The YouTube Empire and How to Reign Supreme

Starting a vlog on YouTube is no longer just a hobby. It has become a place for some vloggers to make serious money through Google’s revenue sharing program. If you do well, you can certainly quit your day job. In fact, some YouTubers make more in a month than many people make in a year. To illustrate, vlogger Yuya earns around $41,000 per month making her YouTube videos.

Then, there is Zoella who earns around $27,000 each month. Of course, we can’t forget one of the most successful YouTubers to date–PewDiePie, the Swedish gamer and jokester who made $15 million in 2016. For these vloggers, making YouTube videos is a business. Plus, they have amassed a huge following. Do you have a vlog idea, and want to learn how to grow a YouTube channel? Continue reading to learn more.


The History of YouTube

It’s hard to believe that barely anyone had heard of YouTube back in 2005. Today, it’s one of the net’s most profitable and popular content channels. You can find anything on the site from music videos, gaming, tutorials, movies, TV shows and that’s just scratching the surface. Most people log onto YouTube several times a week, if not every day. It has become a part of our daily lives, and you probably follow a few YouTube stars as well.

The site was founded by former PayPal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. They discussed the idea at a dinner party in San Francisco one year before launch. Their inspiration was Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction in 2004 and the Indian Ocean tsunami. Then, the beta site was launched in May 2005.

On April 23, 2005, Jawed Karim posted a video titled “Me at the Zoo.” It was the first video posted on YouTube. Just a few months later, in September 2005, a Nike ad went viral. This was YouTube’s first one-million hit video. Just over a year later, Google saw the potential and purchased the site for $1.65 billion in October 2006– cha-ching!

Soon, going “viral” was a thing. In May 2007, a 56-second video of a toddler biting his brother’s finger then smiling became one of the most watched YouTube videos ever. The family has since made over $150,000. Google’s first ads were set up in August 2007. YouTube was also where Justin Bieber was discovered. It wasn’t long after that when YouTube stars starting popping up.




Making money

The main source of revenue for YouTube stars is from advertising. Usually, advertisers will pay around $2-$5 per 1,000 ad impressions. The viewer has to watch the ad however. According to Forbes, the top 12 YouTube celebrities earned a combined $70.5 million by June 16.

Take a look at vlogger Roman Atwood, he seems to know exactly how to grow a YouTube channel. He focuses on his personal and family life with very positive messages. Currently, he has over 12.2 million people following him. This year, he has reached over 568 million views. If he made around $1 per CPM, that means he would have made around $570,000 this year.

Another popular YouTube channel is Smosh, made up of comedians Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla. They create slapstick comedy videos. Moreover, they run seven channels and made an estimated $7 million in 2016. These stars did not know how to grow a YouTube channel at first, but they do now. We’ll discuss some tips in the next section.


Getting started

To make good money on YouTube, you must have a successful channel that has hit 10,000 lifetime views. This is to remove any bad actors who are just in it for the money. Here are a few other tips:


  1. Determine your passion. To make money on YouTube, you must be consistent with your vlogs. To do that, you should focus on something you’re passionate about such as religion, gossip, politics, fashion, make-up, music, pets, celebrities or something else. Above everything else, the most important thing is to have fun. Viewers want authenticity in the videos. They can sense when you’re not passionate about something. It also helps to focus on unique and niche content–something you can be the best at.


  1. Purchase your gear. The good news is it doesn’t take a large investment to film videos. What matters most is the quality and relevancy of your content. Today’s smartphones have the necessary video technology to get you started. When you start making the big bucks, you can invest in more professional equipment. When learning how to grow a YouTube channel, it helps to understand that you can start out without spending too much money. Although, lighting is very important. The best lighting would be natural, such as being outdoors or near a window. You can also buy a lighting kit for under $100. Furthermore, your audio must be clear.


  1. Post lots of videos. Once you have considered your topics, start creating content on a regular basis. Just record, and be natural. As you get more practice, it will get easier. Videos range from five to 35 minutes. If you need it, ask friends to help you edit.


  1. Promote your videos. Always ask YouTube viewers to subscribe to your channel at the end of your videos and in the description or comments section. Plus, you want to tag your videos with relevant keywords to help people find your content. Then, share your channel on your other social media platforms. A million subscribers is not easy, nor does it happen overnight. Nonetheless, one of the key elements of how to grow a YouTube channel is promotion. Moreover, you should interact with your viewers by responding to their comments.


  1. Enable your channel for monetization. Once you’ve received a minimum of 10,000 lifetime views, you can connect your YouTube channel to a Google AdSense account. Yet, you won’t get paid for any copyrighted material in your video. Still, you can now start to work your way up to the big leagues of YouTube vlogging.


Learning how to grow a YouTube channel isn’t very difficult. The biggest obstacle is finding a niche that interests a large number of viewers, and posting on a regular basis. Once you see an increasing number of followers, the process will seem much more natural to you.

Ryan Stewart

Ryan Stewart is a digital marketing consultant with over 8 years of experience working to help Fortune 500 brands grow their online presence. He currently resides in Miami, where he owns boutique creative agency WEBRIS. You can find Ryan on Twitter or LinkedIn.