How to Create a YouTube Channel to Make the Most of YouTube’s Billion-User Network
How to create a YouTube channel
Creating a YouTube channel using your Google account
If you have a Google account, you can watch, share and comment on YouTube content. However, Google accounts don’t automatically create YouTube channels. Getting a new channel set up is a simple and quick process, though.
1. Go to YouTube and sign in
Head over to YouTube.com and click ‘sign in’ in the top right corner of the page:
Then log in using the Google Account you’d like your channel to be associated with:
2. Head over to your YouTube settings
In the top right corner of the screen, click on your profile icon and then the ‘Settings’ cog icon.
3. Create your channel
Under your settings, you’ll see the option to “Create a channel,” click on this link:
Next, you’ll have the option to create a personal channel or a create a channel using a business or other name. For this example, we’ll choose the business option:
Now, it’s time to name your channel and select a category. The channel options available include:
- Product or Brand
- Company Institution or Organization
- Arts, Entertainment or Sports
Note: a new Google+ page will also be created for your brand.
Congratulations! You’ve just created a new YouTube channel
Next, let’s fill out all the information and create some channel art to get your page looking awesome (click here to jump to the next section).
How to create a YouTube channel if you don’t already have a Google account
If you don’t already have a Google account set up, you’ll need to create one before you get started on YouTube. To do this, simply follow the below steps:
- Head to YouTube.com
- Click ‘Sign In’
- Now, choose the option to create a Google account
- Follow the steps to create your Google account
How to create YouTube channel art
YouTube channel art is essentially YouTube’s version of the Facebook cover photo. Channel art features in a prominent place on your YouTube channel, which means it’s absolutely vital for any YouTube channel to use customized art to share your personality or more about your brand with your audience.
Here’s an example of Gary Vaynerchuk’s YouTube channel art:
Gary is well-known for his public speaking at conferences and for sharing all he knows about marketing and building businesses with his audience. This is reflected in his cover photo, which displays Gary in mid-flow giving a presentation at what seems to be a large event. The inclusion of his handle @garyvee helps users to identify him on other social chanels and his signature branding makes the art feel personal.
Here’s what you need to know to create striking YouTube channel art…
The perfect sizes for YouTube channel art
The best place to start with your channel art is with the optimal image size that works across multiple devices. For the best results, YouTube recommends uploading a single 2560 x 1440 pixel image.
- Minimum width: 2048 X 1152 px. This is the “safe area”, where text and logos are guaranteed not to be cut off when displayed on different devices.
- Maximum width: 2560 X 423 px. This means that the “safe area” is always visible; the areas to each side of the channel art are visible depending on the viewer’s browser size.
- File size: 4MB or smaller recommended.
YouTube also supplies a Channel Art Template in both PNG and PSD formats to help your figure out the perfect layout for your channel are and how it’ll look across platforms:
Here’s an example of how I used this template to create some channel art for the Buffer YouTube account:
And here’s how it looks across various platforms:
2 top tips for YouTube channel art
1. Ensure any text and logos are within the safe area
The text and logo safe area is the 1546 x 423 pixel space at the center of the YouTube channel art template. This is the area that will be displayed on YouTube when your channel is viewed on desktop screens.
Be careful to ensure any important information such as branding, text, taglines, and key images are within this space so that it’s always displayed as part of your channel art across every device.
2. Consider your channel links
YouTube enables you to add links to your channel and these are displayed in the bottom right corner of your channel art. For example, check the bottom right of the channel art below:
When creating your channel art, it’s important to think about the space these links take up and ensure you don’t have anything important (such as logos) occupying that space within your design.
How to add art to your YouTube channel
If you’re just setting up your YouTube channel, you’ll notice the channel art space is blank with a clear call to action to add your art:
Once you’ve clicked this link, you’ll see a popup window that gives you the option to upload your own custom channel art. If you’d like to, you can also choose to use one of YouTube’s templates from the “Gallery” or choose to upload one of your photos from Google+.
Adjusting the crop
Once you’ve uploaded your channel art, YouTube allows you to adjust the cropping of your image so that you can ensure it’s all lined up correctly.
This crop screen is very handy for checking how your design will look on various platforms. The clear section in the middle of the grid shows you the content that will be displayed on mobile and desktop and the rest of the image shows the image that will be displayed on TVs.
Once you’re happy with the way your cover art looks, click “Select” and your channel art will be added to your channel and saved.
Changing your current channel art
If you already have some channel art in place and would like to update it, head over to your channel homepage. From here, move your mouse over your cover art and you’ll notice a little edit button appear in the top right-hand corner:
Once you’ve clicked on this icon, you can update your channel art.
This video from YouTube also explains how to add and edit your channel art: