Musicians: 10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your YouTube Channel

10 tips for your YouTube page

YouTube is becoming an increasingly important source of revenue for musicians. In this guest post, TuneCore Music Publishing offers some great tips on how to get the most out of your YouTube Channel. 

In case you haven’t heard, you can earn money when your sound recordings are used anywhere on YouTube. You can earn money when other people use your sound recordings in their videos and on your own YouTube videos. TuneCore can collect all this revenue for you. By signing up for TuneCore’s YouTube Sound Recording collection service, YouTube’s Content ID system will identify your sound recordings and your revenue everywhere it can be found. TuneCore gets the revenue from YouTube and deposits it directly into your TuneCore account!

With these new opportunities to make money from your music on YouTube and grow your brand, it’s important to have a well-developed YouTube channel. To help you kick your channel into shape, we’ve outlined some best practices designed to increase your channel’s appeal and effectiveness.

But first things first: If you don’t already have a YouTube channel, go to to create your artist page and start uploading great, engaging content.

All set?  Good.

#1. Give a good first impression.

Make sure you have a great thumbnail for each video. It’s the first thing people will see when they search for your videos, so make it appealing.  Each time you upload a video on your channel, you can choose from three thumbnail options.

#2. Be smart with your title and video description.

Your title is of course important for intriguing viewers, but it can also improve your search results. The very first term should be relevant and you should follow that with what is featured in the video. While your title should be clear and concise, the video description is where you can go in depth, providing insight into you as an artist. Go ahead and include your lyrics in the description—if a fan knows the chorus but not the song title, including lyrics will help them find your video.

#3. Set up your tent.

Tent pole content is the BIG EVENT or piece of content that you will build around. If the launch of your music video is the tent pole event, behind-the-scenes videos, in-studio sessions, direct-to-fan announcements and other promotions should all support the major launch. Plan out your calendar with these larger videos throughout the year, and build the roads leading to them with additional posts.

#4. Remember that YouTube is a social network.

According to recent stats, YouTube is more popular than Facebook for teens. YouTube is interactive. It’s not skyping-with-a-friend interactive, but the comments section reflects the real-time evolution of conversations. Artists should be engaging with fans after posting a video. And make sure you keep revisiting the comments section, responding to your viewers who just saw your video for the first time.

#5. Pick a winner.

Are you running a contest to give away tickets or merch? Make sure you use YouTube as a communication channel.  Create video announcements encouraging fans to enter, and announce the winner with a filmed congratulations!

#6. Create call-to-action videos.

Consider making a few quick videos to encourage your fans to take action. Ask people to vote, buy your single on release day, go support another artist’s site, or ask fans to come out to see you on tour. Speaking of touring, how about making a video for each city; you can be creative and ask for local tips in the comment section, or announce where you’ll be before the show for a fan meet-up. Use your videos to create opportunities.

[How to make money from your music on YouTube]

#7. Annotate, Annotate, Annotate.

Add comments, directions, websites, purchase links—this is your video, after all! Use it as a billboard to advertise. And definitely direct fans to subscribe to your channel so you can keep them coming back for more. Bonus: annotations have been shown to improve total watch time.

#8. Play around (with playlists).

Create playlists of your videos instead of having a series of isolated videos. Start with your most recent and most popular videos to get your fans hooked, then let them cycle through new and old material.

#9. Hang out. It’s work.

Make use of Google Hangouts, especially around your video premiers.  It’s also possible to set it up so you can stream your hangouts on your YouTube channel where your subscribers can tune in and participate.  (This functionality does require an application—INDMUSIC can help you make this happen.)  Have a way for fans to submit to be one of the few people in the hangout and not just a commenter. And always share the link to the stream to expand the hangout. These personal connections elevate your online events.

If you have the type of fans that talk and post about you in their YouTube videos, jump in their comments section and encourage them to join the hangout, or if they’re the host, crash their own hangout.  You can also try surprising fans with a video dedicated to their page.

Important tip! Make sure your Google + account is integrated and linked to your YouTube page.

#10. Timing is key.

If you’re busy promoting your music, you’re being featured on music blogs, your album just came out, or you have a song on a TV show, make sure you have relevant content on YouTube as well. Fans are going to be searching for your music.  Even if you don’t have a “professional” video done, throw together a lyric video.

Ready to take your YouTube channel to the next level? Try out the tips above, and let us know in the comments if they work for you (or if you have more tips to add). And make sure to check out how we can help you make more money on YouTube.

Start building your fanbase! Bandzoogle websites have a built-in mailing list, social media integrations, and all the tools you need to step it up. Sign up free now!

Posted by on Feb 20 2015 8:12 AM
#1 - Yes you can indeed pick from 3 automatic thumbnails that YouTube suggests. You can also now upload a "custom thumbnail" that can be a picture or image of anything you want. The custom thumbnail is not "pulled" from your video at all. It's up to you to decide what you want it to look like.
Neil Smith
Posted by Neil Smith on Feb 20 2015 12:16 PM
I have been trying to figure out how to have a custom thumbnail (uploading my own) and I have not been successful at figuring it out. Can you please guide me?
Dave Cool
Posted by Dave Cool on Feb 24 2015 9:13 AM
Neil Smith: Your account has to be verified to create custom thumbnails apparently:
Alice Fuller
Posted by Alice Fuller on Mar 2 2015 5:24 PM
I would add to this great list using mobile apps that allow you to post mobile video directly to YouTube. The mobile YouTube app, Social Cam, and a few others mobile video tools allow distribution or sharing on YouTube. Generally at events, you nor the audience will be tied to a computer, but everyone has their smartphone. I LOVE hangouts too, artists can actually you them or YouTube's own live stream to do an online concert for a few fans on make it public. You can even now put a graphic of your CD in the hangout with a link where to buy! Love Hangouts On Air. I share more social media tips on
Posted by Williamsondeep on Oct 14 2015 12:15 AM
I accept your first point first impression is the best one. So you have to be careful on impression. Osiz Technologies in India
Kleyton Renato
Posted by Kleyton Renato on Apr 25 2016 1:54 PM
Hello ... people. Nice post... I'm brazilian guitar player I have skills and creativity but I don't know how to create a music youtube channel to get thousands views ... See ...