How to Become a YouTuber and Get Paid

How to Become a YouTuber and Get Paid: 13 Tips for 2023

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What is a Youtuber?

A Youtuber is a person who creates and posts content for the video-sharing platform YouTube.

The Youtubers themselves differ to an extreme, despite the fact that they have Youtube as their platform in common. Youtubers are of all ages, ethnicities, educational levels, areas of focus, and camera quality. Some Youtubers post for fun, as a hobby or side hustle, while others make it a full-time career.

Youtubers are anyone who posts regularly to the platform. Consistency is key with all social media sites (as well as with cake).

What is the average income of YouTubers?

Because there is no such thing as an average YouTuber, there are no hard-and-fast figures for how much YouTubers make.

There are many ways YouTubers can earn money. A successful YouTuber might earn money by:

  • Join YouTube’s partner program to advertise
  • Selling products or services online as an affiliate for a brand
  • Selling their own merchandise such as mugs, T-shirts, and toys
  • Using a site like Patreon or online tipping services to raise money
  • Media licensing – granting media rights to their content
  • Brand sponsorships – creating sponsored content

In order to make money from their videos, most YouTubers use more than one of these methods.

A YouTuber with 100,000 views per month would earn a modest wage of 1,800 USD if we only consider income from YouTube’s Partner program.

13 steps to becoming a YouTuber

YouTube streams 694,000 hours of video every minute. Here’s how you can get involved.

1. The first step is to identify your niche

It’s like saying you want to be a scientist if you want to be a Youtuber (though your parents might be more impressed by one). You’ve got to decide what kind of Youtuber you’re looking for. There are makeup Youtubers, family Youtubers, unboxing Youtubers, knitting Youtubers, TV recap YouTubers, and scientists YouTubers (take that, mom and dad). Whatever you can think of, you can find a niche for it.

Identifying your niche will help you identify your target audience and make it easier for you to brainstorm content.

The best way to pick a niche is to think about what you’re passionate about. This is supposed to be fun! Here are some examples.

First We Feast’s “Hot Ones” series adds a spicy twist to the traditional celebrity Q&A.

Celeb interviews are a popular type of content on Youtube, but First We Feast puts a spicy twist on the traditional Q&A in their series “Hot Ones.”

This Youtuber Tiago Catarino exclusively reviews Lego sets, so buyers know exactly what they’re getting (and how much fun it will be to put together).

The beauty, skincare and makeup scene thrives on Youtube, and the Huda Beauty channel has found their niche in makeup tutorials.

2. Define your “why”

Considering what purpose, or value, your videos will have for viewers is an important first step to becoming a Youtuber.

A Youtube channel’s “why” does not have to be value in the traditional sense when it comes to determining its value. A lot of channels offer expert knowledge, product reviews, how-to videos, tutorials, and other traditional “whys.” But you can also just make people laugh with your channel.

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Rob Kenney’s viral Dad, How Do I? channel launched with the goal of creating easy how-do videos for tasks that dads traditionally teach: think how to use a level, how to pump gas and how to fish. He’s now got over 4 million “kids” (subscribers) learning from him. Why? Because he’s teaching essential skills in an accessible way.

On another side of Youtube, we have Bad Lip Reading — the channel that dubs ridiculous lines over NFL games, Broadway productions, American politics and more. Why? Because it’s funny.

3. Know your audience

It’s likely you won’t gain thousands of Youtube subscribers or millions of views overnight. But regardless of the size of your audience, it’s essential to know who you’re creating videos for, and what sort of content they like.

Ask yourself:

  • Who would watch my videos?
  • How old are they?
  • What kind of job do they have?
  • At what time of the day will they be watching videos?
  • Why are they watching them?
  • What do they gain from watching them?

Questions like these help you build what’s called an audience persona. An audience persona is a character you create that represents the characteristics of your ideal viewer.

Ms. Rachel’s audience is children, and she’s an expert at making engaging and fun videos for kids (and on another level, her audience is also adults—the ones in charge of the iPad—so there’s a healthy dose of education along with the adorable songs).

4. Know your competition

Who are you up against? Or, to put it in a less combative way: Who can you learn from?

Identify your competition—other creators that are in a same or similar niche to you, and get inspired by their strategies.

They might use similar:

  • Video effects (e.g. visual effects and sound effects)
  • Video formats (e.g. Q&A, expert interview, storytime)
  • Locations (e.g. studio, outdoors, on set)
  • Sets (e.g. at home, workplace, designed set, animated)

But they’ll probably differ in their branding, presenting styles and more.

For example, Sand Tagious makes ASMR videos using kinetic sand in a very clean-looking, sterilized environment…

…and ASMR SOAP makes similar kinds of videos, but using a different material (and getting quite a bit messier). Apologies in advance for the ASMR rabbit hole you’re about to go down.

5. Create a YouTube Channel

Did you scroll down to this section without reading the first four steps? Get back up there! You’re lying to yourself. Finding your niche, defining your “why,” knowing your audience and understanding your competitors are essential to creating a seamless channel experience.

Okay, now that we’re all caught up: it’s time to create your Youtube channel. Here’s how to do it.

