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How YouTube Stars Make Their Money

What’s Your Niche?

We live in a strange time. In today’s world making money off of YouTube is possible. All you need to do is find your niche and your fan base. Are you a soccer obsessed crochet wizard? How many others are there out there? How about Pokemon loving fashionistas? Or, how about gothic filmmakers? Got a niche interest? There might be a pocket of fandom just waiting for you to appear. Granted not all niches are large enough to attract a large number of fans, so look at your various interests carefully and aim for niches that are untapped but in-demand.

Most YouTube stars aren’t born over night. They’re a slow build adding followers a few at a time until momentum kicks in and it snowballs, either once or repeatedly as various videos “go viral.” Once you get your name out there, it’s easier to convert fans into a base of financial supporters.

Let’s Talk Numbers

There’s an adage that only 10% of people who are your fans online will give you money. In conjunction with that, there’s another adage that you need 1,000 people to know who you are and really follow your work. That means that you need to find 10,000 people who know who you are in order to gain the 1,000 that will pay for anything you produce. And in today’s world the good thing is that 10,000 people aren’t as hard to find today as they were a decade ago. YouTube channels with relatively little content can have thousands of subscribers.

Two Ways to Earn

Both of the most common ways to earn money on YouTube require a large fan base. So, first build up a fan base through delivering high-quality, interesting, or otherwise valuable content and building up a YouTube base of subscribers. Then, you can make money, firstly, by enabling ads to play on your YouTube channel, either in the form of banner ads (the kind that pop up in the lower half of the YT screen) or video ads, which are the “commercials” that play prior to your video content. Secondly, instead of making money by serving ads on your channel, you could sell a product or service of some kind. Of course, that means you’ve got something to sell and that whatever you’re selling ties-in with who you are and what you do on your channel. If you’ve got a home-cooking show and decide to sell a cookbook, that’s savvy marketing. But, if you’re a car-repair expert and then start selling craft soaps, your fan base is going to wonder about you.

So What’s the Content?

Rule of thumb: try to reach people that are similar to you and who have the same interests. If you are interested in something, chances are someone else is. Go after the largest market whose interests are most like your own. Make interesting content for those people. Draw them to you by commenting on the YouTube channels they frequent and finding out where else they’re congregating on the web. Hone your audience.

Keep the Content A-Comin!

Making money off of YouTube is all about quantity and quality. You want to be putting out a product that you’re happy with but you also want to be putting it out consistently. Once you stop producing, people stop anticipating your videos and that can be the kiss of death. So… keep the schedule going, nice and steady.

Being a freelance artist, an entrepreneur, or a YouTube star, none of it is necessarily easy. All of it requires effort, diligence, and hard work. However, adopting a can-do mindset and just getting things going for yourself can lead to success in more areas than one. So, if you’ve got the time, the drive, and a knack for creating the kind of content people want to see, YouTube just might be the answer that’s been staring back at you, one cat video at a time.