The following is a beginner’s guide to creating the right kind of YouTube channel complete with actionable insights.

YouTube is the largest online video platform so you’ll need this guide if you want to traverse the digital frontier.

Everyone knows the video content offers some of the best ROI in the content realm. Why not leverage a YouTube channel for your business or personal goals?

YouTube has always offered tons of free tools, but Google also further upgraded the creator studio last year. Regardless of interest, there is a space for everyone in the YouTube community. After all, the platform has more than 1 billion users.

You might be really into coffee. You might be a content marketer looking to build their own personal brand. Maybe you just like to play video games and record yourself. The beauty of the Internet is that there’s infinite room for content.

Starting a successful YouTube channel is easier than you might think–especially in 2018.

Are you willing to take the first step toward creating your own channel?

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Step #1: Set Clearly Defined Goals

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Just like creating any social strategy, you need to have clearly defined goals when you decide to start a Youtube channel.

Goal setting is a main tactic many industries use to increase productivity. It is also a must-do strategy for entrepreneurs, too. Incorporating it into your YouTube channel development is a natural fit and will help keep you on schedule.

Start with a simple, straightforward goal list. This is one that will work for most, if not all, YouTube channels:

  • Decide on your YouTube Channel name
  • Create your YouTube channel account
  • Narrow down the topics you want to cover on your channel
  • Figure out a content schedule you can maintain

With this list, you can move forward in a more intentional way. That simple goal list will serve as a guide in defining your whole strategy.  

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ProZD YouTube channel | YouTube via Juliet Childers

Step #2: Create a Channel and Complete Your Profile

You can always learn from other people who are already doing what you want to do.

A YouTube channel isn’t just posting videos on a consistent schedule. It means forming an entire online persona along with supplementary branding materials. Let’s discuss everything that goes into having a complete profile.

Take a look at the above sample from the YouTuber ProZD. You might recognize him from Vine (RIP) or he might be totally new to you. But he has a unique and informative banner that is full of social media links.

His profile picture is himself and his cat is quirky but memorable. He also has unique artwork of himself with a banana shirt in his banner. He also lists his occupations and contact information in his YouTube banner.

All of this adds up to brand cohesion and makes his channel more accessible and memorable. But how does this example translate into practical applications?

By adding a cover photo, channel artwork, social links, and contact info, you do two things. You bolster your digital brand, and you provide more information for viewers.

Whether your goal is conversions or just visibility, brand cohesion is a must.

Step #3: Decide on How to Produce Videos

Not everyone has access to professional equipment like DSLRs and lighting setups.

Thankfully, smartphone cameras create great quality video when utilized effectively. But you actually have many options when it comes to the actual video production. It all depends on the purpose of your YouTube channel.

For testimonials or promo videos, the $8/month Animoto is a great option. If you just need to create video tutorials, opt for iMovie which is free for Mac users.

Starting at just $15/month, Animatron is an excellent resource for high-quality videos with lots of informationIf you want to get in touch with niche influencers, give Blue Jeans a spin for about $13/month.

If you want to produce a personal channel with a variety of content, use a variety of production methods. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Just take a look at your average beauty YouTuber.

The YouTuber Kandee Johnson uses strategic filming locations, lighting setups, and cameras. She also uses a certain camera for filming and a different camera for close up shots. You don’t have to go all-out though, many creators just use their phones for personal vlogging.

There are also clippable lenses and other additions to boost your production qualities.

Most importantly, it is the purpose of the video, not how it is filmed, that really matters.

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YouTube SEO via intellitonic.com

Step #4: Get Familiar with YouTube SEO

Since everything on the Internet is determined by search results, you want your videos to rank. Otherwise, they will get buried beneath content SEO optimized videos.

Read More: Muaaz: How to Create a Successful YouTube Channel

Getting SEO savvy isn’t as time-consuming or complicated as you might think. In fact, you do it entirely free with your smartphone or computer and an internet connection.

Google offers the YouTube editor, as well as Google Analytics, for free. That means that you can create better video content without an expensive editor. You can also track views on your website against YouTube and Google Analytics insights.

Optimizing videos to rank on YouTube and Google is similar to optimizing a blog post.

You need to include the highest-ranking keywords in the title of your YouTube video. Then, you need to have additional keywords in the video description. Choosing the appropriate tags for videos can also affect search engine result placement.

Optimizing your keywords for Google is just the first step in SEO. You should optimize your videos for YouTube keywords, too. Use keywordtool.io’s YouTube search to identify YouTube-specific keyword opportunities.

But optimized videos don’t mean much if you don’t have item five in this guide.

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Step #5: Have a Plan for Distribution

Creating and posting videos on your Youtube channel isn’t enough to generate views. There is just too much competition on YouTube. Poorly publicized content just gets lost in the noise.

Just like your blog posts, you’ll need a distribution plan for your YouTube videos.

There are a few quick steps to take to heighten the visibility of your videos:

  • Strategic social sharing
  • Engaging thumbnails
  • Embedding the video on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter
  • Making use of Slideshare for B2B traffic and viewership
  • Email campaigns and newsletters
  • Guest posting with your video as part of the content

You can also repost videos on social media platforms with relevant hashtags. Even if the video might not seem evergreen, content becomes relevant again in time.

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Auralnauts YouTube engagement | Auralnauts on YouTube via Juliet Childers

Step #6: Build a Direct Relationship Using Engagement

Engaging with your audience is a crucial step in establishing a successful YouTube channel. Now, your channel icon appears over comments you interact with as pictured above.

That means that everyone can now see how much (or how little) you interact with your audience. Replying to comments on YouTube is a great way to break the ice.

Another way to reach out is by engaging with other content on YouTube posted by other creators. Sharing content on other social media platforms reinforces community engagement and could enhance your own visibility, too.

For more tips on engagement, check out this video. It’s only about six minutes long, but it is full of useful information.

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Step #7: Test, Rinse, and Repeat

As many content marketers know, the best way to find what works is to do some testing. Employ different strategies, use cases, and tactics to see what posts numbers.

Did your 3-minute video get more views, but fewer comments than your 10-minute video? If that’s the case, take a closer look at the video. Find out what content lends itself to longer formats or shorter formats.

You can also experiment with the time of day and which weekday you release your content. Just be sure to support your video releases with sharing on other social media platforms.

Bottom line: the only way to find out what will work for your channel ultimately lies in testing as many things as possible. This means that you have to own up to your failures.

The upside of that is, once you eliminate failure, you can double down on successes.

What are your favorite YouTube channels? What makes them so good?

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