For some aspiring YouTubers, the platform is a promised land, rife with the potential to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars just by sitting in front of a camera. For others, it’s a creative outlet that helps them connect with other people around the world. You may find yourself a bit in the middle, thinking that it would be fun to make videos and even better to actually make money off your hobby.
Although it’s extremely accessible, YouTube is also one of the most challenging social media platforms to break out on. There are over 300 hours of video footage uploaded to the site each hour, and more than 5 billion videos are watched by viewers worldwide every single day. That’s a lot of content, and it can feel impossible for you to even get noticed among such a tremendously loud sea of voices, ideas and high-quality videos. But fear not; YouTube might be a business for many, but it is still something anyone can learn to do and enjoy. All you need are some good ideas and some simple equipment to get started. As you embark on your video-making journey, make sure you do these three things to stand out.
Look at all the big-time successes on YouTube; they all have a distinct brand that is evident from their thumbnails to their channel header. Use Photoshop or a free program like Canva to design your channel art, a professional logo and thumbnail template. This will instantly make you look more credible to your audience. If you’re okay with spending a little money, you can even commission a freelance artist to make custom YouTube channel artwork and an icon that you can put on all your videos. This will help you stand out.
Videos that have captions are able to be enjoyed with the volume off or watched by people with hearing impairments. You might not have the time to caption all your videos by hand, but there’s an easy way to work around this. An automatic caption generator will generate subtitles for your YouTube videos in over 119 different languages. Imagine how many people could watch your content if it was immediately available to them in their native tongue. Once the captions are made, all you have to do is give them a quick read-through to ensure they’re 100-percent accurate. You can also add some additional notes in the captions that your audience could find humorous or enlightening.
Every sub-genre of YouTube has its own community, and you should get plugged into yours. What are the top channels in your niche? If you can’t answer the question, your video content may not be defined enough. While some people are able to pull off the general vlogger vibe well, it can just as easily become vague and undisciplined. Focus on narrowing down your content to a few specific topics, like true crime or cooking. Think about what videos you enjoy the most, then figure out how to put your own spin on it. Start commenting on videos by other creators in your niche, which will help you make friends and boost visibility of your own channel. Just avoid any spam, self-promos or generic comments like, “Wow, great! Check out my video on this!” If you want to build a real audience, you have to know how to be a good audience member yourself.