How to start a YouTube channel in Nigeria
Are you thinking of starting a YouTube Channel here in Nigeria?
Whether you simply wish to expand your income streams, give expression to your creative ingenuity or establish yourself as an authority in your industry, YouTube is the right platform to help you put yourself out there.
According to the latest YouTube statistics, the video-sharing platform has 2.3 billion users worldwide as of 2021.
This statistic is a testimony to the fact that YouTube is the right content creation platform you should capitalize on right now if you want to take your content to the next level.
In this post, I’ll take you through all the steps you’ll need to take to start a successful YouTube channel in Nigeria. I will also break down how to make money on YouTube in Nigeria in case you are looking to monetize your channel soon – which you should.
How to start a YouTube channel in Nigeria
Know your passion and purpose for starting
The very first thing you need to do when starting a YouTube channel in Nigeria is to have a clearly stated goal.
Ask yourself, “why do I want to start a YouTube channel”? “What’s the purpose for which I want to start creating videos on YouTube”?
You must have a strong enough why so as to make your ‘how’ easier.
For example, if you are starting a YouTube channel simply because many of your friends have started YouTube and are now beginning to make money from it, then the creative fire in you might not burn long and hard enough.
Little challenges here and there would quickly get you discouraged because you are not passionate about what you are doing; you are only trying to copy others.
So, before you launch your channel, figure out what you want to get out of creating your channel.
Do you want to help your viewers; teach them, inspire them, make them laugh, or simply hone your speaking skills thereby using YouTube as a launching pad?
Have a goal and be very clear about it. This will determine if you’ll be on YouTube for the long haul or just for the passing moment.
Get your account set up
Once you have a clear goal and you are sure you have passion for the journey you are about to start, you can start by creating your YouTube channel.
It’s really easy to create your own YouTube channel, you do not need any technical skills for that.
All you need to create your YouTube channel is a g-mail address account.
If you have a Google account, you can watch, share and comment on YouTube content. However, Google accounts don’t automatically create YouTube channels for people.
Getting a new channel set up is a simple and quick process, though.
Go to YouTube and sign in
Go to YouTube.com and click ‘sign in’ in the top right corner of the page: Then log in using the Google account you’d like your channel to be associated with.
It may be difficult to change the google account for your YouTube channel once you create it, so make sure from the onset, you use a Gmail account that you want to be associated with your YouTube channel.
Head over to your YouTube settings
In the top right corner of the screen, click on your profile icon and then click “Create a channel.”
Create your channel
Next, you’ll see the option to create a personal channel or create a channel using a business or other name.
Next, you’ll name your channel.
After this step, you can further customize your channel i.e., uploading a profile picture, adding a description of your channel, adding links to your sites –
You may also want to include custom links to your website or blog (if you have one) as well as social links to Instagram or Twitter.
Plan your content
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – anonymous. Am sure you’ve heard this saying over and over again but it probably applies to a YouTuber than anyone else.
If you don’t plan how you show up on YouTube, that’s the beginning of failure.
From your content schedule to how often you post videos and the day of the week you post; you need to create some structure around your channel as soon as you start out.
You also need to create a list of topics to cover for the next one or two months. This is so you don’t start your channel and run out of ideas just two weeks into it.
Choose a specific day or days of the week that you would always upload new videos just so your audience can plan their schedule around that too.
But most importantly, so you don’t look like an NFA (no future ambition) who shows up just about anytime they feel like.
When starting a YouTube channel in Nigeria, sit down and plan your content timetable first of all.
Once you have a number of topics to discuss and you’ve planned when you’ll create those videos, then you can start out. Otherwise, no need of deceiving yourself!
Know your target audience
One of the most common and costly mistakes most new YouTubers make in Nigeria is to create videos that are targeted at everyone.
If you create YouTube videos for everyone, you create YouTube videos for no one.
If you want to take your YouTube career far, build a successful channel and make money from your videos, you need to target a particular audience segment.
