perfectly fine for the time being). If you have a camera with a viewfinder, do not look at the viewfinder. This is extremely important. If you look at the viewfinder the whole time, then you’re not connecting with your viewers. It’s important to connect with your viewers so they’ll feel like they have a purpose, and they’ll subscribe.

6: Editing

I feel like it’s important to edit your videos because you can cut out the parts that you don’t want, and you can also add effects to make your video more interesting and unique. Some good editing software include: iMovie, Final Cut Pro and Windows Movie Maker. A suggestion for editing is adding background music. Be sure not to make your background music too loud, though. If you make your background music too loud, then you can barely hear yourself. Also, use remixes of songs instead of the original because YouTube will catch you and take the video down.

7: Uploading

Make sure to have a good thumbnail because that will get more people to click on the video, which will result in more subscribers. PicMonkey is a good photo-editing website. It allows you to create great thumbnails and add text to your videos. I suggest spacing out your uploads for a certain day of the week. Having an uploading schedule helps you stay organized and your subscribers will know when to expect new videos.

8: More views

The more videos you upload, the better chance for people to see them. Also, in your video description, you can add keywords that pertain to your video, but in paragraph form. Adding keywords will help you get more viewers when they search for something specific, but you could get in trouble for just listing them out, so I suggest embedding them into paragraphs. Another idea for getting more viewers/subscribers is social media. On your social media accounts, you could add a link to your YouTube channel, then all of your followers on your social media accounts can subscribe to you on YouTube.

9: YouTube friends

It’s good to make YouTube friends because then you can make collab videos and their subscribers will know about you. You should reach out to them, but this can be extremely hard and nerve-wracking, especially if you’re shy. Also, don’t reach out to someone with millions of subscribers if you’re just starting out; reach out to YouTubers with about as many subscribers as you, so they’ll notice you.

10: Networks and brand deals

They will approach you, by the way, so don’t think they won’t. For networks, don’t join one unless you’ve talked to other YouTubers already in that network. They can tell you if the network is good, and if they’ve ever wanted to leave the network. You don’t have to join a network if you don’t want to; besides, you’re already joined with a network: YouTube itself.

On to brand deals. Just like networks, they will approach you. But that doesn’t mean take every single one of them, nor should you take ones that you know you and your viewers wouldn’t like. Also, don’t sign anything unless you’re completely sure you want to take the brand deal and after you’ve read whatever you’re wanting to sign. For sponsored videos for a product, tell the truth. Don’t just say good things about it and lie; say what you honestly think about the product.


My five favorite YouTube channels:


  • Connor Franta: https://www.youtube.com/user/ConnorFranta
  • Tyler Oakley: https://www.youtube.com/user/tyleroakley
  • MyLifeAsEva: https://www.youtube.com/user/mylifeaseva
  • MayBaby: https://www.youtube.com/user/maybabytumbler
  • Marcus Butler: https://www.youtube.com/user/MarcusButlerTV