How to Start a YouTube Channel

Whether you are considering starting a YouTube channel for business or pleasure, the allure of that big red play button can be hard to resist. YouTube is proven to be a great medium for expanding a brand, bringing attention to your business, or just connecting with an audience over something you are passionate about. And it is for these reasons that so many people want to start a new YouTube channel, even now when there are so many channels out there.

In this post, we’re going to look at some of the mechanical aspects of starting a channel, as well as some tips for how to go about getting those first views, but we wanted to start off by reaffirming your desire to start a channel (we’re assuming you do want to if you’re reading this!)

Is It Worth Starting a YouTube Channel?

One of the main roadblocks to a successful YouTube channel is a reluctance to pull the trigger on that “create channel” button. This can happen because of a variety of reasons—most of which we’ll cover in more detail in a moment—but the important thing to remember is that new channels are being created all the time, and plenty of YouTubers who are successful today started out recently or were shy to begin with or thought their chosen topic wouldn’t get much interest.

Ultimately, the majority of YouTube channels do not achieve the kind of success their creator hopes for, we can’t deny that. Whether they want to achieve financial independence through their content, become an internet megastar, or just find a small audience that is interested in what they are interested in, most don’t make it. But the one thing you can be certain of is that if you don’t start a channel at all, you definitely won’t succeed.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the biggest reasons why people don’t start YouTube channels at all. And then tell you why you shouldn’t let those reasons stop you!

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“I’m Too Shy”

Many would-be YouTubers love the idea of starting a channel, but when faced with the prospect of sitting in front of a camera and speaking to strangers on the Internet, they soon find themselves wilting away from the idea.

We’re not going to tell you that the shyness just goes away—though it does get less severe if you stick at it—but we can tell you that you don’t necessarily have to fight that shyness to run a YouTube channel.

There is more than one way to make a YouTube channel, and not all of them involve showing your face. In fact, it’s entirely possible to run a successful YouTube channel without showing your face or speaking! Granted, the style would have to work with your content, but many popular channels are clips shows, use virtual characters in place of on-camera appearances, and make use of text-to-speech technology.

“My Interests Are Too Niche”

Okay, we won’t lie and say there is no such thing as a “too niche” topic when it comes to an entire channel. You can certainly limit your potential audience to the point that you’re never going to hit those YouTube Partner Programme goals if you choose something extremely obscure.

That being said, assuming your interest is not so niche that you could start a support group for it and get everyone in a single room, being niche is actually a good thing!

Having a niche subject matter makes it easier to get noticed and build an audience when you are first starting out. It’s generally better to be laser-focused at the start of your YouTube career, build a small audience, and then gradually expand your niche to broaden the potential audience. So your niche interest could actually be the thing that makes your channel succeed.

“I’m Too Late to the Game!”

YouTube is easily the most popular platform for user-generated video content at the moment, and that popularity can make it a little intimidating to dive in yourself. With so many people already on the platform publishing videos, how can you hope to make a splash of your own?

It’s true that it can be hard to make an impact on YouTube when you’re just starting out, but it is far from impossible. In reality, the vast majority of successful YouTube channels got started under these circumstances. Whether there are two million or twenty million other channels, you’re still going to be trying to make your mark in a very crowded room.

Ultimately, if you release good content on a regular basis, you stand a good chance of succeeding on YouTube, regardless of how many channels are already taking up space on YouTube’s recommendations page.

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How to Start a YouTube Channel

So, hopefully, we’ve convinced you that the excuses you’ve been making to yourself for why you shouldn’t start a YouTube channel aren’t valid, now let’s get to how you actually go about it.

Create a Channel

We said we’d cover the basic mechanics of starting a YouTube channel and we weren’t kidding. The first thing you need to do is create a YouTube account if you don’t already have one. There are no stringent requirements for creating an account; as long as you have an email address, you should be good to go. After that simply follow these steps;

  • Sign in to your YouTube account and click on the user icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.
  • Click the gear icon to open up your YouTube account’s settings page.
  • Click “create new channel”.
  • Choose “Use a business or other name”, enter the name of your channel and away you go!

Choosing Your Channel’s Name

The last part of that list—entering the name of your channel—obviously requires you to know what name you’re going to use. It’s worth putting a good deal of thought into this part of the process before getting started, as changing your channel’s name after it is established can be a bit of a headache.

Now, we want to stress that, while this decision is important, it should not be a decision that keeps you from starting a channel. There is a fine line between giving something due consideration and using that consideration as an excuse to not get started at all.

If you are starting a channel as part of a business or an existing brand, that should make naming a little easier. If you are starting a channel as an individual, it’s important to consider what you want for the channel’s future. For example, if you have plans to one day grow your channel to the point of having a team working on it, perhaps bringing other content creators on board, you will want to steer clear of using your own name, as that links the channel to you specifically, making it a little weird when other people are on there.

