Becoming rich and famous on YouTube might seem like an impractical dream. But lots of regular, ordinary people are making a ton of money by uploading videos, so you know it can be done, right? But how? You don’t have to be beautiful, rich, or a celebrity to be YouTube famous.
My personal favorite example of ordinary YouTube superstars is “Dad, How do I?” This is a pretty regular guy with two young adult kids, and he teaches people how to do…well, dad stuff.
His how-to videos cover things everybody needs to know, like how to install a ceiling fan or change a refrigerator filter. In just one year, he racked up 3.31 million subscribers and 14.5 million views and has been featured on The Today Show, Insider Edition, the CBS Evening News, and the NBC Nightly News.
Let’s talk about how to get from here to there.
- Stick with what you know.
- Promote yourself.
- Be consistent.
- Monetize your YouTube channel.
Stick with what you know
What’s your thing? You have to be passionate about something to do it or talk about it every week for years. If building a successful YouTube channel is something you’re serious about, the best way to start is to find your niche. Trust me, if you’re interested in something, others are too. The YouTube community is filled with day-to-day content like gameplay or cooking videos. These are things that you can easily do while gaining a large YouTube audience.
Unique content and engaged followers make everything happen – monetizing your YouTube channel and attracting companies looking for influencers to promote their brand. Successful YouTubers create content they are passionate and knowledgeable about and make captivating, interesting videos that people want to watch and interact with. Following your passions encourages you to put in the hard work and time needed to sustain consistent content creation.
Your niche can be anything you like. Some of the most popular categories include beauty, fashion, travel, fitness, product reviews, and food. The most popular content creators can attract a large, engaging audience and tons of video views. However, popular niches have intense competition. The best way to rise above the competition and become YouTube famous is by choosing something that reflects your personality or makes use of your unique knowledge or skills.
Successful YouTuber Jordan Page of Fun, Cheap or Free achieved fame on YouTube by sharing something she is both passionate and knowledgeable about. Her channel, which she started back in 2011, shares tips and tricks for frugal living. Her delivery shows her audience that spending less money does not have to mean less fun. In addition to her YouTube channel, she is the founder of the FunCheaporFree.com blog, online budgeting program BudgetBootCamp.com, and ProductivityBootCamp.com. She’s appeared on a host of talk shows and magazine and news features due to the innovative thinking she shares with her audience.
For the best chance of success, your niche should be:
- Authentic to you – choose something that combines your passion and expertise.
- Affordable – Making money through content creation can take time, and you need to be able to continue to produce content until your channel becomes profitable.
- Something sponsors look for – Find a gap in the market or tailor your passion to create advertiser-friendly content.
One of the best ways to attract a target audience is through regular self-promotion. Linking your social media accounts such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok is the easiest way to reach the largest audience possible. Promote every new video you publish with posts on as many social media platforms as you can, ideally with similar but slightly different captions to maintain interest across the board.
In addition, create Facebook pages or groups, post in Reddit threads, and work with other people making similar content to you to invite others to spread the word about your channel.
Learning video editing software is also a huge plus. Many of the top YouTubers will pay someone else to edit their content, but if you’re dedicated enough, you can learn how to edit videos yourself to make them more engaging and enhance the video quality.
Successful YouTuber codeSTACKr has written about his experience growing his channel from 0 to 70k subscribers in just one year and gives a lot of insight and advice on how you can do it yourself. He suggests that along with the self-promotion outlined above, applying YouTube Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short) to each video description can be a great way of helping your video content appear on top of Google searches. As always, engage with your audience and respond to comments to keep viewers interested and show them they are being heard.
Only a lucky few manage to build a huge audience within their first year. For most of the YouTubers in the top 50, it took an average of 4 years and 7 months to achieve millions of views on their most viral video. Building a large following takes time, commitment, and a lot of work. The number one most important thing when building a YouTube channel of your own is consistency, consistency, consistency. Work to your own schedule, and find a routine that works for you.
Whether that’s a video every day, once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month, choose a timeframe that best suits you and stick to it. Your audience needs to know they will be receiving consistently quality content on a regular basis, and this will help keep followers engaged and excited for new content.
Although it may seem frustrating when you are getting started and full of ideas to set a schedule and pace yourself, it really is the key to a successful channel. On average, the top YouTubers have uploaded 1,526 videos in total each. This volume of content takes time and commitment. With a topic, you’re passionate about and a manageable schedule, it is absolutely achievable. Keep track of all those ideas – you’re gonna need them later.
Most YouTubers begin to create and share content out of a passion for a subject rather than out of an ambition to get rich. However, once your videos begin to get some attention you might start to think about ways to make some money. While the top 50 YouTubers earn an average of $139k per video and $22.7 million a year, most make significantly less.
To meet YouTube partner eligibility requirements you must have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of video watch before you can monetize, so it will take some time and work, but once you get there the process is relatively simple.
The first income to explore is advertising revenue. To enable monetization on your YouTube channel,
- Sign in to the YouTube account you want to monetize
- Click the icon for your account in the top right corner
- Click YouTube Studio
- In the left menu, select Other Features > Monetization
- Read and agree to the YouTuber Partner Program terms
- Create a new AdSense account or connect an existing one to your channel. (You need an AdSense account to get paid)
- Set your monetization preferences
Once you’ve completed those steps, head back to the dashboard and click on the Analytics tab on the left side. From there, you’ll need to choose Revenue from the tabs at the top, then scroll down to the chart Monthly Estimated Revenue to get an idea of your predicted revenue.
Since people can opt out of advertising with YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red), you may want to consider other ways to cash on your YouTube channel.
- Sell merchandise – creating and selling physical products is a great way to let your viewers literally “buy into” your brand, as well as being another method of marketing by taking your online brand into the real world.
- Fan funding – content and video platforms such as Patreon allow your loyal audience to become premium subscribers for as little as a dollar a month and in return receive exclusive content and rewards. This makes it easy for you to get paid as a content creator and provides an extra incentive for your viewers to donate money and get involved.
- Work with brands as an influencer or through affiliate marketing – collaborating with brands and advertising their products can be a great way to get paid as well as promote your image. As an added bonus, brands will often provide you with an affiliate link, allowing you to make a small profit when someone follows your link and buys products.
Lots of ordinary people are making good money by posting YouTube videos. Most of them start out with nothing more than an idea, a cell phone, an engaging personality, and a few basic skills. The ones who succeed learn as they go and keep going no matter what. While it does take a certain kind of personality to put yourself out there, you don’t need special skills, beauty, fame, fancy equipment, or even acting skills. You really should plan your content well in advance and know what you’re going to present, and learn to watch patterns. Use YouTube Analytics to track which content gets the most eyeballs, comments, likes, and shares from your subscriber base, and do more of that.
At some point, you’re going to want to utilize influencer marketing to boost your revenue. When you get to that point, be sure to check out Scalefluence for high-quality, data-driven results.