20 Rules YouTubers Need To Follow

YouTube has a lot of guidelines for how to use its service.

Social media has become a very important part of our lives. People are now consuming more data than ever before whether it is in the form of text, audio, or video. Despite everything, however, video is the most popular among all these simply because people enjoy experiencing things visually. Platforms like YouTube have now allowed average people to create their own content and then present it to other people using the platform. It is currently the second most visited website in the world right after Google itself, which is the parent company of YouTube.

In simple words, YouTube is a very big platform for anyone who wants to interact with the outside world. It is a community of people from all over the world who want to share their talent, knowledge, and skills with others for entertainment or teaching purposes but, just like everything else in the world, there are some rules that every YouTuber who joins the community must follow because without order, there is always chaos. So, whether you're considering a career as a YouTube content creator or are already popular on the platform, this list of rules that every YouTuber needs to follow will definitely come in handy is worth a read.

20 Avoid Buying Views Through Third-Party Services

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As a creator, it is very important for you to promote your content and channel because by doing this, you will get views and on YouTube, views matter the most. It is the only way through which any creator can earn money. More views mean more money; however, it might not always be as easy as it seems. There are many companies that may contact you to offer help in promoting your content but, it is not always good as paying someone for obtaining views could be a violation of YouTube’s terms and it may get your channel suspended. This only happens because according to YouTube, you cannot force someone to watch your content. So, if you are going to contact someone for promoting your videos, be sure to know how they're going to work because it will be your channel that pays the price.

19 Do Not Impersonate Another Channel

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Impersonation is a term used to describe a person who tries to copy someone for entertainment or fraud. YouTube impersonation is defined as an activity which includes copying someone in any way. If a person tries to copy another channel then it will be considered harassment by YouTube and that account will be removed from the website permanently. The act of impersonation does not apply to channels use to represent a business but, in any case, if you want to submit a legal complaint to YouTube, use reporting forms. Impersonation on YouTube can happen in two ways, channel impersonation, and individual impersonation so it is important to keep both of those in mind.

18 Don’t Publish Anything Hateful

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YouTube provides a platform for sharing ideas and opinions for each and every user, and they respect your opinion but, in some cases, it does not support content that promotes outright aggression against one person or a group. There is a very thin line between what should and what should not be listed as this kind of content. For example, if your content promotes threats then your content crossed the line and YouTube can act on your videos and also viewers can report your video.

17 Include Multiple Authentic Sources In Your Video

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An easier way to make your content more unique and interesting is by using different sources and authentic references in your videos. If you lean on one single resource, it may lead you to copyright strike. Keep in mind that never stop giving credit where it is owed. It is a very big mistake made by many creators, they claim to own the content all by themselves but it’s very wrong we all know we cannot do anything without the internet these days. So, always credit the owner if you took help from them. One more thing if your video falls in the informative category and you are in doubts that what you should add then always go for facts and figures.

16 Firearms Are Not Allowed

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The first priority of any business is to keep its customer safe and respect their rights by all means necessary. Similarly, YouTube also does not allow any content that features firearms which can hurt its viewers. More specifically, they do not allow content that aims to sell firearms through any medium. Any other content which includes instructions on manufacturing or assembling of any kind of firearm or ammunition is also strictly prohibited. If any viewer, as well as YouTube, finds that your video is violating this policy, they can easily report your video by flagging it.

15 Always Hide Personal Information

Via tubefilter.com

Since the birth of the Internet, the privacy of its users was one of the biggest issues and it still is which is why companies like Google try their best to keep the privacy of their users secure. Google pretty much allows people to report any content that might be violating their privacy, removing any such content in the process. YouTube which is also one of the services offered by Google wants every one of its viewers to feel safe when they are on the website. This is why the company actively encourages viewers to let them know if any video or comment had leaked a person’s privacy.

14 Understand Your Role As A Creator On YouTube

via: YouTube.com (Panser)

YouTube is a very big community of users from all over the world and creators are the core part of that community. YouTube confirms that all policies are clear and creators have full power to use them for their effective response in the YouTube community. There are some set of rules which provides a path around what you can upload, share, and monetize on YouTube. Moreover, YouTube allows every creator to share their ideas because every creator on YouTube is unique and contributes to the development of YouTube, however, if a creator tries to harm the YouTube community, they may lose access to creator privileges and benefits as well as become ineligible for AdSense and trending for a long period of time.

13 Keep Your Video Quality Good And Detailed

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Why do we watch videos? We watch them because they speak to us and we understand what we listen and see more than what we read. A good quality video attracts viewers and binds them to your channel since naturally they would want more of it and in return making them visit your channel frequently and as a result, setting up a solid base for your channel. You should always provide your viewers with good quality content. This will allow you to achieve more traffic, more connections, and more revenue opportunities. Also, do not forget to include subtitles as we all know YouTube is a universal platform and people from all over the world may view your content.

12 Do Have Limits On What You Show

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Since YouTube is a video hosting platform first, people try to upload all sorts of content on there so it is usually expected that some of these videos may contain stuff too intense for the little ones. Of course, the difference between real and fictional goes a long way. If any video is graphic or disturbing then you should add context and metadata to make it clear for any users trying to access it. On the other hand, dramatized violence is much like movies and TV shows which also includes content that is startling in nature, but it is still considered fiction.

11 Inactive Accounts Can Be Reclaimed By YouTube

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Every time someone decides to sign up with YouTube’s creator program, they are expected to be active members within the YouTube community. Every creator should log on to their account every now and then because if an account is found to be inactive for more than six months, then that account will be reclaimed by YouTube without any notice and the owner of the account may end up losing their work as well as their revenue. Inactivity is also considered when the user stops participating in activities such as viewing videos or commenting on the published video content. This rule is not only applicable to creators but also to the average users.

