YouTube is the world’s biggest digital sharing video platform with more than a billion viewers a month and 400 hours of videos uploaded every minute. It is also a valuable advertising platform for its parent company Google. But how easy or difficult is it to make money with Youtube?
The huge global trend in Youtube has encouraged people to publish videos regularly, gathering a following in their niche. The result of this is that some YouTubers have millions of subscribers and make a good living from their channels.
South Africa is not left out of this trend and boasts popular YouTube stars with hundreds of thousands of subscribers.
Every day more video content creators are gearing up to make a living from YouTube. But can you really make enough money to live from YouTube in South Africa? Let’s find out!
YouTube Partner Program
First of all, in order for someone to qualify for the YouTube Partner Program, their channel has to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch-hours in the last year.
Secondly, the videos need to meet YouTube’s terms of service and its community and advertiser-friendly content guidelines. Those rules bar nudity, hate speech and harassment, violence, spam, and invasions of privacy.
Let’s think about the content
YouTubers have to think very carefully about the kind of content they are going to create. Those who are able to make a living off YouTube, manage to reach international audiences.
Content creators that succeed on YouTube approach it as a business. They take their job seriously. They find a topic they’re passionate about, that resonates with a specific target market and they create a community around that passion.
Then they spend time and effort researching and refining their content, their video techniques and tactics on how to best engage their audiences.
Keep up the hard work
Starting out, YouTubers often find themselves in a situation where they’re not making a cent in the first year and hardly anyone is watching their content.
The challenge is to keep posting videos regularly, even when no one is watching. The key element to success is consistency. YouTubers need to consistently upload videos to their channel in order to build up a slow and steady subscriber base.
The secret is to produce timeless evergreen content, in order for the videos to continue gaining views years after they are uploaded.
How do they actually earn money
The way people make money from YouTube has very little to do with the advertising, especially in South Africa. Since each individual advert is a relatively small sum of money, for someone to make a genuine living from YouTube, they need to be delivering millions and millions of views.
YouTubers, especially in the US, have a huge list of followers so they make millions simply off their viewership. This is the reason why most of the content generators start with creating ecosystems around their content that eventually enables them to monetize what they do.
In South Africa, the case isn’t the same though. The bulk of the YouTubers income usually doesn’t come purely from Google. Google only shares money with content providers if an advert is viewed to its conclusion or if it is viewed for more than 30 seconds. The case is this because Google only charges advertisers for the same reason. At the end of the day, the content creator gets a cut from that particular advertisement.
Collaborate with Brands
Most of the money YouTubers earn comes from collaborating with brands. When creators partner with brands they get the opportunity to earn revenue of the time and effort they put into their channels.
Brands run their own YouTube channels which show content of resonance and relevance to their audience. Most of them also invest in advertising on YouTube either through running advertising on channels or through partnering creators to develop sponsored content.
Mobile data and Technology
Africa right now hasn’t reached the levels of America and Europe, mostly because there aren’t many people that are watching or are able to access YouTube channels.
YouTubers in South Africa are becoming better known and start earning money, although a lot of people can’t watch because the internet is not accessible to everybody. Data costs are very high compared to other markets, making it more difficult for locals to stream YouTube on mass.
Creators that produce content for a largely local audience are restricted by reach and those that are trying to compete internationally are restricted by speed.
Tips on how you can become successful
- Invest in equipment
- Spend time and energy on the community you create – understand what is important to them
- Be consistent in posting
- Collaborate with other YouTubers – share the fun!
- Take it seriously