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How To Start A Successful YouTube Channel

Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Disclosures.

“It’s too late to start a channel. It’s oversaturated. Nobody is going to care about what I want to share…”

These might be some of the thoughts that cross through your mind as you think about how to start a YouTube channel, especially in this day and age. Luckily, it’s not too late. The platform is growing and anyone can have a voice on YouTube today.

You can start a successful YouTube Channel by overcoming your fear, choosing a great topic, learning the tech side, and finding community to keep you going.

How To Start A YouTube Channel

The First Step

Sometimes, the fear of wanting everything to be perfect can hold you back from taking the first step. The first video you make probably won’t be your best. With time, the quality of your videos, audio, editing, and content will improve.

While I was recording the first video for my YouTube channel, I was so nervous that I mispronounced the name of my channel. No joke! It was embarrassing, but I posted the video anyway. It didn’t stop my channel from growing or stop me from becoming successful.

To start a channel, all you need is an email address and a channel name. For most, this will center around the topic you want to discuss. You can always center the channel around your first and last name. Fear not, you can always get this changed later if needed.

What Is Your Channel All About?

I have to be honest here for a moment. If you want to start a YouTube channel, you need to pick a singular topic or niche. Having a “variety channel” doesn’t work for those just getting started and will most likely stunt your growth on the platform. Here’s what I mean.

Two things happen when you niche down to a single topic. First, YouTube will start to understand what type of channel you are trying to become. Be it a beauty channel, gaming channel, personal finance channel, or any other topic. This helps YouTube algorithms, which in turn, places your videos to the right viewers.

Second, staying consistent with one topic helps build rapport with your subscribers. Your viewers will be able to come to your channel to find what they need.

How strange would it be if you are subscribed to a car channel and they posted a video on how to bake a cake? Pretty odd. Now, there are some exceptions to having a set niche. Some well-known creators can talk about many different topics. They have built a channel around a niche and have later added in the variety.

While starting out, stick to one niche and you’ll become the expert everyone wants to hear from.

Learning The Craft

Can you recall the first time you got in the driver’s seat of a car? Or the first time you tried riding a bike? You were probably nervous and felt like you didn’t know anything. You may have felt behind compared to those that already knew what they were doing

Now, driving and riding a bike is simple and easy because we’ve learned the craft, the rules, and have, with time become good at it. The same can be said with YouTube. The platform might seem intimidating at first and you’ll feel like there is so much to learn, but you don’t need to learn everything day one.

By staying consistent and working hard over time, you’ll improve your skills.

Your first videos will be your worst videos, but here’s the best part about it. People love to see a channel’s transformation and its growth over time. As you develop more videos, you will get better at everything that it takes to run a channel; from writing up a script, to filming, editing and even thumbnails. Time and practice are on your side when it comes to developing your skills.

Check out the ChooseFI YouTube channel here.

Quality Content

Nothing will make a person stop watching your video faster than bad audio. People can withstand grimy video, shaky film, and even bad lighting, but their ears won’t stand for terrible audio.

If there is one thing to invest in right away when it comes to equipment, it is a decent microphone. You can easily find a good $15 lav mic (the ones that clips to your shirt) on Amazon or a store near you.

In today’s world, everyone has a video camera in their pocket. Some of the biggest creators started recording their content with just a cell phone. Today’s cell-phone cameras are so good that you can feel confident in producing quality videos with your phone.

Lighting is another element that you want to pay attention to when filming a video. You don’t want to make it difficult for the viewer to see you. A simple and cost-effective way to improve lighting is by using natural light. Opening blinds, doors, or even filming outside is a good option.

If recording with natural light, just be mindful of changes in lighting and moving shadows in your videos. The next best choice is to have multiple lamps with shades off to produce excess light. The more expensive route would be to buy soft-boxes from Amazon. You can find the type I recommend here.

As amazing as it would be to have all the best equipment in the world, it’s important to remember that you want to have proof of concept on your channel before you invest heavily in equipment.

Related: Side Hustle Series: Freelance Writing

Reverse Engineer

Many people compare their channels to the top creators in their similar niche. This can be incredibly harmful to your growth. The bigger channels in your niche are established channels with much larger audiences.

