With the continued rise of the video blogging culture, it’s completely understandable for any tech-savvy millennial or young adult to be enticed by the idea of starting a YouTube channel.
After all, it’s a fun and interactive hobby with the potential to turn you into a popular online personality—with the added benefit of helping you meet new people, get free stuff from companies and earn a pretty impressive income.
But if you want to gain a steady increase in followers or at least publish decent content that gets a good number of views and likes, you’ll need to do more than just become a contributing member on YouTube.
Here are Perfect Steps to Becoming A Successful YouTuber:
Your motivation is the basis for three key elements shared by every successful YouTube channel: topic coverage, target audience, and reason for existence.
- Topic coverage is WHAT your videos will be about.
- The target audience is WHO your videos are intended for.
- The reason for existence is WHY they should watch your videos.
For example, ”MakeUseOf’s” YouTube channel includes gadget reviews and tech tutorials (what) intended for people who want to level up their tech-savviness (who), and we do it in a way that’s down-to-earth and approachable for even the newbies.
Before you launch your channel, you must define these things. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a hodge-podge channel that fails to capture any kind of meaningful viewership, and no meaningful viewership means no long-term success.
Arm Yourself with the Right Equipment
- Camera: Before you drop $500+ on a decent DSLR or mirrorless, know that a quality webcam is more than enough at the start and costs less than $100. Or you can just use your smartphone! Save the high-end fancy cameras until you’ve been doing this for 6–12 months, and know you’ll keep at it for years to come.
- Tripod: If you do have a separate camera, or if you end up using a smartphone, then you’ll want a tripod to hold it up and keep it steady. You could put it on a desk or shelf, but tripods offer more flexibility and don’t cost much. See our camera tripod recommendations and our smartphone tripod recommendations.
- Microphone: The built-in microphones that come with cameras — whether webcam, smartphone, DSLR, or mirrorless — are often terrible because most of the work goes into the video aspect. So get an external microphone, record audio separately, then mix it with the video afterward. Learn more about condenser vs. dynamic microphones to pick the right one for your content type.
- Green Screen: A green screen is necessary if you want to change the background in your video. While an actual green screen kit could cost upwards of $50, you can just use a literal green sheet or DIY one with an unused white sheet and some green dye.
- Screen Capture Software: Only necessary if your videos involve content from your screens, such as Excel video tutorials or PC gameplay. I highly recommend OBS Studio, which can record your screen as an MP4 video file.
When you start getting serious with your channel, you may eventually want to consider building a YouTube studio at home and think about what you need to produce a professional Livestream.
Look for Inspiration
As you go along, developing fresh, new content that will match the hype of your first few videos may be more challenging. But don’t worry—even established YouTube artists go through the same thing every time.
The secret is to look for inspiration everywhere—even when you’re out and taking a break from recording. List down your ideas. Check out other videos and build upon their ideas to make them your own.
Optimize Your Videos
Another secret to giving your videos more visibility is to optimize your content to help it rank on YouTube. As soon as you upload your first video, give it a good, descriptive title that viewers are likely to write on the search bar—and include your main keyword or keyphrase. For example, the title “Hawaii Birthday Travel Vlog 2018” is much better than “Hawaii Here We Go!”
Making money through YouTube is harder than it used to be, but it’s still possible today, even if you’re just starting.
While most people think YouTubers earn boatloads of cash through advertisements, the truth is that ads rarely pay well for the effort.
As of 2016, the average revenue per 1,000 views on YouTube was about $1.50 (after YouTube takes its cut). That comes to $1,500 per 1 million views; users have reported that rates dropped further in 2017.
In short, don’t expect to get rich off ads even if your channel goes viral. So how do the top YouTubers make their money? A combination of many monetization methods:
- Affiliate sales and product promotions
- Consultation services
- Direct advertisements that aren’t Adsense
- Public speaking events
- Support from fans who donate
Connect with Your Viewers
Over time, you’ll slowly gain followers and get more comments from fans on your videos. Eventually, you’ll get messages on your personal social media accounts—you may even get fan mail should you decide to share your P.O. box. As much as possible,
make time to connect with your viewers. Remember that your social media accounts are an extension of your YouTube channel, so try to share tidbits of your life on popular social platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.
It’s also important that you try to read and respond to all the tweets, comments, and other messages you get (as much as possible).
Upload Videos Regularly
Another important tip is to be consistent with your uploads. No matter how imperfect you think your content is, you must keep getting your videos out there, as it is with podcasting.
Some YouTube channel owners publish videos once or twice a week, and they let their viewers know about this schedule (usually at the end of each video) so viewers know when to check back.
This gives a channel a bigger chance of getting a steady flow of views, especially once it gains several active subscribers. Once you figure out a convenient schedule that works for you, stick to it. You should be improving and getting more attention in no time.
Build Your Network
While not necessarily categorized as a social networking site, YouTube is all about connecting, sharing, and collaborating with other users. Thus, to be successful, you need to make an effort to build your network.
This is particularly critical in the YouTube community, as collaborations among creators have proven effective in helping a channel grow and gain new subscribers. It helps both collaborators gain exposure with the other’s subscriber base.
Talk to other creators, make friends, and don’t hesitate to contact larger YouTubers to inquire about a possible collaboration. It can be intimidating, but you won’t get anywhere unless you try.
Once you’ve created a few videos, group them together into playlists on your channel.
Even if you only have a few videos, putting them together on a playlist is a good idea. I like to do this because the title you choose for your playlist can help you get ranked higher in Google search results.
Playlists will also encourage people to watch more of your videos because they’ll see a list of the rest of your videos in the series, which makes your content more episodic. Auto-plays do a good job of engaging viewers to watch multiple videos with no effort on their part.
One of my favorite YouTube channel features is that you are given the option of having playlists featured on your YouTube channel page.
Not only do you get to organize and categorize your content, but you can also highlight the videos you want to draw the most attention to and get creative with the presentation.
Link to your Google+ Account
Be sure to link your Google+ account to your YouTube channel. This ensures that any comments your video receives on Google+ posts appear on the video’s dedicated YouTube page.
That way, all the feedback your video has generated is centralized in one location.
So there you have the perfect steps to becoming a successful YouTuber. Following these steps will lead you closer to your goal of becoming famous and adored in the YouTube community.
But above all—and this has been emphasized several times before—don’t expect overnight results. Becoming a YouTuber will take time, effort, and patience.
There is no magic formula to becoming successful on YouTube. Remember that determination, resilience, and constant improvement will be your greatest assets; before you know it, you’ll be at the top of your game.