First, you’ll need:

  • Channel name
  • Logo
  • Banner image (ideally 2560×1440 pixels)
  • Color scheme

6. Get the right camera, lighting and editing software

If you’re hoping to make a career out of your YouTube videos, you need to make sure your videos are of high quality. In many cases, you can shoot videos with your smartphone.

A high-quality video is easier on the eyes, looks more professional, and has a higher perceived value than a low-quality video. If you invest in your channel, your audience is more likely to support you.

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If you don’t have the resources to buy a high-tech video camera and professional lights, shoot with your iPhone near a window (natural lighting is beautiful and affordable).

7. Decide on a video style or aesthetic

Consistent branding goes a long way when it comes to Youtube — or any social media, for that matter. Choosing a colour palette, font, intro music, backdrop and other creative components for your video thumbnails should be taken seriously.

It’s all about brand recognition. Ideally, your audience will be able to instantly identify that a video is yours.

8. Use CTAs (calls to action)

A call to action encourages users to do something specific — for example, to like, follow and subscribe to your channel.

Encourage your viewers to keep watching your content by including calls to action (CTAs) in your videos. You can do this by:

  • Including CTAs in your video scripts
  • Automating next actions using features like playlists
  • Adding cards and end screens to your videos
  • Including links to other popular content in each video description

Playlists, cards and end screens are more advanced YouTube features, but they’re easy to learn (see YouTube’s Creator Academy for instructions).

9. Develop a content schedule (and use a content calendar)

You probably won’t go viral overnight, but posting regularly is one of the best ways to build your audience. Regularly could mean daily, weekly or monthly: whatever is best for you, your content and your subscribers.

Posting regularly is easier when you use a content calendar to plan and organize your videos. A content calendar, or social media calendar, is an overview of your upcoming social media posts (in this case, Youtube videos).

A content calendar ensures you have a plan to follow, and you can be more consistent and more focused when you have a broader overview of your content output. Plus, being able to see (and show your boss) all your scheduled social posts and videos organized into one neat calendar is pretty satisfying!

10. Pay attention to Youtube analytics

Yes, it’s important to find your niche and maintain some level of consistency. You want your audience to, on some level, know what to expect when they watch your channel. That said, don’t be afraid to take risks and monitor the results.

Try out different video formats, lengths, and approaches to your niche, and pay attention to your Youtube Analytics. Analytics will give you an in-depth look at how successful each of your videos are. If one of your videos does extraordinarily well, lean into it and make similar content.

12. Promote your channel on your other social media profiles

Youtube users don’t just use Youtube — in fact, 99% of Youtube users are also on other social media platforms. 79% of Youtube users use Facebook and 78% use Instagram. That means that Facebook and Instagram are both great places to post about your Youtube channel, and part of a holistic Youtube marketing strategy.

TikTok is a rapidly growing short video sharing platform that, on one hand, is Youtube’s competition. But on another, TikTok is an excellent avenue for promoting Youtube videos: you can post a clip on TikTok and encourage users to visit your Youtube channel for the complete video.

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13. Engage with your audience

Just like any other social platform, YouTube prioritizes engagement. So, as you start adding content to your channel, you need a plan for keeping up with comments.

4. Join the YouTube Partner Program

The YouTube Partner Program is how regular YouTubers get access to special features on the platform.

You don’t need to be a partner to make money on YouTube (just setting up an AdSense account and getting views is enough to handle that), but being a Partner makes it a lot easier.

YouTube Partners have access to multiple income streams: not just video ads, but YouTube Premium subscription fees, and features that tap your loyal fans’ wallets directly like Super Chat, channel memberships and the merchandise shelf.

Here’s how to joining the program once your channel is up and running.

Note: To join the program, you need a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months.

Step 1: Set up an AdSense account

Follow YouTube’s official guide to AdSense accounts.

Step 2: Explore your new monetization features

Each monetization channel has different eligibility requirements. For instance:

  • Ad revenue: to earn ad revenue, you must be at least 18 years old, and you must create content that is advertiser-friendly. Basically, the less controversial your videos, the more YouTube advertisers will be comfortable running ads on them, and the more money you make.
  • YouTube Premium revenue: if a YouTube Premium member watches your video, you get a portion of their subscription fee. (This one is automatic, which is nice.)
  • Channel memberships: in order to sell channel memberships to your subscribers (i.e., your fans opt in to pay you an extra amount), you need to be at least 18 and have more than 30,000 subscribers.
  • Merchandise shelf: in order to sell merch from YouTube’s merchandise shelf, you must be at least 18 years old, and have at least 10,000 subscribers.
  • Super Chat payments: if you want your fans to have the ability to pay to have their messages highlighted in your live chats during your live streams, you must be at least 18 (and live in a country where the feature is offered).

Step 3: Submit to ongoing reviews

As a YouTube Partner, your channel will be held to a higher standard, according to YouTube. You have to follow not just the YouTube Partner Program policies, but also the Community Guidelines. Not to mention staying on the right side of copyright law.

Let make growing your YouTube channel easier. Get scheduling, promotion and marketing tools all in one place for your entire team. Sign up free today.

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