Making a career from YouTube isn’t unheard of anymore. Many gamers, animators and tech commentators have made YouTube their full-time job. There is one mistake, however, that I’ve noticed most popular Youtubers make, and I thought it’s worth discussing.
The state of most popular YouTubers today
Here’s a general outlook of how things are for these folks: These YouTubers (many of them in their 20’s, mostly focusing on gaming, animation or tech) hit the jackpot at a rather young age, enjoying the benefits of a large fan base in addition to a nice salary. This enables them to not have to find a job, and instead simply make money out of what they love doing anyway.
This is extremely rewarding, and a lot of fun.
The problem is that many of these people stumbled into that success, without the business state of mind behind it, and they can now just keep doing what their doing. They will keep growing and will keep making money off of YouTube.
But think about it, they don’t really own anything. Do you get that? A lot of them don’t even have their own website! And if they do, it’s either some 3rd party website like tumblr or some deserted page used to repost their YouTube videos, and maybe sell some merch if they can.
The point it that they don’t own their audience. They don’t have an email list. They have no real control on the business they are running.
Yes, this is a business even if it’s playing video games all day. If you don’t treat it like a business, you will lose on the long run. And do you think any real business will put all of its eggs in the YouTube basket? Hell no.
Real business use YouTune as a traffic source and invest in their own platform (AKA – their site.) Even if your business is mainly focused on YouTube, you need to build a brand around it. My animation blog (Bloop Animation) Started as a YouTube channel, and still is very focused on making videos on YouTube. But do you think that’s all I do? YouTube makes for about 10% of the blog’s income.
Why should you care about this?
Some of these famous YouTubers might ask me “Why should I care about this? I make over 10k/month from my channel!”
I have 2 answers for those people.
- If you’re making 10k/month from YouTube views, you could potentially be making 50k-70k per month. Does that interest you?
- What happens if YouTube changes the rules? They’ve done it before, and even recently with their change to in-video endorsements. They can make small changes that cut your income in half. What would you do then?
If you are serious about what you’re doing, I suggest thinking about yourself and your brand as a business (even a business that focuses on YouTube) and that way make you guarantee the stability of your business in the long run, in addition to a much higher earnings potential.
Ok, so what do you do now?
Without getting into everything that could be done in building an online business, I would suggest 2 things to start off with.
- Build your own website with your own domain name (or the name of your brand).
- Start building an email list! I can’t get into why this is so important on this post, but in short – it’s the only way in this world right now to have access to 100% of your audience. No “news feed” or anything that prevents viewers to get updates about you.
Do these 2 things and you’re already in a much better place than some of the most popular YouTubers out there.
Let me know if this is a topic you’ll want to know more about in the comments, and maybe I’ll write a followup post.