With larger audiences, sometimes these creators can stray from the specific topics since their audience is comprised of loyal followers that will watch anything they release.

Instead, find the smaller creators in your niche that are growing rapidly. Study their channel to try to figure out what they might be doing to create that success. Then, simply reverse engineer their video topics.

Look into things like their thumbnails, their editing style or the keywords they use in their video descriptions. You can take their success into account and start applying some of the best practices to your videos.

For example, if you notice that the channels in your niche are all talking about a specific topic, odds are that a video you release about the same topic is more likely to succeed. You don’t want to copy their work, their style, or try to become someone you are not. Definitely stay true to your style and brand. Applying successful tactics are meant only to help your channel and videos succeed.

Community Keeps You Going

It can get hard. I don’t want to sugar coat this part. There are times where I have considered throwing in the towel and quitting YouTube. Many creators abandon their channels after only a few months and never return. Getting through the ups and downs of the platform is vital to the success of your channel.

How does one jump over the hurdles of quitting? Community! Join a YouTube creator community. By surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals, you keep yourself on the path to success.

This group will help keep you aimed at your goals and provide you with support. When you surround yourself with other people who are trying to reach similar goals, chances are they will run into similar problems or issues.

When these communities share their difficult moments, it allows you to learn from their mistakes while also allowing you to share your struggles with others who understand the process.

Find these communities by emailing others in your niche. You can search their about page and find their business email. Create genuine relationships with these other creators by providing assistance, offering to work on video content together, and when possible, share insight with one another.

Other options for finding communities are with Facebook groups, Reddit, or other online forums.

As you grow a YouTube channel, there may be negative comments that pop up. Sometimes these can be hurtful and rude comments directed towards you. Some can really bring you down and make you feel like quitting. When you have a community and other creators on your side, these comments are laughed at and become insignificant fairly quickly.

Listen: Community Building With Mr. Money Mustache And Mr. 1500

Gaining Subscribers

There is a reason that gaining subscribers is further down in this article. Without a niche, a community, research, and dedication your subscriber count won’t go up.

So how does one actually go about gaining subscribers? First, you need to define who you want as your ideal subscriber. What are their demographics and psychographics? Are they young, middle age, male, female? What do they value? What do they watch, aside from your videos? Do they have common hobbies and interests?

This is very important to know and can change with time. When you know your audience, you’ll learn how to better provide the videos they need and want.

There are many little tactics to gain subscribers, but the two most effective ways are consistency with content and storytelling. Consistency is at minimum one video a week. This shows your audience that you are committed to your business and they can expect content on a regular basis.

Storytelling is what will deepen the connection with you and viewers. It will, in turn, convert them to loyal followers. Weave your experience with the information you want to convey in your videos. Encourage your viewers to share your videos. If they like your consistency and dedication, they’ll be more likely to share your content with others.

Making Money

I’ll admit, it’s a wonderful feeling knowing you are making an income by sharing what you have to say about a topic you love.

There are several ways to make money on YouTube; Ads, affiliates, sponsors, and even selling your own products. YouTube has prerequisites you have to meet in order to start making money through YouTube ads. First, you need to hit 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time over a period of 12 consecutive months.

Once you hit those requirements, you can apply for ad monetization.

You can also start earning money with affiliate sales by signing up with companies through affiliate networks such as Impact Radius and FlexOffers.

Sponsorships don’t require any set number of subscribers or watch time, but will require you to send out emails to companies you’d like to work with. If you have products or services you can provide, you can link them up directly in the description of your videos.

Related: Books To Kick Start Your Side Hustle


There are many paths to starting a YouTube channel, but all successful channels do one important thing. Give value to the viewer. Be it entertainment, educational, informative, or anything else, there is value given from the creator to their audience.

Respect the viewer’s time they give you and you’ll find yourself growing a YouTube channel. Stay consistent while telling your story and find a community that will support you. Know your niche and use the equipment you have around you. Most importantly, get started today!

This blog post was submitted by Denis Trufin. He is a full-time YouTuber at and creates content around building wealth and frugality.  

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How To Start A Successful YouTube Channel


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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Disclosures.
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