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With over 50 million people creating YouTube videos each year and 5 billion videos watched each day, you might be thinking - I can do that! But how do you get started?
Read on to learn how you can make money creating your YouTube Channel.
How much money can you make on YouTube?
The income-earning capacity of YouTube and the fact that you can film your videos right from your cell phone has made many ordinary people ‘YouTube Famous’ and millionaires.
The top earner for 2019, earned $26 million, and it is an 8-year-old kid and his mom! Check out Ryan Kaji’s channel and get inspired to make your own.
Even as a side hustle, YouTube earnings can really add up. For 1,000,000 views, the average earnings can be from $2,000 to $4,000 per video. A tightly held YouTube secret, the amount of money you can earn will vary based on watch time, subscribers, non-subscribers, video views, advertising and more.
How to Decide on Your YouTube Channel topic
If you have a skill, consider sharing that knowledge on your channel. Creating crafts, sharing workouts or playing video games are topics people can make a living from on YouTube.
You don’t need to be an expert on your topic. Viewers don’t just want to see videos from people who know it all. Learning alongside someone, or learning the pitfalls of specific techniques can be entertaining and informative. Another great way to engage viewers is by doing product reviews. You will see several influencers reviewing various products on their channels, from makeup tutorials to assembling Ikea furniture and everything in between. There are hours of videos on product reviews in the influencer marketing world.
Videos need to do at least one of these three things to engage an audience:
Check out Peter Oakley - the first YouTube creator to reach 25,000 subscribers.
YouTube thrives on ordinary people talking about their lives and going about their day. It may help to think of one person who will watch your video - give them a name and think about what kind of things they may want to know. When you are recording, think about that person.
Topics to consider and YouTube creators to inspire you:
- A hobby you are learning, such as Gardening - Garden Up
- An interest you would consider yourself an expert in - Sustainable Living in College
- Talking about your job - Trying to make a little cash from the neighborhood trash
- Sharing your unusual or inspirational life - Our Rich Journey
- A skill you have that can help people - Backyard Composting
When you do decide on a topic, check out existing videos on the topic, and try and create your take on the subject. No two personalities are the same, and even if you have the exact same topic and values, your presentation and commentary will be different from other YouTubers. Use this difference to create your niche on YouTube.
Here’s a great one on YouTube Niches that are exploding in 2020
Why most YouTubers quit YouTube
Not all YouTubers stay on YouTube forever. Most YouTubers quit their channels because they run out things to say or lose interest in the topic they chose.
Could you talk about the same subject in hundreds of videos? Successful YouTubers create videos consistently for 2 to 3 years before they really take off, so be sure to love what you are going to talk about and be prepared to upload one video per week.
Changing your channel topic
As life changes, your topic may change too. Viewers may come along for the ride because they know you, and your new topic may also pick up some new viewers.
The shutdown of travel from the global pandemic resulted in many VanLife and Travel Channel creators successfully pivoting their topics to where they are today - homesteading, building a new van, transitioning into tiny house living or even becoming first-time parents.
Life changes and your channel can change too!
How to make the best videos
Making a video is not just about the filming of the video. Your storyline will matter. Make an outline or series of headings that you can talk about or film around. As you begin your editing process, your video should lead the viewer through a story that is engaging and entertaining.
Grab attention. Fast!
The first 10 seconds of a video is vital to grab your viewer’s attention before they move on. Use those first moments to tell the viewer what to expect in the video and get excited about what else you have to say. Don’t just repeat the Video Title - tell them enough information to become curious enough to stay and watch.
Every Disney movie has one, and your YouTube video should have one too. A storyline with introduction and chapters. Each chapter should focus on one aspect of the story and take the viewer on a journey. See the Video Story Framework guide below.
The equipment you need to make YouTube videos
For your first videos, you don’t need to upgrade to an expensive camera, light, and microphone. Shoot with your iPhone 8, Samsung Galaxy S8 or your laptop camera if you are Vlogging.
Many YouTubers use AirPods or earbuds with a microphone jack when they are starting.
