Monetizing Your YouTube Content

For many small YouTube creators, the idea of making money from content creation seems hard to grasp. While you won’t be able to make your YouTube channel into a career like some, it’s still possible to get paid for your efforts. There are more paths for monetizing YouTube content creation than one might initially believe, and the sooner you start thinking about how these monetization models fit with your channel, the better.

Below, I’m going to explore two common monetization models that YouTube creators use. This isn’t to say that these are the only two models that exist, however. If you’ve found a monetization method that you’d like to share, be sure to post about it in the comments section below.

Ad Revenue

Ad Revenue

The simplest and most “official” YouTube monetization model is through ad revenue, powered by Google AdSense. Through AdSense, YouTube places advertisements within your videos and creators take a percentage of the ad revenue. While small channels may not make a noticeable amount of revenue at first, your earnings will scale with your viewership and you will be paid after passing an initial revenue threshold.

Ad revenue, despite being Google’s official monetization model, does come with some downsides. YouTube recently blocked channels with less than 10,000 lifetime views from being able to monetize, which can slow the process down for people starting completely fresh channels. Additionally, this model puts creators at the mercy of advertisers. Recently a large number of advertisers have withdrawn ads from Google’s services, which has led to diminished ad revenue for creators.

Ad Revenue (1)

Patreon

Patreon is a service that allows fans to pay creators monthly and fund content that otherwise wouldn’t be able to exist. Initially popular in many indie art and music circles, Patreon has now become a source of income for YouTube creators such as Red Letter Media. By being funded directly by fans, you no longer have to worry about Google and its partnered advertisers making changes that affect your income beyond your own control. However, the obvious downside of this model is that you need an initial group of dedicated fans that are willing to pay out of their own pocket to fund your content, which is no easy task for a young YouTube channel.

Despite initial difficulties, Patreon may be a more sustainable way for many YouTube creators to monetize their content. Video essayist and crowdfunding consultant Ian Danskin made a compelling video on the philosophical and financial differences in being funded directly by fans vs ad revenue that I’ve embedded below.

At the end of the day, the only one who can decide how to monetize your content is you. Explore different methods and choose one that fits not only the type of videos you make, but your personality as well.

Dealing With Creative Burnout

The problems of creative burnout and demotivation have existed for as long as humanity has used imagination to entertain, make art, solve problems and innovate. No matter what type of video content you produce on your YouTube channel, you’re likely to encounter these challenges as well if you plan on making regularly scheduled, long-term videos.

Many big-name YouTube creators have suffered from burnout, in part due to the site’s search and suggestion algorithms prioritizing channels with extremely frequent upload rates.  Sooner or later, you’ll have a day where the ideas just aren’t forming in your head and you can’t bring yourself to start recording. Creative burnout and motivational issues are difficult to deal with for many, but they’re not impossible to overcome. Below, I’ve listed some tips for creators who are struggling.

BP5_2.png

Take Your Time

This is easily the simplest yet somehow underappreciated solution to creative struggles. Take a break! While it’s true that long breaks can hurt your SEO, your mental wellbeing should take priority to your channel’s schedule. Physical activity and relaxational mental exercises can calm your mind and reduce stress. If taking this approach, be sure to notify your viewers with a quick update video and/or post on social media. Just like any other job or hobby, you’re going to need to take a “sick day” at one point or another. As a side note, if you’re thinking of quitting altogether, chances are you just need a long break.

BP5_1.png

Try Something New

If you feel like you’ve been pigeonholed into making certain kinds of videos, it might be time to branch out. Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone and experimenting may be the spark you need to reignite your creativity. If you’re worried that parts of your current audience won’t be interested in your new videos, you can always make an additional channel to keep your content separated. Popular vlogger Philip DeFranco has successfully taken this approach, separating his more personal and family-oriented content from his main account and into secondary channels.

Don’t let your creative slump get the better of you. These feelings are natural, and are bound to occur no matter what type of content is being made. What do you do when you’re feeling unmotivated and can’t seem to find the energy to make more videos? Let me know in the comments section below!

Using Analytics To Improve Your YouTube Channel

One of the most commonly overlooked sections of the YouTube Creator Studio by new users is the Analytics tab. It’s easy to get excited about making videos and ignore the long-term, especially when your channel is new and doesn’t have much data to draw from yet. The truth is, YouTube Analytics is one of the most important tools serious YouTubers utilize to not only grow their viewership, but to maintain it as well.

Your analytics will be useful in determining what types of videos your audience wants to see. While it’s not difficult to look at which of your videos receive more views than others, your analytics will provide you with a more detailed report of viewer preferences. YouTube Analytics features a mix of both current channel statistics to let you know how you are performing in addition to data on the viewing habits and demographic information of users who have engaged with your content.

ANALYTICS.png

Here’s an example of the analytics page from a now-abandoned movie review and analysis channel I ran. If you’re wondering, this is an archive and the channel has long been deleted for personal reasons, but I have confirmed that modern analytics pages are identical to this one. It’s a lot to take in at first, but each graph helps paint a picture of how well your content is performing.

The average view duration, graphed in the upper-right corner, will give you an idea of how long your viewers are willing to watch your videos for. If this number is extremely low, it’s a sign that your audience is bouncing off your videos at a high rate. Use this graph to determine how long you should make your videos and how engaging your content is.

