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creator basics

So you wanna be a YouTube creator?

Being a creator on YouTube might just be the best job on the planet. And get this? No job application required. If you want to create content, build a community, and possibly even make a living on YouTube, getting started is easy. We’re answering some of the most common questions about starting on YouTube with some helpful videos included along the way! Happy creating.

How do I start creating on YouTube?

There are a few ways to get started on YouTube. We offer up different formats and functionalities, giving you the flexibility to create everything from Shorts, which are vertical videos that run 60 seconds or less, to longer form videos.

No matter what you’re creating, you’ll need to start by creating a YouTube Channel.

  • First you need to sign into YouTube using a Google Account.
  • Once you’re signed in, click ‘Create Account’, and choose whether it’s for you or for your business.
  • You can then create a YouTube channel on your account, upload videos, leave comments, and create Shorts and playlists.

Next, you’ll want to upload your videos!

  • Uploading is easy. You just sign into your YouTube account and then click on the “Create” icon.
  • If you’re planning to upload a longer form video, select “upload video” and then choose your desired video file - you can upload 15 files at a time!
  • If you’d like to upload a YouTube Short, you’ll need to be signed into YouTube mobile, where you’ll tap ‘Create’ and then ‘Create a Short’. From here you can either upload a video from your camera roll or create using our suite of lightweight tools.

How do I grow my channel?

Growing your channel is all about creating videos viewers want to watch and accurately presenting them to the audience. When doing so, here’s a few tips to keep in mind.

With each video, think carefully about the title, description, and thumbnail you plan to use - these should all accurately reflect your content and let viewers know what they can expect from the video. If you’re a Shorts creator, think about how the first 1-2 seconds of your content can grab viewers scrolling through the video feed!

Once you’ve got viewers watching, you can redirect their attention via hashtags, playlists, cards, end screens, and more.

How does the algorithm work?

Our search and discovery systems are built to find videos that match viewers’ individual interests. We recommend videos based on things such as: what your audience watches and doesn’t watch, how much time they spend watching, what they like and dislike, if they mark a video as ‘not interested’, and on satisfaction surveys.

So, rather than trying to find a secret code to these systems, focus instead on making videos that you think will resonate with your audience. A great tool here is YouTube Analytics, which provides data that can help you understand how your existing content is performing and provide insights for future videos!

How do I promote my videos?

Promoting your videos is all about getting the word out there. On YouTube, you can use tools like cards, end screens, and Community Posts to drive viewers to a specific piece of content!

Off-platform, think about promoting your videos on your socials and relevant communities, podcasts, or platforms that align with your content and your intended audience.

How do I make money on YouTube?

There are multiple ways for Creators to make money on YouTube, and it starts with applying and being accepted to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).

Creators who want to unlock the ability to earn money through revenue sharing from ads can become eligible for YPP with either Shorts or long-form video. For more details on eligibility, see here.

Once a creator is accepted into YPP, they can make money on YouTube a few different ways, from advertising and YouTube Premium revenue, to shopping, and fan funding features like channel memberships, Super Chat & Super Stickers, and Super Thanks. Each feature has its own set of eligibility requirements on top of subscriber and view count requirements.

And in June 2023, we started rolling out even earlier access to YPP with lower eligibility criteria for creators even earlier in their journey. Creators with at least 500 subs, 3 public uploads over the last 90 days, and either 3K watch hours over the last 12 months or 3M Shorts view over the last 90 days can now apply to YPP as well.

Once accepted, they’ll unlock channel memberships, Super Chat, Super Thanks, Super Stickers, and first-party Shopping features.

As these creators continue to grow their channel, they’ll automatically become eligible to earn revenue sharing from ads and even more benefits once they reach the existing YPP eligibility criteria, without having to go through the full YPP application process again. These existing eligibility requirements to unlock revenue sharing remain unchanged.

Good luck on starting your YouTube journey! We can't wait to see what you create.