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SOCIAL MEDIA YOUTUBE

Can YouTube Ads Be Blocked?

When talking about blocking YouTube ads, there are two ways in which it can be done; as a YouTuber, and as a YouTube viewer.

  • As a YouTuber, you can choose to block certain ads from your videos, such as would be the case if you are running a family-friendly channel and do not want certain brands associated with your content.
  • As a YouTube viewer, you might want to block ads which, as even many YouTubers who make their living from those ads can admit, can get a little excessive at times.

Whichever it is, we will cover the details of how you go about it and what it means for both you and the YouTubers or viewers in this post, so let’s dive in!

Blocking Ads as a YouTuber

So, as we mentioned above, YouTubers can block certain types of ads from appearing with your content. More specifically, you can block certain URLs from showing up in your AdSense ads (the ads at the side of your videos), and you can block ads in sensitive categories from showing up before, during, or after your videos.

It is no longer possible to opt-out of ads entirely, however. It used to be the case that being ineligible for the YouTube Partner Programme—or choosing not to participate it—meant that you would not see any ads on your videos. YouTube has since changed its policies to state that it will run ads on content regardless of whether the YouTuber uploading it is part of the YouTube Partner Programme.

You can’t block all ads, and you can’t block specific ads, but you do have some control over what ads are shown on your channel.

Can YouTube Ads Be Blocked? 1

Blocking Ads as a YouTube Viewer

There is all manner of ad blockers available in various forms, such as browser plugins and stand-alone applications. These use various tricks—such as denying access to certain URLs—to keep ads from cluttering your pages and interrupting your content.

In theory.

In practice, this is an arms race, and ad providers—including YouTube—are constantly finding new ways to stop ad blockers from working. Ad blockers are also ineffective at stopping the disruption that ads cause in many cases. For example, they may prevent an AdSense ad from loading, but the space dedicated to that ad could still be there.

Similarly, YouTube does not verify its ability to load an ad before breaking up the video you are watching, meaning that your viewing will still be interrupted by ad breaks in most cases. The difference lies in the fact that once the video has been interrupted, you will get an awkward pause while YouTube tries to load the ad, and then a half-hearted request to click on a button when the ad didn’t load.

What this means is that in many cases, you are making a personal stand against ads, but not actually avoiding the disruption they cause.

Is Ad Blocking Ethical?

Bearing in mind that you will often still suffer a disruption of some kind, is it ethical to block ads anyway? This is one of those questions that has a very simple answer.

In short, no, it is not ethical to block ads on YouTube. Whichever way you look at it, you are depriving revenue of someone who is providing content for free. Whether that someone is your favourite YouTuber or the YouTube platform itself is irrelevant. You may disagree with something the YouTuber (or YouTube) is doing, but the proper response to that would be to not watch their content. If you are consuming their content, it is only fair that they be compensated for providing it. And, whether you are viewing it for enjoyment or hate-viewing, it’s worth remembering that your ad views may be keeping them going. If you stop, they may stop, too.

If you want to keep supporting your favourite YouTubers but think the ad placements are egregious, you might consider YouTube Premium. The content may no longer be free, but the ads are gone and you are still supporting those YouTubers.

What the Law Says About AdBlockers

The law is a tricky beast at the best of times, and that doesn’t change here. Also, remember that laws may differ depending on where you are in the world. Generally speaking, however, AdBlockers themselves are not illegal.

As a user of the Internet, you have the right to filter your browsing experience however you see fit. Or, to put it another way, nobody has the right to make you watch something you don’t want to.

However!

The catch here is that platforms like YouTube also have the right to decide to who to serve their content to. If they decide to withhold access to their content from people who use AdBlockers, you would be in violation of the relevant laws by circumventing that.

Or, to sum it up more succinctly, you are well within your rights to block ads, and YouTube is well within their rights to refuse to show you videos if you do.

Final Thoughts

Ads can certainly be a nuisance. And, as mentioned above, even YouTubers who make a living from ad revenue can probably admit the pairs of unskippable 18-seconds ads, seeming ad breaks every two minutes, and unskippable ads that are longer than the video you’re trying to watch is a bit much. Unfortunately, however, no one is forcing you to watch YouTube, and your only legal and ethical recourse to excessive advertising is to stop giving YouTube your custom.

You can, of course, complain about things to YouTube representatives, or try similar avenues such as raising social media awareness, but things like that typically require a lot of interest to get noticed and take time to build up that interest.

Ultimately, the best way to get around ads on YouTube without still being disrupted by the attempt to serve the ads and without depriving your favourite creators of their earned revenue is to purchase YouTube Premium. This way, you get your content ad-free, and they still get paid!

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
SOCIAL MEDIA YOUTUBE

Does YouTube Track You?

It seems we can’t go anywhere on the Internet without worrying about being tracked by someone. Online security is a more pressing matter than ever, with so much of our lives being online, it makes sense that we’d all be more concerned about keeping our privacy private.

Being a Google company, there won’t be many people out there who are naive enough to think that YouTube doesn’t engage in a little tracking of its own, but there are levels to that tracking. So, if you’re looking for a short answer to the question posed in this post’s title, yes, YouTube can and does track you, but if you’d like to know a bit more about what that tracking entails, keep reading.

