With an array of YouTubers popping up every single day, is long-term success on YouTube possible in 2021? We’re breaking down how to stay ahead of the social media game in this guide on how to be a successful YouTuber.
Back in 2019, a study by Inc. suggested that twice as many kids wanted to be YouTubers as astronauts. Cut to 2021 (and one pandemic later), 1 out of 3 Gen Z and Millennials have their own YouTube channel while 1 in 5 desire to be a blogger or vlogger. These YouTubers are long past treating the platform as a side project or hobby. In fact, YouTubers like Lele Pons have gone on to make successful careers out of it – and loads of cash.
But what does it really take to become a successful YouTuber? The truth is finding success on YouTube goes way beyond just unboxing your latest beauty haul or eating an unthinkable amount of spicy wings. Even deeply studying your favorite vloggers to replicate their success will only take you so far till you hit a creative roadblock.
YouTube is an evolving platform and, similar to other forms of media, trends change over time – just as people’s tastes change too. Long-term success on YouTube requires creators to adapt to the platform and pivot creatively throughout their YouTube careers.
Today, famous YouTubers such as MrBeast, David Dobrik, Lilly Singh, Jeffree Star, and even 7-year-old Nastya are not only making specialized content on their YouTube channels but also raking in millions of dollars. With billions of views and a global audience watching their every move, YouTube stars today are no less famous than movie stars. In fact, one could argue that many movie celebrities have turned to social media today to stay relevant.
From PewDiePie to Liza Koshy, popular YouTubers have seen success through their captivating storytelling technique. They have used YouTube as a platform to share their narratives, whatever they may be. From home vlogs to comical skits, these YouTube stars share their stories and experiences in a way that inspires their audience. This also helps creators understand how to be a successful YouTuber.
However, with YouTube, it’s not just the story but the overarching message and how one chooses to present it that really makes a difference – and when starting a YouTube channel, digging deeper into this technique can guarantee faster success.
Over the past few years, many creators looking to express themselves have turned to YouTube. The popularity of the platform has allowed filmmakers to explore exciting, new avenues to fulfill a very ancient human need – the need to be seen and heard.
Even with one billion users striving to be seen on Youtube, there are only a few channels that have made themselves unique. These channels showcase the very essence of what makes storytelling an art form.
Your audience is not going to stick around to watch your whole video if your content isn’t enticing or relatable. If you want to get people to watch all your videos, you need to get them emotionally invested with your stories. This is why the art of storytelling forms an important component when starting your own YouTube channel.
Building a must-see YouTube channel starts with understanding your audience. And there’s no better place to gather actionable insights than through YouTube Analytics.
Want to know which of your videos are binge-worthy? Curious to see where the bulk of your viewers are coming from? YouTube analytics is where you can find all this information and more.
Because YouTube’s algorithm (like most social algorithms) is unpredictable, competition is fierce on the platform. So anything you can do to optimize your channel performance is a plus. Through YouTube analytics, you can zero in on:
In short, understanding YouTube analytics can provide a detailed roadmap to guide your video marketing strategy. Whilst it may seem rather daunting at first, your analytics can provide a wealth of information that can be useful in judging how successful your video might be the kind of content your audience interacts with the most.
Another important thing to remember when you’re starting a YouTube channel is to ensure you’re using SEO techniques too. SEO on YouTube can influence the video reach of smaller channels to a large extent.
Many large channels and popular YouTubers actively use SEO techniques such as creating clickable thumbnails, using high-ranking keywords in their headlines, or just creating content that is relevant at the moment. This helps their content reach more people, increasing their video views and revenue through the channel.
Before you get started on your YouTube journey, it is important to ask yourself what is it that you’re looking to achieve.
If your goal is to create content that reaches a large audience, your measurements of success will be completely different to someone whose main objective is to generate enough income from their YouTube channel.
Having a clear objective and what you want to get out of your YouTube channel is crucial to getting started in the right direction. Maybe you want to teach others how to program web and mobile apps, maybe you want to tell brilliant stories through short films, or maybe you want to play and review video games – it can be anything…but it has to be something.
Your motivation to create a channel will form the basis of the key elements required to become successful on YouTube.
So what are these key elements you need to consider when starting your YouTube channel? Read on to find out.
The most important thing you need to decide on before starting your YouTube channel is the genre for your channel. Your channel genre will determine your content type and also how you shoot your videos.
For example, if your channel genre is educational content, shooting your content in a comedy/vlog style will not be ideal. Similarly, if your channel is about gaming, just talking throughout the video won’t drive any interest. Rather, showing game highlights or how to win at a game would be way more interesting to your audience.
Defining your channel genre before you launch your channel will prove extremely helpful in capturing meaningful viewership. Some of the most popular YouTube genres include animation, ASMR, beauty, comedy, cooking, vlogging, DIY, fashion, gaming, lifestyle, health and fitness, music, pranks, sports, tech, and travel.
