Finding and Choosing a YouTube Channel Name – Step by Step Guide

Picking the right YouTube name is a make-or-break decision.

Do it right, and you’re golden.

To help you out, this article is all you need to stay ahead of the curve.

Here you will learn step by step how to find and choose a YouTube channel name that both stands out and is YOU.

Choosing the right YouTube channel name is more of an art than a science, but you can follow guidelines to get optimal results.

Note: Before we get going, know that there are four different types of YouTube channel names.

They are:

  1. Name (Kanye West)
  2. Brand (Adidas)
  3. Category (Classic Movies Junkie)
  4. Descriptive (World of Warcraft War)

The “name” type is the most popular and common.

5 Ways to Come Up With a Creative Channel Name

1. Use The SSS Formula

SSS stands for  Short Simple Spellable.

Your YouTube Channel Name Should be Short; Simple; Spellable

Make your name short and simple to the ear.

I mean that you want someone to hear your channel’s name the first time and one time only, and then remember to search for it in YouTube Search.

That’s the goal, but it’s tough to pull off in today’s competitive YouTube landscape.

Still, the guidelines for making the perfect name are:

Short– Two of three words tops.

Simple – Easy to understand and comprehend

For example:

“TheFilmTheorist” YouTube channel would be a much better name than “FilmTheorology.” And theorology being the term I can barely pronounce, I had to search for in Google to learn how to spell it.

The point is that I would’ve never bothered to search for “Theorology” in YouTube search, and neither would you.

Spellable– Your channel’s name should have intuitive spelling, so people can grasp what it is upon first hearing.

Here’s how to test it.

Call your friends and tell them the name of your brand new YouTube channel. And then ask them to search for it in Google and YouTube search.

If all of them can find your channel on their first try, then you know you’re onto something- keep going!

2. Be a Brand, Not Just a YouTube Channel

Even if you want nothing else in life than to become a famous vlogger and crush it on YouTube, you’ll still want to find a brandable name, and that easily carries over to other social media channels and, eventually, your own domain and self-hosted WordPress.

If not, you’ll forever stay just a YouTube channel, which will limit your success potential, plus you’ll be putting all your eggs into YouTube’s basket, and algorithms change at a whim.

Niche down; but not too much

Like with Google, the YouTube algorithm is heavily reliant on relevancy to rank videos, and relevancy is established by the videos’ topics (plus excellent video SEO) you produce.

You’ll need to create videos on one topic only or a cluster of tightly related topics so YouTube’s algorithm can understand what niche you belong in, so you naturally rank higher based on relevancy alone.

YouTube ranks videos based on relevancy

So you need to niche down to succeed faster.

However, you can niche down too much and limit your future growth.

For example:

let’s say you know how to sew really well and want to show off your skill to the world.

And your specialty is sewing wonderful, uniquely designed dresses.

So you decide to start a YouTube channel about sewing (right decision), and you name it “Sewing Your Perfect Dress.”



Because naming it like that you’re limiting your growth potential.

When you talk about sewing pants, glows skirts, whatever, sorry, I know nothing about sewing utterly 🙂 your videos will feel out of place, and folks won’t trust you.

And no trust=, no conversions.

Instead, a better name would be “SewingTheWorldCloser.”

Sewing is the keyword you’re targeting (relevancy), and “world” signifies vastness, so someone looking to learn how to sew will feel at home in your channel.

3. Your Channel Name Should be Descriptive

Descriptive YouTube channel names are those that you read one, and you instantly get what the channel is about

For example:

Can you guess what the channel Epic Meal Time is about?

Epic mealtime descriptive YouTube channel name


4. Avoid Using Numbers

There’s this trend between newbies starting their first channel; they want a specific name for their channel and nothing else, and when that name is not available, they append numbers to it.

That is wrong because numbers make your channel name look sloppy, spammy, and unprofessional. If you want to go somewhere with your content,

I advise you not to have numbers in your channel’s name.

Rules Exist so You Can Break Them:

The best things in the world come to us when we step outside of our comfort zones.

And YouTube is no exception.

Above, you read some channel naming guidelines. They’re a great start,  but they’re also the boundaries of your comfort zone. Following the rules, you can come up with a YouTube channel name.

