It seems like everyone has a YouTube channel these days. And why not: if you have something to say or want to show, this is the best medium for it. It is often thought that starting your own YouTube channel is time-consuming and complicated, but that's not true.
Tip 01: Create an account
Starting a YouTube channel and making a living from it is obviously not that easy, otherwise we would all be millionaires. But creating an account yourself and possibly earning a few euros per month with it, that is certainly possible. To create a YouTube channel, you need a Google account (Google owns the video service). If you already have Gmail or another Google service, you can use that account. If you don't have such an account yet, create one. Then log in to www.youtube.com with your Google account.
Tip 02: Create channel
You now have an account, but no channel yet. You create a channel within YouTube by clicking on the icon with your user image at the top right (a silhouette by default) and then on My channel. Since you don't have a channel yet, YouTube sees this as a signal that you want to create one. You can enter a first and last name here (this can also be an artist name), or click on Using a company name or other name when it comes to the name of an association, for example. Then click Create channel.
Tip 03: Basic Information
In principle, you can now directly upload a video, but before you do that, it is more convenient to provide your channel with some basic information, namely a profile picture, a banner image and a channel description. In the channel description you briefly fill in what this channel is about and what you publish on it. click on Adjust Channel / About / Channel Description and enter a short description, of course you can always change this later. Then click the pencil icon in the upper left corner of the small silhouette square and then To process. A new tab will open because this is your profile picture for your entire account, not just YouTube. In this window click on Upload photo. Find a nice picture of yourself or a picture you like that has to do with your channel and set it as your profile picture. It can also take quite a while before you see the updated profile picture on YouTube. Return to YouTube and click Add banner image and choose an image to display here. For information about the most useful dimensions of this picture, click at the bottom on How do you create a banner image?
Tip 04: Upload video
You can use YouTube to upload videos for friends and family, but of course it is also possible to make a video for a much wider audience. It's hard to guess that a video from your last vacation to Italy won't appeal to a very wide audience, unless something really funny happened that caused the video to get shared a lot ('goes viral'). To upload a video, click the up arrow icon at the top right (upload). Browse to the desired video and click To open. While the video is uploading, you can fill in all kinds of information about the footage. If you want to appeal to a wide audience, that information is important because that's where the film can be found. Enter a good title and appropriate description. Choose a thumbnail of the video you like at the bottom (this part is only available after the video has been processed) and indicate on the right whether the video Public must be (for all to see), Hidden (only visible to those who have the link), Privately (only visible to you) or Planned (only online from a certain date). click on To publish either Ready (depending on the sharing setting) if you have filled in everything. You will now receive a link with which you can find the video.
Tip 05: Advanced options
If you are not completely satisfied with the video you just uploaded, know that you can still edit the video within YouTube. Click on your profile picture and then Creator Studio. Then in the left pane choose Video management. You now get an overview of all your videos. Click next to a video To process, then you will find a world of additional options. For example, you can improve the quality of the video, add subtitles and add "cards" at the end that refer to other videos. Here you can also view the statistics of the video, so that you can see how much your video is viewed and when people drop out. We recommend that you explore this part at your leisure.
Tip 06: Finding an audience
Once you've published the video, it's time to find an audience; people who want to watch your film … but how do you reach them? The answer is quite simple: through social media. Share your video on Facebook, Twitter or any other platform you are active on, or let people know via email that your video is online. If the video is only for friends and family, of course you send the link to them via email, Facebook, WhatsApp and so on. If you are looking for a wider audience, then you share it in places where many people come. A correct title, description and tags when uploading the video are essential. Also ask people in your video to subscribe to your channel, so that they automatically receive a notification of the next video.
Tip 07: Earn money
But how do you make money with the video? We can't tell you how to get rich (see the box “Rich sleeping?”). But we will gladly explain how the technical side of the story works. Go to Creator Studio and click below Channel on Statusand features. Click at Generate income on Switch. You will now be guided through the process step by step by YouTube. It will also take a while before your application is approved, because this only happens after your videos have been viewed more than 10,000 times. That is also fine, because below this number you earn almost nothing from your videos.
In the news we often see people who have become filthy rich with YouTube. Although that is not impossible for you either, it is important to know that these people do not just upload a video every now and then. These people are usually busy with YouTube day and night and even that is no guarantee of success. So don't dive on YouTube for the money, but do it because you like it. Who knows, maybe your videos will catch on and you can always decide that you want to spend more time on them.