There are 720,000 hours of video added to YouTube every day. So the chance of your latest offering being watched by a large audience is pretty slim.
Building a following on YouTube can be a challenging task; so you have to use every tool at your disposal to promote your video.
When considering how to promote your video, it’s essential to understand that YouTube is a search engine. The second biggest search engine after Google, in fact. So the meta-data you add to your video when you upload it (title, description, and tags), can play a part in attracting some initial views.
This post looks at one part of the meta-data – Youtube tags. What they are, how to add them, and gives you five ways to find the best tags for ranking your YouTube videos.
Here we go.
What Are YouTube Tags?
In their help section for content creators, YouTube says the following about tags;
“Tags are descriptive keywords you can add to your video to help viewers find your content.”
YouTube is plainly stating that tags are keywords. Should your tags match with the keywords a YouTube user searches for, then you have a chance of appearing in the search results.
However, they then go on to say;
“tags play a minimal role in your video’s discovery.”
Hmm, it sounds like you don’t need to use them then?
Well, if you are a top YouTuber and receive thousands of views in the first few hours after uploading a video, then maybe tags aren’t as important for you. However, if you have a smaller channel, you need to seek every edge, no matter how slight, to drive initial traffic.
The right 4 or 5-word tag added when you upload new content, can kickstart your views.
Once you gain that initial traffic, metrics like watchtime and engagement take over, and YouTube can choose to suggest your video in viewer’s feeds.
Tags Help YouTube Categorise Your Video.
Tags also play a role in helping YouTube decide the precise topic of your video. The English language is a wonderful thing, but it can sometimes be confusing – some words have more than one meaning. So tags can be used to tell YouTube the topic and purpose of your video.
Here’s an example. The video below is about ‘irons’. An iron can be a household item or a golf club. But, the title of the video doesn’t convey to YouTube which kind the video is about.
But, YouTube can use the tags and other video meta-data to help categorise the content. The tags for this video leave no room for doubt that it’s about a household iron.
How Do You Add YouTube Tags?
You add YouTube tags in the video details section of your YouTube Studio. Navigate to your list of videos and click the ‘Details’ icon.
Underneath the ‘Audience’ section, there is a text entry box to enter your tags. Tags can be more than a single word; type in the tags hitting return after each one. Alternatively, you can paste in a list you prepared elsewhere.
How Many Tags Should You Use on YouTube?
This one is a little tricky. On the one hand, YouTube permits entry of up to 500 characters in the video tag section. On the other hand, YouTube warns against adding excessive tags in their help section:
A study conducted by briggsby.com concluded that ideally, you should use less than 300 characters. Which, assuming you are using 3-4 word keyphrases, puts the ideal number of tags at 30-40.
One of the key takeaways of the study recommended that as long as you stay relevant to the video topic, use as many characters as you can manage.
What Should You Use for Your YouTube Tags?
The tags you choose for your video should ideally be 3-word or more keyphrases that describe the overall topic of your video AND the content more precisely.
For example, if you uploaded a video reviewing steam irons, then some of the tags might be;
Best steam iron
Top steam irons
Best steam iron for clothes
Rowenta steam iron
Tefal steam iron for clothes
As you can see, these tags anticipate the kinds of phrases someone might use when looking for reviews of steam irons. It’s also a good idea to use some related brand names in your list of tags if appropriate.
Using some 5-word or more key phrases in your tags is recommended too. Unless your YouTube channel is a powerhouse with thousands of subscribers, you are unlikely to rank in the search results for shorter 2 or 3-word key phrases.
You can, however, appear in the top results for longer keyword search phrases, though these will have lower search volumes and drive smaller traffic.
5 Ways To Put Together a List of YouTube Tags.
So how do you put your list of tags together?
It’s best if you produce a long list of many possible tag key phrases first, then whittle it down to the best 30 or so. Start a new document or spreadsheet and as you collect potential tags, add them to the list.
You may be able to use some of the tags in another video you are planning; keeping tag ideas together in a file is not a bad practice.
As promised, here are five ways to find the best YouTube tags for ranking.
One way to come up with a list of tags for your YouTube video is to brainstorm a list of keywords that someone might use to search for your video.
Imagine you know little to nothing about the details included in your video. What might a person in that situation type into a search engine to find the information?
It may sound like a silly idea, but you can come up with some out of the ordinary key-phrases using this method. Pretending you know nothing about your video topic can draw out some keywords that your competitors may not be using.
It’s worth a moment of your time before you use the same tag suggestion tools that everyone else uses.
Autocomplete is a feature that predicts search terms when a user begins typing in the search bar.
It is there to save the user time. Google says that autocomplete reduces typing by 25% and collectively saves over 200 years of typing-time every day!
Because autocomplete predicts what users are going to type it also supplies a useful list of multi-word key phrases.
Here is an example using the steam iron keyword. Adding in extra words, or even a single letter, will reveal lots of keywords you can use in your tags.
3.Rapidtags.io YouTube Tag Generator
Rapid Tags is a YouTube tag generator that suggests a list of tags based on a seed keyword. You can copy all the suggestions with one click and add them to your list of possibles.
Rapid Tag does say in their about section that some tags may not be totally suitable for you purposes and you should remove any that don’t describe your video well.
vidIQ is a tool designed to help creators build an audience on YouTube. The software has multiple tools for YouTube channels; one being their Google Chrome plugin. The plugin displays additional information about a video directly within the desktop version of YouTube.
Part of the information displayed is the tags used by a video. So, you can view some videos similar to yours and harvest the tags from those videos to add to your list.
Ytubetool is a free tool you can use to harvest tags from a video if you don’t want to use vidIQ, or can’t install a Google Chrome plugin.
Simply add the URL of any YouTube video, and the tool will display a list of tags used by the video. With one-click to copy; it’s more potential tags ideas to add to your master file.
Using tags in your YouTube meta-data is not the most significant factor in ranking a video on YouTube. However, tags can play a small part in attracting initial traffic to your video.
Tags can also help YouTube to categorise your video, especially if the words in your title have more than one meaning.
YouTube themselves admit that tags only play a small part in your video discovery. So perhaps tags are best thought of as the finishing touches to your YouTube SEO. Necessary, but don’t obsess over it.
Do you cringe when you see a picture of yourself? Is it even worse when you watch a video of yourself moving and talking? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Psychology Today says that you could be suffering from something called self enhancement bias.
A self enhancement bias means that it’s common to think that we are more attractive than we actually are. We’re used to our reflection we see in the mirror. But when we see ourselves on camera, our face isn’t mirrored – we get to see our actual face as others see it.
It’s the unmirrored image that makes us cringe.
This can be a problem for aspiring YouTubers. There is a bunch of money to be made on the platform. And you want in on the action too.
Well, there is a way for you, if you suffer from self-enhancement bias, to make a bundle of money from YouTube without showing your face on video. There are a whole host of channels with thousands of subscribers where the channel owner never appears on camera.
Here are 13 video ideas for YouTube you can steal, or use for inspiration, and launch your own YouTube channel without ever showing your face.
Top-Down Video Ideas
One of the first ways you could choose to film your YouTube videos is using a top-down camera shot that only shows your hands. The top-down camera shot is suitable for a wide variety of niches. Here are a few of them.
Crafts are a popular niche on YouTube, with lots of people looking for hints, tips, and tutorials on how to express their creativity.
PPO – Proud Paper Official – is a crafts channel that shows the viewers how to fold origami shapes and planes from paper.
Social Blade (a social media statistics aggregator) says that they have nearly 5 million monthly viewers and earn as much as £12.9k per month from the videos.
Not bad for a channel that is seven years old but only has 77 videos uploaded.
Fingernail art is not a recent invention. The history of nail polish goes back over 5000 years, originating in ancient China. Today, nail art remains popular as ever.
The millions of potential combinations of colours and patterns mean there are always new nail designs you can demonstrate.
A nail art channel is ideal for top-down filming and only needs to show you applying the designs, plus a commentary explaining how to do it.
20 Nails is a channel that shows its viewers how to create all manner of nail art designs, from the simple to extravagant.
With 59 videos uploaded in just under a year, 20 Nails has built an audience of 288k subscribers. Social Blade says that they get 2.33 million views per month and earn as much as £6.1k monthly from the channel.
Lots of people like to draw. Stephen Wiltshire, an autistic savant, can draw an entire cityscape from memory, and others struggle to make a stick figure look human.
Drawing is a skill, though, and can be learned with patience and practice. There are lots of people teaching the craft of drawing on YouTube using only the top-down camera shot.
Dan Beardshaw is one of those. Dan uploads short videos every couple of weeks demonstrating hints and tips on how to improve the different elements of drawing.
He has uploaded 167 videos over four years and has grown the channel to 361k subscribers. Social Blade says he has about half a million views per month and earns as much as £1.3k per month from advertising.
Dan also supplements this income with nearly 400 Patreon members and affiliate links to art materials in his video descriptions, so is likely earning a full-time income from the channel.
Cooking is an awesome niche for using the top-down filming angle. And while numerous channels focus on top-down cooking videos, there is also never-ending demand.
We all like to eat tasty food, and many want to try new recipes or improve their cooking skills.
You may need to find a unique angle to stand out in the niche. But if you can find a way to make your videos compelling, there is no reason you can’t make a successful cooking channel.
You Suck At Cooking has 117 videos that doesn’t do anything revolutionary with the cooking recipes but inject a large dose of humour instead.
The production quality is good, and the videos are well-scripted, but nothing that you couldn’t produce yourself with a bit of thought and planning.
Social Blade says that the 5 million views per month the channel’s 117 videos receive, earn £13.4k per month in advertising revenue.
The channel also earns money from sales of a cookbook and associated merchandise.
If you’re handy about the home, then one idea you could choose for top-down filming is DIY videos. YouTube is often the first place people go to when they have a DIY problem and need a quick solution.
It could be a simple as wiring a plug, or more complicated like changing a tap. Whatever the problem, your videos could help people save money by preventing the need to hire in a handyperson.
There is an endless amount of small jobs you can make videos about. Plus you could approach the niche with a different frame of reference. For example, how about DIY videos for people who don’t have a box of tools?
Ultimate Handyman is a DIY channel that has over 800 videos covering all manner of DIY tasks from big to small. While he does have his face in the video thumbnails, most of his content is simply the camera filming his hands.
Social Blade puts Ultimate Handyman on 1.7 million monthly views and earning as much as £4.5k from advertising revenue in the same period.
Everyone likes a good unboxing video. The idea is a simple one; buy a new product, wait for delivery, then film yourself taking it out of the packaging.
You get bonus points (and more views and subscribers) if you can make the process compelling. It helps if you can show some expertise with your commentary. Rather than merely stating what something is, as you pull it out of the box.
The Relaxing End is one of the more successful unboxing channels. Part of their continued success is that they can afford to buy in (or have a big-enough audience to get sent for free) some of the latest high-end products that people dream about owning.
Apart from the high-end products, the channel’s unique attraction is their use of sound. The host appears too shy to speak as well as not showing his face. Instead, he makes the most of every slash of sellotape or squeak of polystyrene, as he unboxes the item.
The un-boxer also wears signature white gloves to add extra frills.
The Social Blade stats on this channel are impressive. With monthly channel views over 30 million, The Relaxing End pulls in as much as £78.8k per month in ad revenue.
TIP: Technology channels are some of the best earners on YouTube. The ad space is more expensive for advertisers to buy because of high competition for the slots.
If you want to get started on your own top-down videos, you need to make sure that you have some sort of rig to keep your phone and camera steady while filming. Check out Javier Mercedes’ video for how to film overhead shots.
Chest Down Video Ideas
A slight twist on the top-down video is having the camera facing you, but not showing your face in the shot. I’m calling these types of videos chest-down ideas. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.
Cooking Part II
There are a significant number of cooking channels already doing top-down videos. To make your cooking channel stand out from the pack, why not try a different angle?
That’s what Binging with Babish chooses to do for his channel. The camera angle gives the impression you are sat in the kitchen with him, making the effect more homely. Yet you don’t see his face in the cooking videos.
