How to Become a YouTuber - The Complete Guide 2024

Once upon a time, becoming a YouTuber was a pipe dream. Something kids talked about in classrooms. Today, all you need is a good smartphone, a niche interest, and an internet connection, and you’re good to go. Oh, and a good strategy.

Read on to discover how to become a YouTuber and make money from your videos.

How to become a YouTuber: The Ultimate Checklist

Here's the 9 steps you need to follow to become a successful YouTuber:

1) Pick a niche
2) Define your values
3) Consider your audience
4) Create your channel
5) Get your setup sorted
6) Start creating content
7) Craft video titles and thumbnails
8) Check out your analytics
9) Monetize your channel

What is a YouTuber?

A YouTuber is an individual who shares video content on YouTube, the most popular video-sharing platform.

Sounds simple, right? Well, when people talk about ‘YouTubers,’ they’re typically referring to people who make part — if not all — of their income from regularly posting content to YouTube. Names that jump to mind tend to include creators who have been on the platform since the beginning, including Pewdiepie, Markiplier, and Zoella, to those topping the viewing charts today, such as MrBeast, the Paul brothers, and Emma Chamberlain.

However, the term ‘YouTubers’ also includes those who post as a side hustle and hobbyist creators.

How can you make money from YouTube?

You need to be creating and uploading videos to YouTube consistently before you can be eligible to make money from YouTube. But more on that later. Here are four ways you can earn money as a YouTuber:

1) Ad revenue: YouTubers with monetized channels can display companies’ ads on their videos, earning a portion of the revenue from Google AdSense.

2) Sponsored content: If you’ve seen YouTubers promoting the likes of HelloFresh and Raid: Shadow Legends, you’ve watched sponsored content, which is when a YouTuber is paid by a brand to mention its product or service in a video.

3) Merchandise sales: Once you’ve built an audience, you can sell branded items like T-shirts via your channel’s shop.

4) YouTube Premium: YouTubers get a share of revenue brought in by Premium subscriptions when their content is watched by Premium subscribers.

How hard is it to become a YouTuber?

The internet provides countless opportunities to make money, but social media is a competitive space, and not everyone will become an overnight sensation.

That being said, putting in the hard work to consistently create quality content for an engaged audience makes becoming a successful YouTuber more than possible.

It may not be easy to become a famous YouTuber, but with the potential to earn millions of dollars each year, the hard work is worth it.

How to become a successful YouTuber

Ready to learn how to become a popular YouTuber? Let’s break the process down into nine steps.

1) Pick a niche

The great thing about YouTube is that there’s something for everyone, from family vlogging channels sharing parenting advice to make-up gurus showing you how to perfect your contour.

Picking a niche means finding a topic that interests you and that you can create content around consistently. Ideally, there will be as few people as possible in your niche, increasing your chances of attracting a viewership.

A great example of finding an untapped niche is Bailey Sarian, who combined true crime with makeup to create her popular Murder Mystery & Makeup series.

How to become a gaming YouTuber

Gaming is a popular genre on YouTube. Within gaming, there are tonnes of subgenres to tap into, from making Let’s Play content to reviewing cozy games.

2) Define your values

Defining your values or finding your ‘why’ means identifying what your channel will stand for.

Are you all about making people laugh? Do you want to be seen as an expert in your field? Do you want to help people? Is your goal to educate your viewers? Understanding what your purpose is will make it easier to keep your content consistent.

3) Consider your audience

Without a dedicated audience, you can’t make money from YouTube. So, it’s important you consider who you’re creating for — not just what you’re creating.

Ask yourself what type of person is most likely to watch (and enjoy) your videos. What’s their job? Their personality? Their age? By imagining your ideal viewer, you will find it easier to create content that’s relevant to this audience.

For example, compare Tiffanyferg’s calm, down-to-earth demeanor while delivering internet culture commentary for a Gen Z/ millennial audience to Ryan’s World’s upbeat and colorful content aimed at children.

4) Create your channel

Now comes the not-so-fun part — the admin. Here’s how to create a YouTube channel:

  • Decide your channel name
  • Create your logo and banner image. For bonus points, select a color scheme that appeals to your audience and matches your content genre
  • Create a Google account
  • Create a YouTube account
  • Populate your channel page with the content above and a channel description

5) Get your setup sorted

You don’t need fancy equipment to get started, just your smartphone. With a well-lit room (natural light is ideal, but a ring light can do in a pinch), a great background, and your phone, you’re ready to go.

As your viewership grows, you’ll want to upgrade your setup to include a high-tech video camera, lights, and a microphone to increase your content’s quality.

6) Start creating content

Lights, camera, action! Now comes the time to create. Once you’ve scripted and filmed your videos, you need great editing software to prepare your content for publication.

Did you know you can transform podcasts into YouTube videos? If you’re already a podcaster, why not expand your reach by filming your recording, editing the content, and uploading it to YouTube?

7) Craft video titles and thumbnails

Creating great thumbnails is a skill. These should grab your target audience’s attention when they’re scrolling through YouTube’s homepage and clearly communicate what type of content you’re creating.

Commentary creator Mike’s Mic does a great job of communicating his subject matter and sense of humor through his thumbnails and video titles.

8) Check out your analytics

While it's important to stay consistent with your defined niche and audience, your analytics can help guide you along the way.

Make sure to try different video lengths, formats, and approaches and monitor the results via YouTube Analytics. This will reveal what works for your channel and what doesn’t.

9) Monetize your channel

If you want to make money from your YouTube videos, you need to set up an AdSense account.

You can join the YouTube Partner Program once you’ve reached 1,000 subscribers. To be eligible, you need to have amassed at least 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months.

As a Partner, you gain access to a range of monetization features. Monetization opportunities include ad revenue, YouTube Premium revenue, channel memberships, a channel shop, and premium live chat payments, with access to each depending on your viewership.

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