This boils down to the type of content you create. Do you want to entertain or educate? Those are the two broad types of content on YouTube. If you don’t inform or educate, you would entertain.
Some YouTubers start churning out videos about themselves and their lives without either educating their audience or entertaining them. Don’t make this mistake!
No one is interested in you when you start out, except you are a celebrity. They are interested in the value you offer. That’s why they want to expend their hard-earned data watching you.
Contents that inform, educate, entertain or both go a long way for you as a new YouTuber other than random stuff on just any topics that interest you.
Having an idea of your ideal audience will guide you in the choice of content you create, vice-versa.
When you create YouTube content with a certain audience segment in mind, these audiences tend to benefit more.
And when they derive value from your videos, they want to stick around your channel which is good for you.
How to start a YouTube Channel in Nigeria
Create your channel Design/Art
Spending some time to create attractive YouTube channel art will pay off in no distant time as you grow your channel. So, when starting a YouTube channel ensure to create a nice channel design.
What’s YouTube channel design/art?
Channel Art (also known as a “Channel Header Image” or “YouTube Banner”) is the large banner that goes across the top of your channel page.
It’s commonly used to visually communicate a channel’s brand and personality.
You may decide to use a beautiful image of yourself or your business (Depending on if your channel is personal or for business).
According to YouTube, the best channel art size is 2560 pixels wide by x 1440 pixels tall.
You can get beautiful templates to create your channel art on Canva or Snappa. Canva is my go-to place but there are many other amazing apps you could use for that.
Your video thumbnail is also part of your design. Each video you make should have a thumbnail just like a cover image for your video.
A video with a beautiful thumbnail would attract triple viewers than a random image from your video that YouTube chooses as a cover image.
The perfect YouTube thumbnail size is 1280 pixels by 720 pixels.
You can also find beautiful thumbnail templates on Canva or your favourite graphic design platform.
Get your Light, Camera, and Trailer right
Let’s start with your trailer. Just like your channel art, you’ll also want to create your channel trailer.
Channel trailers are usually short, simple, and sweet introductions for new visitors and a welcome to returning viewers.
You can let your audience know who you are, what your business is all about, and what kind of content they can expect to see in the future.
Creating your channel trailer will also be good practice leading up to your first video.
When starting a YouTube channel in Nigeria, many YouTubers may not have the luxury of capital to invest in a professional camera.
One thing you need to record a good video is lighting. If you have a well-lit room to record from, great. Also, try to record daytime especially anything from 11 am – 2 pm for natural lightening.
You may also want to invest in lighting equipment like an average ring light size that also has a tripod where you can hand your phone while recording for convenience.
Between 8 to 14 inches ring-light will serve you for starters and it shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Editing your videos
When starting your channel, you only need basic editing skills to be able to put out great content. Most of the editing software and tools are free while some advanced ones attract some subscription fees.
But for starters, there are many free editing apps you could easily use on your phone to edit your videos for YouTube.
I use PowerDirector and Vlogit apps to make some of my videos using my phone. Some other popular editing software is Adobe Premiere, Premiere Pro, Pinnacle Studio, etc.
These editing apps and software may appear technical initially, but trust me, they are not. When you start to use them, you will find that they are super easy to use.
If you want to use your computer to edit, you may download any of the software I mentioned above and edit your videos on them.
But there are many mobile apps that could equally get the job done on your phone easily. You may want to check out Filmora, PowerDirector, KineMaster, VivaVideo, Vlogit, VideoShow, etc.
Start uploading videos
Now that you’ve followed all the steps I listed above, you are set to post your first video.
But before you hit “start” on your camera, make sure you have researched your topic; you have your trailer under your belt and you’ve had a bit of practice as well.
Once you’re done filming and editing your first video, it’s time to upload it.
Given that YouTube relies on video uploads, you’ll find the upload option at the top right of the screen when you log into your account.
Optimize your video for visibility
Great. Your video is on YouTube. If you are like an average newbie in there, you’ll start checking your videos every minute to see how many views you’ve got.
