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How to Start a YouTube Channel for Free

How to Start a YouTube Channel for Free

Wondering how to start a YouTube channel? It’s easier than you might think! I make money from multiple YouTube channels and I’ll show you how it’s done.

It starts with a great idea.

Successful channels that make money focus their videos around a niche, or specific idea. Before you can start your YouTube channel, you need to know what kind of content you will be creating. For example, the Low Income Relief channel helps people save money and get free stuff.

It’s important to pick a specific niche because your audience needs to know what to expect. If you post 10 videos about how to save money and then two videos about your pet bunny and then one video about your favorite recipe and then another two videos about how to fix your car, then your audience will have no idea what your channel is about.

Basically, people subscribe for specific types of content and you need to honor that subscription with every video that you create. It should all focus on one central idea.

Now, your theme could be family and that channel could incorporate organizational tips, cooking, homeschool lessons and funny antics. You’re still sticking to a theme. However, your overall theme should be very obvious to you and your subscribers.

The technical part of how to start a YouTube channel only takes moments.

You will want to create a Brand Account for your YouTube channels. This allows you to have multiple channels associated with your Google account, which helps if you have multiple niches. I personally have more than a half-dozen channels that I manage.

In order to create a branded channel, you will need to check your Branded Account status. Once you’ve signed into YouTube, you can go to your channel list and create a new channel. The prompts will guide you through adding the channel name and channel art. You can create beautiful channel art using Canva. It’s actually very easy!

Understand the monetization requirements.

Before you can make money on YouTube, you’ll need to meet the requirements for the YouTube Partner Program. The requirements currently are:

  • You need to have at least 1,000 subscribers.
  • You need to have at least 4,000 hours of watch time in the past 12 months.
  • You need to adhere to all the applicable YouTube policies, terms and community guidelines.

Unfortunately, it’s much easier to figure out how to start a YouTube channel than how to make money from one. Many YouTubers stop before they ever receive their first payment, simply because it takes a while to reach that monetization threshold.

For obvious reasons, many YouTubers do not want to invest a lot of money or time into their channels before they are able to make money for their effort. That’s understandable.

However, to meet those goals, you need to create consistent content that is worthy of your viewer’s time and subscriptions. This does not require expensive equipment or elaborate planning. In fact, I’ve made multiple channels using nothing but my smartphone and a basic tripod. It’s easier than you think!

Make a plan to meet the monetization requirements.

Your initial YouTube goal should be to get monetized. Once you reach that status, you can start putting out more elaborate videos. In the meantime, focus on keeping your videos simple and consistent.

Make a schedule you can stick to.

If you’re wondering how to start a YouTube channel, the answer is be consistent! Decide on a schedule that you can comfortably maintain for the indefinite future. For the first few years, I did one video a week. Once I could afford to outsource my video editing, I moved to three videos per week.

If you think you can comfortably produce two videos per week, then you should plan to publish one. You can schedule videos in advance and it’s always wise to have a few weeks scheduled out in case you get sick or can’t maintain your schedule.

Figure out what is realistic and then decide on something a little easier so that you can create that buffer.

Choose topics that people are interested in.

When you start your channel, start with easy talking head videos. These are the easiest to create. I script my videos in Google Docs, transfer the scripts over to a teleprompter app (I use the Elegant Teleprompter Pro app), and then record them on my smartphone. It’s very simple but it works.

Of course, you need to add value with your videos. I make sure that I’m creating videos that my audience is interested in by using SEO tools like TubeBuddy and VidIQ. These tools empower you to find topics that people are searching for.

An easy way to start your YouTube channel is to pick a dozen relevant questions that people are searching for and answer them. Keep your videos short and concise (3-5 minutes) so that people don’t click away during the video as often. This will help your video appear more often in the recommendations and higher in the search results.

Eventually, you will want most of your YouTube traffic to come from Suggested videos, but when you are first starting out it’s easier to aim for search traffic. Wait to worry about that long-term strategy until after you are monetized.

Create compelling thumbnails.

Use Canva to create compelling thumbnails for your videos. Studies show that bold contrasting colors and emotive faces increase click-through rates. Doing a little bit of research on how to make a great thumbnail can make a huge difference in the success of your channel.

To make thumbnail design easier, I recommend creating 2-3 templates that you can use and quickly modify. That way, you don’t spend too much time bogged down in graphic design. Getting the content published is more important than getting the content perfect.

Remember, a thumbnail is like a book cover. We all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but we all do it anyway. Make sure your thumbnail is click-worthy.

Interact with your audience.

Engaging with your audience is a great way to help build a sense of community around your channel. I like to host Premieres and participate in live chats while my videos play for the first time. This gives me the chance to answer questions, see what my audience is interested in, and provide them with a quality experience.

Take the time to respond to comments and engage in chats. The moments you take to interact with your subscribers will pay dividends down the road.

It really all comes down to consistency.

Ultimately, consistency is the biggest predictor of success on YouTube. You need to consistently publish consistently good content that is consistently focused on your niche. If you give your subscribers what they’re looking for, and you do it at a consistent pace, you should be just fine.

Now that you know how to start a YouTube channel, what are you waiting for? Go do it!


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