BP4_Analytics.png

Further down on the page you will see audience demographic data. This data includes viewer age range, gender, location, device preference, and traffic source information (where they came to your video from, or how they discovered it.) Tailor your content to match the interests of your target demographics, and use these analytics to see if you’re meeting your goals.

Analytics can be difficult to understand, but they’re a necessary part of long-term YouTube success. If you’re having difficulty making sense of your analytics or have a general analytics question, feel free to leave a comment on this blog post and I’ll do my best to assist you.

How To Create a YouTube Schedule

An active YouTube channel is a commitment most creators don’t fully take to heart when they start out. Not only can it take time to grow a community, but the individual videos that make up your channel’s content can take a decent chunk of time to edit and produce. Just like any other form of content creation, organization and proper scheduling are crucial to finding and maintaining an audience. Below are two tips for better managing your YouTube video schedule. If you have any additional ideas or tips that you would like to suggest, feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment below!

post3pic1

Update Consistently, Not Daily

New YouTubers are often encouraged to upload videos daily. Many of the most-subscribed YouTube content creators take this approach and have found great success with the daily content format, but it’s hard to recommend this approach for newcomers. Even YouTube’s own Creator Academy suggests that users upload consistently and frequently, but that a minimum of one video per month is sufficient. Producing more videos than you can handle is a fast way for a creator to get burned out, especially as a newcomer.

Create A Buffer

Using YouTube’s time management tools is the perfect way to get a head start on forming a content schedule. This approach gives you not only more control over when your video goes live, but lets you create a “buffer” of pre-made videos as well. Creating and scheduling content ahead of time ensures that your YouTube channel will remain updated even in the event other commitments come up or a personal emergency occurs.

Post3Pic2

Scheduling is an important aspect in any area of social media, and YouTube is no different. Not every video needs to be planned and scheduled ahead of time – breaking news related to your subject matter, for example, may require content as fast as possible. Experiment with different schedules and then use your YouTube Analytics page to see what schedule works best for your audience.

Sound Professional – Microphone Recommendations for New YouTubers

Header

No matter what you plan on using your YouTube channel for – vlogging, reviews, podcasting and so on, your audio quality is an element of video production you cannot ignore. After all, poor audio quality is one of the major reasons users will lose interest in your content. In addition, the official YouTube Creator Academy segment on recording audio states that viewers will be more forgiving of poorly recorded video footage than lackluster audio.

So, what is the best microphone option for new YouTube creators? There are a couple I can recommend for people interested in video making, but aren’t yet ready to spend an absurd amount of money on making a truly professional recording studio. If you have a microphone you’d like to suggest, feel free to leave a comment below and let me know!

Microphones

Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti is by far one of the most popular audio recording solutions and is suggested by creators all the time – and for good reason. The quality of the sound picked up by the Blue Yeti is unmatched by other microphones in its price range. I myself use the Yeti for recording my audio and I love it. However, I can’t fully recommend this microphone for new video producers without listing a few downsides, the most obvious being the price. The idea of spending over $100 on a microphone just isn’t realistic for many people. In fact, the Blue Yeti can in some situations be too good. If you don’t have a quiet or soundproofed location to record in, you’ll pick up unwanted background noise you’ll need to remove with audio software like Audacity.

Blue Snowball

Thankfully, this is where the Yeti’s younger sibling, the Blue Snowball, comes in. The Snowball is a more affordable (yet less professional-sounding) microphone for people who want great quality without going overboard. The Snowball also isn’t as sensitive as the Yeti, which sacrifices a bit of quality for the convenience of not having as much audio editing to perform after recording.

Overall, you can’t go wrong with either microphone. They’re both great and will give your videos the audio quality they deserve.

The Quality vs Quantity Debate

An argument I’ve seen time and time again between creators from all sorts of backgrounds is the quality vs quantity debate. After all, does it really matter that someone has a massive amount of content in their portfolio if the majority is unimpressive, or even worse, absolute garbage? The concern does have merit. After all, good audio and video quality are a vital component in retaining your viewership.

bulb

But there must be validity in the quantity argument, right? Especially when one considers how frequently successful YouTubers upload content. According to these YouTubers, creating a reliable flow of steady video content builds up an audience that will keep coming back to watch more. Not every video needs to be a masterfully edited, award-winning short film, it just needs to be good enough to be enjoyable and hook people into wanting more.

One creative roadblock that took me years to overcome was the fear of making something that was bad. Whether it was creative writing, graphic design or video production. I’d often get halfway through a project before completely scrapping it and starting over or just moving on entirely. However, I eventually realized by never following through with my ideas, even if they turned out poorly, I was hurting myself as a creator.

practice

The truth is focusing on quantity will eventually lead to better quality as well. If you’re serious about making videos and are open to criticism, having a body of work that people can give you feedback on is much more helpful to improving than spending hours upon hours theorizing best practices and experimenting with nothing to show for it. Search engines prefer quantity too, and there’s a higher chance of someone stumbling across your work if there’s more of it online.

Quality is important, but you won’t improve without practice. Quantity is the key to success.