Naming Your YouTube Channel
by Sam Campbell
Want to make a memorable impression on your YouTube fans? Start with a great name! One of the first and most important decisions you have to make when launching your channel is picking a name for your channel. Believe it or not, the name you choose can impact the success of your channel so picking the right one is essential. If you’re unsure of how to name your new channel or are just looking to rebrand your channel, you’ve come to the right place!
Whether you choose to use your actual name, your brand’s name, or just something fun you came up with, picking the right name for your channel is an important step on your path to success on YouTube. Before deciding on a name, in this article we’ll go over everything you need to know about YouTube channel naming as well as some tips to help you pick one that not only fits your channel but will create a lasting impression on your future fans!
- What is a YouTube channel name?
- Why is a Channel Name Important?
- What makes a Good YouTube Channel Name?
- Different Types of YouTube Channel Names
- Best Practices for Picking the Best YouTube Name
- YouTube Channel Name Generators
- Examples of Good YouTube Channel Names
- How to Change Your YouTube Channel Name
YouTube Channel Name vs YouTube Account Username
The difference between a channel name and a username on YouTube is quite simple. When you create your YouTube account, you will create a “Username”. Within this account, you can create a channel for your videos. One YouTube account can create multiple channels, all with different names! While you need your username to login to your account, your channel name is the name which your fellow YouTube users will identify you with.
In addition to turning up in search results and appearing at the top of your channel page, your channel name will be the primary path for users to connect with your content. When people are watching your videos, your channel name is what will be linked underneath each video. This is how viewers can easily refer back to your channel from anywhere across YouTube or even elsewhere on the web where your video might be embedded.
By clicking on your channel name from any of these places, they will be immediately brought to your channel with your collection of videos! Put simply, your channel name will appear on your videos, your page, and in search results.
Another place your channel name can appear is in what’s called a “custom URL” or something that can be placed right into a search bar and lead right to your channel. When you first start your account, this will appear as a random string of numbers and letters but can be customized to match the name of your channel. However, there are some conditions you must meet before consolidating your identity.
YouTube allows you to change the username in your URL once your subscribers’ list hits 100 and your channel is at least 30 days old. If you decide you want your channel name and your username to be the same, you need only to meet that simple criteria!
Your YouTube channel name is your identity. The content you post will not be the first thing your potential viewers see. Initially, users will look at who the content is coming from, and start formulating a connection to the content on the channel. It’s all about establishing a brand for yourself, and brand identity is absolutely key, especially when you are starting out.
Your name is the first step, even before the content, in accurately representing your brand. This is why it is so important that you come up with a channel name that identifies you for your audience. First impressions are important, especially if you are hoping to have viewers come back and share with their friends.
Before you dive into dreaming up the perfect YouTube channel name, there are a few things to consider in picking one that will help you succeed. While a name is purely an expression of you and your content, an effective name can actually help you grow your audience. Here are a few things every name should be:
Smoosh Comedy is a great example of a catchy name. Even though it doesn’t mean anything, it’s fun and easy to say and reflects the off-the-wall comedy you’ll find on the channel.
Big Think is a great, simple word combination that both sums up this science and philosophy channels content and it’s unlike any other name on the platform. They must have grabbed this name early, it’s almost too obvious but original!
- Easy to say
Dude Perfect is one of the most recognizable brands on YouTube not just because of their wild stunts, but because they’ve got a great name. Dude Perfect is an easy and relatable name that’s very easy to tell your friends.
- Easy to remember
- Reflects your content (Bonus!)
You can’t really get more descriptive than 5-Minute Crafts. It says exactly what it is – crafts done in 5 minutes. This is a great example of a name that reflects its subject matter.
- Name (Taylor Swift)
- Brand (Nike)
- Category (Classic Game Room)
- Descriptive (Epic Rap Battles)
WhatNerd includes the subject matter and what’s being addressed, right in the title (What- questions. Nerd- Tech!). With great word association and a short, punchy title, names like this succeed because they’re so easy to remember!
With all of this in mind, it’s time to get creative. While everyone has a different creative process, there are some great ways to stir up your creative juices. Know yourself and how you work best creatively. For some people, it’s while they are immersed in nature. Others might do a meditative practice to center themselves and let the name find them. If you don’t have some sort of out-of-the-box creative process, that is just fine! We’ve got a more formulaic approach to naming, too!
