You might imagine well-known channels with more than a million followers when you consider how to Become a YouTuber Full-Time.
And if that’s how you define success, it won’t be easy to get there, we’re not going to lie.
But that objective is more reachable than you would believe if your definition of success is to earn a living that is commensurate with the amount of time you spend each week on your YouTube channel.
Particularly when you take into account all the ways you may profit from a video platform that has more than 2.4 billion users (or a quarter of the world’s population).
We’ll lead you through the process of becoming a successful and (more significantly) long-lasting YouTuber, step by step. We also have you covered if you’d prefer to watch a YouTube video to learn more about it 👇🏾.
How to Become a YouTuber at your Own Pace
1. Define your goal for you and your audience
When you include everything required, such as writing, filming, editing, creating thumbnails, and more, YouTubers can spend anything from a single afternoon to over 20 hours per week on their YouTube channel, according to self-reported estimations in ther/YouTubers subreddit.
Your goals must be in line from the start if you’re producing new videos at least once a week to keep your followers interested, as many YouTube creators do. Otherwise, you risk losing motivation.
By dividing it into three factors, you may create a clearly defined aim.
Who is your audience?
If you are for everyone, then you are for no one, as the saying goes. Select a target audience for whom you have a strong sense of connection and for whom you are convinced that you can provide engaging material.
Defeat the impulse to broaden your scope only to reach more people.
Through a more focused niche audience, you may still gain a sizable following and find it simpler to promote your work and establish your personality.
You don’t trust me? There are YouTube channels dedicated to the sandbox survival game Minecraft that have thousands of subscribers.
Though there are several ways to monetize your YouTube channel that shouldn’t be the deciding factor, keep in mind that the audience you select will influence this process in some way.
Having issues? Make a list of the broad interests, ways of living, talents, pastimes, or identities you identify with, and then consider how you may get more specific:
- Gaming: Nintendo Switch, Super Smash Bros., PC builds.
- Cooking: Air fryer owners, vegans, bakers.
- University students: Test takers, biochemistry students, graduate students.
- Remote working professionals: Digital nomads, home office workers, freelancers.
What are you going to promise your viewers?
One thing that all successful YouTube channels have in common is that they offer an implicit promise to the audience that motivates viewers to choose to subscribe and subscribers to keep watching.
The spectator is being promised value, which may be in the form of education, knowledge, inspiration, or entertainment. It may be to impart new knowledge, provide frank product critiques, or simply to make someone smile.
This commitment is made clear in the header of Unnecessary Inventions‘ Matty Benedetto, who also specifies how frequently he will post:
“I design and build unnecessary inventions. (*New inventions every week.)”
His audience? People who find it amusing to go to tremendous lengths for ridiculous notions include him.
What do you want to gain from your channel?
While every professional YouTuber should provide value to their viewers, you should also specify what you hope to achieve with your channel.
Some people would advise against thinking about money early, but you should at the very least prepare your YouTube channel’s concept and direction by thinking about your monetization choices before.
Do you want to:
- Generate passive income?
- Make an extra $3,000 a month?
- Leave your full-time job and go all-in on YouTube?
- Achieve many goals through this channel?
- Spread a message you care about?
To “save all the methods she’s learned about having and living with ADHD,” Jessica McCabe, for instance, launched her YouTube channel How to ADHD. She may not have started with the intention of making money, but as a result, she has developed a devoted following.
If you ever find yourself lacking motivation or inspiration for your next video, think about your motivation for starting the channel and let it be your guiding principle.
Put everything together at this point and give your channel a name:
I will always [give value] for [a certain audience] in order to [get value]. [YouTube channel name] is the name of my channel.
I’ll discuss work-from-home strategies and remote worker home offices every Sunday in an effort to increase productivity and bring in an extra $1,000 each month. The name of my channel is “WFHomies”.
You’re prepared to consider content creation now that your aim and premise have been established.
From this point forward, everything will be based on the objective you’ve set for your channel.
