How to Start a YouTube Channel in 2021 (The Real Things You Need to Know That Noone Tells You)

How to Start a YouTube Channel in 2021 (The Real Things You Need to Know That Noone Tells You)

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Anyone can start a YouTube Channel in 2021 that can be successful but it starts with a mindset shift

In my videos on YouTube in my  Pinterest Marketing and Social Media Marketing YouTube Channel, one of the questions I’ve gotten is from Jay Squad members asking me how to build a YouTube channel as a “Small” YouTuber in 2021.

First, before I go forward, I want to share that I do not like the word “small YouTuber” because it is diminishing and I prefer the term “Rising” and thus why we decided to name our “Small YouTube community”club in the audio only social media app, Clubhouse, the RisingYouTuber Club

[Join now if you haven’t already. And…here is an invite to join Clubhouse even if you are an Android user]

Anyway, I can add my suggestions from the perspectives of a creator with under 2,000 YouTube subs (as of the publication of this article) on how you can be a YouTube creator in 2021, like how to grow on YouTube in 2021.

Benefit of the Perspective of a Creator with Under 10K Subs

I believe it is in the best interest of those starting to get advice from someone who is fresh on the journey themselves because our vantage point, pain points, struggles and issues are more aligned compared to a creator with a large subscriber base who may have different issues, different concerns, and different priorities than those of us who are smaller, rising creators.

I am not too far ahead of people who just started their respective channels  who have very few subscribers or who are actually just thinking about starting their first channel.

5 Tips on how you can grow as a YouTuber in 2021

#1 Shift your Mindset:

The first thing you need to do to have a successful YouTube channel in 2021, as a small creator is shift your mindset. So there is one mindset that you need to adopt, and there’s one mindset that you need to shed.

The mindset that you need to shed is a “limiting mindset”. What do I mean by that?

I mean, if you believe that there are too many YouTube channels already there, out there, that  there’s too much competition for you and there’s no space for you, there’s no room for you, and that the world doesn’t need one more lifestyle channel. The world doesn’t need one more reaction channel. The world doesn’t need one more talking head channel, or a channel to tell you about digital marketing, then that is going to be very challenging for you to grow as a YouTuber because you start off not really believing that there is  space for you and that you can actually grow on the platform.

The first thing to shed is any sort of limiting mindset that you may have about YouTube.

Instead is adopt a “growth mindset”  and with a growth mindset, you have to believe that actually there is space for you also shed any belief and have a belief instead of the limiting mindset of believing that it’s a pie.

Everyone can succeed.

There’s enough room, even though there was about 1 billion uploads or 1 billion views or whatever the number is,  in terms of YouTube, there is space for you and  you could have something that is differentiated.

For example, even though this is a Pinterest marketing channel, I do social media marketing content  as well. And the last three or four videos that I’ve done on this channel, they’ve done really well because there is very low competition in channels producing content on the topic, but the topic  has high search value terms, which means that people are searching for videos and information or insight on these specific topics.

One of them was Twitter spaces. One had to do with Instagram accounts center. Those are two different videos that I did where people are searching for it, but there’s not a lot of content on it.

If I had a limited mindset thinking that there’s no space for any further, I would not bother, but with the growth mindset, I can believe that I can create something that people are searching for and that people will watch. A limited mindsent would not have allowed me to get decent traction on these videos and would hamper that success.

And so again, that’s the first thing is to change your mindset. If you change your mindset, big things are going to happen for you. I believe it in my heart of hearts. So let’s start with that.

#2 Research Existing Channels in Your Niche

The second thing you need to do to have a profitable and successful YouTube channel in 2021 is do your research. If you haven’t already started, or even if you have started, I want you to pause.

I want you to go to YouTube and go in particular to the search tab, and look at channels in your niche that have 100,000 or larger subscriber count. Then studythe way they do their thumbnails, study how their brand looks, study the type of videos they do, study the quality of their video and just learn for them.

Even if you can’t necessarily afford the same equipment or you don’t have the editing staff, you can still do a YouTube search and learn how to do similar type of editing cuts they do,  and get  a good idea of what’s entertaining, what they do to keep their audiences engaged and what works because they have the formula.

Then, I want you to look at channels that have 10 K to 100 K subs.

Even as  you start out, your growth goal should be to eye the medium sized level of creators, which is 10 to 100 K. And you study them because,  that’s the next stage. And so it’s always a good idea to kind of look at what you have to be stiving towards to get to the next stage. What camera should you be eyeing, how more or less frequent you will be uploading, what software or lens or other equipment you want to invest in as you grow.

