Okay, before I go into the YouTube stuff, I know why some of you are here. You want that freebie, right? We created the YouTube banner that you can grab for free here. If you are not logged into your control panel, make sure you log in first, before you go there.
Here at Web For Actors we care that all of your media gets showcased at the best possible quality, and that's the main reason why we do not allow you to upload videos to your site directly. There are many other reasons, but retaining the best possible quality at the top notch speeds is the key, and that's why we only allow videos from Vimeo and YouTube.
We absolutely love the video player that comes from Vimeo. It's more modern, easier to use and even from the coding perspective it's 100 times more friendly than YouTube, but there is method to our madness when we say that you should have a YouTube channel.
First of all, it's not a secret that Google looks more favorably at the searches when you include your keywords in a YouTube video than the keywords in your Vimeo Video (I wonder why?). Then you have that little statistic of 1 Billion users (sheesh), and the fact that YouTube is free and has no limits should really seal the deal.
If you can create both YouTube and Vimeo channels - great, but if you have to choose between these two, go with YouTube.
Okay, so I will assume two things now. (1) You have a gmail account and (2) you don't have a YouTube channel. So let's go and get it done!
- Sign into your gmail account - if you don't have one, create one now, it takes about a minute.
- Go to YouTube - your account will be automatically generated.
- In the upper right corner click on the user icon and select "Creator Studio".
- You will be greeted by a blank screen with a link "Create a channel", click on that link.
- It's imperative that you use your real name when creating the channel, you want people to be able to find you, so this info should be already pre-populated from your gmail. Go ahead and click the "Create Channel" button.
- Now, you should be on your channel landing page. Since we're here, go ahead and add the channel art you created from our freebie above. Click the blue button in the middle and browse to your brand-spanking-new banner.
- While you're at it hover over the square user avatar and click the pen icon to upload your headshot. It has to be at least 800px by 800px. Try to reuse the same headshot you use for your website and other social media so that you maintain your branding.
- On your channel page, click the gear icon and check "Customize the layout of your channel" option. That will let you set up your landing page to show up custom layout with vertical or horizontal playlists, and allow you to drag sections like playlist, channels and videos up and down, but mainly it will add a menu to your channel for easier navigation.
- Now that you have the menu on your channel, click the "About" section. You will see a "Channel Description" button. Click that and paste in a short description about you. If you have an Web For Actors website fully populated, your automated bio will say who you are, where you from and list some of your basic details - that would work perfect for the channel description showcasing your reels and acting scenes on YouTube.
- While you're still on this page, update the "Country" to your country, add your email address, and best of all, add a link to your actor website: in links, click that "Add" button, type in "My Actor Website" and add a link to your Web For Actors Website there. It will show up on the bottom left side of your banner.
- Click your image in the upper right, select "Creator Studio", then in the left menu select "Channel" > "Upload defaults" - this will save you time when uploading videos in the future, so go ahead and fill in as much as you can. "Privacy" should be Public. "Category" should be People & Blogs. "Title" could have your name in it, but you could leave it blank. "Description" could have your short bio and a link to your website or a link to your IMDb page. "Tags" should include things like Your-First-Name, Your-Last-Name, Your-First-Name Your-Last-Name, Title Your-First-Name Your-Last-Name, Type-Of Acting Reel, Union-Status Title from Location(i.e: John, Doe, John Doe, Actor John Doe, Commercial Acting Reel, SAG-AFTRA Actor from New York City). Set the "Video language" to English, and finally, for "Video location" I strongly recommend typing in your city name or the name of the city where you're looking to work in. When done, click the "Save" button in the upper right corner of the section.
- I think you're ready. In the upper right corner of the page you will see an arrow pointing up. This is your video upload button, so go ahead and click it now, and then click the arrow in the center of the page to select your first video.
OTHER HINTS WORTH MENTIONING:
- Don't forget to put a link to YouTube on your Web For Actors Actor Website, so that we can pull in your videos from your channel automatically.
- Close caption your videos for added SEO value. If you introduce yourself in the video and transcribe it, Google will find your video when someone Googles your name. How cool is that?
- You can add channel tags by going to Creator Studio > Channel > Advanced.
- Verify your account by going to Creator Studio > Status and features > Verify button.
- Once you get 500 subscribers, you will get an option to create a custom username
Just before we dive into YouTube channel creation, here are some useful tools you may want to consider when creating your videos for YouTube:
- Handbrake - if your videos are super large (as in hundreds of MB or in GB), you may want to squish them down first. This multi-platform software will allow you to do just that.
- Audacity - need to record audio for your video or narration sample for your audio reel? This free tool is used by everyone. It's quite simple, press record and speak into the mic.
- Canva - make YouTube thumbnails that stand out. Log in, click "More" in the upper right section, scroll to Social Media & Email Headers and select YouTube Thumbnail. The rest is history.
- Audioblocks - just in case you need to add some audio to your videos, here is a resource that offers royalty-free music. Don't just put any music behind your videos as you might get served with a DMCA notice. That's just not fun.
- Karmalicity - this is a social exchange site, so you can get YouTube subscribers here, but it's not just anybody, it's other people in the film industry including directors and digital filmmakers, so it's good to be on, and you do want to reach your first 500 subscribers quick.
Mary L. This is so cool: https://www.iadb.com/youtube