Logged In Vs Anonymous

The first distinction to make here is the difference between a YouTube user who is logged in and one who is not. Obviously, when you are logged in, YouTube knows a great deal about you and is able to explicitly keep a detailed log of your activities. Indeed, their tracking in this respect is a feature of the platform. YouTube can’t make recommendations based on your interests and viewing history if they do not keep track of what that viewing history is! This, unfortunately, is an unavoidable aspect of using the platform. There is no way to opt out of being tracked in this regard, even if you pay for YouTube Premium to get rid of ads. Ads are, ultimately, the reason for tracking you in the first place, since advertisers want to serve you the most relevant ads possible.

But YouTube can’t be sure that you won’t cancel your Premium subscription in the future, and if and when that happens, they want to have all their data on you for the ads they’re going to start serving you again.

Of course, anonymous users are not exempt from being tracked on YouTube, but they have a little more privacy than their logged in counterparts. For one thing, YouTube does not have the user data that you enter when you sign up for an account, such as your date of birth, gender, and other information of that nature.

Still, YouTube (and any other platform for that matter) can keep personalised records for anonymous users thanks to their “digital fingerprint”. This is a swath of data that they can read about you, such as the device you are using to view YouTube, your IP address, what operating system you have… even what fonts you have installed! All of this information makes combines to paint a picture almost as unique as a fingerprint, and certainly unique enough for YouTube to keep tabs on you.

Again, this is all for the purpose of advertising. YouTube will try to build as accurate a picture of you as possible so that they can serve the most relevant ads. The more relevant the ads, the higher the chance that you’ll click them, and the more you click those ads, the better the perceived performance of YouTube as an advertising platform resulting in more advertisers being willing to put their money into YouTube.

Does YouTube Track You? 2

Is Being Tracked by YouTube Bad?

People have varying opinions about the ethics of companies like YouTube tracking your online activities but it’s worth remembering that YouTube is a service that—if you’re not paying for YouTube Premium—is free, but being free to you does not mean YouTube do not still have monumental bills to pay from all the bandwidth and employees and more.

Tracking the people who use their service is part of the mechanism by which YouTube makes money, which is an integral part of them being able to provide the service at all. At the end of the day, you are choosing to use YouTube, and in doing so, you agree to the way they run the platform, which includes tracking you. If you are not comfortable with the tracking, you don’t have to use YouTube.

This may seem like an impractical alternative since YouTube is pretty much the only game in town for a certain kind of content creator, but it is, ethically speaking, the only alternative to accepting the tracking you will face if you use their platform.

Can I Avoid Being Tracked by YouTube?

With that being said, what if you still want to circumvent YouTube’s tracking? Well, the first thing to note is that it is impossible if you are logged in. Logged in users will always have their viewing history and viewing habits logged.

If you are prepared to use YouTube without being logged in, you can get around YouTube’s anonymous tracking to a degree by doing things like using different devices and proxy servers. Of course, most of us only have access to a limited number of devices, which makes this a rather limited solution, but there are also virtual machines as an option.

Deleting YouTube History

You can’t control everything YouTube stores about you, but if you are a logged-in user, you can choose to erase your viewing history, which constitutes a significant part of the data YouTube keeps on its users.

To do this, head over to the Watch History on YouTube and click “See All”, where you will find a variety of controls at your disposal These include the ability to clear all of your watch history, pause your watch history (so views won’t be recorded to your watch history), as well as controls relating to search history and comments. You can also remove individual videos from your watch history from within the video page itself.

Final Thoughts

Tracking is, unfortunately, an unavoidable reality of the modern Internet. Privacy is an understandable hot-button issue, but the fact is many web services and online platforms we rely on would not be able to deliver the services they do if they couldn’t track their users in this manner.

That being said, you are not completely powerless. If this is an important thing for you, you can try using YouTube logged out and through a proxy.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS ON YOUTUBE SOCIAL MEDIA YOUTUBE

Fake Views on YouTube [Are they worth it?]

YouTube is big business, and, unfortunately, that means a lot of people are willing to take risks to get an edge when searching for success on the platform. One of the more obvious ways of doing this is to literally buy your success. You can buy likes, subscribers, and, the focus of this post, views.

Unfortunately, life is rarely easy, and YouTube is no different. Shortcuts like these invariable end in metaphorical tears, so we thought we’d outline what we mean by fake views, and why you should steer clear of them if you want to succeed on the platform.

What Are Fake Views?

When we talk about fake views, we are not simply talking about views you have paid for. After all, when you pay YouTube to promote your channel through their advertising platform, you are essentially paying for views. The difference is that there is no guarantee on how many views you will get since you are paying for advertising.

The kind of fake views we are referring to are typically sold in amounts, and though there may be a margin for error in the number of views you actually get, the seller will often specify a number, and perhaps even guarantee that that as a minimum.

But how can that work?

Think about it, you can’t guarantee a viewer will want to watch any given video, that’s not how people work. The seller would have to have an enormous pool of YouTube viewers ready and waiting, spanning a diverse range of interests so that when you come along ready to pay for their eyeball time, the seller will be able to find enough viewers to meet the number of views they have promised.