Alternatively, if your plans don’t involve anyone but you being in front of the camera, you should consider using your name in the channel name, as it will make it easier for you to parlay any YouTube success into success in other areas.

Set Up Your Channel

With your channel made, you need to spend some time setting up your channel. This means adding things like profile and header images and filling out your about section. You can also arrange how your channel page looks, but don’t worry too much about this until you have a few videos uploaded.

In your about section, make sure you explain what your channel is about, but try to keep it as clear and concise as possible. Many viewers won’t even click to expand the about section, so try to get the basic premise of your channel into the first sentence, but in a way that grabs the reader’s attention.

If you are tying your YouTube channel to something larger—such as a business, brand, or other personal projects—be sure to put links in your information. These should show up in the top right-hand corner of your channel pages, just below the header image.

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Start Making Videos

The most important part of being a YouTube is, of course, being a YouTuber! Simply picking out a good name and creating a channel isn’t much use if you don’t then create content for it, regularly.

There is a veritable cornucopia of excuses to not make videos, and we’re not saying they’re all bad reasons. But, as with the channel name choosing, you should not let this become a crutch that you use to stop yourself from doing the deed. Remember, the quality of your video can always improve. The quality of you can always improve. But there’s no reason you can’t be improving while you make content, and there is no better practice than doing.

Just make the best content you can, and always strive to improve.

Keep Going

Once you’ve gotten over that initial hurdle that so many people fall at, you just need to worry about sticking with it. This is one area where bloody-minded persistence isn’t necessarily the best road to take. You should be persistent, yes, but in a smart way.

By ensuring that your channel grows, you will find it much easier to stay motivated and keep putting out new videos. Here are some tips for ensuring that happens.

Work Your Niche

We touched on this before, but a good way to get started as a YouTuber is to really drill down into a niche, finding an audience through the simple act of providing them something that not many others are. And if it’s something nobody else is providing, all the better!

The problem with such a tight niche is that it can severely limit your growth potential. To give an extreme example, if you start a channel based around talking local news for a small town with a population of 700 people, you’re going to struggle to find millions—or even thousands—of viewers who are interested in your content.

As you grow, try to expand your niche slowly and organically to widen your potential audience.

Take Advantage of Search Engine Optimisation

You don’t have to become an SEO expert (though it will certainly help if you do), but you should familiarise yourself with the basics of optimising your videos for being found in YouTube search and even other search engines like Google or Bing.

Every video should have a descriptive title, an accurate description, and make full use of tags. If you’re not sure about this kind of thing, you can always sign up for a service like TubeBuddy.

Be Consistent

We’re not going to tell you that you need to upload new videos every day or week to be successful—many popular YouTube channels have upload schedules that involve months between videos—but you do need to be consistent.

If you start off uploading weekly videos and then abruptly don’t put out another video for a few months without warning, it will be a turn off for your viewers, and it will cause YouTube’s algorithm to question whether you are a reliable content creator.

Build a Community

Playing an active role in the community that arises around your channel will ensure you have some degree of influence over how that community develops. It will also give your viewers a strong sense of connection with your content.

You can do this in a number of ways, such as regularly replying to comments, or setting up and actively participating in a Discord server or subreddit.

Monetise Your Channel

When you reach a stage where monetisation is an option (whatever form that comes in), you should strongly consider doing it. YouTube doesn’t need to be about the money, of course, but it is hard work, and it’s much easier to motivate yourself to make time for it if you’re getting something tangible back.

Final Thoughts

YouTube continues to be the premier video platform for user-generated content, and there is still plenty of opportunity there for those willing to put the effort in.

So get out there and start making videos!


Should I Start a New YouTube Channel or Keep My Old One?

Building a successful brand is not an easy process, and doing it right often takes time. There are ways to buy subscribers, but any YouTuber who knows their business will tell you that buying subs is a shortcut to failure.

Unfortunately, building an audience organically takes time, so when you get the itch to start something new, it’s understandable to wonder whether you should use an existing channel if you have one, or start entirely from scratch.

Do YouTubers Get Paid for Likes? 1

Should I Start A New YouTube Channel Or Keep My Old One?

If you are looking to wildly change the type of content on your channel and the channel was inactive, it could be easier to rebrand and keep the channel. If the channel still gets lots of views and has a subscriber base it maybe best to start a new separate channel.

There’s no clear yes or no answer to this question, however. The best course of action for your situation will differ significantly from that of another YouTuber.

In other words, we can’t tell you which way to go, but we can help you make that decision – lets walk you through your options.

Channel Merging

The first and easiest situation to judge is when you have an existing and active channel, and you are considering starting some new content while still producing your original videos.