To encourage others to do the same, the YouTube channel Yes Theory, for instance, posts footage of members doing things completely outside of their comfort zones (such as letting a coin flip control their lives for 24 hours).
Because they want to be able to release many films every week, their production process is far more intensive, with pre-production planning, filming, and editing taking place months in advance.
But much like you, they began modestly by documenting one straightforward spontaneous deed each day.
I chatted with Matt Dajer from Yes Theory a while back about the progression of the YouTube channel from a few hundred to 300,000 followers. Since then, the channel has gained more than seven million subscribers. That was in 2017.
Even the most popular YouTubers began modestly. You don’t have to be this enormous to work full-time, so rest easy.
2. Set up your production process
While you may have a strong foundation upon which to build your YouTuber career, delivering videos consistently as your following grows will require a strong production process.
Here are the things you should think about:
Yes Theory began filming with a top-of-the-line Canon EOS 70D.
However, Dajer claims that if they didn’t know the tale they intended to portray, a nice camera wouldn’t have been of many services. Unless you can give them the tale, people won’t care, according to Dajer. However, if the tale you want to convey necessitates high-quality equipment, you may search online for reasonably priced cameras and mics.
These days, many smartphones come equipped with the tools required to begin recording YouTube videos in 4K.
So, if you don’t need a top-of-the-line camera to realize your vision (and chances are, you don’t), you can skip it or come back to it later. Instead, invest part of that money in a quality microphone, which will significantly raise the level of professionalism in your films.
Some choices that strike a good balance between price and quality are as follows:
- Blue Yeti: a common microphone used by podcasters and YouTubers, especially if you plan to shoot from a desk.
- Rode smartLav+: a covert, portable microphone that you can attach to your shirt and plug into your smartphone.
- Rode VideoMic: a shotgun mic that may be mounted to a camera for more elaborate and professional video productions.
Even for straightforward themes, trying to create a whole YouTube video from beginning to end in a single day is a challenging task.
Instead, to minimize the switching costs of switching contexts, many YouTubers set aside one day for each step.
A weekly YouTube channel’s production schedule may resemble this:
- Day 1: Research and outline
- Day 2: Write a script
- Day 3: Record video
- Day 4: Edit video
- Day 5: upload, schedule
However, if you want to release several videos in a row, you may work on several scripts at once, record several videos, edit several movies at once, etc., and get a few weeks ahead of your video schedule.
As you watch each video, you’ll eventually locate tools, create templates, automate or outsource activities, and learn time-saving tips.
To get you started, Trello and Notion both provide free video creation templates similar to the one above.
For many YouTubers, the enjoyable part is filming. The following advice can help you maintain your videos appearing professional, regardless of whether you’re a travel vlogger documenting your cross-country excursions, a comedian doing skits for YouTube, or a conventional YouTuber who records videos while sitting at their desk:
- Write a script for each video: Even if you believe that you are skilled at speaking spontaneously, following a script will greatly increase your productivity. For every 550 words in your script, you may calculate that there will be around 3 minutes of video.
- Position the camera at eye level and look directly into it: When speaking to a camera, it’s simple to turn your head in your direction or to one side. However, you might appear more assured and engaging by simulating direct eye contact with the camera.
- Keep your lighting in front of you: Keep your light source in front of you to prevent shadows, whether you’re utilizing a ring light or natural light to highlight your films.
- Enunciate and mind your pace: If you speak quickly, calm down, speak clearly, and take deliberate breaks to allow for simpler editing. There is no moving the camera at all! Additionally, a smile might increase your appeal on video.
- Shoot more than you need: For each segment of your video, record many takes because you are not dealing with film. If you believe a new perspective might provide a little diversity, change the angles as well. B-roll is an extra film you shoot throughout the production process to offer yourself more editing alternatives. For a review video, it could involve panning over a product, numerous viewpoints, or even blooper footage that turns up as a comedy in the finished result.
YouTubers invest a lot of time and effort in editing since it is the unsung hero of video.
