How To Become a YouTuber and Make Money Online




become a youtuber
Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

Making money on YouTube is a great way to work online and make a living for yourself. But, it does come with a steep learning curve. In this guide, I want to provide you with all the information you’ll need for getting a YouTube channel started and getting it monetized.

Let’s get into it.

3 Steps To Plan Ahead For, Before Creating a YouTube Channel

There are three things you’ll need to think about before you start your YouTube channel. They include the following:

  • Topic and Category
  • A Name for Your Channel
  • Uploading a photo to your channel

Below, I’ll expand on each one of these three things below.

Step 1: Pick The Right Topic and Category, Even if You Think its Saturated

The possibilities are endless when it comes to choosing a category for YouTube. The best way to get started is to think about what interests you the most about making YouTube videos. Write down things you want to do and topics you want to talk about.

While you are deciding, think about all the other YouTubers you’ve watched who make content similar to what you want to do. What categories are they specializing in?

By now, for some of you reading this, you’ll also be thinking to yourself “The category or topics I picked are saturated, what could I possibly offer?”

The truth to this dilemma is that every content category seems like it’s saturated, it feels this way with blogging too.

The bottom line is this:

It does not matter if a category is saturated or not, as long as you are unique and bring authenticity to your channel.

Figure out what type and style of video content which will attract younger people to your videos. 

Every day there are younger people developing new interests all the time, so eventually they will find you in the category they have an interest in learning about.

There will always be room to create new content in a popular category, unless people just stop watching or the demand falls off for the subject you are targeting.

For Reference, here are some of the most popular categories you can start with:

Business and Making Money Online, Personal Finance and Investing, Digital Marketing, Educational, Tech and Gadgets, Cars, Lifestyle, Fashion, Cooking Health and Fitness, Video Games, Vlogs, Story Time Videos, Product Reviews, and Tutorials.

Step 2: Choosing a Name For Your YouTube Channel

After you have an idea for the category and subject matter you want to target for your YouTube videos, it will be much easier deciding on a name for your channel.

Please note: Recently, as of November of 2022, your YouTube channel name is also referred to as a “Handle”. This means you’ll be able to have a custom URL for your channel that will contain your name in it. (In the past a custom URL was only available to bigger channels.)

To get started with choosing a name, think about your channel’s category, subject matter, audience members, advertisers, and anybody else who might want to recommend your channel to others.

The name should be memorable, represent your brand, and not be off putting to others.

Also, If you want to pivot your brand sometime down the road, having a general name can be an advantage as well. Don’t over think creating a name as long as you can brand it!

With those factors in mind, take a paper and pen and start writing various ideas out for your YouTube Channel’s name. If you’d rather type the ideas into your phone or computer, that works too.

If you are trying to personally brand your channel, using just your full name will work great.

But, if you have a very popular name it will be hard to establish it as a unique personal brand. So in that case, you can make a stage name or change a variation of your name with adding a middle initial or something.

An example to look at for changing your name is Gary Vaynerchuk. While he still uses his full name to promote himself, his YouTube Channel’s name is Gary Vee.

By now, you’ve hopefully written out some ideas for your name. Doing so now will make the sign-up process for YouTube much easier because you will have to pick a name before you actually sign-up.

Step 3: Have a Photo Ready For Your YouTube Channel’s Bio Picture

Many people get nervous about uploading a photo that will be used for an online profile. They don’t know whether to upload a logo, a headshot, or just a random picture.

It’s completely understandable and best not to overthink it.

  1. If you have a personal brand and your face is going to be in your videos, then you really have nothing to worry about, just pick a headshot image that shows you off the best. Most pictures will have someone smiling, but maybe you look better not smiling? Again, there are no rules, just share some photos with friends and get feedback on the best one to use. A simple photo taken from a mobile phone will do in most cases.
  1. If you don’t have a personal brand and you want to upload an image that represents your brand’s name, such as your logo, that is completely OK too. Just make sure it’s formatted to fit nicely as a bio picture. Get feedback from your graphic designer and maybe have them present you with a few variations. Then, go with the best one.

Two Final Points About Photos and Images On Your Channel

  • After you launch your channel, you can always go back and update the bio photo to something new.
  • Down the road, you will have to create a banner image for your YouTube channel and make thumbnail images for each video, so keep that in mind.

How To Create a YouTube Channel

Now that you have carefully planned out the topics you want to talk about, have a list of possible names for your channel, and an image for your YouTube profile, it’s time to actually get the channel set up.

To get started, follow these directions from Google:

You’ll have two options for setting up your account.

  1. A personal account
  2. A brand account.

Regardless if you are going to brand your new YouTube channel as yourself or not, I’d always select the brand account option because you are most likely treating this as a business. This will help keep your business activities on YouTube separate from your personal account.