Don’t make big investments too early. When you become more comfortable and know what you need - such as a noise-canceling microphone, wireless equipment, brighter lighting, tripod, and even a better quality camera; you can make the right investment.
New YouTuber BasicLady101 first started without a microphone, and her sound quality suffered. Filming in her suburban backyard, she was constantly interrupted by airplanes and leaf blowers! She recommends the corded $26 BOYA BY-M1 3.5mm Lavalier Condenser Microphone. “For the price, it’s a perfect little Mic if you stay in the one place. For the type of videos where I roam around a lot, it’s a big pain, but it was great for little investment.”
Her next upgrade will be a wireless microphone!
Related: The 9 Best Wireless Earbuds of 2020
Building your audience
Anyone can create a channel - if you have an account, you can upload videos too. You do not need a paid membership. You will want to create a channel under your YouTube Channel name unless you choose to use your own name.
When you are ready to start publishing, you want to “Customize Channel.” Add your channel description to tell viewers what topics you will cover and a little about you. It’s a good idea to use topic keywords here - these are the words people use when searching for information on your topic. Doing this will help people find your channel when they use it to search.
Every time you upload a video, be sure to fill out the description and tags so that again, your video will appear to people who follow your topic.
Your thumbnail is super important! This is your mini ad - the picture that showcases your video in a viewer’s feed. You can take the suggested snapshot that YouTube creates, or you can upload a photo with text overlay - make this on Canva or Adobe Creative Suite.
Don’t forget to add your Social Media accounts and website if you have one to your channel description. People can follow you on their preferred platform, and if you announce a new video on Instagram, your followers can click your link and watch - building your views, watch time, and hopefully Subscribers. This is free advertising!
How to Make Money on YouTube
It takes years to earn the millions some of the top YouTube creators earn, but once you make a video, it can earn you money forever. To become what is called a YouTube Partner and to monetize your channel, you need to reach; 4,000 public watch hours in the past year and have at least 1,000 subscribers.
YouTube pays you when you show ads, create special paid content for your subscribers, sell merchandise that features your brand and give you a share of Premium subscribers fee when they watch your videos.
The more opportunities you give YouTube advertisers to advertise, the more money you can make. Do this by making videos consistently, add subscribers and grow your watch time.
Quite a few YouTubers will also have direct agreements with sponsors. The video will include a product or service from the sponsor, and the YouTuber will talk a little about the sponsored product as a regular part of their video program.
Another way to earn money is from patreons or fan funding, from the subscribers of your channel. They send you money regularly, much like a podcast. Building a fanbase and receiving crowdfunding is how a lot of YouTube stars become successful.
To get paid on Youtube, you will have to set up a Google Adsense account and become accepted into their YouTube Partner Program (YPP) from your already set up YouTube account.
This will allow you to receive funds by the number of views on your video. Payouts vary, but they can range anywhere from 10 cents a view to 30 cents per ad view. Ad revenue is an easy way to make money when you already have people coming to watch your channel.
Remember when we mentioned product reviews? Not only can you earn ad revenue from Youtube ad views, but you can also earn money by working with various affiliate programs. Amazon is a very popular affiliate marketing merchant, and Youtubers can start monetizing from the products they review. After you have signed up for the Amazon affiliate program, you can add links in your video after the product review taking your viewers directly to the product. You can also add a link in the video description or comment section for your views. Loyal fans will start to purchase your products, and you will make a percentage of every sale.
There are plenty of revenue streams available to YouTubers; you just have to take some time on the front end to get everything set up.
The nice thing about most of these monetization methods is they can continue making you money long after the video was made. Basically, the more hours of video you create, the more opportunities you have to earn some extra cash!
What are you waiting for?
With over 1.8 million users per month, Youtube, next to Facebook, is the world’s most popular platform. So what are you waiting for? Grab a camera and start recording your first video. Creating high-quality video content is the first step towards your Youtube star journey.
If it doesn’t work out, you can always delete your account! Here's how.
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