6 Tips How to Make a Clickbait Thumbnail for YouTube

How to Make a Clickbait Thumbnail for YouTubeWhen the competition on YouTube is growing tremendously, vloggers need to find a way how to engage viewers to click on their videos if they will show up on the recommended videos section or will become visible on the search results.

To achieve it, you need to make a unique clickbait YouTube thumbnail for every single video. This strategy primarily works if you have less than 100k subscribers.

So, this article is all about how to create a clickbait YouTube thumbnail for YouTube videos.

What is a YouTube Thumbnail?

YouTube thumbnail is a picture shown as the main image of your video on the YouTube search console.

Usually, the YouTube platform offers you an automatically generated thumbnail from your video, but I would recommend skipping this offer and creating your thumbnail, which will generate you a lot of clicks in the future.

However, there are some opinions that clickbait could be harmful, but is it? Not at all.

Let me explain why:

The clickbait definition says that the main purpose of clickbait is to attract attention and encourage a visitor to click on your link or, in this case – a YouTube video.

As a result, an adequately created clickbait thumbnail for YouTube will boost your views in the future – people love emotion and mystery!

YouTube thumbnails

Essential Tips for Making Clickbait YouTube Thumbnail

There are 2 tips for creating clickbait thumbnails, and we will cover each other in detail.

1. Promising Clickbait

This type of clickbait thumbnail is created to give something valuable to your viewers. Usually, these thumbnails are created with a lot of icons, provocative text on them, promises, or even emojis.

These clickbait thumbnails oblige you to provide real value, so ensure that you have useful information for your viewers. Otherwise, it will be a one-time show, next time, this strategy will not work.

Promising clickbait could sound and look like this:

  • This is how to make $10.000
  • The proven strategy of how I reached 10000 followers in 3 days

You got it, correct?

2. Informational Clickbait

This type of clickbait is my favorite. By adding and creating that type of clickbait, you are saying: “Hey, I will give you real value for what you are looking for.”

For example:

Usually, people create well-painted and designed thumbnails with text like: “TOP 10…”, “Best….” etc. These words are called modifiers. Try to use these in your thumbnail text, and you will see that it converts really well.

How to Make a Good Clickbait YouTube Thumbnail?

Vloggers and YouTubers believe that creating good clickbait thumbnails requires additional graphic design knowledge, or at least you should be a master with a PhotoShop.

Well, not really.

You can create a fantastic clickbait thumbnail for YouTube videos just in 15 minutes with one simple tool – Canva.

Canva is a free tool with some advanced and paid features, but it is more than enough to use the free version for thumbnails.

Here is how it works:

  • Register on the platform canva.com and click on the right side, “create a design.”
  • You will find already prepared designs for YouTube thumbnails for 1280×720 pixel resolution, or you could try to use custom HD dimensions for 1920×1080 pixels (I recommend selecting this option).
  • After you click on the favorite selection, you will be navigated to the designer page. Here you can quickly moderate already created design templates or to create a brand new for your channel.

Furthermore, you can easily add your images, find more than 1000+ graphic elements, text fonts, and backgrounds. To my mind, it is one of the best and easiest tools for everyone because it will not take much time for you to create a good clickbait thumbnail for YouTube.

In general, it will take less than 30 minutes to become a Canva expert, and finally, we are set up.

If you are searching for more information on how to use Canva, I recommend checking some related videos.

How to Make YouTube Thumbnails using CANVA - Tutorial

If you are not interested in Canva, well: 

Design Wizard is another great tool that allows you to make high-quality thumbnails for YouTube videos. This can be done quickly and easily with easy-to-use software.


We know how to start and where to create a thumbnail for YouTube, time to start working. We have for you the most critical six tips on how to create a good thumbnail for YouTube videos.

1. Images Quality

The first rule you should follow when you want to create amazing clickbait YouTube thumbnails – always to use good quality images. Needless to say that if your image quality is low, it is impossible to make a decent clickbait thumbnail at all.

YouTube thumbnail size: 1280×720 pixels

YouTube guidelines say that your image size at least should be 1280×720 pixels with a minimum width of 640 pixels. The required aspect of the ratio is 16:9.

This fits the best because it is being used mostly in YouTube players and previews.

Despite this, I would recommend creating even bigger thumbnails just for one reason, which is very important nowadays.

Small thumbnails don’t have good quality when your videos are embedded on the website, or the link to your video was shared through social media platforms like Facebook.

As a result, we recommend creating thumbnails for Full HD resolutions, which is 1920×1080 pixels.

Here’s the deal:

Find the image which could be adjusted without losing pixels to the bigger thumbnail size. In this case, you will avoid a blurred thumbnail.

