The How To Guide to Starting a Youtube Channel

Hey yall!

I wanted to share with you a little behind the scenes of how I started my YouTube channel and how it’s been going!

June 22, 2016 was my debut on YouTube and since then I’ve gotten over 128,000 total views on all 12 of my videos along with over 1,600 subscribers. Now I must say that over 70,000 of those 76,000 total views belong to one of my recent videos:

College Move In Day + Packing Tips! | The Ohio State University | VLOG

I received over 45,000 of those views within 5 days of me posting that video and it just keeps climbing!! It is actually ridiculous for me to think that over 70,000 people have watched me move into my dorm!

I gained most of my subscribers after publishing the video up above! That is usually how things go; you start out slow with a couple views and about 50 subscribers of random people and friends until you get one video that just hits home and goes ‘viral’ that shoots your views and subscribers up.

In no way am I saying that I am Youtube famous or anything because I am most certainly not. Most of you are probably reading this and thinking “that’s not even a lot of views.” and it really isn’t, to you. But to me, it means everything! These 70,000 views on my video has made me so happy and excited to push my Youtube further and make more videos like this! It has really lit a fire under my butt and I am excited to keep filming.

How to Start:

First things first I had to actually make the channel. I had to get over any fears or doubts I had about the channel like: being in front of a camera, coming up with content, editing, putting myself out there, etc. and stop making up excuses about the lack of equipment or ‘expertise’ I had in the field. If you’ve always wanted to start a Youtube channel but you’ve always had something holding you back, let go of it! You don’t need fancy lighting or a $3,000 camera, or 100 video ideas. You just need your phone, a window, and a purpose. That’s all.

Like I said before you don’t need any lighting that cost hundreds of dollars. I sure as hell don’t. I just set up my tripod in front of my window and film in the mid day with natural light. I will admit, I run into some problems going with this method because sometimes the only time I have to film is later in the day and by then all the sun is gone and I can’t do it. So yes there is a convenience you get when using lighting but it’s not needed.

You also don’t need a $3,000 camera to film videos. The video that has over 70,000 views was filmed with my iPhone 6s +. Believe it or not the videos I’ve filmed with my DSLR (my expensive camera) have gotten less views than the ones with my iPhone. Phones now a days have really good cameras but I suggest using the back camera when filming with your phone because those lenses are usually better than the front camera!

I edit my videos on iMovie, a free program that comes with your MacBook, with my MacBook Air. Now of course you could purchase an editing program that has way more functions and can edit videos very well, but it isn’t NEEDED! I can edit my videos with enough flare using iMovie!

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When you first start your channel go to other channels that are about the same thing and watch their videos and see how they do stuff. You can learn a lot from watching other Youtubers. I also want you to subscribe to them and comment on their videos complimenting them or asking them questions. Be engaging with other Youtubers that are in your category. This will help you have like a Youtube ‘family’ and will get you seen in the comments. I had a lot of Youtubers coming to my channel saying they liked mine and talked about their videos too and others asked to collab with them and that is a great way to be seen by viewers and get your name out there.

I read every comment on every video, I promise you. I also reply to every single one! I think this is very important because it is showing my viewers that I care about them and I am engaged with them. I answer all their questions and tell them thanks for watching and good luck with their own move in day, whatever it may be. It just makes you look good as a person and as a Youtuber.

How I Run My Channel:

Having channel art is good for branding! Create a header image that speaks to your brand and purpose.

I try to be consistent with my postings: once a week! Everyone knows there will be a new video on Wednesday and I have people waiting for them! You have to keep making content for people to continuously see you popping up in their searches and on the highlights, recommended, and home pages for them to finally notice you and your channel and want to check a video out and subscribe. If I only post 1 video every 3  months people aren’t going to subscribe as much because they don’t constantly see me. The more videos, the better!

When editing my videos on iMovie I add, what I call, my ending credits. You can see this at the end of any of my recent videos. At the end I have all of my social media accounts as well as a subscribe button and what to watch next! This keeps my viewers engaged and wanting to watch another video like the one they just watched. I make these images clickable using Youtube’s annotations under their edit tools.

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Another thing I create for all of my videos is a custom thumbnail. Custom thumbnails are VERY important to getting views because this is what people see and how they decide if they want to watch your video or not. They have to be interesting and connecting to your video content. I create all of my custom thumbnails on a website called Canva, which is free! For now I have a unique theme to my thumbnails with the corner color and emojis added over text. All of my videos feature this similar thumbnail with changing images, text, color, and emojis. This is my way of branding my channel so when people see that thumbnail they can recognize it and remember it is from My Drifting Desk.

Naming Your Video

When naming my videos I use key words about what my video is about because people will be searching videos with such keywords. For example with my move in day VLOG, I could have named it: Move In With Me! (as I thought about doing) but then I thought that no one is going to go to the search bar and type in “move in with me” they will search videos of “college move in day” So that is what I went with! I also added OSU in there for the people looking for OSU videos and at the end I added VLOG because it is a VLOG and many people search for VLOGs in general. That name is kinda long but it covers all of my basis and I am thinking that is a big reason why I have so many views on it. People looking for move in day VLOGs, move in day tips, move in day hacks, packing tips, OSU videos, and VLOGS all get to scroll past my video and decide if they want to watch it or not.

Another way I take advantage of key words is tagging my videos with as many tags as I can of the things that are inside my video, what it’s about, etc. For example, I tagged my move in day VLOG with things like:

VLOG, OSU, tOSU, Ohio State University, Move in Day, College Move in Day, Packing, Moving, How to, Tips, Hacks, Packing Tips, Sophomore Year, College Sophomore, 2016… and you get the gist! I use key words people could search to have my video pop up in the results.

I also recently decided to have a unique description box with the same thing in each video along with areas I can add to and with the specific video description! Click on the video up above and read through my description box to see what I mean! My description box has as much info in it that I could fit! I have areas that can be changed with each video such as the Blog Posts Mentions, Videos Mentions, Items Mentioned, etc. I feel having an informational description box is very helpful for your site and for your viewers. If you mention something in your video that you want them to know about or check out put it again in the description box for them!

On Wednesdays I usually post on my Twitter that it’s Video Day! to get people excited and remind them that a video is headed there way. The day before, or whatever day I film my video (because I usually don’t film on the same day I post) I also take a behind the scenes picture and post it to my Instagram page to let people know I’m filming and give them a little sneak peek of what’s to come. This is a great way to get my followers engaged with my Youtube and get them excited about my videos. Social media is a great tool and I always post my videos on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, sometimes Pinterest, and snippets of it on Snapchat so everyone who follows me on something will know I’ve posted a new video. You have to market yourself.

On my channel you can see at the bottom that I’ve organized my videos into playlists. I do this because someone if someone comes to my channel and wants to watch a video about college they can go to my Conquer College playlist and it’ll play all the videos I have in that category. This is a great way to get viewers to continuously watch multiple videos. I also think it is very helpful and keeps your channel organized.

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Do you think you’re ready to take that step and start your own Youtube Channel?! I think you are. Don’t doubt yourself. It’s just for fun! Find something you’re passionate about and go talk about it!

If you have any other questions PLEASE ask below! I would love to answer them for you!

If you already have a Youtube Channel post it down below because I would LOVE to go check it out and subscribe! If you are going to make a Youtube Channel, GOOD LUCK!

♥ Marissa

13 thoughts on “The How To Guide to Starting a Youtube Channel

  1. Very interesting read. 🙂 I’m a YouTube content creator too, so it’s interesting to see what other people do differently; compared to my ritual when making videos.

    Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

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