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How To Upload a YouTube Video

Ready to upload a YouTube video to your channel? In this guide we’ll show you everything you need to know in order to get your videos up and reaching the most views from the start.

It might seem obvious but when you’re looking to upload a YouTube video, you’ll need an account to start with. If you don’t have one yet, then head over to our YouTube Set-up Guides to see how to make a channel. You’ll also need to have recorded a video, if you’re yet to do that or in the process then check out our YouTube Video recording guide to see how to get it right!

Uploading a YouTube video may seem like the easiest part of creating a video, right?

We’ll there’s more to it than just uploading and posting. You’ll need to think about your target audience with a video name, thumbnail, and everything in between. This will not only help you engage with your current community but also get your video out to new people that might be interested in what you’re offering.

So without further ado let’s dive into this guide for uploading a YouTube video to make sure you get the best results!

Full YouTube Video Uploading Check List

To start with let’s take a look at all of the different factors we’re going to need to look at when we upload our first YouTube video. You’ll need to do each of these things every time you upload your YouTube Video:

  • Create a Title
  • Write a description
  • Add tags
  • Upload Thumbnail
  • Add ending screen & annotations
  • Create Subtitles

So now we know what we’re going to need to do let’s get to uploading our first video to YouTube.

Uploading A YouTube Video

Now you’ve created a video and edited it ready for YouTube it’s time for the exciting part. Getting that video live for the world to see! To get started head over to the upload section of YouTube that can be found here.

From here you’ll need to make sure you’re logged into your account. You’ll be able to tell clearly on the page if you are, if not log into the channel that you want to upload your video on.

Next click on the central icon on the page that says ‘Select files’ this will then open your computer finder. Locate your video file and click upload.

upload youtube video screen

Depending on the size of your video this may take a few minutes but just wait for it to complete and then we can move onto the next section.

Next Step To Upload A YouTube Video

Now the video is uploaded we need to start looking at all the factors referenced on our above upload checklist.

To access the next steps we’ll be covering you’ll need to go over to the ‘Info & Settings’ section which you will automatically be taken to when your video finishes uploading.

We’ll now look at each of those sections together so we know how to best optimise them for views.

Adding a video title

This section will let you change the video name. It is probably the most important part of your video as it tells a viewer what the video will be about.

You only have around a second to engage with the user and interest them enough to click on your video so you need to get this right.

What is the trick to a good video title?

As you begin to grow your channel you’ll be able to work out what kind of titles work best for your audience. However, a trick many YouTubers use to help them come up with a good video name is using the built-in search suggestion tool.

youtube video title

You’ll have used this tool when browsing youtube yourself but if not, basically it’s the bar the comes up when you start searching for something on the platform. It will often try to autocomplete your sentence based on what youtube thinks is popular.

We can use this to our advantage though as it will show you what is a popular search around a certain theme. Give it a try with some works that relate to what your video topic is and write some ideas down.

Here are some other tips to creating a good YouTube video title:

  • Try to keep your title around 70 characters long. This is the perfect length and will make sure your whole title is displayed in searches.
  • Make sure to describe the video contents briefly while exciting viewers enough that they click your video.
  • Try to include one of the search suggestions in your title so that people will find it easier for common searches

Adding a video description

Like your video title, a description can be just as important for a number of different reasons. You should certainly aim to describe what your video includes in a bit more detail should the user want to know.

We want to do this not just because it adds extra information for the user, but also helps your video be found easier via searches. Youtube will take your description into account when deciding what searches to make your video appear for so if you try to include what the video is about then you should get listed for more searches.

YouTube gives you 5000 characters to make use of (about 800 words) for your description. But don’t worry, you don’t need to use all of those!

In order to write a good description, there’s a lot of different directions you can go in and over time it will develop as you learn more about the platform. As a general starting point, I’d look at doing maybe a 200-word explanation describing your video contents. You can do more than this if you want.

Is there anything else you should include in the description?

You can include anything you want within reason. After you’ve got your explanation written you might want to include things like the following:

  • Links to your social media accounts
  • A link to our website
  • Affiliate links for sponsored products
  • Links to services mentioned in video

Like you can see above there is certainly a variety of things you can include in your description and only you can decide what you want to include there. If for example you did ‘makeup reviews’ and you received comments about what you were using in the video then you might want to start putting the product names and prices in the description to help out.

Adding Tags to a new video

Using tags on your video is another popular tactic that you can use to make your videos more visible in searches. You can add these tags by using the section underneath the description section.

Tagging your videos properly can make all the difference in helping your videos get more views. Try to think of words that are related to your video such as what you’re doing, where you are, what game you’re playing or what you’re reviewing for example.

You can actually add as many tags as you want, within reason. However, as a general rule, I would try to add around 5-8 tags for all videos you upload. Any more than that is up to you!

Adding the right thumbnail – long needs writing

Scheduling videos and adding privacy

In some cases, you might not want to publish your video straight away. Luckily YouTube gives you the option to schedule the positing of your video via premieres. This works when you set a time and date in the future for your video to go live. Before this period viewers won’t be able to watch your video.

This is great if you’re taking a holiday and want to upload videos to go out while you’re away, so you don’t have to do it during that period.  

To schedule a video, look for the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the upload page. Once you click it you should see 4 options being the following:

Public – you should normally be on this when uploading a video as it means anyone can view the video.

Unlisted – the video will be on your channel but only people that you share the video with will be able to view the video. Views won’t be able to find it via search.

Private – a private video is uploaded but only you can see it when logged into your channel.

Scheduled – selecting this option will allow you to schedule your video to go online during a specific date and time.

Create A playlist

When uploading a video, it might be part of a series you’ve been doing on you channel. An example of this is if you’ve been playing a type of video game then you might want to add all the episodes into a playlist so your viewers can find them easily.

You might get a lot more views that way as YouTube will automatically play the next video in the playlist when someone is watching them.

Here’s how you make a playlist:

  • Click on the ‘+ add playlist button’ on the right of the upload page.
  • A drop-down list will now appear, next click on create new playlist.
  • In the screen that appears add a title for your playlist that relates to the videos that will be in it
  • Finally select whether you want it to be public, unlisted or private.
  • Click create to finish adding your playlist.

Editing Advanced Features

After you’ve completed the above sections you now have the option to look at the advanced features. You can view these by clicking on the tab.

Next you’ll have the options to edit some of the following options to edit:

  • Enhancements
  • Audio
  • End Screen & Annotations
  • Cards
  • Subtitles/CC

Each of these things are easy to use and you’ll easily be able to work out how to use them. Here are two of the most important ones and why you might use them:


Heading to the enhancement screen you’ll find a tool that allows you to easily make some quick changes to your video. You can use this screen to fix lighting in your video as well as changing other things like the colour, speed or even trim the video.

You may want to make these changes while you edit your video though as this is generally not the best way to edit these things.


If you’ve decided to upload your video without audio or a voice-over, then YouTube gives you the option to add some music. They provide you with a library of royalty-free music tracks that you can add over the top of your video. This means that you won’t get into any copyright trouble for using them.

Scroll through the tracks and add one that you like if you think it will add to your video.

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