Babish also has a theme for his cooking channel apart from the unusual camera angle; he recreates food found in TV and Movies. If you fancy some Pollos Hermanos from Breaking Bad or some Twin Peaks pancakes, head over to the channel for some mouth-watering videos.
As you can imagine the 7.82 million subscribers of the channel help Babish earn quite a bit ad revenue. Social Blade reckons the channel gets 58.63 million views and makes a tasty £152K, every month.
A different spin on the DIY channel is short-and-sweet tips to help with day-to-day household chores. ‘Hacks’ has become the byword for ingenious tips that help people accomplish usually tiresome tasks.
Many of us often turn to YouTube, looking for a quick way to solve a problem. Get rid of Ants or spend less on groceries. Hacks help us improve our lives, so it’s not a niche that will disappear anytime soon.
Household Hacker makes short videos to demonstrate various hacks for the home, often making use of the chest-down camera shot.
Household Hacker has also branched out to demonstrating those silly products-you-never-knew-you-needed from the TV shopping channels.
Social Blade puts Household Hacker on 1.2 million views per month, which it says brings in the channel owner as much as £3.3k in advertising revenue. The channel also earns income from affiliate earnings for the TV products he reviews.
POV Video Ideas
So far, we have looked at top-down and chest-down filming without showing your face. But there is another angle you can use in your videos too. The POV – Point of View – camera shot.
This camera angle shows the audience the view from your eyes and guarantees keeping your face out of the frame.
Here are some ideas you can try for POV YouTube video ideas.
Do you have your own workshop? Handy with a belt-sander and happy to mix up some caustic chemicals? You could launch a channel to show you restoring old rusty tools and other whatnots to their original state.
It can be therapeutic for viewers to watch someone restore an item; I firmly believe that these types of videos are beneficial to people’s mental health too.
It’s a content type which is very popular on YouTube.
Awesome Restorations has 2.57 million subscribers and is one of the better channels in the restoration niche. Restoring an item can take some time, so if you choose the restoration niche, you might only be uploading a video every couple of weeks.
Awesome Restorations has built up their massive following in just over a year, and with only 38 videos.
Their work has paid off too. Social Blade puts them on 14.5 million monthly views and ad revenue earnings of £37.8k per month.
If you don’t want to go down the tool restoration route, there are plenty of other objects you can restore: vintage handbags, antique books, even early smartphones. Restoration is a hot niche and perfect for POV filming because the object of restoration, not you, is the star.
Stop Motion Animation
Stop motion animation is nearly as old as the invention of film itself—the earliest movie dated back to 1898 and was based on Humpty Dumpty. Stop motion is an animation technique where figures are animated by snapping a single frame, then moving the model ever so slightly and shooting the next frame.
As an animation medium, Stop Motion is still hugely popular today. The most well-known is the Wallace and Gromit series of films, which earned three Oscars in the 1990s and 2000s.
Michael Hickox Films is a stop motion animation YouTube channel that uses Lego for its animated characters.
The animated films are short, wholesome pieces that appeal to a broad audience – and it’s a large audience too.
With 1.47 million subscribers, Michael Hickox films have 3.86 million monthly views and earn as much as £10.1k per month.
POV Sports Channels
Thanks to GoPro cameras and associated body mounts, the popularity of filming outdoor activities is on the rise.
At one time, the only way you could understand what it was like to jump out of a plane or surf a twenty-foot wave, was to do it yourself. Now lots of activities are available for a broader audience to experience by viewing a POV video.
There are endless types of outdoor activities you can launch a YouTube channel about with a GoPro camera, chest rig, and perhaps a friend or two.
Ampisound is a channel that makes Parkour videos. Many of the Parkour runs are shot POV-style, placing the viewer at the heart of the action.
Ampisound only releases videos about every month or so, but the content resonates and has built an audience of 2.32 million subscribers.
What kind of YouTube channel could you launch using a GoPro camera filming from your point-of-view?
Maybe you could grow it as large as Ampisound and get nearly 7 million monthly views and pull in as much as £18k in ad revenue.
There is nothing like hitting the open road, dropping the convertible roof, and admiring the scenery of the world’s best cities.
But not everyone can drive. And most people don’t live anywhere near the world’s nicest cities.
So, if you are one of the fortunate ones who does, then how about making videos of scenic drives and tours of famous locations?
J Utah is a channel that specialises in only POV videos of picturesque drives. From L.A. to Boston (and a few overseas), J Utah likes nothing more than mounting a 4K camera on the car and driving about.
You really wouldn’t think this idea would work – it’s just driving around for goodness sake! But it works. Perhaps people enjoy the content because it’s a familiar place to them, or maybe they want to live there one day.
Whatever the reason, the channel has built up 366K subscribers and has 5.4 million monthly views. Social Blade put the ad revenue for the channel as much as £14k per month.
Hairdressing is perfect for a POV video channel, and Health and Beauty is one of the top niches on YouTube.
Now, some of the highest earners are in the makeup category, which by definition is a showing-your-face kind of gig. But there is an alternative for the shy. You can create videos that demonstrate hairstyling using a POV camera shot.
You will need a model to work on who won’t mind appearing on camera. But as you are showing mainly the back and side of the head, they won’t have too much face-time on camera.
There are hundreds of channels I could use as an example for this particular idea, so if you choose this niche, be prepared for stiff competition.
Making a big success of your channel would probably mean that you have found an angle that makes you stand out from all the rest. Perhaps you can be first with new, unusual hairstyles, or dazzle viewers with your humorous delivery.
Nina Starck makes videos about hair braiding. She is so good at braiding that she uses herself as a model, but never shows her face on the videos.
With only 38 videos, Nina has built a subscriber base of 149k people. She gets 650k views per month and earns as much as $1.7k in ad revenue for those viewers.
YouTube is an education and entertainment platform, and you don’t need to be a polished presenter to make some great money on the platform. If you can present content in a compelling, engaging way, it doesn’t matter if you show your face or not.
Most of the ideas mentioned above cover day to day human life; cooking, home hacks, shopping, beauty, sports, and hobbies. And can be filmed in a manner that doesn’t require you to show your face.
The star of the videos is whatever the camera is pointing at – that’s what the viewers will be interested in.
So don’t let your dislike of showing your face on camera prevent a channel you launch from becoming one of the next stars on YouTube.
YouTube might not be the first name that enters your mind when you try and guess who is the world’s second-biggest search engine.
But, when you learn that Youtube is owned by Google – the world’s biggest search engine – you won’t be surprised that keywords play a role in how videos rank on YouTube.
YouTube is so popular that 300 hours of video is uploaded the site every minute; way too much content for humans to watch and categorise. So, instead, YouTube uses the keywords in the video title and associated tags to help understand a video’s topic and rank it accordingly.
Keywords Are Important.
For SEO purposes then, you should choose the keywords you put in your title and tags carefully. Keywords could be the difference between success and failure for your video. It makes even more sense to perform keyword research first, before you plan and shoot your videos.
Understanding the content YouTube’s audience is searching for prevents you from wasting time making videos that no one wants to see.
But how do you find the hot keywords users are hunting for on YouTube?
There is no official keyword tool for YouTube like there is for Google Adwords with its Google Keyword Planner. But there are several third-party tools you can use to determine what is popular, and what topics should be left alone.
This post gives you five of the best YouTube keyword tools you can use to analyse the most searched youtube keywords. Some are free, and for some, you have to buy a subscription to access full functionality. Let’s jump into the list.
vidIQ is a free chrome extension which adds additional keyword analysis information directly on the page on the YouTube site. Search for any term, and the plugin displays keyword data on the right of the results, as shown below.
You can also toggle the plugin to display the tags used by the top ranking videos underneath each result.
You can use the data to determine if a keyword has potential for using in a video title and if it’s worthy of a topic to add to your content planner.
vidIQ provides an ‘overall score’ for each keyword, rating them out of 100 and declaring how hard it will be to rank for them.
But you’ll have to take them on their word for this metric, as we don’t know the scoring system they use. It’s best if you use the score as an indication, then make your final keyword choice after further research.
Ideally, you will want to find keywords with high-volume and low-competition. But in reality, most of the high-volume keywords will already have lots of videos competing for the traffic, and should only be attempted by well-established channels.
Newer channels will have to seek out medium to low competition keywords, with correspondingly low search volume.
vidIQ also shows you the top-performing channels for the keyword, so you can dig into their content to see what’s working for them. Also displayed, is a selection of related keywords, which may contain ones that may be more suitable for you to target.
Only three ‘related opportunities’ display with the free version of the plugin; if you take out a subscription, you get to access hundreds more.
Underneath each video, you can toggle the display of the tags used by a video. You can use them for inspiration for other keywords, or steal them outright to use in your video with a one-click copy to clipboard.
Once you select a video from the results, vidIQ provides further information about the video and channel; daily views, country of origin and even displays the channel’s tags. So you can reverse-engineer a whole channel if you wish.
viqIQ provides plenty of helpful keyword suggestions for free, but so much more with a paid subscription. A monthly subscription of $7.50 gets you access to their full keyword research tool.
Google Trends is a free Google tool that shows the popularity of a topic over time. While it doesn’t show keyword volume, it is nevertheless helpful in narrowing down subjects for your video ideas.
Enter in any keyword, and the tool displays a graph showing the popularity of the keyword over the last 12 months. Here is an example using the keyword ‘selfie stick’.
A scale between 0 and 100 is used to rate the search term, so you can see at which times of the year a topic peaks in popularity. Knowing when a subject is most searched for can help you time the release of your content.
You can see in the result above that interest in selfie sticks peaks just before Christmas. So if you were to review the top selfie sticks, it might be a good idea to plan your video for release in late September.
Before you commit to any topic, look at more than 12 months of data. From the drop-down menu, select ‘Past 5 years’.
Oh no! It looks like the selfie stick craze peaked in 2016 – perhaps this is not such a good content idea for a video.
Google Trends also allows you to compare keywords to see which one is more popular. If you have two keywords that you are considering making a video for but can’t decide which one to go with, enter both terms.
The resulting graph shows you which is the most popular, and the peaks can help you time the video release.
You can also change the filter to show data from YouTube.
Google Trends also provides other related topics and keyword ideas for your seed keyword at the foot of the page.
Avoid using Google Trends as the only tool you use for keyword research – there is no indication of the number of people searching for the keyword. So it’s best used to compare topic ideas and time you release of content.
YouTube Autocomplete / Keyword.io
An excellent way to analyse keywords and identify content topics is by using the autocomplete results from YouTube itself. Start typing any words in the YouTube search bar, and a pop-down menu appears containing helpful suggestions.
It’s a typical search engine feature, designed to speed up the browsing process by ‘guessing’ what the viewer is searching for. It’s not a bad way to harvest keyword suggestions for video creators either!
In the example below, you can see the autocomplete keywords displayed in a pop-down menu for the broad term ‘pancakes’. Because YouTube wants to be a useful site, it only shows keywords that are relevant and will answer the searcher’s query.
YouTube is giving you keyword ideas that users are actively searching for.
I’ve underlined some long-tail keywords in the example below, which could easily be the topic of a video.
While a free method of performing keyword analysis for YouTube, it can be a lengthy process to harvest a bunch of ideas. Also, once you have your keyword list, you then need to check them individually using another tool like vidIQ.
Keyword.io is a tool that automates the process of harvesting keyword ideas from autocomplete search boxes. It covers more than just YouTube and Google, and scrapes autocomplete keyword data from other major search engines, as shown below.
Typing the same seed keyword of ‘pancakes’ into keyword.io and selecting the YouTube option returns 939 keyword ideas to analyse further.
The free version of keyword.io only gives you keyword suggestions. To find out more information on the keywords, like average monthly search, you need to take out a subscription to their pro account. Alternatively, you can run them through another keyword tool that you have access to.
Understanding the average monthly search volumes can help you pick popular keywords and topics for your YouTube video content plan. Here is the sort of information the pro account grants access to.
Current pricing is $29 per month for a personal account. You could signup and do a mammoth keyword research session for your channel, so you’d only need to pay for a single month.
Morning Fame is a Youtubers tool that links directly with your YouTube account. It provides enhanced analytics of your existing videos and suggests keywords it thinks you have a chance to rank for.
As we’re talking about keywords here today, I’ll skip the analytics part of Morning Fame and focus only on the keyword research capabilities.
Like most keyword tools, you can start by entering a seed keyword to work from. But Morning Fame has an alternative possibility as well. You can paste in any video URL from YouTube, and it will suggest keywords based on the topic of that video.
On the next screen Morning Fame presents it’s keyword suggestions in a unique and helpful way. It divides them into two lists based on the competitiveness of the keywords; one list it considers suitable for larger established channels; the other more appropriate for smaller channels.
If you are just getting started with your YouTube channel, then trying to rank for ultra-competitive keywords is likely to end in frustration. It’s unusual for a new channel to rank for popular keywords quickly, because of the way the YouTube ranking algorithm works. Your channel simply won’t have the sufficient authority that YouTube demands.
So a list for small channels, where you can compete for initial views and start to grow your channel, is a great feature.
When you select a keyword from the list, it goes to the next screen and displays a further analysis of the term. You can see in the screen below, that while the keyword scores an ‘A’ for relevance, it rates an ‘E’ for views, which means its a low-traffic keyword – probably best to try another suggestion.
At the time of writing, Morning Fame is still in the early days post-launch. Access to the tool is by invite-only, but if you hunt around on Google, you should be able to find an invite. Look for reviews of Morning Fame on blogs and on YouTube itself.
Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
If you want to really get under the hood of YouTube and perform detailed keyword analysis for your channel, then you need to pay for one of the professional-grade keyword tools like Ahrefs. Used by many content creators, it is frequently rated in the top 5 of all SEO tools.
Ahrefs has a database of 841 million YouTube keywords. So whatever your channel niche, you are likely to find many keywords you can target.
To get started, enter your seed keyword, select ‘YouTube’, and choose target country.
The tool returns the total search volume for the keyword, indicates how often people click a video after using the keyword, and provides suggestions for alternative keywords.
So far, so good. But Ahrefs true capabilities are shown in the variety of additional keywords it provides using the phrase match option. This feature returns all the keywords from their database, which include your seed word.
The phrase-match results page for the seed word ‘pancakes’ has nearly 13,000 results. Along with the search volume for each keyword, you also get the number of resulting clicks after entering that keyword.
This helps you to target keywords which attract a higher percentage of clicks. Click-thru rate is a crucial metric in YouTube analytics, and also plays a part in how YouTube ranks videos. So it makes sense for you to target keywords which have the best chance of getting a click.
You can also use filters to narrow down large lists quickly.
Ahrefs is one of the best keyword tools on the market, but it comes with a hefty price tag. Plans start at $99 per month. However, you can stop your subscription at any time and restart it when you need it. Additionally, there is a one-off trial where you have access to the software for seven days for $7. Use it wisely.
Well, that wraps up this overview of tools you can use to analyse keywords for your YouTube channel. It’s worth reminding yourself when you plan your videos that YouTube is a search engine, just like Google.
The keywords you choose for your video title and tags can be easy or extremely difficult to rank for, and all the stops in-between.
Give your channel the best chance you can, by performing keyword analysis first with some of the above tools. If you want a helping hand, then contact me to arrange a consultancy call to help find the best keywords for your YouTube channel.
Of all the niches that video streaming platforms like YouTube have either created or allowed to flourish, few can boast as much unprecedented growth as gaming.
Twitch may be the first name that comes to mind when you think about making gaming video content, but it is only very recently that YouTube began to compete with Twitch in the live streaming arena directly.
Even before that, YouTube acted as an excellent complementary platform for Twitch streamers to put highlight videos out on. Now, of course, YouTube is making moves of their own in the streaming world, which only increases the number of ways you can make money with gaming content on the platform.
The truth is, there are many ways to make money as a gaming YouTuber. Sponsorship, affiliate marketing, live stream super chats, superstickers, YouTube premieres, donations and directly selling services like direct gaming advice or multiplayer games where you join their fireteam in a co-op game – and even a few ways to make money on YouTube with gaming content if you aren’t a gamer.
This post will cover more than just video ideas for gaming content. There are some interesting legal question marks over this niche that deserve mention.
So keep reading as we explore how to make money on YouTube as a gamer.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most powerful tools for any budding YouTuber or Twitch gamer looking to make money online but it an be full of jargon. That is why I wrote a deep dive into affiliate marketing for beginners to help you wade through all the confusing words and get you on the path to making money online fast – without any need to buy silly expensive courses.
Gaming Content and Monetisation
If you intend to make Let’s Play style videos, there is a question of rights ownership that may affect your ability to make money from your content. YouTube has its own policy on software and video game content, which essentially boil down to it being fine to monetise as long as there is commentary and instructional value that is associate with the video.
All of that is a wordy way of saying you can’t just have an hour of video game footage playing while you talk about something unrelated to the game, or don’t talk at all.
You won’t be prevented from making this kind of content, of course, but YouTube may demonetise it, which will put a major roadblock in your efforts to make money as a YouTube gamer.
The other thing to note in the legal realm of YouTube gaming is the policies of the companies behind the games themselves. Though they have since eased up on their draconian approach to gaming content, Nintendo has been an example of this for some time.
This is because they would routinely claim videos of their games through YouTube’s Content ID system, claiming the revenue those videos made.
Since then, Nintendo has adopted a more fan-friendly approach, instead issuing a set of guidelines that state more or less what YouTube’s own policies state—that you have to add commentary or creative input to the content. If you want to just upload straight video of Nintendo games, you have to do it using Nintendo’s own tools.
That being said, it is worth noting that Nintendo chose to soften their stance on this after negative feedback, but there is no legal impetus for them to do so, and nothing to stop them from going back to a more hostile approach in the future.
Of course, there are more than just the Nintendos, Sonys, and Microsofts of the world.
The Internet has fostered a vibrant independent game development scene, and many of the developers and publishers in that scene are more than happy to let YouTubers make content using their games as it brings more exposure to their product.
An excellent example of this can be found at Devolver Digital, a small game development studio who actively encourage people to make content using their games, and even have a page on their site where you can enter your channel name to get written permission.
Choosing Which Games to Make Content Around
Once you’ve made peace with the various legal hurdles surrounding intellectual property, there is the small matter of what kind of content you intend to make.
There are plenty of different types of gaming video you can make, and we’re going to list a lot of them shortly, including examples of each.
As with any attempt to create regular content—especially if you intend to make money from it, one of the best things you can do is play to your strengths. It will not only produce better content, but it will also make your life more comfortable since it is always less work to do something you are good at than it is to do something you struggle with.
As an example, let’s consider a personality-based YouTube gaming channel. This is a channel where the YouTuber themself is what draws the views because the subscribers like to watch that person specifically. With a channel like this, the YouTuber could theoretically play anything they wanted, and the views would still roll in.
But by playing to their strengths, they can make better content and attract more views than just those diehard fans who will tune in for anything.
Two examples we have picked out are PewDiePie and DrDisRespect. Both of these YouTubers are incredibly popular, and could probably make a video of them eating a sandwich and still get millions of views. Despite this, they have clear strengths in the video game niche.
For PewDiePie’s part, he greatly enhanced his popularity by playing horror games. It was his comical reactions to jump scares and tense moments that pushed his channel into the upper echelons of YouTube during his early days of making videos, something that he would not have been able to reproduce with a different genre of game.
This stage of PewDiePie’s YouTube career is an excellent example of playing to your strengths, as PewDiePie started out making video game commentaries, but it wasn’t until he started making horror game videos that his channel really took off.
In the case of DrDisRespect, as his name suggests, his gimmick is being disrespectful. Now, while he could be disrespectful while playing a casual, friendly game like Animal Crossing, it wouldn’t have quite the same impact as it does while playing competitive multiplayer shooters. DrDisRespect, for all his gimmicks, is a very good gamer and has plenty of opportunities to boast during his playthroughs.
There may be a bit of trial and error in finding your strengths, but it is a worthy goal to achieve, especially when you are just starting out.
Who knows, maybe PewDiePie would have just been another successful YouTuber with a few million followers had he not started making horror game videos, rather than the most successful individual YouTuber in the history of the platform.
Different Types of Gaming Content
Before you can play to your strengths, you need to know what kind of content there is a market for. Of course, it’s worth noting that there will always be rewards for those who can think outside of the box and be successful because of it.
What we are about to list are established types of gaming content with proven popularity. We are not saying these are the only options if you want to make gaming content.
Unfortunately, if you want to blaze new trails, you will be on your own on that journey. After all, it wouldn’t be trailblazing if there was a post like this one telling you how to do it!
These are the kinds of videos that companies like Nintendo won’t allow you to monetise, so you will have to think carefully about what games you intend to make your videos around if you choose this path.
With a platform as big as YouTube, there is an audience for just about everything, including watching games being played. Sometimes it is merely a desire to watch the narrative in some of the more cinematic games, other times it is a gamer wanting to see parts of the game they missed but are not prepared to play the game again. With enormous open-world games like Fallout 4 and Grand Theft Auto V, it is easy to miss a lot of the content available to you. It can even be people who can’t play a particular game for one reason or another but still want to see it.
If you choose this style of gaming video, you will want to make sure you are offering something to the viewer. If you are showing the cinematics, don’t have 3 hours of regular gameplay in between.
Gameplay With Commentary
You may have seen these videos labelled as Let’s Play videos in the past. These videos involve the YouTuber playing through a game while talking about it. Videos like this will often have the YouTuber’s face in the video so the viewers can see their reactions.
This is by far the most popular kind of gaming content on YouTube, and both of the above examples of PewDiePie and DrDisRespect fall into this category.
If you are a particularly talented gamer, there is a whole niche around the ability to complete video games as quickly as possible. There is no limitation in terms of the game, with everything from retro platformers to huge open-world role-playing games being completed in ludicrously short spaces of time.
One example of this kind of channel can be found in GarishGoblin, who may not have that many subscribers, but has been able to amass millions of views with various speedruns in the Halo franchise.
Comedy gaming videos can come in several forms. One of the more famous examples is Red Vs Blue, a series on the Rooster Teeth Animation channel that features comedy sketches acted out using the Halo video game franchise.
Another example is SovietWomble, who creates highlight videos from his streams, often with humorous edits and effects to enhance the final product.
These types of videos are considerably more work in terms of editing when compared to something like a commentary video. On the other hand, they require less skill at actual gaming, which makes them an excellent option for people who enjoy gaming but aren’t necessarily that good at it.
Update videos could take the form of a general roundup of gaming news; however, that would be a competitive niche to enter, and one that would contain several media outlets. Success may be more attainable with a model like that employed by the YouTuber, ShadowFrax.
ShadowFrax makes videos detailing the latest updates surrounding the game, Rust, an open-world multiplayer survival game that is continually getting new content and updates from the developers. T
here are hundreds of popular games in active development, and finding one that you like and focusing your content on that could be an excellent way to create gaming content.
How to Make Games
This option is a little less attainable for your average YouTuber, but if you have the ability, making videos on how to make certain popular games may be a good option, as demonstrated by small YouTuber, b3agz, whose videos on how to make Minecraft and 7 Days to Die have amassed hundreds of thousands of views despite only having a few thousand subscribers.
Of course, you don’t necessarily need to create full step-by-step tutorials in the way that b3agz does; you could make videos analysing game mechanics, or talking about the methods behind certain aspects of the game. There has never been a better time to be providing resources for game developers, with game development being more popular now than at any point in its history.
How to Make Money on YouTube as a Gamer Conclusions
Ultimately, the key to making money on YouTube as a gamer—or as anything else, for that matter—is to make good content that people want to watch.
Granted, you must navigate the hurdles we mentioned above regarding intellectual property rights, but once you have done that, the first thing you should be focussing on is your content.
If you make good content, your chances of succeeding on YouTube—and making money as a result of that success—will be significantly improved. And, while we can’t guarantee a good video will make you money, we can say with confidence that a lousy video won’t make you money.
Or, perhaps more accurately, it could make you money, but it will be a short term thing that could damage your earning potential in the long run, as your channel will get a reputation for poor content, both in the eyes of the viewers and of YouTube itself.
In the competitive world of YouTube, getting viewer attention is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome.
Even when you have an established audience, most of your subscribers will still probably have dozens—perhaps hundreds—of other channels that they are subscribed to.
The unfortunate result of this is that, even though they are subscribed to you, your latest videos could get lost in the shuffle depending on what else is being released at a similar time. And with 500 hours of new content being uploaded every minute, there is always something else being released at a similar time.
“Ringing the bell”—clicking on the notifications icon—can help to get your videos into your subscriber’s feeds, but even that might not do the trick if your subscribers have notifications turned on for several other YouTubers.
YouTube Premieres are another tool in your arsenal when it comes to getting attention for your videos, but what is a YouTube Premiere?
A YouTube Premiere is a mini live stream of a newly published youtube video. Unlike normal scheduled videos a Premiere has a countdown before it starts, a live chat feature to interact with the content creator and an opportunity to gain some income as a creator with super chats.
By essentially announcing your video ahead of time and giving it a landing page, there is more time for your upcoming video to find its way into people’s feeds and consciousness. We’re going to take a deep dive into how Premieres work, why you need them, and how best to use them.
How YouTube Premieres Work
Being able to answer the question of what is a YouTube Premiere is only part of the battle; you still need to know how to use it! When you upload a new video, you can hit publish immediately and put it out to the world. If you are planning a little further ahead, you might keep it private for a little while.
Keeping videos private to start with is a useful tool because it means your video will be fully processed when you do make it public, and it means you will have a link for your video ready to go when you do make it public. But as useful as this method is, your viewers will still not be aware of it until it goes live.
If you have a strong social media following, you could always drum up interest for your upcoming video on places like Twitter and Facebook, but the effectiveness of even that is dubious when there is no immediate link to share.
Unfortunately, people tend to be a bit flaky about remembering things like that unless they are diehard fans.
A good way to look at a YouTube Premiere is as a way of uploading your video privately while giving it a landing page that you can link to. The landing page will look like a regular YouTube video page minus the actual video and will let your viewers know how long they have to wait for the video to premiere.
The page will also feature a chat window, allowing your viewers to socialise with each other while they wait for the video to premiere.
Perhaps most importantly, however, there is an option to set a reminder for the premiere time, which circumvents that pesky habit we humans have of mentally making plans and forgetting to follow through with them.
Premieres are especially useful for YouTuber’s whose videos have a limited shelf life. If your content is evergreen—meaning it maintains relevance for a long time after its initial upload date—getting viewers through the door on day one is not as important. If you are making content that is very much current, such as gossip videos, news commentary, or even personal vlogs, you want to get as many eyeballs on the video at release time as possible. Think about from the perspective of a viewer. If a current events video from three days ago pops up in your feed, you are much less likely to click on it—unless that channel was your only source of news—since the content of the video will already be out of date.
Another feature of YouTube Premieres is the fact that the video plays like a live stream when it does go public. Until the video has been premiered, viewers will not be able to skip forward beyond the point where the video has reached so far.
This helps to create more of a sense of an event, rather than just a new video upload, since everyone watching it live knows they are all seeing the content at the same time.
Making the Most of Your YouTube Premieres
Regardless of how much of a potential boost to your channel a YouTube Premiere can bring, there is no sense in using the feature if you don’t intend to make the most of it. But how do you do that?
It can help to think of it as similar to a movie premiere since that is essentially what it is modelled from. There are four basic stages to the process;
The build-up is the period leading up to the premiere of the video, and begins when you first start promoting it. For most YouTubers, this will be when the premiere is created, and there is a linkable page to direct your viewers to.
During this period, you will be looking to draw attention to your premiere, and hopefully, get plenty of people clicking that “set reminder” button. You should make full use of any social media sway you have during this period, as well as the community tab on YouTube if you have access to it.
It is best to get the link up at least a day or two before the date you intend to premiere the video, as this will give you plenty of time to drum up the interest you need.
Though technically part of the build-up, here we are referring to the time immediately before the premiere itself. This could be as much as an hour before, but really the time that things begin to get going will be organic and determined by when your viewers start piling into the chat.
People generally love to be part of things, and somebody who is on the fence about watching your premiere will be more likely to stick around if they check-in and find a bustling chat room full of people interacting with each other.
Your role in this part is to be an active participant. Don’t just leave it to your viewers to chat amongst themselves while they wait for the video; get in there and join in. Talk to them about the video, get them excited for what’s coming. If people are interested enough in your content to be in your Premiere’s chat just before it goes live, the chances are they will be interested in talking to you. Your active participation in this stage will get the chat flowing which, as we mentioned above, is a good thing for retaining more viewers.
As we mentioned, a premiere plays like a live stream in that viewers cannot skip forward. This helps to create more of a sense of an event around the release of the video, and you should capitalise on that by remaining active in the chat while the video is playing.
Viewers like to feel part of things, and being able to interact with you during the video will certainly help to make that desire a reality.
After the Premiere
Once the video is live, and the excitement of the premiere is over, it’s time to switch back to regular YouTuber mode. Promote the video the same way you would for a regular non-premiere video, and try to catch any of your subscribers and other interested viewers that the premiere missed. For videos that aren’t evergreen, the first twenty-four hours after upload usually pull in the majority of that video’s views, so you definitely make the most of those twenty-four hours. Of course, if your videos are evergreen, there’s less urgency about this initial period, but it certainly won’t hurt to give your videos an extra push in the beginning.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
YouTube Premieres is an excellent tool for drumming up interest in your upcoming videos, but there can be an element of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” about it if you premiere every video you release.
In short, YouTube Premieres are intended to highlight special videos. For some channels, that may apply to every video that gets released.—for example a channel that releases videos months apart, or a channel with massive production values or big-name guests. If, on the other hand, you are putting out weekly videos—or even more frequently—and you are premiering every one of them, your viewers will very quickly stop seeing your premieres as something special that they should tune into.
How this will work for your channel specifically is something only you can tell, but use your best judgement when deciding which videos to premiere. Once your viewers have mentally assigned a negative sentiment to something, it is very hard to undo it.
Thumbnails Just Got Bigger
Good thumbnails are an essential component in any successful YouTube channel, but another dimension of importance is added by YouTube Premieres. Though there are some situations where your thumbnail may be shown in all its high-resolution glory, viewers typically don’t see your thumbnails as anything other than… well… a thumbnail!
The tiny little image that shows up in search results and recommended tabs is usually the only action your thumbnail sees, and so it can be tempting to only spend time making it look good at that size.
With YouTube Premieres, your thumbnail will occupy the space where the video would ordinarily be until that video goes live so that it will be much more visible than your usual thumbnails.
Now, we would advise that you put lots of effort into your thumbnail regardless of whether you intend to use YouTube Premieres. After all; they do get seen full size occasionally, and YouTube could change the way their platform displays things at any time. You don’t want to open YouTube one day to find they have doubled the size of the thumbnails and suddenly your videos look terrible in the sidebar. But if you have been making your thumbnails without much concern for how they may look on the big screen, now is the time to change that.
When to Use Premieres
We touched on this above, but there are times when YouTube Premieres are perhaps not appropriate, and times when you are missing out by not making use of them.
The primary reason you might want to avoid using YouTube Premieres is if you release a lot of content and you are putting out what amounts to a regular video at your usual interval. This is especially the case for channels that make daily videos since the viewers will quickly get fatigued by the constant barrage of updates; they will have only just finished watching the last one before the next premiere is popping up in their feeds.
If you release videos far less often—say once every two weeks or once a month—then premiering may be more appropriate for your regular uploads. However, an argument could still be made that you should save it for exceptional videos rather than your usual fare.
These special videos, however, are where you absolutely should make use of YouTube Premieres. These videos might include subscriber milestone specials, big announcements, or really anything that constitutes a noteworthy thing for your channel. Videos like this will already carry an air of excitement with your viewers, and using YouTube Premieres on top of that will only serve to build up that interest even more.
How to Setup YouTube Premiere
Setting up a YouTube Premiere is very easy. Once you have your video ready, head over to YouTube and upload it as normal. When you get to select how the video will go out (Public, Private, Unlisted, Scheduled), select “Scheduled”.
Let the video finish uploading so you can set all of the details for your video, being sure to cover things like monetisation, cards, and end screens, you should be able to see a toggle near the visibility options that says “Set as Premiere”. From there, make sure your data is correct, and as soon as you hit save, your video’s page will be live for your viewers to visit.
You may want to set your video to unlisted first, that way you can fill out all the details at your leisure, make sure you’re happy with the thumbnail and titles, and when you’re ready, change it to scheduled.
How would you monetize your Facebook page without adverts?
Now, if you hit a certain threshold on Facebook, you can start integrating brand deals with your Facebook page, but not everyone’s jumped through those hoops just yet, and you can make money without Facebook’s help.
How To Monetize A Facebook Page without Ads
1) Use relevant affiliate links
I’m a YouTube creator that talks about YouTube. So maybe I post up a post about what camera I’m using and I link through to that product on Amazon. If I’m really smart and I’m hunting out a specific brand, maybe I can talk to that brand before hand, to get a better deal, and then push it out there.
For example, maybe I’m talking about how you can subtitle your videos, and then I want to promote it on Facebook saying, go and use rev.com.That way you can subtitle all of your videos with captions that are in English or French or German or any language that you wish.
That’s a relevant affiliate marketing link, and you can do that in your descriptions on Facebook,
2) Add digital products
Now I have a digital product that I hardly promote, and it’s 75 thumbnails for YouTube. If you’re not quite sure on how to start, how a thumbnail should look, just click this link, it goes through my digital products.
That’s a product that hopefully helps you and is relevant to my audience. I’m not going to sell baby monitors to people that want to learn how to do YouTube.
So if you have a digital product, let’s say an ebook on how to knit because you do knitting, or a recipe book because you’re a cooking channel, that’s a good place to promote it on your specific Facebook page.
I also push out my services like a channel audit and coaching call consultation, but you can also be sending your products, or pots and pans set, some cute little crochet things.
This is your way of harvesting people from your page, and then collecting them into — I really hate this word — but a funnel.
If they’re engaged enough to actively choose to be on a newsletter with you to hear more from you, to see more videos from you, or see your blogs from you, then they’re more likely to be more engaged than any random human to possibly listen to your advice on buying a product or a service.
I know you said it to me as your slow cooker of leads. As you collect more and more people in there and you hone the art of talking to them and building up a relationship, they’re more likely to convert in the long run because you’ve kept them warm for eight, nine hours smelling sexy minted lamb hot pot.
Anyway, back on point…
4) Selling advertised posts
Maybe you have a huge audience. Maybe you have 20, 30, 50, or a million followers on your page. This is your chance to flip the script. People will want to advertise in front of your audience.
So, charge them for it.
5) Starts an associated podcast
I’ve got the “Start Creating Podcast” at http://startcreatingpodcast.com/, where I talk about my experiences as a YouTuber, and growing and marketing and branding.
It gives me a little bit more leeway, I can talk about more things, less heavily edited. In the long run, you can invite people in to talk about your specific niche, interview people, and associated podcasts gives you a chance to place adverts against that podcast, also affiliate links in the description.
As you grow a podcast audience, it can also become fairly passive once the contents is out there, it will remain out there forever. And when was the last time you started a podcast, and then went back and binged watched everything else that was already on that podcast playlist.
Just try to make them evergreen rather than “This week on July the 30th, 2020,” whatever.
If you think of the longevity of the content and you answer and solve a problem with each podcast, people are more likely to go back and finish them. A good example of this is Gary Vaynerchuk or Tube Talk from vidIQ.
6) Raising money for a charity
You don’t have to monetize your Facebook page to make you money. You can also monetize your Facebook page to make charities, money.
