I often get questions about blogging tips, and recently many of you have been asking me about what goes into setting up a YouTube channel. YouTube is an amazing platform that connects influencers with their readers and followers in a much more intimate way, as you get to see so much more of that person’s life and personality through video. I set up mine about four years ago, and we’ve slowly been adding more and more video content. Click here to see for yourself (and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any updates)! We’ve been getting such great feedback from you guys, so I wanted to share a few helpful tips on setting up your own channel, for those of you who’ve asked and may want to explore this platform for yourself.
Who Are You?
Believe it or not, setting up a YouTube channel can involve a lot of background work. You have to really zero in on what your channel will provide for others – will it be more focused on food, fashion, art, travel, or fun vlogs perhaps? A niche is important to establish because it will make it easier to create your content, engage with other interested community members – a.k.a your target audience. With so many YouTubers out there, being able to stand out is crucial to your success. Spend some time thinking about what makes you, YOU – what expertise or entertainment value can you bring to an audience that no one else can? Try journaling about all your different strengths.
Back to Basics
This seems obvious, but once you’ve figured out your niche, a clear description in your ‘About’ section as well as updated contact information and website links are super important. It helps people gain some context of your background, why you’re on YouTube, and helps them get connected to your other social accounts. If you’ve already created a fan base elsewhere, such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, it helps to sync all that so current followers can now live vicariously through your YouTube channel by subscribing. It also helps to create a banner specifically for the channel, because it’s one of the first things that users see.
Lights, Camera, Action!
You can start planning and filming your first few videos, which is perfect because it’s always a good idea to showcase a trailer of some sort – to give people a sneak peek of what your channel will be like. I’m sure you guys have seen plenty of trailers that Mackenzie’s put together for my videos. Your first video should be really special, I mean, it’s your first YouTube upload! So be sure it’s something you’re very excited to share, and make sure to promote it on all your other social platforms.
And We’re Rolling
I’m sure from the thousands of trailers we’ve seen throughout our lifetime, we understand how important a good trailer is. It’s a fun way to interact with your audience and give them a little sliver of what to look forward to. I suggest to create a trailer that runs when people come to your YouTube page as an “introduction”. It should sum you up as a person and what you want to do for the community – (and be sure to update it often). Or it can also be a ‘best of’ amalgamation or your favorite clips or bloopers, as this can also showcase a lighthearted side of yourself and your page.
Don’t Forget SEO
Uploading in general is pretty easy, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty technical aspects, every detail counts. As you’re uploading, you’ll be asked to fill in a title, description, and tags – whatever you do, don’t skip this! Fill this out as best you can because, much like your own website, YouTube relies on SEO (search engine optimization) as well, so make sure you highlight certain keywords (but don’t go overboard). Choosing the right keywords will help connect relevant viewers with your video. Thankfully, Google owns YouTube, so if you play your cards right, you’ll pop in the right searches.
Create an Uploading Schedule
Being able to plan when you’ll be uploading every week is a good way to stick to a routine, and it also allows users and followers to know when to tune in. If YouTube is not your primary social platform, this is perfect as it allows you to upload maybe once or twice a week and eventually you’ll start gaining a fan base. I know I haven’t uploaded as much recently since Honor’s birth, but I always try to keep up by uploading tutorials and some very fun vlogs as often as I can. Consistency is key, even if you’re only able to upload once a month – make sure you upload at least once a month!
Link to Your Other Videos
If you want more impressions on your channel or videos, be sure to promote your last one in the description box OR have ‘end screens’ when your videos conclude so it leads users to related content on your channel and gives them a reason to stick around and watch more. I also take advantage of putting all my other social media accounts in the video description.
Collaborate with Other YouTubers
This is not only helpful to boost your following, but also very fun! I always try to collaborate with my other friends who are also on YouTube because it’s a great way to help each other out and obviously a fun excuse to shoot a video together. It can be on anything really – perhaps a Q&A, a DIY recipe, a makeup tutorial, or maybe even a vlog. Check out this hilarious 5 minute makeup challenge I did with my friend Sivan, here.
Now it really depends on how far you’re willing to go to promote your channel, but you can definitely take advantage of ads to get better publicity and following. Obviously, this will cost you a little bit, but at the end of the day, it might all be worth it. The great news is that you can set your own budget, and do this directly from your YouTube account. Even $10-20 here and there can help give your video that extra push it may need.
This whole idea of going “live” on any social media account can be quite terrifying because it’s all basically improv, but I think a lot of users out there like it when they see you in your natural habitat and in a more unscripted way. YouTube has the option to live stream, and while I haven’t tried this yet (I plan to!), I’ve read that it’s a great way to grow your subscriptions. Make sure your lives are centered around a “theme” (maybe a Q&A, a makeup tutorial, or something else entirely that your fan base will find exciting to tune in about). Have fun, and be yourself!