Did the title of this article make you click on it? If yes, then great! Consider this your first step to becoming a famous YouTuber: Clickbait.
Joking aside, YouTube’s popularity as a platform for entertainment has grown exponentially within the past couple of years. Popular YouTubers have the same amount of fans that would be associated with that of movie stars; and an increasing amount of young adults have begun to watch YouTube over other forms of entertainment such as television.
Originally established as a website for people to upload random videos on, the world has watched YouTube grow into a huge business and profession. I myself began watching YouTube videos when I was around 9 or 10 years old, and since then have been fascinated with the world of YouTube and video making.
I obsessed over YouTubers like Ryan Higa, Tyler Oakley, Jenna Marbles, Dan and Phil, and countless others, and soon began to rely on YouTube for nearly everything in my life. There, I could learn science or history from the Green brothers, take a break from the craziness of the world to watch Jon Cozart’s hilarious satirical songs, or learn how to do an obscure task like draw an eye or tie a tie from someone who had most definitely already filmed a video doing just that.
While there is no actual way to guarantee becoming rich or famous on YouTube, making a somewhat successful channel isn’t as unattainable as it may seem. I began my own channel during February of this year (I’m not going to count the channel I made when I was 13 with my best friend… we’ve all been there) and since then have gotten a little over a thousand subscribers and have made nearly 30 videos. This is no way meant to be me bragging or anything, but my main point is that I began this channel with legitimately zero expectations of anything actually coming from it.
Boy was I wrong (odd1sout anyone?)!
I’ve been able to meet more new people than ever before (some of which I’ve also been able to meet in person!) and have been given opportunities that I never thought I could receive. After having my channel for a couple of months, many people I knew began to ask me how to start a channel. They said things like they’d always wanted to make one, but never thought they would actually be able to do so; whether that be because of lack of knowledge, confidence, or equipment. So, I’m hoping that this article can be a bit of a how-to guide on starting your own channel.
First things first, the three things you absolutely need to begin a channel are: something to film with, something to edit with, and a gmail account. That’s it. Many people get hung up on needing the best camera or editing software, but you can truly create high quality videos with your phone’s camera and iMovie.
The trick to making a channel is really just going out there and doing it. Trust me, no creator will be consistently releasing amazing content from day one (I can’t even fully sit through my first video, it’s that cringey); this is a growth process that, more often than not, will start out kind of rough. From there, should you start making videos and genuinely want to continue doing so, you can start to accumulate higher quality tech like a DSLR camera, lights, or an external microphone.
After you’ve achieved these things, the rest is truly up to you. Finding a genre of videos is normally helpful from this point; are you a vlogger? Beauty-guru? Comedy sketch creator? Animator? Gamer? The list goes on; there are no limits to what you can create here. You can really hone into what kind of content you enjoy to make and what kind of stories you want to tell. Something that I found was helpful when I began my channel was creating a list of “possible video ideas” that I could turn to when I needed something to film. The beauty of YouTube is that everything is within your control, and you can unabashedly be yourself.
There are obvious pros and cons to everything, and YouTube has had a bit of a rough year in terms of controversial content and becoming “advertiser friendly.” Many creators (including myself) started to experience the demonetization of their videos, which means that a video (which has been demonetized) can no longer make any money. I’ve also had videos of mine deleted for “violating their guidelines” when there was absolutely no violation of any kind. I obviously don’t rely on YouTube for my main income, so these facts were more of an annoyance than anything actually harmful to me; however, this topic is definitely one that won’t be leaving the YouTube circuit for a while. So I’d definitely keep that in mind if becoming “rich” off of YouTube is one of your main life goals.
However, I wouldn’t let these aspects hold you back from starting a channel, especially if you truly think you could enjoy making content. Making these videos, whether they were something as simple as a challenge video or something as serious as my eating disorder story, has changed my life for the better.
Was it ridiculously scary in the beginning? Uh, yes. Are some videos incredibly cringe-worthy and the center of many (many) jokes? You betcha. But, nothing in my life has ever matched the genuine joy I feel when making and releasing content; and this channel has brought with it countless amounts of connections, friends, and growth that I don’t know how I would live without.
Even if you don’t end up creating a channel, let this article be a sign for you to just go out and do something that you love, regardless of what the voice in your head (or those around you) may say. You never know what anything will do for you until you try it, and you can always improve upon and grow in whatever it is you may be doing right now.
But of course, as always, don’t forget to leave a like and comment down below, and be sure to subscribe and click that notification bell to get notified every time I upload. I’ll see you guys in the next article, goooodbye!
P.S. one last tip: never miss an opportunity to plug your channel; you can check mine out here: