A YouTube channel allows you to share videos of things you are passionate about. Thus, with over 1.9 billion people logging into YouTube every month, you have the unique opportunity to engage and grow an entire community around your channel. So, if you are looking to start a brand new YouTube channel, this article will provide you with all the steps needed to get your channel ready. Let’s get started!

Channel name

Before you can start your YouTube channel, the first step will be coming up with a name for your channel. Your channel name will help your subscribers know what you do and also explain who you are. Your channel name should reflect both you and your content. So, first, think about what you want your name to be associated with. Then, come up with a name that is catchy and easy to remember. You can use your name, your business name, or a name based on your industry so people can find it a little easier. 

For tips on how to come up with the ideal channel name, check out “Your Channel Name.”

About section

In this section, you add:

  • Description – Maximum length of 1,000 characters. In the channel description, you can write an overview of what viewers can expect from your channel, such as the type of content you will produce or your upload schedule. 
  • Details – Here, you can add your channel country and an email address for business inquiries. Do note that for visitors to see the email, they need to input a re-captcha. 
  • Custom Links – Here, you can add social media and web links. You can overlay up to five on your channel art as shortcut icons. These will appear on the bottom right corner of your channel art.

Channel Icon

The channel icon is your profile picture. It’s the icon that displays on your channel, when you comment and on the bottom right of videos in most playback modes. The channel icon is an integral part of your channel branding since it represents your channel. Make sure this is a fantastic image or logo. The default icon for your channel is the image associated with your Google Account. If you want to change this image, you can modify it in your Google Account settings.

Design Guidelines:

  • JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG file (no animated GIFs)
  • 800 X 800 px image (recommended)
  • Square or round image that renders at 98 X 98 px
  • Do not upload pictures containing celebrities, nudity, artwork, or copyrighted images

Channel art

The channel art shows as a background or banner at the top of your YouTube channel. You can use it to brand your channel’s identity and give your page a unique look and feel. 

Design Guidelines:

  • Recommended size: 2560 x 1440 px
  • Minimum dimension for upload: 2048 x 1152 px.
  • Minimum safe area for text and logos: 1546 x 423 px. Larger images may get cropped on certain views or devices.
  • Maximum width: 2560 x 423 px. At this width, the “safe area” is always visible regardless of screen size. The areas to each side of the channel art are visible or cropped depending on the browser size.
  • File size: 6MB or smaller.

We strongly recommend that you use the Channel Art Template from YouTube to see how your channel art will look on different devices. In fact, when creating your channel art, make it for the maximum recommended size. However, keep the main content inside the text and logo safe area. Most of your subscribers will be on both desktop and mobile, so always optimize for those devices. 

For more information on how to brand your channel identity, check out “Your Channel Art.”

Organizing your channel home page

You finished your channel name, the about information, icon, and art setup. So, the next step is to organize the home page of your YouTube channel. Let’s start by creating a channel trailer.


The channel trailer is a quick video that lives on your channel page and displays to unsubscribed viewers. You can use it to give your audience a preview of what to expect on your channel and encourage them to subscribe. For more information on how to produce a trailer, check out the YouTube Creator Academy “Lesson: Hook them with your channel.”

Features video for returning subscribers

After someone subscribes to your channel, they will no longer see the channel trailer. However, you can feature a video or playlist that returning subscribers will see whenever they come back to your channel. It is a good idea to add the video that you want to promote the most. Also, make sure to rotate videos now and then to keep things fresh.

Using sections

Once you have a handful of videos on your channel, consider organizing your home page using sections and playlists. A section allows you to group videos on your channel in a particular way so viewers can quickly find content that matches their interests. The best way to organize your videos is by using playlists. First, create a single playlist and then add it to a section in your channel home.

Playlists are excellent since they are an ordered list of videos that you create, and best of all, you can categorize them by specific themes. Make sure to take full advantage of playlists.

Advanced settings

To access your channel advanced settings, go to https://www.youtube.com/account_advanced.

Personal Google vs. Brand Account Channels

YouTube automatically connects to a Google account, and there are two types:

  • Personal Google Account – Your channel name is automatically the same as the one on your personal Google Account.
  • Brand Accounts – A brand account is an account that is specifically for your brand. This account is different from your personal Google account. If you link your channel to a Brand Account, multiple people can manage it from their Google Accounts. Learn more about how to create a Brand Account.

Custom Channel URL

If eligible, you can give fans an easy-to-remember web address, called a custom URL, for your YouTube channel. They will look like youtube.com/yourcustomname or youtube.com/c/yourcustomname. To check if your channel is eligible, see “Get a custom channel URL.”

Next steps

You’ve got your YouTube channel all set-up and ready to populate with videos. The first step in starting your YouTube channel career is to overcome your fear of making YouTube videos.  After you got your initial worries out of the way, consider your way to success in the YouTube universe by taking Videomaker’s course: “How to be Successful on YouTube.” Have fun making videos and enjoy every moment of it.