You might have an audience that’s quite tuned in with you and your feelings and your sentiments, your political leaning, or your empathy towards specific topics.
Right now we’re in the middle of an unprecedented worldwide situation. So, if you wanted to raise money for that illness, that’s causing a lot of problems around the world, nothing’s stopping you throwing up a charity post that people can donate.
Or you reflect on something in four or five years time, maybe someone near and dear to you dies of some horrible disease, or struggles with a mental illness, depression, anxiety.
There’s nothing wrong with you raising money for a charity.
Now, if you want help on monetizing your Facebook group, there’s a video here. And if you need help on monetizing your Facebook page through Facebook, there’s a video here.
Making money on YouTube with other people’s content is certainly possible, though, as you might expect, there are ethical considerations depending on how you go about it.
If you just re-upload someone else’s content wholesale, without any kind of modification, and pass it off as your own, there is no question that it is wrong in every sense of the word, including YouTube’s rules and guidelines.
So, not only would you be doing something generally unpleasant, but you would also likely fall afoul of YouTube’s policies, and lose any monetary gain you might have had.
That being said, there are ways to make money using other people’s content on YouTube that are entirely within YouTube’s terms, and you can do it in ways that won’t have the YouTubers whose content you are using wishing ill fortune on you.
So let’s dive into how to make money on YouTube using other people’s videos!
There isn’t much more to say about this that we didn’t cover in the intro, but just to reiterate; taking another YouTuber’s content and re-uploading without their permission has very little going for it as a money-making tactic.
It will not make you many friends, you will be competing with the original video for views, and it will almost certainly be a short term thing as YouTube will eventually shut you down when they find out you are stealing content.
It’s best to steer clear of this method entirely.
We’re going to discuss some methods here that, strictly speaking, could be done without permission from the YouTuber whose content you are using, but it’s always worth getting permission if you can, regardless of whether you need it.
If you can somehow get permission for it, even the above method of just taking someone else’s content and re-uploading it would be fine. We can’t think of many situations where the original creator would be okay with that, but it would be perfectly fine if they did.
But, as a general courtesy, it is nice to ask YouTuber’s if you can use their content, even if it’s only a small clip. And, who knows? They may even share your video.
Getting the permissions itself can be tricky, especially if the YouTuber doesn’t check their spam folder too often.
You should be able to find a contact email address for them in their channel’s “About” page (you may have to prove you’re not a bot in order to see it), though the existence of an email address doesn’t mean anyone is looking at the inbox.
You can also try pinging them on social media. What you want to avoid, however, is spamming them with a barrage of messages across different platforms.
Try to leave a little bit of breathing space between attempts to contact them, as waking up to dozens of notifications in different apps all from the same person may be a bit off-putting.
In your messages, be polite, and it can’t hurt to throw in a compliment about their content. After all; you are wanting to use it. Y
ou should also let them know what you are planning to do with the content you are seeking permission to use, and be honest. Nothing can burn bridges like getting permission to use someone’s content for one thing and then using it for something else, especially if the thing you end up using it for is something the original creator would object to.
As this post is talking about making money specifically, we need to address YouTube’s stance on reused content.
There is a lot of content on YouTube (and other parts of the web) that are fair game for you to use on your channel from a legal standpoint. Creative Commons content and content in the public domain being the main examples of this.
However, being legally allowed to use content does not mean YouTube will let you monetise it. Their monetisation policies specifically call out “reused content” as something that cannot be monetised.
What this means in practical terms is that even though you are allowed—both legally and under YouTube’s terms—to take a video that is licensed under Creative Commons (as long as you give full attribution) and post it on your channel in full, YouTube will not allow you to monetise it unless you have made sufficient modification to it. How these modifications might look is a significant part of the rest of this post, so keep reading.
What About Fair Use?
Fair use is a convention through which copyrighted material can be used without the express permission of the copyright holder or a licensing agreement to use the content in some circumstances.
The content you produce must be “transformative”, which can include commentary and parody, as well as some other kinds of content.
Fair use is often misunderstood to be some kind of shield to protect you against copyright strikes, but that is not how it works. Fair use is a defence—not a black and white policy—and it is determined on a case-by-case basis. That means that, even if you were entirely within the spirit of fair use, you would still have to go to court and make your case if you faced a copyright owner who is aggressive enough with their legal team to take it that far.
One of the problems with fair use on YouTube is their automated content recognition system, which has no concept of fair use and will flag your videos regardless if it recognises copyrighted material.
As sad a state of affairs as it may seem, it would generally make your life much easier if you steered clear of copyrighted content altogether.
How to Make Money on YouTube Using Other People’s Videos
Now that we’ve told you what you can’t do, let’s get into what you can do.
Here we are going to outline some different ways you can make money on YouTube using other people’s videos, as well as how you would go about it and any other relevant information.
Reaction videos are more popular than ever and are not limited to movie trailers. Just about any viral video can be good fodder for a reaction video, though it can help to stick within a particular genre or type of video.
For example, Stevie Knight is a popular reaction YouTuber who reacts to rap songs specifically. For the super famous YouTubers, reaction videos can be about anything because the audience is there to see them, whatever they are doing. But for us mere mortals, it’s probably best to find a niche and stick to it.
One of the critical aspects of reaction videos, as obvious as it sounds, is reacting. If you sit and watch a nine-minute video, pulling the occasional face and barely saying anything, you’re not going to make much of an impression.
And you may fall afoul of YouTube’s reuse policy, as they could deem it not to be sufficiently different from the original video.
Needless to say, this type of video is more suited to YouTubers with a lot of personality.
You are banking on people wanting to see you. They can go and watch the original video easily enough, or check out one of the other reaction YouTubers covering this video, and if you are bland and unentertaining, they may do just that.
Be yourself, as well.
Being a reaction, YouTuber will quickly fall apart if you are putting on a persona. Try not to worry about pleasing everyone; it’s an impossible task.
Just be yourself and be consistent with your videos.
Breakdown videos are very similar to reaction videos but a little more technical in nature.
Where a reaction video is all about the… well… reaction, breakdown videos go into detail about the content itself. In fact, the YouTuber we mentioned above, Stevie Knight, would be a good example for this kind of video as well, as he doesn’t just react to rap music, he breaks down the lyrics.
Breakdown videos are also common for political and social commentary, as well as movie trailers and speeches. The aim of a breakdown is either to respond to things in the video or to give your unique insight to the viewers.
If you decide to go down this path, you make sure you have something to offer.
Unlike reaction videos, where a lively personality and a bit of comedy can be enough, a breakdown video needs to add something to the conversation. If you are breaking down the latest Marvel movie trailer, make sure you are well-versed in Marvel lore, so that you can spot things that regular viewers may miss.
Clip videos can be on a range of topics, such as “Top 10” videos, or “This Week In…”. An example of this can be found on GameDevHQ’s channel, where they have a weekly series that lists off some of the most interesting projects being developed in the Unity game engine.
This kind of video is very appealing to those more camera-shy YouTubers out there, as it doesn’t require you to be on-camera to make content. It would typically take the form of a series of clips with voice-over narration saying something about each clip.
In these cases, as long as the clips are not too long, you can usually claim fair use with regards to your use of the clip, however, as we stated above, fair use, even when used correctly, is no guarantee that you will be free to use the content.
It would be best to get permission from the content owners first, but if you keep the clips short, you should be okay.
Become a Music Content Aggregator/Promoter
This one is a little less conventional, but you could become a channel for promoting unknown musicians.
The idea here would be that you are putting the music videos out on a channel that has more exposure—benefitting the artist—while you run advertisements on those videos.
Whether or not you cut the artists in on the revenue would be up to you, although it will undoubtedly be easier to get artists on board if you are going to pay them.
The main problem with this kind of channel is that it is challenging to get off of the ground, as you need a significant number of subscribers to draw in more popular artists.
One trick could be to use Creative Commons music in the beginning. You would not be able to monetise these videos due to YouTube’s reuse policy, but you wouldn’t be able to monetise in the beginning anyway due to the requirements for joining YouTube’s Partner Programme.
The goal would be to build the channel’s reputation and following up to the point that you can entice up and coming artists to release music through your channel, and hopefully reach a point where all of the content you publish is original.
You can even use cover songs to get your foot in the door and leverage attention. If you need help in making money from cover songs then check out my deep dive blog where I break down the legal points, the fast traffic tips and some great tweaks you can use to get the maximum impact for minimal impact on your pocket.
This one requires quite a bit of ability with audio editing software, but you could make mashups of existing music videos.
These tend to be popular when the original videos are from contrasting genres, making the final result something of a novelty that will interest fans of both genres.
One of the most well-known examples of this kind of video is an interesting mashup between Justin Beiber and Slipknot. The less similar to the original songs, the better, or you may get hit with YouTube’s Content ID.
It should be noted that there are legal obligations when using copyrighted music, even if it is only small samples.
You probably won’t end up in a courtroom if you get caught—it is far more likely you’ll get a copyright strike or your ad revenue diverted to the copyright holder—but the possibility is always there when you break copyright law.
What we’re saying here is, strictly speaking, you should get the proper licensing sorted with any copyright holders before creating mashups video. This blog does not endorse doing anything that breaks the law.
You may have noticed that there is still quite a bit of work involved in these various methods.
Unfortunately, there is no way of making money on YouTube with other people’s videos that is simultaneously allowed by YouTube, legal, and does not require some effort on your part.
However you could always try stock video content (for example I use storyblocks for all my b-roll) to pad out your creations and all you have to do is talk over the clips – you wouldn’t even need to show your face.
Covering popular songs is an excellent way for musicians to gain exposure through YouTube.
The popularity of the song can draw people into your channel where you can show off your talent, skill, and, hopefully, your unique style.
Unfortunately, copyright is a serious roadblock to monetising this kind of content.
The music industry has been and still is one of the most aggressive industries when it comes to protecting their intellectual property, which has led to some less-than-fair policies being put in place by YouTube in order to mollify record labels. Policies such as granting copyright owners the ability to claim ad revenue from your video, even if the video contains more than just their music.
YouTube also has automatic Content ID in place, that can recognise copyrighted content without the need for a human to flag it.
This may save YouTube a great deal of expense compared to paying people to hunt through an absurd amount of video, but it can lead to problems for cover artists, such as Seth Everman’s cover of Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy. As Seth’s pinned comment states, the cover was instantly flagged for copyright despite being made using household items such as couch cushions and pots and pans.
So how, then, do you go about monetising this kind of content? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways, so read to discover how to make money doing covers on YouTube.
Before getting into how you can make money doing covers on YouTube, it is important to have a basic grasp of the legalities of cover songs. We say “basic” because we’re not going to attempt to explain actual law to you—this is a YouTube blog, and there are no lawyers here.
The long and short of it is that in order to legally make money from a cover song, you would have to have agreements in place with the songwriters and publishers, and the licenses you would gain from this would almost certainly require you to pay royalty fees.
This may be fine for an established musician who is going to release a cover song through traditional channels, but it is not exactly practical for a small YouTube musician who is just looking for a little added exposure, or merely wants to cover their favourite song.
YouTube have mechanisms in place to remove the need for every YouTube cover to have an individual licensing agreement in place in the form their Content ID system, but this doesn’t help with monetisation and, depending on the rights holder, can result in your video being blocked in certain countries—or blocked altogether.
So, now we’ve told you why you can’t make money from covers on YouTube, let’s get into how you can make money from covers on YouTube.
YouTube Partner Programme
Here’s the good news; the YouTube Partner Programme has provisions for cover songs that allow you to share revenue easily between you and the relevant entities with little more than a few clicks.
The bad news? This only applies to songs that are part of an agreement with rights holders to enable this kind of thing.
Now, granted, there are a lot of songs included in these deals, with plenty of popular songs and current hits among them. But it is not everything, and you may find yourself wanting to cover something that is not part of YouTube’s deal and thus cannot be monetised in this way.
For the songs that are part of the deal, you will be able to share the revenue with the rights holders, and you will get be paid on a pro-rata basis.