And then there’s the compensation for those viewers. If you’re going to have a large pool of YouTube viewers on retainer, they’re probably going to want something in return. The promise of engaging content that interests them won’t be much of a draw, since that’s the same promise that YouTube makes for simply having an account. Then consider that you’re only being charged a few pounds or dollars (or whatever your local currency is) for these views, how much can the seller really offer these viewers?

Well, the answer is, of course, nothing. There are often no human eyeballs on the other side of these views, just bots. The seller can afford to give you 10,000 views for £5 (or whatever the going rate is) because they have already invested whatever time or money they need to in building their bot farm, and the rest is simply a matter of entering your video’s URL and clicking a button.

But, with that being said, are these views any good?

Do Fake Views Work?

Whether or not these fake views works is a subjective question, since “working” depends on what your goal is. If you just want to inflate your view counts for the appearance, then yes, fake views are effective. The numbers under your video will go up and it will look like you have far more viewers than you actually did.

This is a bit of a hollow game, however, since these views don’t translate into anything more than the numbers themselves. And, if you don’t have that many real human viewers, nobody will really care that you have tens of thousands of views.

What about more material metrics of success? Let’s face it, the thing most of us are concerned with when it comes to YouTube success is how much revenue our channel can generate for us. Well, that’s where fake views really start to fall apart as a path to success.

Revenue is generated from ad views and YouTube Premium subscriptions. Clearly, the fake viewer seller is not going to be buying YouTube Premium subscriptions for their bots—that would be a quick way to lose a lot of money. As for ad views, a sizable portion of ad views earn their money on interaction (clicking the ads) and bots don’t do that.

There is still money to be made from simply viewing an ad, of course, but YouTube—or, more specifically, Google—have built their business on selling advertising, and they’re not about to let that business collapse because advertisers are sick of wasting their money on fake views that don’t generate leads.

In other words, YouTube is very good at sniffing out fake views, and the improvement of that skill is one that is in constant and active development. It can also affect the numbers game we mentioned above since YouTube has been known to erase fake views from a video’s view count after the fact.

Another negative side of fake views is the way YouTube sees your channel. Even if a fake view gets through YouTube’s elite fake view defences, YouTube is going to see your channel getting a lot of views and very little engagement, which is a bad sign for your recommendation prospects. This means that, not only are fake views not helping you succeed in the short term, they can actively harm your chances of succeeding the right way in the long term.

Are Fake Views Allowed?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but fake views are not permitted under YouTube terms of service. Or, rather, you are not permitted to artificially inflate viewing figures.

Practically speaking, if you are not a serial offender, the worst you’ll face is probably your fake views being removed and your money wasted. That being said, YouTube could decide to take more severe action against you—such as banning you from the platform—and you should be prepared for that eventuality if you decide to take this risk.

Final Thoughts

Like many shortcuts in life, fake views are not worth it in the long term. And, with YouTube constantly improving their fake view prevention mechanisms, it is increasingly becoming the case that fake views offer little benefit in the short term, also.

It takes patience, but genuine, organic growth is the way to go, and there are plenty of resources right here on this blog to help you do just that!

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE LISTS SOCIAL MEDIA YOUTUBE

Top YouTube Alternatives

Given the body of work on this website and the YouTube channel, this topic may seem a little unexpected. It shouldn’t be, however, as knowing your alternatives allows you to make the best of any situation. There are times where YouTube isn’t the best platform for a particular piece of content, and it’s not necessarily a failing on YouTube’s part.

In this post, we’re going to look at some of the top YouTube alternatives, outline what makes them different (if anything), and talk about when and why you might want to use them over YouTube in some cases. But, before we get into the alternatives, there’s something we need to address.

Online Platform Competition

It’s perfectly normal to think of comparisons like this as a competition, but that’s not really applicable most of the time. When you consider services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, you can make a direct comparison because the services are essentially offering the same thing. They can enter into this kind of battle because there is a lot of subjectivity about who is better. If you like the shows on Netflix more, you’re going to prefer that service. In this manner, both services can co-exist.

Things are a little different for platforms like YouTube. Essentially, everyone is striving to offer something a little different, because going into direct competition is dangerous. If one platform manages to get a significant upper hand, it can spell the end for the other platform.

So, what does this mean for this post? Simply put, when directly comparing YouTube to an alternative, the “best” platform will often come down to how you are using it.

Anyway, enough of the caveats, let’s get to the alternatives!

Top YouTube Alternatives 1

Top YouTube Alternatives

Bear in mind that these alternatives are in no particular order. We’re not saying the first on the list is the “best”.

Twitch

Probably the most widely known user-generated video streaming service out there is Twitch, the Amazon-owned gaming platform. Now, if you know anything about Twitch, you will already know an important difference here.

Twitch is primarily a live streaming service.

While YouTube has recently started moving into the live streaming business in a big way, Twitch is mostly focused on it. There is some functionality to upload videos to Twitch as you would with YouTube, but you need to have Partner or Affiliate status to gain access to that functionality. Additionally, the service really isn’t intended for this kind of content, so don’t expect anywhere near the levels of engagement (or revenue) as you would get from a YouTube upload.