To get you started, YouTube provides its editor, but there are several more free and paid applications for editing videos that are well worth looking into:
- Da Vinci Resolve: contains all of the same tools that Hollywood studios use to handle anything from color correction to visual effects to post-production audio. Furthermore, it’s free.
- Descript (Freemium): Editing the transcription allows you to alter movies just as simple as editing text. It is suggested YouTubers that value effective workflows due to the ability to export and edit videos directly to YouTube and other social media platforms.
- iMovie: Today, the in-house video editor from Apple is a more potent choice for video editing, particularly if you’re recording in Cinematic mode on a more recent iPhone or iPad.
Your needs will determine the editing program you choose. For instance, Descript works well for video podcasts since it creates a transcript from your recordings that you can include in your show notes.
Since editing takes time, many YouTubers outsource it as their first step to free up part of their time.
Find someone who can edit if that’s not your strong suit and all you do is a film and amuse; don’t waste eight hours or more of your day trying to learn. Unless, of course, you want to master editing.Matt Dajer, Yes Theory
TIP: Avoid black bars on either side, be sure to edit and export your YouTube videos in a 16:9 aspect ratio, or a 9:16 ratio if you’re publishing for YouTube Shorts.
Branding and thumbnails
Every YouTuber has a brand, whether they carefully created it or it just occurred to them.
Making ensuring your brand is represented consistently across your channel is part of your responsibility.
Not an artist? Canva has many starter templates that you can use to build the branding for your YouTube channel.
Here’s a checklist of basic assets to consider:
- Brand guidelines that include your typography and colors
- Logo or profile picture (800 x 800)
- Channel header (2560 x 1440)
- Video thumbnail templates (1280 x 720)
- Write your channel’s About section to pitch your channel
- Intro animation and music (Optional)
- Channel trailer to introduce your channel to new visitors (Optional)
You can see how the branding for How to Cake It by Yolanda Gampp links all of the visual components, from the header to the thumbnails.
We’ll skip the procedures for creating your actual channel from this article. But if you need assistance there, you may consult this detailed tutorial we put up.
3. Publish, promote, analyze: embrace the creator’s feedback loop
There is more to being creative than merely making things. Immersing yourself in the next phases is equally crucial if you want your audience to devour your material.
Iteration is key; pay attention to analytics and your audience to include their suggestions in the next video you produce. But first, you’ll need to publish your video and attract viewers.
Before you can make your video accessible, you must fill out a number of forms and options. Once your video is online, several of these have a major impact on its audience.
Here is a brief checklist of things to focus on specifically:
- Create a compelling headline with phrases that your target audience would use to locate your video (70 characters max or the full title may not display on some screens).
- In the first two lines of your description, incorporate keywords people could use to find your page (5,000 characters max).
- For lengthier films, enable chapter parts to make the content easier to skim.
- Choose the appropriate category and add two or three tags (cramming too many tags will hurt instead of help).
- Upload a unique, attention-grabbing thumbnail (many thumbnails feature one to four words of text to communicate at a glance).
- To expand your audience, include subtitles. Although YouTube automatically creates subtitles, you may provide an SRT file to guarantee their accuracy.
There are several methods you may take matters into your own hands to increase the number of views and subscribers to your video in addition to crossing your fingers and depending on the YouTube algorithm:
- Share your video with specialized communities that might find it interesting.
- Participate in the comment sections of other YouTubers’ videos in a genuine, spam-free manner.
- Wherever your social media audience is, share your video there.
- If you want to appear in YouTube and Google search results, optimize your title and description.
- Create a list of email addresses to which you may deliver fresh YouTube videos.
- If you have a blog, Embed your video there.
Create a playbook for advertising your YouTube videos when you launch them so you can start working on the next one right away.
For everything to improve over time, including YouTube, feedback is crucial.
Analytics is to a YouTuber what applause is to a stage performance.
