If your child dreams of having their own YouTube channel, they are not alone. 89% of UK kids watch YouTube daily, with nearly a third dreaming of becoming a vlogger. And fame isn’t the only lure. Our latest Youth Economy Report shows that as more and more young people are keen to explore alternative ways of earning, 13% of young people are already working on social media channels making money from their own content. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about setting up a child’s YouTube channel.
At what age can kids start a YouTube channel?
Your child cannot have their own channel or Youtube account if they are under the age of 13, However, children between ages 13 and 17 are allowed to open a channel with parental permission.
How can kids under 13 can start a YouTube channel
- As the parent, you will need a Google account to create a YouTube channel. This will allow you to create a channel for a child under 13, who can upload videos, comment or make playlists.
- After you have set this up, go to YouTube and sign in.
- On the left-hand side of the screen, click on your profile picture and go to > Create a channel.
- The next page will show how your child will appear, so this is where you upload a picture, put in a channel name and create a handle for your child’s page. For younger kids, do not use their real names or image if you are worried about safety since this will be broadcast to anyone watching the videos.
- You have now created a YouTube channel, and your child can customise it how they want and upload videos.
- You will be able to see everything they do and receive all notifications.
Alternatively, a child over the age of 13 can set up their Google account and YouTube channel by following the steps above to create their channel.
How to make a successful YouTube channel?
Most kids want to build a successful YouTube channel in a bid to make money as a kid and run their own businesses. Our latest Youth Economy Report backs this up, showing more than a quarter of kids plan to be their own boss in the future, and 55% are already making money in online ventures. With that in mind, here’s how to give them a helping hand with making their YouTube channel a success.
Find a niche
Before your child starts creating content, they must understand who they hope will watch their videos. To find this out, get them to research and see who follows their favourite YouTubers. Then suggest they play to their strengths, perhaps gaming, humour or education.
Buy the right equipment
Though videos can be filmed on a smartphone, you should invest in microphones, a ring light, a tripod stand and video editing software to look as professional as other YouTubers uploading content.
Plan the videos
One element to emphasise is that a lot of planning goes into a YouTube channel, and it's more complex than posting random videos. Get your child to plan the videos they want to make and take their time making them.
Optimise the content
YouTube is the world's second biggest search engine, so videos, titles and descriptions need to be optimised for keywords so that your child's videos can be found. Keywords best describe the content you have uploaded, so your video will be listed when someone searches for the words. For example, you may search for 'try not to laugh', and these words will appear in all the video descriptions/titles you are shown.
Be willing to do cross-channel marketing
This means getting your child to cross-promote their YouTube channel on their social media accounts (or yours). You can add a YouTube link to your bio and share YouTube videos as Reels on Instagram and videos on TikTok driving users to YouTube for more.
Look at what's working and what isn't
See how many comments, likes, and shares your child gets per video. Get them to do more of what works for their audience, and this will help to make their channel more successful.
Engage with your users
You may not want your child to talk to strangers on their channel, but interaction is something YouTube takes as a positive signal. "Liking" comments only takes a few seconds, as does pinning a top comment.
Upload videos regularly
YouTube channels that post more than once a week perform much better. If possible, post a video to YouTube three or more times per week, especially if you're starting out and trying to build an audience.
How to keep your kids safe on YouTube
The number one worry for most parents is their child’s safety on YouTube while viewing content. Starting their own channel adds another layer to this, which is why the following is so important.
Use the privacy settings
With children under 13, you can set the privacy settings so that everything is private. Only those you invite to view the channel can watch the videos. However, bear in mind these privacy settings mean that only friends and family can view your child’s page, which keeps them safe; but it’s not helpful if they’re trying to build a successful channel.
Set rules with your kids
Keep a close eye on what their kids are doing in their videos and how much information they inadvertently give away. Also, set rules for what they can and can’t do in videos. For instance, you might not want them to show their face and only narrate over the video footage. Also, be clear about what they can’t do, for example:
- They can’t upload videos without showing you first
- They must avoid anything dangerous (pranks included) in the video
- They should not show the faces of family and friends without permission (parental permission if kids are under 13)
- They can’t slate or name their school or teachers
- They must not do anything that breaks YouTube’s content creator rules
Turn off comments
Turning off comments ensures your kid won’t have to read bullying, unkind or inappropriate remarks from other users. Comments can be one of the most detrimental aspects of social media.
Keep private information private
Your child will likely know not to share any private information, for example, their address, name, location, or school. However, be aware of information giveaways like making videos in their school uniform, showing parcels with addresses on or identifying your house in the background of videos, or saying where they are going and when (going on holiday, for example).
Don’t feed the trolls
Like any platform, YouTube has its own set of trolls that like to get a reaction from vloggers. Explain to your kids that a troll is someone who leaves nasty comments. They might criticise your appearance, call you names and poke fun at your video. Advise your child not to engage with these comments because it's what the troll wants.
Can your kids make money through their YouTube channel?
There are various ways for kids to make money online, and GoHenry's research found that 14% of young people already earn money online as content creators on platforms like YouTube and Instagram. The primary way to make money on YouTube is with YouTube's partner program and AdSense. The minimum age for this is 18 years, so a child's YouTube account needs to be linked to an approved AdSense account of a parent. Once this happens, advertising can become a source of income, with the average YouTube channel receiving around £15 per 1,000 ad views.
4 other ways kids can make money on YouTube
1. Sell merchandise. Merchandise for your channel is meant to represent you and your channel. That means your merch should be unique and well made. Look at Logan Paul’s Maverick merch. The successful YouTuber made £2 million from his own merchandise in just three days.
2. Become an affiliate. YouTubers affiliated with businesses encourage their viewers to visit the brand’s online store and get a percentage of sales made through their — you guessed it — affiliate links. Sponsored content is advertising. That means you need to make sure you’re doing the right thing. Check out Google’s Ad policies and ASA both have guidelines of which you should be aware.
3. Be an influencer and create sponsored content. This means endorsing particular products for money, which is sponsored content, so you have to abide by advertising rules. Also, bear in mind to be a YouTube influencer and attract brands; you need to be able to monetise your channel. To do this, you need more than 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of public watch time in the previous 12 months.
4. Offer exclusive membership/subscriptions. Again you can’t do this under 18, but you can alongside a parent’s account. With this model, users pay a small subscription fee for exclusive content and access. Patreon is a membership platform YouTube has been slowly rolling out, but you need to be part of the YouTube Partner Program to be eligible.
Need inspiration from existing YouTubers?
Stuck for what to do on your channel, here are some of the UK’s most successful kid YouTubers.
Gabby and Alex (17M subscribers) are aged seven and eight and run this popular children's YouTube channel alongside their mother Sabine. Their channel is all about playing with toys, and educating children. They earn an astounding £1.5million a year.
TommyInnit (11.8 M subscribers) is 16-year-old Thomas Simons who is estimated to earn £313,000 a month sharing his gaming skills on his YouTube channel.
EthanGamer (3.2M subscribers) is aged 14, is best known for playing Roblox on his channel, earning around £115,000 a month.
EmilyTube (11M subscribers). Seven year-old Emily plays with the latest kids’ toys, and earns around £100,000 a month from her channel.
Ruby, Bonnie, and Granny (450k subscribers) is Ruby, 15 and Bonnie 6, and their family who play games and make entertainment videos.. They are estimated to earn £204,000 a month.
How can GoHenry help?
A prepaid debit card like GoHenry can help your child once they start earning money. 92% of parents say their kids are more money confident, thanks to GoHenry. Benefits include having money paid into their account and learning more about money skills via in-app Money Missions.