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How to Customize Your YouTube Channel

Jul 18

*Update 7/23/13 – YouTube changed the way their channel looks, read how to customize the new YouTube channel in my new blog post.


One of the best ways to make your YouTube channel more attractive is to set your featured video.  By default, your YouTube channel simply shows the feed of your videos in chronological order as shown below.

Katie Wagner Social Media, YouTube Home Feed, YouTube help

In my opinion, it leaves something to be desired, especially when YouTube gives you the opportunity to customize the user experience.

There are a few options to how your YouTube channel will look when people first come to it. However, with that said, there are a lot of different things you have to edit in order to be able to look the right way.  Fortunately, I have customized a lot of these and can easily tell you how to set it up so your channel looks great and attracts more viewers!

Ready?  Here we go!

First, be sure to login to your YouTube channel.  Once you are logged in, click on the ‘channel settings’ button at the top left corner of your channel.

 katie wagner social media, youtube help

Then click on the ‘tabs’ setting and it should pull up a screen that looks similar to what is pictured below.

katie wagner social media, youtube customization

There are two things that you need to set in order for people to be sent to the ‘featured’ tab when they first visit your channel.  First, at the top left hand corner there is a drop down menu titled ‘default tab’ that allows you to set where people first are sent to when they visit your channel.  You want to set this as ‘Featured Tab’ and make sure the box next to it is unchecked.

Second, you want to choose what style the featured tab will look like.  There are four options, so you can cater more towards what suits you best.  Personally, I really like the first one, the ‘Creator’ (View our YouTube channel to see how it is displayed).  Click on the one you want, and make sure to click the box to the left that says ‘featured’.  It should look like what is pictured below with your channel style highlighted in blue.  Be sure to then click ‘done editing’ to save the changes.

katie wagner social media, Youtube featured tab

Next, you will want to create a playlist or two.  Think of these playlists as broad categories for your videos, so if you are a realtor, you might have a ‘homes for sale’ playlist, or if you shoot a weekly tip, you might have a ‘weekly tip’ playlist.  You can easily create a playlist in your video manager.

Go to your Video Manager.  Once in your video manager, click on the checkbox next to a video, then click on ‘add to’ at the top of the videos.  A dropdown will then show up and at the bottom, there is a button allows you to add to a new playlist.  Fill out the remaining information and create the playlist!  You can make as many playlists as you want.

katie wagner social media, youtube playlists

Now that you have a playlist or two made, go back to your channel page.  It should similar to below.

youtube channel

Right below the large video, but above the playlists, there is an ‘edit’ button.  Click on that.  A dropdown menu will show up as shown below.

YouTube Customized Channel

Choose which videos you want from the drop dropdown menu to add as playlists.  I always take out the ‘uploaded’ videos one, because that is simply all the videos you have ever uploaded.

Once you are done, click ‘apply’.  Next, click on the edit button right above the large video on your channel as shown below.

YouTube edit button

A new menu will show up as shown below, this will allow you to specify which video will show up as your large ‘featured’ video.  Choose which playlist you would like the featured video to come from, then you can either check the box next to it that says use ‘most recent video in featured set’  or you can uncheck that and choose which video will be your featured video.  Once that is done, be sure to click ‘apply’.

YouTube Channel Customization

Congratulations!  You now have a YouTube channel that is more attractive and easy to navigate.  By putting the playlists below the featured video, people will easily be able to find any video you have uploaded, instead of scrolling through ALL of the videos you have ever uploaded.

There are a lot of different looks you can give your YouTube channel, so feel free to play around to find the right look and functionality you like.  If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the comments below.

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Katie Wagner Social Media Blog, stephen wagner, social media




Stephen is Director of Operations at Katie Wagner Social Media. Before joining the agency, Stephen worked in Finance & Operations Management at two Fortune 100 companies and spent 5 years as a small business consultant.

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2 Comment to “How to Customize Your YouTube Channel”

  1. Thanks a lot for this usefull information.

    Oct 30, 2012

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