If you are in the business of blogging and/or influencing I’d definitely recommend starting a YouTube channel as soon as possible. The sooner you start the sooner you can grow your audience, increase all of your social media numbers and diversify your income streams. I’ve been on YouTube for years but finally got serious about it last year when I was looking for additional ways to bring in money as a full time content creator. The pluses of starting a channel far outweigh any negatives I can possibly speak on, and will in a few. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there but video is a wonderful way to let the world get to know the real you. The you that can’t be conveyed in written words in a blog post or in photos on Instagram. So as a pretty seasoned YouTuber who’s been consistent at posting for a full year, here’s everything you need to know before starting a YouTube Channel in 2020.
IT’S NOT AS EASY AS IT LOOKS
Even a 5 minute video can take up to an hour to record and even more hours to edit. There’s so much work that goes into it that you won’t understand until you actually try it. You need a camera to film your video. That can be anything from an iPhone to what most vloggers use… the Canon Mark II G7x. You also need SD cards to store the video. Let’s not even get into the time it takes to do hair and makeup and set up your film area. And if you are doing a haul faggetabouit, it’s going to take at least 2 hours. Then you need to transfer those videos to your computer or an external hard drive. Then comes the fun editing part which can be super tedious. You have to overlay music and text and make sure your audience isn’t bored to tears. You then spend an incredible amount of time writing up a description box with links to everything. Oh don’t forget creating a thumbnail for each video. Then you need to research titles for optimum SEO, tag all of the appropriate things before finally publishing. After that you then need to promote that video across all your other social. It’s at least 14 hours of work for me to create 1 YouTube video. I don’t even edit my videos anymore and still find it to be incredibly stressful. If you’re not great at editing, outsourcing is a great route to take.
IT’S PRETTY AWESOME THOUGH
Even though it is a ton of work being a YouTuber is awesome. I feel that YouTuber subscribers are probably the most engaged and loyal of all my audiences. They are super supportive and I love the positive community we’ve created together. I also get to speak about things I’m passionate about in a way I can’t in an instagram caption or blog post. I’m able to go a lot more in depth with fashion, beauty, travel and lifestyle in video form than I ever could in any other medium. I also feel like I’ve found a new audience who is eager to check out my other work. Many subscribers come over to Instagram to get to follow what I’m up to more often since I only publish videos twice a week. I’ve also noticed a huge uptick in my blog page views from YouTube traffic as well. YouTube subscribers are a lot more invested in seeing you win and supporting you. It’s amazing that these people I’ve never met relate to me so much. It’s just a nice feeling and motivates me to continue doing what I love.
YES YOU CAN MAKE MONEY
In addition to being able to diversify my portfolio and expand my content into video, I also love that I make a good amount of money with YouTube. From Adsense (ad’s google runs on my videos) I make anywhere from $1500-$2200 a month. Simply from doing what I would do anyway which is publishing 2 videos a week and making sure I have the monetize button on. But that’s not all. I always use affiliate links for my video description boxes so viewers can shop what ever I feature in the video and I get a small commission from those sales. In addition to adsense monies and affiliate link commissions, there’s also sponsored videos commissioned by brands. Between those 3 revenue streams all from YouTube I average about 5-8K a month. Yes, YouTube can be very lucrative if you are strategic about it. In addition to being fun and a creative outlet it can actually pay your bills. It just takes a lot of consistency and uploading regularly. Remember I don’t have a great deal of subscribers I had less than 20K subscribers when I was making $1000-1500 monthly from YouTube Adsense. It’s all about getting the views and being strategic about the content you create. Promotion is a the name of the game too.
IT’S A GIFT AND A CURSE
When you put your authentic self out there flaws and all some people feel that you’re free game for judgement and criticism. Unlike Instagram YouTube can be completely anonymous and people are more brazen with the idiotic things they say. If you are a Black woman, it’s even worse. Be prepared for rude critiques of your hair, skin, body, speech, personality and more. Even if you like to play with your hair or do certain mannerisms people will feel it’s their right to tell you to change those things. If you are not strong willed it’s enough to make you want to quit. It’s actually why I think there aren’t many Black women on YouTube for very long. We don’t even get a chance to blossom before we are ripped to shreds by other Black women. Yes…99.9% of the hate watch, rude comments about what I should be doing with my money, my body and my space come from Black women. A lot of it is projection so don’t take any of that to heart. You can not reason with people who don’t have common sense and don’t waste your time trying to educate them either. Block them swiftly and never think of them again. Speaking of which also make use of the Blocked Words feature for comments. Go ahead and put anything that will trigger you in that box and those comments featuring those words will automatically be deleted. You will never see them. The same with blocking people, they can never be able to comment on your videos again. Don’t be afraid of a thumbs down either. Real ones know, even a thumbs down is positive engagement for your channel! If a hater is watching just to hate LET THEM. They are secretly fans because they are supporting you by watching. They are putting more money in your pocket. And always remember the only opinion of you that matters is yours.
PLANNING MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER
Type A people thrive at YouTube because they are well organized. Write down all of your video ideas and actually execute them! If you have the means film the video the same week you think up that idea. While it’s still fresh and exciting in your mind, use that energy to fuel that video. I like writing down all my YouTube ideas mid-month for the next month. I publish a new video every Sunday and Wednesday so I go through and assign a video to every Sunday and Wednesday of the month and try to record them all within the first two weeks of the month so I can sit back and relax and allow other time and creativity for Instagram and this blog. It becomes harder when you try and scramble last minute to think up a topic and film it and edit it for a next day publish. That’s too much stress that you can avoid by just doing a little planning ahead. Set filming days for yourself, editing days and publishing days and stick to that schedule. Get your audience familiar with your posting days so they can expect and lookout for your content. Trust me YouTube viewers appreciate consistency more than anything else…even quality!
GET THE LOOK
If you’re looking for in depth details on exactly how to start a YouTube channel and monetize it check out this blog post for the tea. And if YouTube isn’t your jam but you are thinking of starting a blog or website then this post will let you know how to do just that. If you are looking to get into the influencer space or make more money in that aspect head over to my Etsy Shop where I’ve written over 15 eBooks to show you how to Pitch to Brands, Make Money with Affiliate Links, what apps I use for Instagram and more.
Don’t think too much about the process or having everything together. Just start!
For all those who have been reaching out about mentorship and asking how I create my Instagram content and make money working with brands, I will be opening my Teachable school this month! So stay tuned there will be plenty of video courses to teach you everything I know about blogging & influencing. Subscribe to our Newsletter to be notified about when we open!