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Top tips to get up and running with your first YouTube channel

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In an age dominated by social media, it's not surprising that a lot of us make the choice to plunge into the world of YouTube, whether that be as a creator or viewer.

Two years ago, I made my own YouTube channel and it was one of the best decisions of my life. Clearly, as you are reading this, you wish to do the same. So, here are my top tips to get you started:

1. First things first, you must be yourself. Although it sounds cliché, it's very important to not create a fake persona of yourself online. Just because your viewers may not know you in the flesh, that is not to say they won't see straight through you.

Honestly, you can only keep up an untrue version of yourself for so long before it becomes tiring. Remember, your unique personality is what will keep people coming back for more! 

2. Next, you need to decide what type of videos you want to film. This is entirely your choice. Do you have a naturally funny personality and want to showcase this in comedy sketches? Or are you creative, and want to do some film making? Is makeup your thing? If so, why not film some tutorials?

Be true to yourself and present things you love doing and would enjoy watching yourself. Be confident in what you're good at!

3. Talking to a camera can feel very, well... damn right weird at first. Try to practice talking to the camera before filming your first 'official' video. The easiest way is to say everything as though you were talking to your best mate, that way you quickly become a natural around the camera and will not be uncomfortable to watch.

Also, if you have a DSLR camera already, always look into the lens and not the flip out screen (trust me I've been there).

4. Twitter and Instagram are your new best friends. Using your other social media accounts as a promotional tool for your channel is the key to success. Regularly share the links to your videos with your followers, chat in the comments section and interact with other YouTubers with a similar follower count to you. This allows you to build up friendships in the community and gets your name out there to help your channel grow. 

5. Don't expect your channel to blow up overnight. After eagerly clicking 'upload' to a video you've worked your arse off creating, it's difficult to not give up when the subscribers just aren't pouring in straight away. Unfortunately, it's unrealistic to instantly expect thousands of viewers, unless of course your video goes viral - in that case you are very, very lucky!

However, in most cases your hard work will get recognised eventually, it just takes time and perseverance. You'll get there.

6. Finally, having a decent set-up and channel art puts you in good sted to grow your channel. I'm not saying go out and spend thousands on expensive filming equipment. In fact, if you have the personality, you don't need all of the fancy equipment to be successful on YouTube. However, simply have a setup that represents your channel style...are you a minimalistic person? Do you want lots of colour and decor? You decide what works for you and your channel.

In terms of channel art, you can download the templates from YouTube itself. I like to make my banner on the site 'PicMonkey', but there's tons of free editing sites you can use for your design.

So, that wraps up some of my top tips for starting your own channel. I hope some of you found this useful - and good luck with your channels. Hang on in there - you'll do great.

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