How to Start a YouTube Channel [Expert Tips + 30 YouTube Channel Ideas]

Starting a YouTube channel is a lot of work. Not only do you have to spend time scripting, producing, and editing videos, but you also have to find a topic you’re passionate about and ensure it resonates with people.

To help inspire you, we found 30 popular YouTube categories that you can start a channel about. Read on to learn why viewers love to engage with these types of YouTube videos and start ideating your YouTube channel today.

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How To Come Up With a YouTube Channel Idea

There are over 51 million YouTube channels as of 2023, so you may think all the good YouTube channel ideas are already taken, but don’t be discouraged — you can still develop an excellent channel today.

First, you need to hone in on your channel’s niche. Your niche will be the topic or category your channel focuses on. Is your channel meant to support your existing business?

Or are you creating content around a passion, hobby, interest, or expertise?

Avoid having too broad a niche so your audience understands your channel‘s purpose and the kind of content they’ll see. A narrow niche also means less competition, which can grow your channel faster.

Marc Hans, senior professor at HubSpot Academy, suggests considering your end-user.

“Focus on your end-user as a role, an occupation, title, or industry,” he says. “And consider your value and expertise. For example, if you are creating a channel for aspiring marketers, what value can you share based on your experience?”

He also says to create value in your channel’s title and imaging.

“For instance, ‘Marc’s Marketing Channel’ is vague, but ‘Tips for Aspiring Marketers from a World Class Marketer’ is more compelling and direct,” Hans says.

You don’t want your channel to be too narrow to the point where you cannot create much content within your niche over time. Your niche should be broad enough to encompass different subtopics.

Subtopics are important because, according to Hans, every content you post may not appeal to every person within your audience — and that’s okay!

“If you have a YouTube channel about marketing, your audience may consist of CMOs, aspiring marketers, digital marketers, social media managers, etc.,” he says. “You should strive to give each persona something at least once every three posts.”

For instance, Frugal Aesthetic is a channel focusing on fashion. The channel covers fashion history, recommendations, reviews, commentary, and style tips.

The topic is broad enough to create different kinds of videos under the same umbrella. Still, the niche channel is unique thanks to the host’s memes, dry humor, and off-the-cuff dialogue to execute his videos.

How to Start a YouTube Channel

Once you‘ve chosen your niche, it’s time to research competitors, which would be the channels creating similar content. For example, let’s say your YouTube channel focuses on reviewing and analyzing comics.

To find other channels with the same topic, go to the YouTube search bar, type “comic book reviews,” and see what channels pop up.

Screen shot YouTube results for comic book review

You can also visit online forums like Reddit to see what channels your target audience is watching.

screen shot of reddit thread asking users their favorite youtube comic book channels

Next, you‘ll want to develop a name, logo, and style consistent with your channel’s brand. Let‘s revisit Frugal Aesthetics. The channel’s tone is compatible with its brand.

Like I said, the host discusses fashion using memes and his signature dry humor. The videos are also very minimalist, with the host speaking in front of a white background and images that emphasize the topic.

The same font and style of memes are used in every video and thumbnail. Also, notice each thumbnail uses roughly the same color palette — red, white, and black.

Screen shot of Frugal Aesthetics

Image source

You want your channel to be easily recognizable, so think about the images, colors, fonts, and aesthetics you want in every video.

YouTube Channel Tools

I spoke to HubSpot Academy experts to get their input on some excellent tools YouTubers should use when creating their content.

Many suggested Canva, saying it’s “a game-changer for creating engaging thumbnail images and channel artwork.” Even better, most of its features are free to use.

If you want to track your videos’ performance, HubSpot Academy recommends the HubSpot Social Tool, which can gather data and centralize it for YouTube, making it easy to create and share reports and dashboards.

Finally, the academy suggests the YouTube Studio mobile app for measuring performance and keeping your data in one place.

YouTube Channel Ideas

1. Comedy Sketches

When you’re amid a two-hour YouTube binge fest, you can probably blame the endless amount of funny videos that flood the platform. Some of the most successful YouTubers create comedy sketches.

For instance, Jenna Marbles, a blogger turned YouTube sensation with over 19 million subscribers, and Jimmy Tatro, a college kid who made hilarious videos for fun, turned YouTube into a career.

Jenna and Jimmy built their YouTube followings with low-production videos, but they also completely nailed the humor and storytelling in most of their videos.

Building a successful comedy channel with a low budget is possible if you can write a funny script.

Screen shot of Jenna and Julian Source

2. Web Series

The human brain is wired to respond to well-crafted narratives. Neuroscience proves that storytelling is the best way to capture people’s attention, bake information into their memories, and forge close, personal bonds.

We’re programmed to crave and seek out great stories — that’ll never change.

If you can structure your YouTube channel like a television season and weave your videos into a narrative-driven series, you can get viewers hooked on your content — just like your favorite Netflix show.

