YouTube is one of the world’s biggest platforms. In fact, YouTube is the second most visited site, right after Google. It’s the largest social media platform on the net, and, for those who can build an audience, it is a very lucrative business opportunity and a great way of communicating directly with millions of viewers.
YouTube is nearly twenty years old now, and there are some very established players and content producers. Some of those who started on YouTube have gone on to become global superstars – look at Joe Rogan for example who, despite some controversies, now draws bigger audiences than most network news channels, all from starting a podcast and YouTube channel.
This can be intimidating and, although YouTube has a huge global audience, it also has a huge number of channels serving almost every niche. So, is it still possible to build a new audience on YouTube? The answer is of course yes, and a little strategic thinking beforehand will go a long way.
The Numbers Behind YouTube
YouTube has over 2 billion active users. These are people that are logged into their account at least once a month. But there are plenty more users that don’t login. And there are almost 40 million channels for these 2 billion users to watch. That comes down to about 50 people/channel. It may sound bad, but keep in mind that people watch more than one channel.
So how much YouTube do people use? More than a billion hours of video are consumed everyday by YouTube users. The average person over 18 spends about 45 minutes on the app.
So it’s still possible to capture these people’s attention. Especially since interests change over time. One person doesn’t follow, or pay as close attention, to the channels they used to follow 10 years ago. There’s always room to offer more value, so nobody’s late to the party.
Getting Started On YouTube
When creating a new channel on YouTube, aspiring creators need to focus on both technical questions, and conceptual ones.
In terms of the technicalities of getting started with a new YouTube channel, most creators will need, as a bare minimum:
- A microphone
- A camera (if the channel will feature original footage)
- Video and audio editing software
On the conceptual side, new channels need to decide on a format, channel name, episode length, branding and, most importantly, subject matter. Will you launch a channel exploring a hobby you love, reviewing music, games or books, discussing politics with guests – all of these questions and more should guide you as you try to understand your audience and build a brand that will resonate with them.
YouTube Success Stories: Inspiration And Actionable Tips
Newcomers to YouTube might find it hard to visualize their potential success on the platform. So for some inspiration, here are some YouTube channels that grew a lot, from the beginning, and how they pulled it off:
- DeepPocketMonster – A Pokemon unboxing channel with over 100K subscribers. It gained 50.000 subscribers in its first 6 months thanks to a results-oriented mindset, authenticity, and the dedication to provide real value to its viewers for free.
- William Painter – A glasses channel with 10.000 subscribers. Although now defunct, this channel saw 10x growth with YouTube ad marketing for their videos.
- Game Maker’s Toolkit – A channel with video game critique with over 1 million subscribers. Started in 2017, this channel stood out thanks to its in-depth analysis of complex topics.
- Evan Carmichael – A channel about inspiring people to become their best self. With over 3.2 million subscribers, Evan grew thanks to hard work, motivation, and in part to YouTube stories, which he utilized to power-up his growth.
So, as we can see, YouTube remains an excellent way of building an audience and monetising your content. Whatever your passion – from gardening, to reading to sports – there’s likely an audience out there who share it. By bringing something fresh to that audience you can turn your passion into great content and a revenue stream.