For live streaming, however, Twitch is really the only other game in town. In fact, it’s more than fair to say (for now) that Twitch is the top dog when it comes to live streaming. If your content is heavy on the live streaming, you won’t find a more ideal platform with as large a potential audience as Twitch can offer, other than YouTube that is.

DailyMotion

When talking about direct competition for YouTube, DailyMotion is probably the closest thing you will get to a service that tries to beat YouTube at its own game. It even has a similar layout and many of the same features, such as playlists, recommendations, and categories.

The main appeal of DailyMotion is the restrictions, of which there are fewer. Of course, there are still limitations on what you can upload, but you are far less likely to run into trouble with DailyMotion over things like graphic content and nudity than you are with YouTube.

There are also fewer users, which in turn means less money to be made. The flip side of this is that the general quality of user-generated content tends to be higher. Another downside is that users are limited to 4GB of uploads unless they are a pro user, which means paying a subscription fee.

Metacafe

Metacafe, like DailyMotion, offers a recognisably YouTube-like service, though it actually predates YouTube having been around since 2003. The focus for Metacafe is on shorter content (imagine some kind of lovechild between TikTok and YouTube), and tends to be of a lighthearted nature.

As a creator, you can get paid making content on Metacafe, with the going rate being about $5.00 per 1,000 views.

Vimeo

Vimeo started out very much a YouTube competitor, but over the years has grown into a more specific niche that has worked very well for it. If we could offer a single phrase to compare Vimeo to YouTube, it would be “quality over quantity”.

Don’t get us wrong, we love YouTube, but there is a lot of low-quality content on there. Vimeo isn’t going to give your fill of funny animal videos, but you will find award-winning shorts, premium events, and a range of other high-quality types of content.

Vimeo enforces strict quality guidelines to ensure that this level of quality is maintained. They also place quite heavy restrictions on their users, such as a 500MB per month upload limit, though you can pay to upgrade to a 5GB per month limit.

Final Thoughts

If you were looking for an alternative to YouTube that offers exactly the same service, the closest thing you’re going to find is DailyMotion, though the service isn’t identical, and the userbase is far smaller. For users making independent movies or other types of higher-quality content, Vimeo is probably the way to go. Streamers need look no further than Twitch.

Ultimately, every service has its strengths and weaknesses, but for the service offered by YouTube, you’re not going to find a like-for-like alternative that does things as well. It’s all about deciding what you need and looking for the service that does that the best.

Of course, these are certainly not the only alternatives online, so we thought we’d include a few honourable mentions that didn’t make the cut;

  • Vevo
  • 9GAG TV
  • DTube
  • Crackle
  • Internet Archives Video Section

Some of these are alternatives in a purely viewing sense, but again, it’s all about what you need from your video streaming service.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
BUSINESS TIPS SOCIAL MEDIA YOUTUBE

Can YouTube Access Your Camera?

As concerns about online privacy increase and the abilities of nefarious parties online continue to expand, the worry over things like websites accessing your webcam without permission naturally increases alongside them. While YouTube is not a “nefarious party” in an online security sense (though a healthy distrust of huge corporations is rarely a bad thing), users understandably still want to maintain their privacy, even from platforms like YouTube.

To give a brief answer to this question, no, YouTube cannot access your camera… unless you allow them to! And you will need to allow them to for certain activities, such as recording shorts through the YouTube app or live streaming directly through YouTube Studio.

YouTube In The Browser

Any reputable browser, such as Chrome, Firefox—or any of the other major web browsers in use today—will explicitly present you with a choice when a website wants to use your camera. We can’t speak for every browser on the market, of course, but if you use an obscure browser, you should be at least knowledgeable enough to stay secure while using that browser.

With the more well-known browsers, however, you will always be asked before a website is granted permission to anything on your device that is not part of standard web browsing protocol. You can revoke these permissions at any time, though the precise steps you need to take to do this will depend on the browser you are using.

So, when using a browser, yes, YouTube can access your camera, but you have to allow it, and you are free to revoke that permission any time you wish.

YouTube will only ask permission to use your camera if you are doing something that requires it, such as live streaming directly through the YouTube site. This is important since requests to access your camera at seemingly inappropriate times could be a sign that your computer is infected with something malicious.

YouTube On Your Phone

Things are a little more straightforward on a mobile device, such as an Android phone or iPhone, assuming you use the YouTube app and do not go through your phone’s browser.

With the app, you will likely be asked for the relevant permissions the first time you run it. If you have previously denied those permissions and now want to grant them, you can take care of that in your phone’s settings.

The scope for requiring the use of your camera for YouTube on your phone is a little narrower since you cannot live stream from your mobile device (though you can set up streams on it), but you can still record shorts through the app in much the same way that Snaps are recorded. Or, for those of you with longer-term memories; Vine videos.

Can YouTube Access Your Camera?

Is YouTube Trustworthy

It’s all well and good talking about how you can grant and deny YouTube permission to use your camera, but is YouTube trustworthy in the first place?

