YouTube has evolved from a simple video sharing website into a gigantic beast, helped by the fact that currently, online users consume 75% of their content in video form.
So strong is the websites following that individuals such as Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie), Phillip Defranco (sxephil, SourceFed) and Jenna Mourey (Jenna Marbles) have turned their channels into fully fledged businesses.
This is made possible with something known as AdSense. To explain it as simply as possible, Google shares a percentage of the revenue it receives from advertising with Youtube creators, or YouTubers. This percentage increases according to the size of your subscriber base, the number of views you get and most importantly, how long people watch videos for.
But before you can start raking in those subscribers and views you need a channel, and deciding what your channel is going to be about is step one.
For those of us here in South Africa, YouTube representative, Vincent Viviers, suggests new YouTubers focus on being African.
“There’s not very many people talking to African consumers [on YouTube] and if I was a YouTuber I would focus on making content for an African audience. You can literally be the voice of a specific niche within Africa,” Viviers tells us.
Upload, upload, upload
One of these voices of a niche market in Africa is Jonas Lekganyane. The South African ‘Tuber is the brains behind Ramscomics. The channel showcases Lekganyane’s animation skills and has attracted over 70 000 subscribers to date.
According to the animator, consistency is as to important to finding success on YouTube as having the right message is.
“Whether it’s about your concepts or your uploads, you need to be as consistent and possible. The only way to achieve that is through hard work and dedication, and that means producing as much content as you can,” Lekganyane said.
The cake walk is a lie
On the surface, video series such as Claire Winstanley’s Good Looking and Cooking seem easy enough to create, but behind the scenes things can get quite crazy.
“I think each YouTube channel is different and unique in their approach,” Winstanley says, “but I find an incredible amount of work goes into the prep, pre-production, content creation, as well as production and the editing process.”
In your quest for YouTube dominance be prepared for long hours and late nights to stick to your upload schedule.
None of this is possible however if you don’t start uploading videos. ““It takes a lot of passion and courage to develop a successful YouTube channel,” says Lindi from The Snatched Show.
The YouTuber goes on to say that with the multitude of mediums, especially smartphones, being able to upload is easy. Putting yourself out there for the world to see however, can be daunting. “As creative individuals we are so attached to our projects and there is a big element of vulnerability to sharing our content,” Lindi says.
The Snatched Show team collectively agrees that aspiring ‘Tubers start by uploading videos building their channels.
For those looking to find success, the group suggest something rather simple.
“Just be authentic and the views will come organically.”