3. Music

Covers of songs are some of the most entertaining videos on YouTube. People love listening to aspiring artists’ twists on their favorite songs.

So, if you can sing or play instruments, consider covering your favorite trending or hit songs and upload them to YouTube.

You can also post yourself playing your original music. Artists can earn around $6 per 1,000 impressions.

On average, 30-40% of views count as impressions, so if your video gets up to 100,000 views, you’d have about 40,000 impressions and generate around $130 after YouTube takes its cut.

Maybe you could even get discovered and become the next Justin Bieber or Tori Kelly.

4. Album Reviews

This trendy channel idea is full of endless possibilities as new music is made daily.

Famous YouTuber Anthony Fantano has consistently reviewed prominent and underground albums over various music genres for the past decade and earned a cult following for sharing his opinions.

While his videos have reached millions, they are relatively easy to record. If you have an ear for music, you’d be surprised to find just how many people would like to hear what you have to say.

5. Tutorials

Whether they’re guitar lessons, beauty lessons, or how-to videos about making popsicle stick houses for your hamster, people love learning how to enjoy their lives more.

If you can cover topics that people are passionate about and teach them how to get better at these things, they’ll be able to live better lives.

This will grow your channel’s brand loyalty and sentiment, retaining your viewers’ attention and attracting their friends’ attention through word-of-mouth marketing.

Pro-Tip: Hans says it’s crucial to get to the point of your videos quickly, especially for tutorial and how-to videos.

“The days of long hyped-up intros are gone,” he says. “No one wants a flashy introduction video with catchy theme music. You need to capture your audience’s attention in 3 seconds and tell them why they should watch your video in less than 10 seconds, or they will just move on.”

6. Software Tutorials

You don’t have to be a software engineer to make software tutorials, but having a good grasp on how to use them can make for some good YouTube tutorials.

The software can encompass subjects like application and system software; YouTube viewers could learn how to use theirs or install newer versions accurately.

7. Photography

Photography is considered an art form that takes many different forms. Photos can capture a landscape, family portraits, or creative editorial content.

YouTube is a great website to share tutorials on bringing the best pictures for different purposes and equipment.

Likewise, you don’t need expensive cameras or software to create great images, as some photography videos teach people how to take incredible iPhone photos.

screenshot of photographer using phone to take photo


8. Video Editing

There are dozens of editing software available to users, but many may be overlooked as videographers may need to learn how to use them to their full capability.

If you know how to use Premiere Pro or other quality software, posting a tutorial could engage your viewers to experiment with their content in ways they haven’t thought of before.

9. Self Help

Another way you can grow your channel’s brand loyalty and sentiment is by helping people solve their problems.

Whether it’s about their career or personal life, you can give people advice about common issues that you’ve experienced or that they ask about.

But ensure you have extensive knowledge, education, or personal experience surrounding these topics. Otherwise, people will think you’re a quack and lose your trust.

10. Cleaning and Organization

Usually marketed toward large family households, even single-living people can enjoy the benefits of cleaning tips and reorganization to make a home more attractive. Making videos tackling challenging to-clean messes or untidy clothing bins can motivate viewers to do the same.

11. Minimalism

The world dealt with immense change last year, and among those changes were increased periods spent at home.

The rise of decluttering and minimalism skyrocketed as people strived to make their houses more enjoyable, and filming your minimalist tips could help people in their journeys.

Corey Jones shares minimalism tips from home decorating, wardrobe, and even down to the equipment he uses to film his content.
image corey jones


12. Style

Everyone wants to look good. You can build a dedicated YouTube following by evaluating new clothing, updating people on recent trends and styles, and teaching them how always to look their best.

If your YouTube channel is popular, you can also attract sponsors who will pay you to review their clothing and offer deals to your audience.

13. Cooking

Humans’ love for cooking is primal. We need food to survive, so it makes sense that people are always trying to master certain dishes and learn about new ones.

To help them do this, guide them through your recipes, delve into the techniques you use, and show them what their food should look like at each stage of your recipe. This will help them make the best dish possible.

Don’t be afraid to add humor to your cooking when sharing your techniques, like Joshua Weissman.

14. Baking

Another part of YouTube that has significantly gained popularity is baking videos. As people scrambled to look for ways to use their free time in 2020, many found ways to make baked goods an enjoyable pastime.

You don’t have to be a professional chef to share a recipe you’ve adapted, and chances are, if it’s simple or quick, people will be more inclined to tune in because they can see themselves trying it out.

15. Fitness Training

Personal trainers are expensive. Fortunately, though, you don’t need one to stay in shape. People resort to free personal trainers or YouTube yoga instructors to remain active.

If you have a lot of expertise in weight lifting, yoga, or other fitness methods, consider creating workout videos for specific goals, like losing weight, gaining muscle, or improving cardiovascular health.

