Aaaah. Being a YouTuber. The new opulence, the new self-employed hero. Half artist, half genius, completely fascinating!
Is there anything more synonym of easy money, easy fame, easy life than a YouTuber?
The past decade has seen “people-like-us”, which through their YouTuber status, have achieved enough fame and wealth to compete with Hollywood A-listers!
Example in hand, the now infamous (and controversial YouTube bad boy) PewDiePie, or the healthy, family friendly, life inspiring Casey Neilstat, and how about our human “moral-compas” Philip Defranco?
Watch them, and within a minute (60 seconds… I mean it) you will tell yourself: “I could do this”!
Sure enough, your brain does that tilt it so rarely does! You feel like you re-discovered the wheel, and for once in your life, you can see all your talents, qualities and defaults, perfectly converging in a beautiful life goal: Being a YouTuber!
But where to start? What do you need? What should you know before quitting your dull job?
Where to START
The basics! Before spending your first dime on this project, make sure that you have some clarity on what you want your channel to look and feel like.
- Figure out the topic you want to cover. Be specific! Make sure that it animates you to your core!
- Have some space. A kitchen space can be plenty if no extra room is available.
- READ THE YouTube ToS!
- Get a catchy and topic-relate channel name.
- Check that the web and social availability of that name:
- Domain name (.com)
- Facebook page
- Twitter name.
- Instagram name.
- Get a logo you can live with for the next year or two.
What you NEED
First of all. Budget! Make sure not to go overboard! I would budget a 2500,00 USD for the first year hardware and license fees. It is important to use legal and legit software! You do not want to depend on pirate soft which could potentially be tracked through its productions.
Get the right software. I go with the Adobe creative suite because it gives me access to:
- Adobe Premiere (video editing)
- Adobe After Effect (special effect)
- Adobe Photoshop (image creation)
Budget: ~900 USD / year
I’d go for a VLOG DSLR kit such as the Canon EOS 750D DSLR Camera Bundle.
In one kit you’ll get the tripod, the right lens, a couple of 10 rated cards, etc… The perfect starter Kit!
Budget: ~ 750 USD
You will need a computer able to easily edit and render your creations!
It’s tricky, because you could easily go above 3,000 USD by getting the latest and the meanest.
You probably already have a computer. So first, do try your home computer. See how the software reacts to your existing hardware before spending on any upgrades!
Remember that the hardware is always second to the story! You can get the best camera equipment out there, but no one will care to watch what you have to say if you have nothing to say!
Creating your YouTube account.
If you have a Gmail account, you already have a YouTube account. But if you are going to be a serious YouTuber, you need a completely separated account, with an email address which reflects as much as possible the name of your YouTube channel.
Not as easy as one might think. To do so, you will need an AdSense account! If you do not have one, create one now!
Once done, you will need to link your YouTube account to your AdSense’s. Please note that this will require a human approval coming from AdSense, and this might take up to 4 working days.
Once linked, you are ready to upload your videos and make some money!
Talking about money, YouTube monetizes video in three distinct ways:
- Serving video ads on your videos
- Serving banners on your video and channel page
- Charging a membership fee to YouTube RED viewers and redistribute a portion of that membership fee (9.99 USD/month) to the videos watched by these users. The redistribution is on minute-watched based.
As a YouTuber, you do receive 55% of advertiser money and YouTube keeps the remaining 45%.
All your YouTube earning are available on your YouTube analytics section. They will not be reflected in your AdSense account until the following month typically between the 10th and no later than the 15th of that month.
It is important to NOT click your on ads and banners or even to watch your own videos with ads being served on them. This will ban you from the AdSense programme.
CLICK and IMPRESSIONS
When looking at your AdSense account, you will see 2 different column which shows your true earnings. The IMPRESSIONS and the CLICKS.
IMPRESSIONS represent the number of times an ad banner showed on your video. They usually get a low monetization level. So you will get a per thousand impression estimate (Per Mille). If one of your viewer clicks on one of these ads, then BINGO. You get a CLICK.