Unlike the aforementioned nefarious parties, YouTube is beholden to a range of international laws regarding what they can and cannot do. There is also a free market aspect to the situation; if YouTube suddenly decided to start filming you randomly without giving you a proper warning and without explicit consent, they would very quickly lose users

All of this adds up to a trustworthy company in terms of safety, though as mentioned above, it is perfectly normal to have some reservations about blindly trusting a corporation. Still, you should not have to worry about YouTube stealing your webcam for malicious purposes.

Camera Precautions

When on a computer (rather than a phone), especially if the computer in question is a laptop, you may have some warning that your camera has been hijacked. Many webcams these days have a light that is activated when the webcam is recording, and the same goes for certain models of DLSR and other more expensive cameras. If you notice your camera lit up when it shouldn’t be, you should look into that immediately. If you are not currently using a website or an application that uses your camera, your computer could be infected with a virus or other malicious software.

Of course, not all cameras give a visible or audible warning that they are active, and while having a camera that does warn you is handy, the best defence against your camera being used without your consent will always be to ensure that you are being safe on the Internet. Don’t download files from unknown sources, be careful about the links you click, and keep your anti-virus software updated with the latest definitions.

Do I Have To Give YouTube Permission To Access My Camera?

If you are not prepared to grant access to your camera to even a company like YouTube… you don’t have to. There are currently no YouTube services that are only usable with direct access to your camera. You can upload videos and shorts and live stream through third-party streaming applications.

The argument for allowing YouTube to access your camera is one of convenience. If you make a lot of shorts, your fastest and most convenient method will be to grant access to your camera and record your shorts through the YouTube app. The argument is less convincing on PC, where it is often just as easy to use a third-party streaming alternative rather than granting YouTube access to your camera in order to stream directly into YouTube.

Final Thoughts

While the threat of online security breaches is very real, YouTube is not, nor has ever been, the perpetrator of this kind of activity, and it is a safe bet they will remain so for the foreseeable future. As with most aspects of life online, it is crucial to stay on top of your security, because a missed update here or a questionable download there can be the difference between a secure computer and your bank details being available on the dark web!

If in doubt, revoke all permissions for services like YouTube, you can always grant them again later.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How to Promote YouTube Videos on Pinterest

There is a seemingly endless source of opportunities for promoting your YouTube videos on social media, from Twitter to Facebook, and everything in between. Pinterest is rarely the first option that comes to mind when deciding where to promote you videos, but it is very much a viable tool for promotion.

Granted, Pinterest is typically known more for its image-sharing than video promotion, but the fact that Pinterest is primarily an image-based platform can be misleading, as its real strength lies in sharing content of all kinds by leveraging the appeal of images.

In this post, we’re going to look at how to promote YouTube videos on Pinterest, but before we get into the how, let’s talk about the what.

What is Pinterest?

In the most basic sense, Pinterest is an image-sharing platform that allows users to “pin” images from around the web to their profile. Users can create boards (essentially image galleries), and in doing so, build up collections of images on a specific theme.

Crucially for the purposes of this post, pinned images come with a link to the place they were found, so that anyone interested in the image can click through to the place the image came from.

How to Promote YouTube Videos on Pinterest 1

Why Pinterest?

You may be asking yourself, “if it’s a platform for saving and sharing images, what does it have to do with YouTube?” The key point is that the links to the image’s source is included.

Another key point is the fact that Pinterest receives a lot of organic search traffic from search engines. You may expect that this would mostly be from people running image searches and seeing Pinterest results, but Pinterest shows up a lot in regular text search results, as well.

Of course, it would be better if the search results took someone directly to your video, but if the choice is between someone arriving at your channel via Pinterest and not arriving at all, I think we both know which is preferable!

How to Promote YouTube Videos on Pinterest

Now that you know what it is and why it can be useful in promoting your videos, let’s take it a step at a time. Here’s how you promote your videos on Pinterest.

1. Preparation

We won’t waste time telling you that you need an active YouTube channel—we assume you already have one of those if you’re reading this post—but you will need to make a Pinterest account. You’ll also want to create a board specifically for your YouTube pins. This isn’t just for the sake of keeping everything organised (though that is helpful as well) but it helps with SEO, as all the pins on the board will be related, which will add a little weight to the board in the eyes of the search engines.

Another thing you should do as part of your preparation is ensure that your videos are branded. This means making it clear in the video who you are. You want to leave a lasting impression on the viewer (in a good way) that they’ll remember. The reason for this is that Pinterest viewers don’t need to open YouTube to see your video; they can watch it right there on the Pinterest page. That means they won’t see your subscribe button, video description, or anything else that might lead them to click more of your content.

As a general rule, this kind of branding awareness should be considered good practice in any YouTube situation, so, if you’re not doing it already, consider this a good reason to get started, but not the only reason.

2. Get Your Video Embed Link

You’ll need to grab an embed link from your video, but this isn’t as simple as it sounds. You will need the long URL for your video, which may already be the one in your browser’s address bar. If the full “youtube.com” address is there, you should be fine to copy that. But, if you click the “Share” button, make sure you are getting the full YouTube address, and not a shortened link. Pinterest will reject those shortened links as they see it as spam.

