Tuesday, 22 November 2016

How to make YouTube work for you

When you see YouTube stars like Michelle Phan and Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) bringing in billions of dollars through their channels, you would want to start your own too. As tempting as it sounds, captivating and growing a massive audience for a sustained period of time takes much more work than it looks. YouTube might have the step-by-step of how to create your own channel, but there’s no real tutorial on the ‘How To Make Your Channel Profitable’.

As a YouTuber myself (don’t forget to subscribe! ;) ) here’s some basic tips to keep in mind:

1. Get to know your audience and stay on top of the trends!
When starting your own channel, it’s crucial to know your market. There’s a reason why YouTube has a comment section and it’s not only for haters throwing mean (although sometimes funny) comments, they’re there so people can interact with what they watch. Phan once said, “if you know your audience, you know exactly what they’re going to watch.” This requires you to stay on top of trends and the broader social media zeitgeist.

2. Put in a lot of time and effort.
I used to wonder how some of the most trending videos on Phan and Kjellberg’s YouTube are usually around 8 minutes and when I started making videos I realised how an 8-minute video can take as long as three to four days shoot, edit and refinement.

It really is a lot of work! No wonder YouTube stars like Phan and Kjellberg both had to quit their pre-existing commitments (work and uni) to focus on their YouTube channel.

3. Make it authentic.
You know how it can be a bit annoying when you’re watching a video on YouTube and suddenly an ad comes up? Yup, we’ve all been there. Imagine how annoying it’ll be if your video actually sounds like an ad. If you want to communicate effectively, then the best thing you can do is to be authentic.

“The thing that has made YouTube so successful is that you can relate to the people you’re watching to a much higher degree than to the people you see on TV.” - Pewdiepie

4. YouTube is not Hollywood.
While caring about the quality is a good thing, don’t let the creation process bog you down. Viewers are not expecting a masterpiece, what’s important is to get a good content, put it out there and allow the viewers to get to intimately know you.

5. Create a brand for your channel
While this sounds very technical, creating a sense of familiarity to your channel is basically what branding here means. Keep your style consistent so that viewers know what to expect. Once you created your brand, you need to keep your content align with your branding.

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