2. Create Your Thumbnail Style

When you create clickbait thumbnails for the YouTube channel, don’t forget to figure out your style.

You might be wondering:

How should I do it?

There are many good examples on YouTube about the style of Thumbnails and how they should look. Long story short – the style of the thumbnail consists of 3 main parts:

  • Topic
  • Text font
  • Image style

Try to create a few styles with Canva and check which fits and summarizes your YouTube video best.

3. Pick a Right Image

It doesn’t matter will you use your own picture or if will you take it from the internet. Just make sure to use a strongly related picture with your video content.


Don’t steal images from the Google search console. Better try to use free image libraries like pexels.com and there you will find tons of pictures for every topic on your video. If you are a user of Canva, you could take any images from there for free.

3.1 Benefits of Using Your Photo

Of course, you can take a picture of yourself with the camera and use it for the thumbnail. It converts well because you reveal your face and the potential viewer will know more about you just before the video starts.

Apart from this, if the viewer will not click on your video, he still will know your face next time. There is a rule which says that most of the time, people remember other people from their faces. Show your face as long as you can, and it helps to build your brand and YouTube channel.

Select the picture of the YouTube thumbnail

Source: Matt Haapoja YouTube video

4. Add the Intriguing Text

The text is the most crucial part of creating a good thumbnail for YouTube videos.

Try to add intriguing text with the right selected font, but don’t forget the important rule – avoid misleading information.

If the viewer will notice that your YouTube videos don’t provide and give promised content, he will probably stop watching you and could unfollow in the future. That’s how YouTube works.

Intriguing tex for YouTube thumbnail

Source: John Crestani YouTube video

5. Use Emojis

Emojis for YouTube ThumbnailsAs I said previously, emojis play a massive role in how people react to a particular thing or content.

The emoji on the thumbnail will add additional emotion for the person and encourage him to click on your video and check what it is all about.

On the other hand, don’t add too many emojis as well; otherwise, your YouTube video will look very unprofessional and childish.

6. Take Care of Image Brightness and Color

It doesn’t matter how good a clickbait thumbnail you made if the color and brightness will be inappropriate.

If you want to make a successful YouTube thumbnail, you have to make sure that the subjects and the background will not hurt your potential viewer’s eyes.

A lot of people are clicking on YouTube videos because of the well-designed thumbnail, so manage color very carefully, don’t add unnecessary effects, filters, or colors.

Your thumbnail should look very simple but also professional at the same time. Generally, it’s not hard to make it. Just check some good examples of how the best clickbait thumbnails look like.

Examples of Good-Looking Thumbnails on YouTube

I took a few examples from 2 YouTubers’ channels to show how do we imagine a perfect thumbnail. They match all requirements we listed on how good thumbnails should look.

Don’t copy them, but you can use similar components, and you will see how this will give additional viewers a boost.

These thumbnails might not be created for clickbait, but these are perfect examples of how you should grow your channel.

1. Perfectly designed and self-branded YouTube thumbnails from the backlinko.com owner Brian Dean YouTube channel.

Backlinko.com YouTube thumbnails

Source: Brian Dean YouTube Channel

2.  Another perfect example of how you should keep thumbnail branding and structure – Matthew Santoro’s YouTube Channel.

Matthew Santoro YouTube Channel

Source: Matthew Santoro YouTube Channel

Should I Use YouTube Clikcbait Thumbnail Generator?

A lot of people are searching for clickbait thumbnail generators for YouTube videos, and they believe that it helps.

Here’s the deal:

Never use any YouTube clickbait thumbnail generator.

  • First of all, it takes from 10 to 15 minutes to create personalized, unique, and well-prepared thumbnail by yourself.
  • Secondly, generators will never create an enjoyable and attractive thumbnail, which will give you additional boosts and value for your channel.
  • Third, there are thousands of people who are using these generators. Do you want to have the same thumbnail with a different text for your videos like half of YouTube creators?

Will a Clickbait Thumbnail Boost My Video Views Number?

That’s a good question. I would say that the primary purpose of having a great and well-designed YouTube thumbnail is channel branding, which leads to additional clicks and views for sure.

To my mind, good clickbait thumbnails, which are wholly branded and deliver what it is promised, could increase the click rate on your YouTube videos by 100%. As a result your video views also increase.

Don’t be lazy to spend an extra 15 to 20 minutes creating a good-looking and attractive thumbnail before uploading your video on YouTube.

If you have any questions about how to create a clickbait thumbnail for the YouTube channel, feel free to contact us or write a comment below!

Glen Beker

Glen Beker

I am Glen and I’m a 100% tech-addicted guy, Blogger, Video Editor and Entrepreneur. I spent a lot of my time learning how to properly edit videos, I've tested a lot of vlogging equipment and now with my team, I share all these tips with you.