Have you ever told someone that you wanted to become a YouTuber and heard this?
“It is too late to start on YouTube! Things aren’t what they used to be!
YouTube isn’t just viral cat videos – it is a complex search engine with over a billion daily users, generating billions of dollars in value for everyone involved.
Hundreds of hours of content are added every minute! How can anyone hope to compete? How can you expect to get YouTube views of your own?”
Well here’s the thing…
Anyone who tells you that it is ‘too late’ is just plain wrong.
People have been saying it’s too late to start a successful YouTube channel, blog, vlog, website, business etc. for years because it is an easy excuse to not get started.
If you are ready to finally get on YouTube and are wondering how to get started on YouTube in 2018, then keep reading.
Over one billion hours of video are consumed on YouTube EVERY DAY!
There has never been such a massive audience on YouTube. There have never been more ways to promote your YouTube channel. YouTube has never been better at rewarding good content with its search algorithm.
So where do you begin with your first YouTube video?
Well, there are a couple of steps before we jump to that.
In this article, we will explain how to become a YouTuber, grow your channel for success, and start a vlog that can stand win an army of subscribers over time.
If you are looking for high-quality video guidance, we recommend that you check out this amazing course from pro YouTuber Jazza (2+ million subscibers). He provides an easy-to-follow template for success on YouTube on Skillshare – along with several other helpful video guides accessible here.
10 Step Checklist – How To Become a YouTuber
Step 1 – Set Your Goals
It is important to decide what you want before you just start building a channel. What is it about creating a YouTube channel that is interesting to you? What will keep you coming back?
There are a lot of different reasons that people start on YouTube, and they are all worthwhile. It is important to understand what brought you here in order to make choices that will get you to where you want to go!
A lot of people are creating videos to make money on YouTube, and it is easy to see why. Some of the most successful YouTubers have become rich thanks to their videos.
There are even many ‘mid-level’ YouTubers that you haven’t necessarily heard of that are making a very good living from YouTube. You don’t have to be the next PewDiePie to make this dream come true.
For some people, becoming a YouTuber isn’t about the money – they just want the spotlight.
And that is totally cool!
YouTube is a great way to find your audience, no matter what the size.
If you work hard and make great content, there is no reason why you can’t find some level of notoriety. The cream rises to the top on YouTube!
If you love the idea of being a celebrity at VidCon and becoming internet famous then you will probably want to spend a lot of time on camera as a vlogger. We have a complete guide for how to start a successful vlog channel here.
Even if you don’t make it onto Jimmy Fallon, there will still be fans out there that will be pumped to bump into you on the street, and that is pretty cool.
The internet is a magical place for people to pay it forward and share their skills. You can shine a light on people or stories that deserve praise and attention. You can also help to promote important causes that you believe into a wide audience.
This doesn’t have to be rocket science. Sometimes just giving people ideas and inspiration is enough, like the channel “I Need Ideas”
Just for Fun
Sometimes YouTube isn’t about anything but having a good time.
Be goofy. Be weird. The internet has room for whatever you feel like being.
Step 2 – Choose Your Niche
This is an important step that a lot of people forget. It is tough to find an audience if your audience doesn’t know what to make of you when they find you.
The most successful YouTube channels have some level of consistency and they know their audience. You can’t try to be all things to all people.
Choose what type of content you want to make and who it will be for. Once you are comfortable with what type of content you are making, you can become an expert.
You will learn what your viewers want and get better and better at serving that up to them.
Step 3 – Assess Your Equipment
Once you know why you are here, and what type of content you will be making, it is time to figure out what equipment you will use to make that. Our complete guide and list of recommended YouTube gear can be found here, but a summary is below.
Computer – You don’t need a high powered machine, but editing video will be frustrating if you have, a 5-year-old laptop. Check out your computer specs and make sure that it can keep up with your needs.
Editing Software – There are a ton of options for this. You can go with free tools like Windows Movie Maker and iMovie to get started.
When you start to get a little more serious, or you want more options out of the gate, then we recommend taking a look at platforms like Movavi and Filmora.
For pro level stuff, many YouTubers use Final Cut.
Camera for YouTube – If you are going to be on camera for your YouTube videos, then you should be thinking about what you will use to actually shoot those videos. In the beginning, you can probably get by with your smartphone camera, but it won’t be long before you (and your audience) start to want those videos to use a proper camera for vlogging.
If you aren’t sure where to start, here is our Buyer’s Guide when picking the right camera for YouTube.
Microphone – Many YouTubers will have something to say in their videos, so a proper YouTube microphone is important. Don’t rely on your built-in laptop mic – it will be immediately obvious to your viewers and will give a bad first impression.
Screen Capture Software
Not everyone needs to be on camera to become a successful YouTuber. Many YouTube personalities stay behind the camera, or they simply show what is on their screen. Tools like Camtasia are designed to capture what is on your screen.
This is great if you are creating videos to give people useful instruction on how to do something online or on a computer.
