Guide to a Successful YouTube Channel

YouTubeDay to day, an astounding amount of traffic flows through the vast network that we call the Internet. It may come as no surprise that a large chunk of that traffic is directly attributed to users watching videos on YouTube. The social video powerhouse has led to the success of thousands of users over the years. Ideas are easy to come by; it’s only those who put the proper work in that reach their goals. People near and far are creating content, uploading it to YouTube, growing their subscribers and making money while doing something they thoroughly enjoy!

You may be contemplating creating a YouTube channel of your very own. It’s far too common to see a new channel start only to end abandoned a month later. Having a game plan, figuring out your challenges and setting goals will serve you well. This guide will provide clear and straight-forward advice that will surely lead your new channel to continued success.

What’s the big idea?

You probably have a good idea about what you’d like your channel to be about. The issue is (unless your idea is very unique) there’s likely others who have already thought of it and are far ahead of you in the game. It’s a good idea to stick to the subject you love but introduce a unique element to your videos. Anything that will set your channel apart from the rest will have a large impact later on down the road.

From a practical point-of-view, check out what options you may have for filming and editing. Test any cameras you own and use the one that provides the best picture. If the quality isn’t where you’d like it to be, a new camera might be necessary. Start to think about how many videos you’ll be uploading at any given time. Don’t take on more work than you have time or energy for.

A Catchy Name

Perhaps the most fun (initially) and most agonizing part of creating a YouTube channel, or anything for that matter, is choosing a name. Writing a list of names and then asking friends to pick which ones they like and give their own opinion can help you decide as well as spark additional ideas. Take a look at the front page of YouTube, it’s evident that many successful YouTubers possess short, smart and sometimes humorous account names. Ultimately a name that will stick with people is what you’re aiming for.

It’s impossible to predict the future but it’s naive to not to plan for it. A not so unrealistic scenario may present itself later and you don’t want to be left wondering what to do. If the direction of your videos changes, choosing a name too specific may confuse your subscribers. It could potentially make marketing your channel more difficult as well.

Curb Appeal

Books are judged by their covers, people judge others by how they dress and visitors will judge your channel by the first thing they see. If someone happens upon one of your videos, that video had better be 100%. If someone happens upon your channel, that channel background had better be professional and captivating. Think about the visual style you’d like your videos to embrace. Intro and outro clips are something to consider. A custom and unique YouTube channel background is a good idea and will help your channel stand out.

Time to Sell!

The videos you provide are the most important part of your channel but a close second is marketing it. Having amazing content is great but you’ll quickly realize that a “set and forget” approach will not work. You’ll need to get out there and get your channel known. Some common marketing techniques on YouTube are to befriend and comment on channels that are similar to yours. Not only will you be seen in the comments of videos but you may eventually earn some shout-outs. Doing collaborative videos with other more established YouTubers can be a quick way to expose your channel to a wide audience that will be interested in your content.

Marketing your YouTube channel doesn’t only involve action within the site. As you well know, social networking is a hot topic and more people than ever use sites like Facebook and Twitter. Setup a Facebook page as well as a Twitter page. You’ll want to inform followers of new videos but more importantly, provide them with something a bit more. Users need a reason to follow or like you, only posting that you’ve uploaded a new video isn’t reason enough. Holding giveaways on YouTube and utilizing your Facebook and Twitter pages can help gather interest very quickly. Pick a prize that closely relates to what your videos are about. This will ensure a higher probability that the extra eyes you harvest will actually stick around.

Expectations and Goals

If you love something and have great enthusiasm for it than the work is easy and fun but if that work becomes too much for you to handle than you may grow to hate what you once thought was a blast to do. Be honest with yourself; only devote time that you know you’ll have available. This doesn’t mean squeeze in 30 minutes here or there. All your videos have to be your best work. Remember, first impressions are everything.

Staying consistent is very important. If three videos a week is too much, do two videos a week. If two videos a week is too much than do one video a week. Whatever you decide, stay consistent. Continue to upload videos regularly, keep commenting on videos and interacting within the community. Set goals that challenge you but not so much so that you set yourself up for failure. As your following grows and your channel gets more activity, you’ll find yourself raising the bar and setting higher and more challenging goals to obtain. As you reach those goals, set your sights on the next. Follow this guide and it will lead to a successful YouTube channel.

About the author: Josiah S. has been helping YouTube users reach success for 5 years. He runs – a site that offers professional (free and custom) YouTube channel backgrounds, avatars and more.

About Steve Baik is a pioneer in the free search engine submission industry and has been providing valuable web tools and resources for small business owners since 1996. Sign up for our free newsletter to receive the latest info on SEO and Internet Marketing.
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