The last and final thing is to check out channels that are closee to youe in terms of subscriber size.  Monitoring your peers in your channel growth size is beneficial and has helped me alot stay consistent.

A Tool to Help You Stay Consistent

There are tools that help you keep track of “competitiors”.

Vid IQ is my tool of choice. I’ve been an affiliate of them since as long as I’ve been a YouTuber and for as long as they’ve existed. And now I’m actually a partner creative with VIDIQ inside clubhouse but that is years after I purchased the upgrade from the free tier and have been using it to grow my channel.

What I like most about VIDIQ, especially when I went up to the boost level, which is the second tier of service beyond the free tier is the fact that I can plug in different channels in my space who are similarly situated to me and watch their growth along with mine and get motivated by their gains.

And that competitive spark helps me push me.

Tools Help You Get Over the Lonliness of Being a YouTube Creator

When you  are a rising creator, you can get frustrated when you don’t see the views or that people are not watching your videos immediately after you drop them. It’s a slow climb.  Being a YouTuber is a lonely thing.

Creating is lonley.

This fact is true espeecially if you don’t have anyone in your community or in your family that understand what you’re doing.

And that’s also why I encourage anyone on Clubhouse to join my Rising YouTuber Club whrere we try to form a community of people who are like you, who know what you’re going through, understand editing, understand the frustration of losing all your footage to a glitch or bug, so that’s why you use tools like VidIQ and other tools to track your competitors.

And what that’s going to do is push you.



So when I did that, I saw that my competitors who started around me or after me, they were actually growing subscribers faster.

They were actually getting more watched hours.

They were getting more views. Their videos were doing better than mine.

They were producing more videos. And what that did is that gave me the kick in the butt that I needed to get back on the saddle and realize that I can do this. It’s that competitive spirit of me.


So if you’re motivated by competition or are competitive, just keeping track of people in your sphere, who are similarly situated to you is going to be what you might need a little motivation you need to keep going, because it’s very easy to give up.

A lot of people do and you may have given up.

And so if you want to start again, do that.

#3 Think of YouTube as a Search Engine and Plan to Create Searchable Content

The next thing you need to do before launching or channel or as you start again is:

Think of YouTube as a search engine!!

Recognize that probably 80 to 90% of the people who see your videos are going to come to you because they went to YouTube and put a search query in and then YouTube, the search engine, realized that your video had been optimized, that your keywords, your thumbnail, your title, um, the description of that video, and also what you say in the video, all signal to YouTube that your video is the answer.

If your video is the response to that search query, YouTube will deliver up your video.

And so if you are really cognizant and aware, going into YouTube as a creative for the first time, being aware that YouTube is a search platform, is essential to creating content. That’s searchable that people look for not stuff that you like.

I know there’s this misconception and this, this deep desire, because you started channel to think it’s about you.

“YouTube is Not About You and no one is searching content about you!”

You can then focus on the work it takes to create searchable content.

I think I’m funny. And I love to laugh. People always tell me that I  should start a channel.

Someone might have told you, “I would love to learn about your life.”

And so you go into YouTube with that misconception, that it’s all about you. A

nd if someone doesn’t know you, if someone doesn’t know where your children, that means that they’re not going to be searching for you.

So you create content and you title a video after your children, if you title and put description like this is Mark, he was tripped up and was funny. We played a joke on him.

No, one’s searching that.

Your video is not going to be discovered.

However, if you create content about a trendy prank, and put that prank in your tittle, and your thumbnail shows a photo of someone pranking or getting caught, and your description contains keywords related to that prank then that video may rank and come up in search!

Your subscribers don’t even come to your channel.

It’s a hard pill to swallow but the sooner you realize that the majority of people who watch your channel are not even your subscribers and have no clue who you are the better.

And again, this goes back to VIDIQ.


You can go type in a search or a keyword related to the type of video you are planning to do and see if it is trending in the suggested video tool.

You can also do a keyword search to see if the search term is high or  low in volume, and your goal is to do a video that is high in search volume but low in competition.

Go into YouTube, thinking it is a search engine and create content for search.

Create searchable content.

That is how you can grow on YouTube in 2021.

If you are mindful of that, it’s not about you, it’s about what people are searching for you’ll be fine.

#4 Search Engine Optimize Each YouTube Video

SEO stands for  search engine optimization. And as you create or work to grow an existing YouTube channel in 2021 as a small creator, you need to consider SEO before you actually publish your video.

You need to know what’s trending and optimize your video so those searchable keywords are strategically placed in your title, thumbnail, description and tags.

Review Your Channel Analytics After Each Video

Once you publish each video,  the very next thing you do is:

Review your channel analytics.