A great way to approach your channel name is by picking a name that fits your content. A great first question to ask yourself is “what category will your channel fit into?” Channels and their names can typically be separated into these four categories (https://backlinko.com/hub/youtube/name):
Once you determine the category, it is time to make a personal decision. Do you want your channel name to be your own legally given name, so as to establish a personal brand (i.e. what most successful vloggers do), or have it be the topic of your channel (i.e. educational videos)? Everything becomes a heck of a lot easier when you’ve defined what your channel is about.
Now, remember the mantra: “Keep it short and sweet”? That could not be more applicable here. Your channel name should be short and catchy, one that rolls off the tongue like a company jingle. On that same note, stick to the rule of thumb of NOT using numbers in your channel name, at all. Numbers only complicate things, and rarely do they lead to positive outcomes. If the name you wanted is already taken, take the loss and move on to finding the next (and better) name.
It is always a good idea to write your ideas down. Putting pen to paper, or text to blank word doc is especially helpful when deciding something as important as a channel name. If it looks good to you, odds are, it will look good to other people. Choosing an aesthetic YouTube name is very important, because your content cannot be the only thing that is compelling. Aesthetic is not just about the look of your name, however. Try speaking your name ideas out loud. Does it sound good to you? We can be our own best ally when it comes to choosing a good YouTube channel name.
Our best step-by-step advice (and to simplify the information from above) is this:
Step 1: Gather up relevant words
Time to make a list! Remember in middle school when you would get an assignment for a paper and your teacher would have you get out your journal and jot down whatever words came into your mind for five minutes? You don’t have to be this disciplined, but definitely come up with some sort of list you can work from. Think of “you” words (personality traits, nicknames, titles, etc.) and another of words related to your channel’s category (i.e. gaming, makeup, or baking).
Step 2: Combinations
The name generators can certainly help you here, but once you’ve compiled your list of relevant words for your channel, start playing around with some combinations. At the risk of overwhelming yourself and ending up with a complicated channel name, stick to two or three words.
Step 3: Say it out loud
Trust your gut. If it feels right when you say it out loud, run with it!
Never fear, you do not have to be left to your own devices when it comes to choosing a name.
There are many resources online that will actually generate creative YouTube channel names for you, so you can focus more on your content. Explore some of our favorite name generators below, and find a name that will take your YouTube presence to the next level without having to flex a single creative muscle:
- YouTube Name Generator
- Best Username Generator
- Name Generator
- Name Generator 2
- Username Generator
- Shopify Business Name Generator
So here we are, preaching to you about how to choose a catchy, unique name for your YouTube channel, but we haven’t even given you any examples to work off of! Time to put our money where our mouth is. Now, these are actual, successful YouTube channels, so the credit doesn’t really go to us at all, we are simply putting these three channel’s names out there as examples that have had tangible success.
These channels fall into different categories, yes. However, what they do share is some fantastic names that have kept people not only coming to them in the first place, but coming back time and time again!
Tasty, as the name implies, is a food network. How many times have you looked up “tasty” to find a recipe for dinner? The makers behind this channel knew that. It’s a simple name, sure, but when done right, look where simplicity can get you!
Boho Beautiful, is a yoga channel aimed at helping viewers attain more conscious, mindful living. She also does other fitness videos, guided meditations, and vegan food tutorials. Her name encompasses a way of life that draws viewers in. Alliteration never hurts, either.
High On Life is an adventure collective that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping and add to your bucket list. People like to watch other people do cool stuff. It’s just a fact. Their videos make it so that if you are strapped on cash, you can still get your adrenaline rush or fill your wanderlust by visiting their channel. Commonly used phrases can sometimes be your best bet on a YouTube channel name, because viewers can already get a good idea of what your channel is about, just by seeing your name!
If at any time, for any reason, you decide to rebrand, you can! Don’t feel like whatever name you initially choose has to stick with you for the rest of time. Here are the three easy steps to change your name:
- Click on your account icon in the top right corner of YouTube and choose settings.
- Select your channel.
- Click “Edit on Google”.
- Update your name and click OK.
If you only want to change your channel name, you’ll want to create a “Brand Account” for your channel. We highly recommend using this feature to allow you to keep your personal name and your channel name separate. For more details on how to do this, check out this great guide here.
Another thing to consider here is while you can change the name of your channel, once you’ve picked your custom URL, your URL is set for good! The only way to get a new custom URL is to create an entirely new channel, so decide wisely!
And there you have it! You now have all the tools in your arsenal to come up with a name for your YouTube channel that will echo throughout households around the world. You and your content are memorable. Now choose a name that is just as unforgettable!