16. Home Workouts

For many people, going to a gym may leave them feeling nervous because they don’t know how to use the equipment or don’t know what a fitness routine includes. Making home workout videos makes fitness more accessible and feasible for the everyday viewer.

17. Yoga

Another form of fitness to explore is guided yoga videos. Yoga is a beautiful way to actively engage your body and mind actively, and sharing your expertise on properly doing it will benefit viewers.

By demonstrating how to do different versions of yoga like Ashtanga or Hatha, you’re helping people to calm and stay fit during their busy lives.

18. Strength Training

Strength training videos are great for people of all backgrounds looking to build muscle and learn how to do it correctly. If you have a solid routine others may want to learn and follow, sharing it on YouTube would be a good idea.

19. Dance

Whether you’re a professional dancer or just somebody who likes to move, making dance videos to your favorite songs can make great entertainment.

Choreographed numbers or freestyle moving to the latest charting hits can keep your content relevant and inspire others to dance along. Or get even more creative like the Kukuwa Fitness channel and embrace your cultural heritage, dancing to African beats.

kukukawa fitness


20. Travel

Humans are biologically driven to investigate the world rather than respond to it. That’s why people love exploring so much.

But before they shell out thousands of dollars to travel someplace they saw on Instagram, people like to do a little research first.

If you have the funds to travel, consider recording your adventures in destination cityscapes or landscapes.

Your viewers can get an inside look at the location, helping them decide to take a vacation they’ll never forget or save money on a trip they’d regret.


The category of review videos is incredibly expansive. Review category videos can cover different forms of media, items, and experiences of your choosing.

21. Product Reviews

With websites like Amazon selling millions of different products, creating product reviews would be an excellent way to help consumers pick the right products.

YouTubers can demonstrate the functionality, versatility, and overall satisfaction with any product they find.

While most websites have sections for written reviews, many prefer watching and listening to a trustworthy consumer like themselves for advice on which product they should choose.

22. Movie Reviews

If you just watched the latest action movie or a smaller indie film, you can take your thoughts to YouTube and be among the first to share your viewing experience.

Movie review videos allow viewers to see if it’s worth the money to buy a movie that’s been buzzing through social media through YouTubers they can trust.

23. Show Reviews

Like movie reviews, with the prevalence of streaming services and their constant new series releases, reviewing seasons of highly favored television is a good route on YouTube.

24. Gaming

Some people still think that video games are just for children, but the reality is that it’s projected to become a $256.97 billion industry by 2025. With fans of all ages, genders, and backgrounds, it’s no wonder why YouTube is full of gaming-related videos.

25. Game Playthroughs

If you’re already an avid gamer, why not record your game playthroughs? Whether it’s a classic franchise or the newest storyboard, chances are that someone is on YouTube looking for a playthrough.

These videos help gamers decide whether they should purchase a game themselves, get past a challenging quest, or just enjoy it like any other web series.

Don’t be intimidated by the most popular gamers because smaller channels like Narcissa Wright have a steady stream of subscribers tuning into her playthroughs weekly.

26. Information Based Gaming

Much like those who enjoy watching playthroughs, many gamers go to YouTube for gaming guides.

People stuck in a difficult quest or unsure how to reach achievement know they can go to YouTube for visual instructional videos to help them beat the games they enjoy.

If these channel ideas seem intimidating, don’t feel discouraged! Keep reading if you are just starting and want to make simplistic and fun videos.

YouTube Channel Ideas for Beginners

1. ‘Favorites’ Video

People who use YouTube daily are all consumers of some form. Beginning your channel with something as simple as showing off your favorite games, collectibles, or more could help viewers choose what they invest their money into.

These videos are perfect for small channels as there is more trust in the YouTuber honestly sharing versus making sponsored content for brands.

2. Trending News Discussion

If there’s news in pop culture or world events, making a channel solely for news commentary can increase if done consistently. D’Angelo Wallace became a famous YouTuber in under three years for sharing his interpretation of headlining news or cultural happenings.

If you have a camera and a good microphone, beginning a channel on trending news discussion could be a good start.

3. Reaction Videos

you’re watching the latest sporting program or the grand finale of a suspenseful television series; chances are you’re not the only viewer brimming with excitement.

This video category is popular because viewers want to connect or feel like they’re sharing the experience with someone else. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to start a channel, look into filming your initial reaction to a media you enjoy.

reaction video


4. Food Reviews

Foodies can share all their favorite restaurant orders with a broad audience on YouTube.

People are always looking for the best food in town, and starting a channel with honest reviews of places worth visiting can help you get views and support the businesses you love to gain new customers.

Get started on your YouTube journey now.

Hans says a common mistake YouTube content creators make is waiting for perfection.

“Just get started,” he says. “Your first videos will be very different from your videos a year from now. Fall in love with the process of creating, learning, and iterating — and you can’t go wrong!”

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