Last week we talked about how to choose a new YouTube username.  Now that you’ve put some thought into it and come up with an unbelievably awesome username and created an account, it’s time to get your new YouTube channel set up.  We’ve put together a helpful checklist to help you get started.

First things first, sign into your account and head to your channel page by selecting ‘My Channel’ from the dropdown menu in the upper right corner.  Click the ‘Edit Channel’ button to get started.

Step 1: Upload an avatar and background image

Under the ‘Appearance’ tab is where you’ll upload your avatar and background image.

Avatar: While you can upload an image up to 1600×1600 pixels, keep in mind that YouTube resizes your avatar to a 36×36 pixel square so choose something simple that will still be clear in a tiny format.  According to YouTube support, “You may upload a JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG file as your Avatar image, but we do not support animated GIFs.  Do not upload pictures containing celebrities, nudity, artwork or copyrighted images, as this violates our Community Guidelines.”

Background:  If you are uploading a background image, note that your channel is 970 pixels wide.  If you upload an image that is smaller than this, you can repeat it to fill the entire space.  You can repeat the image horizontally, vertically or horizontally and vertically.  Don’t have an image to upload?  Just click to choose a background color.

Step 2: Title, Description & Tags

This part is important because if you don’t write good metadata to go along with your channel nobody will be able to find you in a search.

Title:  The ‘Title’ is how your channel name will appear at the top of the page.  If you didn’t get the title name you had hoped for, this is where you can make up for it.  For instance, Tubegeeks was unavailable so I went with TubegeeksTV, but because I gave my channel the title “Tubegeeks” that’s what appears at the top of my channel page.

Description:  Write a brief description of what viewers can expect from your channel.

Tags:  Write a list of tags related to what you are planning to upload videos about.  Note that you can always change any of this information as your channel grows and changes.

Step 3: Make sure your channel is visible!

Check the box that says ‘Make my channel visible on YouTube.’  You want people to watch your videos, right?  So this should be self-explanatory.

Step 4: Set your default tab

The default tab is the tab that viewers will see automatically when they go to your channel.  You’ll probably want to set this to ‘Featured Tab’ eventually (we’ll get to the Feature Tab in a sec), but until you start uploading videos you’ll have to choose between ‘Feed Tab,’ which shows your videos, likes, comments, etc. and ‘Videos Tab,’ which shows a list of the videos you have yet to upload.

Step 5: Check out the Featured Tab options

This section isn’t really applicable until you start uploading videos, but take a look.  YouTube now has four templates for a channel page that shows off your videos, including a ‘featured’ video of your choosing.  We’ll get to this more in a later post, once we start uploading videos.

Click ‘Done Editing’ to close out this section and move on to the next part.

Step 6: Set up links to your social networking accounts

For this next group of tasks, click the smaller ‘Edit’ button on the right next to the blurb ‘About’ your channel.  Note that the metadata you entered above can be found and edited here.

Beneath the about section, you’ll notice an area where you can connect your Google+, Twitter and Facebook accounts.  You’ll be directed to connect them on the Sharing and Connected Accounts page.  After you connect your accounts, check or uncheck the ‘Share your activity’ boxes to let YouTube know which activities you’d like to share.  I don’t really like when YouTube shares this information automatically, so I uncheck all the optional options.

Return to your channel page, click ‘Edit’ again and you’ll see that your accounts have been connected.  Click ‘Show’ next to the ones you’d like to showcase on your channel.

Another option is to enter links to your social network profiles where it says ‘Add a new link.’  When you add a link to sites like Twitter and Facebook, little favicon images of the logos will appear next to the links.  You can also add a link to your blog or website here.

Step 7: Fill in any other personal information

If you want to add other personal information, such as your occupation, schools or interests, just fill in the fields.  If you want to hide anything (like your age or the date you joined YouTube), just click ‘Hide’ next to those items.

Step 8: Add ‘Other Channels’

Have any other YouTube channels that you’d like to feature on your channel?  Just add them using the ‘Other Channels’ field.  These could be channels of your own, or related channels that you may want to give props to or direct your viewers to.

When you are done, click ‘Apply’ at the top of the page.  Your channel is ready!  Want to show it off?  Feel free to share a link to your channel in the comments below.

Image credit: mbortolino via iStockPhoto.com