If your new content is in the same—or at least very close to—the niche your existing content is in, you should consider sticking with your current channel. As mentioned above, building a new audience is hard, and if your new content is similar enough to your existing content, there’s no sense in going through that process again.

On the other hand, if your new content is significantly different from your existing content, you could damage your channel’s discoverability by muddying its focus. If YouTube can’t make a clear decision over what your channel is about, it is less likely to recommend it to viewers, which is obviously less than ideal.

Should I Start a New YouTube Channel or Keep My Old One?

Repurposing Old Disused Channels

So, you have a channel from a previous project that you don’t use anymore? You wouldn’t be the first one.

If that channel has some leftover subscribers, it makes sense that you’d want to use it that rather than starting again. After all, they are your subscribers who you worked hard to gain.

This can work to your advantage, but again, it depends on your situation. If you just want the subscriber numbers, then it should be fine. If you are looking to build a meaningful, engaged audience, then using a channel with existing subscribers will not help.

Subscribers who are subscribed to your old channel won’t necessarily be interested in your new content. And any notifications YouTube gives may only serve to remind the viewer to unsubscribe as they are no longer interested in your content.

That being said, there is no real harm to re-using an old channel. You may find those original subscribers falling away, but it shouldn’t be a hindrance to you from gaining new subscribers.

Divergent Content

Something that happens to many YouTubers—particularly after long periods on the platform—is the organic divergence of your content into multiple distinct things. A typical example of this would be setting up a second channel to post vlogs to, or behind the scenes content of the videos from your main channel.

In these cases, you will need to weigh up the popularity of this additional content.

If it is significant enough to warrant its own channel, then go for it! If hardly anyone watches them, however, it may make more sense to keep them where they are.

Rebranding Your Existing Channel

Sometimes there is no new or extra content. It’s human nature to want to change things up every so often, and YouTubers are just as prone to this as anyone.

If you feel the urge to rebrand your channel, whether it is a considered and researched move or a whim, plain and simple, then whether you should start over with your channel depends on your current channel’s status.

If you have problems with that channel, such as copyright strikes (see below) or you have found yourself with a toxic subscriber base that you would rather distance yourself from, then a new channel would be an excellent option.

When I  wanted to keep my channel and give it a face-lift I needed a new channel banner, end-screen and flashy intro. I am not the best with graphic design so I used PlaceIt to make them for me. They offer easy to edit templates from free to as little as $15 – go check out their website and give your channel a new look to wow your subscribers.

Reviving a Dead Channel

It doesn’t have to be a tale of two channels, of course. Perhaps you have an old channel that you abandoned for one reason or another but have since become reignited by the premise of that channel. In this case, the situation is mostly the same as mentioned in the above scenarios.

If your old channel is in good standing, you could look to reboot it, bringing in new viewers and getting things off the ground once more. If your channel has a spotty history, it might be best to leave that history behind.

Another thing to think about is your channel’s reputation with consistency. YouTube viewers like consistency; they like to know their favorite YouTubers are putting weekly or monthly videos out. And if you have a channel that started strong and then went radio silent for a long time, your viewers may be skeptical about whether any rebrand attempt will last.

5 Time Saving Apps for Youtubers, tools for youtubers, tips for youtubers, free tols for youtubers

Buying a Channel

The vast majority of the time, this should fall into the same bin as buying subscribers. It is possible to purchase channels that already have subscribers and a history behind them.

These can come in two primary flavors;

  • Legitimate channels that are no longer wanted
  • Channels that were created just to sell

With the latter, there will almost never be a case where this is a good idea. Subs for channels like this are typically unfocused. They will not translate into any kind of meaningful audience as their interests in no way align with whatever the channel was purported to be about.

On the other hand, you might be considering a legitimate channel in which the owner has decided to quit and is selling their channel. While subscribers on a channel like this will have matching interests with each other, you will need to find a channel with a similar niche to yours if you hope to translate that purchase to viewers of your own directly.

Other Things to Consider

There are some other things to consider that apply regardless of the state of your existing channel, or how the content of that channel compares to your new idea.

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Is There Anything to Save?

If an old channel is completely dead; no subscribers, no links, no views, then there isn’t really any point to rebranding it. There might not be any harm, either, if the channel is in good standing. But there will likely be no benefit.

In this case, it is entirely up to you. It could come down to something menial, such as not wanting another YouTube account to manage. Whatever the reason or path you decide to take, you should be fine.

Copyright and Community Guideline Strikes

YouTube isn’t always the most forgiving of platforms when it comes to rule-breaking. If you have an account—even one with a lot of followers—that has some black marks on its permanent record, it is probably best to abandon that channel as a base for your new venture.

