YouTube is a fantastic platform for content creators and people who want to learn, spend time and also inspire themselves. A complete package that bridges the gaps and helps individuals who have knowledge in any particular niche share their expertise through the platform and get them an audience. The website is the Number #2 largest search engine after Google itself and is followed by over a Billion users according to the publicly available statistics. The medium’s growth has never stopped, and the content is available in local versions of 88 countries while India is one of the biggest markets for YouTube.
This article is for people who are into Creating content and making a living out of these activities. There are several success stories of amazing YouTubers who have garnered millions of followers or Subscribers as called in the YouTube Platform. You can create content which is in the form of videos that gets views from different sources including the YouTube Search Box itself. I have myself run several YouTube Channels with total views crossing 50 Million all time. These channels have been monetized through Google Adsense and several other ways that I will be discussing in this article which also includes my bad experiences with different MCN’s.
Before getting started, you need to understand that there are two major factors behind getting success on YouTube that is
- Dedication: If you are serious about getting success through the YouTube Platform you need to be serious about creating content, programming your calendar, delivering what the audience seeks and connecting with your audience. If you miss any of this, you will be slowing down the growth of the channel. You also need to ensure that every video is an example of your capabilities that helps people in understanding who you are and what’s your talent. If you are into cooking videos, you cannot just expect people to watch another video on “Hyderabadi Biryani” because there are already hundreds of videos on YouTube on this particular topic. You need to figure out unique ways of creating content because most of the ideas are already covered, but little change in execution, production, editing can make it look like something fresh that people would be interested in watching and also subscribing for more. You need to give your 100% towards creating content because you cannot expect great results with some random videos uploaded.
- Consistency: Now this is the key. If you can create a scheduled calendar of delivering fresh content every week, then it would bring the subscribers back to your channel. They know when a new video would be available and they would be looking forward to the same while trying to watch it as soon as it is published. There are also videos that could be linked to the festivals, holidays and other important events that are highly searched while you could plan the production time frame and also schedule the publishing of the videos. If you can make a list of all the topics that you would be covering, it is important to schedule them based on the importance and also the relevance around the earlier videos. Followed is a template of a YouTube Programming Calendar that can help you in planning yourself.
Next, let us talk about a few important tools along with resources that would be useful to you in the process of creating, editing and uploading your videos.
Best Camera & Microphone
There are several cameras available in the market that offer you different features but if you are a starter who also creates videos in the form of vlogs then you need to keep an eye on the Canon G7 X that offers you with 1080p/60p video recording along with a 3″ touch panel LCD that’s selfie-ready. The camera costs around $500 while if you are on a tight budget you can take a look at the GoPro Cameras Range that start from $150 onwards depending on the model and are ready for shooting your outdoor experiences on the go along with perfect selfies too at the same time. You can always do a quick search based on the ratings from other Amazon buyers and decide what would be best for you, while if you plan to shoot more blogs or host live videos, then the Logitech HD Pro C920 Webcam is something you should be buying. This is the same camera we use to shoot our Live YouTube Videos getting a good 1080P stream that can also be zoomed in when required. It offers you with one click shoot and you do not have to go through the dozens of streaming options. Apart from this if you are interested in the high quality audio recording, you could opt for the Blue Snowball iCE that’s going to cost you less than $50. The Snowball connects to your computer through a USB Cable but if you want a wireless setup to record audio while travelling you can start with the Zoom H1 and if you are fine with a higher budget with a great audio upgrade then the Zoom H5 Portable Recorder should be your choice.
The lighting equipment depends on the kind of videos you shoot, but I will quickly brief you few of the most used lighting options used by professionals depending on the use case. If you are someone who records most of the videos indoors, then you should take a look at readily available softboxes or a diffused light source that should be kept next to your camera facing towards you. You can also buy a few CFL or LED lights based on your budget and either tie them in the form of a ring or a square with equal distance between the lights to get a uniform brightness. There are Continuous LED Lightning kits available that also offer you with dimming at around $100 that should be good enough for indoor shooting while if you are going to record Vlogs, then you should check out this Video Ring Light Kit. It comes with a mount that can hold your Smartphone or a DSLR Camera with 6 feet stand to easily set the height and shoot your videos. These lights are good if you wish just to focus on your face or yourself rather than covering the room with lights. Apart from this here are a few Chromakey Green Screen KitsDimmable Video Ring Kits, Softbox Kits and Diffusers that should help you in enhancing your videos.
Tools for Creating Content
There are several tools available on the internet that would help you in optimizing your content or even help you in getting content ideas based on which you could create videos. Lets go through all of them followed by softwares for editing your videos.
