Whether you watch Psy’s Gangnam Style on repeat, Tana Mongeau exaggerate normal occurrences or HowToBasic smack eggs on a computer, we all have gotten sucked into YouTube binge watching. Perhaps you’ve even wondered how to become a YouTuber yourself. The world of professional YouTubing perhaps tops the chart of weird jobs creative people can do from home. Sit alone in your house all day, film and edit footage of yourself being hilarious, acting ridiculous or a combination of the two and you could become an internet sensation. If that sounds like a dream job for you, you may want to consider becoming a YouTuber.
Here’s how to become a YouTuber.
What Does a YouTuber Do?
- Buys equipment and starts filming
- Conceptualizes videos that people want to watch for more than 15 seconds
- Has no boss to tell them what to do, so gets their lazy butt out of bed and makes the video
- Releases and promotes videos regularly
- Engages their audience to create a sense of community using their personal style and voice (tell those subs to smash that MF like button)
- Manages multiple social media accounts to engage and promote your content
What does it take to become a YouTuber?
Nothing special, really. Okay, only joking. Obviously, you need a passion for creating original content you can share proud proudly without the need for some external authority telling you what to do and when. You don’t need a degree, you don’t need a license, you just need to be yourself. “Becoming a successful YouTuber is really just like becoming successful in any other field,” YouTuber AdrianXpression said. “It takes persistence and an intense level of self-confidence.”
This job forces you to place yourself in the public eye, so be prepared for all that entails. “Everyone can see when you do something well, but the public can also easily see when you fail,” AdrianXpression reminds you.
You’ll have to invest in your craft—be it time, money or both. Buy a camera, microphone, lights and editing software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier and get legitimate with it. A YouTuber needs to want to become a YouTuber and create interesting content. “I have to give YouTube credit for providing me with the opportunity to make people laugh and learn about my passions,” YouTuber UnderDetention said. Keep at it long enough and you will find your niche. Trisha Paytas has four million subscribers and she just cries on her kitchen floor and eats Dominos pizza. Analyze your stats and know your audience.
What You Should Know About Becoming a YouTuber
1. How much income does a YouTuber make?
Like everything on YouTube, your income depends on you. Once you reach “4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers,” YouTube will review your channel and determine your eligibility to join the YouTube Partner Program so you can start getting that ad revenue, baby. This works through AdSense, a Google program anyone with a Gmail account can sign up for. It puts ads on your videos or any successful website you have. The more people click and view the ads on your video, the more you get paid, so technically engagement gets you paid, not just the views.
You can also join a multi-channel network (MCN) or get companies to sponsor your videos. “MCNs are third-party service providers that affiliate with multiple YouTube channels to offer services that may include audience development, content programming, creator collaborations, digital rights management, monetization and/or sales,” according to YouTube Help. So basically, your YouTube sugar daddy. Sponsors pay you to talk about their products in your video, but don’t listen to the subs that call you a sell-out for it. Make that money, honey. Common YouTube sponsors include Audible, MeUndies, Dollar Shave Club, Adam and Eve and Amazon. Sponsors often reach out to YouTubers based on their content and audience compatibility with the sponsor’s product.
2. How much will I be expected to work as a YouTuber?
A YouTuber’s schedule depends on them completely. If you work best under the adrenaline of an approaching deadline, this might not be the job for you. No one, other than any loyal subscribers you gain, expects or demands anything. That being said, you do have to upload at least two videos per three-month period to be considered active.
“Importing and editing the video takes the longest for me,” AdrianXpression said. Most of the humor and presentability of a video comes through in post. If you ever sit through a 30-minute Trisha Paytas video, you’ll know what I mean. “Making one video can take almost half of a whole day. I don’t use a script so that means that I’ve spent time getting familiar with my topics,” AdrianXpression said. Then you have to set up the equipment, set up the shot, test sound, record, experience the wonderfully long process of reviewing and editing the footage and then promite it after everything gets finalized. Your work ethic writes your check.
3. What will my work environment be like?
Most YouTubers just set up a camera in their living room, bedroom or bathroom. Daily vloggers make the world their film set, but honestly that looks kind of embarrassing. Some have separate rooms in their house dedicated to filming, but typically work happens at home. A few fancy (rich) YouTubers film in studios, but those tend to be more professional or staged videos, like podcasts or Buzzfeed/FineBros reaction videos.
4. What do I need to know about the future of YouTube?
YouTube used to allow creators to get paid for whatever content they uploaded, so long as their audience supported it, but ever since Pepsi ads were found running over Al-Qaeda beheading videos, the regulations on what YouTube deems “ad-friendly” have become much more restrictive. Your favorite questionable-content generating YouTuber might have mentioned this over the past year. Videos discussing certain topics will be demonetized, meaning ads will not run and creators won’t be paid for their views. “YouTube used to be a platform for people to share original content, but there isn’t much of that anymore,” UnderDetention said. “The most popular channels are formulaic, very few things are new.” Creators resorted to pumping out some Barney and Friends type B.S. to keep getting that paycheck (and who could blame them), or worse, stopped making videos all together (R.I.P. TVFilthyFrank).
Prospective YouTubers often worry that no one will want to watch them, that they don’t have the right equipment or anything to offer the seemingly ‘saturated’ platform. “You are unique. Don’t let ‘competition’ discourage you because you will quickly find out that the only person you’ll really be competing with is yourself,” AdrianXpression said. All the stale, recycled content flowing through YouTube creates a demand for new innovative thinkers to freshen up the fart party of movie trailer reaction videos and hyperbolized story times. Bring your passions and interpretations, put the YOU in YouTube.
3 Key Skills to Become a YouTuber
Create, create, create. The entire job relies on your ability to conceptualize video after video that will keep your audience interested and you passionate about your craft.
What good does a line about a boring video game you’d rather lick the dust off your grandma’s Swiffer than play do if your audience has to wait through 20 minutes of you rambling to hear it? Be able to identify the good stuff and cut out the crap.
No one gets YouTube famous overnight. Except Post Malone. White Iverson got like a million views in one night, so no one but Post Malone gets YouTube famous overnight. If you enjoy making content, keep making it. People want someone they can rely on to entertain them regularly.
Other Useful Skills:
- Be entertaining
- Brand yourself
- Network/collaborate with bigger channels
- Be innovative
- Be organized
- Have a strong work ethic
- Be ambitious
- Be authentic
“Being a YouTuber is pretty entertaining. I’m always having to learn new stuff, whether it’s a project for a video or marketing strategies, business stuff, etc,” YouTuber Shmoxd said.
“For me, being a YouTuber is like going to art school. You get to fool around, hone a skillset, learn about something you love, maybe get some recognition. Then a few years pass, you watch some of your peers become famous for making sh–t and eventually you wish you were a welder,” UnderDetention said.
“There is a side to this that feels bigger than life, but all of those moments of ecstasy will come only from your undying ambition to always improve the content you’re presenting. Everyday is a new challenge. That’s what I love about it. I have to work hard to maintain my brand, but the excitement, joy and encouragement that people get from my content makes all the work worth it. No pain, no gain,” AdrianXpression said.