So you want to start a new YouTube channel, eh? You’ve got a great idea for the type of videos you want to make, or maybe you’ve even got your first video ready to upload and now all you have to do is create a kickass username and get your videos on YouTube. But wait—before you select a username and start setting up your YouTube channel here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Once you choose a username you’re stuck with it
Unlike Twitter, which always gives you the option to change your username, YouTube ties your account to your username forever. Of course, you always have the option to create a brand new YouTube username later on, but if you do that you’ll be starting completely from scratch with a brand new channel.
If you plan to make YouTube videos indefinitely, you’ll be stuck with this name for the long haul. For this reason, take the time to put some thought into your YouTube username.
2. Choose a name that’s easy for people to remember
When you create your YouTube username you should try to choose something that’s easy for people to remember. Use familiar words instead of gibberish (or if you do use a made-up word make sure it’s easy to remember how to spell it). You’ll also want to steer clear of complicated strings of letters or numbers.
Also, don’t forget that what’s easy for you to remember may not be easy for others to remember. I was born in 1982 so if I made my username Megan1982 it might be easy for me to remember, but others might have a difficult time remembering the year. Keep it simple and to the point.
3. Don’t let unavailable usernames get you down
Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s a good chance that the first few amazing usernames you will come up with will already be taken by other YouTubers. Even more frustratingly—some usernames you like may be tied to inactive accounts or may no longer be available “because the user closed their account.”
Unfortunately, unless you are a well-known brand or own the trademark it is unlikely that you’ll be able to get your hands on an unavailable username. But don’t give up hope! Just keep brainstorming and I know you’ll come up with an awesome username (you can do it!).
4. Don’t be too specific with your username
Remember again that your username stays with you for the long haul so keep in mind that, while you are probably sure that whatever series or theme you’ve got planned is going to be a huge hit, you may always change direction. If I want to start making Italian cooking videos and I call my channel MeganCooksItalian then I don’t leave myself much room for growth or change. What happens if I decide I want to start getting into Japanese cuisine? My username is going to look silly.
You can always choose a broader username and then create series with more specific titles. Maybe my account could be called MeganCooks and I could have a series of shows related to different cuisines—Megan Cooks Italian, Megan Cooks Mediterranean, Megan Cooks With BACON. Of course, that still kind of pigeonholes me into the cooking niche, but you get the idea. Give yourself room to grow.
5. Use capital letters to separate words
If your YouTube name is made up of several words (as in our MeganCooks examples above) then you should use capital letters to separate the words. This makes it easier on the eye and easier to read. Isn’t MeganCooks easier to read than megancooks? Or as another example, isn’t MysteryGuitarMan easier to read than mysteryguitarman?
When you sign up for your YouTube account you’ll want to make sure to type your username selection in with the capital letters as you won’t be able to go back and change this later (Come on, YouTube! You’re killin’ us here!).
Creating a new YouTube username
YouTube recently started letting users create new YouTube accounts from their Google+ profiles, so creating a channel with a unique name just got slightly more complicated. Here’s a quick guide. Ready to get started?
1. Head over to youtube.com/create_channel (note that if you’ll have to have a Google account created that is not already tied to a YouTube channel in order to create a new one)
2. If you’ve got a Google+ account it will prompt you to create an account using your Google+ profile. Your name and avatar will appear as it does on your Google+ profile. You won’t want to do this. Instead you will click ‘Create a username’ on the bottom right.
3. From here, type in the username that you want. Remember to capitalize the letters that you want capitalized now because you won’t be able to go back and change it later.
4. Check the boxes to decide which activities you want to share on your channel (don’t worry too much about this now, you will be able to change it later). Then click ‘OK, I’m ready to continue.’
5. If the username is not available the system will tell you and make suggestions for similar available usernames. Keep trying until you get one that you like.
6. Give yourself a pat on the back. Now you’ve got a new YouTube username and it’s freakin’ awesome!
When I launched Tubegeeks earlier this month I told you that I’d be going through the process of creating a brand new YouTube channel and making videos myself, and sharing my experience with tip articles and guides as I go along. So in the spirit of that, I bring you my new YouTube username—TubegeeksTV (please subscribe!). I had hoped that Tubegeeks would be available but to my dismay it was a case of “This channel is no longer available because the user closed their account,” (see the image above) but I feel pretty content with the username I ended up with.
Going forward, I’d love to hear from you guys about you’d like to get out of Tubegeeks’ tips and guides. If there’s a specific part of the YouTube experience that boggles you or a specific question you’d like me to look into, please share it with me on Twitter or in the comments below.
More helpful reading: 10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A New YouTube Channel
Image credit: winhorse via ShutterStock.com