I just took a look at my youtube channel. My first video went live on 4th November 2009. That’s seven years of almost weekly videos. It was odd looking back at a slightly younger, slightly posher me and it reminded me of all the silly mistakes, most of which I only recently fixed, I made when I set up my YouTube Channel.
Today, I thought I’d share four of the YouTube channel mistakes I made with you and show you how to avoid them. I only fitted three into the video, so you as a reader are getting a bonus extra mistake.
Firstly, I don’t think you can blame me completely for the mistakes. When I started out on YouTube it looked very different. Some of the features my channel was missing weren’t there back then but in some ways not keeping up to date with the changes was my biggest mistake.
Watch below to find out what my three biggest YouTube Channel mistakes were
Mistake 1 – The Channel Art Was All Wrong
About a year ago I decided to revamp my channel and straight away I realised I was missing something really important.
‘Channel Art’ is Youtube’s version of the Facebook or Twitter cover image. It spans the width of your channel and lets you brand it.
I quickly added channel art but something was wrong. The size. I’d checked the internet, I’d used Canva but something was wrong. The beautiful brand image I’d created was cropped.
It turns out that channel art is a bit more complicated than a Facebook cover photo. Depending what device a viewer looks at your channel on the cover art will display differently. The full sized art rarely displays whereas the portion you see on a web browser or mobile device is just a tiny portion of the main image.
Luckily there is a template you can use to size your images correctly. Just yesterday I finally fixed my channel art to display correctly on all devices. I uploaded the template to Canva so that I could arrange the elements of my channel correctly.
Mistake 2 – I Couldn’t Verify My Website
Once you have set up your YouTube channel you can verify your website. This associates it with your channel. Once verified you can add cards and links to your website from your videos. It could be a great way to drive viewers to your site.
Over the years I tried over and over again to verify my site yet my status always remained ‘pending’. I’d been trying to verify my site using Google Search Console. Although everything seemed to match up on the Search Console end YouTube just wouldn’t recognise it.
Eventually, I got in touch with Google. They pointed out, politely, that I was linking to the wrong Search Console. You see, my YouTube channel was created with a different Google account to my Google Analytics and Search Console. I’d been trying to link my Spiderworking YouTube with my personal Google account.
Once I’d discovered the mistake I linked the Spiderworking YouTube with my Spiderworking Google account and I was verified almost immediately.
To verify your website:
- Click on your logo at the top right-hand side of your channel
- Click ‘Creator Studio’
- Select ‘Channel’ from the left-hand sidebar
- Click ‘Advanced’
- Add your website and follow instructions to verify
Mistake 3 – I Didn’t Add Links To My Header
This is something that definitely wasn’t possible when I set up my channel in 2009. You can add your website link, social channels and other links to your YouTube header.
Adding these links could help drive traffic to your site and encourage viewers to follow you elsewhere online.
To add links to your header click on the pencil at the top of your channel art and select ‘Edit links’ from the drop down menu.
Mistake 4 – I Didn’t Have A Channel Trailer
I’m not sure when I first became aware of channel trailers but I do know I put the idea of having one on the long finger, the very long finger.
A good channel trailer introduces new visitors to your page and persuades them that subscribing is a good idea. It should be short and representative of the rest of your content.
When I finally uploaded mine I used it to promote my channel on other social channels and began gaining subscribers immediately.
To add a channel trailer to YouTube click to view your channel as a new visitor.
If you haven’t uploaded a trailer yet you’ll see a blank square prompting you to upload a video. If you have you can change your trailer by clicking the pencil to the right of your trailer description.
That’s just four of the mistakes I made. I made many, many more… let’s not mention the top I was wearing in my first ever Vlog!
Do you vlog? What silly mistakes have you made? Are you brave enough to admit them? I’d love to know I’m not the only one so let me know if you have.
Oh and you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here.