How to Share Videos on YouTube

Use this free service to share your videos with the world

YouTube is the world's most popular video-sharing service. Watch online videos for free on topics as diverse as funny cat antics, learning geometry, memes, and product reviews, just to name a few. The breadth and scope of the videos available on YouTube is enormous, with users watching more than a billion hours of video every day.

If you'd like to get on the other side of YouTube and upload and share your videos, here's what you need to know to get started.

Users can navigate YouTube in more than 80 different languages, covering more than 95 percent of the world's population.

YouTube screen with "Broadcast Yourself" slogan
Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

Step One: Define Your YouTube Goals

Why do you want to be on YouTube? The first thing you'll need to decide is what you hope to accomplish by uploading videos to YouTube. Do you have a business you'd like to promote? Do you want to share videos of your child's soccer team with other families? Did you just take a hilarious video that you're eager to share with the world?

Whether you want to be a consistent content provider or just want to share videos with family and friends, when you clearly define your YouTube goals, it's easier to move forward and create engaging content.

If you want to promote a business, stay on-topic with your videos. For example, if you have a gardening business, post videos with gardening tips and tricks.

Step Two: Create a YouTube Channel

If you have a Google account, you're able to watch YouTube videos and subscribe to other people's YouTube channels. However, to upload videos, you'll need to create a YouTube channel. Use an existing Google account if you'll be using your channel for personal purposes, or create a new YouTube Channel for a business or organization. Here's how:

  1. Sign in to YouTube on a computer or mobile device.

  2. Select your profile picture icon in the top-right corner.

    The User icon in YouTube
  3. Select Create a Channel.

    The Create a Channel command
  4. Select Get Started, and then follow the prompts to name your channel, using your name or a custom name.

    Select Get Started to create your YouTube channel
  5. If you're using a custom name, enter it, check the box indicating you understand that you're creating a channel, and select Create.

    Check the box to confirm
  6. Follow the prompts to add a profile picture, write up a channel description, add links to other sites or social sites, and then select Save and Continue.

  7. You're now ready to upload videos to YouTube.

    You're ready to upload videos to YouTube

Step Three: Upload a Video to Your YouTube Channel

If you already have a video or videos to post, you're ready to upload them to your YouTube channel. If not, you'll need to make some YouTube videos.

The interface for uploading videos to YouTube is called YouTube Studio.

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio to arrive at your Channel Dashboard. (Or, from YouTube, select your profile picture > your channel > YouTube Studio.)

    YouTube Studio's channel dashboard
  2. In the top right-hand corner, select Create, and then choose Upload video.

    The Upload Videos command
  3. Select the file you'd like to upload and then select Upload.

    You can upload up to 15 videos at a time.

  4. Add a title, description, and thumbnail image for your video.

    Add a Title, description, and thumbnail for your YouTube video
  5. Add your video to a playlist (optional), say if your video is made for kids, and add any age restrictions.

    Designate the audience for your YouTube video
  6. Choose More Options. Indicate if the video has paid promotions, add tags, language settings, recording date and location, license and distribution information, add it to a category, and choose comment settings.

    Add additional options for a business video on YouTube
  7. After you've filled in any appropriate settings, select Next.

  8. Add cards and end screens to show viewers related videos, websites, and calls to action, and then select Next.

    Your video has to be at least 25 seconds long to have an end screen.

  9. Select Save or Publish and select whether you want the video to be Private, Public, or Unlisted.

    Unlisted means anyone with the link can view the video.

    Select Save or Publish and then select who can view your YouTube video
  10. Select Schedule to set a time for your YouTube video to go live.

    Select Schedule to set a time for your YouTube video to go live
  11. Select Schedule. You've uploaded and scheduled your YouTube video.

    You've uploaded and scheduled your YouTube video

Step Four: Create Playlists

Playlists help subscribers sort more easily through your content. Even if you only have a few videos posted, group them into playlists, and then choose names for your playlists.

Playlists help people find your videos, and then once they engage with one video, they'll see other videos you've created and will be more likely to watch them.

YouTube lets you feature playlists on your YouTube channel page.

Step Five: Promote Your Videos

Whether you're trying to grow a business or just want people to see your videos, use your social media accounts to spread the word about your YouTube content.

Don't forget to engage with your audience. Respond to questions and comments, and take viewer feedback into consideration. Your attentiveness to your YouTube channel will help build a loyal and committed following.