Believe it or not, YouTube started as a dating site called “Tune In, Hook Up” and it grew as the perfect platform for content creators and consumers alike. As one of the largest search engines in the modern world, YouTube has the perfect blend of information, entertainment, and infotainment.
The ones who have the loftiest feather in YouTube’s cap are people who really started thinking of YouTube as a career option, hence the question – how can one be a YouTuber? The truth is, anyone can be a YouTuber, but not everyone can be a successful one.
Why YouTube, Why Now?
Before we talk about the “How,” it’s important to know the “Why” – Why consider being a YouTuber?
People from different ages, thoughts, countries, and rationalities come together in harmony to make up one giant parallel world where there are videos – lots of videos! There are as many as 300 hours’ worth of videos uploaded on YouTube every minute.
No doubt that YouTube is fun, but it’s lucrative too. With an ingenious business plan, YouTube is a win-win for everyone – audiences, content creators, and companies looking for a way to promote their products and services.
YouTube charges consumers almost nothing for the immense value that uploaded videos provide while rewarding the content creators and offers businesses another platform to reach consumers.
The bottom line is that successful YouTubers reap the benefits. Within the last decade, YouTubers have become more than just confident people with cameras in front of their faces – they have the potential to become internet celebrities.
If you’re interested in this article and want to be a YouTuber and let me tell you this – it’s not too late! YouTube may seem saturated at times, but the thing with creative content in a dynamic world is that there’s always room for more.
It’s time to dive into the crux of it all!
Tip #1: Zero-in On Your Niche and Solidify Your Passion
“All that glitters is not gold” might sound cliché but is spot on when it comes to creating content for YouTube. There are tons of niches that are highly appealing such as tech reviews, video games, music, and more.
You will find your niche in the intersection of two circles – what you’re passionate about and what you’re skilled at. One without the other may not bear the fruits you aspire to have.
The type of content you will share is an important determinant of your YouTube success. Once you’ve locked in your niche, the next step is to decide whether the content you put out will humor, inform, or motivate the audience.
Your niche will assist you with selecting the most authentic direction for your content. For example, if mobile phones are your niche – you can create videos unboxing, comparing, or reviewing different devices.
By having a narrow niche, it will set you up beautifully for your YouTube journey. You will know exactly what type of content to make and which topics to target. This will give you an authoritative position in that specific niche.
Sticking to a specific niche is the perfect way to start. This, however, does not mean that your expansion goals need to be thrown out the window. Once you’ve established a substantial subscriber base, you can expand to other related niches or start multiple YouTube channels.
Tip #2: A Workman Needs Tools – Filming, Editing, Lighting, and More!
One part of the successful Youtuber formula is to have quality content, which means that videos need to be high quality.
It doesn’t matter if you’re decoding the Enigma, viewers won’t stop and pay attention to the video if it isn’t shot by a high-quality camera or properly edited. Consumers may also lose interest if the message is not straight to the point.
Depending on the type of videos you plan to make, this will help you decide what equipment is needed. If you are including your face in the video, you need a good camera coupled with good lighting.
If the video will feature screen recordings (this happens predominantly in gaming), you need an excellent screen recorder. Mic should be a priority if voice input is an important element of your content.
All this information might sound overwhelming, especially if you’re just a beginner. The equipment is not necessarily an expensive purchase and it depends on what your budget allows.
While a camera from a good smartphone should have your recording covered, you can easily do the mic and lighting bit in under $80 or $100.
An attitude shift in this regard can go a long way – think of this as an investment into your business, and you will feel much better about the costs incurred for the video production.
While microphone, camera, and screen recorder are subjective in your video type, a video editing software is not debatable. Video editing can make or break your pathway to success on YouTube. It significantly impacts the overall video quality.
Some efficient options for beginners include Filmora, Movie Maker, iMovie, and Core VideoStudio. If you are well-versed in the art of video editing, you could go for more advanced programs such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere.
Pro tip: Approach your editing process one step at a time, little by little. If you try to complete the entire editing process within an hour, you will only make the final product worse.
Tip #3: Consistency Is Key – Keep at It and Follow A Schedule
You never start a business thinking that you’ll make a million dollars in profit for the first month. Making profit takes time and effort, and the same goes for YouTube.
Here’s a reality check for you – your first video won’t hit the million mark! As a matter of fact, it might not even accumulate a thousand views, let alone likes, comments, shares, or subscribers.
You need to maintain consistency with regards to both your uploading schedule and your chosen niche. While a different approach towards the video recording or editing may be welcome by your viewers, a video on a completely different niche might derail your channel’s engagement.
