(Note: This is an older post. YouTube has changed the way your background looks. But the idea is the same. Customization is critical to helping you stand out online.)

So here’s a question. If your best potential client went to your YouTube channel right now, what kind of impression would they get of you, of your business? Even if you don’t expect your video to win an academy award, when it’s on the web, a lot of how a video is judged is based on what surrounds it. You know, the text, the page design, even the typography.

And when your videos are seen on YouTube, it’s all about the look of the channel. So it’s smart to have a well-optimized, professional-looking channel; one that reflects your company values and brand. So before you optimize it for traffic, you might want to optimize its look. Now, YouTube can’t help you do that, but fortunately they give you a convenient way to make  your channel look almost exactly the way you want.

Let’s see how to do it.


Download: The YouTube Background Template  (note: this is a jpg file. The psd file would be too large for this space, but you can use the dimensions provided to make your own!)

Yet Another Treat!
Once your channel is optimized, you’ll want those videos to be engaging, right? Well, our free series on doing awesome greenscreen videos is almost finished. We’ve released 2 out of the 3 videos. If you haven’t already, you can just hop over here to watch the first one.

    20 replies to "Why Customize Your YouTube Background?"

    • Allison Rapp

      Steve, I love how easy you make it! Not only does it LOOK easy, but when you give us not only the info, but the template, it’s just about irresisitible! Now all I have to do it finish the changes to my website, so that I can get the same look!

    • admin

      What do you mean, “just about” irresistible? LOL.
      Seriously though, I’m glad you found it helpful!

    • Sergio Felix

      Hey Steven,

      Thank you for the size proportions and the Pixlr reference.

      I’m going to try this myself since my channel looks a bit dull (I DO have a background in place but it’s way too boring lol)


      • admin

        Thanks, Sergio. Have fun!

    • Matt

      That is a helpful video Steve. Just one thing the template is a .pdf – how am I supposed to use it with pixlr? That only seems to allow me to upload images.

      • admin

        Whoops. Thanks for letting me know. I changed it to a JPG file so you can upload it now.

    • Michael

      Great video Steve thanks 😉

      Q. How do you get the videos in a single column like they are on the finished channel at the end of the video?

      • admin

        Just select “Feed” instead of “Videos” or “Featured”.

    • Anne

      Okay, this is awesome!!! Thank you for the information and the template. I went right to work on it and love it! You rock!

      • Steve

        Fantastic Anne! I love it when the directions actually work…

    • Jessica Reed

      Hmm… I tried this, but I get a lot less empty space on the sides than I see in your video. The background gets cut off in both my channel and yours.

      I posted some screen shots at:
      http://www.taktaba.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/JessicasYouTube.tiff (mine)
      http://www.taktaba.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/StevensYouTube.tiff (yours)

      Could this be sensitive to the viewer’s resolution?

      • admin

        Perhaps it is. Also, because the YouTube player takes up so much room, you have to pull your browser open more to see the whole graphic. This is true of everyone’s graphics on YouTube. If you wanted it to take up only the default space, you probably wouldn’t create a graphic in the first place.

        By the way, Jess, as a member of Audience Builder’s Blueprint you have access to the original YouTube channel creation graphics with layers and the full-length video on how to put it together, so just log back in to ABB and grab that resource!

    • Matt Eve

      Hi Steve, We followed your instructions and just created this for one of our new sites http://www.youtube.com/chefknives

      As you say how it looks does depend on the users screen resolution but there isn’t much you can do about that.

      Thanks again for you tips,


      • Steve

        Super job, Matt! Yes, it does depend on the user’s settings and how big they have their browser open, but having text tempts them to open it up wider.

        It’s only missing one teeny-tiny thing now – some videos 🙂
        Time make your move. You can link to other’s videos until you get your own up.

    • Matt Eve

      Ha ha, yes you caught the channel with no videos. We’ve added a couple now http://www.youtube.com/chefknives.

      • admin

        Ah, much better. You’re on your way! 🙂

    • Howard

      Hey Steve…what’s the approximate width of the items in the right and left sidebar of the template, like the photos or logos? I tried to eyeball it and didn’t get anywhere close. Thanks.

      • admin

        From 100 – 200 pixels wide is about right.

    • Howard

      Thanks. I was guesstimating around 350px.

      What about the text (marketing pitch, website, name and title)? Is it really text (if so how to format in Pixlr?) or is it an image imported into the template?

      Sorry for all the questions. I’m a slow learner, but persistent. Thanks.


      • admin

        No problem, Howard. Have you ever used Skitch? Download it for free and use it to capture a section of the graphic at 100%. Then you’ll be able to read the exact dimensions.

        And yes, the text ultimately becomes part of the whole graphic file.

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