Once you’ve got your link, you can head to the next step.

3. Upload Your New Pin

Over on Pinterest, click “Add a Pin”, drop your video link in the box, and click “Find Images”. Make sure it is your video that is selected, and then pick the board you created for your YouTube videos. Finally, add a description. This could be the same description you used for your video over on YouTube, but it could also be beneficial to write something new, so search engines don’t count it as duplicate content. Regardless of which route you take, it should have plenty of relevant keywords in it. You’ll have to keep it under the Pinterest description’s character limit of 500 characters, however.

You can also take this opportunity to get a link to your blog or something similar, as this should count as a high-authority link in the search engine’s eyes.

4. That’s All, Folks!

And you’re done. You can repeat this process for other videos, perhaps set up automatic sharing to things like Facebook, but other than that, you’re all set to reap the rewards of promoting your video content on Pinterest.

Final Thoughts

When looking to promote your YouTube videos, not every method or platform is going to be right for you, but you should never rule an option out until you are sure it won’t work. This is the mistake that many fall into with Pinterest by assuming it’s no good for their needs and never giving it a try at all.

Pinterest is a powerful tool for driving organic search engine traffic to your videos, and that can only be a good thing. If nothing else, it removes some of your reliance on the ever-changing YouTube algorithm, which makes it less likely a minor tweak by YouTube will send your traffic numbers plummeting through the floor!

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How to Promote YouTube Videos on Reddit

Reddit is a great tool for the promotion of all kinds of media—including YouTube—but it can be a little tricky to wrap your head around, as it’s not always as simple as just posting a link to your video and hoping for upvotes.

While many YouTubers do try to take advantage of Reddit for the promotion of their videos, many more don’t, and plenty of those who do use Reddit don’t use it to its full potential.

So, in this post, we’re going to walk you through how to promote YouTube videos on Reddit, so that you can get the most out of this very useful platform.

Good Content

Reddit promotes content by user vote, with users being able up or down vote anything that is shared on the platform, from YouTube videos to comments.

You should be striving to make the best possible content regardless, but it should be noted that if your content is not good, Reddit will not be an effective medium for promoting your videos. You will get some traffic in most cases—assuming you follow the guide below—but you won’t be getting anywhere near the potential traffic that Reddit can promote if your content isn’t good enough to persuade Reddit users to upvote you.

How to Promote YouTube Videos on Reddit 1

Research

With Reddit being, at its core, a link-sharing platform, many people fall into the trap of thinking that just getting a link to their video on the platform will be enough to start driving traffic to their channel. Unfortunately, there’s a little more to it than that.

You will need to pick appropriate subreddits to post your video to, otherwise there will be little-to-no engagement with the link. And to find those appropriate subreddits, you need to do a little research.

Head over to Reddit and search for the main keywords associated with your video. Be sure to search a few relevant keywords that are sufficiently different from each other to give an accurate result. What you’re looking for is subreddits that show up in the search results for each of your keywords—these will be your target subreddits.

Read the Rules

Before even thinking about posting a YouTube link in a subreddit—especially one you have just joined—make sure you carefully read the rules of that subreddit. Many of them have strict rules about self-promotion, which can vary from requiring you to clearly tag a post as self-promotion to outright banning self-promotion.

These rules are not Reddit rules, but rules enforced by the admins of those specific subreddits. This means that the worst consequences you will face for breaking those rules is being kicked out of that subreddit, not Reddit itself. That being said, if you’ve identified a subreddit as a good fit for promoting your content, you don’t want to get kicked out of it!

Contribute

We understand this pointer won’t be ideal if you are looking at promoting your videos now, but a proper strategy for promoting your content was always going to be a long term plan.

Reddit is a community. Actually it’s a series of communities. If you manage to find subreddits that are an ideal fit for your content, and then just hop in there and start posting links to your videos, it’s going to get a negative reaction, even if you are following the subreddit’s rules to the letter.

Try to spend some time in those subreddits, commenting on posts, sharing relevant links that aren’t self-promotional, and generally building up a standing with the members there. There is no hard rule for how long you should spend doing this as every community is different, but at the very least you should spend a couple of weeks getting to know the community before promoting videos to them.

Share Your Video

By now you should have found some subreddits who are a good fit for your content, spent a while getting to know everyone and introducing yourself to the community, and thoroughly read the rules regarding posting self-promotional links.

It’s time to post.

The best method is to get your video in as many places as possible—without going against any of the guides laid out above. As long as the subreddit is relevant, allows this type of post, and you haven’t just popped in out of the blue to post your link, you should consider sharing your video there. The more people who see it, the more people are likely to click it.

Treat it as an Ongoing Process

If you don’t have the stamina or interest to keep being part of the Reddit communities you have joined, Reddit may not be the best promotional tool for you. A mistake many YouTubers make when trying to promote through Reddit is in doing all of the above, and then slipping back into a purely promotional cycle and only posting links to their videos, nothing else.

While the communities will react better to your promotional links if they know you and feel as though you are a legitimate member, rather than someone just there to promote videos, that friendly sentiment will soon evaporate if you stop participating in the community but continue promoting your videos there.