To learn more about brand accounts on YouTube, check out this article:

If you want to skip the Google Help articles and go straight into registering a new channel directly on YouTube, go to his link here:

One last thing I want to mention about creating a new YouTube Channel. If your chosen handle / channel name is already taken, don’t get discouraged. Just keep trying variations of your favorite name. If you made a list of name ideas ahead of time, just keep trying your ideas until you nail it.

How To Monetize a YouTube Channel With The YouTube Partner Program

How fast can a new YouTube Content Creator start making money directly from YouTube? The answer is that it depends.

Some Creators might be monetized after a month, for others it will take 1 – 2 years or more. 

There is no definitive timeline requirement, you just have to meet the minimum requirements mentioned below.

You can review the exact requirements set by the YouTube Partner Program with the following links here:

The YouTube Partner Program minimum requirements can be summarized as the following:

  • You have to live in a country that is qualified for the program. The United States is already qualified and so are many other countries around the world.
  • Your channel must not have any community guideline strikes on it.
  • Your existing videos must be generating at least 4,000 hours or more of watch time in the last 12 months.
  • You must have a valid AdSense account through Google which is linked to your YouTube channel.
  • In addition, you must have at least 1,000 subscribers and turn on 2-Step Security Authentication for your YouTube account.

After you’ve met the minimum requirements, all you have to do is agree to the terms and conditions for the program when you fill out your application to join.

Besides just getting paid from ads running on your videos, some additional Partner Program Monetization methods include.

  • YouTube Premium Revenue – You’ll get paid by YouTube when a premium subscriber watches your videos.
  • Channel Memberships – People can pay to be a member of your channel.
  • Merchandise Shelf – People can buy merchandise directly from your channel. People will see your items for sale directly under your videos.
  • Super Chat Payments – During live video streams, people can send you a super chat payment along with their chat message.

NOTE: Recently, YouTube is allowing channels with only 500 subscribers to monetize with Channel Memberships, Super Chats and Stickers, and Super Thanks. But, you won’t be able to run ads.

Related Article: Best Ways To Monetize a YouTube Channel (Without the Partner Program)

How Much Money Can You Make as a YouTuber With The Partner Program?

You really cannot predict how much money you’ll make from the YouTube Partner program until you start getting views on your videos, then see what advertisers are willing to pay for your audience demographic.

Typically, if your video topics relate to Finance, Law, or Business, you’ll make more money from advertisers, than entertainment or video games.

To learn more about how YouTube calculates paying you out via Ad revenue, check out the following article: Understand ad revenue analytics.

A super rough estimate of how much money you can make can be looked at this way.

Over the years, I’ve watched various YouTube creators share their estimated earnings from Ad Revenue. A ballpark figure seems to be about 10 dollars for every thousand views, with some higher-end payouts at 40 dollars per thousand views.

If you want to know more about some of the top paid YouTubers, Check out this article from Forbes: The Highest-Paid YouTube Stars: MrBeast, Jake Paul And Markiplier Score Massive Paydays

The other options for getting money from YouTube with Channel Memberships, Super Chats, and Selling Merchandise is not a guaranteed income source. The amount you make will solely rely on the amount of value you provide your audience.

Additional Ways To Make Money With YouTube

It’s good to diversify your income sources while making a living as a YouTuber. The good news is that there are many, many more ways to make money outside of the YouTube Partner program.

They include the following:

  • Selling your own merchandise or products outside of YouTube
  • Sell items through an e-commerce store or product landing page
  • Become an affiliate partner for a product or service
  • Promote your own product or service in your videos
  • Create Sponsored Content
  • Find a brand to partner with
  • Have fans pay you directly
  • Work with Brands as an influencer

For more information on making money with a YouTube channel, I suggest you watch the following creators.

Warnings and Pitfalls of Being a YouTuber

There are many pitfalls of being a YouTuber.

One of them is having your channel go dead over time, even when you have a million subscribers. I’ve seen it happen to various creators I’ve followed over the years.

A theory as to why this happens.

We’ll… Sometimes you grow an audience for a topic that is popular with a certain age range, then no one younger finds it interesting, and your existing audience just ages out.

So then, you have to pivot to something new or just accept your channel is dead and start a new idea with a new channel.

Another big pitfall is burn out, yes, many YouTubers simply get burned out with publishing videos over and over again.

This is a common problem and why you’ll see many people only releasing new videos once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month.

Another downfall is having YouTube delete your channel for violating too many copyright strikes or breaking too many community guidelines, so be careful and follow the rules!

Final Thoughts

I hope you found this article about making money online as a YouTuber helpful!

If creating videos is not for you, remember you can also try out blogging or even podcasting to make money.

Another idea would be to try out Tik Tok perhaps, it’s still video, but the culture is for more casual shorter videos, so it might be easier for some shy people to make a video for. If you don’t like TikTok, consider YouTube Shorts.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my other articles.


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