I launched into my YouTube experiment like a rocket! It wasn’t until I went to upload my first video that I realised I had a ton of work to do even before the experiment began. Outlined below are a couple of the big-ticket items that I needed to check off my list to get my channel up & running.

The Channel Header

I realised quickly that having a blank and empty channel wasn’t going to look too professional. I needed to start building it out to give the impression that I knew what I was doing.

I decided to start with the channel header as that seemed like a pretty easy one to tick off my list early on. A lot of other YouTube channels include pictures of the channel creators & their names in the header. I don’t really have any cool pictures of myself or a recognisable name at this stage, so I opted for a high quality image instead.

I jumped into Unsplash & dug around to find an image that suited & uploaded it to Adobe Spark. Spark was awesome as it has a selection of preset dimensions for a range of platforms & the whole experience was quite intuitive.

Filling in the “About” Tab

I don’t know about you but I always find it really difficult to write about myself. I feel awkward, a little bit anxious & quite self-conscious when trying to craft a summary of myself.

I decided to do some research on what other YouTubers wrote in their About sections & I was so surprised by the results. Turns out, there’s a million ways to build out this tab & people use it differently depending on the channel. I ended up keeping it neat & traditional by including a short bio, my posting schedule & my email address as a point of contact.

Linking Social Media to YouTube

I’d really love to reach my experiment goal of 100 subscribers. To get to that point, I’m aiming to leverage off my social networks as much as I can to promote the channel. I linked my Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat & Medium directly to my channel & each of those networks now has an icon which features in my channel header.

Creating a Video Thumbnail

I’m not a designer by any means, yet I do think it’s incredibly important to have a good quality video thumbnail for all of my uploads. Once again I used Adobe Spark to help with this, I can’t recommend it enough. My basic steps to creating a thumbnail:

  1. Find an interesting/appealing frame from the video & download it as an image.
  2. Upload it into Adobe Spark.
  3. Add text for the thumbnail.
  4. Use Spark to generate a combination of colours, text overlays & shapes for your image.

Protip: I’ve also used Canva in the past for other projects & I love their app as well. Similar to Spark, they have a huge range of preset dimensions for a ton of platforms.

Structuring The Channel

One really cool thing I found while lurking through people’s channels on YouTube was the variety in layout & structure.

Featured video: Depending on whether you’re a new visitor or a returning subscriber, the channel owner is able to differentiate how the channel looks in a few different ways. Selecting a video to be featured is just one of the many options available to creators. I chose “How to launch a YouTube channel even if you have no experience — Follow the experiment!” as my featured video as it’s essentially the underpinning message to this whole experiment.

Playlists: Another super cool way to organise the channel was to utilise playlists. I decided to run with two for now, “Launching a YouTube Channel” and “Vlogs”. I think these playlists will help to neaten things up & direct people to where they want to go.

Got any advice, feedback or would just like to chat?

One thing I am a huge fan of personally is engaging with anyone & everyone online! I would absolutely love to hear from you if you have any suggestions, feedback or ideas for me for my experiment. Also feel free to reach out to me via any of my socials.

Lastly, if you genuinely enjoy the channel, I’d love for you to subscribe. If you think you may know someone who would find it valuable as well, feel free to share it with them! I would appreciate it very much.