Final Thoughts

Reddit, like any other social media platform, is an excellent tool for promoting YouTube videos… if you use it correctly. Each major social media platform exists because it is different in many ways to the other major social media platforms.

Facebook and Twitter can co-exist because they are not competing with each other—Twitter is used in an entirely different way to Facebook. But with these different uses comes different strategies for using those platforms for promotion. The trick, from a YouTuber’s point of view, is learning what those strategies are for each platform, and implementing them correctly.

Reddit is no exception. Reddit is used in a very specific way that is unique to Reddit among the big social media platforms, so when you look to promote your content there, be sure to treat it differently to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any of the other big players.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How to Promote YouTube Videos on Twitter

The explosion of social media and sheer pervasiveness of its adoption has left us with no shortage of places to promote our YouTube videos when the time comes. There’s short form messaging platforms, long form message platforms, image-only platforms… you get the idea.

In fact, the main dilemma you face when promoting your work on social media is not the where (the answer to that being as many places as you can) but the how. And, as you might expect, the answer is different depending on which platform you are promoting to. You wouldn’t promote your work on Facebook the same way you would on Twitter. Well, you could, but you’d be missing out on an opportunity to maximise your potential.

In this post, we’re going to be looking at how to promote YouTube videos on Twitter.

Why is Promoting Videos on Twitter Different?

In truth, it doesn’t have to be. If you wanted, you could easily write a single update informing everyone about your new video, throw a link and maybe a few hashtags in there, and push it out to all of your social media platforms. It would get the information out, and it’s better than nothing.

The thing is, people don’t use every social media platform the same way. It’s a lot like evolution and natural selection. Animals can co-exist in different niches, but when two creatures are in direct competition for the same resources, one of them has got to go.

This is why Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and countless other social media platforms with their own unique take on things are able to exist alongside each other. Meanwhile, platforms like MySpace, Vine, and Path are no longer around.

Each platform is used in different ways, so it makes sense that promoting things on each platform would take a different form.

How to Promote YouTube Videos on Twitter 1

More Than Just an Update Feed

One of the main things Twitter users expect from you is some kind of inherent value to your content. In truth, this applies to all social media, but the form that value takes differs. What we mean by value, is that your Twitter account should give people a reason to follow it in its own right, not just because of the YouTube channel it is promoting.

If a Twitter account just exists to tweet out the latest videos, very few people follow it. And, if very few people are following it, there isn’t going to be much value in promoting your videos there.

You should try to use your account regularly, providing content that your potential audience enjoys. If you are a tutorial YouTuber, tweet tips and tricks from time to time. If you are a comedy YouTuber, tweet jokes. The idea is to get people to want to follow your Twitter account for the content you are putting out on the account. That way, when you promote a video, it won’t feel like you’re just advertising at them, and they are more likely to want to check it out because they already like your content.

Don’t be Afraid to Share Other YouTuber’s Content

Technically, this is kind of an addition to the above point, as it is essentially a way to add more value to your Twitter account. Don’t be afraid to share relevant content from other YouTubers if it has some value for your followers.

Yes, sharing content that could rightly be termed “competition” might sound counterintuitive at first, but ask yourself this; what are the chances that your viewers would never have come across your “competition” on their own?

The reality of being a content creator today is that there is no such thing as a completely untapped niche, and you will always have competition. The trick is to be authentically you. You might be delivering the same content, but you’re doing it your way.

But occasionally sharing useful content from other YouTubers not only adds value to your Twitter feed, it can help build positive relationships with those other YouTubers.

Put it in Your Bio

Unlike YouTube, many tweeters will head over to your bio before they click that follow button, which makes your bio quite important. You don’t have a lot of space to cram it all in, but you should make a special effort to get across what you do, and, if YouTube is your main thing, definitely put a link to your channel in there.

Get Involved

Another way in which Twitter is quite different from YouTube is in the reciprocal nature of the platform. Despite the comments, YouTube is very much a one-way experience. Not so with Twitter.

Twitter is a place for conversations, and conversations are a great way to find new people who are interested in the kinds of things you make videos about. Of course, you have to find a balance between getting involved on Twitter and spending far too much time on Twitter, but that’s a learning curve we all must master.

How to Promote YouTube Videos on Twitter 2

Always Use Hashtags

Hopefully, if you’ve been engaging with the relevant communities, you will already know which hashtags are appropriate for your content. But, if you don’t, make sure to do a little research and find out where the action is regarding the videos you make.

You don’t need to go overboard and populate your tweet with nothing but hashtags and a link, but there should be at least one or two in there to get your video in front of the right eyeballs.

Final Thoughts

Twitter is just one tool in your video promotion arsenal, but it happens to be the tools with the largest immediate reach. Sure, Facebook might have more users, but there is far less potential for your content to spread beyond your immediate circle on Facebook than there is on Twitter.

Like all tools, it needs to be used correctly to get the best out of it. But, as always, you need a foundation of good content. No matter how good your Twitter strategy is, there needs to be compelling content to promote with it.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How to be a Virtual YouTuber

Becoming a virtual YouTuber is not the difficult task you might have imagined it to be.