The frequency of how many videos should be uploaded on YouTube has differing opinions. Ideally, you’d like to offer your viewers as many as 2-3 videos per week, especially if you’re new to YouTube. Many established YouTubers release just one video a week or once a fortnight.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are YouTubers who upload on a consistent basis, so find your comfort zone and stick to it. This will help your audience know when they can expect their notification of a new video to go off.
Pro tip: You can drop an extra video in between scheduled dates to surprise your viewers.
Tip #4: Never Run Out of Original Ideas
As a YouTuber, it is pivotal that you never run out of ideas. Once your viewers are hooked, they want more content. A great way to ensure a continuous flow of videos is to brainstorm. One brainstorm session can bring in heaps of ideas, don’t forget to jot them down and begin creating.
To keep yourself covered for the coming months, recurring brainstorm sessions are the answer.
Originality is an important virtue on both YouTube and life. Take inspiration from your competition or similar content creators, but anything beyond inspiration can land you in trouble – copyright infringement is a thing! Original content can often overshadow poor editing and video recording.
Find your Unique Selling Point (USP) just like any new business would do and ask yourself: what can you offer to consumers that others cannot?
Tip #5: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You’ve created an original video from a quality recorder in excellent lighting and with a loud mic, what’s next?
As we’ve highlighted earlier, YouTube is one of the largest search engines in the world. This means that many searches are done by an increasing number of people and competition each day. To achieve YouTube success quicker, you need to do more as well!
Making your videos SEO-friendly will help you climb the ladder on search results. This strategy can lead to more views, more likes, more subscribers, and more of everything. But how do you do it?
Before you fill out the details of your to-be-uploaded video such as title, description, and tags, you would need to conduct a thorough keywords research by using Google’s Keyword Planner. Alternatively, you can take a sneak peek into your competitors’ video titles.
Spend some time writing the video description. After all, YouTube doesn’t know what your video is about as it doesn’t watch it nor rank it. Right keywords and keyword combinations in the description, tags, and title give hints to the YouTube algorithm about the relevance of a video for a particular search.
Pro Tip: Use long-tail keywords that highlight your video content to the tee and increase your chances of ranking higher.
Tip #6: Improve Every Video with YouTube Analytics
The mantra for success in any aspect of life is to learn from the mistakes of the past and better the future. Even if you are committing no wrong, there will always be the scope to improve.
The analytics component of YouTube is a one-stop solution to every question that the creator may have such as who is watching my video, are they watching it throughout the end, which videos are performing better than the others, among others.
Amongst the many options under the YouTube Analytics section, the most popular ones are Demographics, Overview, Audience Retention, Watch Time, and Realtime.
The Overview is the broadest out of all the options as it provides a host of data that pertains to the performance of your videos in the last 28 days. Such data includes the average duration of watch time.
You probably have a target audience in mind before you upload your first ever video. If you didn’t, you should figure it out now! The Demographics section will help you gauge if and how well you are reaching your target audience.
With time, it’s a good idea to employ fresh promotion techniques to pump the view count. Use the data in the Realtime tab to see if those strategies are working as it shows the present performance of any fresh content that you have uploaded.
The Watch Time and the Watch Time Reports gives insight about the average duration of time that viewers are fixated on the screen watching your video, the number of new viewers that flocked to your channel, playback location, traffic sources, and many more.
Audience Retention will show the length of the video watched by your audience before they decide to click the back button. If the percentage of exits occur midway in the video is too high, consider shortening your videos.
Pro Tip: Spend ample time on the Analytics section to fully understand the displayed data and its importance – it will serve as a reality check.
Tip #7: Keep Your Community Engaged
Your viewers are yours. Let that sink in and the importance of engagement will be easy to understand. While imbibing the learnings from Analytics could be a tiring task, the community engagement drills will surely lighten up the mood.
A no-brainer is to stay active in the comments section by replying to comments, expressing gratitude, and interacting.
Live streams are getting popular and for good reason – audiences get to see their favorite creators more candidly on their YouTube channels. In fact, videos with more comments tug on the YouTube algorithm’s heartstrings and achieve more engagement than videos with less comments.
Content creators also enjoy live streams because the fine intricacies regarding lighting and editing are brushed aside and no longer serve as parameters for a great video. You can also host interactive Q&A sessions on live streams.
The bottom line is to be approachable. The success of your YouTube channel relies on how your subscribers so treat them like your very own community. Act like the boy in the backyard, not the man on the terrace because your subscribers need to see you as their own.
