How to Upload a YouTube Video. Step by step guide on uploading a great… | by AP White | Jan, 2021


Step by step guide on uploading a great video to YouTube

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Uploading a Video more than 15 minutes long

First up, it’s worth noting that if you are intending to upload a video that is more than 15 minutes long, you will need to verify your YouTube account before you are allowed to do this. You can do this by ensuring you are logged into the channel you wish to verify, and then go to — you will be prompted to enter a mobile number that you will send a text verification code to, or it will phone you and you will need to enter the verification code that is read out to you on the call. Once your channel is successfully verified, you will then be able to upload videos that are longer than 15 minutes long as well as gain access to other YouTube features. Each YouTube channel will need it’s own verification, even if multiple channels are held under the same Google account, and you can only verify two channels per year per phone number.

Uploading your first video

Once you are ready to upload your first video, head to the YouTube homepage and click the ‘CREATE’ button in the top right hand corner. Choose ‘Upload Video’ from the two options that appear in the drop down.

Video Details

You will see there are three menu items at the top of the pop-up: Details, Video Elements and Visibility. We’ll cover all of them in this guide, but this section refers to the first tab — Details

  • Tags let you add keywords that are relevant to your video. Tags used to be useful for videos to help them rank better in YouTube search and recommendations, but they are no longer a ranking factor so are hidden in here. Tags are now useful only if you have words that are commonly misspelt, to ensure that people can still find your video in search. Separate each tag by a comma.
  • Language, subtitles and closed captions (CC) lets you upload a subtitle file for your video if you have one, which will appear as captions on the video. It’s good for a professional video, or videos where there is music on top of someone speaking, but in most cases YouTube is brilliant at auto captions.
  • Recording date and location lets you select the date and location that the video was recorded, if relevant.
  • License and Distribution lets you choose whether the video is a standard YouTube license (which is what you want in most cases) or Creative Commons. Be warned that if you select Creative Commons, you are giving people permission to use your video in their own content on a third party website, but they will need to provide you with attribution, as in a link back to your content. This is used commonly for music that other YouTube creators can use in their content.
  • Below that you can choose whether or not to Allow Embedding which means the video can or can not be added into a third party website using a HTML embed code. And Publish to subscriptions feed and notify subscribers which I don’t know why you’d ever want to deselect that.
  • You can choose a Category that your video will be added to, although again it’s not much of a ranking factor. It is worth adding it to the Gaming category however if your video is about a certain video game, as it will be picked up by YouTube and appear under the content for that game in YouTube Gaming, which can help bring more traffic to your videos. If you select Gaming, you will be able to enter the title of the game if you wish.
  • Finally you can choose to disable or enable Comments and Ratings on the video being uploaded.

Video Elements

Now we move on to the second tab at the top of the pop-up, Video Elements. This section is for adding end screens or cards to your video content in order to promote certain things during or at the end of your content.


We’re now onto the third and final tab at the top of the pop-up: Visibility. This section helps you to let YouTube know about whether your video is public, private or set it up as a premiere.

  • Unlisted means that the video is hidden from YouTube Search and from your channel, but people who have the URL to your video will still be able to view it. This is common for things like how-to videos embedded on third party websites, so creators can more clearly see statistics based around how that video is performing on their website, as the video would rarely be watched on YouTube itself.
  • Public means that the video will appear in YouTube search and third party search engines including Google. It will also appear on your channel and your subscribers will be notified that the new video is available and will appear in their subscriptions page. This is the most common option for creators. You can also set it up as an Instant premiere, meaning the first run through of the video will play as a live event, and it will automatically turn into a normal YouTube video after that first play through is complete. More on YouTube premieres in another article — be sure to follow me on Medium for that.


If you have chosen to make the video live now using the Save or Publish section, the button on the bottom right corner of the popup will say Publish. Click this to make the video live and your video upload is complete.

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