Youtube reports almost 2 billion users every month. That’s a lot of eyes and opportunity right there for your Youtube videos to be found. So if you’re considering making a YouTube channel or starting a vlog, now is the time to do it. But before you start creating your profile, you’re going to want to do some research and strategizing in order to plan a YouTube channel. Setting up an account for success takes time and effort. I’ve had my YouTube channel for about 2 years now and decided to round up my best tips and condense them into this simple checklist.
The best way to go about this is to remember this strategy: Identify, Brand, and Research. Now, to be honest, you could switch up the order because everyone’s workflow is different. But these three categories are critical to remember for anyone wanting to start a YouTube channel. Without fully developing your plan in these categories, your channel might not meet its full potential.
You probably have some sort of idea about what you want your channel to be about, right? (It’s also totally ok if you don’t yet.) While thinking about your interests, skills, hobbies, or whatever you want to share with the internet, you also have to consider how and why you’ll attract viewers to your content. In that case, you have to be able to identify your audience. What age group will probably be watching your videos and why? What are their interests and why will they be drawn to your channel?
Find Your Audience
If you don’t know your market, do some research. You can use social media by viewing trending Twitter hashtags or even searching through forums on Reddit. Try to explore what people are looking for or asking questions about. If people are clearly seeking advice or information on something, chances are that topic is something worth discussing or incorporating into your channel. Plus, the better you know how to communicate your audience, the easier it is to build up a connection with them and keep them as loyal viewers.
This is the most fun part when starting to plan a YouTube channel. Once you get a better idea of your audience and you start developing possible topics, you can start thinking about how you want to present yourself on social media. First off, what name will you use? Will you use your own name or an alias? For gaming videos, a vague username is totally fine. However, if you want to do some tutorial or how-to videos, it’s probably best to use your real name since you want to build that trust with whoever is coming to watch and learn from your videos. Consider those factors before deciding on your channel name.
Choose Your Theme
Now it’s time to lock down a theme or niche. This can change over time (mine definitely has) but you should at least know whether or not you want to make more lifestyle related videos, tech review content or gaming videos, for example. You can still be a vlogger who makes how-to videos every once in a while. Just don’t get too caught up over small details or feeling like you’re only allowed to choose one topic. Think about your hobbies, skills, and your level of expertise in whatever you want to focus on in your videos. Do you have enough interest to continuously shoot and upload videos in these topics? Good, then that’s the perfect niche for you.
Develop a Posting Schedule
You also want to develop a posting calendar or schedule. Some YouTubers are known as “daily-vloggers” meaning they upload every single day. Let me warn you, this is incredibly challenging and hard to keep up with. You have to shoot content, edit, and upload it all in one day. It’s incredibly daunting and probably only recommended for the more advanced YouTubers or content creators. However, uploading content regularly and consistently is extremely beneficial for the success of your channel. Your audience will know when to expect videos and it helps your channel make it’s way up in the YouTube algorithm if you’re constantly uploading. I’d recommend posting at least once a week, but I know many YouTubers who post twice throughout the week.
Design Your Channel Aesthetic
Finally, by now you should have a better sense of how you can actually design your brand aesthetic. This is the fun part! I highly recommend experimenting on Canva by making some YouTube banners. Make sure to include your username, a few descriptive words about your channel, and how often you upload. Here’s mine for example. This is great because users will know what to expect from your channel without having to go to your bio.
It’s also beneficial to practice designing thumbnails. Having custom thumbnails is absolutely crucial for any YouTube channel because it’s what ultimately convinces users to click on a video. Explore some of your competitor’s thumbnail designs and style of their videos to get inspiration. If you’ve never used design software before, Canva has beautiful, easy-to-use templates that can help you create your first YouTube thumbnail! Ready to make one? Click here to go to Canva and get started.
Now that you’ve come up with a name, theme, and some branding concepts, you need to begin doing proper research on growing a YouTube channel. It’s better to have somewhat of an understanding of the market that you’re about to jump into before blindly taking that leap. The more preparation you do beforehand, the quicker you can achieve YouTube success.
Develop Your Marketing Strategy
Start by exploring different marketing strategies. There are plenty of online resources for this and you can also consider how to utilize your own social media accounts to promote your channel. If you don’t have a very large Twitter or Instagram following, perhaps you should make new accounts for your YouTube channel. It’s always beneficial to have various sources of traffic and promote content across all of your social accounts. Want to learn more? Check out my post about how I use Pinterest to get thousands of views on my YouTube videos!
Research YouTube SEO and the best practices to optimize your video content. Every social platform has a different algorithm, and luckily YouTube isn’t like the elusive Instagram algorithm. YouTube is pretty straightforward about promoting videos that have high audience retention rates. (If you’re unfamiliar with this term, this is exactly why you need to do your research, kids!) But things like keywords in your descriptions and choosing tags that are unique yet relevant are all effective SEO strategies.
Do Keyword Research
Luckily there are third-party apps to help you, like TubeBuddy. I didn’t use TubeBuddy until after my first year, and ever since then, I started gaining about 100 new subscribers per month. Their most effective feature is the Keyword Explorer. You can type keywords into the search box and it will give you a rating of how useful it would be to include in the tag section of your video. It even provides suggestions to make your video even more likely to be found on YouTube search. After doing this, I checked my analytics and actually found out that most of my viewers came from YouTube search, which was awesome! This means that YouTube is suggesting my content to people who are searching for my topics. Bottom line, TubeBuddy is great and really helps you optimize your content to its greatest potential.
Whether you’re far along in this process or you’ve just begun to plan a YouTube channel, following these tips can guarantee a more successful launch. I know it’s exciting to get an idea and you might immediately want to start making videos, but taking time to plan will help you in the long run. Make sure your intentions are clear, you have a great gameplan, and that you can deliver quality content to your viewers. Good luck and let me know if you need more help by commenting below!
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