How To Create And Customize An Awesome YouTube Channel: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Have you always wanted to create a YouTube channel, but don’t know how to do it?

Creating a YouTube channel is easier than you may think! In this guide, I will show you how to get set up to begin your YouTube journey.

Step 1: Create a Google account

If don’t already have one, you need to create a Google account to be able to sign-in to YouTube. The good news is since Google own YouTube their accounts are cross-compatible, so no need to create multiple accounts.

Creating a Google account is free and easy. Simply head on over to YouTube click on the ‘sign in’ button in the top-right corner.

YouTube sign in
To begin, click the ‘sign in’ button at the top of YouTube.

Next you want to click on ‘create account‘ to start a fresh account. Then enter your name, e-mail address and create a password. Once done, click ‘next’.

YouTube create account
To create the Google account you require to enter a name and e-mail address. Then enter and confirm a desired password.

Congratulations – you have a YouTube (Google) account. 🎉

Step 2: Create a YouTube channel

Now you have a YouTube account you can now go ahead and create a channel.

There are actually two types of YouTube channels that you can make: Personal and Brand.

Personal channels can only be accessed and managed by one person; you! A Brand account can have multiple managers.

Once you sign-in to YouTube, click on the profile icon in the top-right. From the dropdown menu, go to ‘your channel’.

YouTube go to your channel
Click ‘your channel’ to go to your YouTube channel.

A new window will then open where YouTube will ask you what you want your channel to be known as. In other words, do you want to create a Personal or Brand account?

If you want to set-up a Personal account, simply carry on and fill out your first and second name. Otherwise, if it’s a Brand account you seek, then click on the ‘use a business or other name’ link and fill out the brand details.

Now you have created your very own YouTube channel!

Step 3: Customize your YouTube channel

Now you have your YouTube channel set up, it’s time to customize it so it looks awesome and attracts visitors to subscribe to you.

The look and feel of your channel can have a huge impact on whether a person subscribes to you, so take some time to make it attractive and relevant to your content.

To customize your channel, click on the ‘customize channel’ button.

How to customize YouTube channel
Select the ‘customize channel’ button to get started.

From here you can now change the appearance of the YouTube channel such as adding a channel description, profile picture, channel art and links.

What to customize on a YouTube channel
Think about adding a profile picture, channel art, description and links.

How to add a channel description

The YouTube channel description should contain a written overview of what your channel is about. Try and keep this short and sweet.

To add a YouTube channel description, click on the ‘about’ tab.

If you are stuck on what to include in your channel description, try including the answers to the following questions:

  1. Who you are? – Introduce yourself! Viewers want to know that you’re a real person behind that screen.
  2. What is your purpose for creating the channel? – Why did you bother creating the videos in the first place? What are you wanting to achieve?
  3. What days do you upload videos? – It’s best to stick to a schedule when you upload your videos to tell visitors when they can expect new content. I suggest uploading a new video on the same day every week for consistency.
  4. Do you have any related assets? – Include your associated website/blog and social media channels to let people know where else they can see your content.

How to upload a profile picture

Your YouTube channel’s profile picture (and channel art; see below) is very important; along with your channel’s name it is one of the few things visitors see on anything related to your channel. So, the term first impressions count comes to mind here.

Your profile picture is only small. So, keep the image simple and clear – don’t add too much.

Ideally, the profile picture should be your logo if this is for a brand. Or this could be a headshot of you.

To change your profile picture, click on the picture. You will then be prompted that the profile picture comes from your Google account. Proceed to the next screen by clicking on the ‘edit’ button.

The recommended YouTube profile picture size is 800 x 800 pixels.

Once selected, your new profile picture will appear on your YouTube channel; however, this can take some minutes to update so don’t worry if you cannot see the changes straight away.

How to upload channel art

The YouTube channel art, or banner, is the main image displayed across the top of the YouTube channel.

The recommended YouTube channel art size is 2560 x 1440 pixels.

Be careful when creating the channel art size, it will be cropped at different dimensions depending on the platform you use to view the channel. For example, the banner will look different when viewed on the desktop compared with a mobile.

YouTube channel art size guide
The YouTube channel art size guide, according to Google.

So, it is best to add any text or logos within the 1546 x 423 pixels area to ensure they are viewable on all devices.

Ideally your channel art and profile picture should complement each other. Try to use the same color schemes in both.

