With the rise of the video-blogging culture, it is almost impossible for entrepreneurs to ignore the idea of starting a YouTube channel, given that 300 hours of video are uploaded on the minute. We understand it takes time to get familiar with the basic features, so to save you time, we’ve outlined ‘YouTube basics for entrepreneurs’.  You are making a smart move taking into account the added benefits of expanding your network, free merchandise from companies, and potentially monetising your channel to get that second stream of income If you want to venture into the entrepreneurial space on YouTube and earn a living while doing so, make sure you deep-dive into the basics mentioned below before making your first video live. 

Let’s start with the need-to-know basics before creating and growing a channel on YouTube.

YouTube requires you to sign in with your Google account. If you don’t have one, create one here

Create a new Google account or sign into your existing one

Sign in to your Google account


The road to YouTube entrepreneurship begins here:

Go to youtube.com. Scroll to your profile picture located in the top right-hand corner of your screen. In this drop-down menu, click Your channel.

Go to your channel homepage on YouTube

Navigate to your channel in YouTube

Stand-out from the crowd and customise your profile. Add a channel icon. This is the same image used on your Google account. You have the option to add additional information like your date of birth. Make this information private or public by clicking the lock icon. Sharing this kind of information with your community online may create a stronger connection as they begin to know you on a more personal level.

Change your channel art on your YouTube channel

Add an image to make your profile stand out 

Let people know what you are about by including a short introduction. Head over to the pink icon in the bottom middle of your screen. Think about adding your contact information. If your channel continually grows, brands might need this information to contact you in the future. 

Share more information with your online community.

The video-sharing platform offers a variety of resources for you to break-down the need-to-know basics of YouTube.


Begin with the quick start guide, it covers these four lessons :

1. Welcome to YouTube: Discover your voice on YouTube and how you can connect with a community aligned to your creative passion. 2. YouTube basics: This lesson covers what happens to your video once it has been uploaded and provides insightful tips on what to do before publishing a new video and YouTube terms you should familiarize yourself with like: 

3. Brand your channel: Explore how to use these use visual elements to best represent your brand: 

Your channel brand is the set of unique characteristics that separates your channel from the rest and communicates your key messages and content strategy”

– YouTube Creator Academy

4. An introduction to YouTube policies and guidelines, familiarize yourself with these rules:

YouTube’s rules

Make it your goal to grow your channel and take the course Get Discovered in creator academy. What key learning’s can you take from this course? Here is a basic outline of what it includes: 1. Learn more about The YouTube Algorithm: Understand why people are finding your videos and how you can make a success out of your channel. Learn about how your videos are matched to viewers based on the following data : 

  • Videos people enjoy watching 
  • Videos people don’t enjoy watching 
  • The time spent on watching videos 
  • Likes and dislikes 
  • ‘Not Interested’ feedback given by that person

YouTube’s algorithm follows the audience. Every day check the analytics in YouTube studio to get an overview of how your content is performing. 2. YouTube search: YouTube search surfaces videos that are most relevant to what people are searching for. This lesson cover writing titles’ and descriptions and how to best optimize them to get your videos found. Tip: Stay relevant, be descriptive and use Google Trends to identify what people are searching for on the internet. Try searching ‘How-to’, this is a popular YouTube category you can explore.  

3. Suggested videos: Aim to get your video in the suggested tab on the right-hand side of the viewers page. 


4. Home 

This is the first page on YouTube people see. Videos that are most relevant to the viewers subscription and watch history are delivered to the home page. YouTube recommends uploading content regularly to give your audience an overview of when they can expect to see your videos.     5. Trending: Videas displayed in the trending feed are a combination of new and popular videos across four categories, namely: music, gaming, news, and movies. Tip: Here are twelve ways to get your videos trending on YouTube   6. Subscribers : How can you get more people to subscribe to your YouTube channel? It’s simple, ask.  Get creative. Ask people to subscribe to your YouTube channel Tip: Give people a reason to come back for more explaining how your videos can add value to them. 7. Notifications : Whenever a new video is uploaded and made visible to the public by default, YouTube notifies users subscribed to your channel.     Tip: Encourage people to turn on notifications for your videos so they don’t miss out, for their efforts, express gratitude or reward them for their efforts.    8. Make your videos stand-out.  Create thumbnails and titles to increase your videos reach Creating a well-designed thumbnail or title will increase your videos reach as this is the first thing people see when browsing on YouTube – it builds anticipation while accurately displaying what your video is about. Avoid using titles that act as clickbait. This will limit your videos discovery because you are misinforming people about what’s in your video – leading to a higher drop-off rate. Keep in mind another factor that contributes to how your is surfaced is based on the amount of time people spend watching your video.  Customise your video's thumbnail   Tip: More time people spend watching your video = More likely your video will be recommended to others Here are 4 other things you can do to make your videos stand out:  1. Write smarter descriptions to get your videos found Tip on how to write a good YouTube description   2. Create cards and add end screens to get people to engage with your videos more. 3. Upload new and engaging content weekly to keep your audience intrigued.   The question wandering in everyone’s’ mind:

How do you get paid by YouTube?

  If you’ve just jumped onto YouTube, make this your goal: Build a credible reputation online,  aim to have 4 000 public watch hours for a duration of twelve months and lastly, grow your channel to 1000 subscribers. Once you have attained these goals,  The Youtube Partner Programme will review your against its partner programme policies. Thereafter you can explore the following options to make money off your channel : 

  1. Ads
  2. Channel memberships 
  3. Merchandise 
  4. Super chat 
  5. Brand deals 
  6. YouTube premium