This is one example of how to make money doing covers on YouTube, but it is not exactly a reliable method, and even when it works, you are getting a reduced percentage of YouTube revenue, which has already gained a reputation as a less-than-stellar way to get paid for your time.
The actual rate you get paid may vary, but you shouldn’t expect to see more than 40% of the revenue your videos generate. So let’s look at other ways you can earn money from your cover songs.
Promote Original Music
It will likely seem obvious to many YouTube cover artists since a lot of you will have gotten into cover songs as a means to bring attention to your channel and promote your own songs. This very method is one of the best ways you can parlay your cover song success into YouTube revenue.
Be sure to put your own spin on the covers you perform, however.
The goal is to draw people in with your unique style and take on the song, and then providing your viewers with a call to action like, “If you like this, why not check out my original song…”, and it will be considerably less effective if your original songs are entirely different in tone and style to your cover songs.
There is no barrier to monetising original content, so you are free to monetise an original song through YouTube’s Partner Programme, get sponsors, or do anything else you would be free to do with your own intellectual property.
Promote Live Performances
In much the same way your cover songs can be used to promote your original music, they can also be used as a means of getting eyeballs on any upcoming shows you are playing.
It is common for established musicians to make a substantial portion of their income from live performances, so it will likely be something a serious musician will want to get into regardless—especially since live performances can make up almost all of your income as a musician just getting started.
And if you’re doing it anyway, why not leverage YouTube to get more interest in those live shows?
If you go down this route, make sure you have easy to find links and information regarding your live shows.
You want your viewers to have to put in as little effort as possible if they decide to come out to see you live, so don’t force them to hunt around for the right links and dates.
If you go to the trouble of creating a cover song for YouTube, don’t feel like you have to limit it to just that platform. There are many outlets to sell music digitally these days, without the need for recording deals or record labels. If you make a popular cover, giving viewers the option to buy the song or listen to it on other revenue-generating platforms like Spotify and iTunes is a great way to earn some extra money.
Of course, the issues with licensing and ownership are still there, and we would not recommend you just putting a song out there without ensuring you go through the proper channels. Fortunately, there are plenty of music distribution services out there for small artists, and many of them have provisions set up for cover songs, meaning you can release them entirely legally.
Every platform is different, and this is a YouTube blog, so rather than explaining the process, here are a few of the top music distribution platforms that allow you to release cover songs to services like Spotify.
This is an excellent method of earning money through YouTube regardless of what the actual content is because it serves not only as a revenue source but also as an endorsement of your channel.
Since people who contribute are actively choosing to do so, you will benefit from a dedicated fanbase who are more likely to want to support financially.
There are several ways to go about setting this up, with Patreon being the most prominent and popular example. There are also platforms like Ko-Fi, as well as simply accepting donations directly through a payment processor like PayPal.
If you decide to try this method of earning money from covers, consider giving incentives to your supporters. Such incentives can be as little as a thank you at the end of a video, or they can be as much as tickets to a live show, or merchandise included as a thank you.
It could also be early access to videos or exclusive content.
The point is that by providing supporters with something extra, you not only make them feel appreciated, but you incentivise others to support you as well.
Making Your Cover Videos
Knowing how to monetise your covers is a relatively small part of the battle. Before you worry about that, you should be working on giving your videos the best chance of success you possibly can.
Now, as far as the music goes, that’s all on you.
Music is a very subjective medium, and you will no doubt have your own style and genre preferences when you perform.
All you can do there is make the technically best version of whatever it is that you want to make.
But regarding the video itself, there are things you incorporate that will help you succeed as a YouTube cover artist.
Create Engaging Videos
While it is generally true that the content speaks for itself, it is not that simple with cover songs. It is not merely a matter of making great music and hoping that the quality will shine through because there are so many talented musicians making music on YouTube.
Consider including the lyrics in your video, possibly in a fun animated way, and at the very least shoot something with you playing the song.
You want viewers to connect with you, and they are unlikely to do that if they never see you.
There are only so many ways you can cover a song in a way that is still appealing to a large enough number of people. And, with the amount of YouTube musicians out there doing cover songs, the number of unique takes there are left for popular songs are starting to become a little scarce.
Of course, you can always cover less popular songs, but the problem there is that less popular music means less interest in your cover song.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your cover.
We mentioned Seth Everman’s Bad Guy video earlier on. Even though that particular cover was a comedic video, rather than a straight music video, it nevertheless generated a lot of interest for the unconventional way he played the song.
We’re not saying you should cover a song using furniture exclusively as your instrument, but looking for new and creative ways to make your cover videos is an excellent way to get noticed.
Another great example of this is Postmodern Jukebox, a channel that exclusively creates covers of contemporary songs in the style of classic genres from as far back as the early 1900s. Their videos feature a full band accompaniment with everyone dressed in the style of the era they are emulating and make for a fascinating watch.
Another example is mashups, where more than one song or style is brought together to create something new. A very popular example of this is 10 Second Songs, where the talented Anthony Vincent performs songs in the style of a variety of different artists.
Keep An Eye Out For Trends
Trend-chasing can feel a little “dirty” to some, but cover videos are an extremely competitive space, and it will take a lot of effort—and not a small amount of luck—to get established in this niche. By putting out your own take on a popular trend, you can bring new viewers to your channel.
And the good thing about this kind of viewer is they will have subscribed because they liked your take on the song, which means they are more likely to stick around.
Trends can come in many forms, such as old songs that inexplicably get a second life (see: Rick Rolling) or new viral hits that take the world by storm.
Whatever the trend, be sure to stay true to your unique style because ultimately, you want people to come to your channel for you, not a version of you that you put on once.
A whole generation of kids are growing up with YouTube for the first time in history. Remember, there was no such thing as YouTube as little as fifteen years ago.
So while being a professional YouTuber may seem like an unusual and exotic career choice for those of us born… let’s say “a little earlier”, it is an established industry for today’s children. It makes sense, then, that kids might aspire to become a YouTuber.
At the same time, it is perfectly natural for you, the parent, to have concerns about the safety and legalities of setting up a YouTube channel for your child. The Internet has proven to be a very useful tool for those who are prepared to harm children, be it through written or verbal abuse, or something far more sinister.
If you find yourself asking, “can I create a YouTube account for my child?”, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to give you all the information you need about this topic. Unfortunately, we can’t give you a clear cut answer up top—something we like to do whenever possible—because the answer is yes… and no. It depends on the child.
Can I Create a YouTube Account for My Child?
Most people would agree that a thirteen-year-old is a child—they certainly are in the eyes of the law. YouTube may not see a thirteen-year-old as an adult, but that is the age where they deem a child old enough to have their own YouTube account, though they still require parental permission up to the age of seventeen.
So, yes, you can create an account for your child—if that child is over the age of thirteen. This applies regardless of whether your child will be just watching YouTube, or actively making videos.
If you are only looking to set up a YouTube account for your child so that they can watch content, all is not lost. YouTube Kids is designed specifically for this purpose.
As a signed-in parent, you can create a kids profile that will allow you to set viewing preferences and recommendations, which is great for families with more than one child. YouTube Kids profiles are not merely about keeping inappropriate content away from young eyes—though that is an important part of it.
It is also about COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule) regulations, and not storing specific data about underage users. That is why YouTube will not allow you to set up a full account for your under-thirteen child, even if you were willing to disregard any safety or privacy concerns that might arise. This also extends to the YouTube browser experience.
If your child is signed in and attempts to go to youtube.com, they will be told that they can only access YouTube Kids. They will also be told that YouTube Kids is not available in-browser, which can be irritating for some parents who don’t necessarily want their child staring at a tiny phone screen for too long.
If, on the other hand, you do want to set the account up so that your child can make videos, you will have to wait until they are over thirteen, as YouTube Kids accounts cannot upload video.
We wouldn’t advise lying about your child’s age to open an account early, as that could lead to the account being banned if you are found out.
Are Their Loopholes?
There are plenty of YouTube channels that do—or have in the past—featured under-thirteens. Depending on the situation, there are varying degrees of risk to these potentially grey areas.
The first example we are going to use, and probably the safest in terms of running afoul of YouTube rules on underage YouTubers, is that of Andy Schrock. In this case, the channel is unquestionably Andy’s. The content revolves around him and his business, and there is no ambiguity that the channel belongs to an adult.
However, a good deal of the content on Andy’s channel involves his young children. In this manner, his children—his eldest son in particular—have been able to experience making YouTube videos entirely within the terms of YouTube’s rules on children.
This way of introducing your child to YouTube allows you to fully control your child’s exposure, while also being there with them to guide them as they get to grips with being on-camera.
The Family Model
Our next example is HobbyFamilyTV, formally HobbyKidsTV. The channel has been around for several years now, and features a range of video types involving the “HobbyFamily”, but as you may have guessed from the previous name of the channel, the focus of the videos used to be the children primarily.
In this case, the channel did not belong to the children, but the children nevertheless were the stars of the show.
The method of allowing your children to become YouTubers has the advantage of you being there to essentially chaperone their journey, while still giving them the independence of making their own content.
The Hands-Off Model
Understand that, when we say “hands-off”, we are not talking in a literal sense. If you have a YouTuber child, whether they are old enough to do it alone or not, we recommend maintaining a watchful eye over them, both to protect them from the unpleasantness of the Internet, and prevent them saying or doing things they might later regret.
Our example for this kind of YouTuber is EthanGamer, formally known as EthanGamerTV. Though he is now old enough to have his own YouTube account, Ethan joined YouTube at the astoundingly young age of seven years old. Clearly, that violates YouTube’s current rules on underage accounts.
The way Ethan’s parents handled this was to be hands-on in the management of the channel (along with any other social media) while leaving the actual content of the channel to Ethan. This allowed Ethan to essentially run the channel as though it were his (we can’t say how much editorial control his parents exercised) while technically not violating YouTube’s under-thirteen policy, because it wasn’t his.
Now, we class this one as a bit of a grey area. It clearly worked for Ethan, who is now a very successful YouTuber with over two and a half million subscribers, but YouTube’s rules were not so strict throughout most of his YouTube career. We can’t say with confidence that a similarly run account wouldn’t be shut down today.
Guidance Is Critical
However you choose to approach letting your child become a YouTuber, it is critical that you don’t leave them to do it alone.
The Internet is seemingly filling up with stories of influencers getting “cancelled” after some poorly judged joke or insensitive comment from when they were a lot younger surfaced. Children, by their very nature, are not good judges of things like proprietary.
They are still learning and need guidance as they learn. They should be allowed to make mistakes, but on camera in front potentially millions of people is not the place to make those mistakes.
Like any good parent, you’ll want to be fully informed about letting your child travel down the YouTube path, and that includes knowing how monetisation works for these kinds of channels.
Unless the content being produced by or with your child is being made for adults, it will likely fall afoul of YouTube’s COPPA restrictions. This means several things, among which are disabled comments and no targeted advertisements.
YouTube is not allowed to keep data on children, which means they cannot serve personalised advertisements to them. This, in turn, discourages advertisers from running their ads on these kinds of videos, since they want their ads to be as laser-focused as possible. After all, the more relevant the audience, the better the chance of their ads generating leads.
The restrictions on advertising do not mean your child’s channel cannot be monetised, but the potential revenue that monetisation can generate is significantly reduced when compared to a channel whose content is not aimed at children. There are other options for monetisation, of course, but that is a substantial topic in its own right.
Keeping Your Child Safe
The dangers of the Internet as it pertains to young children is well known, and it is no different for YouTubers. There is also emotional wellbeing to consider, as YouTube is notorious for having many commenters who are not exactly positive and full of praise.
As it turns out, YouTube’s policies do a lot to mitigate this kind of problem by disabling comments on content aimed at children.
However, if your child is on other social media networks, you should consider keeping an eye on the interactions they have through those channels.
Naturally, you’ll want to ensure your child’s safety against online predators, but there are no YouTube-specific measures to take in that regard. All of the good practice and common sense that is recommended for other parts of the Internet apply here.
If you decide to let your child start their own YouTube channel, either with a full account as they are over thirteen, or using one of the methods mentioned above for under-thirteens, we have some tips for getting started.