Tip #8: Leverage Other Social Media Platforms to Grow Your Community
No, we are not telling you to become an Instagram influencer! Presence on other social platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram will solidify your position on YouTube as it helps rope in more engagement.
You can also look beyond social media and start your own blog and have it act as a second home to your YouTube palace. A great way to promote your content is to share your videos on every platform you have your foot on. Even if you add just one unique viewer per video, it’s worth it!
Interlink multiple platforms with effective Call to Action (CTA) by providing updates to upcoming videos on other platforms, launch a forum to elevate engagement, add subscribers to your weekly/bi-weekly newsletters to provide a one-on-one interaction. Do one or more of these tactics and see the results for yourself.
Instagram reels and TikTok brought another form of content into the game – snackable content. Content is either 15 or 30 seconds, making the short video clips as the limelight in recent times.
It’s not a bad idea to strategically select parts of your YouTube video and upload them as ‘snacks’ on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. This tactic can be highly effective in driving more views and gives you a chance at success on other platforms too.
Tip #9: Rise Together with Collaborations
YouTube isn’t necessarily cut-throat all the time. You don’t need to one up your competitors. While it’s good to try and beat your competition, it’s equally rewarding to collaborate with them.
Networking is a useful life and career skill for a variety of occasions whether it’s to converse with your followers, friends, or your fellow video creators – you need to network to climb up the ladders of YouTube. For this point, we specifically target the importance of collaborations.
Did you know that it can take an average of 22 months to hit the 1,000 subscribers mark on a brand-new YouTube channel? We’ve talked about climbing the ladders of YouTube, but here’s a tip to “lift” your channel right from the word go – leverage an established YouTuber’s audience.
Drop an email or send a direct message to a potential collaborator on Instagram. Instead of babbling on about how the collaboration will help you and your channel, talk about the value and freshness you can provide to the YouTuber’s audience.
Before you send such a request, it’s a good idea to skim through the other person’s YouTube channel to find any potholes that you could possibly fill. This will increase your chances of getting a positive response. Don’t cling your hopes onto just one YouTuber – target multiple channels.
Tip #10: Don’t Miss Out on The Trends
Social media is a dynamic and ever-changing world. Memes, reels, and hot topics are omnipresent, and a viral one is always around the corner. Once you find a new trend, consider it a gravy train – hop onto it on the first platform and enjoy the ride!
Yes, you might have a schedule in place and your videos pre-recorded. But if you want to skip the hard yards, becoming or fueling a trend is the way to go.
Even YouTube is about that one video that skyrockets your channel and puts you on the map. YouTube’s Trending section can provide you heaps of inspiration for your viral video. Analyze the keywords used in such videos and try to incorporate them into your own. And as we’ve repeatedly said – Take Inspiration but stay away from Plagiarism.
This doesn’t mean that the trend cannot happen outside YouTube. Keep an eye out on the ongoing trends on multiple platforms, make videos with your own twist and style, and become famous overnight.
Tip #11: Monetize Your YouTube Channel
Success has different definitions for different people on YouTube. For some, success equals the number of subscribers whereas the number of likes is more important. One thing that intersects all the circles is the greenery aka money.
Monetizing your YouTube channel to generate revenue isn’t the first step to becoming a YouTuber, but it also is not the last. Oftentimes, YouTubers get so involved in creating content, engaging with the community, and planning their schedule that they forget how great an income source YouTube could be.
Earnings from YouTube could start with just a thousand subscribers in the hut. But there are other conditions too including at least 4,000 Watch Time hours in the last 12 months, compliance to all the rules and policies in place, and an AdSense account.
Understand the Watch Time hours calculation which includes the views of unlisted videos and live streams count. The views of deleted videos don’t count. The good thing is that you don’t immediately get dropped from the YouTube Partner Program if your Watch Time hours of video fall below 4,000 for a brief period.
Your channel will be subjected to scrutiny before you book a seat on the YouTube Partner Program. There are 4 types of ads you can include in your videos to generate revenue– skippable in-stream ads, non-skippable in-stream ads, video discovery ads, and non-video ads.
Alternatively, brands can reach out to you to promote their goods and services. Choose wisely by selecting relevant brands that will hamper user experience the least but can pay well. Partner with brands that you know and love as it comes off as more authentic to your audience.
Phew, what a ride that guide was! We hope that you gathered all the armor that you need from the above-mentioned steps on how to be a YouTuber.
Move with a broader vision and refrain from focusing on just the likes or views on your next video because the fact remains – it will take time. Tick all the boxes now and enjoy the benefits later.
See you on the other side of success, YouTuber!