How to Start A Youtube Channel

As I shared in my last blog, when I first started Youtube, I only had one friend that was actively trying to be a “YouTuber”. She was kind of my YouTube guru, but she only started ahead of me by a few months so the information we both knew was limited. Also she like many other YouTubers had been contemplating for a long time whether to do it or not. Where as I thought it was a cool idea and jumped into it completely blind.

My Story

Different from a lot of professions, being artistic whether it be a musician, a singer, a dancer or a blogger. There’s no real guideline on how to become successful. When you’re in a creative path, there’s a constant battle between having a stable career or daring to following your dreams.

As this friend of mine and I embarked this journey to start Youtube, we tried our best to support each other by sharing each others videos, liking each others posts and spreading the word to our friends. However a team of two people in a huge OCEAN of YouTubers was not easy. It’s also even tougher when you’re not in the west coast.

We live in New York City. A city where there is so many opportunities and so many things to do. People almost don’t take YouTubers seriously here because its almost unheard of. “Popular Asian YouTubers in New York, whats that??”.

Shooting my first video, I honestly had ZERO idea what I was doing. In fact, I didn’t even have a camera. I asked a friend that I had only previously met once for a favor by using his camera. My first two YouTube videos were makeup and I simply decided after that, that maybe that was just not me.

Now if you somehow found this blog, you must be also curious too as to how all of this works. So I will try my best to break this all down for you in simplest way possible.

How to Start Your Own Youtube Channel

Quick Disclaimer: I’m going to be very blunt about the Youtube, so if you’re looking for a super feel good blog this will not be it. It’s very real and gritty.

  1. Picking your Niche. Have an idea of what you what to do. Pick something someone would want to watch. What is unique about your channel? What is something they can watch on your channel as opposed to someone else. Whatever your Niche is going to be try your best to stick to it.
    • What is you want to do on Youtube?
    • What’s are you passionate about?
    • What do you want to share with people?
      • Fashion, beauty, food, traveling etc
  2. Production Value. SO important. Right off the bat, people can tell just how professional you are with 10 seconds into your videos. It may be a lot of work but it will definitely pay off in the long run. One of the most common compliments I get (and I find satisfying) is just how much value I add to my productions. You can tell how much someone is serious about their work based on their product. Here’s a key list of things you should keep an eye on when filming your YouTube videos.
    • Camera – There’s a ton of DSLR cameras on sale right now and you can get a decent one without breaking your wallet. It’s such a good deal with the market being so competitive. I’ve been shooting with a Canon T5I which at the time was probably $800 but now is $550.
    • Location – Be easy on the eyes. Viewers can tell if you made an effort for your video to look decent or not. Right now white is everything for anything to do with beauty so make sure your background is just as presentable.
    • Lighting – If you have a nice location why not show it off. Have you ever went to the mall and literally went in just because their lighting was amazing. That’s the same feel you should have going into making a YouTube video.
    • Sound – Believe it or not sound is just as important as everything else. If you’re going to be talking in the video, you want to make sure you speak up and the audience can hear you. Be engaging because if you’re not, the audience can be very easy bored with your tone. Also make sure your surrounding sounds isn’t too distracting. Ie. Traffic, fish tanks, air conditioners, music playing in the background. etc.
    • Notes: I know this all sounds very overwhelming. Think of it as an investment for something long term. If you’re already a blogger than this transition should be a lot easier than just a complete beginning except this time instead of catching just that one moment, it will be capturing many moments at once. No pressure!! A lot of correcting can be done in post production.
  3. Editing. This is where the magic happens. For your 10 takes of just your intro, this is where you can take out the stupid things you say or lighten up the frame. Below is a list of the top three most commonly used editing programs.
    • IMovie – Very simple, basic and easy for everyone to learn. It’s very self explanatory however you’re very limited with what you can do with it. It’s great for beginners especially if you’ve never edited before.
    • Adobe Premiere Pro – I switched up to this baby when I decided to take things to the next level. Supposedly this is where big movies are also edited in. Premiere is a lot of harder since there is so many more options and there wasn’t as many presets as IMovie however once you get the hang of things you can easily make your videos more interesting without having any limits.
    • Final Cut – Although I have never used it, I’ve been told that this program is a cross between IMovie and Premiere. For some people it’s very easy to work around but for me it took a whole week to try to work and I still couldn’t figure it out. Premiere, I learned it in a day.
    • Tip: Everyone of these apps offers you a trial run, see what works for you. Some apps may be easy for others but hard for you and vise versa.
  4. Commitment. I wish I can tell you the amount of times someone has told me they wanted to do Youtube but wasn’t serious about it. Some people just upload a few videos and assume they’ll have a lot of viewership. However no success happens over night. Starting YouTube is like starting a company. You have to build it from the bottom.
    • Consistency – Upload at least two a week, once a week, once a month! It doesn’t matter how often but viewers like consistency.
    • Not giving up! – People tend to try out the Youtube world for half a year or less and when they don’t see their viewership growing, they give up. Why start something if you’re not gonna finish it. You’re not doing yourself justice.
  5. Marketing & Advertising. Just like everything else in the world, you have to sell yourself. Be willing to go all the way and let people know what you are up to. If you’re waiting to become “successful” first its not going to happen if you don’t let the universe know about it. You may be surprised, some people who are close to you won’t support you but some people you may never expect, will be your biggest fans.
    • Channel Name – Pick a name that’s short and simple that describes your channel.
    • Be Shameless – If you’re gonna put yourself out you mind as well do it all the way. You cannot be afraid of what people are going to think or what they’re going to say. The people that support you won’t know about you if you don’t share yourself with the world.
    • Brand yourself – You can’t be shy. Bring business cards with you. Give them out if it becomes a relevant topic. Be proud of the work that you do and don’t hold back. You never know who you might meet.
  6.  Collaborations. One of the best ways to get more subscribers is doing collaborations with other YouTuber that may fit into your genre. Start off with working with someone that has a similar amount of subscribers as you do. They’re more likely to say yes. Then build your way on up from there. Also don’t get discouraged when someone says no. What you can provide is just currently not what they’re looking for. You can always ask again in the future.
  7. Tips and Tricks.  Like I said in the beginning of this blog, there’s no real guideline of how to become successful on YouTuber however these are some of the tricks I learned on how to gain more subscribers.
    1. Get involved. Subscribe to people around your niche and comment on each others videos. Don’t be spammy and just say hey please check out my channel. You wouldn’t want someone to do that to you. Write meaningful messages and genuinely watch their videos. Build a relationship and then ask them to be friends on YouTube!
    2. Being Thankful. Engage your viewers by commenting back and thanking them at the end of the video. Tell them to comment so you can be more engaging!
    3. The Trends. Do things that are trending or things that are being searched. Most of your subscribers will find you from “search”. Also its good to try your best to have it relate to your niche.
    4. Social Media Branding. Try to keep your Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Blog all the same username as much as possible. Whenever you post up a video it’s also good to let the rest of your social media know to look out for something new that you’re going to post up. If you hold back just keep in mind, you’re the one missing out on views. Again don’t be shy!