Lighting & Accessories
If you are looking to raise your game in the production department, and you are going to be on camera then you should definitely think about how you are going to light up your videos.
You don’t need to throw a bunch of money at this challenge – you can take some simple steps to get
Here is some insight on how Alexandrea Garza sets up lighting for her videos.
You should also consider using helpful tools that make videos look smooth and professional like a tripod or a gimbal stabilizer.
Step 4 – Come up with video ideas
This is where things can start to get fun.
To help get you started, you can check out this list of 206 YouTube video ideas that are fun and proven to get views.
Before you even start, you can come up with your own brainstorm of ideas of videos that you can make.
Look at successful videos in your niche.
Think about videos that you like to watch yourself.
Over time you will learn what you and your audience enjoys 🙂
Step 5 – Set a schedule
One of the biggest keys to success on YouTube is consistency. Subscribers want to know that they can count on your content and will be more likely to view new videos.
It isn’t just for your viewers either – consistency will help you bring real focus to your channel and get into a grove of making better content all the time.
YouTube Creator Academy itself encourages this very practice:
An easy way to deliver that consistency is to come up with a publishing schedule that you can handle.
You don’t have to start out posting daily – in fact, you might get overwhelmed quickly if you do.
Become a weekly vlogger, and then when you get more comfortable, increase your output over time.
YouTubers like Jenna Marbles have been successful reminding her viewers that she will be posting a new video every Wednesday. You can bet that many of her longtime subscribers get excited to check out her channel whenever Wednesday rolls around!
Step 6 – Create your channel
Once you have done some planning, it is time to get on to YouTube itself!
Setting up your YouTube channel isn’t the most exciting part of the process, but you shouldn’t take it lightly. You should carefully consider your YouTube brand, and how you can optimize your channel for success. Here are the key steps to think about.
Set-up your account
For starters, here is a great walkthrough by Teacher’s Tech how to actually set up your account:
Choose your artwork
Your YouTube channel artwork that you use won’t necessarily make or break your channel, but it makes a big difference if you have a good look on YouTube.
There are a few opportunities to do this.
This is a small image that will show up everywhere that your channel and videos are present. Don’t worry about the finer details – just come up with something simple and recognizable.
Think of your banner art as the welcome mat ready for anyone who takes the time to visit your channel. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but you do want to make a good impression, no matter what device they are using.
We recommend using a cheap tool like Snappa for easy, eye-catching artwork.
Use helpful YouTube tools
YouTube has lots of helpful features that help you to get more views. Right out of the gate we recommend that you turn on features like related channels, cards, and playlists (once you have a couple of videos).
Step 7 – Post your first video
You made it to the point where you can start creating and sharing video.
Now it really gets fun.
It is time to share your work with the world!
When you create your videos, you should have a few things in mind (aside from having fun).
Over time you will learn lots of tips and tricks to make your videos better and better. Here are some tips from the guys at Video Influencers to make your content more engaging!
Step 8 – Get some feedback
Don’t expect that you are going to win any Oscars with your first entry onto YouTube.
Everyone needs to start somewhere and it is totally OK to learn as you go!
Once you have some published a couple of videos don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Talk to your friends and family, and ask them specifically what your videos could use more or less of.
You can also look at any early comments that you receive. Just ignore the haters like PewDiePie:
Finally, you should leverage communities and forums of YouTubers who are willing to offer up meaningful feedback to their fellow vloggers. Communities like YT Talk are a great place to find helpful peers who can give you feedback and maybe even offer future collaborations!
The next step is to take action on the feedback you get. If you keep hearing that you need better lighting, then get better lighting!
Step 9 – Promote your channel
This is a big subject that we have written about in a few different places. To get you started, here are the big strategies that you should be thinking about.
Leverage Communities – Every niche has its own communities online. A good place to start is finding a good forum on Reddit, or dedicated group on Facebook.
There will also be dedicated places online just for your vlog topic. If you make videos about food, there are lots of Foodie discussion forums. Tech has endless forums. Same with sports and fashion.
Leverage Social Media – Maximize your reach by setting up social media accounts for your channel.
Make sure that every time you create a video you are promoting it on all of those channels – Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram and more if you like.
Each of those channels exposes you to new potential viewers that can funnel back to your channel and turn into subscribers.
Leverage other people’s audiences – You don’t need to try and build an audience alone.
Look for fellow YouTubers who might be interested in a collaboration. This helps you both out by getting in front of new audiences.
You can also look beyond YouTube. Find blogs and websites that talk about similar things that you do, and figure out if one of your videos can be featured there.
Step 10 – Monetize
Once you have become a YouTuber with a real following, you are ready to start making money from your videos!
There are many different strategies that you can take depending on the type of content that you are creating.
You should know that relying on Google AdSense alone isn’t as effective as it used to be. Most YouTubers now rely on sponsorships or take advantage of the many opportunities to leverage Affiliate Marketing with their YouTube Channel.
Just make sure that making money never comes ahead of creating good content and connecting with your subscribers – they will be able to tell if you are only in it for a paycheck!