Your first year on YouTube is like laying the foundation for a house. The stronger it is, the more you can build in the future. However, if your foundation is weak, then everything you’ve worked for can crumple.
Here are five things you should do during your first year on YouTube.
1. Create your channel’s brand.
Your channel’s brand is basically what makes your channel uniquely yours. Start with your display name, which can differ from the “official” name on your YouTube account. Unless you have a specific company or identity you’re trying to build, then you should set your own name as your channel’s display name.
Then, you should work on your channel’s aesthetic. Establish a color palette and cohesive style. Then, incorporate these elements into your channel art and video background. Your outfits, hairstyles, and makeup can also contribute to your channel’s aesthetic.
2. Have a goal of one thousand subscribers.
A subscriber count goal can expedite your channel’s growth by encouraging your casual viewers to subscribe. To make your goal more effective, turn it into a challenge with a prize at the end. For example, you might promise your audience a giveaway or a special live stream when you reach your goal.
Your first subscriber count goal should be one thousand. You need at least a thousand subscribers to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program, which is how you monetize your channel. After you hit this goal, you can raise it to ten thousand so that you can enable the Merch Shelf feature.
3. Dedicate yourself to a weekly upload schedule.
In addition to a minimum of a thousand subscribers, your channel also needs four thousand hours of public watch time in order to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program. Since virality is never guaranteed for your videos, the best way to reach this threshold is to upload every week.
Not only will weekly uploads increase your overall watch time, but they’ll also help boost your channel’s place in the YouTube ranking algorithm. The algorithm likes to recommend channels that keep regular upload schedules to new viewers, which will help those channels grow.
4. Apply for the YouTube Partner Program.
During your first year on YouTube, getting into the YouTube Partner Program should be your most important goal. Once you’re in the program, you’ll gain access to monetization features, Creator Support teams, and Copyright Match tools.
You can apply as soon as your channel reaches the minimum requirements. However, you must also live in a country where the YouTube Partner Program is available and follow all of the platform’s monetization policies. You can find the full details here.
5. Establish your sponsored content rates.
No matter how big or small your channel is, it’s likely that you’ll be offered opportunities to create sponsored content. While brand deals are a great way for up-and-coming creators to make money quickly, you need to be extremely cautious of anyone you do business with. Less experienced creators are more likely to fall victim to scams or to be lowballed by brands.
Therefore, you should establish your own rates for sponsored content. Set your own prices for the creation of specific pieces of content, and forward them to any company that reaches out to you about a brand deal. You can increase your rates as your channel grows or amend them to fit the requirements a brand has for its campaign.
Your first year on YouTube can set the tone for the rest of your career. By focusing on your goals and growing in the right directions, you can build a strong foundation for your channel.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.