I always thought I would love to become a YouTuber.
That’s why I started my own YouTube channel and published my first video on the 1st of January of 2019.
I was able to grow that channel from 0 to 1,000 subscribers in 1 month and 12 days thanks to my background and skills as an SEO expert.
However, I also learned a lot about being a YouTuber from that experience.
I feel like writing a post for those that are interested in becoming a YouTuber would help them prepare for what’s coming.
Let’s just say that becoming a YouTuber is not what you think it is
I want to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes I did, so sit back because you’re in for a treat. Now, let’s start.
Table of Contents
- 1) Make Sure This is What You Want
- 2) Choose the Topic of Your Channel
- 3) Gear Up
- 4) Start Recording and Practicing
- 5) Learn YouTube SEO
- 6) Earn Money From Your Videos
- Need Some More Help?
1) Make Sure This is What You Want
Do you really want to be a YouTuber?
It’s easy to see all the good things that famous YouTubers show you, but there is more to it than that.
These online celebrities had to put in days, months and even years of work before making any money from this.
These millionaire YouTubers didn’t start creating videos because of the money, they did it because they enjoyed it.
The reality is that you will not be able to keep up creating content unless you love doing it.
Believe me, I’ve been there.
I was able to grow my channel extremely fast—probably faster than 99% of new YouTubers—and that’s awesome.
But sadly, I’ve realized that I don’t enjoy creating those kinds of videos like I thought I would.
The same thing might happen to you, so you need to ask yourself why do you want to start a YouTube channel?
You are NOT made for YouTube if these apply to you:
- You want to become worldwide famous with your videos
- You only care about making money on YouTube
- You are not willing to put in hours of work while not getting paid for it
In my case, I thought I would be happy if I could make just enough money to cover my living expenses from making videos playing video games.
Sadly, having to play the same game for the entire day got a bit old for me.
Having to entertain people the whole time I’m playing while making sure I’m not running into recording problems was not what I enjoyed about video games.
I want to press play, sit back and relax… and making videos made it a more stressful environment.
I love video games, but it just seems I don’t enjoy creating content about them.
You are made for YouTube if these apply to you:
- You enjoy helping others and giving advice for free
- You love recording videos for fun
- You get excited by the thought of creating a community and getting to know new people every day
You don’t get into YouTube to make money. There are other ways of making money that are way more effective than starting a YouTube channel.
That’s why you should know that you’re looking in the right place. You need to know what you want.
That’s step number one.
If you’re convinced you will love the YouTuber lifestyle, then keep reading.
2) Choose the Topic of Your Channel
If you want to make it as a YouTuber in this year, you will need to pick a niche.
A niche is basically a group of people that share the same hobby or that are looking to satisfy the same needs.
Some niche examples:
But the real secret to making it on YouTube is focusing on a really small niche.
The niches above are way too broad and competitive, you want to instead go deeper than that and niche down even further.
It’s like zooming in and finding those little niches that are inside of each broad niche.
|Main Niche||Level 2 Niche||Level 3 Niche (Target these)|
|Makeup||Everyday makeup||Makeup styles that famous people use|
|Sports||Football||Training for new football players|
|Music||Guitar playing||Heavy metal songs tutorials|
Hopefully these examples will give you an idea of what you should be targeting.
The trick here is finding a specific niche that you’d love to talk about and that you can create enough content for.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t talk about other things. You can also do the following:
- Start with a very specific niche
- Record all the videos you can covering every single aspect of it
- Expand to a similar niche
But Will, I want to record vlogs about my life, how can I find a niche about my own life?
That’s why I don’t recommend starting right away with a vlogging channel.
You need to attract people to your videos, and the only way to do it is by creating value with your videos.
Attract people by making tutorials, inspiring them or teaching them about a subject they need help with.
After they hear a lot from you and you become more familiar, they will want to know more about you.
That’s when you can start recording vlogs about your daily life: when people start caring about it.
People don’t care about your life unless they know who you are first, or if your life is extremely weird to them.
However, there’s a little workaround.
You can still record vlogs in the beginning as long as you’re teaching something with your videos at the same time.
For example, I’ve seen people walking around the city looking for good real estate investments.
This type of vlog delivers a lot of value for those that are starting in that industry.
You could also use your vlogs to inspire people in specific niches.
Just make sure to make it clear on your video title what you’re going to give or teach to people.
The idea here is not to make a vlog simply about your life because your life is not as interesting to others as you may think.
It sounds harsh, but that’s just the way we are.
You need to give something valuable away and make people WANT to subscribe to you if you want to grow.
3) Gear Up
Now you need to start thinking about your equipment.
The basic things you’ll need are:
Of all three, probably the latter two are the most important.
Most newcomers think that they’ll need to spend thousands on camera to record good quality video.
The truth is that you can start with your phone’s camera.
In fact, I recommend doing this because you can test the waters first and see if you enjoy recording video before committing money.
If you combine a decent phone camera with good lighting, you can create Full HD video that looks good enough for YouTube.
Just get a tripod for your camera and you can start recording videos.
You should think more about the other equipment you’ll need.
If people can’t hear you well, they won’t watch your video.
It’s that simple.
Microphones aren’t expensive either, you can get a pretty cheap one for around $20-60 that is better than your phone’s.
If you’re just starting to record videos, the first thing you will underestimate is lighting.
Bad lighting will make a $3,000 camera look like $50.
The reason is that cameras need a lot more light than us to be able to “see” and capture clear images.
I’ve created a post about the best lighting for YouTube videos here.
Generally, you should do fine if you have a bright home and film during the day, but owning a lighting kit will allow you to record under any natural light condition.
