First of all thanks to all my viewers, subscribers and friends. I started posting videos on YouTube about 18 months back, with zero subscribers, now after posting 182 videos in the last one and half years, cross another milestone of 5K Subscribers.
In this video, I will share my experiences of video blogging, the mistakes I did, the lessons I learned and more. If you are interested in know more about starting a YouTube Channel, making money, then you should watch this video till the end.
Even though, my experience with YouTube is just for 18 months, my experience of blogging and making money online is more than 15 years old. I got my first $100 Google Adsense check more than 15 years back and have earned thousands of dollars online by serving ads, selling digital products and WordPress Plugins. Now for the last 5 years, I have been relaxing and spending more time on my passion of traveling the world. Photography is another passion and is very much connected with traveling. I had been writing blog posts on my travel, but was never serious.
18 months back, I decided to make videos of my travel and post it on YouTube and that was how I started my travel vlog. In this channel which has less than 1000 subscribers, I share my experiences, fighting diabetes or in other words, it’s like everything other than travel, food and destinations.
How to start a YouTube channel?
You just need a google account, sign up and verify your account with your mobile number, you are good to start uploading your videos. Please make sure that all the videos that you upload are complying with the terms and conditions of YouTube.
How can I make money from YouTube?
This would be the second or the even sometimes the first question when they start talking about YouTube. My answer is, if you are going to start a YouTube channel, just to make money, please don’t do it, you are going to fail.
The process of making money from a YouTube channel is long, you need to to put in lots of effort, hard work and more than all you should be passionate about making good content for your viewers. There are no shortcuts, but there are wise and intelligent way or working to reach your goals faster.
I am making money from my travel channel, but it is very less compared to what I spend for my traveling, but it is growing, my earnings are getting better day by day, I getting invitations to review products and services related to my channel. I am also happy that I am noticed and people walk up to me and say that they watch my channel and they like my videos.
Even if I would not had a travel channel, I would have spend the same money for my travel, so it is not a business or a source of income for me, so I am not desperate with my earnings and nothing is stopping me from making more videos and traveling. For me, I am passionate about using new devices, learning new techniques and more
So, if you are going to start a YouTube channel to make money instantly, no, please do not do it.
What kind of channel would be good for making money fast?
As I explained, a travel channel or similar kind of channel would be very difficult as you need good money to produce good videos. I have invested in gadgets like costly cameras, low light lenses, drone, gimbals and more.
But there are ways to produce videos at a very low cost with minimum investment. For example, you are good in teaching a language, you can prepare a course, or could be some tutorials.
How to get more views and subscribers?
There are no shortcuts to increase your views or subscribers. You may find some tricky ideas to do so, but I would suggest not to get into any unethical ways. One thing you should be very clear, to get real views and right subscribers who are interested in your work, you should connect with similar people.
I used some paid promotion like Google Ads and Facebook boost to promote my channel and videos. I always made sure that I target only people who are interested in travel for my travel channels and I got good results.
To the get the first 100 subscribers, I got my friends and family to subscribe, which was fine, then to reach the first 1000 subscribers, I needed about 6 months which means just about 160 subscribers a month. The rate of growth goes up as you grow, so you need to be having patience and keep doing good work. For me to reach 5K subscribers in 18 months is good going. I know many reach this milestone in much lesser time and I know many take much longer time.
If you are already having a good presence in social media platforms like twitter, Facebook or Instagram, then just shout on your all these accounts would give you instant growth. I did not have that advantage as I was keeping a very low profile on social medias.
So my final thoughts, for success, keep working hard and intelligently, connect well with your viewers, you will continue growing.
My next milestone is to reach 10,000 subscribers by the end of 2019, yes another 5,000 subscribers in just 6 months. It took me 18 months for this initial 5,000, can I do the next 5,000 in 6 months ?
Will keep you posted.
Guys, I would love to hear your YouTube Journey stories, please shout out.
Lessons I learned during this journey
YouTube Algorithm – a puzzle
YouTube has some algorithms which promotes your videos as suggested video or gets on the home page of users. Some of my really stupid videos got 100k+ views, some videos which I put days of hard work traveling 1000+ kms, spending lots of money got less than 1000 views. So I really don’t know, but I just kept doing the best possible work.
Negative / demotivating comments
I have got lots of negative comments, which used to make me feel like quiting, but later I got used to and learned to ignore losers.
97% if my views are not from my subscribers
If you are YouTuber, you would know that most of your regular viewers have not subscribed to your channel. Even I have not subscribed to any of those channels that I watch regularly. When somebody watches my video without subscribing, my videos are again shown on his / her home page when I publish my next video. Again the other way, suppose my subscriber, keeps ignoring my videos which is shown on his / her home page, then my videos would stop being shown after sometime.
If you have not subscribed, please subscribe to my channel.
Thumbnails and Title are very important after the content
Spend some time to create a good thumbnail and the right title. Click bites should be avoided, may sometimes hurt your videos / channel
Try to keep your videos more than 10 minutes
Videos above 10 minutes duration will show ads in between, so that chances of earnings are more.
Your viewers from developed countries will give more earnings
Ads served to viewers from countries like USA, UK or any other developed countries will give you very high earnings compared to countries like India, Sri Lanka. Also I have noticed that English language is more preferred by big brands, so the earning could be better for English channels.
Improving the content – Adding new devices / tools
I started with my iPhone and now I use a Conon EOS R with 16-36mm 2.8 lens. I have invested on tons of gadgets which makes my channel not financially viable. My case is very different, I am a person who loves photography, making videos and its my passion to do it rather than a business model. If you are going to make vlogs to make your living, then you should go slow and focus on making your channel viable.
Keep your bag light
If you are a lifestyle vlogger and want to focus on connecting with your audience, then you should use a simple but great camera like like the Canon G7X, a small tripod or even the Canon M50 with a Rode Mic would be great.
Have a story for every video you make
You should have a story for every video you make to connect with your audience. Story does not mean that you need write scripts with stories, but something which could make you connect with your audience.
Be responsible, your videos should add value
For me, my every video should have some value or it should be used as a reference material. There are many lifestyle vloggers who would take you to their world and show what they do every day and many of the top vloggers do this. Those videos get thousands of views as soon as they are published and the channels have good number of subscribers. But if you see, those videos would not have any much value after 15 days. I am not saying that those are bad content, but I have tried to make videos which could be used as reference material even after a year or so.