What Is YouTube, and How Can People Make Money on It?
How many times have you wanted to watch some video or trailer, and the first place your mind goes to is YouTube? This is no coincidence. Have you ever wondered who owns YouTube? Well, it’s Google.
This is not a formal business partnership. YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006, while still in its infancy stage. The company had humble beginnings and was actually started by three former PayPal employees: Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, and Chad Hurley.
Before being bought by Google™️ (or Alphabet Inc.), YouTube operations were funded by an $11.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital and an $8 million investment from Artis Capital Management between November 2005 and April 2006. In November 2006, YouTube was purchased for $1.65 billion in Google stock (a deal that made the 3 founders instant millionaires on paper).
Should You Start a YouTube Channel?
You might have heard of YouTube and how people are making money from it.
There are many reasons why you should start a YouTube channel, but there are also plenty of reasons not to.
So let’s look at some of the reasons why you should start a YouTube channel.
Step #1. Select Right Topic for your channel
The first thing you have to do is pick a niche for your YouTube channel. What niche you select that should be:
- Is profitable
- Has enough demand and interest from an audience
- You’re knowledgeable about and can create content around (or are willing to learn more about)
- That you’re passionate about
- Where you have the resources (time, money, equipment, etc.) needed to create content in
Step #2. Create Relevant, Engaging Content
Once you’ve figured out what the purpose of your channel is, think about your content strategy. Ask yourself if your content is relevant to the niche. You should make sure that your videos help to serve a distinct audience and add value to their lives in some way.
You can do this by making sure that the content you upload is interesting, useful and entertaining:
- Interesting: no one wants to watch something boring;
- Useful: there has to be a point behind every video;
- Entertaining: there has to be at least one joke or pun in every video (not necessarily a good one)
Step #3. Select the Most excellent Equipment for Your Needs
- What equipment do you need to create your YouTube videos?
- What are the best cameras for YouTube?
- What are the best microphones for YouTube?
- What are the best lights for YouTube?
- What are some other important tools for making videos for YouTube?
Step #4. Optimize Your Videos for Search Engines
You’ve probably heard that content is king. You have to remember that your videos will rank in the search results.
Here are some tips on how to optimize your YouTube channel and videos for search engines:
- Add relevant tags to your videos.
- Use popular keywords in the title, description, and tags of your videos. You can discover the most trending keywords using Google Trends and Keyword Planner.
- Optimize the video thumbnail as it plays a significant role in getting clicks on your video from search results. It has to be attractive, eye-catching, and related to video content.
- Translate your video into different languages if you want to reach a wider audience (e.g., if you create a tutorial about how to make money on YouTube, you may want to translate it into Spanish). You can also insert subtitles or add an annotation with a link pointing back at your original video (for example, “English version”) so that people who speak different languages can watch the original version of the video as well. This approach will help increase its overall visibility on YouTube by expanding its reach across multiple networks/languages, which is quite beneficial when it comes to ranking higher in search results (YouTube automatically translates subtitles into different languages).
- Add annotations to all of your great content that encourage viewers to subscribe or check out more of what you do; this gives them another opportunity after watching each video they see elsewhere within their YouTube feed – essentially giving them a second chance at getting noticed by subscribing or viewing more from you – otherwise, they might just continue scrolling down their feed without ever considering checking out any more content from you! Enable comments for each of your uploads so viewers can leave feedback about how much they enjoyed watching these clips when uploading them–this allows viewers an outlet where they may share opinions about what works best within these types of videos without feeling like someone else
Step #5. Set Up a YouTube Channel for Monetization
To turn on monetization for your channel go to Creator Studio -> Channel -> Status and Features. The first thing you have to do is to enable monetization of your YouTube channel. The second step is an option to join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).
The YPP has two main requirements – subscription and watch time. “You need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time over the last 12 months.” To meet these requirements, you’ll need to create content regularly. If one video gets a lot of views, that’s great, but make sure it doesn’t stop there!
Once you meet the minimum requirements and become a YPP member, you can start making money on YouTube in three ways:
- AdSense: Ads shown before or during videos will generate income when viewers click on them;
- YouTube Premium: If people watch your content by paying for a premium membership, you get paid through this service;
- Merchandise shelf: Sell products on a shelf underneath your video (it should be enabled manually);
- Channel memberships: People pay $4.99 monthly for some special perks from creators;
- Super Chat & Super Stickers: Fans buy messages with real money that pop up during live chats.
Step #6. Create an Engaging Thumbnail for Your Video
- Content. The content of your thumbnail should be consistent with the video to which it belongs. It should also have something about it that contributes to the viewer’s curiosity and attracts them to click.
- Text. Including text in your thumbnail is recommended because people are more likely to read text than they are watch a whole video. But don’t overdo it or make the text too big, as this will distract from the content and look childish.
- Size. The ideal YouTube thumbnail size is 1280 pixels by 720 pixels, with a ratio of 16:9 (width:height).
Step #7. Create Video Cards to Increase Watch Time and Drive Traffic to Related Videos
Your videos should have video cards. Video cards are interactive elements you can add to your YouTube videos to keep viewers on your channel and help them discover more related content.
They show up in the upper right corner of the video player at any time during the playback, display a title and a custom call-to-action (which you can choose from a set of existing options), and stay on screen for about 5 seconds or until clicked by the viewer.
Video cards allow users to access additional information related to your video, such as other videos hosted on your channel or outside links, such as articles on your website. Video cards also make it easy for users to subscribe to your channel when clicked.
A content creator should focus on creating valuable video content around a specific niche.
When you’re starting out, it’s easy to fall into a trap of trying to be too broad. The thing is, while this can seem like the best strategy initially, your content isn’t likely to be helpful or interesting enough for people who don’t already know they want what you have to offer.
Let’s say that after years of being a freelance graphic designer, you’ve decided you want to have a crack at teaching other people how to design logos and ads on YouTube. With so many different things about design that could interest people on the site, how do you know where to start?
The best way is by beginning with the end in mind: Who are the people who actually need and use the services that you provide? What kind of questions do they ask? What kind of content would help them solve their problems? Once you have some strong answers for these questions, your niche will become clear.
For instance, let’s say that one day at work as a freelancer (you), someone asks if you sell ad space in addition to designing it. You’ve never done this before and aren’t sure where to begin with pricing your own ads—but once your client walks through all their options with (you), they know exactly what they’re looking for and are happy with the results. When deciding what kind of content (you) are going to create on YouTube, think about putting together a video series called “How To Price Your Ads For Maximum Profit” or something along those lines. This type of specific knowledge will make it easier for potential customers who need help solving this exact problem find (you) online—and ultimately hire (you) because they trust (your) advice and can see themselves working with (you).