Having a lot of views is excellent, but two feedback indicators are even more crucial for aligning with YouTube’s stated objective of keeping users on the site as long as possible:
- Watch time: The total number of minutes and hours your audience spent watching your video.
- Audience retention: The proportion of your whole video that viewers viewed to determine where and when viewers were most interested.
Finding out how to create videos that boost these metrics will raise the likelihood that YouTube’s recommendation system will show more people your films.
That doesn’t imply you should disregard the opinions of your current audience. They are your best source of user input, as seen by comments like the one from the Learn with Shopify channel that served as the basis for part of the discussion in this manual.
It’s important to strike a delicate balance between providing what your audience needs to expand and allowing for your unique expression to avoid being monotonous.
When asked how Yes Theory decides what to produce next, Matt Dajer answers, “I believe it’s like any business, where if you have a strong product and people enjoy it, you want to keep putting out more of that product.” “You can see that it works in the Abandoned and Asking Billionaires For Things series. Naturally, you don’t want to overdo it to the point that your channel solely becomes that, but to maintain doing what you want, you have to often offer the viewers what they want.
4. Monetize your YouTube channel
Finally, we return to our original topic: earning money as a YouTuber.
We spoke about money at the outset of setting your goals since it will depend on your niche and personal objectives and which of these YouTube revenue sources you prioritize.
Join the YouTube Partner Program
You’ve probably heard that you can monetize your videos on YouTube by running adverts before to, during, and surrounding them. However, you cannot immediately opt-in to this.
You’ll need to satisfy some criteria first:
- 1,000 subscribers
- 4,000 hours of total watch time
- 0 active Community Guidelines strikes
Once accepted, this can be a passive source of income, but it is in no way sufficient to be relied upon. Fortunately, the following solutions can assist you in beginning to monetize before you reach the 1,000-subscriber mark.
Start an online store
Making products that you can sell to your audience uses the same ingenuity that you use to create content.
You can sell:
- Digital products (courses, templates)
- Merch (books, t-shirts, mugs)
- Services (coaching, designing, consulting)
- Print-on-demand products (design and sell products without holding or shipping inventory)
For instance, if you run a sketch comedy program, you might design t-shirts based on local inside jokes. You can sell courses or templates if you serve as a resource for your readers’ education.
In order to spread its message and aid in connecting its community, Yes Theory decided to offer merchandise under the Seek Discomfort sub-brand.
One of our followers came to us about how their trip got canceled and the next flight was hours and hours away, says Zack Honarvar, who runs Yes Theory and works on the business side. They saw a gate-goer sporting a Seek Discomfort sweatshirt. Because they both shared a love of the channel, they ended up becoming pretty close friends throughout the numerous hours they spent stuck at the airport together.
Make deals with brands
Working with businesses on sponsored commercials, affiliate marketing, or even content partnerships may either delight you or make you queasy depending on your creative principles.
Brand partnerships are one of the most well-liked methods to make money on YouTube, whether you are “paid” in free things or several thousand dollars for a whole video. As the creator, you ultimately retain control.
Yes Theory occasionally produces sponsored videos, however, they are careful and inventive in their partner selection to avoid “selling out” or bombarding their audience with advertisements. They are aware that they simply cannot escape it, yet they nevertheless want to tackle it in a way that respects their audience.
I completely understand selling out in terms of the fact that ExxonMobile won’t be sponsoring us. It will be a company whose products we enjoy and whose employees we know.Matt Dajer, Yes Theory
Over the years, Shopify has collaborated with several YouTubers, including the projects below featuring Yes Theory and Unnecessary Inventions.
When you’re prepared to take this path and start searching for brands to collaborate with, have a look at these influencer marketing sites or our guide to YouTube affiliate marketing.
Smash that subscribes button on your YouTube career
People used to give you one of these looks when you said that you wanted to quit your job and focus solely to become a YouTuber: 🙁
Now that there are several big and little success stories, more people are taking YouTubers and creators seriously.
You can “click subscribe” on your YouTube channel right now to start your path, no matter what success means to you.