Creating Your Own YouTube Channel

WHY SHOULD I HAVE A YOUTUBE CHANNEL?

Second to Google, YouTube is the most-used search engine. You want to be searchable here: You want to be found. You may only have one video to share. If this is the case, you have the option of Hal Leonard posting it on their performingartsbooks YouTube channel. However, if you would like to create a brand for yourself in the YouTube community, you may want to create a channel of your own and build an audience that way.

HOW DO I CREATE A YOUTUBE CHANNEL?

When you sign up for YouTube, you automatically get your own channel. Go to youtube.com and click sign up. Fill in your information.
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Name: This name will show up at the top of your channel’s page
Username: This name will show up in the URL
For example, visit youtube.com/performingartsbooks. You see that the Username is performingartsbooks because it’s in the URL, but the Name of the channel is Hal Leonard Performing Arts. It is recommended to have them match, like if you visit youtube.com/musicproguides, you can see that musicproguides is the Username, while Music Pro Guides is the Name.
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After creating your account, you can customize the look of your channel a little by adding a background and decide if you want to have a featured video that always shows up first (and if you want it to play automatically, like at musicproguides).

UPLOAD A VIDEO

Click “upload” and click on the arrow to select the file. While it’s uploading, enter in a title, description, and keywords. These are extremely important to being searchable. The more specific keywords (which can be full phrases), the better.
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If you have an important link, post it in the first three lines of your description so that it’s above the fold. Include the http:// to make it clickable.
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Also, note there are three settings: private, unlisted, and public. Private means only you can see it when you are logged in, unlisted means people with the URL can see it but it’s not searchable, and public means people can stumble across it and share it.

WHAT TO UPLOAD

YouTube can support most video file types like .mov, .avi, .wmv, etc. You cannot upload anything you don’t own because it could get flagged and taken down. They could even suspend your account. Unless it’s a lesson or seminar, try to keep it under 3 or 4 minutes because attention spans are short. If it’s a book trailer, 1 minute is best.

MAKE A PLAN

What are your goals? There are multiple ways to use a YouTube channel. One is just so that you have a place to host your video content online for free. We use our performingartsbooks account this way. However, you may want to make your channel like a TV show or even a TV channel (except, of course, not on TV), like our musicproguides channel. If the latter, then create a plan: how often do you want to post new content? How do you want to spread the word? How do you want to get viewers to interact with you and with each other? And WHAT DO YOU WANT TO POST? Do you want to make it a fictional drama (that reflects your book)? A series of interviews? Documentary? Vlog?

USEFUL LINKS

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