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How to Start a YouTube Channel | Step-by-Step for Beginners

Here's your 101 on How to start a YouTube channel! We share a full step-by-step tutorial and extra tips to help you succeed when starting out on YouTube.
Stephen Robles
Video & Podcast Creator
Last Updated:
February 4, 2024
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Want to reach a global audience? Starting a YouTube channel is about more than just creativity; it allows you to broadcast your voice to many people worldwide. 

The process can be challenging, especially for beginners. To stand out in a sea of content creators on YouTube can be discouraging even to the most passionate person. 

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. In the following guide, we will focus on how to start a YouTube channel that reaches your goals. Here’s everything you need to know.

Why should you start a YouTube channel in 2024?

This year may be the year to kickstart your channel. Over two billion people use YouTube monthly, accounting for almost half of all Internet users. With millions of views generated daily, it's clear that YouTube is the ultimate destination for online content creators. 

The world is hungry for creative voices, and YouTube provides the opportunity to become an artist, a director, or an entertainer. Whatever your talent, you can showcase it here. Here are the top reasons you should strategically start a YouTube channel in 2024.

Global reach:

YouTube started way back in 2005 and has taken the world by storm. The platform continues to grow, allowing creators to reach a wider demographic, which helps them create a like-minded community around their passion. 

Source of revenue:

Through its evolving partner program, YouTube allows creators to earn a sustainable income using various ways, including ads, live streams, and subscriptions. New features that can generate revenue include Super Thanks, Super Chat, and Super Stickers. Viewers pay to use these features in the comment section of your videos and creators get a share of the earnings. 


The versatility of YouTube, which extends beyond just uploading videos, will allow you to develop a unique style that aligns with your viewer's preferences. One example of this is YouTube Shorts — short-form video content that viewers mainly consume on their smartphones. There’s also the newly added podcasts page on YouTube. The platform is continuously evolving to keep up with the latest industry trends. 

What do you need to start a YouTube channel?

Before we look into how to start a YouTube channel, it's essential to know what you need to create it. Although starting a YouTube channel doesn’t require a lot of expertise, there are some crucial things to consider. Let’s break down the main things that you need here: 


First up, you need some equipment. Here are the uttermost essentials:

YouTube filming camera

If your budget is low, you can start creating YouTube videos using your smartphone or a basic webcam. However, as you progress, you may choose to invest in a more advanced camera for better-quality videos to make your channel look more professional. Here are our favorite YouTube cameras to get you started.  

High-quality microphone

You will need an external microphone. Usually, an inbuilt device isn't good at capturing high-quality audio. Choosing a microphone that eliminates background noise and records clear voices helps grab viewers' attention. Check out our microphone recommendations for YouTube

Lighting equipment (optional)

Adequate lighting is required to enhance video visual quality and audience engagement. Poor lighting causes your audience to strain their eyes while watching the subject. Viewers who see your content clearly will likely stay longer watching it, which helps to improve your channel's overall success. While natural lighting can work fine, consider investing in a ring light or another form of lighting to have full control. 

Additional tools

Besides the basics, you may want to get a few extra items especially if you have the budget. This could include backdrops or design items for your background, a mic and camera tripod, plus headphones to hear clearly what you’re recording live. 

Editing and Recording Software

Although YouTube has built-in features to create long and short-form videos its functionality is limited. To produce high-quality videos, you may need to invest in some quality editing and recording software. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there. 

When it comes to recording and editing your content, there are a lot of options out there. You may even record on a camera and the upload straight into an editing platform. If you’re looking to make nitty gritty edits, then you may want an advanced platform like Adobe Premiere. This is ideal for fine-editing, but if you’re more on the beginner end and don’t want to spend hours editing we suggest you choose an AI YouTube editor like Riverside.