But it probably won’t be a great one.

That’s because to be great, you need to be different and break the rules. And breaking the norm is very hard, and most people are uncomfortable and won’t do it.

Maybe a longer channel name is better?

Maybe a complicated name can stand out more?

Maybe picking a very tiny and tight niche can make your videos ultra-focused and valuable for a very targeted and specific audience?

So you’ll be able to monetize that traffic easily.

The point is – keep your eyes on the prize that is the perfect channel name. And don’t settle for the mediocre one, just because it’s more comfortable like that.

Free YouTube Name Generators – Use These Tools to Help You Find the Perfect Name

Ok, now that you have the guidelines on creating the perfect YouTube channel name, it’s time to get busy and actively start moving forward with your idea.

And how?

By using several handy tools, of course.

I mean, the human brain is fantastic software, but it can’t compete with a computer program that can outpace it a thousand times over.

So instead of only working with words you can name at the top of your head, you will get hundreds of phrases to mix and match and combine further.

Here are the 3 tools you’ll need to come up with a perfect YouTube channel name:

#1- Power Thesaurus

I admit it; I didn’t know about this tool before doing my research for this article.

This makes me sad as Power Thesaurus is a powerful tool for finding synonyms and associated words for any term you need.

Let’s say gaming is your niche, and you want to have a gaming channel.

Just type the word into the sear bar and see the goodies Power Thesaurus forks over, for free.

Power Thesaurus- great for finding synonyms

For that one term, it found 787 synonyms and related phrases, which is pretty amazing.

Now, you’d just need to comb through these words, finding the ones you like and then combining them to make your new channels’ name.

#2- SpinXO

SpinXO is a handy tool that lets you customize your search quite a bit.

You can add:

  • your niche/topic,
  • keywords,
  • words to include
  • important words
  • things you like…

Once done, it spits out many suggestions, and all you need to do is find what you like and use it.

Use SpinXo to find cool YouTube names

#3- Business Name Generator

As you can tell, this isn’t a YouTube channel name generator per se, but you can still use it as such.

Simply visit the site and search for “gaming,” and then look at the suggestions the tool spits out.

A nice bonus feature is that you can instantly check domain availability. However, I wouldn’t use this feature too much because there’s a better and more comprehensive tool called Namechk I talk about further below.

Business name generator tool

#4- Shopify Name Generator

Shopify Name Generator is a free tool you can use to gather 100+ names for your new e-commerce store.

Now, most of those names won’t cross over well over into YouTube channel names, but some of them will.

One name, two names; three, four! And suddenly, you have more options than you need for a perfect YouTube channel name, the one that’s both you and your brand.

Give it a try!

Shopify name generator. Can be used for YouTube

How to Check Whether a Name is Available (hint: use NameChk)

The perfect name quickly turns useless if it’s taken and you can’t register it.

That is why I really like Namechk. It’s free, and it shows you both domain name availability and social media account availability.

This is pure gold for you and a very nice early win if you can move quickly and register your new brand name for the accounts crucial to you.

How to Use NameChk Service to Secure Your Branded Properties:

There are two ways to profit from NameChk.

First, you can use their list of sites they’re connected with to see what social media networks you should target for your brand.

Because they only partner with the most important ones, you clearly know you need to have your profile set up on those as a priority.

NameChk can help you secure your brand

Second- setting up dozens of profiles manually is hugely tedious works, and you could and should more prudent with your time usage.

There are more critical things you should be doing to grow your business!

However, securing your brand still need to be done because Google and YouTube are in love with brands and favor them with higher rankings.

So your second option is to let NameChk set up your profiles for a small fee.

I won’t talk about it here because this is not the place, but here’s the link if you want o check it out.

It’s totally worth it!

Frequently Asked Questions While Picking YouTube Channel Names

Why only four?

You’re right to ask me that.

There are many more questions you can ask.  But these four are crucial for you to understand;

My goal with this article is to quickly give you the essential info you need so you can then go and create your new channel and start posting videos.

Your channel won’t grow by its name alone. You need to feed it quality videos too.

