Lydia Sweatt is a writer, bookworm, and bass guitar enthusiast. When she goes outside, a bicycle goes with her.
How to Pick a Good YouTube Channel Name
What is a good YouTube channel name? Is it something spicy that no one else has claimed? Or can it be as simple as using your first and last name?
Both are good options depending on your goals, but there’s more to the equation.
Choosing a YouTube channel name is a big deal because it’s how everyone will recognize you — and not just viewers. The YouTube algorithm will analyze your name for relevant keywords. Brands will look at it before they offer you a partnership deal. Every day, you want this part of your channel to shine.
If your channel name is missing something important, you might have to change it. That’s the best way get back on track and rebrand your channel, which is very important in 2024.
Read More: How to Change Your YouTube Channel Name
YouTube Channel Names vs YouTube Handles
Before we discuss channel names, it helps to know they're not the same as YouTube handles.
YouTube handles are a unique identifier for your channel. They look and function like the handles you've seen on other social media platforms, such as Instagram, X, and TikTok. And of course, they begin with the iconic @ symbol.
For example, @vidIQ is our YouTube handle. Viewers can use it to:
- Search for our channel on YouTube (and distinguish us from duplicates).
- Go directly to our channel via URL (https://www.youtube.com/@vidIQ).
- Mention us in video comments.
While handles help you interact with others, your channel name is entirely distinct from that. You can use your channel name to explain your niche better and attract the right audience.
So, whether you’re choosing a name for the first time or seeking a new one, here are six ways to pick a YouTube channel name.
1. Follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines
Before you pick a channel name, make sure it’s appropriate for YouTube. You can do that by following the Community Guidelines, which covers things like spam, impersonating other creators, and words you shouldn’t say (or write) on the platform.
After all, what’s the point of finally figuring out a channel name, only to have someone report it?
2. Make Your Channel Name Short and Sweet
On YouTube, a short channel name is always better than a long one. Why? They’re just easier to remember. When someone is searching for your channel, you don’t want them stumbling over a 50-character name. Choose something anyone can type without thinking too hard.
You should pick a YouTube channel name that's:
- No more than five syllables
- Easy to remember
- Has few or no numbers
- No more than 30 characters
- Easy to spell
A great example is our channel name, vidIQ. You won’t have any problems typing that into YouTube’s search bar. The same goes for channels like PewDiePie and Generic Waffle. They’re short and to the point.
3. Choose a Unique YouTube Channel Name
Did you know it’s against YouTube’s rules to impersonate another creator? Intentional or not, anyone who does that is misleading their viewers. So that’s the first reason to have an original channel name. It keeps you honest, and YouTube won’t have a reason to strike down your channel.
MrBeast is a famous YouTube creator, and someone is always trying to impersonate him. Dozens of people steal his channel name and profile icon to create bogus accounts. Take a look at all the copycat channels below.
What’s the end goal, if not to impersonate MrBeast? And what will these users do with the influence they stole? It can’t be anything good.
4. Pick a Name That Represents Your Niche
When someone comes to your channel, they should know three things immediately:
- What your niche is
- The type of videos you make
- The value of your content
The right YouTube channel name can express all three. But how do you come up with a name so powerful that people understand your channel’s worth?
It’s not as difficult as you think. Whatever your YouTube niche is — hockey, nail art, marine biology — start thinking about that subject. Next, challenge yourself to create a channel name based on your niche.
Excellent Dude, a channel with dozens of Microsoft Excel tutorials, is a great example. The channel name comes from combining “Excel” and “excellent.” It’s a clever way to say, “I have the best Excel tutorials on YouTube'' without saying exactly that.
5. Building a Personal Brand? It’s OK to Use Your Real Name
If you’re building an online persona, your channel name doesn’t have to represent your niche. After all, the content revolves around you. Your personality is the star of the show, not tutorials and how-to advice. It seems fitting that your first and last name are what people see.
It’s tempting to do the opposite, though. You may be thinking to yourself, “Who clicks on a channel showing a stranger’s full name? Will I get less search traffic because I’m using my name, which no one cares about yet?”
Maybe, but don’t worry about that. If your goal is building a personal brand, have some faith and trust the process.
Have you heard of Kelly Stamps? This creator has a self-titled channel with more than 600,000 subscribers. And no, it didn’t take her 10 years to build that following as a personality-driven channel. After posting some popular New York videos, her subscriber count ballooned in 2019!
Stamps’ channel is about many things: minimalism, making money, traveling, and more. She could’ve named her channel something edgy and off-kilter, like Minimal Money. But even that would be too limiting for the content she creates.
6. Choose a Name With the Right Keywords
OK, let’s get back to YouTube tutorials. If you’re making videos about searchable topics, like “how to change a tire,” it’s worth having a channel name that’s searchable too.
Think of all the keywords someone would use to find your content. When you have a solid list, build your YouTube channel name using a couple of those keywords. Over time, this will help you attract your target audience.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a tech channel that focuses on Apple products. You could potentially add any of these keywords to your channel name:
How to Come Up With a YouTube Channel Name: A Short Exercise
Sometimes the best channel names are hiding in your head, and you need to solid way to pull them out. Here’s a quick brainstorming activity to get your wheels turning:
- Write down some words associated with your content. Need an example? As a YouTube education channel, we’d write a list of creator-focused words: subscribers, views, channel growth, monetization, etc.
- Write a list of words emphasizing your channel’s goal. Maybe you want to motivate, inspire, share news, or entertain. There’s no right or wrong answer as long as you’re honest.
- Create some channel names using words from both lists. Don’t put yourself under too much pressure here. Even if you fail at naming your YouTube channel, you’ll have a better idea of what it should be.
Alternatively, you can use the Channel Name Generator from vidIQ to get some ideas. It's an AI tool and super easy to use.
1. Enter the type of channel you want to make in the prompt box. Here, we use "Video Essays," as an example. Click Generate.
2. That's it! The AI generates a list of cool YouTube channel names for you to choose from.
More Examples of Good YouTube Channel Names
When all else fails, look at existing YouTube channels for inspiration. Here are some channel names that embody everything we’ve discussed:
- Charisma on Command: Reading that channel name, you know this creator shares tips to improve your charisma. Plus, “Charisma on Command” is short and catchy. We would have a hard time forgetting this channel.
- 5-Minute Crafts: Can you craft something in five minutes? This channel says, yes, you absolutely can. Technically, the name breaks one of our rules: Don't add a number to your YouTube channel name. But this is a rare instance where it works well and makes sense for the channel.
- 100 Percent Zelda: If you play Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you understand what this channel is offering. “100 Percent” implies that no other games will be played – just Breath of the Wild. You might get some gameplay footage, tutorials, or how-to explainers. It’s the most accurate channel name we’ve seen and another outlier that breaks our “no numbers” rule.
- Block Facts: This channel shares random facts about the various blocks in Minecraft. It doesn’t have the shiniest name out there, but you know what type of content you’re getting. On top of that, “Block Facts” is easy to type without making mistakes.
- Dad, how do I?: We’ve all asked our Dads how to do something, right? That’s what makes “Dad, how do I?” the perfect YouTube channel name. It’s relatable, and you know that fatherly advice is incoming.
- The School of Life: This channel shows viewers how to live better lives through animated storytelling. For what the channel promises, who could ask for a better name?
Picking a channel name takes some deep reflection, but so does defining your channel's ultimate purpose.
Here's how to find your niche on YouTube and stand out from other creators.