Of course, we’re sure you have no intention of breaking any rules going forward. But with a platform such as YouTube, where the rules are continually changing, accidents can happen. You don’t want to fall afoul of an unfortunate incident, only for YouTube to obliterate your channel because it has a history.

Link Authority

One of the main reasons you would want to rebrand a channel rather than start over is to take advantage of the established reputation of that channel in the eyes of search engines. There are two main things to consider here.

Firstly, if you are revamping the content of the channel, the authority of any links leading to old material may be weakened. Secondly, if you are entirely rebranding the channel and removing or making the existing videos private, you should completely disregard any existing link authority to this channel, as it will soon disappear.

In the latter case, not only will search engines stop viewing the channel as relevant to those links, but any people who click on those old links will be frustrated to find that the video they wanted isn’t there any more!

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How to Revive a Dead Channel

If you do decide to bring an old channel back from the dead, the approach is largely similar to starting from scratch… but not exactly. The main differences lie in old channels that had something of a following. Re-engaging with subscribers after your channel has been AWOL is tricky business. Many subscribers will immediately forgive and forget. Others will have forgotten they were subscribed to your channel and immediately unsubscribe once you remind them with a new video.

Make sure you are up to date. Take a look at videos from competitors channels to see if anything has changed significantly since you were last making videos for this channel. If it has, consider incorporating these changes in your revived content.

If you still have an audience on this channel, think about talking to them, asking them what they would like from your new content. Again, you run the risk of merely reminding some people that they were subscribed, causing them to unsubscribe promptly, but there isn’t much you can do about that.

You should strongly consider giving your revived channel an overhaul when it comes to artwork, even if you still like the original design. By starting over with the design, you can do your into what YouTubers in the same niche are doing, and incorporate some of those elements into your branding. It will also help to give the channel a fresh feel.

Think carefully about how far you want to take any rebranding. For example, do you want to change the name of the channel you are reviving?

If so, are you at risk of losing out on any brand recognition that your channel’s old name might command? Similarly, are there any negative connotations to the old name?

This doesn’t have to mean universally negative, but rather negative in relation to the new content you plan to release. For example, a channel that covered political issues might struggle to attract a crowd from the gaming section of YouTube, as it is typically hostile to this type of content.

content is king

Content is King

It gets said a lot but it always worth reiterating; no matter how many times you rebrand a channel, no matter whether you are starting from scratch or reviving a popular dead channel; content is the ultimate dealbreaker.

If your content is poor, your channel’s performance will also be. There is simply no getting around this universal truth. A channel with little to no advertising can do really well with good content, whereas a channel with a hefty advertising budget will always be fighting a losing a battle if the videos it puts out are below par.

Always be prepared to put as much effort as you can spare into your content, as it will pay off in the long run. You don’t have to spend money to get seen just share your videos in the right places – I did a blog the the best places to share your videos for more exposure.


For the most part, any advantages you might think you’d get from using an established channel to kickstart a new premise will probably not apply, unless the channel happens to have the exact same kind of content as your new videos.

And, if that were the case, you would have to wonder if rebranding was necessary when you have the ideal set up already in place.

When you are sticking with the original premise of the content and are just looking to breath new life into a forgotten channel, overhauling the look of the channel can help. Still, ultimately it will be your content that will bring new viewers to the party.

Having said all of that, if you only take away one piece of advice from this posts, let it be this; buying subscribers—either outright or as part of purchasing an old channel—seldom works. Even if you get lucky and manage to find a channel for sale in a similar niche to you, there are no guarantees that the viewers will respond to you as favourably as they once responded to the previous owner of the channel.

And that’s assuming those viewers are real!

Get your viewers the old fashioned way. You’ll thank yourself later.

If you need help to pick the right titles, optimizing your descriptions, tags and giving your videos the best launching pad they need then check out VidIQ – I use them to optimize all of my videos and their browser plugin is free to download on their website.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video. can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. Learn new skills for FREE with Skillshare

I SUCK reading books to learn, but I LOVE online video courses.

Every month I learn something new. Editing, writing, video skills, how to cook, how to run a business – even how to meditate to calm a busy mind.

I find all of these for FREE with Skillshare – Sign up, pick all the courses you want and cancel anytime you need.

5. Shutterstock helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the Shutterstock website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.


How To Launch A YouTube Channel – Cultaholic WhatCulture Example


Cultaholic is the new channel from former staff at WhatCulture, WhatCulture Wrestling. They performed a master class in how to launch a YouTube Channel recently when they left WhatCulture and relaunched their personal brand as Cultaholics Ventures new YouTube Channel – Adam Blampied, Adam Pacitti, King Ross, Jack The Jobber and Sam Driver all promoted this change brilliantly so I felt we should look into the WhatCulture to Cultaholic move and see how they did it so well.



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