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how to upload video to youtube

YouTube is not only the most popular video-sharing platform in the world, but it’s the second most-visited website on the entire planet. Whether you’re looking to expand your small business’s marketing efforts or have an online blog and want to drive traffic to your free website, YouTube marketing is worth your time.

Worried about diving into this new world? Don’t be. Creating a YouTube channel and uploading videos to your channel is, fortunately, pretty simple. In this article, we’ll show you step-by-step how to upload a video to your YouTube channel.

Before you upload your video

Make sure YouTube supports your video file

Before you can successfully upload your video to YouTube, make sure the platform supports your video format. Luckily, this is YouTube—a platform dedicated entirely to video—so it supports most file formats. You can find the full list here:

  • .MOV
  • .MPEG4
  • .MP4
  • .AVI
  • .WMV
  • .MPEGPS
  • .FLV
  • 3GPP
  • WebM
  • DNxHR
  • ProRes
  • CineForm
  • HEVC (h265)

If your video file type isn’t listed above, you will need to re-export it using a supported format. Alternatively, you can check out YouTube’s troubleshooter for conversion help.

How to upload a video to YouTube

Step 1

Log in to your YouTube account.

Step 2

Click on the video icon at the top right hand side of the window, which can be found next to your user icon, messages, apps and notifications.

upload a video to youtube
upload a video to youtube

Step 3

Click ‘Upload a Video.’

Step 4

Then, press ‘Select files’ to find the video file saved on your computer. Or, you can drag and drop it into the window.

upload a video to youtube
upload a video to youtube

Step 5

Now publish your video. You can also choose to post on a scheduled date.

Add the final details to your YouTube video

To ensure your video performs optimally, include details like privacy settings, thumbnail stills and SEO data.

Select your privacy settings

Privacy settings allow you to control who can and can’t see your video. YouTube provides the following options in the uploading process:

  • Public: Anyone can view your video and it will show up in YouTube search results. This is the standard setting and if you use YouTube to market your business or expand your reach, you’ll want to make your videos public.
  • Unlisted: Unlisted videos are still public, but you’ll need to provide people with a direct link to see the video. In addition, these videos won’t appear in the YouTube search results or your video feed. For marketing purposes, you can use unlisted videos to promote exclusive deals or events.
  • Private: Only you have viewing access.

Once you’ve selected your preferred option, click ‘Save.’

privacy settings
privacy settings

Make your video SEO friendly

YouTube SEO increases the likelihood that your video appears on both Google and YouTube search results by clearly conveying your video’s content.

To get started, conduct keyword research using a tool like Google Keyword Planner or Wordstream. This helps determine the relevant search words and phrases your target audience searches for. That way, when your video shows up on search results, they’ll be more likely to watch it.

Once you’ve selected keywords, update them in your video title, description and file name during the upload process.

youtube video seo
youtube video seo

Additional details

  • Audio: Thanks to YouTube’s vast (and free) audio library, you can change you video’s audio track with music and sound effects after you upload.
  • Blur faces: Blur the faces of anyone appearing in your video via the ‘Enhancements’ Tab. You can control the setting, too, with the ‘Custom Blur’ option.
  • End screens: Add an end screen to the last 5-20 seconds of your video, showcasing additional videos, playlists, links, and subscribe buttons. You can even apply templates to simplify the process.
  • Cards: Cards can point viewers to a specific link (from a list of eligible sites) and show customized images, titles and calls to action.
  • Closed captions: YouTube makes it easy to add closed captions to your video: Simply select the language and upload a file. For more accurate captions, you can transcribe your video’s spoken parts and YouTube will auto-sync them for you.
  • Choose your thumbnail. Your video thumbnail is the image people see when scrolling through your feed. Make sure you use a clear image that accurately reflects your video and entices people to click.
video elements
video elements

After you upload your video

Now that you’ve successfully uploaded your video to YouTube, others can discover it. However, if you want to become a successful YouTuber, you can also spread the word yourself. Share the link with your friends and family and on social networks to get as many views as possible. As you build your channel’s popularity, you might eventually make money on YouTube.

Ensure both your website and YouTube account are always updated and looking fresh by doing the following:

  • Use an app like Wix Video to add your newly-uploaded YouTube video or playlist directly to your website.
  • Use Wix’s video maker to easily create short videos you can feature on your site, then directly upload them to YouTube within Wix Video.
  • Sync your YouTube channel to automatically add your new videos to your website.

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