Here is the video version of pretty much what I just wrote but if you’re anything like me then I prefer digesting information from listening than reading. 😉

In Conclusion

All of this definitely may seem overwhleming. To be honest even writing this all out I thought to myself who does this? However this experience has taught me a lot and paved a path for me I didn’t even realize was for me. I enjoyed filming so much I ended up becoming a producer, director and actress. It was always in me ever since I was a little kid form being in every school play to filming home made videos of just my friends and I. I’m surprised no one put two and two together for me and hinted that I should do this as a career until just recently.

With that said, not all my videos are perfect and even 3 years into doing this, I’m still learning the tricks of the trade. And after all that I said, if you’re still contemplating whether you should make one or not, I’d say just do it! No point in wasting anymore time. This is where that phrase comes in. “You never know unless you try”. 🙂

With Love,
Yuena Li

Last Blog: Little Accomplishments | My 100th video on YouTube

Thank you for stopping by!  Let’s be friends!!😀
2nd Channel

20 thoughts on “How to Start A Youtube Channel

  1. Great advice to those wanting to venture into any type of social media channel. Your so detailed and invaluable to anyone starting out. Wish I had seen this earlier when I was starting my blog. But commitment is so key, people are always amazed at how hard we work. Great post, thank you for sharing.
    xx, gracie


  2. Amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your tips. I’ve actually always wondered how people start a YouTube channel because it seems like so many people are doing it but you definitely have the right mindset and drive so keep it up babes!


  3. Hehe definitely bookmarking and keeping you on hand for questions in the future! I can’t wait until I have a space and time to commit myself to YT because it’ll be such an amazing journey. PS from my trial of FCP, I loved it!!! A lot of YTers I know and look up to use it! I love the creative factors you can play with. I’m way too excited for what the future holds! And to expand my creative ideas!

    XO Jenn


  4. This was really helpful to read! In high school, I started a YouTube channel for beauty looks and loved it. I had gotten up to about a thousand subscribers in a couple of months when I stopped doing it and lost my mojo. Now, as a fashion blogger, I’d love to get back into YT for lookbooks, etc., but the website is so saturated now and I have no clue what I’m doing anymore. I’ll definitely be looking back on this post for whenever I decide to finally start up again. Thanks for sharing your tips!

    Stephanie //


  5. I really love this post and think all of your tips are great. I especially enjoyed that you said to put it all out there and be shameless. Being transparent and open with your viewers is huge. I have been wanting to start my own, but probably will do it with time. 🙂 When that time comes, I’ll have to revisit this post again! Thanks so much for sharing!



  6. Babe ever since I read your previous post I was waiting anxious for this one!!! Really want to start my own travel youtube chanel but theres a lot of considerations you mention here that I was not aware!! Thanks for opening my eyes and sharing this valuable info.



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