It seems like everyone has a YouTube channel these days. And why not: if you have something to say or want to show, this is the best medium for it. It's often thought that starting your own YouTube channel is time-consuming and complicated, but none of that is true.



Starting a YouTube channel and being able to live on it is obviously not that easy, otherwise we would all be millionaires. But creating an account yourself and possibly earning a few euros per month with it, that is indeed possible. To create a YouTube channel, you need a Google account (Google owns the video service). If you already have Gmail or another Google service, you can use that account. If you don't have such an account yet, create it. Then log in to www.youtube.com with your Google account.




You now have an account, but no channel yet. You create a channel by clicking on the icon with your user image in the top right corner (a silhouette by default) within YouTube and then on My channel. Since you don't have a channel yet, YouTube sees this as a signal that you want to create one. You can enter a first and last name here (this can also be an artist name), or click on Use a company name or other name when it comes to the name of an association, for example. Then click Create Channel.



In principle, you can now directly upload a video, but before you do that, it is more convenient to first provide your channel with some basic information, namely a profile picture, a banner image and a channel description. In the channel description you briefly fill in what exactly this channel is about and what you publish on it. Click on Edit channel / About / Channel description and enter a short description, you can of course always change this later. Then click on the pencil icon in the top left corner of the small silhouette square and then Edit. A new tab will open as this is your profile picture for your entire account, not just YouTube. In this window, click Upload photo. Find a nice picture of yourself or a picture you like that has to do with your channel, and set it as a profile picture. It can take a long time before you see the updated profile picture on YouTube. Return to YouTube and click on Add Banner Image and choose an image to display here. For information about the most useful dimensions of this image, click How to create a banner image at the bottom.



You can use YouTube to upload videos for friends and family, but of course it is also possible to make a video for a much wider audience. It goes without saying that a video of your last vacation to Italy will not appeal to a very wide audience, unless something really funny has happened that causes the video to be shared very often ("goes viral"). To upload a video, click the up arrow icon (Upload) in the top right corner. Browse to the video you want and click Open. While the video is being uploaded, you can fill in all kinds of information about the footage. If you want to appeal to a wide audience, that information is important because the film can be found there. Enter a good title and matching description. Choose a thumbnail of the video you like at the bottom (this section is only available when the video has been processed) and indicate on the right whether the video should be Public (visible to everyone), Hidden (only visible to those who have the link ), Private (only visible to you) or Scheduled (only online from a certain date). Click on Publish or Done (depending on the share setting) when you have completed everything. You will now get a link with which you can find the video.




If you are not completely satisfied with the video that you have just uploaded, know that you can still edit the video within YouTube. Click on your profile picture and then on Creator Studio. After that, in the left pane, choose Video Manager. You now get an overview of all your videos. If you click Edit next to a video, you will find a world of extra options. For example, you can improve the quality of the video, add subtitles and add "cards" at the end that refer to other videos. Here you can also view the statistics of the video, so that you can see how much your video is viewed and when people leave. We recommend that you check this part out at your leisure.




Once you've published the video, it's time to find an audience; people who want to watch your film… but how do you reach them? The answer is quite simple: through social media. Share your video on Facebook, Twitter or another platform on which you are active, or let people know via email that your video is online. If the video is only for friends and family, of course send the link to them via email, Facebook, WhatsApp and so on. If you are looking for a wider audience, you can share it in places where many people come. A correct title, good description and tags when uploading the video are essential. Also ask people in your movie to subscribe to your channel, so that they automatically receive a notification of the next movie.



But how do you make money with the video? We cannot tell you how you get rich (see the box "Sleeping Rich?"). But we love to explain how the technical side of the story works. Go to Creator Studio and under Channel click Status & Features. Under Monetization, click Enable. You will now be guided step-by-step through the process by YouTube. It will take a while for your application to be approved, because this will only happen after your videos have been viewed more than 10,000 times. That is also fine, because under this number you earn almost nothing from your videos.