How to create a YouTube channel: a step by step guide

How to create a successful YouTube channel

Running a YouTube channel is a great chance to get creative and show off your video editing skills. Deciding to turn your video content into a YouTube channel can be exciting, and we’re sure you’re desperate to get started. But before you do, there are a few things you need to know. Sure, you want to make your content go viral. But first, you need to know how to create a YouTube Channel in the first place. There are a bunch of things you’ll need to consider like how to avoid copyright and where to find music.  

It might actually be easier than you realize to set up a YouTube channel and make it successful. Keep reading to find out how!

Create a YouTube channel from start to finish

Before you can start making money on your YouTube channel, there are a few steps you need to take first. Don’t worry though, we’ve put together the 8 steps you need to follow to get up and running in no time.

Step 1: How to make a YouTube channel

How to create a YouTube channel

The first step to creating a successful YouTube channel is to…well…create a channel. Here are the steps to create a new YouTube channel in a few minutes:

  1. Log in to YouTube.
  2. Click your profile icon in the top right corner.
  3. Now click on “Settings” (with the gear next to it).
  4. Click “Add or manage your channel(s)” in the middle of the page.
  5. Click “Create a new channel” (with the plus sign next to it).
  6. Choose your brand/channel name.
  7. Fill out your basic info and hit submit.

Congratulations! You are now officially a YouTuber.

Is making a YouTube channel free?

You can create a YouTube channel completely for free, you just need to set up a YouTube account (as outlined above) and you’re good to go.

Step 2: Customize your YouTube channel

How to create a successful YouTube channel

Next, it’s time to tell the world who you are. If you haven’t thought about your target audience or your messaging, this is the time. The most successful YouTubers don’t haphazardly release content without a plan—they know their unique angle, tone, and experience. They play to their strengths. By coming up with a strategy early in your YouTube career, you can set yourself up for success by delivering consistent, high-quality content that appeals to your audience.

Once you’ve decided what kind of YouTuber you want to be, start filling out your basic info, channel description and profile picture. Try to show your personality and style. It’s also great to include links to your social media pages and website (if you have one).

You’ll then want to create and upload your channel’s artwork. Similar to Facebook and LinkedIn, YouTube has a channel banner that sets the tone for your brand. Consider creating your own, personalized banner image using tools like Canva. According to YouTube, the optimal size for your cover art is 2560 x 1440 pixels.

Step 3: Welcome new viewers with a channel trailer

You can further customize your channel page with the use of a channel trailer. Your channel trailer should highlight some of the best and most recent video footage of your content to give your audience an idea about what they can expect from your channel and you as a creator. Try doing or saying something that sets you apart and gives viewers an idea of what you’re all about.

Step 4: Record your first video

MrBeast's first video

After setting up all your introductory materials, it’s time to get down to business. Since you’ve already spent time in Step 2 thinking about the overall direction of your channel,

After you customize your channel page, you’ll need to start making your own videos. You should already have an idea of what video content you’re going to create or even have some video’s pre-recorded ready to be uploaded to your channel. Some YouTubers have high-quality, professionally-shot videos that look like they came from a movie studio. Others opt for a low-tech approach, often trying to appear more approachable and relatable. Whichever method you choose, you need to ensure it is relevant content to your brand.

Remember though, this is only your first video, it’s not going to be perfect and that’s okay! You’re still getting to grips with your equipment, software and ideas which aren’t going to be polished straight away. Keep at it and you will soon find the style and process that works for you.

Step 5: Edit your video content to appeal to other YouTube users

After you finish shooting your video, you’ll need to do everything you can to create an engaging final product. One of the best ways to create exciting, emotional videos is to find high-quality music to add depth and set the tone. When adding songs to your video, there are a few things you’ll need to consider:

  • Do you have legal permission to use the music?
  • Is the music attention-grabbing?

Let’s take each of these questions in turn.

One big mistake new YouTube creators make is using unauthorized copyrighted music. Just because you find free royalty-free music for YouTube videos online doesn’t mean you can use the songs in your video. You need legal permission before you upload your creation to YouTube. Otherwise, you may face unfortunate penalties such as:

You may be wondering how on earth you’re supposed to get your hands on copyrighted music that you can use on YouTube without one of these terrible things happening to your video. This is where Lickd has changed the game. Lickd offers an entirely legal way to get mainstream music for your YouTube videos so you can add catchy tunes to your YouTube videos and make your content as fun and engaging as possible. Of course, with Lickd’s music for YouTube, you’ll never have to worry about running afoul of copyright law.