Inside YouTube studio, there is tons of information about the video’s performance, how the audience reacted to it, at which point people left your channel, at which point there is a spike in interst of a dip and where people skipped ahead

The channel and video analytics tell you lots of information that you should be aware of going to be  a YouTube Creator in 2021 as a first time creator.

The two most important analytics to consider are:

Click Thru Rate

The CTR or “Click Through Rate)” is the rate at which people who see your thumbnail in search, or in suggested video click thru to see your content.  An easy way to explain this concept is to think that if YouTube serves up impressions of your video to various different people, searching or in search, whether it’s up next or suggested, the rate at which people actually click through is the CTR.

So for example, if YouTube were to serve up your video to 100 people and 20 of those 100 people see your thumbnail and think to themselves upon seeing that thumbnail, “yeah. The answer to my query, what I was looking for, that’s the only other side of the thumbnail. I’m going to click it.”

That would be a 20% click through rate which is pretty high and really, really good and one you should strive towards achieving.

If on the other hand, you’re getting a low click through rate, you may need to go back to the drawing board and redo the thumbnail or make other adjustments.

As you move forward in your channel and you begin to study your what am I doing wrong? What do I need to do differently? Is there something with the sound, the lighting with the editing or the topic that’s when you kind of read it?

Being an amazing YouTuber and succeeing in YouTube is an ongoing process. You don’t set it and forget it. You really have to study each data, each video and your analytics if you’re going to take YouTube seriously and grow your channel and hope to be successful.

Video Duration

The second analytical data you need to consider is your view duration.

Some people say the average view duration for the channel, but the view duration for that video, how much of your video did viewers watch on average.  A really great view duration would be 70%. If someone is watching 50% of your video or more, that’s pretty decent as well.

The benefit of these two pieces of analytical data, the click thru rate and your video view duration, is that they serve as signals to YouTube your video satisifies the audience, that you, at least, serve the needs of the audienc.

Doing what it takes to achieve a good click through rate is half the job.

Getting people to be engaged to stay on your video and channel, to engage with your content and decide to subscribe based on the content you deliver in each video is a challenge!

Your videos have to be engaging enough, constantly moving or answering a question or dynamic or interesting enough to get people to the keep watching at least 50 to 70% of the time if not the whole time.

# 5 Create a Community

The fifth and final thing you need need to consider as you start or create a YouTube Channel in 2021 is community.

No doubt, building a community is the important factor for YouTube Channel growth in 2021.

In fact, no matter what type of content you create online, whether on a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel, Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, any other different platform where you are sharing yourself from your tastes, your likes, your preferences, and based on that, people like you, people trust you and they follow you and take your suggestion is have a community.

That’s the biggest part of it. And I think that’s the biggest part of growing and channel and 2021, that was important in the past when I started 10 years ago, last year when I started, and I think I did have a community I’m slowly sort of established one right now as I grow.

But the earlier the better that you can realize and, and curate a community, a community of people who like you, your videos, your content, and who come back each time that you publish a video.

You can give your subs a name to help create community.

I call mine the Jay Squad, Professor Nez calls his “Nez Nation” and my sister, whose channel is Hawabunga, a take off the slang Cowabunga often used by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, calls her true fans “Ninjas”. It’s a great way to acknowledge those who have chosen to grow with you as a creator.

The magic and future is in the Community tab

Once you get 1000 subscribers, you can then use the Community tab to query your community, periodically, ask them questions, poll them or promote past videos. You can set your Community posts to go to public and when you do, YouTube will promote and push your Community tab posts out widely.

Ask questions of the community.

Be sure to reply to comments under your videos promptly. Heart and like the comments to grow your YouTube Channel in 2021 and beyons. When non fans and non-subscribers visit your page, they will take notice of the active engagement and your presence among your community and may be apt to join and subscribe.

There you have it!

Unspoken and rarely shared tips on how to Create a YouTube channel and Grow one in 2021 especially as a new creator.


You may be interested in video tools, check out my resources page:

And if you would like some tools to help you with your growth:

I hope these were helpful.

how to start a youtube channel in 2021 infographic
how to start a youtube channel in 2021 infographic


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Jay Jay Ghatt is also editor at, founder of the and where she teaches online creators how to navigate digital entrepreneurship and offers Do-It-For-You Blogging Service. She manages her lifestyle sites BellyitchBlog, Jenebaspeaks and and is the founder of 200 Black Women in Tech On Twitter. Her biz podcast 10 Minute Podcast is available on iTunes and Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks. Buy her templates over at her legal and business templates on Etsy shop!