Choosing a name for your YouTube channel is a lot like picking a band name. It can be difficult to land on a decision, and when you’re just starting out you might not think it matters too much.
But the last thing you want is to get famous and be stuck with the name you picked. Just ask Hoobastank.
Fortunately, as of last year, it’s now possible to change your YouTube channel name and profile picture. The company rolled out a new feature that will allow you to update your account’s aesthetics without needing to change the name and photo on your associated Google account.
Read on to learn how to change your YouTube channel name. While you’re here, we’ve also compiled some creative channel name ideas to get you started on your YouTube marketing plan.
Bonus: Download a free pack of 3 fully customizable YouTube video description templates. Easily craft engaging descriptions, and start growing your YouTube channel today.
Should you change your channel name?
Of course, before you make any big decisions with your YouTube channel, you need to weigh the pros and cons. Just because you can change your channel’s name, does it mean you should?
Ultimately, the answer is probably yes.
Maybe the topic of your YouTube channel has shifted over the years and it no longer feels appropriate to use the “Epic YouToobz!” name you chose in high school. Maybe you no longer speak to the hyper-specific niche you once did and want to upload under your own name. Or maybe you’re just bored of your channel and looking for a refresh.
Those are all valid reasons, and in the grand scheme of things, changing your channel name won’t have too much of an effect on your channel’s performance. In fact, it can be a great marketing move if you lean into the shift.
Take, for example, YouTuber Matti Haapoja, who rebranded from the name Travel Feels in 2018. He announced the shift with an attention-grabbing vlog that reached plenty of YouTubers:
In fact, if you’re planning on changing your YouTube channel’s name, you should time it with a video announcement post and some updated visuals on your social media channels. It’s a great way to drive engagement as you make the big switch.
The change won’t affect your standing with the YouTube algorithm. The main thing you should note, though, is that verified YouTubers do lose their checkmark status when they rebrand. In fact, you’ll have to apply for verification all over again under your new name. That’s the only major con to consider when considering a shift.
How to change your YouTube channel name
YouTube has made it incredibly straightforward to make the switch. Within a few clicks or taps, your channel can be completely rebranded and you’ll be able to get back to posting your content.
We’ve got all the steps you need, depending on whether you’re using a mobile device or a desktop computer.
How to change YouTube channel name on mobile
1. Open the YouTube app, then tap your profile picture.
2. Tap Your channel then Edit channel.
3. Enter your new channel name and tap OK.
4. If you want to change your profile photo, tap your picture, select an existing photo or take a new one, then tap Save.
How to change YouTube channel name on desktop:
1. Sign into YouTube Studio.
2. From the left menu, choose Customisation then Basic Info. Click Edit, then enter your new channel name. Click Publish.
3. To change your profile picture, choose Customisation then Branding. Click Upload and choose an image. Adjust the size of your picture, then click Done. Click Publish.
It’s really that simple to change your page name.
That said, this won’t automatically update your YouTube URL. It’s definitely a good idea to shorten your URL if you can.
To make that change, you need to have 100 or more subscribers, and your channel needs to be at least 30 days old. It also needs a profile picture and banner image. Assuming you meet those requirements, you’ll then be able to choose a custom URL based on YouTube’s recommendations.
How to change YouTube channel URL on desktop:
1. Sign into YouTube Studio.
2. From the left menu, choose Customisation then Basic Info.
3. Under Channel URL, click the link to Set a Custom URL for your channel.
44 Creative YouTube Channel Names
Looking for a good YouTube channel name? Why not try one of these:
Doodle By Design
Leap Year Travel
Up and Away
Chips or Crisps
Candles and Convos
Cocktails in a Crunch
The Wallpaper Wife
Tips for creating the best YouTube channel name
If you’d rather not just copy and paste, you can strategize to come up with the perfect YouTube name of your own.
There are essentially four different kinds of YouTube channel names:
- your personal name,
- the name of your brand
- the name of your category
- description of your channel’s content
There aren’t too many rules to the channel name. As long as you’re not violating YouTube’s community guidelines, you can include spaces in the name or not. You can also make it as long as 50 characters, and seemingly as short as a single letter.
Otherwise, the selection of your YouTube name is limited to your own imagination.
Here are some steps to help you make the right choice:
1. Define your channel
As with any online pursuit, you need to develop a deep understanding of your niche — even if your niche is not having one.
Are you planning on posting cooking videos? Will it purely be for unboxing? Or do you plan to post aimless 20-minute vlog rants. If you’re an expert on a subject, you should consider incorporating it into your channel name (like The Punk Rock MBA or Honest Movie Trailers).
If your channel has a broad scope, consider something more neutral, but no less memorable (the name PewDiePie comes to mind).
2. Determine your target audience
Hand in hand with number one, you need to figure out who you’re trying to reach. There’s a big difference between naming something for a large, broad audience or trying to reach a super-distinct corner of the web. That’s the difference between calling something The Learning Academy or Learnii or 4C4D3MY.
Know your audience and understand the way they already communicate online.
3. Research your companions and competitors
Here’s the thing: as long as they don’t have the same URL, YouTube doesn’t mind if multiple users have the same account names. That’s how your friend James has a YouTube channel that’s just called James. But again — just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
You want the perfect name, but you also want to avoid brand confusion. After all, you don’t want to be the umpteenth account called Da Gamer Guy.
4. Try to be original
Here’s where the other advice could get cancelled out — if you can come up with a catchy, unique username that no one’s ever thought of before, it might be the best choice.
Even if it doesn’t necessarily play into the niche of your organisation. After all, no one used the word Google before the brand was invented.
5. Gather your socials
The best part of coming up with an incredibly unique name is that you can also nab the social media handles.
Having the same identity across all platforms is a surefire way to build a solid foundation for your brand. It’s not a dealbreaker, per se, but if you can find a name that hasn’t been taken on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, then it’s a great choice for YouTube too.
6. Consider capitalization
You may not have considered the fact that YouTube names are case sensitive, but they certainly are. And that will play a huge role in the accessibility and memorable nature of your channel.
If you don’t want any spaces in your channel name, there’s a big difference between calling your channel, say, FarToHome and Fartohome. Consider the capitalization key, and use it wisely.
7. Sound it out
Video is, of course, a more complicated medium than just writing online, and you’re likely going to be speaking your channel name out loud. So you should definitely choose something that sounds as good as it looks.
And don’t forget — most people hate the word “moist.”
8. Put it on paper
As much as your YouTube name matters, it also doesn’t need to entirely define your entire purpose in less than 50 characters.
You’ll probably know it when you find it, but the process could take some trial and error. One method that may work is closing your laptop, putting down your tablet and busting out the pen and paper. Write a list of words associated with your content, then write another list of verbs that characterise your channel’s goal. Then, try different combinations of the words from both columns. You can even cut them out and move them around — make a whole craft out of it.
9. Keep it simple
That’s just evergreen advice. It shouldn’t take forever to explain your YouTube channel name.
In fact, it should be easy to spell and even easier to remember. So with all of that advice in mind, you still want to find a handle that can be shared via word of mouth without being mistaken. Consider, for example, avoiding words like “Favorite,” which are spelled differently in different English speaking countries. That way you’ll have the most effective marketing.
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