The 10 Steps to Building Your Brand on YouTube

Woman making video

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AnnaMarie Houlis
AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger
So you want to become a successful YouTuber? We don't blame you. It sounds like a dream job, after all! You get to use your creativity to make videos and, ideally, become internet famous! And you get paid to do it.
Being a successful YouTuber means you can work for yourself, make your own hours and create the content you'd want to watch. It's a liberating and lucrative career.
But it's not as simple as it sounds. Becoming a successful YouTube takes a lot of work. YouTube is a saturated market, and anyone can hop online and just make videos. You need to know how to make and edit videos that people will actually watch... a lot — videos that make them want to keep revisiting your channel again and again and again so, eventually, you have enough viewers to start earning some dollars from your channel.
So how you do that?

How do I become a successful YouTuber?

Here's what you need to know about becoming a successful YouTuber.

1. Start by watching other successful YouTube channels.

If you really want to become a successful YouTuber, you should start by watching YouTube. Study up on successful YouTubers who already exist. Check out the kind of content that they're putting out there, and read the comments sections on their videos to see how their viewers and subscribers react to them. 

2. Identify a void in YouTube that you'd like to fill.

Do you have a skill or knowledge of a certain topic that doesn't already have a major YouTube channel dedicated to it? Or maybe you love doing makeup, and while there are countless makeup tutorial channels on YouTube, you recognize that none of them (or very few of them) focus on makeup for women in your demographic. Look for voids in YouTube that you could fill.

3. Hone in on your skills surrounding and knowledge of that topic.

Once you decide on a topic, start honing in on your skills surrounding and knowledge of that topic. Going back to the makeup example, you might decide to take a class on makeup application or decide to go to cosmetology school and become a certified makeup artist. If you want to create a YouTube channel about playing a certain instrument, it'd be in your best interest to start playing that instrument more and more and finding ways to improve.

4. Take a class on making and editing videos.

Just like you need to hone in on your skills surrounding the video topic, you'll also need to hone in on your actual video making and editing skills now so that you can show others on YouTube. It'd be a good idea to take a class on making and editing videos. You can find tons of online classes on sites like Udemy, SkillShare and, for example.

5. Get yourself legitimate equipment for making and editing videos.

Now that you know your topic and you know how to make videos, it's important to get yourself legitimate equipment. While some may choose to buy their equipment before taking classes, you might decide to invest only after you've decided that you're ready to commit. You'll need a great camera, sound equipment and editing software like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro.

6. Start regularly publishing content.

The key to being successful is keeping up with content. Get yourself on a regular publishing schedule so that viewers can know when to expect new videos from you. That's how you'll grow a loyal base of subscribers who revisit your channel every Tuesday at 8 pm EST because they know you'll have uploaded new content for them.

7. Make social media channels for your YouTube account and share across them.

Create social media channels tied to your YouTube account like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Then start sharing your videos on these channels and encouraging followers to click through to your YouTube channel. The point is to drive them to your channel, not keep them on social media. Once they're on your channel, they'll have an easier time discovering more of your content and giving you more much-needed views.

8. Advertise your content.

Advertise your content! Pay for ads on social media like Instagram and Facebook. You can target specific demographics you want to reach this way, as well.

9. Collaborate with other successful YouTubers.

Reach out to other YouTubers with decent viewerships and a similar demographic to collaborate. When they share your content, they'll introduce all of their dedicated viewers to your channel. And because subscribers tend to trust the YouTubers they follow, they'll be more likely to give your channel a shot.

10. Learn what works with your audience.

Once you've been at it a while, it's important to keep checking in with your audience to see what works and what doesn't. Analyze your demographic, track your video views and put out polls on social media if you want to check out what your audience wants to see more of! After all, you're putting out content for them, so you should cater to their wants to some degree (without forgoing your values, mission or creative authority!).

Is being a YouTuber a good idea?

Again, being a YouTuber can be a fun and flexible, creative career that could earn you an impressive income if you're willing to put in the work.

How do you earn money as a YouTuber?

You can earn a sizable income as a successful YouTuber — or you can earn next to nothing. This entirely depends on you. You can earn money through advertisements on your channel, as well as through affiliate marketing with brands. (This means that you'll work with brands to advertise and sell their products in your videos!)
YouTubers tend to charge anywhere between $10 and $50 per 1,000 views depending on estimated video views, according to G2 Learning Hub. Therefore, if the video hits a million views, a successful YouTuber can make anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000.
There is no typical income for a YouTuber; it all comes down to the time and energy that you want to put into your channel. The possibilities are, truly endless.

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog,, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.