We assume you’re not trying to get picked up by a TV network here.
But don’t feel like anything you film has to be put online.
Watch your content back as objectively as you can before it ever sees a YouTube upload box. Get close friends and family to cast their opinions on it. If you’re not happy, go again and try to fix the things that weren’t working.
If your child is going solo, insist they do the same.
Many people have had to learn to live with the stuff they put on the Internet when they were younger without fully understanding the implications; you don’t want your child to be one of them.
Talk About It
Perhaps one of the best things you can do if you intend to let your child use the Internet in any form, especially as a YouTuber, is to have a conversation with them about the risks and dangers of being online.
If your child is not yet at a point where they can grasp the things you need to talk about, it may be a sign that they are not yet ready for this kind of step.
Create a Plan
Things invariably go more smoothly when there is a plan guiding the process, and there’s no reason to think things work any differently when creating a YouTube channel.
If your child wants to do their own thing, have them develop a plan of action first. If they are too young to do it without your help, make the plan with them.
Talk about things like how often videos will be posted, who the intended audience is, what kind of content they plan to make. How will they go about learning the necessary skills to create, edit, and upload content by themselves?
If equipment is a factor, talk about money. Will you be helping them buy the equipment, and are there stipulations? If not, how do they plan to afford what they need?
Having a conversation like this not only ensures your child knows exactly what they are getting into, it also tests how much they really want to do it.
Find Your Balance
One of the hardest things to do as a parent of a YouTuber child—and in parenting in general—is finding the right balance between protecting your child and letting them spread their wings.
As they get older and more comfortable with their life as a YouTuber, you need to find a healthy balance between keeping an eye them as they continue to develop and letting them grow and explore without your presence bearing down on them.
It can be challenging to step back, but your child must gain a sense of independence as they grow, and that applies to YouTube as much as it does to life in general.
And, when they’re old enough to go it alone entirely, you will have prepared them as best you can.
YouTube will be adding mid rolls to eight-minute long videos at the end of July.
I’m going to show you how you can turn this setting on, so you can get the most out of your YouTube channel, boost your CPM revenue, making a little bit more money, especially just before Christmas and all of this US election stuff.
Add Mid Rolls To 8 Minute Videos on YouTube [From July 2020]
Now, for some of you that already have videos over 10-minutes long, you know how this works. You can either automatically place things in based on the YouTube algorithm, and it will generate adverts in seemingly the best places, but it’s not always perfect. Or you can add them yourself using the video editor.
I did a video on how to add to your own mid rolls. I’ll put it in the info cards up here.
Now, all it’s doing is moving from 10 minutes to 8 minutes.
So now there’s more videos that are relevant. It may even be that they’ve noticed on the platform that people are just under the 10-minute threshold.
How many videos have you seen recently that are nine minutes and 30-odd seconds?
So, this moves it a little bit down and four minutes with a mid roll seems about right.
What you need to do is go to your Monetization page and you will see a warning.
You can click here to see more information, which basically says that we’re going to be readjusting them for eight-minute mid rolls.
You don’t always have to use the mid rolls if you don’t want to, but there’s also this option setting where you can now choose between: “Yes, I want to opt in. No, I don’t want to.”
If you opt in, it will help you set all of your future videos from eight minutes on, and even retro set the old ones for you as well.
If you want to know how these mid rolls work, once again, there’d be an info card here, or if you want to make money outside, I’ve done a play list and a video that you can see here somewhere on this screen.
So you have a Facebook group and you’re looking to find ways to monetize it. It’s not as easy as you think it would be. If you’ve got a Facebook page, you’re able to jump through hoops, qualified based on engagement metrics and start working with brands.
But a Facebook group is a community of people built around a specific ideal hobby or event.
I am the founder and admin for the Download Festival fan page on Facebook. The Download Festival is a music festival in the UK that is the spiritual child with the monsters of rock festival in the 1980s. That Facebook group has around about 60,000 people, but I don’t monetize the page. I simply spam them with a load of my videos from time to time and build up an audience that way.
But they’re ways that you can monetize a Facebook group.
1) Relevant and related affiliate links.
One is sharing relevant affiliate links. So using this Download Festival fan page, as an example, the festival, there’s music there and there’s campaign and relevant links could be run about a month or two before the festival.
I start sharing out camping equipment, torches, tents, gazebos, rucksacks boots, because you know, this festival is during June in the UK, so normally it is either baking hot with sunburn and hay fever, or you’re drowning.
These affiliate links, you can push towards places like Amazon, or if you have an arrangement with a camping company, my case, then you can push in that way.
But let’s say, you’re talking about Tech in your Facebook group. You can then push them to phones and cameras and laptops. Maybe you’re a filmographer and you’re pushing people towards cameras. Or in my case, on my YouTube channel, I’m helping you figure out what animations you need to use.
So you could use place it down below for intros and in-screens. Or if you’re trying to get subtitles, I’d push it down to something like rev.com, where they can easily subtitle all your content from just $1 to $2 per minute, per video, in any language.
You see, the relevancy matters because if I’m pushing on this channel halfway through teaching you about YouTube, I’m pushing you to go and buy a nightlight for a toddler, or I’m trying to sell you a tent, it’s not relevant and it won’t convert as much, but if you’re pushing relevant links on the page, not only does it mean that it blends in well with the thing, but it adds a value.
People could ask you, “Well, what for man 10 can I use?” And I could go, “Well, here’s 3/10 that you might want to look at, or here’s a torture. Here’s a bundle that they do, because it’s more relevant.”
It might help them do their research and it’s more likely to convert in the long run rather than me selling baby grows in a group that’s dedicated to male bodybuilding.
2) Digital products.
Now this is the next step up from affiliate marketing, where you possibly have a book or a download pack or a training course of some kind, the group is they’re learning about that specific field, so let’s say the group is about cameras.
This digital product could be a user guide menu on how to set a type of camera. It could be tips and tricks on lighting. It could be a download looks pack for grading your colors. It could be 10, 20 backing tracks because you’re there and you’re creating the music.
A digital product could be a great way to monetize that group while still offering them value. Once again, you don’t want to be giving breastfeeding tips to an entire group dedicated to kids’ toys, memorabilia, but a digital product can just float around, it could be connected to the group.
I will be launching one very soon for this channel myself and if it already exists, then there’s a link down below, and it could be something about helping you with your thumbnails or giving you loads of templates to play with.
Now this doesn’t directly monetize the page up point of impact.
But if you get people in your group that are interested in the content that you share to sign up for your newsletter, then you’ve got your way to engage them at a later date, should you have a digital product or should you be promoting in my case, a music festival, in which you can send an affiliate link where you buy your ticket through here and I get paid.
I have a newsletter here, which I’ve handed out a free ebook for ages, right? And then I just engage with news. Once again, I could be much more aggressive with the way I monetize my content, but I don’t.
There’s many people out there that will have it home. They’re selling you online courses, or they’re selling you this, or they’re selling you that, or they’re upgrading your membership.
I prefer to just educate you here, and then hopefully in the long run, if you feel that I can help you, then maybe you contact me and I can coach you, or you trust me enough to use the affiliate links down below. I don’t want to strong arm you, but a newsletter could be a good way to build a contact list of all people that are really interested in that specific niche.
So let’s say you’re really good at knitting, you want to build a mailing list of everyone that’s good at knitting or interested in that hobby. That newsletter can then send out patterns once a month, and then when you’re ready, you can sell a book with the patterns in it, or you can push them towards specific knitting needles, or you can start selling popular patterns.
So that say, here’s how to knit your own granny blanket or face mask or Willy warmer or whatever it happens to be.
4) Selling advertiser posts.
Now, this is a direct impact on the community that you’ve built there.
I don’t do this for my festival page, but the 60,000 people there, if there was a band that wanted to promote themselves, if there was a product that wanted to be launched, maybe a new camping supplier that wanted to pay me 50, 100, 200, or a thousand pounds to post an advert to have it pinned or to have it promoted, that’s a good way for you to make income based on your group.
You know the engagement that you can get, you know the impact that it might have on your metrics. You have the insights tab on Facebook, so you can drill down and give that juicy info to the possible advertiser.
The best thing is that you’re not giving personal data to the advertisers, so you’re still covered by GDPR, but you access to your community, you get money in return, kind of a win-win.
5) Associated podcasts.
Now I’ve got a podcast for my YouTube channel. It’s called the “Start Creating Podcast” and you can go and see it at “startcreatingpodcasts.com.” It’s hosted by anchor, it’s on Apple and Google Play and Stitcher and in most places that you search for your podcast.
I teach you on there some of my tricks and tips that I shared on here and every now and then I do very deeply personal ones as well. I’m able to break out of the 5-10 minute format here, and I can talk to you for 20, 30, 50 minutes waffling on in a slightly less edited format.
Podcasts can distill the hardcore audience within a page into something that they want to listen. Going back to the camera fanatics idea. You are in a group where there are 20,000 or 30,000 people, or even 200 or 300 people that use that group to learn about cameras.
Each week you could sit down and you could talk about the latest camera, the latest camera news, the latest tech, the latest shots. You could get out the photographers on them. They can tell you how they shoot a wedding, how they shoot action shots, how they do skydiving.
The podcast is the way that you monetize that page because you bring them over to that audience, and then you can start putting adverts in against that podcast or using those metrics to start inviting guests on that may pay you to be on your podcast, or in the long run, pushing people to affiliate things through that podcast because they trust you and are willing to listen to you on a regular basis.
6) Charity fundraisers
Six, you can monetize your Facebook group with charity fundraisers.
Now this doesn’t directly put money in your pocket, but it doesn’t have to, really. Let’s say your group is all about cancer survivors or COVID survivors or Grenfell or MLS,Alzheimer’s, dementia, veterans of war.
Here’s your chance to give back because they’ve given to you with the support. You can put up your charity fundraiser, everyone’s motivated and highly engaged. I’m not suggesting that you do it every day, but you can monetize that audience to help a set cause by just picking a charity fundraiser, promoting it, and hopefully you could have other people that have gone through similar situations.
Appearing on camera for some is like being asked to roll over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
Not gonna happen.
But, you want to have a YouTube channel. You want to have your content out there for the world to see, and maybe earn a little (or a lot!) of extra cash from the YouTube Partner Program.
The good news is there are lots of YouTube channels with shy content creators who are making barrels of money without ever even appearing on camera. In fact, many of them don’t even use a camera to make their videos.
But how do you do it, and what kind of content could you make?
This article is perfect for you! I’m going to cover the types of content you could make, how to produce and edit it, then close with some finishing touches.
Ready? Read on.
Choosing a Content Niche for YouTube.
The most successful channels on YouTube produce content for a single, often narrow, niche.
Don’t make the mistake of producing random content on different topics. One day uploading a video on technology and the next day one about celebrities – it confuses viewers.
It’s easy to set up multiple channels on YouTube under the same Google Account. So if you have two passions you want to create content for, make two different channels.
Choosing your channel niche is a critical decision to make when starting out. It also helps if you have an enthusiasm for the topic, but it’s not essential.
Make sure you feel you can routinely produce content for it, without it becoming tedious. And what is most important is that the niche you choose has enough demand to make it worthwhile.
How do you measure demand on YouTube? You can use Google Trends tool to measure overall viewer appetite on YouTube and compare it against popular niches. Look at the image below – it looks like my Unicorn themed channel idea is a non-starter.
Another way to validate your idea is by searching for videos over the last month and sorting by view count.
Look at the view counts to see if there are lots of views for your chosen niche. How many views should you look for? Well, the more, the better, but you should be looking for several videos with at least 1 million views.
Once you have picked your niche, then decide next on the type of non-camera content you want to produce.
Content Types You Can Make For YouTube.
There is a wide range of content you can make that doesn’t require looking into a camera, fussing with lighting, or getting sound levels perfect.
Your chosen niche might already determine what type of content to produce. For example, if you want to start a tips and tricks gaming channel, then screen recording is the best way to go.
But for some niches will be possible to make different types of content, so let’s take a look at your options.
