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How Much Does It Cost to Start a YouTube Channel?

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If you’re thinking about starting a YouTube channel and wondering what it will cost to get started, your answers are in the startup cost chart below.

I have done extensive research and compiled these Youtube channel startup costs for my marketing clients and want to share it with you.

Here are the items needed and their costs to start your YouTube channel:

ItemLow CostAverage Cost
YouTube Account$0$0
Video Equipment$150$750
Editing Software$0$300
Graphic Program$0$50/mth
* Optional
Photo Studio rental
$500 day
** Needed if not owned
Internet Access & Computer
$50 /month internet access$400 Laptop computer

Continue reading my detailed startup cost list below which includes more information about the equipment required along with a price range from the cheapest (sometimes free) options to the average costs for cameras, microphones, lighting, editing software, and graphic programs.

Account YouTube Channel – $0

Obviously the first thing you need to do to start a YouTube channel is to open a YouTube account. Luckily there is no cost to open a YouTube account because it is a part of your free Google account.

To sign in to your YouTube account use your Google login credentials which are your Gmail email address and your password. I recommended to my client entrepreneurs that they set up a business Gmail account separate from their personal email address. Then you can brand your business email address with your company logo and professional signature.

The best way to promote your channel is to create a YouTube brand account which is a different name than your Google account. There is no cost for a brand account on YouTube.  This could be helpful if you want to give other people access to your YouTube account such as your video editor.

How to open a brand YouTube account support page

Internet Access & Computer – 0$- $400

Other equipment and services that you will need is a well-functioning computer and high-speed internet access.

This is vital because you will need a strong and stable bandwidth to upload large video files to YouTube. Your computer speed is critical because you will be running robust software programs for graphic design, sound editing, and video editing.

If you already have internet access and a serviceable computer there will be no additional cost for your video channel business venture. If however, you do not have these items the average laptop costs $350 and high-speed internet access is about $50 per month.

Studio – $0- $500

You will need a dedicated space to shoot your videos where you can set up your camera, lights and microphone properly. This could be in your home, your office, garage, or garden – all which cost zero.

Alternatively, you could rent a photography studio at an average cost of $500/day to shoot multiple videos using their professional set-up, which often includes green screens, seamless white backgrounds professional lighting, and high-end acoustics.

Video Equipment List -$150 to 750

In order to shoot videos that are correctly formatted, with accurate sound levels and look attractive to YouTube viewers who will need quality video equipment and devices.

Below I detail the four most important items required and give you suggestions price ranges.

Video Camera

The low-cost zero $0 startup cost way to start your YouTube channel is to use your smartphone – assuming that you own one that has a serviceable video camera such as an iPhone.

The next step up in budget is to purchase an inexpensive video camera for under $100. There are some highly-rated name brands such as Sony Cybershot DSC and the Canon Powershot which retail for under $100.

If your videos are going to be outdoor activities and sports-oriented consider getting a GoPro camera as your video camera which will cost you approximately $500.



One of the most critical pieces of equipment for quality video are good microphones. Even if your videos are beautifully visually if the sound is scratchy, or hard to hear, your visitors will click away from your videos.

In most cases, smartphones, laptops, and cameras audio quality is not acceptable for YouTube business videos. 

Tripod – Camera Stabilizer

A tripod camera is a vital and crucial piece of video equipment you will need for your video camera or smartphone. By stabilizing your recording device you will get a smooth-flowing video.

There are many types of tripods such as handheld, clip-on, selfie sticks, desktop models, and floor stands. Many bloggers the tripods which twist around objects to get interesting shots in tight places such as the GorillaPod which retails for under $60 on Amazon.

💡 MONEY SAVING TIP: If your startup budget is small you can make own DIY tripods from household items.


The next thing you need for great videos is good lighting.

Certainly, you could use natural light (which costs $0) by filming your videos outdoors or in front of a sunny window.

Another zero-cost way to get good lighting is to use your household lighting in creative designs. Check out these interesting ways to create professional video lighting from everyday items.

There are also many budget lighting options for under $50 available on various websites such as Amazon. My video business clients use this triple lighting kit with reflective umbrellas that costs under $60 on Amazon

If your budget allows, upgrade your lighting equipment to professional-grade with affordable light options reviewed by the experts at Adorma for under $200

Software Video Creation & Editing – $0-$300

The next thing you’ll need to create a truly effective YouTube video channel is software for editing creating animated intros.

Video Editing

The top 3 video editing programs cited by YouTube bloggers are iMovie (Free), Adobe Premiere Pro CC $20/month, and Final Cut Pro X one time purchase $300.

Using an editor is an important element of creating quality videos which allow you to color correct, add special effects, titles and transitions

Animations Intros

Create a brand-building animated intro to start all your videos. There are some free options such as Animaker and many low cost ones (under $50 per month) such as Renderforest, LightMV and IntroCave 

Graphic Video Thumbnail Creator

Having eye-catching and attractive thumbnails are an important part of marketing your YouTube channel.

As such you will want to use graphics software which will help you create stunning thumbnails for your videos. There are some free versions such as Canva and low-cost ones such as Adobe Spark and Snappa for under $25 per month. All of these are easy to use for non-graphic artists. 

Stock Video, Sound and Graphics

Stock Video and Photos

Many Vloggers purchase stock video and photos that they insert into their videos to make them more interesting and eye-catching.

You can get free video stock at Videvo and low-cost video footage that is royalty-free for $9/month at Shutterstock

Music Stock Audio Files

YouTube offers a full library of royalty-free Audio and Music files (including sound effects) to add tracks to your videos – for free. Here is how to get and use the audio files for free at YouTube Help Desk

YouTube Channel Art

To customize your home page you will want to create custom channel art. The easiest and cheapest way is to use a Youtube banner template from a quality graphic house such as Venngage $19/mth See this striking example from PopSugar Fitness below

Here is how to upload your images onto your channel page from Youtube help page

Advanced – SEO & Courses 

To further build your vlogging business consider investing in these advanced items:

YouTube SEO – $0-$190/mth

Use can use specialized tools to search for profitable keywords in Youtube such as for $190 per month. Getting your videos to rank better on Youtube will increase your organic views and thus your income. 

Alternatively, for free, you can do your own KW research by using the search engine inside of Youtube with these SEO techniques by Search Engine Land.

YouTube Marketing Course – $0

Check out the YouTube Creator Academy courses that are free!

YouTube offers beginner classes – The Quickstart Guide to YouTube and advanced classes such as Earn Money with Ads on YouTube.

The courses cover content strategy, video production, channel optimization plus policies, and guidelines. 

Another free, high-quality YouTube marketing course is offered by internet marketing experts at HubSpot

Hubspot course promises to teach you how to build your audience and your brand on YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine behind Google.

You will learn from YouTube influencers and experts how to create a successful YouTube channel, create engaging videos people want to share, optimize your videos for higher visibility, take advantage of YouTube SEO, get more video views and channel subscribers, and monetize your channel. Check out the free course at Hubspot here.

Launching a YouTube channel by becoming a vlogger can be an excellent way to make money online. There are many ways you can earn money from your YouTube channels such as ads, affiliate marketing, info products, brand sponsorships, and selling your consulting services.

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