CLICKS , as their name indicate, represent the physical left clicks a viewer makes on a banner or a video ad. When the viewer does so, it triggers a higher and secondary payment which is CPC based (Cost Per Click). This CPC ranges based on the advertiser payment terms towards YouTube, the geographic location of the user (some countries charge more from advertisers, yielding a higher CPC).
Also, when a video ad is watched on one of your videos, this will create a CLICK. Its value is determined by how long the viewer has watched that add.
Uploading your first video!
Probably the most important part of this article. This will save your channel… literally! You would not believe how many channels have been suspended on their first upload!
YouTube has a zero SPAM tolerance. And the way YouTube usually identifies SPAM videos, is through their tags. If you have 40 tags for one video, you are probably trying to fish for more viewers then your video would interest. And that is, to a certain extent Spamming.
I usually try to keep them to ten or under. 15 tops. This allows me to really pin point what my video is about and make sure that my videos are not mistaken with spam videos.
Description and Title:
Just as for video tags, you need to make sure that your Title accurately describes your video. As much as possible, avoid symbols or all capital words.
As for descriptions, for the first few videos, or months, I would avoid putting in any links at all. Again, you do not want your video to be mistaken with a Spam video.
Make sure you use full sentences. Try to be concise and accurate.
Beginning August 2017, in an effort to attract back advertisers who had previously left the video platform earlier, in April 2017, YouTube deployed a newly automated bot, which scans all existing and new videos, and tries to assess if indeed these videos are advertiser-friendly.
As far as I can tell, the bot scans video titles, description and tags, as well as thumbnail pictures.
If any of the words , or word combinations used for a video matches the bot database, the video will be flagged. If your video is flagged the following will happen:
Ad limitations :
- A yellow dollar icon will appear instead of the green dollar icon
- Very little or no ads will be served to the flagged video
- You will still receive revenues from YouTube RED viewers.
You can request a human review, which yields a healthy chance to see the flagging overruled and monetization re-established.
To request a human review the flagged video must :
- Gathered at least 1000 views in 7 days.
- A human may review the video if it is listed in private mode, and the channel as more than 10,000 Subscribers.
As is name indicates, your video is now completely demonetized!
Of course, this has affected every content creator, and YouTube has admitted that the bot did need some refinement.
Beyond its technicalities, this new bot marks a shift in YouTube’s community. To appease and attract back advertisers, YouTube has enforced a lot of its existing Terms of Services.
In short, if you have a channel depicting any violence, fake or real (including video games and walk-troughs), talk about politics, or controversial matter, or seem to be, you will no longer receive add related revenues.
It also applies if you use or seem to be using foul language.
The Bot, will also flag any depiction of guns or nudity on the thumbnail or the video.
If you are an inspiring YouTuber, please keep this in mind.
You can read more, directly from YouTube.
Music and third party video clips:
YouTube has this very efficient and accurate processor they call Content ID. After uploading, YouTube will spend a few minutes processing your video. Other than making sure your video is correctly encoded, YouTube will be scanning your video content for any video, graphics or audio tracks which might have been registered by copyright holder into their Content ID database.
If there is a match, you will receive an email, and whatever revenue collected through the monetization of that video will be redirected to the rightful owners. YouTube can also try to remove the audio content from the video and leave your video monetized. This produces interesting results at time.
If you are going to dispute this Right claim, know that, if you lose the dispute, your channel will be terminated.
As far as I go, I only use music I have purchased for monetization productions from Envato. There are a few artists and websites which do provide monetizable music at no cost (Bensound is very good).
I also buy a lot from a Polish artist called BOOMOPERA . I can’t recommend this guy enough !
As for third-part videos, it is always tricky. In principle, the Fair Use Policy Rights should protect you when using any of them, but nothing will protect you from someone filling a DMCA claim against your video/channel. And that will translate in loss of income, and possibly, the termination of your channel.
So avoid adding original clips from other videos. That would be my 2 cents on that topic.
After Effects, logos and other graphics:
You know what I am going to say! Copyrights! Make sure you have the written consent of the right holder, or a commercial license before using them in a monetized video!