Psst, you won’t be able to get this anywhere else. Lickd is currently the only music library making popular music available to creators!

Is the music attention-grabbing?

Chart music for YouTube


Claims-free music isn’t difficult to find. However, most sites only have generic, lyric-less music. YouTube Audio Library—YouTube’s free music library—offers free music to use on YouTube, but you’re unlikely to find show-stopping tunes. If you’re looking to power up your video, you’re going to need chart-topping music your viewers will recognize. Unlike other music libraries with a few thousand stock tracks, Lickd has over 1 million hits from big-name artists like Sia, David Guetta, XXXTENTACION, Sean Paul, The Offspring, Megan Thee Stallion and many more.

We’ve also put together a handy guide on some of the best songs available for YouTube videos if you need some inspiration on where to start, or why not check out other creators’ favourite songs?

Step 6: Optimize your videos for YouTube SEO

YouTube channel optimized for SEO

Before you upload your videos, make sure you optimize them for search engines so they appear in the relevant search results for your target audience. By choosing relevant keywords and inserting them strategically in your video titles, descriptions, and other meta-data, you can help potential viewers find your content.

When selecting keywords, go with something specific. For example, if your video teaches people how to invest in technology stocks for long-term gains, don’t title your video “How to invest.” Long-tail keywords attract people who are looking for exactly what you offer. “How to invest in technology stocks for long-term gains” is a much better title and will help people find your new channel.

All sound like gibberish? Get the full explanation on SEO for YouTube with more tips and tricks in our guide to YouTube SEO.

Step 7: Upload your videos to your YouTube channel

Once you’ve created a video following our above steps, you’re ready to start building your YouTube channel. When you upload videos, make sure you create playlists so similar videos can be grouped together and your viewers can find more of their favourite videos easier.

You want to make your channel as easy as possible for your viewers to navigate. Do you want your most recent videos at the top of your channel, or would you rather highlight some of your highest-rated content? The world is your oyster.

Try what you think might work to start with, but don’t be afraid to experiment down the line and see what works best for your channel. You may find that one particular type of content works really well with your viewers and so you’ll probably want to put that towards the top of your channel page.

Step 8: Growing your YouTube channel and audience

How to create a successful YouTube channel

Attracting a large YouTube following can take time, every YouTube account has started out with one or two subscribers to begin with so don’t get discouraged. Stay consistent and continually release new content to attract new fans. Don’t forget you can publicize your channel on other social media platforms, especially when a new video is uploaded, to help you reach more viewers. Add links directly to your new videos and channel and watch your viewers sore!

Don’t be afraid to pivot if you think a new angle might help attract a bigger audience. However, don’t jump around too much because your audience might get confused or they’ll stop watching you because you don’t make content relevant to them anymore. That will lead to a lower engagement rate and/or higher unsubscribes – neither of which is good!

You might even want to create multiple YouTube channels at first to see what sort of content your audiences engage with the most. However, don’t overdo how much content you produce. You could easily get burnt out and discouraged if it seems like no content is working. We’d generally recommend to try with one channel first and if it doesn’t work, then create a new channel with something a little different.

Make sure to give yourself enough time to really learn about your audience and become a master of your craft before you start switching strategies. Keep working hard and putting yourself out there, and you’ll see results.

Now you know how to create a YouTube channel. So what’s Lickd?

Lickd offers the best music for Youtube videos that can help you stand out in a sea of content creators. With Lickd, you’ll get a customized quote that adjusts based on the size of your audience. So if you’re a smaller creator, you won’t have to pay as much as the million subscriber channels. Sound fair? We’re here to build a long-term relationship, not make a quick buck.

When you sign up for Lickd, you’ll be able to search for well-known mainstream songs by genre, length, mood, and more. Plus, if you sign up today, you get 25% off your first track!

Want to know more about how to create a successful YouTube channel?

Are you looking for more advice on how to really make the most of your YouTube channel? To help you out, we’ve created a whole range of guides on our blog to help you grow your channel and make money on YouTube.


Content and SEO Marketing Manager

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