With over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube is the second most popular social platform in the world. It’s where creators can easily monetise their content with YouTube ads, the ‘applause’ feature and brand collaborations. According to YouTube’s data, the number of channels earning five figures per year on the platform grew by more than 50% year over year. (Note that YouTube says this growth happened year over year, but does not mention which years.)
It’s never too late to start your career as a YouTuber. But unlike TikTok – the home of raw, spontaneous content and an algorithm that can make you go viral overnight – building a YouTube channel takes some patience. To establish a name for yourself, you’ll need to meticulously plan content and take time to create it. That’s according to Crystal Conte, one of Vamp’s fashion and beauty YouTubers, who has spent eight years building her 227k+ subscriber base.
We asked Crystal for her top tips – and combined it with our insider knowledge as an official Creative Partner of YouTube – to bring you seven steps every aspiring YouTuber needs to follow.
It’s a no brainer but to kick-start your YouTube career, you must start with the basics. In no particular order, you’ll need to:
You’ll notice that every video you watch by a successful YouTuber will generally look, feel and sound ‘like them’. Perhaps they’ll consistently use the same editing techniques, like Marques Brownlee. Or they may have a signature intro, like AmandaRachLee, use similar royalty-free tracks like Marla Catherine, or create cohesive thumbnails like bestdressed. These signature looks make their content look professional, well thought out and aesthetically pleasing.
There are a few ways you can discover your own signature YouTube look. Start by drawing inspiration from the content you already create on other platforms so it doesn’t feel forced. You can also mimic what you already love to watch on YouTube or adopt what’s popular in your niche. Once inspiration hits, you then want to add your own personal touches to make it authentic to you.
“You need to have a plan of what your channel will be about and what kind of audience you want to engage and grow with. You don’t want to box yourself into a topic that is too small or run out of video ideas”, says Crystal. Once you figure out that you’ll be creating beauty tutorials, lifestyle vlogs, Photoshop hacks, video game reviews or styling tips, you need to plan out your content and come up with a posting strategy.
Start slow and simple to balance YouTube with your current commitments. “You need so much time to film, edit, upload, create thumbnails, write descriptions and reply to comments. It can be super time consuming so don’t try to over commit.” Advises Crystal.
If you only have time once every two weeks to shoot, edit and upload a new video, so be it! Quality matters. Give yourself enough time to create the best possible work. Successful YouTubers will usually pick a day of the week, fortnight or month to upload their content.
Once you start to build your audience, you can ask them questions about what other type of content they would like to see you create, or if they’d prefer a more regular posting schedule.
It’s time to grow your subscribers. Start by cross promoting your YouTube channel on all of your other established social accounts. Your loyal followers will be thrilled they can get more, diverse content from you. Make sure you add your channel’s link to all of your social profiles, drive people to that link in your posts and create a Story swipe up every time you post a new video.
Also think about collaborating with other YouTubers. You’ll not only be able to shoot some great content together, but they can cross promote your channel to their audience. Be sure to partner with someone who’s relevant to your channel, will be able to add value to your content and will be welcomed with open arms by your subscribers.
Growing your YouTube channel isn’t just about gaining subscribers. A lot of your views will come from users who aren’t subscribed to you, but found your content in their search feed or via Google. So it’s important you build relationships with these users too. Here are three easy tips to follow:
The success of your channel relies on the community you build, so community management should always be on your weekly to-do list. Engage with viewers in your comment sections, give them the opportunity to be part of your creation process by asking them questions, turn your FAQ’s into videos and engage with the wider creator community on YouTube.
Avoid clickbait-y titles and thumbnails. Although they seem like a great idea to begin with, they’re inauthentic, can leave a bad taste in viewers’ mouths and might mean they never watch your content again. To build loyalty, do the opposite. Fashion YouTuber bestdressed recently spoke to Forbes about her ‘reverse-click baiting’ principle, “I want the video to be better than the title implies, so people feel that the video was better than they were expecting.”
To get those non-subscriber views, you need to make your YouTube content SEO-friendly. YouTube isn’t like any other social platform. In order to find the content you’re looking for, you need to specifically search for it. Like Pinterest, YouTube is a search engine. Not only that, YouTube’s partner organiser is Google. So when someone Google searches something, YouTube videos will also come up as a search result. Keep this in mind when you’re titling your videos and adding hashtags. Use keywords and think about what you would type in the search bar to find your video.
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