Riverside YouTube video maker

Riverside is an affordable platform that allows you to record and edit your YouTube content with ease. Set up a virtual studio and record in up to 4K video and 48kHz audio resolution. Then use AI to edit your content in less than half the time. Creating professional-style video content at the touch of a button has never been easier. Here are the key features you can expect: 

  • High-quality local recordings: Everything records directly on your device instead of relying on internet connection
  • Built-in teleprompter: Plan your video and view your script live to stay on track as you are recording it
  • Text-based editor: Edit your video content by directly editing the AI-generated transcript
  • Customizable features: You can customize your video layout and brand it by adding your channel logo or colors 
  • Magic Clips: Our AI clip generator turns the best snippets of your videos intro sharable online videos
  • Accurate AI transcriptions: SRT & TXT transcripts are available in 100+ languages 

Aside from investing in video editing software, you also need to ensure that you can edit your imagery to a high level. On YouTube, it is often the thumbnail of the video that sells the content to your audience. As such, tools like Canva (for beginners) and Photoshop (for everyone else) can create eye-catching thumbnails to help you increase viewership. 

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How to start a YouTube channel: 10 Steps

Creating a YouTube account is easy, but transforming it into a successful channel needs more work. If you are just starting your creation journey, we have you covered. Follow these 10 steps to learn how to start a YouTube channel today:

Step 1: Plan your YouTube Channel and Pick a Niche

Before starting your YouTube channel, you must identify your main topic (also known as your niche). A niche is why most people follow a particular channel that addresses specific issues. According to Social Pilot, the most popular YouTube channel niches for 2024 are 

  • Vlogging
  • Unboxing
  • Video gaming
  • Tutorials, cooking
  • Travel, photography or videography
  • Fittness
  • Makeup

Consider what area you want to focus on and who your audience is. 

Read more: 33+ YouTube Video Ideas + A Framework to Come Up With Yours 

Step 2: Focus On Your Target Audience

That leads us nicely onto the second step in the process. You need to ensure you understand your viewers' preferences and pain points, i.e. what they want from you as a creator. That means identifying if they need information, guidance, or entertainment. By knowing your audience's viewing habits, likes, and dislikes, you can create unique and enjoyable videos based on their needs. Take the time to do some market research on your audience base.

Step 3: Create Branding for your YouTube Channel

Branding is essential in driving engagement and increasing awareness. You can effectively enhance your brand identity by creating a brand business name, a logo, colors, or a website for your channel. By customizing and branding your videos, your channel will attract more viewers and engagement. It also makes you easily identifiable and helps you stand out from other creators. Make sure that your channel looks professional from the start.

Step 4: Set up your YouTube channel

After branding your channel, you must learn how to set up a YouTube channel. Here’s what you should do: 

Step 1: Go to and login or sign up. If you have a Google account, it's most likely connected to a YouTube account. You will see your avatar at the top right of the page.

(Note: If you don't have a Google account, creating one only requires you to go to, provide your name and preferred email address, and create a password.) 

Step 2: In the top right corner of the page, click on your profile image.  Then, click “View Your Channel” and then “Customize Channel”

Step 3: Switch between the “Layout,” “Branding,” and “Basic Info” tabs. Add the information that you want to each of these spaces.

(Note: You can customize your page by adding your logo, video watermark, and brand banners to the “Branding” form.)

Step 4: Finally, your Google account details will be displayed, and you must verify the information for accuracy and identity. 

The process is extremely simple. YouTube provides a form-based setup that anybody can use. As previously mentioned, it’s worth having all of the information you need in advance. 

Step 5: Start Creating your Video Content

Making a YouTube channel also involves creating quality content that viewers enjoy watching. Ensure you record, edit, and produce high-quality videos before posting them on your channel. Once you have done that, you need to get on with the post-production. That means editing your content so that it is snappy, engaging, and easy to digest.

Additionally, your videos should have excellent branding, captivating intros, and clear audio to make your audience subscribe to your channel. While it takes some time to perfect this art, it’s worth giving it your all. 

You can use Riverside to do it all — record, edit, and download your content. Sign up and create your own virtual studio in a matter of minutes. You can record in up to 4K video and 48kHz audio resolution and there are plenty of features to make your content stand out from the crowd. For example, the Magic Clips feature uses the power of AI to identify the best snippets of videos that you can use for YouTube Shorts.

Learn more, or start creating YouTube videos effortlessly with Riverside. 

Step 6: Crafting Engaging Thumbnails

Before pressing the upload button, consider creating eye-catching thumbnails with images that preview what a viewer should expect. Don’t make the mistake of simply using a still from your video. Use different colors and images that stimulate curiosity and drive the audience to click. Equally, you should ensure your titles are punchy and descriptive to attract attention.

