How to Launch Your Own YouTube Channel

By Janine Warner, David LaFontaine

Anyone who has a Google account can watch, Like, or subscribe to videos on YouTube. If you want to upload your creations, comment on other people’s videos, or make a playlist, though, you need to create your own channel — a home page for your account that hosts all your videos that you customize to your liking.

A channel costs nothing but a few minutes of your time. Creating your own YouTube channel provides you with the opportunity to add to your branding across social media platforms. Similar to Facebook, the design of your YouTube channel features a small profile image and a cover photo that YouTube refers to as channel art. Users can select from existing photo galleries or upload image files.

Ever since the launch of the Google+ social media platform, activities on it and YouTube have been increasingly integrated. If you Like or comment on a video, or upload a video, that’s posted to your Google+ feed.

If you already have a Gmail account, you’re most of the way there. However, there are some options that you can explore. For example, you can create a channel using your own name (or the “handle” you use in Gmail or Google+), or you can create a channel for your business, or using another name.

This, along with the design options, provides you with another opportunity to intentionally brand your YouTube channel to match your website and/or other social media platforms. One thing to note — every newly created YouTube channel automatically comes with a connected Google+ page.

Consider the name for your channel carefully. You can have any name you like, but Google does have the right to take down abusive or spammy channels. Try to come up with a name that both describes what your content is going to be, and that sounds interesting enough so that your users will be encouraged to subscribe. This is also an opportunity to keep your branding consistent across sites.