How to Make a YouTube Channel

Become the next viral internet star

An image of the YouTube app starting up on a smartphone screen.

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YouTube is a great platform for showcasing your work, sharing things about yourself and connecting with an audience. A YouTube channel is similar to a social networking profile, but instead of featuring status updates and photos, your channel will feature videos.

Viewers can then subscribe to your channel to keep up with your latest videos. When a viewer hits the subscribe button, your channel is added to their subscriptions in the vertical menu on the left and they'll see new video uploads from you in the From your subscriptions sections on their YouTube homepage.

Figuring out how to set up a YouTube channel is easy when you know the basic steps. Once you have your channel ready, you can customize it and start uploading videos.

Not sure what kind of topic you want for your channel? Check out these 15 popular YouTube channel ideas to get you started.

How to Create a YouTube Channel

  1. On the web, navigate to YouTube.com and select the Sign In button in the top right corner to log into your Google Account if you're not already signed in.

    On the mobile app, tap the empty profile picture icon in the top right of the app followed by the blue Sign In button on the next tab. Tap + Add account to sign in via your Google Account by following the steps given.

    You must have a Google Account in order to create a YouTube channel. Don't have one yet? Here's how to create your Google Account.

  2. On the web or on the app, select your profile picture icon in the top right corner and then select Your channel from the dropdown list.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.

    You'll be directed to a Use YouTube as... page/tab.

  3. Optionally edit your first and last name in the given fields and then select the blue Create Channel button on the web or the app.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.
  4. Access your newly created channel from the web or the app by selecting your profile picture icon > Your channel.

How to Create Another YouTube Channel When You Already Have One

You can create multiple YouTube channels to manage under the same Google Account. YouTube makes it easy to switch between your channels.

You can only create another YouTube channel under the same Google Account (by creating a Brand Account) from YouTube.com in a web browser. It doesn't appear to be possible in the official YouTube apps for iOS or Android.

  1. On the web, sign into your account at YouTube.com if necessary, then select your profile picture icon in the top right corner followed by Your channel from the dropdown list.

  2. Select Settings from the left sidebar.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.
  3. Select See all my channels or create a new channel under Your account.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.
  4. Select the + Create a new channel box.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.
  5. You'll be asked to create a Brand Account to create another YouTube channel.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.

    Enter the name of whatever you want to call your Brand Account in the given field (such as the name of a business, organization, or anything else) and then select the blue Create button.

  6. Now when you look at your profile picture icon in the top right, you should notice that you're signed into your newly created Brand Account that's associated with your new, secondary YouTube account.

    Select your profile picture icon > Your channel on the web or the app to access your new secondary channel.

  7. To switch back to your primary (personal) YouTube account any time you want, just select your profile picture icon > Switch account > Your primary YouTube account name.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.

If you ever change your mind about a YouTube channel or a YouTube Brand Account you created, you can always delete your YouTube channel or delete your YouTube Brand Account.

How to Customize Your YouTube Channel

Now that you've created you YouTube channel, you can really make it your own by taking advantage of the customization features.

Full customization of your YouTube channel requires you to be using YouTube from a web browser. The mobile app only allows you to customize a couple pieces of very basic information, such as your channel name and description.

  1. Sign into your account at YouTube.com, then select your profile picture icon in the top right corner followed by Your channel in the dropdown list.

  2. Select the blue Customize Channel button.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.

    You'll be shown a customizable version of your channel.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.
  3. Hover your cursor over the profile picture thumbnail and select the pencil icon to change it.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.

    Keep in mind that because YouTube uses your Google Account photo or Brand Account Photo, the profile pictures will be changed across those platforms as well to keep it all consistent. You might see a warning notifying you of this.

    Select the blue Edit button to change your channel profile picture via Google.

  4. Select the blue Add channel art button to upload a photo from your computer, choose one from your existing Google+ photos, or choose one from Google's built-in gallery.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.
  5. Select the + Add channels button on the right side underneath Featured Channels. Here you can add the username or URL of other channels you'd like to link to from your channel. These can be channels from other YouTube users or additional channels that you manage.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.
  6. Select the gear icon in the top right of your channel beside your subscriber count to customize your channel's privacy settings and prevent discussions from being published until you approve them.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.
  7. Select the About tab on your channel menu.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.

    Here you can select + Channel description to tell your viewers what your channel is all about, + Email to provide an email address for business inquiries, the dropdown list beside Location to let viewers know where you're located, and Links to add URLs to your website or social networking profiles.

  8. Select the Playlists tab on your channel menu to create public video playlists that your subscribers and viewers can watch and enjoy.

  9. Navigate back to the Home tab. Once you have a few videos uploaded to your channel (discussed in the next section), you can select Feature content and + Add a section to customize the types of videos you want to be displayed first and their layouts.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.
  10. For more advanced customization features, you'll need to access the Creator Studio. While viewing your channel, select your profile picture icon in the top right and then select Creator Studio from the dropdown menu.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.
  11. Under CHANNEL in the vertical menu on the left, you can select several tabs.

    YouTube status and features page
  • Status and features: Verify your channel, enable, or disable various features and check your eligibility for creating a custom URL.
  • Upload defaults: Select a default privacy setting, category, license, title, description, tags, and more for your videos.
  • Branding: Add a watermark to overlay in the bottom right corner of your videos.
  • Advanced: Edit your account information, enable or disable advertisements, link your AdWords accounts ,and more.

YouTube is in the process of transitioning Creator Studio to the new YouTube Studio, so you might not see these exact options laid out like this if your channel has the new upgrade.

How to Upload YouTube Videos

You can upload videos both on the web and on the mobile app.

  1. On the web, select the video camera icon with a plus sign in the top right menu. This icon is visible on every page of YouTube as long as you're signed into your account.

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.

    On the app, there's a similar video camera icon in the top menu that you can select. You might need to tap Allow Access to let the app access your device's media folders, camera, and microphone.

  2. On the web, you have two selections from the dropdown list:

    • Upload video: Select a video file from your computer to upload.
    • Go Live: Launch a live video broadcast to your subscribers and viewers using a webcam and microphone.

    On the app, you have three selections:

    • Record: Record a video directly through the app that you can post to your channel.
    • Go Live: Launch a live video broadcast to your subscribers and viewers using your mobile device's camera and microphone.
    • Videos: Choose an existing video from your device to upload to your channel.

    You must have at least 1,000 subscribers in order to be eligible for mobile live streaming. If you don't, you can still go live on the web via a webcam.

  3. If you decide to upload a video from your computer/device or record one through the app, you'll be able to select the visibility first (public, private, or unlisted). Then you can select your video to upload (or start recording).

    A screenshot of YouTube.com.

    Once uploaded/recorded, you can fill in several details including the video title, description, and tags in the given fields.

  4. Select Done when you're finished typing in your video's details to finish posting the video to your channel.

For a more detailed walkthrough with screenshots, check out our article on How to Upload Videos to YouTube.