Should I become a YouTuber?
In this article, we’ll be discussing one of the biggest questions that aspiring content creators will ever have to ask themselves: “Should I become a YouTuber?”. Before we can get to answering that question, though, we’re going to have to start by defining the term YouTuber, and what you can do in your capacity as one.
What is a YouTuber?
So, first thing’s first. Let’s make our criteria for what a YouTuber is. YouTubers have to contain all of the following traits to be considered a YouTuber:
- Is regularly active on YouTube. This means creating videos, watching other’s videos and interacting with them.
- Has a clearly-defined brand name or identity.
- Has a following of subscribers who watch their content.
- Has a history on YouTube. A YouTuber isn’t necessarily a guy who just started making videos- they’re a guy who keeps making them.
- Does YouTube as a part of their hobby, or as a career.
- Makes money off of YouTube, directly or indirectly.
This, you may notice, has a wide range. Basically, all you need to do to become a YouTuber is to start making videos regularly, enable monetization and get a following. Of course, the question isn’t can (pretty much anyone can), it’s if you should. While you’re asking “Should I become a YouTuber?” you should also consider the following questions.
What can I expect starting out?
Not a lot. YouTubers will never make a lot of money just starting their career, unless they’re supremely lucky enough to spawn with something that goes viral. Viral videos are like catching lightning in a bottle, though, and won’t be accounted for here. This article is going to assume that you’ll exhibit normal rates of growth over time as you produce content, not that you’ll spontaneously become a smash hit. The generally-accepted average for YouTube revenue looks something like this:
- 10 cents per 100 views
- 1 dollar per 1000 views
- 10 dollars per 10,000 views
- 100 dollars per 100,000 views
- And so on…
That may be a sobering number, especially when you’re starting out. Most smaller channels are only going to average some hundred views with their earliest videos, and until they start growing, they won’t be profiting off of YouTube whatsoever. True profit off of YouTube doesn’t come until you start reaching the growth stage- when people start subscribing to you and sharing you with their friends. Growth is a funny thing that’s hard to pin down, but producing quality content and listening to feedback can definitely help you on that front.
How much does it cost to become a YouTuber?
You’re asking “Should I become a YouTuber?”, but do you know how much it costs?
Well…it depends on what you’re doing! A bare essential would be video editing software, specifically something like Sony Vegas or Adobe After Effects. This can be a bit expensive, so you’re welcome to find a free alternative if you need to, but don’t use something like Windows Movie Maker. Now, if you’re doing video game content, you’re in luck: many PCs support game-recording software, and current generation gaming consoles do as well. You can also invest in something like a capture card to record gameplay without losing any performance in-game.
For people who do other kinds of content, though, it might be a bit more expensive. Quality cameras and microphones can cost hundreds, same for professional lighting, green-screens, supplies and what-have-you. Initial investments for YouTube creation can be expensive, but note that it’s okay to buy things within your price range and upgrade later. Production values can be overlooked for smaller YouTubers, especially if you’re sufficiently entertaining to watch while you’re starting out. What’s important is that you put out entertaining content to the best of your ability and budget, and as you grow you can do more.
Typically, though, it’s a good idea to approach YouTube with a little bit of money saved up.
What kind of money does it make?
As you may have gathered from the previous sections, not a lot. At least not initially. You aren’t going to start working on YouTube and suddenly make triple digits: that kind of revenue takes time, so you won’t be able to quit your job in favor of YouTube too early in the proceedings. However, building a portfolio is good. Typically a single good video isn’t enough to get someone to subscribe to your channel. They’ll like one video you make, then go to your channel to find more. If they like what they see then, that’s when you usually get the subscription. This kind of engagement isn’t the kind you can pay for, and isn’t the kind you can count on to happen every time, but by continuing to build your channel, the likeliness of people staying when they find it skyrockets.
The question isn’t just “Should I become a YouTuber?”. It’s also if you can afford it, if you can do it, and if you can stay determined.
What’s the work schedule like?
The work schedule depends on you, but you won’t be very good at YouTube by working for only a few hours every week. Think of it as a part-time job: 20-30 hours a week working on videos is generally enough to produce content on a regular schedule. This might sound like a lot on paper, but if you genuinely enjoy what you’re doing, chances are this time will fly by fast. Make sure that you’re making videos that are relevant to you and your interests so you can stay engaged despite the work schedule. Contrary to what people might think, YouTube is hard work: recording, editing and rendering are all long processes that can consume a lot of time. Working a job/attending school alongside YouTube can be fairly time-consuming, and it means in earlier stages you may not be able to put out a lot of content on a regular basis.
Is it reliable?
Not necessarily. YouTube advertising guidelines have made YouTube a fickle platform as of late, but in general, growth means you’ll be making a good amount of money. Just don’t expect every video to perform the same, and keep a watchful eye out for copyright/guidelines strikes that de-monetize your videos. This is a scary thing for content creators to deal with, but it is an unfortunate reality of working on the platform. Until you’re making steady revenue, keep your day job. Always have a backup plan, too, in case your channel gets a bad strike or your equipment gets damaged. Working in a field like this means you need to be prepared for anything that might come your way.
How can I get a boost?
“Should I become a YouTuber?” is hopefully a question we’ve managed to answer for you by now. Now you know that becoming a YouTuber is a risky process that requires high initial investments of spare time and spare cash- if you’ve decided that isn’t right for you, that’s completely understandable. However, if you’re ready to take the plunge, you don’t need to stop here.
Here at Grin, we have a Market, and a blog. Our blog is full of informative posts like this one to help you grow as a content creator, while our app can be used to connect you with other creators, just like you, for free. Our Marketplace is a platform that allows you to pay other creators for all kinds of services, though: this includes shoutouts and collaborations that can help you grow with the assistance of a larger channel, as well as art/design assistance and more.
With our resources and your committment, you have a very good chance of making it on the platform. So, ask yourself the question one more time: “Should I become a YouTuber?”
If the answer is “yes”, stick around.