How to Choose an Awesome YouTube Username for Your Channel

Updated on May 5, 2016

So, you've decided to start a YouTube channel. Everything is new and exciting, and video ideas seem to just keep flowing endlessly into your mind. However, soon enough you hit a speed bump called the "Enter Username Bar". That incessantly blinking cursor seems to be mocking you and making your mind go blank.

'This should be easy,' you're probably thinking, 'I'll just use my nickname!'

Unfortunately, there are billions of users on YouTube, and some of these users have multiple channels, also. When you think you've got the perfect username, you may be frustrated to discover that your awesome, unique username has already been thought up by someone else!

Never fear. You are truly unique, and there's a reason why you're creating a YouTube channel: because you believe that you have something special to give to other people, whether it's advice, laughs, and/or criticism. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, and follow these tips.

For some, creating a username is a snap. For others, well.... it looks sorta like this.
For some, creating a username is a snap. For others, well.... it looks sorta like this. | Source

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Tip #1: Step AWAY from the computer.

All sorts of thoughts may be running through your mind while staring at that bar: panic, frustration, indifference, confusion... neither of these is better than the others. If you're panicking or frustrated, you'll type in something random, and will wonder later on, 'Why the heck did I pick THIS?' If you're indifferent, people will be able to tell that you don't really care about your channel and will keep it moving to someone else's channel. When you're confused, you won't be able to make the best judgments about your own identity, and your username won't properly express who you really are.

Get away from your computer screen and chair. While a gem might not come to you automatically, relaxing will allow you to get your mind in the proper mindset to make good decisions you'll be proud of later. Go do your dishes, or take out the trash. While you're doing chores around your house, let any emotions roll off your shoulders and calmly think about potential usernames.

Tip #2: Write down things that make "you".

While your channel may be about something other than yourself, it's still YOUR channel. Why should little Timmy want to watch your cooking channel and not Bobby Smith's cooking channel? You've got to put a piece of yourself into your username, even if it's not all about you because most people who watch YouTube are attracted to (or repelled by) the people behind the channels, whether they like it or not.

Sit at your computer and open up Notepad, and start typing a bunch of things that make you who are you are. Describe your personality! Write down words that tell about your love for your hobbies. Describe what sets you apart from others, or your most attractive features. Before you know it, you'll have a list full of things that will keep viewers coming back for more!

What does THAT mean?

When generating your list of qualities and descriptors, try not to use words that others can't spell or even pronounce. While using "big" words may seem clever, it will probably put people off and make it hard for others to remember your channel. You want others to tell their friends about your channel, not to have it known as "that one channel with the Q word".

Tip #3: Write down "prototype" names.

These aren't permanent, so have fun with making potential usernames. Think outside the box! Using the list you created earlier as a brainstorming tool, think of a catchy username that will:

1. Describe your channel's main topic

2. Tell people about you

3. Let people know what to expect

4. Set you apart from the others

Don't worry yet about making your username short and/or perfect. This tip is just to give you ideas about usernames that will possibly lead to other ideas about other usernames. When you've generated a huge list, choose your favorite ten, then whittle that list down to five or so, and then three.

Tip #4: Make your username choices catchy and condensed.

No one is going to remember, "JACKGAMINGFOREVER2013DABEST". Try to say the most that you can with the fewest amount of words possible. If you need to, use a thesaurus and research more simple words that may have slipped your mind earlier.

Things that work well with creating catchy usernames:

  • Alliteration
  • Rhyming
  • Rhythm
  • Play on Your Name's Meaning
  • Cuteness
  • Boldness
  • Extreme descriptors (ex: "psychotic", "remarkable", "extreme")
  • Capitalizing certain words/letters

Tip #5: Use a "channel" word.

Nowadays, more people seem to watch YouTube more than cable television. YouTube channels are like episodes in a TV series! Your first "episode" is probably an introduction (or a "pilot" episode), and your second may be a tutorial of some sort.

If you're coming up dry for ideas, play off of being broadcast to viewers. Your name plus the words "'s world", "TV", "-vision", "channel", "telly", "video", or "tube" are some possibilities.

