In the age of social media, everyone has a chance of being a star. Not all will become stars, of course, but you never know if you can become wildly successful with some niche interest or expertise that you have. Consider the 7-year-old boy who earned $22 million in 2018 by posting videos evaluating toys. That tale alone makes it worth a try to become a YouTuber.

PROS:

  • Start-up costs are very low
  • The level of expertise needed is minimal (and instructional videos are easy to find on YouTube.)
  • It is a fun way to make money that you can do on your own time.

CONS:

  • It is by no means certain that you will make money.
  • Anything you put on the Internet is there forever and, if you go overboard and use bad judgment, it could come back and hurt you when you get older.
  • If you are under 18, you will need to sign up for Google AdSense with a parent or someone over 18.

How to get started:

NOTE: Before you start your business, you should read the page on this website entitled “things to think about before you start a business.” After you have taken the preliminary steps for starting any business, you can take the specific steps outlined below.

YouTube claims to have a global reach of 1.9 billion users each month, and independent studies back them up. According to the Pew Research Center, 73 percent of Americans – and 85 percent of teens – watch YouTube.

How many of those people you reach with your videos determines how much money you can make.

Most people reading this have the equipment to be a YouTuber – in fact you most likely are holding in your hand right now. All you need is a smartphone. Now you’re ready to start adding talent, creativity, hard work and savvy and you’re on your way to being successful.

You have to create a YouTube channel to be a YouTuber, but you might want to do a little thinking and research before you even do that. What kind of videos do you plan to upload onto your channel?

Max Lee, a YouTuber with more than 400,000 subscribers, gives some good advice on coming up with ideas. Do you have an expertise in something (e.g, skateboarding or some other sport)? Or maybe you have a knack for cooking or putting on makeup. Perhaps you like movies and think you provide pretty good reviews.

You don’t even have to be the expert – perhaps your grandmother will let you film her cooking, or your older brother will agree to provide basketball tips.

Setting up a YouTube channel is not difficult but you might want to do some googling for help (such as these 10 tips from iContact, the reputable email marketing firm).

You can’t get a lot of viewers until you have a lot of content, but experienced YouTubers say you shouldn’t worry too much about what videos to create and upload, and don’t obsess over the quality of the videos.

Lee, for instance, says: “Start uploading videos about things you’re interested in. There’s not really a secret formula. Just do it for fun in the beginning and maybe some of your videos will take off.”

Brian G. Johnson, a YouTuber with more than 60,000 subscribers, says a good video has several elements. Among those elements are:

  • Energy (“You want people to be excited to watch your videos,” he said.)
  • Themed Content (“Leverage the power of information.”)

There are many videos on YouTube offering advice about how to become a YouTuber. Since best practices are subject to change, your best bet is to do a search on YouTube and find the most up-to-date advice.

How much to charge:

You don’t decide on your own how much money you get from YouTube. You can make money from your YouTube channel by becoming a YouTube partner, but you have to meet several requirements to become a partner. Rules that went into effect on March 8, 2019, state that to become a YouTube partner your channel must:

  1. Follow all the YouTube Partner Program policies.
  2. Live in a country or region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
  3. Have more than 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months.
  4. Have more than 1,000 subscribers.
  5. Have a linked AdSense account.

Google requires that publishers must be at least 18 to have an AdSense account so, if you’re under 18, have a parent or an older friend set up the account.

Once it is set up, YouTube pays 55% of net revenues from ads and 55% of the total net revenues from subscription fees.

Take it to the next level:

You can create premium content that you offer only to paid subscribers. Or you can develop (e.g. T-shirts or coffee mugs with your logo, motto or other signature content) that you sell through your channel.

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