YouTube Starter Guide 2021

With 95% of the internet population able to access YouTube in over 130 countries, the platform has become the second largest social network where people come to share their stories with the world.

As a content creator, you may find it hard/overwhelming to create content and keep up with all the different tools, features and policies while starting your channel.

Below is a list of things you need to check before you publish your videos:

1. Verify your account

This is step one for any YouTube channel, verifying your account allows you to upload longer content, add custom thumbnails and live stream.

If you haven't done this as yet, click here to verify your account now.

2. Focus on your video metadata before you hit publish

YouTube's search and discovery algorithm work by matching your video to viewers with similar interests. Giving YouTube as much information as possible makes your video easier to find by people. Adding a title, video description and thumbnail contribute to your video reaching new viewers. Use words and images that represent your content and that will give viewers a glimpse of what to expect.

3. Use YouTube video features

Viewers spend more than 70% of their time watching what the algorithm recommends. Categorizing your content into playlists, adding end screens and using cards will keep your audience hooked to your channel, boosting your overall watch time. The more they watch the more likely they are to subscribe too!

4. Create a strong visual identity

Your channel represents your personality, so make sure your brand conveys the right message to your audience. Strong brands are easy to recall because of their uniqueness and consistency.

Use channel icons, banners, subscribe buttons, thumbnails and trailers to visually hook your viewers. Be consistent so that your channel looks cohesive and makes it easy for viewers to identify.

5. Policy and Guidelines

YouTube has laid out an extensive list of policies and guidelines to maintain a safe and vibrant community. As a content creator, you need to pay close attention to YouTube's community guidelines when you upload. Any violation will lead to your video being removed or the channel getting terminated.

Below are some examples of content that may lead to your channel getting a strike.

  • Nudity and sexual content
  • Vulgar language
  • Hate speech
  • Firearms
  • Violent graphic content
  • Impersonation and misinformation

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