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The Ultimate YouTuber Checklist

Image of a woman holding a camera in one hand and a camera lens in another to illustrate an article about the ultimate YouTuber checklist

So, you want to be a YouTuber? With over two billion users hitting the channel every month, we don’t blame you. Setting up your own channel is a great way to show off your creativity, share your skills, and, if you’re good at it, make some cash, too.

To help make things simple for you, we’ve put together our ultimate YouTuber checklist, outlining everything you need to get your channel off the ground.

How To Get Started As A YouTuber 

Decide And Define Your Niche

Decide what your channel is going to be about and stick to it. The best advice we can give you? Go with something you already like or have an interest in.

Maybe you’re a proud veggie who knows the best veggie eateries in your city. You could be a wrestling fanatic. Perhaps you’re just really good at whispering things (who knew?).

Whatever your skill or passion, tap into that. Alternatively, you could use your professional experience. For example:

  • Personal trainer = fitness channel
  • Chef = cooking channel
  • Painter = how to paint channel

You get the idea.

Take the fashion vlogger, bestdressed, otherwise known as Ashley. She clearly loves what she’s doing. That passion can be gold – it has enabled her to take a hobby and make it into a multimillion subscriber channel. And there’s no reason why you can’t do the same.

Be Yourself

Let’s stick with Ashley for a second. One of the reasons her channel has become so popular – 3.78 million subscribers, last time we checked – is because it’s authentic.

In a recent interview with Forbes, she said that it was being herself that helped her to connect with her viewers. Once she got comfortable on camera, viewers started to relate. Prior to that point, she’d had an idea in her head of what a “YouTuber” was, and how they acted. Dropping the act allowed her to show her personality – which people clearly love.

Set Your Goals

What do you want to achieve with your channel? Success can take many different forms on YouTube, and defining this early will help you to create a content strategy and stick to it.

Do you want to entertain people with funny stories or pranks? Do you want to help people make decisions/purchases by reviewing things? Do you want to solve problems for people with handy “how-to” style videos?

If you’re just in it to make money (which is totally fine, by the way) make sure that you’re still making content with the viewer in mind. At the end of the day, your videos must have an aim, like the ones we just mentioned, otherwise no one will watch them.

Define Your Strategy And Be Consistent

Think of your channel as a mini brand. Everything you do needs to fit the same style, vision and aesthetic. That takes a bit of planning.

Consider the type of videos you’re going to make (handheld, tutorial, screen share etc), and get to grips with the “how” behind making videos. New to the game? No problem, we’ve got a whole bunch of expert videos and brilliant blogs that will have you making awesome content in no time.

Next, consistency. Plan out your video topics in advance and stick to a production schedule. The thing with social media is that it’s pretty much everywhere, all of the time – and people forget easily. If you’re making a video every couple of months, the chance you’ll get any traction is basically zero.

YouTube loves consistency. Ideally, you want to be making two to three videos a week – and sticking to it.

What You Need To Do Before Making Videos 

Invest Time In SEO

Nope, it’s not just for Google Search. SEO is a major piece of the YouTube puzzle.

First, you need to figure out which keywords and phrases you want to rank for. To do this, you’ll need to conduct some SEO research. There are lots of great tools out there, such as Google AdWords, YouTube Analytics and Ahrefs.

Essentially you will want to know:

  • What words and phrases do people search for when looking for a video like yours?
  • What’s the competition like for these words/phrases?

Once you have your keywords, you can use them to optimize your videos.

So where do you put them? The video title, description and tags should all contain keywords. You’ll want to get some in the file name of your video when you upload it to YouTube, too.

You can also caption your videos, which adds another level of SEO, as it’s likely your keywords will appear naturally in the video’s dialogue.

Get The Gear That Works For You

Think about the style of videos you’re going to be making. What kind of video gear will you need?

Here are three popular types of YouTube video, and some of the kit you might want to think about to make them.

1. Vlog

YouTube has pioneered the “Face-To-Camera” style. It’s simple, it’s easy and anyone can do it.