Well, it’s normal to be expectant. But there is more you need to do if you want viewers to see, watch and possibly subscribe to your channel.
You need to optimize your video for search. Just like the Google search engine, people visit YouTube to make different searches.
If your video is not well-positioned and optimized to be seen when people search for keywords around your topic, then, your video may not see the light of the day.
When uploading a video, you’ll be asked to fill in a title, description, and tags. These are essential components to have your video easily discoverable in YouTube search, so don’t skimp on them!
Make sure your topic, description, and tags have all the keywords people are likely going to search for around your topic so as to increase your visibility.
Remain consistent and dedicated
“It’s very easy to make a viral video, but longevity and consistency, that’s hard.” – Michelle Phan.
Coming from a YouTuber with over 8 million subscribers, what’s some advice you want to take seriously.
Consistency is key when it comes to YouTube.
Some YouTubers complain of not getting views after many months of “hard work” and when you visit their channel, you see 20 videos published over a period of three years – 6 videos in a year approximately. That’s crap!
No channel can grow with such a level of inconsistency, even if they create viral content.
If you really want to be successful as a YouTuber, you need to do it long-term. The best practice is to post once or more times a week regularly and do it for many years in a roll consistently.
That’s when your channel can grow in all sense of it and you can make money from YouTube.
How to start a YouTube Channel in Nigeria
Get views from social media and website
Optimizing your videos for visibility does not end with optimizing for search, you need to get words out on social media platforms.
One way you can do this is to add your YouTube channel link to your social media profiles. This will drive traffic to your channel when people check your profiles.
You should also let your followers know when you upload new videos. The more you share, the more exposure, and that’s what this is all about. Share it everywhere!
If you have a blog on your website, then your YouTube videos have a home away from home now.
You can embed them right into new blog posts and even tell your website subscribers by sending a newsletter.
Engage with your community
While YouTube is a little different from your traditional social media platforms, YouTube is very interactive and works as a community.
With the right strategy in place, you can grow an engaged community around your channel and build an interesting relationship with your subscribers.
Your viewers will actively view and engage with video content, engage them back.
Reply to comments, ask and answer questions, and most importantly, listen to them! Your viewers want to watch your content, so remember to give them what they want.
You may get negative comments occasionally. Welcome to YouTube. That’s how it works.
You enjoy the good comment, so expect some bad eggs to spit irritating comments once in a very blue moon. Always ignore these ones, they absolutely haven’t got anything on you.
Analyze, get better, repeat
There is always room for improvement.
You’ve uploaded a couple of videos on your channel, but it doesn’t end there. It’s now time to get a hang of your analytics.
YouTube Analytics will help you along the way and will guide you in the direction of how you may want to optimize your videos for the future.
Analytics will allow you to get insight into the people who are watching your videos, which allows you to hone into your target demographic even further.
It’ll also give you a better idea as to why one video may have performed better than another. It’s a powerful tool for your budding channel.
How to start a YouTube channel in Nigeria
How can I make money from YouTube?
Truth is said, a lot of work goes into creating YouTube videos no matter how whack it may look. For YouTubers whose videos you love and enjoy, hours of hard work go into making such.
So, it is only fair that YouTubers get paid for their effort and work. But then, the question to ask again is ‘how can I make money on YouTube” or more specifically, “how do Nigerian YouTubers get paid?”
If you are new to the YouTube space, you may need some more detailed explanations on how you can make money from YouTube in Nigeria.
Don’t worry, I already wrote a comprehensive blog post that contains every step you need to take to monetize your YouTube channel in Nigeria and actually start making money from it.
Make sure you follow all the steps I shared on how to monetize your YouTube, once you do, you can plan around how and when you’ll apply for the monetization option on YouTube.
That’s it on How to start a YouTube channel in Nigeria. As always, if there is anything I didn’t touch on in this post, feel free to let me know in the comment session.
Also, let me know if there is anything you want me to talk about in the blog or my YouTube channel.
Do you want to make money right from your campus and start building a successful life from school?