Create a YouTube channel and make money as an influencer

There are plenty of ways to make money online but none quite like becoming a YouTube influencer. Making money through YouTube means not only that you have a very stable source of large income without putting in that much work – but it also means accomplishing some measure of actual fame. If you make it big on YouTube, then people will recognize you in the street and it can even end up leading to other opportunities for your business. This is how celebrities are made in the digital age, so why not get involved?

Of course this is not what a YouTube influencer will actually tell you. They’ll say that they’ve got it hard – that making content for YouTube is harder than it looks and that Google takes most of their commission.

This may be true but at the end of the day, they’re still often making a video a day maximum (often only a video a week) and they’re still making huge amounts of money for talking on camera about something they love.

In fact, creating a YouTube channel is easy, making money from it isn’t easy at all, and there is a definite skill to this and a fair bit of luck involved too. A lot of people work incredibly hard at their YouTube content for years, never to see any real returns on it.

How do I create my YouTube channel?

To create a YouTube channel, you have to start by going to the YouTube website while logged in to your Google account.

Once there, click on the profile icon to open the YouTube menu, and then click on the “settings” tab. On the following page, click on the “add or manage your channels” link.

On the following page, click on “create new channel”. Now you are going to enter the name of your brand or business into the “brand account name” field. Next, click on the “create” button.

How do I go about building an effective business model on YouTube?

When creating pretty much any online business – whether it’s an affiliate marketing business, a blog or anything else – the first question you will often need to ask yourself is what it’s going to be about. Or to use the correct internet business parlance: what is your niche?

A niche is a subject matter that will appeal to a specific audience. An example of a niche would be ‘sewing’. Sewing is something that appeals largely to older women but also to a lot of younger women these days who are interested in arts and crafts. And of course some men like sewing too – let’s not stereotype here! Either way, most people are either interested in sewing or they are not – thus it has a niche appeal and gives you a specific target audience.

You can go even more niche if you like though and choose ‘crocheting’ or ‘bird sewing patterns’ but the ‘more niche’ you go, the more you narrow your audience.

Man watching YouTube on his mobile device

Another example of a niche is fitness. Now fitness is a much larger niche because it will appeal to a huge proportion of the population. Nearly everyone will want to get fitter at some point in their lives. It’s still a very specific subject matter that will talk to a very specific type of person but it is a much broader niche.

When it comes to internet business, the key often boils down to finding the right niche. And this will often mean finding a niche that has a broad appeal while not being overly competitive. The problem with the health and fitness niche is that you’re going to be going up against a huge number of other channels. Some big names in this space include the Hodge Twins, Athlean-X, Bodybuilding.com, Rob Riches and Eliot Hulse to name just a few. Many of these channels have been around for many years and now have millions of subscribers and huge amounts of money to spend on marketing. That means that if you want to go up against them with a video on ‘how to get abs’, you might well struggle to get your video to a position where it will actually be seen and clicked on.

But on the other hand, a YouTube channel about crocheting cat patterns probably won’t get looked for very often and will quickly reach its peak, leaving you with nowhere else to go and a big cap on how much you can possibly earn.

So you need to choose the right topic and find that ‘sweet spot’.

How do I find a niche?

So how do you find your niche? A good option is to start with the bigger niches and then to focus down and find yourself a smaller sub-niche within the niche.

So to start with, let’s look at what the very biggest niches are and what the most lucrative ones are.

In general internet marketing, the biggest niches are:

  • Fitness
  • Dating
  • Self-Help
  • Making Money

This is because all of these subject matters are things that have a hugely broad appeal and will appeal to practically everyone. If you have the marketing budget, then you can reach the biggest potential audience this way.

At the same time though, these niches are huge because they have something else going for them ‘value proposition’. That is to say, that each of them has something very big and important to offer people – an emotional hook that makes people passionate about a channel.

So for example, fitness isn’t really just about getting into shape: it’s about being more confident, sexier, healthier and happier thanks to your training and your diet. People hope that by watching these channels, they can turn their lives around.

The same goes for money and dating. These offer complete lifestyle changes – they let people find love or get more sex, they allow them to travel around the world and to wear nice watches. They have a real emotional hook and this means that the products sold in advertising can charge a lot more. People are much more willing to pay for a book that will make them a billion dollars than they are to pay for a book that can teach them how to sew!

YouTube mindmap

But YouTube is a weird place. And when you take a look around YouTube you’ll find that these regular rules only partly hold true. But there’s also actually a lot of other highly successful content here that is just… plain inane to be quite frank!