10 Make Use Of Metadata To Provide Context

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Metadata is defined as data about data. It is an overview of your content. It is divided into four categories, namely video title, description, tags, and comments. It helps viewers find your videos when they search for something on YouTube. If you want to have the best experience, do follow the guidelines that YouTube has provided for you. Keep in mind that this is the best method for making your viewers understand the importance of your videos and also to explain the purpose of your video, especially if the content is difficult to watch. It will also help YouTube to make the best possible decision if your video ends up being flagged for any purpose.

9 Avoid Misleading Your Subscribers

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Spam and misleading refer to unnecessary and additional information provided about a video. This includes title, description, thumbnail, comments, tags, etc. and everyone hates spam and misleading content. YouTube is continuously working day and night to keep the website free of spam and misleading content simply because it cannot compromise its high level of trust that was built between them and the viewers. Misleading content often also refers to artificially increasing likes and views for your content. Either way, if your content is found to be in a violation of YouTube policies, it may result in video deletion or account termination.

8 Artificial Subscribers Are Not Allowed

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Picking up subscribers and gaining success on YouTube is difficult. Some creators try to achieve success through shortcuts called artificial or coordinated exchanges. YouTube believes that the only legal way of growing your channel is by creating quality content that tempts viewers to subscribe to your channel. Some creators try Sub4Sub which is prohibited by YouTube. Sub4Sub is similar to S4S use on Facebook. Creators who propose such exchanges risk losing subscriber numbers. They may also receive a strike or even having their channel terminated. However, this does not mean that YouTube does not allow any creator to subscribe to a friend’s channel or vise-versa and it is also fine to ask viewers to subscribe to your channel.

7 Read Up On Any Company Asking For A Promotion

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Today many companies build up their business by selling services which are related to YouTube. Some of them help the creator directly while others provide tools to manage content and promise to provide views for your videos. A view of any video should only be a result of the pure choice of the viewer to watch any video, not as a result of a contract with any kind of third-party company or tool. Either way, YouTube will take strict action against your video and it will be taken down without a notice. YouTube cannot promise any of these services to be legal and so it is important to read up on a company before you take up their offer.

6 Familiarize With Rules Of YouTube Partner Program

via youtube.com (HikePlays)

YouTube Partner Programs let creators monetize their content to make YouTube their source of income. YPP includes advertisements of different ads on your content which earns you money. Recently, YouTube has changed the eligibility criteria to the sign in for YPP. According to the new requirements, every creator must reach 4,000 watch hours and 1,000 subscribers in 12 months. This was done to get rid of the many fake and low-quality channels on the platform. You can easily apply for YPP once you fulfill YouTube’s requirements and then it is only a matter of producing good and engaging content so that you can have a steady income stream.

5 Know YouTube’s Content ID Matching System Policies

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This rule is only available for YouTube partners who use Content ID. It is a system which is used by Rightful owners to identify and manage their content on YouTube. Only the owner has the rights to decide what happens when any content matches the work they own. Whenever someone claims a video, the policy that YouTube applies on that video depends on the claim. There are three main policies that YouTube can use when a claim is made which are default usage policy, content ID claim and default matching policy, all of which are defined by the owner. There are some situations in which more than one claim on a video can be made by different creators. In that situation, YouTube applies whichever policy results in the most restrictive action.

4 Avoid Posting Videos That Might Lead To Bad Behavior

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YouTube strictly prohibits creators from posting content that encourages others to do things that might cause them any harm. Any video that shows such harmful content may get age-restricted or removed depending on the severity of the act. The very recent Tide Pod challenge fits this definition perfectly. Any video that illustrates a dangerous act may only be allowed if the purpose behind it is education, documentary or awareness. YouTube is very sensitive to any kind of content which could harm their viewers especially minors. So, do not post anything that either shows a minor participating in harmful activities or inspires them to go out and try such an act on their own.

3 Learn How To Grow Your Channel The Right Way

via youtube.com (SSSniperWolf)

According to Social Media Examiner, you pretty much require 15 basic rules to grow your channel on YouTube. Even if the platform recently changed its policy about monetization, you can still earn so much from it. The first and most basic rule for the growth of your channel is to develop a plan and follow it and make yourself post multiple time per week. Follow a workflow; choose content that you can create easily on a regular basis since that is what brings people back for more. Always show the results first if your video contains any tutorial and use catchy intros and outros but keep them short. Similarly, if you follow all the rules, you will see your channel grow in no time.

2 Avoid Encouraging Others For “Terms Of Services” Violation

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As we discuss earlier, once someone joins the creators’ program, they must follow each and every policy that YouTube has put in place. YouTube policies also mention that if any creator tries to seduce or encourage viewers to violate any of the platform’s terms and services via their content, they may find their account penalized and content removed. In the worst-case scenario, your account may be terminated because there is a very thin line between things that should be done and should not be done on YouTube. It is highly suggested to keep these little things in mind if you plan on working towards becoming a content creator on YouTube.

1 Avoid Plagiarism At All Costs

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Copyright is a legitimate contract which represents the rights of creators in their content. This content can include books, music, paintings, and films, etc. It is a very big and one of the most important parts of YouTube policy. Whenever you post something on the platform, you must keep in mind that the content should not belong to someone or you will get a content id claim in which case the owners can either block or allow your content, depending on whatever their policy of dealing with copyright infringement is. In the case on monetization, any money made on a claimed video will go to the original owner of the content.

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