How To Start Your YouTube Channel In 2021 (And Make Money)

make money youtube

YouTube has become the home ground for online video. During the pandemic induced lockdowns, its usage spiked. 

Alongside the rise in consumption, new channels that wanted to build an audience rose by 95% in 2020 (as per the company’s internal data). 

As a creator who wants to build a sustainable business from your video skills, is YouTube still a viable platform? 

You bet.

To satiate viewers’ video appetite, you can launch your channel and start making money within months. First, let’s look at how to start on the right foot.

1. Niche down 

Instead of appealing to everyone, try to serve a specific audience through your videos. YouTube values “topical expertise”, and as a small channel owner, you’ll do yourself a favor by going down deep on a narrow topic that you can talk about for a few months.

Ali Abdaal right now has 1M subscribers and does tech reviews, study videos, and the like. But he started four years ago, creating videos exclusively around how to pass medical school entrance exams for four United Kingdom universities. He gradually expanded his “niche.”

2. Stay consistent

If your subscribers don’t hear from you for a few weeks, they will start watching videos of some other creators. Whereas if you upload regularly, they will anticipate your videos. 

The YouTube algorithm is also said to weigh the last 100 views a user has watched to determine what it shows in their feeds. If your channel’s videos don’t factor in these last hundred (since you didn’t upload videos for a while), then you’ll find it hard to reach your existing subscribers — forget reaching new viewers.

3. Focus on quality of content

Time and again, YouTube has determined that viewers don’t pay as much attention to the production quality of videos. But they decide what to watch based on their “interests and passions.” 

So you don’t need to get all fancy, especially in the beginning. Just focus on providing value to your viewers and serving high-quality content. 

And as a bonus tip:

Create a series of videos

Talk about the same subject going in-depth across multiple videos. Why? Because YouTube wants to show as many videos as it can to its users. 

If you create a series of related videos, then YouTube will show more of your videos in the recommended section. That gives people more content to watch, and your channel gets more watch time — leading your channel to grow.

Even as a business, you’ll need to follow the above tips to grow your brand’s YouTube channel. Next, let’s talk about how you can start making cash on YouTube.

Making Money On YouTube [With An Infographic]

In the infographic below (brought to you by The Creatives Hour), there are monetization strategies for channels of all sizes and types — whether you entertain your audience, educate them on a niche subject, or inform them about industry updates. Here are 15 effective ways to make money on YouTube:

making money on YouTube infographic

Let me quickly cover the top five strategies I reckon you can start with:

  • Even beginners without a subscriber base can offer video editing services to other businesses and monetize their YouTube skills,
  • Reviewing products in your niche could also work to kick off affiliate marketing,
  • Once you have a few thousand subscribers, it won’t be a bad idea to pitch your YouTube marketing services to businesses. You already have social proof of growing your channel, and marketing services are paid well.
  • To get brand sponsorships, you’ll need about 10k subscribers — an engaged audience in certain niches could get sponsors even earlier than this milestone.
  • The YouTube Partner Program is a low-friction way to monetize your channel with advertisements. But you’ll need to meet its threshold of 4000 watch hours and 1000 subscribers before you can apply for it.

Final Thoughts

If you’re planning to start a new channel in 2021, know that there’s not been a better time. Try to mix and match a few monetization strategies from the fifteen ways in the infographic I shared, and you’ll start making money on YouTube.

Do you plan to start a YouTube channel in 2021? Let me know in the comments below.

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