Some of the biggest topics on YouTube outside of those big internet marketing favorites are:

  • Gaming
  • Make-up tutorials
  • Grooming/Style
  • Travel
  • Technology
  • Fails
  • Cats
  • DIY
  • Comedy
  • Lifestyle vlogs

That’s a much more bizarre selection of niches and if you look around you’ll find thriving sub-cultures celebrating all kinds of other unusual things! There are some very popular YouTube channels for example that show people how to transform new Transformer toys!

The thing to understand about YouTube is that it is much more visual than a blog or a social media channel. And this means that any subject matter that is more visual in nature and more dynamic is almost sure to be a success. Cat videos provide immediate laughs, while make-up tutorials show women how to look their most beautiful and have the proof that it works right there on the screen.

And people enjoy watching inane things like vlogs about the everyday lives of YouTube stars because – believe it or not – it almost feels like company. People enjoy watching the YouTube channels of people who are like the coolest friend that they’d love to hang out with. YouTube is such a direct and personal format that it’s a great way to create almost a relationship with your audience and to thereby make a big impact on them.

This works even better if you can sell a kind of lifestyle that they find desirable and thereby allow them to live vicariously. A lot of people watch the lifestyle vlogs of rich, attractive people because they want to live those kinds of lifestyles themselves – of course a lot of it is fabricated!

Meanwhile, watching someone else play a video game and provide a ‘commentary’ can be a way to recreate the feeling of hanging out with mates while playing Goldeneye on the N64 in your youth – and at the same time you’re getting news and footage of new games you might be interested in.

So how do you bring all these disparate elements together into something that will really work for you? That’s a question only you can answer but a good way to start is to take a broad niche that has a wide appeal and then focus down. For example, you can go with fitness but find your own way into that industry by making your channel all about fitness for the over 50s. This is a brilliant way to offer something a bit different and a bit unique and thereby to stand out from the crowd while still having that value proposition and that universal appeal.

Another thing to always remember is to be true to yourself. Choose the niche that you are most comfortable with and then you’ll find you have much more to say on the matter, you come across as much more passionate and interested in your own topic and you’re better able to really inspire your audience to listen to you!

I can’t tell you which niche you need to pick but using all this information, hopefully you can come up with something that will have a big appeal while also being true to who you are.

How can I make money on YouTube?

But before you dive into your content creation with both feet, let’s rewind for a second and assess exactly what this will involve and what it means to be a YouTuber. How does one go about making money on YouTube? How much can you expect to make?

It’s important that you understand the business model here as that is of course going to affect the way that you approach your content creation and your general approach to making money online.

Advertising on YouTube

The main way in which you make money on YouTube then is via advertising. Google has its own advertising platform and it uses this to allow companies and brands to pay to show their adverts on your channel. This is a form of AdSense for those who know what that is, which means it’s PPC. In plain English, this means that the advertising uses a ‘Pay Per Click’ system, although you can also get paid when you get a certain number of complete views.

In other words, you aren’t getting paid a ‘flat fee’ for your advertising or getting paid per month. Rather, you are getting paid each time the advert is shown and each time someone clicks on it. Of course not everyone who comes to your channel is going to watch the adverts all the way through or is going to click on them – but you can generally assume by pure statistics that you will get a certain amount (which is called your ‘CTR’ or ‘Click Through Rate’). This then means that for every thousand views on a video, you’re likely to get paid a certain amount of average.

Now this isn’t very much and to be honest you’re probably going to need hundreds of thousands of views daily in order to make a decent amount of money and certainly if you hope to make a full time living from YouTube. But it can be done and you can get there, if you’re willing to not only work hard… but also work smart!

What other ways can I monetize on YouTube?

Advertising is just one option however and there are actually many more ways you can monetize YouTube if you want to. 

One great example is just to promote a product of your own and to sell that. If you can create an ebook, a clothing line or anything else, then you can promote that using your channel and drive sales – and this will work very well if you can focus on that value proposition and promoting the lifestyle as we’ve discussed earlier.

Don’t have a product? No problem. You can likewise promote products that other creators have made and earn a commission on the sales. This is called affiliate marketing and it pairs particularly well with YouTube, seeing as you can be very persuasive when people actually get to see you talking about the product in person – you can even demonstrate it right on the screen!

And finally, you can try and get sponsorship deals. This works very well if you’re in a visual medium like fitness, where it’s common to get sponsorship from clothes manufacturers, supplement producers and even companies that make training equipment. You can then demonstrate the products that you’re promoting in your videos and that way get a lot of exposure for them. Often these companies will pay per video, while in other cases they might pay a monthly fee – which is up to you to work out with them.

Consider these factors and the type of monetization strategy you intend to use at the time of creating your channel idea. Different subjects will make it easier or harder to find sponsors and generally, a bit of pre-planning can go an awfully long way.

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