Learning how to make money with a YouTube channel that has a relatively small audience pool isn’t as complicated as you might think. First, we need to talk about the difference between a niche and a micro-niche. It’s similar to the difference between an influencer and a micro-influencer in that they both describe a highly focused demographic. Micro-influencers have fewer followers who are highly engaged. If you are creating content for a small group of people you have a micro-niche and could become a micro-influencer within that niche.
Let’s take a real world example. Food allergies is a niche topic because not all people have to deal with the hazards associated with many food allergies. Within this niche there are a multitude of micro-niches such as peanut, egg, dairy, tomato, onion, and shellfish allergies. Any of these would make an excellent topic for someone who wants to focus exclusively on the challenges faced by people within the smaller demographic. While a micro-niche won’t appeal to as many people, it can be a highly valuable resource for those to whom it does appeal which may make it easier to gain influence within the community for high-quality content.
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As you work on refining your micro-niche ask yourself if there is a way to make it more targeted. Stop narrowing down the field when you realize that you won’t have enough to talk about because the field has become too narrow. If you’re having trouble with this process begin by using the SEO tools below to make sure you will be able to generate enough interesting content ideas to grow your YouTube channel.
The Importance of SEO
It isn’t enough to have a killer idea, great lighting, and great video editing skills at your disposal as you build your micro-niche YouTube channel. Because you are targeting a smaller than average audience, you will need to become an SEO ninja. Don’t worry, it isn’t as hard as it sounds. With a few free tools, you’ll be able to find out what your people are looking for and come up with new and creative ways to talk to them about it.
The first free tool you need to bookmark is Google Trends. This is an easy way to find out which search terms are the most popular. You might think your audience would ask a question in a particular way and then find out they are asking for something else entirely (even if what they mean is the same).
Let’s say you want to start a YouTube channel to talk about how to live tomato free as a pizza lover because you just discovered you’re allergic to tomatoes. After you run through the initial keywords such as ‘tomato allergy’ and ‘nightshade free’ you’ll need to get a little more creative. According to the trends search performed for the niche a good SEO topic could be “Choosing a Tomato Substitute for a Tomato Free Sauce.”
Image Credit: Google Trends
It can be challenging to constantly come up with creative topics that are also SEO friendly. Happily, Answer the Public can help you come with an almost endless supply of topic ideas for every keyword you decide to focus on.
Just a few of the suggestions revealed by a search of ‘tomato substitute’ include:
- How to make tomato sauce without tomatoes
- Tomato substitute in chili
- Tomato substitute in soup
- Tomato substitute in curry
- Tomato substitute for pasta sauce
- Tomato substitute in GM diet
- Tomato substitute for gerd
Image Credit: Answer the Public
While your micro-niche probably isn’t focused on tomato substitutes (and if it is, you’re welcome!), the tools are equally valuable for any topic other people are searching for.
Become a YouTube Partner
The key to learning how to get paid for YouTube views begins with a YouTube partnership.
Even with a micro-niche you’ll need to build an audience in order to monetize your channel. One of the best ways to do this is by becoming a YouTube Partner. The entry barrier is doable with a little work even for the most narrowly targeted demographic. A few of the things you’ll need to have include 1,000 subscribers, an AdSense account, a total of 4,000 hours of watched content, and reside within an eligible country. If you have any questions, don’t worry YouTube does a great job of walking new content creators through the process and requirements.
Once you become a Partner you’ll gain the ability to begin earning advertising revenue from video, display, and overlay ads and add a merchandise shelf. As your channel grows you’ll also have the opportunity to earn money from your YouTube channel by offering channel memberships, super chat, super stickers, and by making your content available to YouTube Premium members. With every new revenue avenue, you will need to comply with the requirements but there are guides for each option.
Other Ways to Make Money on YouTube
In addition to becoming a YouTube Partner, at some point you can also choose to include paid product placements in your video content. This is an excellent option if you want companies to partner with you to review items relevant to your niche. However, if you choose to do this make sure you are marking these videos as “paid promotions” in the advanced settings of your dashboard.
Affiliate sales are another option. Instead of being paid by the company for talking about the product or service in the video, you would create the video and then use an affiliate link to direct your audience to make a purchase. If you have a channel that focuses on finding and creating delicious food for people with a tomato allergy you might create a video on faux spaghetti sauce and use Amazon affiliate links to your favorite products referenced in the video.
Image Credit: Pixabay
Build a Community
With a micro-niche it is even more critical to build a loyal following that feels like a community than it is for a YouTube channel with greater mass appeal. People who are searching for very specific content have fewer options to interact with others with a similar interest. If you take the time to make your YouTube channel the place to be for open honest discussions on the topic, you will gain loyal and engaged subscribers which can help boost channel views, exposure, and reach.
One of the best ways to do this is to consistently respond to each and every comment personally. This is especially important as you’re building your channel and it is also easiest when you have fewer followers. It’s possible to stay engaged and offer valuable responses to each comment when you have fewer than one thousand subscribers and almost impossible when you have 100,000. By consistently and thoughtfully responding to comments you will generate good will and become a trusted resource. Subscribers who receive personal attention are more likely to become super fans who will support your channel as it grows by sharing and opting in to paid offerings.
It’s easy to look at the number of followers people have on a list of the top YouTube earners and feel discouraged. But it’s important to realize that these individuals are outliers in a sea of content creators. While it is certainly possible for others to replicate their success, it won’t happen overnight. It’s also important to think about your current goals and focus on the numbers you need to achieve them. While it is nice to fantasize about being a multi-seven figure earner, could you be happy with an extra thousand dollars a month or even a six-figure income?