I was looking back at my notes on how to start on YouTube from a couple years ago and thought it would be useful to review a couple points.

Take YouTube seriously. If you don’t have a YouTube account yet, go ahead and make one.

YouTube is more than just an entertainment black hole. It’s a foundation to a great business system. If you make tutorials you can get views immediately. Make stuff people are searching for. Long tutorial videos get the most views.

A channel can be made within Google Apps if you’re thinking about starting one from there. At one point it may have required Google+ but you don’t have to worry about that now. If you didn’t know Google+ is dead, they made an announcement about Project Strobe in their safety and security article section and on their own Google+ page.

Making Your Content Findable

Besides making content that people are searching for you should also make this content easy to find. The title and description are the most important piece for organic traffic. Deep, thorough descriptions should read naturally with most important bits at the top.

Put keywords into the first 3 sentences and explain further in a larger context in paragraph form. This is huge for organic traffic through suggested videos. Put the time and effort into the description. Many people don’t do this for some reason. This is no area to be lazy.

Closed captions encourage longer views and count as meta data for organic traffic.

Avoid changing too many things at once after a video is published. Changes could lower traffic or raise it depending on what is changed. Try to do a good description at the start and leave it that way. You’ll get better at this with time.

User Experience

Use your banner photo to say when you are live or uploading new videos along with your name and artwork giving an idea of videos to expect.

Use cards and annotations to give reminders and link to other vides. There is a slight preference to cards since they work well in mobile devices. Keeping traffic on YouTube will make sure your traffic numbers continue to rise.

Make the introduction video an explanation of the kinds of videos you make and ask for a subscription.

Horizontal tiles are nice for organizing videos.

Ask for a fixed amount of likes at the beginning of every video. Having this as text in the lower third works great as well.

Feature favorite comments from recent videos at the end of each video. Even better, favorite and pin comments in all your videos.

General YouTube Partnership

100,000 subscribers is the threshold for checkmark verification. Lower amounts are possible if you attend YouTube partner events and show a commitment to building your channel.

Copyrighted music and directly taking video from others without transformative work are the easiest ways to get your channel in trouble.

Partner channels with above 15,000 watch time hours in the last 90 days are eligible to email the YouTube support teams directly by selecting Contact us for answers to questions and help with problems.

YouTube also gives creator awards.

  • 100K subscribers is eligible for the Silver Creator Award
  • 1M subscribers is eligible for the Gold Creator Award
  • 10M subscribers is eligible for the Diamond Creator Award

Check out this video for more information on YouTube Creator Awards:


One thing I want to say is when you’re creating content to publish on YouTube the process is a bit different than what you’re used to when all you’ve done is consume content.

If you’re interested, don’t put it off. Be a producer more than you are a consumer.

It’s interesting reviewing these tips as many of them aged pretty well. This helped me when I got started and I hope you got a little spark after reading as well.

What else should be here for a get started guide? What have you noticed in creating a YouTube channel? If you don’t have one and want one, when will you start posting videos?

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