If you weren’t born attractive and/or British, there’s only so much you can do to be a successful YouTube star. It’s practically science. Fortunately, we have the inside guide on ensuring that your channel can be the very best of what’s left. In this installment of tutorials on making your YouTube channel better, we discuss the best name for your channel. It might just be the most important consideration you make.
In before the jump, many YouTube stars have long or obnoxious names that are hard to spell/pronounce/remember. We’re not going to name of them because we like these people and rely on them to keep the lights on. But just know that they became big before the idea of marketing your YouTube channel was really a thing. These days, it’s a lot harder to succeed with a hunk of mouth mush like XBeRtSevenTEen69. Of course, finding a simple name that isn’t taken is not so easy either.
Looks like, for your sake, we got here just in time.
1. If you don’t have a memorable name, don’t use your actual name.
“Dave Smith” might sound amazing to you, but I’ve already forgotten you. You know what name I don’t forget? “Jenna Marbles.” It’s catchy, it’s memorable, it sounds pretty sexy. Jenna Mourey knew a little something about something when she decided to use the moniker that helped make her into a YouTube Legend. She could’ve picked that name at any time, today, eight years ago, next week and it would still sound epically badass. Sure, she’s cute and funny and all that, but lots of people on YouTube are and they don’t have nearly her success. That name, Jenna Marbles, is like one of those names that will cut glass. If her name were on a neon sign, it would explode because her name is so powerful.
If you have a memorable channel name, people will learn your real name soon enough, Dave.
2. Keep it short, but not too short
Three letter names are trendy but forgettable — you need something in the one to five syllable range that has some pop to it. Probably you don’t want anything less than five letters. Smosh is right at the limit of memorability — good thing they’re brilliant comedians. “Thatcher Joe” is pretty spot on at three syllables. FoodForLouis? Perfect. And for god’s sake, don’t do the long string of numbers at the end of your name. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
3. Hyperbole rules
Be “Epic” or “Awesome” or “Crazy” or “Angry.” Give people an extreme emotion or an adjective that they can hang their hat on. A large part of your channel’s duty is convincing users that your channel is a better use of their time than someone else’s channel. Do you think Epic Meal Time would be the kings of the cooking circuit if their channel name was “Good Meal Time”? Crap no. They sold you on clicking because their channel name made a promise: you are gonna have your eyes blown out of your head with what we’re doing. Just one word in a title conveyed all that.
4. No profanity/gross imagery
There are a whole bunch of channels who plateaued too early because they chose one-note funny names like “Dickfart” or “Shitbreath55.” Do you think an advertiser wants to put you in their commercial with a name like that? In the beginning people started YouTube channels because it seemed fun or novel — now they do it for one reason: fame/fortune. Gotta make them ducats, son. Resist the urge to pick a name that will make fifth graders laugh and instead focus on something you can run with long term, like Daxflame.
5. Make Your Channel Name Reflect Your Channel Values
“GremlinDude” might be an awesome gamer, but I don’t know that upon hearing his name. I’ve gotta make quick choices when searching out videos to watch. Do me, the fan, a favor ans help position your genre in your title. If you’re a beauty guru, give me a taste of that in your title … throw the word “lipstick” or “blush” or “cosmetic” in there somewhere. Rosanna Pansino made her channel easy to figure out and love because she called it “Nerdy Nummies.” Makes sense, right?
There are a bunch more theories on this topic, but these are a good primer — just something to get your head leaning in the right direction. Just remember, it’s a lot harder to retain or build an audience if you have to change your name after you’ve begun your journey to stardom.