Step 7: Optimize Your YouTube Videos

YouTube has intense competition, and standing out requires optimizing your content for discoverability. With hundreds of videos uploaded every minute on YouTube, use targeted keywords in your channel descriptions and subtitles. 

For each video you upload, you should also include a brief description and chapter titles to help users navigate through your content. This also boosts SEO and can help your content rank for search queries. 

This doesn’t even have to take much effort. Riverside Show Notes takes the hard work out of this process, offering AI-generated summaries, takeaways and chapters at the touch of a button. 

Step 8: Grow Your Reach/Audience

The main thing that most YouTube channels neglect is promotion. Fortunately, you can promote your YouTube videos by creating playlists to optimize visitor experience. Well-organized playlists can make subscribers continue watching by accessing similar videos. Ultimately, YouTube rewards channels with more extended user engagement by ranking them higher. 

Step 9: Monetize Your YouTube Content

Every creator's goal is to get their YouTube channel monetized. The typical way of achieving this is through YouTube's Partner Program (YPP). However, this feature is available only to people from eligible countries and by meeting specific thresholds, such as reaching 500 subscribers. As a creator, you receive earnings through the Google AdSense program every time a viewer interacts with an ad in your video. 

Step 10: Measure the Audience Analytics

Now that you are up and running, it’s time to continually improve your content. YouTube's analytics feature helps you acquire detailed insights about your channel's performance. By using analytic measures such as views, comments, and shares, you can better understand user habits. It will also help you to identify best-performing content that helps craft your future content based on your audience preferences.

5 Tips to make a successful YouTube channel

Now that you know the basics, let’s step things up a gear. Creating a successful YouTube channel requires immense dedication, effort, and time. Here are some of the quick tips that will help you make your content soar.

Find your niche 

Pick a specific video topic of interest and run with it. You simply must choose a specific topic and zero in on it, rather than going with a general one. This will help you create a pool of dedicated viewers, making you stand out. Look at what’s already out there and think about what you can offer that is different and more valuable. Knowing your audience and targeting them directly will help you build a following. 

Content is king 

Chances are, you’ve heard this phrase before but it’s true. You need to make sure you offer high-quality content that meets your audience's needs. Your video tutorials or stories should focus on providing value and entertainment to your audience. Before you publish a video, check that it offers something unique. 

Be consistent 

To create anticipation in your viewers, ensure you consistently upload new videos on your channel. Decide in advance how often you will be publishing content. (You can add this information to your description!) That way, you will start to build a loyal following online. 

Engage with your viewers

Be active on your channel and offer feedback to questions and comments, which helps to build loyalty among your viewers. You may also want to host live events on YouTube in which you engage with your audience in real time. This approach helps you to build a community, rather than just viewers.

Continue learning 

YouTube is an ever-changing platform, and you will need to keep up. Be ready to acquire new skills to align with the ever-evolving video landscape. Use feedback to refine your content to gain a competitive advantage.

FAQs on How to Start a Youtube channel:

How do you connect your YouTube channel to a brand account?

If you want to manage your account through several users, connecting your YouTube channel to a brand account is the way to go. Here’s what to do:

  • If you have an active account, log in to your channel. 
  • Click your profile image to access "Settings." 
  • Then, go to "Advanced settings". 
  • Select "Move channel to a Brand Account" to connect your channel.

How much does it cost to start a YouTube channel?

Although starting a YouTube channel is free, you will require basic equipment, such as cameras and microphones, to produce quality videos. This could be estimated to cost approximately $430 to start a YouTube channel.

What is a YouTuber salary?

A “small YouTuber” makes between $50 to $100 per month. While there are many ways that YouTubers may make money, they can expect to earn between $3 and $5 per 1,000 video views. However, the earnings received from YouTube significantly depend on several factors, including viewership, clicks, number of clicks, and ad quality. 

Is it too late to start a YouTube channel?

No! As we have mentioned, YouTube is continually evolving with the latest trends and top creators can earn thousands of dollars every month. If you are thinking about starting a YouTube channel, there’s no time like the present to get started. Our guide has given you the basic tools and information that you need to kickstart your new channel.

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