Picking a genre can also help create your niche audience. Most creators, when they first start out, assume it’s best to make their videos appeal to a broad audience. However, we’ve seen creators find success by tapping into smaller, more passionate niche communities. These niches vary in size from huge communities, like those who play Fortnite, to smaller communities, like antique car collectors.
These communities are usually more enthusiastic when they find a show tailored to their interests – and this enthusiasm can lead to more views, watch time, and higher engagement.
Another very important aspect to consider when making YouTube videos is focusing on the quality of your content, and by “quality” we don’t mean shooting your videos in 4K or implementing the perfect transitions (although this would help too).
“Quality” here refers to how valuable your content is to your viewers. Each of your videos needs to be easily digestible and without unnecessary fluff so viewers don’t feel like they’re wasting their time. Like we mentioned earlier, how you tell your story also affects the quality of your video.
While your video quality is also important, it’s definitely not a dealbreaker. Take for example, Felix Kjellberg (better known as PewDiePie), one of the most famous YouTubers today, whose videos are often uploaded in 720p. Most YouTubers who can afford to create 4K videos actually still only upload their videos in 1080p because of the convenience that comes along with it; and honestly, most viewers wouldn’t recognize the difference anyway.
Video quality doesn’t nearly matter as much as audio quality. If a video has horrible audio, it becomes unwatchable and no matter how great your content is, most people will not watch your video past the first few seconds. So always make sure your audio is clear. And if you do include music, whether it’s for ambiance or filler during B-roll, make sure it doesn’t overpower your main audio.
Your message is what you want to communicate to your audience. This could be entertainment value, tutorials, guides, behind-the-scenes, etc. The message you want to send forms the main crux of your video.
When making YouTube content, it is important to keep your video’s message in alignment with what your viewers expect or love. For example, if you’re reviewing a specific camera, don’t spend too much time talking about specific lenses or editing software.
You can always make separate videos for that with specific messages, which will also help you create more relevant content. If you look at popular YouTubers, their ability to capture their audience’s attention through how they convey their messages leads to a higher watch time and increased views.
It is also important to ensure your message is consistent throughout your video. For example, you can’t say A is better than B for most of the video and then end with how B is clearly better than A. Without consistency, your viewers will end up getting frustrated and might even unsubscribe. Make sure your message stays within your niche and it’s consistent throughout your content.
Before you worry about being camera shy or an introvert, know that you do not have to have a loud and boisterous personality when starting a YouTube channel. In fact, a lot more people will relate to you and be invested in you as an audience if you stay true to your personality, whatever that may be.
Your viewers will appreciate you being authentic, instead of forcing a persona that just isn’t you. Whether you’re boisterous, shy, charismatic, or introverted, the key lies in your ability to portray your true personality to your viewers. While this may come naturally to some, for others it takes practice to become relatively comfortable in front of the camera.
Try doing voice-overs, practice in front of a mirror, or watch famous YouTubers to emulate their style. Ultimately, while people will watch your content on YouTube, it is your personality that will turn them from casual viewers to interested long-time subscribers.
If you’re still worried, think about this: YouTube is used by over 2 billion people worldwide every single day. Billions of people are already on the platform, and everyone is looking for new perspectives and personalities to relate to.
Being consistent with your content helps you grow as a creator and is one of the most important tips on how to be a successful YouTuber. A regular posting schedule helps you create more content and ultimately makes you a better YouTuber. Creating consistently also enhances your skills, which allows you to create higher-quality content. It also builds anticipation with your subscribers and they will actively look for your latest videos. This is extremely useful for your SEO and can make or break the success of your YouTube content.
While it’s hard to continue creating videos when you’re not receiving the traction you hoped for, it is essential that you have a posting schedule, especially when you’re just starting out on YouTube.
To stay consistent, planning your content in advance saves you a ton of energy. This can also help you figure out your shoot days, production value, and costumes, so your shoot can take place smoothly. Another common practice among top YouTubers is batch producing content. In this case, you set up lighting, cameras, sound, and stage, and film multiple videos one after the other.
Pro tip: Change your outfits to create the illusion that you shot these videos on different days.
While creating and running a YouTube channel is easy, becoming a successful YouTuber takes a lot of effort. Staying consistent, learning constantly, and practicing your art can help you get there faster.
Check out Nuseir’s Yassin’s “Art Of Storytelling” course and learn how you can become the best storyteller in your industry
In this course, Nuseir will share his trade secrets with you on how to be a successful YouTuber and creator by mastering storytelling techniques.
Or, if you’re already a pro and ready to start your own Academy, there’s never been a better time than today. Sign up in just a few simple steps, and we’ll help you become an educator.