Why you shouldn’t become a YouTube Content Creator

The most common question I get is How do I make money on YouTube? or How do I get more Subscribers and YouTube views? There’s buzz online, on starting a YouTube Channel. YouTube has been projecting “Content creators” as the best job in the world. The new age celebrities. And to top that, a sense that
“Anyone could be famous: All you have to do is make videos and be yourself”.
And who wouldn’t want regular revenue from every view, millions of fans that love you and look forward to your every word? And popular brands giving you their products and stuff for free! Every day is Christmas! There couldn’t be a better job out there.

What’s the real “Content Creator” Life?

For most YouTubers, the content creation life is quite different. They take several hours making videos that they think people will like.
1. First, there’s the research and then coming up with ideas.
2. Then writing a script.
3. The whole process of shooting the video.
4. Post production and editing could also include voice synchronization, special effects, animations and titles, sound effects and background music.
5. Keywords: The job doesn’t end there, you’d need to do keyword research to figure out a title, description and , come up with an attractive title, write an article size description and also tag the video.
5. Then there’s the thumbnail, you want to put something hot and attractive as click bait.

Why you shouldn’t become a YouTube Content Creator: The YouTube Search Algorithm.

And after all that, YouTube doesn’t think your video is worthy of sharing it with the whole world. It buries it down and only shows popular channels that have millions of subscribers on search results. Most of the YouTube views come from search results and double the views come from subscribers. Subscribers receive  email, mobile, and desktop notifications when a new video is up. That’s where all the views come from. So if you’re thinking only if I do this and only if I do that… I’ll make heaps money. You’re wrong!

How do we do it for brands?

I create content for brands and what we usually do is after the video is produced, We “advertise”! And brands typically have a good budget to commission a decent production. Meanwhile, A new channel with about 500 subscribers will make less than $ 5 dollars a year. That’s less than what people make in an hour.
Content creators, spend most of their money buying expensive equipment or building a home studio. Also, consider the time spent on learning about video marketing and Search Engine Optimisation and a ton of other growth hacking skills to put their videos out there, hoping that your target audience will find them. A typical cost of setting up a studio and putting in 30 hours a week is about $ 20,000/- per annum.

How do I know if my YouTube channel is going to be feasible?

If you’re thinking of starting a YouTube Channel? Do a projection of the amount of time you would put into your videos a year, (calculate an hourly rate for your time), Consider the total costs, including the internet, audio/ video equipment, computer for editing, software, and other props.
YouTube says that it pays about a dollar for every 1000 views. In actuality, YouTube only pays for the ads and clicks which might be anywhere from 0.1% to 15% of your 1000 views, depending on the ad and the relevancy. You may make about 15 cents to the maximum for every 1000 views. Minus taxes after that. And if you’re in a niche like entertainment or gadgets it could be even less. You will see most YouTubers react to how much they make by “I wish”.
See if it will match a return on your investment. Will it pay those bills? Will it bring you customers to a business you are promoting or branding that will help you sell a product?

Most new YouTube  channels are not a viable investment.

It’s already too late for the content creator, by the time realization comes knocking they realize  “YouTube doesn’t pay” as projected. And they pull the plug.

How do you make money from YouTube?

1. YouTube hosts your videos for free. At least it seems that way right now, so make use of YouTube to store all your edited footage. That’s a huge saving, if you had to host your videos on a paid server. At least 10$ a month. Share your home videos even.
2. If you are an entrepreneur have a small business or a professional service. Use YouTube to reach your customers. Create a simple video explaining your service and how you would make their lives easy. Host your home page video on YouTube for free.
3. If you are an artist like a singer, a performer or a stand-up comedian use YouTube to host your performance. Reach your fans and build your following.
4. If your videos aren’t doing too well and you would like to connect with more of your customers and target audience? Advertise on YouTube it’s pretty cheap. That’s what YouTube hopes you’ll do after all. Advertise.
If you do the math, it would make more sense to create a highly targeted campaign around a video to achieve your marketing goals and use YouTube and third party advertisements to reach your audience.
So next time, instead of creating free content for YouTube, see what you could get back from YouTube and Google instead!
Do let me know your YouTube experience and what worked for you in the comments below?
Good Samaritan, storyteller, filmmaker and convivial marketing companion. Mark writes about lead generation and video marketing for corporate films and explainer video production.