Tip #6: Make a short, sweet, catchy nonsense name.

While a five-letter channel name may not adequately describe your channel to the fullest, it sure is easy to remember! If you've got a nickname that no one in the universe has, sell it! Also, this tip works very well if your username is fun to say. Short, sweet, catchy usernames are fun to repeat, fun to share, fun to type, and will stick in your viewers' heads--whether they like it or not.

Where are you from?

A "greeting" username can quickly identify where you're from if you use a dialect that only people from your area use. If you're from Australia, your username can have something like "g'day" in it, or if you speak French, your username can have "bonjour" in it!

Tip #7: Make a username from your viewers' point of view.

This seems kind of strange, but think about Hello Kitty. It's catchy, sweet, and we're totally in love with her decades after she was born.

For your channel, think of something a viewer would say to you. Would they say, "konnichiwa"? Would they say, "Heya, heya"? Put your own name (or nickname) after a greeting for a cute and easy username. This tip may be a bit much for a shy YouTube user, but you can fake confidence if you need to! There are many viewers who are attracted to lovable, confident, big sis or big bro-type YouTube personalities.

Tip #8: Don't use x's or lots of numbers.

Unfortunately, people don't like to have to say a complicated username to their friends when they're describing a great channel. For example, "I've been watching xXBilly65GamingBrosXx all weekend!" will probably never be said out loud, and typing it won't be too much easier.

If you discover that your username has already been taken, don't try to make up for it by adding a bunch of "unique" symbols and numbers. Keep it simple to read and say!

Tip #9: Flexibility is a good thing.

Unless you know EXACTLY what you're going to make your channel about for all time and know that you're never ever going to stray from the same type of videos, don't be too specific. If your channel is going to be more general with ranging topics, make your title about yourself mostly and not about your hobbies.

If you put "crochet" in your title but want to start doing videos about hair and makeup, people are probably not going to come back to your channel for those videos because they think that all you do is crochet.


Submit a Comment

  • NornsMercy profile image

    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Danny - sounds catchy and easy to remember! What's your channel about?

  • profile image

    danny 3 years ago

    hey i thought of a user name and its RunningRampage is it any good?

  • NornsMercy profile image

    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @ravenrage07 -- I wish they'd give us ONE chance to change our screen names! That would be cool. :) Thanks for reading and following, I appreciate it!

  • ravenrage07 profile image

    John Fox 3 years ago from Richmond, VA

    I wish I read this before I chose my username for all my profiles. I go by Johnny Z Fox now but I can't change most of my profiles. Oh well thanks for the hub! Voted up and following now!

  • TarrinLupo profile image

    Tarrin Lupo 3 years ago from Peterborough NH

    I wish I had read this years ago before I named mine, thanks for the tips.

  • NornsMercy profile image

    Chace 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @rohanfelix -- Awesome! Let me know what you come up with! :)

  • rohanfelix profile image

    Rohan Rinaldo Felix 4 years ago from Chennai, India

    Very interesting points there... Voted up and useful... I'll do the exercise of sitting down and making a list of my attributes and try to come up with a name for the channel I'm going to start...

  • NornsMercy profile image

    Chace 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @josters -- Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. :) (I appreciate the follow and fan mail as well!)

  • josters profile image

    Janik D 4 years ago from Dresden, Germany

    Very good guide and Hub. These techniques are useful for a lot of things where you have to come up with creative names, e.g. a band name. I like to play around with my own name, combine letters of name and surname in order to create a unique name that presents my identity at the same time...Voted up.

  • NornsMercy profile image

    Chace 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    I know that feeling. I sorta... "panic" beforehand and wind up with a name like... Norns Mercy... lol, just kidding. ....sorta. :)

  • aa lite profile image

    aa lite 4 years ago from London

    This is very useful, not just for other channels but whenever you need a username. I have to say I am hopeless at picking them. Mainly because I don't spend enough time thinking about it, I just want to get into writing stuff.

  • NornsMercy profile image

    Chace 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    Thank you for reading and sharing :D I really appreciate it!

  • CarlySullens profile image

    CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    These are really great ideas. I am always looking for good ideas when trying to create a user name. Voted up and shared.