How To Pick a Name for Your YouTube Channel
Choosing the name of your YouTube channel is one of the most important decisions you will make as a vlogger. If your channel name sticks in the minds of people who watch your videos it will help to ensure viewers return and watch more of your work. An especially catchy channel name can even draw in new viewers who just have to find out what kind of videos somebody with that particular name makes. Most successful noted YouTubers carefully planned their names.
However, the flip side of that is that not choosing a good channel name can really hurt your chances of getting views and subscribers. Your videos might be great, but if viewers who like them cannot remember your name then it will be hard for them to find you again. Other videos of yours might even show up in their searches and be ignored because the viewer does not recognize your name. Also, while the very best channel names make people curious about what you do, the very worst channel names will be a deterrent for people when they are deciding whether to watch your videos. For example, including a sequence of numbers after your name will give people on YouTube the impression that you do not know what you are doing.
YouTube does allow you to change the name that is displayed for your channel now (in the past you could not). However, while your display name can be changed, the url of your channel is permanent. If you change your display name then the two things will no longer match. Also if you manage to build up a following using one name you will probably lose some of those people if you change it. If you feel like your channel name is holding you back then you should definitely update it to something better, but you should also consider whether it is holding you back enough that it is worth losing some of the regular viewers you already have. It probably will be, if you feel like your channel will start growing faster after the change.
How To Pick a Name for Your YouTube Channel
Of course, it is best to choose an amazing channel name in the first place so you never have to worry about changing it. Here are five tips for naming your YouTube channel:
1. Keep it Short
In order to be memorable your channel name should be short and catchy. Generally, it is a bad idea to have a name that is more than five syllables long. Longer channel names are both harder to remember, and harder to tell your friends about since they do not tend to roll off the tongue.
The worst way you can end up with an overly long username is by adding numbers or extra letters to the end of it. People often decide to do this because their desired channel name was taken. It is always a terrible idea. Your username might still look short, but that is deceptive. A username like 'Lucas423' is really 'Lucasfourtwentythree'. Nobody will remember the exact numbers. If anyone remembers that username at all they will only remember 'Lucas', which will make it extremely difficult for them to find your channel again.
For the sake of keeping their channel names short and memorable some successful YouTubers have actually made up words, i.e 'Smosh'. This only works if a silly made up word suits the tone of your channel, and even a lot of made up words are taken by this point.
2. It's All About You
Regardless of the topic of your vlog your vlog will also be about you as a personality, so your channel name should have something to do with who you are as a person. It can even include your real name, or some variation of it. Real life nicknames work great.
If you do not want to use your actual name, or do not think your actual name would stick in people's minds very well, then think about what your hobbies are and what kind of words could be used to describe you. Come up with a list of nouns and describing words and try out different combinations. You might even decide to try out some of your describing words with your real name.
3. It's Also About Your Audience
Your name should reflect who you are, but it should also be relevant to the people who will be watching your vlog. For example, people who are tuning in to a daily life vlog might appreciate it if you use your real name or some variation on your name. People who are tuning into a vlog to learn something – beauty or cooking tips, for example – will be confused if your channel name is something like 'LucasIsCool'. If you have a channel that is about anything besides your daily life, experiences, or opinions then your channel name needs to reference your topic. If Lucas's channel is about baking then rather than 'LucasIsCool' he should try something like 'LucasBakes' or 'CookiesByLucas'.
4. Test Drive It
It is a bad idea to rush over to YouTube and sign up for the first channel name you decide you like. First, say it out loud and see if it sounds as catchy as it seemed in your head. If it does, then there are still a couple other 'test drives' you need to do.
Plunk the channel name you are considering into a search engine to make sure it is not already strongly associated with something besides you. If there is actually a website with your channel name as its url then you should almost definitely discard that name and choose a new one. If you have some success with your vlog then you will probably want to acquire the associated url later on. Even if you do not think you want a website it is a bad idea to choose a channel name that already has a strong association with something else. For example, if you play music on your channel and your channel has the same name as a music festival people might automatically think you and that festival are affiliated.
You will also want to check and make sure nobody is using your channel name as their username on Instagram, Vimeo, or any other social media sites. If your name is already being used elsewhere then it will be difficult for you to expand.
5. Don't Give up!
YouTube is a huge site and a lot of the really good names are already being used or – more frustratingly – have been taken by people who are not actually using them. The first few names you come up with will probably be unavailable. This is where a lot of YouTubers get discouraged and start weakening their channel name by typing numbers after it. It is easy to get pulled into settling for any name that sort of sounds like the one you want, but which is actually available. Do not do this! You will be able to create a catchy, unique, name that is all you own.
Coming up with the perfect name for your channel can take time, sometimes a lot of time. If you can get it done in one evening then you are lucky because this is something that can take days. The name of your YouTube channel is extremely important and you should take as long as you need to pick a good one.
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