Okay, I’ll be dating myself here, but when I was much younger, everyone wanted to become a TV or movie star. People were attracted to the glitz and the glamor. Fast forward to the present day, and things have changed somewhat. People still want to get on TV and the movies, but we also saw the rise of a different type of star: the YouTube content creator. These types of entertainers and artists are creating content on their own terms. And some of them are making pretty good money, too. PewDiePie, YouTube’s most-viewed content creator made over $12 million – and that was as of two years ago. What more today?
So if you’ve been wondering if making a living on YouTube was still possible – spoiler warning – it still is. Of course, PewDiePie represents the top of the mountain. But he has literally almost 100 million subscribers. I came across this fascinating article on GameRant about the beef between PewDiePie and the popular channel T-Series, particularly this part:
As of March 19, 2019, PewDiePie is at 90,015,125 subscribers. That number continues to grow by the minute, and will likely be even higher by the time this is published. Needless to say, this is an extremely impressive feat, and it means that the only channel that really stands a chance at beating PewDiePie is T-Series at this point.
You most likely will never reach these figures, but don’t get discouraged by that. There are lots of awesome content creators on YouTube who aren’t as famous as PewDiePie, but they still make a decent living. You just have to create content that is actually good. If you’d like to know how to make a living on YouTube, this article will try to give you tips on strategies on how to make a living off YouTube. This is just the tip of the iceberg; but the information in this article will be a great launchpad for you to make a living off YouTube. Read on!
Develop a Persona
I hate having to say this, but all successful YouTube personalities have memorable personas. If you’re looking into making a living off YouTube, you will also need to have a great persona. But this doesn’t mean being fake or pretentious. It simply means you gotta have a personality that resonates with your audience. Authenticity is also key here. But the cool thing for people who want to make a living on YouTube is, you don’t have to be what I like to call traditionally charismatic. As long as you appeal with your audience and are authentic, you should be good to go.
Focus on a Specific Topic
I’m sure there are successful YouTube channels out there that feature whatever random thing the content creator decides to vlog about. That’s awesome, but if you’re really looking into making a living on YouTube, that’s not the way to go.
To increase your chances of success, you’ll have to create content that tackles a specific topic. Another great thing about YouTube is, whatever it is you want to cover, there’s a big chance there’s an audience for it. I mean, just check out this Subreddit, which compiles all the strange videos that could be found on YouTube.
But even if your channel focuses on a specific topic, you will still have to explore different topics under that umbrella. Going back to PewDiePie, the guy mainly does video games, but he also does comedy, on top of other stuff.
Make Videos Regularly
Getting views is just one factor in making a living off YouTube. You will also want to attract subscribers. Think about it this way: a view is just that – a single view. But when a person subscribes, there’s a big chance they’ll view your future content (as well as your older work, which is just as good). One of the best ways to encourage people to subscribe, aside from having good content, is to upload videos frequently. That way, people know you’re serious about creating content. Generally, you’ll want to produce a new video once a week – preferably more, if you’ve got the time to do so.
Invest in Great Equipment
I’ve seen quite a few good YouTube channels start with low-fi gear. I myself have started making content using nothing more than my phone camera, laptop, and free movie editing software. I would borrow lamps from my mom to use as lighting. That’s great and all, but you will eventually have to start investing in quality gear.
Quality gear costs money, but here’s a way to help offset the cost of that – try earning money on rewards sites like ZoomBucks. There are a lot of rewards sites on the internet, but ZoomBucks is something special. They have really good payouts, and they process payments really fast. Check them out!
No matter how awesome you think your channel is, no matter how dedicated you think your viewers are, competition is stiff for people’s attention. There’s just so much stuff being uploaded on YouTube. Even PewDiePie is facing competition from T-Series, a popular music channel based in India. The GameRant article I linked to earlier has this to say:
PewDiePie has gone to great lengths to promote his channel during this feud and to keep the top spot on YouTube from T-Series. The more notable stunts have included celebrity guest appearances, like when billionaire Elon Musk hosted Meme Review. PewDiePie has also streamed some of the world’s most popular video games to keep his subscriber count ahead of T-Series, including Fortnite, Minecraft, and more.
What this means is, you will always have to try to stay ahead of the game. You need to keep making fresh content to keep your audience engaged. You’ll want to keep racking up those views and subscriber numbers.
And while you might think you’ve hit a winning formula, you need to assume that there are other channels with the same idea. This isn’t meant to discourage you. I’m only saying this to show you that to make a living creating content on YouTube, you will have to work hard and accept that facing competition is part of the game.