If you make your own, keep the mezzanine files. If you purchase them from a creator’s marketplace, keep the licenses in a safe place!
After Uploading your first video!
Views and likes:
DO NOT EVER watch your own videos! Do not like them, dislike them, interact with them, or watch them! You would be tampering with YouTube algorithm and metrics, which equates to immediate channel termination.
If you do get sponsoring, let YouTube know. There is a box you can tick in the Advanced-Settings section of every video.
All right! Enough of the warnings! Let’s assume that you have done the above right! If you are still into the YouTubing thing, If you still have some of that initial drive we talked about… Congratulation, you are now officially a YouTuber!
Let’s now see what happens after your firs upload and in the first months of your channel.
I am going to try my best to describe what is likely to happen in the first month of your YouTuber’s life.
As you get familiarized with the different tracking tools that YouTube put at your disposal, words like Monetize, Algorithm, Subs, Views, slowly become your daily thoughts. And all these can easily feed a compulsive-obsessive brain. How many times a day do I check my metrics? Either on my phone (Creator apps / AdSense) or on my computer? It is important to keep this in mind. But more on that later.
In practice, a YouTuber is defined by the fact that he can make a living off of his creations. And the first step is definitely the steepest!
The first 100.00 USD!
Not everyone makes it. The extreme majority of YouTubers do not make it a to their first 100 USD. Amount at which level you are entitled for your first payment!
In general, to achieve (and receive) your first 100.00 USD, it will take a year for a YouTuber to achieve that amount, providing at least 3 videos to 5 videos a month, all of which have reached a monetizing status and survived the advertisement-friendliness test!
At a 0.8-1.0 USD per thousands monetized views, you will need about 120,000 of them. Doesn’t sound like much, but it was a year of my life :).
Of course, I am not mentioning the fact that, chances for your channel to be suspended and see yourself banned out of YouTube (for LIFE), are exponentially higher, as soon as you start uploading videos.
And this is how YouTube filters who call himself or herself a YouTuber:
Actually, if you make it that far, by then, you would have enough viewership to generate that same amount of money in about 5o days. And of course, provided that you keep uploading at the same rhythm, for a longer period of time, you can hope to see substantial growth in revenue within the following year.
A Dangerous job
All right. Let us assume that you did surpass your first endurance test. You are serious! You know the rules and somehow, are navigating them somewhat successfully.
An obstacle of size dresses on his path: YOURSELF!
Being a YouTuber can be as unhealthy as it gets! Both physically and mentally.
A toxic mix can concoct itself in your brain over time. The compulsive-addiction I was talking about earlier, can settle into a daily MUST. I noticed it through my friends and family commenting my almost minute habit of checking my phone!
I developed some kind of biological clock reminding me to upload more videos, always more. All YouTubers will confirm a short high after publishing a new video. A dopamine release which brings himself back to a normal self. But as in any other drugs, the high slowly goes away, and anxiety creeps in. Barely noticeable at first, but subsequent, and over-whelming at last. Our YouTube NEEDS to see his numbers to go up, and therefore NEEDS to create content!
Lack of exercise and a sizable anti-social spine will finish making our YouTuber someone who has more in common with a heroinoman than himself, 12 short months ago.
YouTube has become a drug, and the supplier: Brilliant!
Is there a remedy? ABSOLUTELY!
How to do it right!
As in any other demanding/addictive jobs, you need to force yourself to step out of it. A YouTuber needs discipline!
If you want to survive this career move, you need to pace yourself and follow a set of simple but crucial rules:
- Schedule your videos.
- A full day break (at least) after each publishing.
- Check the channel analytics twice a day at most, at the same time (mine is 7 am and noon).
- Answer all your comments once a day during your analytics check.
- Run or bike 45 minutes every working day.
- Eat healthy
- Do not check your channel, or analytics during family vacations!
These few steps, will make our YouTuber a social human being again! And that is how he, and YouTube, can make more money TOGETHER!
All right, that’sit for me. I hope this article will help you better understand what opening a YouTube Channel means, and how to better succeed 🙂
These tips are based on my personal experience and only reflect my opinion and reflections 🙂