Not very good at making logos and YouTube channel art?

If, like me, you’re not creatively gifted, then why not pay someone to create a logo and channel art for you?

You can find freelancers on Fiverr who will create and design logos and YouTube channel art for you. I’ve used Fiverr quite a few times for design jobs and thoroughly recommend it.

Prices can start as little as $5! Be sure to read the freelancer’s reviews and view their previous work to get the best person for the job.

How to add links to the banner

Another aspect of the YouTube channel that many people forget about is the ability to add links to your website and social media profiles to the banner. This is a quick and simple way to connect your other platforms to your channel.

YouTube channel art links
Links are useful to show any related websites and social media you may have. Here is the Coca-Cola YouTube channel art and their links.

To add these links click on the pencil icon in the top-right corner of the channel art and select ‘edit links’. Under the ‘links’ header at the bottom, click on the pencil icon to add new links.

Then fill out the links. For example, you could call a link ‘website’ and then add the link to your website.

You will then see the links appear on the banner as little icons. For the major platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, you will see their small logos appear.

When visitors click on these icons, they will be taken to those pages.

How to add a business email to your channel

This may not be on the top of your agenda, but it is also useful to include an email address to your YouTube channel at some point.

Why? Mainly this is for business enquiries. Say someone becomes interested in your videos and wants to start a collaboration with you (this happened to me!). By including a contact email address on your channel, you will make it easier for them to contact you.

To add a business email to your YouTube channel, go to your ‘about’ tab. Under the ‘details’ sub header there will be the option to add an email address.

Step 4: Other things to consider after you have content

Once you start creating and uploading content to your channel, there are other aspects you should also consider. I have included some of these ideas below.

Add a channel trailer to convert new visitors into subscribers

A nice feature in YouTube is the ability to add a channel trailer on the main page of your channel. This is only viewable to those that are not subscribed to your channel yet.

YouTube channel trailers should be kept short (ideally less than a minute) and should explain who you are and what your channel is about. Think of it as a film trailer; you want to give people a taste of what they will expect to see from your content. This will then encourage people to subscribe to your channel.

To add a channel trailer, click on the ‘home’ button and select the ‘for new visitors’ option. Here you can either upload a new video or select an existing one to use as the channel trailer.

YouTube add channel trailer
To attract more subscribers, think about adding a channel trailer.

Tips for creating a channel trailer

  • Keep the trailer short (<1 minute)
  • Write a script beforehand to guide you through the voice over or recording
  • Practice, practice, practice!

Keep your videos organized into playlists

If you upload related videos, be sure to group them together into playlists. Playlists are useful since they tell visitors that a group of videos are similar – so encourage them to watch the other videos in the playlist.

There are many ways to create a YouTube playlist. The easiest way is to click on the ‘playlist’ tab when in the ‘customize channel’ view.

Now, click on the ‘new playlist’ button. Give the playlist a name and ensure the setting is set to ‘public’ otherwise it will be hidden from your channel. Click the ‘create’ button to create the playlist.

How to add a YouTube playlist
Keep your videos organized into playlists to encourage more views on related videos.

Next, you want to edit the playlist to add videos and a description. To do this, click on the ‘edit’ button.

To add videos to the playlist, select the ‘add videos’ button. Select all the videos that are relevant to this playlist.

Another thing people often miss when creating a YouTube playlist is the description. Make sure you add a description, just a few sentences will do, to tell visitors what videos are in the playlist. This will encourage people to view these related videos.

Add sections to your YouTube channel

Once you have playlists, I also recommend adding sections to your channel. Sections are like distinct blocks in your channel that can contain a playlist in a sort of carousel.

In the ‘home’ tab, you will see a button called ‘add a section’, click on this. Select the type of content you want, such as a single playlist.

I advise adding your most popular videos or playlists to a new section with the most popular ones being at the top of your home page.

By adding sections to your YouTube channel this will bulk up the appearance of the home page.

Wrapping up

In this step-by-step guide you have learnt how to create a YouTube channel. You now know how to add a channel profile picture, channel art, links, description and much more.

Ensure you take some time to make your YouTube channel attractable to potential subscribers.

Remember, first impressions count online just as much as they do offline!

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Steven Bradburn

A former scientist turned side-hustling blogger who enjoys writing about online marketing. Be sure to drop me a comment to say hi!

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