If your child dreams of having their own YouTube channel, they’re not alone. Over half (53%) of US parents say their kids under 11 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 more and more young people are keen to explore alternative ways of earning. 13% of them 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 kid’s YouTube channel.
At what age can kids start a YouTube channel?
Your child can’t have their own channel or YouTube account if they’re under the age of 13, However, children between 13 and 17 are allowed to open a channel with parental permission.
How can kids under 13 start a YouTube channel?
As the parent, you’ll need a Google account to create a YouTube channel. This will allow you to create a channel for a child under 13 to upload videos, comment or make playlists.
After you’ve 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 their page. Since this will be broadcast to anyone watching the videos, don’t use real names or images for younger kids, if you’re worried about safety.
That’s it. You have created a YouTube channel. Now your child can customize it how they want and upload videos.
You’ll 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.
Related: The GoHenry guide to entrepreneurship for kids
How to make a successful YouTube channel?
Most kids want to build a successful YouTube channel in a bid to make money 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 is likely to watch their videos. To find this out, get them to research and see who follows their favorite YouTubers. Then suggest they play to their strengths, perhaps gaming, humor 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 emphasize is that a lot of planning goes into a YouTube channel. 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.
Optimize the content
YouTube is the world's second-biggest search engine, so videos, titles and descriptions need to be optimized for keywords so your child's content can be found. Keywords best describe the content you have uploaded, so your video will be listed when someone searches for those 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. It’ll help 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 posting 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
For children under 13, you can set the privacy settings so 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. This should keep 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 your 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.
Be clear about what they can’t do, too. 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 showing their school or uniform if they wear one
Filming parcels labeled with their address
Showing your home in the background of videos
Saying where they’re going and when (on vacation 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 criticize your appearance, call you names and poke fun at your video. Advise your child not to engage with these comments— it's exactly what the troll wants.
Related: Simple ways to talk to your child about online safety
Can your kids make money through their YouTube channel?
There are various ways for kids to make money online. GoHenry's research found that 28% 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 it’s linked, 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
Sell merchandise. Merchandise for your channel is meant to represent you and your channel. That means your merch should be unique and well made. Check out Logan Paul’s Maverick merch. The successful YouTuber made £2 million from his own merchandise in just three days.
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. Google’s Ad policies have guidelines of which you should be aware.
Be an influencer and create sponsored content. This means endorsing particular products for money, so you have to abide by advertising rules. Also, bear in mind to be a YouTube influencer and attract brands; you must be able to monetize your channel. To do this, you’ll need more than 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of public watch time in the previous 12 months.
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 ideas on what to create for your channel? Here are some of the most successful kid YouTubers in the US.
- Like Nastya (104M subscribers) As well as her YouTube audience, seven-year-old Anastasia Radzinskaya (Nastya for short) has collected 3 million TikTok followers. Her content is household chores. But she shares funny, fictional stories on the side.
- Ryan’s World (32.8M subscribers) Ryan Kaji is 10 years old. He reviews toys, shares DIY hacks, conducts science experiments and uploads prank videos. He earns an estimated $30 million per year.
- EvanTubeHD (7.03M subscribers) 13-year-old Evan Breeze says he’s grown up on YouTube. He reviews games, shares blindfold cookie tastings, creates pizza challenges and even dabbles in pancake art.
- Everleigh Rose (3.92M subscribers) shares crafty videos, unboxes content, reviews toys and even copies her baby sister for 24 hours. She’s also had a stint as a model for the Kardashian Kids collection.
- Mila and Emma Channel (286K subscribers) These twins went viral a few years ago when they shared a funny video on their mom’s Instagram account. Their videos on gym experiences, shopping boyfriends, stress, and makeup attract thousands of viewers and likes.
How can GoHenry help?
Available for 6-18-year-olds, 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 getting their earnings paid into their account and learning money management skills via our in-app Money Missions.