Now, let's get down to business and talk some facts about making money on YouTube.
1. Money is a byproduct of being helpful
Helpful is a pretty broad term. Being helpful can be rephrased as bringing some sort of value:
- being entertaining
- dispersing valuable advice (tips and tricks)
- teaching stuff (tutorials)
- being interesting
- all of the above and more
How can I provide a ton of value with my videos?
By this I mean you need to focus on the process itself and think about what would be the reasons for someone to watch your videos.
If the process of doing videos is pleasurable for you then you are bound to stick to it in the long run. Thus you'll be able to improve your style (shooting, editing) and you'll find your true original voice.
So you see? It's not just about delivering value to your viewers - it's also about finding a type of video that you enjoy producing. If you only do it for your audience (and you hate it), you'll probably burn out pretty fast.
You don't want your viewers to become your absolute masters unless you wanna become their bitch... But I assume you don't want that.
Instead mix your own passion with the viewers' passion and produce content that matches both. And speaking about passion and doing what you love, you might also enjoy reading these articles:
- So, you want to be a youtuber?
- Tips and suggestions for young bloggers - by Mark Manson (blogging being similar to vlogging)
Most big youtubers make money from those annoying ads that you see popping out in their videos. When someone clicks on those ads they get a share of the revenue that Google (YouTube) makes
If you ask me, that's a pretty bad strategy for you. Especially if you're just starting out.
The only way you can get serious earnings from ads is if you get at least hundreds of thousands of views on each of your videos. If you get millions of views it's even better.
Let me give you my own example for reference. My channel gets 34,318 views per month and it generates $23,77 for the same period.
That's... pretty lame, right?
It is. That's why I'm saying you should have low expectations with your ad earnings.
And you can see that the videos that make most of the money are basic tutorials - see the pics below. There is a lesson here:
Videos that solve a problem will always be relevant, no matter how old they are. They have timeless value. So if you don't have an effervescent personality to be a humorous vlogger or gamer, no worries - you can always shoot timeless tutorials that will consistently get views across years.
Check out my YouTube stats and earnings for April - May 2015:
I don't mind getting a check from Google every 3 or 4 months but that's just beer money for me.
3. Direct sponsorship or direct ad sales
This works pretty well if you have a niche channel that involves some sort of product which serves a need.
Your channel doesn't have to be big, it just has to be good and focused - with content related to that specific need. It can be anything: fishing, bike repairs, dealing with depression, etc.
You might be contacted by advertisers who want you to promote their product or service to your audience. That's a pretty sweet position to be in. Because you actually get to help people with the product that you're promoting and you're making money at the same time.
Apart from cash you could be getting free stuff (gear, vouchers for services, etc.) that you can use yourself in exchange for a review. Or to give away to your viewers. It doesn't really matter for the advertisers coz either way they get to piggyback on your micro-fame within that niche. And it's the same for you - you can piggyback on their brand credibility by promoting their stuff.
I'm telling you about this method because this is the way I got tons of cool free stuff to review - outdoor gear mostly.
Now, when you get to be the youtuber that gets millions of views and have a niche topic as well (like gaming - see PewDiePie) you can get obnoxious amounts of money for mentioning of a product. My point is this: the rewards become disproportionately higher as you get more famous. That's just how it is...
But this doesn't mean that it's not worth it to be a small time youtuber within a defined niche. Try it.
4. Sell stuff online and use YouTube as a content marketing platform
Let me tell you the truth: if you ignore fame and focus on just serving a need by selling a product, then this method will be the FASTEST way to make money on YouTube.
It's hard to be interesting and funny. But it's a lot easier to be helpful by feeding a starving crowd.
So I told you that I make about $24 with 30,000 views a month on my channel. Well, guess what? My wife can make that amount with just 30 views. Why? Because she sells crochet yarn online and she uses YouTube to promote her products.
By employing video marketing, she draws customers in. And it's not just: Hey buy my shit! Nope! That would be silly. Instead she offers tons of value by publishing tutorials and tips which the women interested in crocheting and knitting adore. Thus she creates good will (reciprocity) and some of the watchers eventually buy from her.
Granted this is not exactly making money on YouTube and yet... without YouTube (or Facebook now) it would be harder to get those customers.
5. Whatever you do, inject personality
No matter which of these methods you adopt, you'll be more successful if you inject your personality into your videos. Which leads us to the question: How the hell do I do that?!
I hear you. A lot of beginners are a bit terrified about being in front of the camera because they're either too shy or they assume they're not interesting. I get it. It's normal to feel that.
So in order to get over the shyness think that you're slightly drunk and you're hanging around with your best friends. Nobody is watching and nobody is judging. :) When you're free from the stress of being judged you can be yourself and that's when you're most interesting.
I want you to notice that we didn't discuss about cameras or video editing software. Why?
Because in the long long it's almost irrelevant. I want you to focus on your content first. No youtuber became great because he or she used the best camera or the best editing program. Nope! Personality and humor trumps gear.
As long as you have a phone with a decent camera, you're ready to go.
So what are you waiting for? Start publishing YouTube videos and grab your chance for fame and success.
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