I started my YouTube channel in 2016… and things have definitely changed a little since then! So today, I’m sharing all the things I would do if I were starting a YouTube channel in 2021. If you are starting a channel this year, these tips are for you!
If I were Starting a YouTube Channel in 2021…
Want to watch the video version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
So, you’re starting a YouTube channel in 2021…
You’re probably hearing ALL kinds of advice about what you should and should not do. One creator will tell you to do something that another creator says is the worst idea ever. It can be hard to sort through all of the advice that you’re hearing and know what’s actually right!
I’m sharing all the things I would do if I were starting a YouTube channel in 2021! I’d tell all of us this little baby Jessica, so you know it’s trustworthy.
If you’re just getting started, the MOST important thing you can do is niche down. Put your content in a really small box at the beginning!
We HAVE to niche to grow. That’s all there is to it. It’s easy to get distracted by all the other things you are interested in, but staying small is your best bet.
Imagine that you’re crate training a puppy. While we as humans feel bad because we feel like they don’t have a ton of room, it’s actually better for the dog’s training to have the crate. If you start off with a big space for the dog, then it’ll run all over the place and be crazy. We have to confine the dog in a smaller space for it to know how to behave in a larger space.
The same goes for your channel! We have to learn how to do well in a small niche before you can broaden it. The SEO, keywords, titles, tags, and content creation take time to master. Doing it in a small space well ensures you CAN succeed in a larger niche!
You’ve GOT to put yourself in a box – in fact, a pretty small box – to grow.
Start on YouTube with your phone!
I actually did this in 2016 and I would absolutely do it again. If I were starting a YouTube channel in 2021, I would NOT go out and buy an expensive camera, mic, or anything else. Start with your phone!
In 2021, your phone cameras are magically amazing. You can do EVERYTHING you need to do with it!
I completely understand that you’ll feel like you need a fancy camera… because other fancy YouTubers will tell you that you do. But I swear that all you need is your phone!
Bonus tip: Don’t spend hours trying to figure things out when you can pay someone else really cheaply to do it!
Don’t waste a million hours trying to figure out how to make a video end screen or a channel intro. You can go onto a site like Fiverr and hire someone to do it for you for little to no cost and save yourself the headache!
My husband is literally going through this right now. He re-started a channel for the farm, and he kept telling me that he wanted a channel intro. I told him it wasn’t that important, but he really wanted it. So, we sent over an After Effects template to someone on Fiverr to customize with Jonathan’s channel information and clips. It was cheap, easy, and looks really nice.
If I had it to do over, I would hire out simple tasks like that instead of stressing myself out over them. If you want to buy an After Effects template that you like and grab a customized intro from Fiverr, you can do it right here!
Get Familiar with Analytics
Get SUPER familiar with analytics and how you can use them to help your channel grow. I didn’t know anything about analytics when I started, and most people don’t. Knowing the inner-workings of your analytics for your channel (beyond just views) are MAGICAL for success on the platform.
If I were starting over, I would become a master of analytics faster than I became a master of almost anything else on YouTube.
Be an expert at YouTube SEO
SEO includes keywords, tags, and alllll the things that come along with that. When I first started on YouTube, I just threw videos up on the internet… because that was a strategy. I didn’t check to see how many people searched those terms or the competition or anything.
If I were starting a YouTube channel in 2021, I would make myself a YouTube SEO expert as soon as possible. That will MASSIVELY impact your growth strategy on YouTube because you can figure out which videos you should be doing, how to make them rank, and how to get them to work for you.
Put Your Personality in your Channel!
This can be a tough one to do, but it is CRUCIAL. Put personality into your channel from the very beginning. And beyond just showing your personality, put actual personal tidbits into videos.
For the majority of my YouTube career I filmed talking head videos. Which is totally fine, and it gives you the answer to your questions. But it DOESN’T build a relationship between me and you. It doesn’t cause you to want to come back to my channel or what other videos of mine.
If I were starting a YouTube channel in 2021, I’d start incorporating personal pieces and my personality from the beginning. I wouldn’t change the concept of my channel, because I love doing educational videos. But injecting more of my personality and my life into them is a must.
I didn’t do this for a long time when I started my channel. It took me a long time to show my personality in my videos, and even longer to start sharing personal elements from my life. Whether or not they’re relevant to the video, bits that show you I’m a real human are important.
This tip is still important if you’re starting a vlog channel that’s totally about your personal life. You want to intentionally include those “human moments” that will make people want to come back every week!
If I were starting a YouTube channel in 2021, AKA RIGHT NOW…
I would niche down. Start out with just my iPhone in front of window. Hire out those easy, small things when you can. Get super familiar with analytics from the get-go. And make myself a YouTube SEO expert!