When you start a YouTube channel for the first time, you have a completely clean slate. Once you start publishing videos and getting subscribers, your channel will represent your voice, perspective, brand, and character, so you want to set up the visual aspects of your channel to match your vibe.

Here at Kapwing, we're obsessed with YouTubers. We've build a popular YouTube video editor (free, with no watermark) to empower modern creators and make content for our own channel in-house. We've grown our own YouTube channel to more than 25,000 subscribers in a year, and all of our videos are tutorials to help people make short-form video formats easily in the browser. On the way, we've gone through lots of ups and downs. In this article, we want to share our learnings with you so that you can avoid our mistakes and set up your channel for success.

Here's how to hit the ground running with a new personal YouTube channel:

  1. Sign in to a Google Account
  2. Create channel
  3. Customize with channel art
  4. Publishing your first YouTube video

Step 1: Sign In to a Google Account

The first step to making a YouTube channel is that you actually have to create the channel itself. For most people, YouTube accounts are tied to a personal Google Account. To create a YouTube channel, create a Google Account (same as a gmail account) using whatever name and email address that you want to appear on the channel.

For example, our @KapwingApp channel is tied to a company gmail address.

Step 2: Create Channel

Once you're signed in, click on your profile picture in the upper right corner and click "Create Channel."

Create channel screenshot

The first step to making the channel is to pick your name! You can use your own name or a custom name that you type directly. You can always rename your channel later, so don't worry too much about the name.

Personal or brand name channel

Type the name that you want to appear on front of your YouTube channel. This is also the name that people will search for to find your channel, so make sure it's easy to spell, remember, and pronounce.

You'll also see a screen that says "Use YouTube as..." This screen confirms your first and last name that will be shown to the people you interact with.

Name confirmation

Now your channel has been created! You'll be taken to a blank screen which represents your brand new channel. By default, your profile picture is your Google Account Profile Photo.

Step 3: Customize with Channel Art

Now that you've created your channel, you can use the "Customize Channel" button to find opportunities to make it your own.

In the first tab of Channel Customization, you can upload an intro video (or "channel trainer") and choose which videos are featured on the main page.

In the second tab, you can edit the "Branding" of your channel by adding original assets to represent your channel's identity.

The profile picture, video watermark, and channel art banner are three of the most recognizable things your viewers and subscribers will see when they're checking out your channel and videos. We recommend that you create and upload these assets before uploading your first YouTube video.

We've made it as easy as possible for you to set up your channel graphics. All you have to do is hit "Make It" under one of the templates, then add, replace, or edit any of the template layers in the Kapwing Studio! Each template is preset with the dimensions and shapes required for YouTube visual assets. Just hit "Publish" when you're done customizing your pictures, and Kapwing will get them ready for you to download.

Profile Picture template:

DoSomething

2560x1440 Channel Art Banner template:

DoSomething

Channel Logo template:

DoSomething

Video Thumbnail template:

DoSomething

Now, you can add the round profile picture you made for your channel to have a bit more brand identity. Once you've entered your channel intro text and linked to any other social media accounts, go to your channel and click "Customize Channel." Here, you can add the custom channel art you created to make a personalized banner at the top of your page – your channel is all ready to show your videos to the world.

Step 4: Publishing your first YouTube Video

Now you have everything but video content (which, of course, is the most important part). From the YouTube homepage or channel page, find the camera button at the top of the screen. Click this and select "Upload Video" to get started on your first video post!

A channel introduction video might be a good place to start, or maybe you already have a video in mind that you'd like to start with. Whatever video you want to use, make sure it's edited the way you want (check out this tutorial for tips) and upload to YouTube. Enter your video's title, description, and tags, and it's ready to publish.

Remember to tag us @KapwingApp whenever you share your content on social media– we love to see what our creators are passionate about! And be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page – we’re constantly writing new tutorial and features to help you make the most out of Kapwing.


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