Got a smartphone? You can pretty much start shooting good-quality videos right now. One thing we would suggest, however, is getting hold of a good quality microphone. When it comes to video, audio is king.

2. Product/review videos

If you’re going to be doing something product-focused, like Unbox Therapy, you might want to invest in a camera, too.

For the most part, the star of the show in these videos is the product (and you, obviously), so you’ll want to make sure it looks great. Smartphone cameras don’t have the greatest range here – especially when it comes to zooming in – which means you might want to consider an upgrade. Here are some tips.

3. How-To

Epic make-up artist? Awesome cook? Phenomenal musician? Whatever your skills, you really want them to come alive on film.

Again, you’ll probably want an upgrade on your smartphone camera to make sure everything looks crisp and vivid. Also consider your lighting – this is especially important for beauty or make-up bloggers – and how you keep the camera steady – a good tripod goes a long way.

Learn How To Edit

Shooting awesome videos is only half the battle. The real magic happens in the edit.

With a few tips and tricks, you can start to make your videos look really professional. Editing also helps you to keep videos short, concise and engaging, while you can remove any mistakes later on – hey, not even Tom Hanks gets it in one take every time.

There’s lots of free software out there, such as the easy-to-use iMovie, or you can invest in a more powerful package, such as DaVinci and Adobe. Either way, check out this video about video editing tips for beginners, it’ll tell you everything you need to know to get started.

How To Set Up And Run Your Channel

Optimize Your Channel

You’ve got the idea. You’ve got the gear. Now it’s time to create that channel.

First up, you want a cool, catchy name. Don’t rush this part. Brainstorm until you get one, you’re really happy with. Bounce names off your friends. Look at similar YouTube creators for inspiration. Your name needs to stand out and reflect your style (remember, be yourself).

Once you’ve got a name, you’re ready to create the channel. Write a clear, readable description about your channel. It should explain exactly what you do (with a few keywords in there, of course).

Next, you’ll need a logo, image and header image. Make sure they’re consistent and match up with your tone in the description (for example, is it light and fun, or serious and edgy?). If you want to get something professional made without breaking the bank, check use Viddyoze to create animated intros and outros.

Manage Your Community

Building a community is a huge part of being a YouTuber.

But it’s more than just responding to the comments in your video. You need to be encouraging your community to get in touch, actively engaging with them. Not only will this build a stronger bond between you and your target audience, but it should – if done right – give you more ideas for content.

Ask people what they’d like to see in your videos, what they love and what they hate about it, use questions in the comments to create new content, and so on.

Other things you can try to grow your community:

  • Encourage your subscribers to follow you on other social media platforms
  • Create an email mailing list for them
  • Run surveys and ask for feedback

Analyze, Analyze, Analyze

YouTube Analytics allows you to deep-dive into your audience. It can help you really understand who your subscribers are and why they’re watching your videos. You should be checking in your metrics daily to better understand how your videos are performing.

Here are five key video metrics you should be looking out for…

Watch Time

Pretty simple. It’s the total number of minutes your video was watched over a set period of time. This is a good indicator of how people are engaging with your content. If one video is more watched than another, you can go deeper and try to figure out why that is.

Realtime Views

The total number of people who’ve watched your latest video in the last 48 hours. Again, this is a great way to see which types of content people engage with most.

Channel Views

The total number of people who’ve watched your channel over a given period.

Traffic Sources

Where your viewers are coming from. Use it to find the best channel for your content. You can even use this to figure out which key words people searched for before they ended up at your video, which is great for SEO.

Audience Demographics

The location, age and gender of your audience. Great for understanding who your viewers really are. The more you know about them, the better you can tailor your content to their needs.

And there you have it. Everything you need to know to start your YouTube journey. Next step is to build a YouTube marketing funnel which gets people to your website.

We hope you’ve found this YouTuber checklist useful. For more expert tips and awesome advice, subscribe to the Viddyoze blog and check out our social media channels. And if you want to see how we can help you out, check out our page on creating outros for your channel.

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