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Tips On Starting A YouTube Channel

Do you believe that you’re the next YouTube sensation? If so, then what are you waiting for? Follow our tips on how to get started.


Step 1: Setting up 

Some YouTubers have pro studios with lighting rigs and video cameras, while others just put their phones in selfie mode to shoot their clips. And, really, either is fine, say experts. Some of SA’s most successful YouTubers say equipment shouldn’t be your biggest concern when you’re starting out – content is king. When you’re starting off, what captures viewers is the content that you’re producing, as well as how you’re presenting it. With today’s smartphone technology, all you need is your phone’s camera and good natural lighting to get started. When you are beginning, rather use inexpensive equipment, or even borrow equipment from a friend if you can, before investing in something expensive you might not need – you wouldn’t want to invest in professional equipment only to find that this isn’t what you want to do. But whatever you decide, just go for it. Most people spend their time planning how to start and end up prolonging the process. Many successful YouTubers have done videos showing their reactions to their very first video – clearly, it doesn’t have to be perfect! Whatever you decide to make your channel about, be sure it’s somethingyou enjoy. You won’t enjoy creating content that doesn’t interest you andit will make the experience unpleasant. You can be inspired by others, sure,but don’t copy them. Just because something works for someone else, that does not mean it will for you. 


Step 2: Building a following

More than a billion people visit YouTube every month, so you can believe getting a slice of that action isn’t always easyfor new creators. And it certainly won’t happen overnight. The most important thing you can do to build your subscriber base is to be consistent. If people are always seeing you pop up in their suggestions and searches, they will get curious and want to know who you are. This is really only achieved by being consistent – upload as frequently as you can. These expert tips will help you get to that first 1 000 subscribers goal sooner: 

Plan a script
Don’t just start shooting your video and hope for the best. Think of a good introduction, a solid middle and an ending. 

Create unique content
This should go without saying, but do not steal other YouTubers’ ideas or copy anyone’s clips. Not only is it unethical, but if YouTube’s algorithms detect it, your videos will be demonetised. 

Figure out SEO
You want your video to show up in search results as often as possible.Read up on search engine optimisation (SEO) to figure out how to include the best keywords for your content. 

Keep it short
Research shows the most effective video length on YouTube is less than five minutes – any longer, and you risk losing viewers’ interest. 

Promote on other social media platforms
YouTube is a social-media channel and the best way to promote your content is by posting about it on other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. 


Step 3: Making money

Monetising your videos on YouTube is simple: Just go to your channel settings, and under ‘features’, enable monetisation to start earning money. YouTube will then show ads during your videos and you will be paid per view. Be warned, though: If you are planning on becoming rich off YouTube’s payments alone, it’s not  going to happen quickly – if ever. Though there are many successful YouTubers out there, most are in Europe and the US. In South Africa, the majority of the population is still not privileged enough to be able to afford the data needed to watch online videos every day, so you might not get that many views per video. This doesn’t mean you can’t make money from YouTube in SA, you will just have to go about it differently.Grow your channel and viewership so that sponsors start noticing you, because sponsorships and partnerships are great income streams: If you are approached by a brand and they want you to make content for them,they have to pay you your rates as a freelance video creator regardless of whether your video reaches a certain amount of views or not. Another way to make money is to use your YouTube channel as a way to sell merchandise. Create T-shirts or mugs once you have a following and sell them to your fans. Get your face out there; you’re famous now!


Photography: Pexels 

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