Editing together clips from other sources into compilations seems like an obvious choice for a no-camera YouTube channel.
There are some very successful channels making obscene amounts of money with this content type.
Here is a popular example. Fail Army have 14.6M subscribers and post compilations of funny videos collected from around the web.
There are plenty of niches to go at too, from comedy, gaming, and sports etc. But it is not as easy as finding a few clips, splicing them together and uploading a new video.
Copyright is the problem here. If you don’t own the rights to use the clips you select for your video, then you could face a copyright strike from YouTube.
Get three strikes, and YouTube could terminate your channel.
So how do the current compilation channels do it? There are online services like Jukin Media, where you can buy a distribution licence for clips, but these can be pricy.
There is a workaround, however.
Fair Use of Copyrighted Material.
You can use copyrighted material in your videos without the rights owners permission through a principle known as fair use.
Fair use is a legal concept that is common to many countries where you can use copyrighted material as long as your usage is transformative.
Transformative means that you change the work in a meaningful way. This could be by adding a commentary over it to explain, criticise, or to report on the clip.
One point to note is that YouTube doesn’t decide what is or isn’t fair use – only the courts can determine that. So fighting a copyright strike can be a thankless task, likely to cause stress and take a long time to resolve.
So if you do get a copyright strike, sometimes it’s better to simply remove the clip in question and move on.
There is a filter on YouTube that returns content where the copyright on a video is creative commons.
Creative Commons means that you can freely re-use the content of the video as long as you link back to the source in your video description.
Watch out, though.
If someone has uploaded a video marked as creative commons but used copyrighted material from elsewhere, your re-use of it could still attract a copyright strike from YouTube – it’s a minefield.
Much better to create your own copyright-free content. So let’s look at some of your options.
YouTube Videos Using Images and Stock Video.
This type of content requires you to record a voiceover track on a video made up of images and stock b-roll clips.
An excellent example of a channel that uses this method is Alux.
Focusing on luxury items and the lifestyles of the mega-rich, Alux uses stock photos, manufacturers product photos, and stock b-roll footage to create their videos.
They are the kind of videos that are easy to make, and the topic niches are only limited by your imagination.
Now if you’re extra shy and you don’t even want to even do a voice over for your videos, then you can use free text to voice apps. If you feel they sound a bit robotic, you could hire someone from Fiverr to do the talking for you.
You can even keep it basic and produce a presentation in Powerpoint or Google Slides. If you’re good at explaining things to people, then this could be the method for you.
Many people also use this method to promote affiliate programs in the video description, and make money right out of the gate before they get accepted to the YouTube Partner Program.
YouTube Podcasting Videos
If you have something to say and are already thinking about starting a podcast, then publishing it to YouTube is another way to distribute your content.
You don’t have to be a Joe Rogan or Tim Ferris to make a success of this. If you know a niche inside out and are enthusiastic about a topic, you can build up an audience. YouTube’s viewers use the platform for more than just visual entertainment.
Whether they are at work, relaxing, or doing household chores, people like to have some background audio as they go about their daily lives. Meet this demand by uploading your podcast to YouTube and display a static image for the visual.
Tim Ferris does it, so you don’t have to show a studio feed as well, provided you have something to say that people want to hear.
YouTube Animation Videos
Starting an animation channel is a popular way to have a YouTube channel without needing a camera or showing your face.
There are several ways to approach an animation channel.
If you are already artistically gifted, then you can use one of the many animation software packages available to create engaging content.
You don’t even need to create long animations either.
OneyNG has over 2.37M subscribers and 10s of millions of views from uploading short, funny, animations, which often revolve around a single gag.
If you are not so artistically inclined, then you can use applications that help you create simplistic animations for use in your videos.
Better Than Yesterday is a good example of this type of content. They are near 1M subscribers and have simple narration over basic animation.
YouTube Screenshare Videos
There are thousands of people out there, right now, who want to learn how to do something, that you already know all about.
Whether it’s an Instagram hack, learning how to configure WordPress, or getting cheap insurance online, they look to YouTube for help. Can you create short videos to show them how to do it?
The example below shows only the phone screen as the user demonstrates Instagram hacks. There is not even a voiceover explaining the tricks!
YouTube Gaming Videos
Another screen share content type that deserves its very own section here is gaming.
Sharing sequences from games showing funny clips, how to’s, and competition footage is immensely popular on YouTube.
You may already know the famous channels like PewDiePie, Total Gaming, and more recently, Mr Beast Gaming. But don’t think it’s too late to enter this niche today – it’s enormous.
If you choose this type of content, it’s best if you focus on only one game for your channel.
Creating lots of videos all about one game helps YouTube to see your channel as an authority in the topic. This means a higher chance of your content getting recommended by the YouTube algorithm for people to watch next.
Vanoss Gaming is just a bunch of guys talking and laughing over screen recordings of them playing games. With over 21.5 million subscribers, they are obviously doing something right.
YouTube Sound Channels.
As mentioned previously, there are plenty of people who have YouTube running in the background as they go about their daily lives.
Some people like an ambient soundtrack as they study and others use relaxing music to create a mood for meditation.
These kinds of channels are attractive to run. If you can get viewers to start watching your videos, then it’s likely that they will view to the end – something that YouTube looks for when ranking content.
Yellow Brick Cinema is one of the biggest channels in this niche. They have an extensive back catalogue of videos with millions of views and likely as much in the bank from the YouTube partner program.
Producing Content for YouTube.
Producing video content without a camera means using software tools instead. Depending on the type of content you want to make the cost ranges from free of charge to paying a monthly subscription charge of up to $40+.
Screen Recording Software
Whether you plan on recording gaming action or want to show people how to do something on a computer, you are going to need a screen recorder.
There are loads of free options out there. Some good, some not so good. The top ones are:
OBS Studio. This one is open-source software, meaning it’s made by volunteers and is entirely free of charge. It can be tricky to get up and running, with some claiming it has a big learning curve and can be complex to use. It has plenty of features and will run on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Nvidia Shadowplay. Nvidia, the makers of graphics cards, also provides free software that makes it easy to record gameplay. You can record video, make short GIFs, and even live stream direct to YouTube. One to check out if you are thinking about a gaming channel. For Windows PCs only.
Icecream Screen Recorder. Another screen capture software that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It has a free version and is much easier to use than OBS Studio. The free version only lets you record for five minutes. But you can upgrade to Pro to get no time limits and more output formats for a one-time fee of $19.95.
Open Toonz. For 2D animation, Open Toonz is free software which is considered a good allrounder. There are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube, but if you’ve not used animation software before it will need time and practice.
It’s open-source software so you’ll never have to pay anything, and it works on Windows and Mac.
Doodley. Doodley is animation software more suitable to those who aren’t good at freehand drawing. You can quickly get up to speed and produce excellent and engaging how-to type videos.
You build screens with a drag-and-drop interface using the cloud-based software, which then animates the images together for you. It costs $39 per month to use, with an Enterprise version that gives you more templates and fonts for $69 per month.
There are lots of ways to put together a slide show — Google Slides and Microsoft Powerpoint to name two. Compiling images into a video is possible using inbuilt Windows software. But, to create a video slideshow, there are much better free alternatives.
Kapwing. Kapwing is an excellent tool for creating slide show videos for YouTube. Upload some images, add a few captions, and add an audio track easily. It also compiles the video for you in the right format for YouTube.
For shorter videos or if you are just getting started, then the free version will work just fine. To create longer videos and have a workspace that stores all your content then you can upgrade to the Pro version for $20 per month.
Vidnami. Vidnami is a good option for quickly building videos using little more than a text-based video script. Paste your text into the software, Vidnami reads it, then selects appropriate images and creates your video automatically.
It even creates an automated voice-over and on-screen captions. The voice is a little robotic but is an option if you don’t like to hear the sound of your own voice.
Editing Videos for YouTube.
Whatever kind of content you produce, it must look professional. There are many channels in most niches now all competing for digital eyeballs, so the content you create should be slick and polished.
YouTube Studio, the channel management platform provided by YouTube, does have a basic inbuilt editing tool.
It’s really best used for a little bit of trimming here and there. It’s not suitable for making the kind of high-quality videos you should be uploading.
There are, again, plenty of free options available, so don’t feel that you have to splash out for a high-end editing suite like Adobe Premier.
For those that have a Mac computer, the bundled iMovie is a really great option. Many successful YouTube channels use nothing more than this to edit videos.
With iMovie, you can use transitions to piece together multiple clips, add sound, titles, and backgrounds. It can do pretty much all you need.
For Windows and Linux users, and perhaps Mac users that want another option, OpenShot Video Editor is an open-source video editor, which is free to download and use.
Taking Your YouTube Content to the Next Level.
Along with proper editing, to make your videos as compelling as possible, add in extra touches. B-Roll clips, animated intros, and subtitles help make your content more engaging and accessible, and are all essential for growing a successful channel.
Let’s look at some tools you can use to add these kinds of extras to your videos.
B-roll is a term from the earliest days of the Hollywood movie industry. The A-roll reel was the main footage for the movie, and an identical B-roll reel was used for filler and cuts. Back then physical celluloid film was cut and spliced together to edit and make a movie.
Today, B-roll refers to any secondary material that you use for filler.
You can get free B-roll video from websites like Pexels and Pixabay. They offer short clips uploaded by amateur photographers which are copyright free and can be used by anyone.
The selection available is OK on these sites, but to have the best choice from an absolute mountain of B-roll clips, take a look at Story Blocks – I started using them in July 2020 and it has helped me level up my level game hugely, leading to great growth on YouTube.
Approaching 900,000 items of stock video, backgrounds, music, and video intros; there is plenty here for you to use to enhance your videos.
The cost varies from $10 to $80 per month on a subscription basis, depending on the amount and types of media you want to download.
Professional looking YouTube Intro/Outro
No self-respecting YouTube channel should be without a professional-looking intro/outro. It’s not just something to have for the sake of it either – your intro helps to develop and reinforce your brand.
Over time as your viewer subscriptions grow, your intro and brand serve to communicate trust.
If viewers like the content you produce, then as soon as they see your familiar branding, they will start watching your video with a positive view.
You can develop an intro/outro with Story Blocks mentioned above. But, if you don’t subscribe to that service, an alternative tool is Placeit.
I have used PlaceIt in the past for client branding – YouTube banners, channel intro and outros, even stock mock ups – I highly recommend you check out their templates.
With Placeit, you can create logos, animated intro/outros, and other branding graphics you can use on also use on sites like Facebook and Instagram. You can even generate slideshow videos for YouTube using the software.
Placeit costs $14.95 monthly for unlimited access to all the features. You could sign up for just one month and generate all the graphics you need. Alternatively, save 50% upfront with an annual subscription.
Add Subtitles and Captions to Your YouTube Videos.
First, we need some definitions.
Captions – These are the text displayed on your video that matches what is being said by the presenter or narrator.
Subtitles – These are like captions, but also carry additional information for the viewer, such as sound representations for the hard of hearing. They also refer to foreign language translations of the speech in a video.
Why might you add in captions or subtitles? It opens up your content to many more viewers.
Captions are useful for people who are consuming content on the go and aren’t in a position to listen to the audio. Or maybe watching on the sofa while their partner is glued to the TV.
If you subtitle your video into other commonly spoken languages, then you get to reach a wider audience from other countries.
Now you could add captions yourself, going through your content and painstakingly adding text one piece at a time. Or use a service like Rev.com.
They charge by the minute for speech that is captioned or subtitled, so you pay a variable fee per video.
I use Rev.com to help me caption my videos in bulk and I can even do it in multiple foreign languages to help maximise my international reach and get more views for my YouTube videos.
Setting up a successful YouTube channel without a camera is very possible. There are many people doing it already and achieving lots of views, subscribes, and Partner Program earnings.
But competition is increasing day by day, so to give your channel the best chance of success, you need to make sure that you produce high quality videos.
This means good editing, addition of intros/outros, b-roll, and adding captions too if applicable.
Get going with some of the ideas above and see what you can produce for your channel. Good luck.