#1- Does My YouTube Channel Name Really Matter That Much?

Of course, it does.

But you knew that already; otherwise, why would you be reading this article?

Your channel’s name is your brand’s name and your first touchpoint with potential viewers before they even click on the video’s thumbnail. You can use tools like Canva to create your thumbnail, cover, Youtube header, and other kinds of images.

It’s something folks will associate with you and your content.

As such, it is crucial to get it right. Relevant channel name, followed with enjoyable, helpful, instructive, and exciting videos, is a killer combination.

#2- Is YouTube Channel Name the Same as Channel URL?


Your channel name appears on:

  • your profile,
  • YouTube search
  • and videos themselves;

while your channel’s url is simply a random string of characters that YouTube’s platform dedicated to your channel.

It’s your channel’s id. And it looks ugly if you ask me,

YouTube channel name, and url

Fortunately, it is possible to get a custom/vanity YouTube url.

Just age your account to be 30 days old, and get at least 100 people to subscribe.

#3- Do YouTube Channel Names Have to be Unique?

No, they don’t, but if you want success, then they better be unique and memorable.

You want your channel to have a unique name because you want folks to recognize and remember it.

And If you make the mistake of naming your channel like something that already exists, people will confuse you with that other channel, and you will be fighting for precisely the same traffic.

And it’ll be a losing battle for sure as they will probably be an established channel, meaning more videos, more exposure, more subscribers, and more brand loyalty and recognition.

Also, the YouTube channel name can be branded and copyrighted, so you won’t be able to choose it even if you wanted to.

For example, do you think you could name your channel Coca-Cola?

Pro tip-  After you’ve settled on a name and before you’ve created your channel, do a quick YouTube search and see what comes up.

For example:

If you wanted to name your channel page as “MovieClips,” you could. Still, you’d face very stiff competition as there’s already an established and excellent channel with more than 29 million subscribers called “MovieClips.”

With overlapping topics, while you are new and they’re old, they’d win almost every time.

Moreover, if your name was different from theirs, you could compete and eventually overtake them in the YouTube SERPs.

#4- Should I Name My Channel After Myself?

This depends on whether you want your videos to promote your personal brand or your business.

Having a personal brand means you’ll be known by your own name, and your business will revolve around you.

Steve Pavlina's personal and branded channel

And if you’re in a kind of situation where you want your business to revolve around you, feel free to name your video after yourself.

On the other hand, if you’re a huge business, it might be better to make an established company’s channel to promote the business as a whole.

Take Google, for example:

Sergei Brin and Larry Page founded the search giant, but it’d be silly to name the channel “the Sergei and Larry show.”

Google is so much bigger than its two founders, and as such, they deserve and need an official Google YouTube channel.

And they have, not one, but several though personally, I like this one the best:

Google webmasters official YouTube channel

Bonus- use TubeBuddy to grow fast.

I admit, no article about any aspect of YouTube marketing is complete without sharing one technique for explosive growth on YouTube.

My pick for this post is using TubeBuddy.

It’s a free Chrome extension that can help you do efficient video SEO (to help people find your channel, after all, youtube is a search engine, too) and run an effective and long-term YouTube video strategy.

Its main features are:

  • Video thumbnail generator
  • Quick-edit toolbar
  • Scheduling Videos to be published
  • Publishing  native video on Facebook
  • Video topic planner
  • Sunset videos
  • Uploading checklists for essential points before you upload your videos
  • Scheduling Video updates
  • Advanced video embedding
  • End screen templates and card templates

Conclusion – Finding the right YouTube name was a daunting task for you… once.

But now, armed with the info from this article, you know what to do, again- right??

This guide’s sole aim is to help you choose a channel name, and I hope I’ve been able to help you with this article, the most complete guide on the web.

My final advice:

Set aside one hour of focused work and get it done.

Get the name that feels right and works for you; to build your brand and sustain your success for however long you want and need.

It is essential and possible to do.

What is your Youtube channels’ name?

Let me know with a comment below.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing some practical knowledge. Your guide is easily follow-able. I agree, Naming is such a crucial aspect of business, you shouldn’t rush and take time before making a decision.

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