With so many creators putting content on the internet, you need more than one viral hit to make it as a YouTuber. Your fifteen minutes of fame may launch your career, but only hard work can sustain your success.
Here’s how to set your channel up for long-term success.
Focus on a niche.
YouTube stars like James Charles and Patrick Starrr are known for makeup. The Glam&Gore channel is known more specifically for SFX makeup. Shane Dawson’s channel grew exponentially once he decided to focus on documentaries rather than a smorgasbord of content. All of these successful creators have one thing in common: their content focuses within a specific niche.
It’s easier to grow an audience when you create a specific type of video. Therefore, you should create all of your videos within the same niche. To determine your niche, ask yourself how you’d answer the question “What kind of videos do you make?” in a few words.
The more specific you can get with your niche, the better. For example, a lot of smaller YouTubers create costumes and sewing tutorials. Creator Micarah Tewers makes costumes out of thrifted materials. Her unique approach to tutorials helped her get to a million subscribers.
Define your brand.
A brand is composed of the characteristics that give your channel its unique identity. Your brand sets your channel apart from others within the same niche. Your key messages, content strategy, and color scheme all contribute to your channel brand.
To define your brand, look at a few of your uploads and ask yourself, “What makes this a [your channel name] video?”. Are you relatable and funny like Emma Chamberlain? Are you nerdy and creative like Rosanna Pansino? Are you introverted and silly like AmazingPhil?
A lot of different elements can go into branding your channel, from your merch to your personality on camera. What can really make your channel stand out is your channel art. Follow the tutorial below to learn more about branding and customizing your channel.
Think of your YouTube channel in terms of the film and television industries. A movie can be a smash hit. It might reach the top of the box office and be a topic of conversation for a while. However, eventually, its popularity will fade. A popular television show, on the other hand, becomes a pop culture phenomenon and stays at the top for years. Fans look forward to new episodes every week instead of a potential sequel every few years.
In the same way, regular uploads can sustain your channel’s popularity. It’s hard to forget about a creator who consistently delivers new content to talk about. Keeping a strict upload schedule keeps your fans excited about your channel.
The Try Guys have been uploading every Wednesday and Saturday for the past two years. Whenever they start a new series, they set more specific upload schedules within their regular schedule.
Foster the sense of community around your channel.
A lot of independent artists depend on their local fans to help them reach the next level. They rely on their fans to promote their music on social media, stream their songs, and attend shows in order to help them reach the mainstream. Not only do their fans help bring more attention to their music, but they also help support them financially by buying merch and tickets.
It’s the same for up-and-coming YouTubers, except your community is mainly online. You should foster the sense of community around your channel by engaging with fans on social media, shouting them out in videos, and coming up with ways to get them involved with your content.
Gamer Clare Siobhan has an army of dedicated viewers because of how much she puts into her relationship with them. She begins every video by greeting them with the nickname she gave them, “Peacharoonies.” She invites them to create Sims for her to use in her videos and share them with a special hashtag. Then, whenever she uses a fan’s Sim in a video, she shouts out their username.
Establish multiple streams of income.
Finally, the most important thing you can do to sustain your career is establish multiple streams of revenue. YouTube’s ever-changing monetization policies can make your ad revenue unpredictable from month to month. While your channel may be your main source of income, it shouldn’t be the only one.
An easy way to establish another stream of income is to start a second channel in a different niche. You could do sponsored posts and videos as well. A lot of YouTubers also start podcasts, sell merch, publish books, or go on tour. Experiment with different projects then focus on the ones that are the most lucrative.
Rhett and Link were able to build an entertainment company by creating different streams of revenue. They started their online careers making comedy music. Now, under the Mythical Entertainment umbrella, they run several channels, a podcast, a merch store, and an online membership. Their latest addition is the Mythical Kitchen channel.
To set your channel up for long-term success, define your niche and channel brand. Focus on your channel’s community as well as your multiple streams of income.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.