How To Start A Successful YouTube Channel

Just over a decade ago, having a YouTube channel wasn’t a popular career choice. In fact, there were only a select few ‘original YouTubers’ who were making it to the bigtime; Jenna Marbles, Shane Dawson and a few others. Now, if you ask teenagers what they want to do as a career, you’ll hear the career ‘YouTuber’ bandied around a lot more. The rise of the YouTube star has created a huge shift in the last ten years; there are now thousands of individuals who make a hefty living by creating free YouTube content for their fan base. The richest YouTubers have net worth’s in the tens of millions of dollars, making successful YouTubing a more-than-lucrative career path.


Of course, not everyone who starts a YouTube channel is going to rise to meteoric success. Just like any career that has the potential to blow up, most people will muddle through, work hard and make enough to live off – that is, if their channel takes off at all. In this article you’ll find tips for how to launch a YouTube channel that is destined for success. Let’s get started!

  1. Pick your niche

The first thing you should decide when starting your own channel is the kind of content you want to put out. Ask yourself: what is motivating me to start this channel? Is it simply a financial goal, or do I actually want to inform and help people with my content? If your endeavours are purely financial, it might be difficult to gain a subscriber base; usually your audience can smell the desperation. It is much more likely that you will be successful if there is some passion behind what you are putting out. 


Your content could range from silly TikTok reviews and comedy sketches, to self help seminars, to technological reviews and help, to sharing your thoughts on social or political events. It matters less what you choose to speak about, and more whether you are passionate and knowledgeable enough to sustain good quality content.


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  1. Keep it topical

Whatever genre of content you choose to make on YouTube, it should stay topical. For example, if you are making comedy sketches or comical commentary on other videos similar to Kurtis Conner or Cody Ko, you should make sure to stay updated on any particular fads that are happening. This means dedicating some scrolling time each day to be ahead of the curve on popular challenges or memes that are circulating that day. Being late to the game on these topics will mean that your video might be old news by the time you shoot, edit and upload it. 


In a similar way, if your channel is more serious, such as technology advice, self help or political commentary, the point still stands. No matter what kind of content you make, it should be 100% relevant to current affairs.

  1. Invest in good equipment

Now let’s discuss the actual content creation part. Once you have set up the basic concept of the channel, it’s time to start creating. Depending on the type of content you create, there are varying essentials you will need for your production. Let’s take a look at a few classic styles of shooting and the equipment you will need. 


    • Vlogging. Vlogging is one of the most low-tech ways to film your YouTube channel. If your content is more lifestyle-oriented than a talking segment, you could shoot your videos as vlogs. This will require a good quality vlogging camera that is compact and easy to carry in one hand while you are filming. In addition, you will need a small attachable mic to make sure you are always heard over any background noise that surrounds you. 
  • Sit-and-talk videos. These are, of course, the most popular way to shoot a YouTube video. Whether you are a beauty vlogger mastering iconic makeup looks or a music reviewer like Anthony Fantano, you will need a tripod, a high quality lens and a ring light to ensure you are lit properly. Additionally you will need large microphone that records high quality sound, such as an asmr microphone. 


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  1. Use ads strategically

All YouTubers use ads to make more money from their content and promote it at the same time. However, there are different ways to use ads in your content that will have varying effects. For example, allowing ads in your videos that break up the flow of the content will generate more revenue, but might irritate viewers if the ads are too frequent. 


This is, in particular, if your content’s flow is crucial to your audience; an exercise class, yoga practice or self help seminar being cut off by a blaring ad for a random product isn’t exactly helpful to your content’s effectiveness. This means that the best way to use ads is to be strategic; all YouTubers place ads in their videos, but it’s all about choosing the right style and frequency of ads to suit the type of content you make. 

  1. Keep up the momentum

There are very few overnight successes. Sure, some YouTubers rose to fame with one viral video that changed their lives forever, but most of the time this is simply not the case. Just like any job, as a YouTuber you will have to graft, sometimes for years, before your viewer ratings are high enough to start getting paid consistently. This may mean your YouTube channel is your side hustle for some time until you can steadily make a living from your content revenue. Keeping up the momentum is challenging; you will become tired, and occasionally feel like giving up altogether. But in order to have a successful YouTube channel, you need to persevere. 

Final Thoughts

No matter what kind of YouTube channel you plan to create, this guide can help you formulate a strategy for success. Follow this advice and you may find yourself quitting your day job in a matter of years, allowing your passion to shine through in the awesome content you make. 

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