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How to Properly Start a Youtube Channel
Reasons to and Not to YouTube
- You genuinely enjoy entertaining or helping an audience of people
- Looking to establish something for the long term and are committed to sticking with it and improving yourself day after day until you've "got it" - It's so much harder than it looks.
- You are passionate about the subject that you want to cover. No one wants to watch someone bored talk about anything and it will show if you are.
- You feel that what you are offering will offer legitimate value to the world. Will others be helped by your channel? Are you so funny of a guy that you can make any video game become interesting? Is your idea so unique that it would take the world by storm?
Reasons Not To
- Make a meaningful amount of money quickly. YouTube channels are generally slow to gain exposure and do not have huge ad revenue payouts. Anyone but the top percent of YouTubers would be lucky to earn more than a few dollars a month. You need thousands of views on every video before the numbers start becoming meaningful.
- You don't like dealing with or responding to people. One of the primary reasons that people subscribe to others on YouTube is that they become attached to certain personalities after they've been proven to provide quality content. When you become recognized as a personality, you will have more exposure to the public than most jobs. People who treat their viewership well tend to do better than companies or individuals who ignore them.
- You just want to copy someone else's idea that's been done a million times before. You're not the only guy who's ever thought of trying a Let's Play video game channel or a girl who's wanted to make a Makeup tutorial channel. If you have no X-factor then your videos are likely to be lost in the pages of pages of other videos on the same topic.
Quality vs Quantity
There's definitely something to be said about being able to frequently put out videos. If you can give your audience more of what they want day after day then you will grow faster than someone who posts once every month.
However, YouTube viewers are very spoiled by their selection of channels to choose from. If your content is unoriginal and someone does the exact same thing better then you may not see so much success. In addition, some topics are being searched for on YouTube while others aren't. If you are giving YouTube something that people aren't looking for, then few if any people are going to land on the video.
To truly succeed you need to have good quality content that people would actually search for and then put it out on a highly regular basis (Daily or every other day if possible). Then you will have to keep it up for a long time before you get the chance to make it your day job.
Follow a Process
As with any business plan, you should have a clear idea of what you are providing to your customers and how you intend to make it happen while being consistent about it.
- Pick a Niche - This is 2015 (or later) and the internet has someone trying to do just about everything at this point. In order to stand out or even get noticed, you need to have something special about your channel. This goes quadruple for video game channels - you would struggle so much if you made a Minecraft Let's Play Channel today.
- Practice and look at your mistakes - Rerecord if necessary. Your first few videos will almost certainly suck. Despite what you may assume, jumping in front of a camera or recording yourself on a mike and actually being interesting is a learned skill. You can't become a professional YouTuber overnight just like you can't jump on a piano and be in a serious concert one week later.
- Edit and Record Your Videos - It's really tempting to be lazy and to just hit record, stop, and then upload but if you want your video to be good then you should generally edit it up to have more quality per minute. Remove dead space, white noise (try Audacity for that), boring moments, and anything else unnecessary from your videos. Most successful YouTube channels make custom thumbnails in a program like Photoshop as well.
- Listen to your audience - If you do things that piss them off or bore them to tears, then they will leave your channel for good. Asking for and getting feedback is incredibly valuable. Just mind the haters that you will inevitably end up coming across - The internet is full of trolls.
- Be consistent - Many channels fail not because they are bad necessarily but because they post 5 or 10 videos and then fall off the Earth for years. If you want success then you have to be there more often then when you feel like it.
Logitech C920 Webcam or Digital Camcorder worth a few Hundred
Blue Yeti Microphone with Stand
8 GB Ram, Capable of Video Editing and Gaming while Recording if a Gaming Channel
Recorder / Streamer
Open Broadcaster Software or XSplit
Adobe Premier or Other Popular Paid Options
Study from the Best
I figure this one is something of a no brainier but if you want to be successful like the best then you should study and learn from the best. There are many YouTubers who spiraled out of control in popularity after they reached a certain threshold. Figure out what the people in your Niche did to succeed and then emulate or, even better, one-up them.
Here are some typical traits I've found
- Consistently been around a long time
- Videos got better as they've gone on
- Networks with other YouTubers. Possibly gets in other forms of press.
- Is very entertaining to watch
- Skillful and Knowlegable - Professional or aspiring to be a professional at the subject that they cover
- Keeps themselves relevant - Responds to news, trends or plays the latest games rather than 10 year old ones.
Many Big Channels are Organizations and Not One Person - Potential Force Multiplier
What type of channel were you thinking of making or to improve?
Love Him or Hate Him, You Need to Understand Your Competition and Why They Succeed
It's Important to Relax
Especially at the beginning, there will be moments of frustration. You will upload a video that you think is great and that you put loads of effort into, but even after a week or a month it may have less than 20 views. If you put it in terms of restaurant work then it's like you prepared a grand opening feast and only one customer showed up.
Getting started on YouTube, in my opinion, is far harder than most jobs out there. It's not the kind of thing where you show up to work, do some tasks and solve some problems, and then go home with a paycheck. You need to stay calm when handling your channel. Realize that it won't happen overnight and that it will take a lot of consistent effort before you see results.
A lot of it comes down to your long term willpower. If it's what you want to do, then I hope you manage to stick with it and eventually find success. Good luck with your channel everyone!