Don’t Start YouTube Before Watching This (YouTube Channel Checklist)

Do you check the weather before going outside in case you need a jacket?

Don’t start a YouTube channel until you’ve watched the video below all the way through so you’ll know what mistakes to avoid. Here’s one of my first videos that I uploaded to my channel that was started in 2006 when I had zero subscribers and zero views. Here’s one of my current videos published 15 years later on my channel that now has 93.5 million views and 93,000 subscribers.

As you can see, it’s been a long journey. So I want to share with you my biggest takeaways before you start your own journey.

Click here to get The One Blueprint That Gives You Step-By-Step Instructions
On How To Grow A Profitable YouTube Channel


Think about the purpose of why you want to start a YouTube channel. Is it to make money? Is it to impact others or is it just a hobby? When I started my YouTube channel, I was a professional web designer so I shared design tutorials with my audience.

Later on, I discovered that videos were easier to rank and the search engines than websites. I started doing tutorials about YouTube videos. I discovered I had more passion creating videos than websites so I decided to focus my attention on creating video tutorials for YouTube.


Make sure you’re passionate about the niche that you choose for YouTube channel, because YouTube is a long-term commitment.

There’s going to be times when you don’t feel motivated to upload a new video, but you do it anyway because you’ve made a commitment.

There’s also going to be times when you’re too tired or even too busy because there’s something else that you wish to do instead. You got to keep a regular upload schedule every week otherwise you’ll fall behind.

For example, set a schedule of uploading at least one new video every week for the next 50 to 100 weeks. Keep in mind that the quality of your first video is probably going to suck compared to a video that you create three years later, as I showed you in the example at the beginning of this video.


Avoid comparing your journey with someone else’s journey because if you’re just starting, the quality of your videos is going to be very different to a person that’s been creating videos for several years.

Instead, try to improve one new thing for every new video you upload and you’ll see the quality of your videos improve over time.

Another thing to absolutely avoid when starting a YouTube channel is to ask sub -or-sub. This is where you ask someone to subscribe to your channel because you subscribe to their channel. Instead, ask viewers that are watching your own videos to subscribe to your channel and give them a strong reason why they should do it.


Don’t expect your video to go viral, but work on improving the click-through rate and watch time for every new video you upload and you’ll get more views and subscribers.

Your first 50 to 100 videos are probably going to get little or no views so don’t get discouraged. The YouTube algorithm follows the audience so only make videos that your audience is interested in.

Know How The YouTube Algorithm Works

The YouTube algorithm looks at what each viewer has watched in the past, how much time they spent watching the video, and also what they don’t watch.

Your goal is to help viewers find the videos that they wish to watch and keep viewers watching more of what they like.

Know Your Audience

The more that you know about your audience, the easy it’ll be to create the right content for them.

One of the easiest ways to tap into the mind of your target audience is to type your main keyword into the YouTube search box. You’ll immediately see the phrases that people are typing into the search box to find out the information that they seek.

When first starting YouTube channel, you should focus on YouTube search because it’s one of the easiest ways to rank your videos at the top of the YouTube search engine. If your video ranks on the first page of the YouTube search engine, it’s more likely that people will click and watch your video compared to a video that’s on the second or third page.

Survey Your Audience

Other ways to get to know your audience is to survey them. If you have an email list, survey your list. If you have a Facebook group, ask questions in the group.

Reach Comments

Another way to study your target audience is to read the comments under the videos of your competitors. Viewers will often ask questions in the videos, which you can answer in your own video.

Study Community Guidelines

Before you even start creating one piece of content, become familiar with the community guidelines from YouTube. It’s very easy to get a community guideline strike on your video because you violated a community guideline.

For example, I talked to many content creators who got community line strikes on their channel because they talked about politics, COVID, or something that violated community guidelines.

If you get three community guidelines strikes, your channel will be terminated and you’ll no longer be able to post content on YouTube. Also, make sure that every new video you upload contains unique content. Otherwise, you’d also get flagged for reused content.

Click here to download my video upload checklist. You’ll learn how to optimize your video correctly before you publish it.


When you first start a YouTube channel, you’ll have a choice to create a brand account or a personal account. I highly recommend creating a brand account so you have more flexibility.

Take time to customize YouTube channel homepage because it’s the first thing people see when they visit your channel. Upload a profile picture of yourself or a logo because this will appear beneath your channel banner and also in the comments when you comment on other videos.

Upload a channel banner that clearly summarizes what your channel’s all about. You should also upload a channel trailer that summarize your content and motivates people do so subscribe to your channel.

The rest of your channel homepage should have sections containing playlists. If someone scrolls down your channel homepage, they’ll see all the thumbnails from your videos.

Click here to lean the steps to customize your YouTube channel homepage

Use your about page to also share what your channel’s about and add your social media links to it. The social media links will show up on your channel banner.

Tech Gear

Start with what you’ve got and upgrade over time. For example, when I first started on my YouTube channel, I just used my phone and the daylight coming in from the window.

These days, the new phones can shoot in 4k video so just use your phone if you’re just starting out.


The quality of your audio is even more important than the quality of the video. I highly recommend using an external mic when recording videos. If you’re using your phone for recording your videos, just use the headphones that come with your phone.

If you want to use an external mic that doesn’t have any wires and you can be 15 to 20 feet from your phone, I highly recommend getting the Smartmike+.

Click here to watch my review of the SmartMike+ microphone.

Video Editing

Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for video editing software, to edit your videos, start with free software like iMovie for the Mac or DaVinci Resolve. If you want to edit videos on your phone, you can download the iMovie app or the KineMaster app.

For creating thumbnails, just use the free online graphics software, Canva. They include a bunch of templates that you can customize to your liking.

Track Video Performance

YouTube gives you very specific analytics in YouTube Studio to track the performance of your YouTube videos.

In your overview tab, you’re able to see the views, watch time, subscribers, and revenue for your channel. You’ll also be able to see which 10 videos are performing the best on your channel.

If you click on the reach tab, you’ll be able to see the exact sources of where your traffic is coming from.

If you click on the engagement tab, you’ll be able to see how long it kept viewers engaged on your video.

If you click on the audience tab, you’re able to see when your viewers are on YouTube, other channels your audience watches, watch time from subscribers, and age and gender of your audience.

The revenue tab will show you how much revenue you’ve generated from your channel or videos as long as you monetize your channel.

Get Feedback From Others

Creating and maintaining a YouTube channel takes a lot of work and most of the time you’re working by yourself in your office or your studio. This can result in burnout or loneliness so you want to interact with like-minded people in your niche.

I invite you to join my Facebook group Tube Video Bootcamp

You’ll be able to interact with over a thousand like-minded creators. You can ask questions, get feedback and so you won’t be alone trying to figure things out yourself.

Have Fun

If you’re not having fun, filming, editing, and publishing videos on YouTube, it’s probably not worth doing and you’re probably doing it wrong. Try to stand up for your competitors by including something unique about yourself.

For example, I’ll often include video clips on my hobbies, such as trail riding, hiking, surfing, and skiing. This makes my videos more interesting to watch and increases engagement.

If you want to generate a passive income from YouTube, watch this video on the screen right now on how to monetize your YouTube channel in 2022

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