- TubeBuddy: This is a Google Chrome Extension that you could install and get analytics of any video right away giving you an idea on the estimated revenue, tags used in the video and offering you with tools like Social Monitor that helps you in finding by whom and where was the video shared. Apart from that you can also monitor the Search Rankings of the tags and get a brief idea on what tags you should be setting with a similar video of yours. You can also use the tool for Featured Video Promotion and Description Promotion which means that this particular video would be shared on the description of all your other videos. This one tool helps you in sharing, analyzing competitors video and also copying annotations or doing similar activities.
- VidIQ: Another tool that gives your video a score, additional analytics like the number of embeds, facebook likes, shares, comments. You can also find the tags used by others and the rank they are ranking on Youtube that you could use. This is similar to TubeBuddy, but it is focused more on analytics on any video that helps you in your research while ranking better as related videos. Based on the analytics you can determine what social media platform is getting you more views and interaction and you could focus more on the same.
- Google Keyword Suggest Tool: This tool helps you find related keywords & keyphrases for your tags that help your video get discovered when searched for those queries. Since YouTube videos also show up on the Search Results, it might be a good idea to research on Google, Bing, Amazon along with YouTube for the results that can later be exported for your use.
- Video Editing Softwares: If you are using a Windows Computer, I would recommend you to start with Windows Movie Maker which is a free software followed by the Camtasia Studio that’s a paid software offering you with some amazing tools and features to quickly edit your videos. Once you wish to go pro there’s the Sony Vegas Pro & Adobe Premiere Pro Application. For the Mac users, you get the iMovie application available for free (Paid for the recent Mac users) offering you with a bunch of lower thirds, royalty free music, transitions, titles, and backgrounds. If you wish to go pro then you need to buy the licensed copy of the Final Cut Pro X that is something I personally use for all the videos on our PhoneRadar YouTube Channel.
MCN (Multi-Channel Network)
If you have never heard about an MCN, then you do not have to worry because this is a term that only Creators general know of. It stands for Multi-Channel Network which is a third-party service provider that helps you grow your channel (theoretically). Do not randomly apply or accept any MCN’s Invitation because I have personally have had terrible experiences with two of the biggest networks. But before that let’s talk about the benefits you get from these.
Generally, YouTube pays you a 55% of revenue share through their Adsense Program that leads to very less but a consistent revenue. A fair model considering that you get paid based on the views your videos get, and that gets you most of your costs recovered to create the video. An MCN, on the other hand, helps you to get more revenue because they work with private brands and get you sponsorships, product placement advertisements and higher eCPM over the AdSense model. Though from our experience and after speaking with hundreds of creators we have never heard anyone satisfied with these and the only growth has been seen by very large makers who have hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Also, this benefit is in the form of Collaboration with other Creators from the network, Sponsored Gigs and availability of studio space primarily in the US.
My Experience: I had signed up for Fullscreen that is one of the world’s largest MCN on a promise of a signup bonus and a high eCPM deal but post signup none of these happened and what resulted was a loss of revenue compared to what AdSense paid and also a year long contract that cannot be cancelled. A few years later, signed up for an Indian MCN(Qyuki) that promised similar features but came out to be the worst mistake of my life. Had to fight with them to get the channel unlinked because they never sent a contract over a years period and kept the hold on the channel. To beginners, I would recommend you not to signup with any MCN whatsoever their promise is because you later not only lose revenue but also get copyright notices since these MCN’s promote you to use their licensed content that you cannot use once leaving that network.
YouTube Success Stories & Channels I Love
There are several YouTube Channels that started a year back or a few years back but now have an amazing fan following that is unstoppable. This list is my personal favorite & are the channels that I have subscribed to, looking forward to their content. These are also examples of how you create content and share it. The official YouTube team has put together a list of Success Stories that you can take a look at. One of the channels gives you can example of thinking out of the box, while other is about creativity in the content. Another one features a kid who is now a millionaire making unboxing videos while the last channel gives you an example that even a shitty video gets you almost 9 Million Subscribers. If you would like to suggest an amazing channel to me, feel free to do that in the comments section.
- Casey Neistat
- Brave Wilderness
- The Spangler Effect
- Geeky Ranjit
- The SloMo Guys
- EvanTube HD
- Lamarr Wilson
- Unbox Therapy
- Technical Guruji
- Smarter Everyday
- What’s Inside
- How to Basic
It took me a few weeks to complete this article, though, in the middle of finishing this, I had created a Collab Video with two amazing YouTubers in Technology on the same topic. You can watch the following video to know more on the same and connect with me on Twitter if you have any specific queries that are not answered here.
Note: If you are a YouTuber (Oxford Reference) who has just started, then I would strongly recommend you to get started with the YouTube Playbook that helps you discover best practices and strategies to build your YouTube Audience. It is broken into 8 sub-sections that you should read, follow and implement for a great success on your Channel.
The Next Article goes Live next Monday. Stay Tuned for the same.
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