How To Make A YouTube Channel: The First Steps

2 February 2016, 12:56 | Updated: 17 July 2017, 12:13

We the Unicorns

By Benedict Townsend

A Step-By-Step Guide!

So you've to decided to make a YouTube channel - great decision! I myself have had a Youtube channel for many years and it has brought me nothing but joy. Unfortunately, though, making a YouTube channel is no longer the carefree process it once was (thanks Google!!!!) and so you might well need some help getting through the tricky first steps. Well have no fear, cos WeTheUnicorns are here! We've got all the info you need to get started right here - and we have some follow-up articles on the way that will cover the more complex stuff. But for now, let's start with the basics:


1. Go To This Link

Create a Channel


2. Google Account Time

These days your Google account and your YouTube account are basically the same thing. Don't let this scare you off - a Google account is totally free and won't cause you any trouble.



If you don't have a Google account, you'll have to make one. This is a just a matter of filling in some info. At one point it may ask you to give your phone number - but there is a 'skip' button for if you don't want to do this. I would suggest that even if you do already have a Google+ account, you make a brand new one just for your YouTube channel.


3. Now Make A Google Plus Account

Ever since the last big YouTube update, you have to have a Google Plus if you want to do basically anything on Google (thanks, Google). Luckily making an account takes less than a minute. Just go here and sign in with your Google account. Then fill in some basic details and you will have yourself a Google Plus account. Note: the username you have on your Google Plus account will be the name of your channel. You can't change this later. But if you want a different channel name later, you can later have your Google Plus name as your YouTube channel name:


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The picture you use on your Google Plus account is also the picture that will be used for your YouTube account. Ideally this picture should be 800 x 800 pixels (YouTube will shrink it for ya).


4. You Now Have A YouTube Channel! - But This Is Just The Beginning

Go to your channel. You can get there by clicking the 'My Channel' button in the top right of the screen:


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Once you're there, you can start thinking about making the place your own.


5. Now On To Channel Art

Channel art is the YouTube equivalent of a Facebook cover photo. It's a very important piece of branding as it's the first and most striking thing a person sees when they visit your channel A well-made piece of channel art can be the difference between whether someone subscribes to you or not.


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This is important: your channel art needs be an image that is 2560 x 1440 pixels. That's 2560 pixels wide and 1440 pixels tall. This is the image size that YouTube themselves suggest you use. You'll want to upload a .JPG or PNG. You can make the art on whatever program you want, but if you don't have photoshop or anything like that, you can use this free image making website.


6. Channel Art On Different Devices

The channel art you upload will be displayed on all kinds of devices. People will look at the art on their computer, their phone, tablet and so on. As a result, your art will automatically be trimmed and moved around to fit perfectly on all those different screens. This may mean that some of your art, which is visible on a laptop, may be cut off when it's viewed on mobile. To minimise the risk of this - keep all your most important info (like your channel name) in the centre of the channel art. YouTube call this 'the safe zone':


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7. Finishing Touches

Your now almost done with your initial YouTube channel setup. Now you have to make sure to fill in your channel description, you can do that by going to your YouTube channel (click 'My Channel' on YouTube) and then clicking this box:

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Then just enter a description of what your channel is. Make sure it's enticing and fun.


8. Wrapping Up

You should now have a channel with a name, a profile picture, a description and some nice channel artwork! In our next installment, I will guide you through the best way to upload and customise a video - as well as the more in-depth elements of channel customisation, so stay tuned!