Also, lighting kits are pretty affordable on Amazon—way more affordable than a good camera.
4) Start Recording and Practicing
So you know your niche and have your equipment, now you can start looking for subjects for your videos.
What can you teach people to do in your niche?
Start creating helpful videos and don’t try to make them perfect in the beginning.
When you’re starting, you should just focus on practicing talking to a camera.
It’s going to feel weird in the beginning, but you will slowly start becoming better at it.
Do not get discouraged if you’re really struggling, nobody was born with good camera presence.
I was terrible in the beginning and it really was embarrasing at first, but you get used to it.
And make sure that when you record vlogs, you do it safely and comply with any law in your country.
Also, you will need to start practicing your editing and thumbnail design skills.
These are two things you will learn one way or the other.
I recommend you start looking for editing tutorials on YouTube.
I usually recommend new creators to get Filmora. It’s very easy to use because it’s made for non-professional editors.
But if you have an Apple computer, you can use iMovie, which is included for free.
You will notice that editing is going to take a lot of time. This is normal, most YouTubers spend much more time editing than recording.
This is where things start feeling like a grind, and here’s where you will really test if you want to do this in the long run.
Basic designing skills are vital to have a successful YouTube channel.
Thankfully, anyone can learn this pretty quickly.
You can use a website like Canva to design good-looking thumbnails for your videos.
You’d be able to design more professional thumbnails in Photoshop, but that’s a premium program that requires more advanced designing skills.
Canva is the easier solution and is what most YouTubers start using before being able to pay a designer or learning Photoshop.
The main requirement for you to be able to grow a YouTube channel is to publish content often.
You should at least publish 1 video a week.
The more often you do it, the faster you’ll improve your “YouTuber skills”, and the more views you’ll get.
The YouTube algorithm does care about how often you publish content.
So you will not only get more practice, but also your channel is going to get promoted to more people by the algorithm.
But the specific number of videos isn’t that important, what really matters, in the end, is that the content is good enough for people to want to watch it.
5) Learn YouTube SEO
If you want to grow your channel, you will need to learn what works and what doesn’t work for YouTube.
What is YouTube SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is about making your content easier to be discovered by search engines and the people looking for content through them.
Remember that YouTube is a search engine that searches videos for people to watch.
The YouTube algorithm is what decides what videos are worth recommending to people on their site.
The algorithm can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
You really need to know how YouTube decides what content to promote on their website, and make your videos appeal to that.
You need to know:
- How to title your videos to attract more viewers
- How to encourage comments and likes on your videos
- Use the right amount of tags so you don’t confuse the algorithm
- How to use your thumbnails to increase CTR
- How to make people watch more of your videos
- A lot more…
To help you with this, use VidIq. It’s a free Chrome extension that will help you have better SEO.
Learn well what works and what doesn’t, and you will get thousands of new viewers while you sleep.
6) Earn Money From Your Videos
It’s easy to say, but how do YouTubers actually make money?
The most common way that YouTubers make money is through the ads that are displayed when someone watches their videos.
How to Become a YouTube Partner
However, before you can show ads on your videos, you need to meet two requirements:
- One thousand subscribers
- Four thousand hours of watch time in the last 12 months
The hard part is the second requirement, honestly. You will depend on either having uploaded a lot of videos or have one or a few videos go slightly viral.
This is why before worrying about money, you should worry about making great content that people really want to watch for a long time.
Once you’ve met these two requirements, you need to apply for monetization.
It’s not enough to simply achieve these numbers by any means necessary, YouTube also needs to make sure that you didn’t cheat!
For example, you can only get accepted if those videos are original. They can’t be stolen from another creator, and they can’t be made with other people’s content. Check out Google’s Community Guidelines for more info about what type of content they can accept.
How to Monetize Your Channel
Once you’ve become a YouTube partner, you don’t have to worry about anything else. Automatically, your videos will start displaying ads and you’ll start earning money from them.
Some examples are:
- Insert affiliate links to products that you’ve reviewed or that you use to record your videos
- Sell your own digital product or service
- Open a Patreon account and reward your followers for supporting you directly
There are many ways of making your channel profitable. However, all of them require you to have a sizeable audience.
So the key here is to focus on making content that people want to watch. If you do that, your channel will grow and the money will come.
You first need to make sure you want to become a YouTuber for the right reasons, or else you will end up wasting a lot of time.
You don’t do this for the money or the fame, you do it because you enjoy it.
If you don’t get this right, you will not get anywhere.
After that, you can start thinking about what you want to talk about in your videos.
Be specific with your subject, and start planning all the videos that you can make around that subject.
Help people achieve things, solve problems or inspire them. This is how you’ll attract new viewers to your videos and turn them into subscribers.
Get ready to start recording with the right equipment; remember that your camera is not the most important gear you need. Microphone and lighting will make the biggest difference.
Do not spend a lot of money on gear from the beginning.
After you start recording and getting better at making good videos, and you know that you’ll love doing this for a long time, start learning more about YouTube SEO and get better equipment.
Applying this knowledge will make YouTube recommend your videos to more people effortlessly.
The more views you attract, the more fans you’ll earn and the more money you’ll get.
Eventually, you will be able to make it a full-time activity if you want it.
Need Some More Help?
If you really want to do this, but you still feel like there’s so much to learn and you still don’t know how to get started, we can help you with that.
Check out our YouTube course where we’ll take you by the hand and help you launch a channel that grows fast in just 3 weeks.
Will has been a full-time content creator since 2014. He’s an audio, video, and tech hobbyist dedicated to reviewing products and giving you the best tips he knows to grow your audience.