As with many things in life, there are levels to what you can achieve that are largely determined by your own ability (or willingness to learn).

As a rough example, you can make perfectly good video thumbnails using a thumbnail creator, and those thumbnails can be everything you need for a successful channel… but you will never have the degree of control or the range of options with said thumbnail creator that you would have if you knew enough about graphic design software to make your thumbnails from scratch.

Of course, for those of us that are not well-versed in a particular application or skill, the question tends to become whether or not it is worth it to learn. As we said with the above example, you can make good thumbnails with a thumbnail creator, so do you need to learn to do it yourself? That, among other more fundamental aspects, is what we are going to cover in this how to be a virtual YouTuber guide. Let’s dive in!

Know What You Want to Say

The first step to creating any YouTube channel is determining what it is you want to say. Understand that we’re not talking about the literal words you say on-camera (though you will need to know that as well, of course) but the general message, or premise of your channel.

This can be quite a broad range of options. For example, you could have a very specific message such as something political, or it could just be that you want to play video games and making a channel about it is a good excuse to do so. Whatever the reason, try to establish a clear direction for your channel and stick to it. Having a specific niche that you consistently make content in will help you establish an audience. If you make videos that cover a wide range of things, you will struggle to build an audience because viewers who liked one type of video may come back for your next video, see that it’s not something they’re interested in, and not come back again.

You may want to build a personality-based channel—where the viewers are there for your on-screen persona more than the specific type of content you are making. It is true that having a specific niche is less important for this kind of channel, but it can still help to stick a particular type of content in the beginning, branching out into other areas once you have an audience. Even PewDiePie started off making exclusively gaming videos.

For many YouTubers, the interest comes before the idea to create a YouTube channel, but if you came to the decision to make a channel first, be sure to choose a subject and niche that you are interested in. For most YouTubers, the early weeks, months, and even years can be slow going in terms of channel growth, and very few channels that achieve financial independence do so in the first year. What this means is that you are essentially going to be running your channel at your expense, both in time and money, so things will go a lot easier if you are genuinely into whatever it is you are talking about.

What Are Virtual Influencers?

Choose Your Style of Virtual YouTuber

There a few different styles of virtual YouTuber, and the best one you choose will come down to a few different factors. Before we get to the choosing part, let’s take a brief look at those different styles.

What is an Avatar?

In this context, your avatar is your on-screen persona. It can help to think of it as similar to a puppet. You will be bringing your avatar to life through one of the methods we will describe later, and possibly acting a character out through that avatar as well. Your avatar could be a person, an animal, an anthropomorphisation of something inanimate like a paper clip, or really anything you can imagine. This freedom is a big part of the draw of virtual YouTubing.

Hand-Drawn Avatars

As the name suggests, this style involves painstakingly animating your digital avatar in the same way that you would animate a cartoon; by drawing each frame of the animations. You would obviously need to have a collection of animations ready for this style, essentially choosing from them as needed.

The only real reason to choose this style of digital avatar is for stylistic reasons. There may be a certain look you are going for that you cannot yet replicate with the other styles we are going to highlight, but that would be the only reason besides possibly not being able to afford the equipment you would need for the other styles. But arguably, the equipment needed to illustrate something by hand digitally would be more expensive. You could also pay someone to animate your avatar, reducing the time it takes but increasing the money needed.

2DLive Avatars

This style of digital avatar uses clever animation techniques to move a 2D avatar in ways that make it look natural and, in some cases, three dimensional. It requires a special kind of “rigged” avatar to work, but it essentially means you can create an avatar from a 2D image.

The limitations of this style are mainly ones of motion. There is only so much movement a part of the avatar’s body can make before it looks unnatural. If you imagine the face of a 2D character; moving the eyes slightly to the side gives the impression that the head has turned slightly, but moving the eyes a lot to the side will make them look unnatural. Still, the range of motion that can be achieved with this style is impressive, considering that it is working from a plain 2D image.

And, the fact that it is working from a 2D image means you can draw (or have drawn) whatever you like in terms of the look of your avatar.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 3

3D Avatars

As the name suggests, 3D avatars are rendered in three dimensions, as you would see in typical modern video game or 3D animated movie. These avatars require quite a bit more technical skill on top of the necessary artistic talent to create, as they need to be modelled in 3D, rigged for animation (which basically means having a digital skeleton created) and then textured in a way that suits the art style, with the more realistic looking avatars being harder to texture.

The more difficult creation process is the main downside of 3D avatars. The upside is that there are no restrictions to what you can do with your avatar like there are with 2DLive avatars. You can move them in any position and pose, film them from any angle, and generally treat them as though they were a real thing being filmed with a camera.

Choosing Your Animation Style

Once you have your avatar style picked, you need to think about how you are going to bring them to life. There are two main methods we are going to look at here, which do not apply to the hand-drawn avatars. For that, you will have to animate your avatar the old-fashioned way; by drawing each frame of the animation. We did say there isn’t much upside to that choice of avatar.

Predefined Animations Performed Live

With predefined animations, you will generally have a selection of motions and gestures to choose from that you will use as you record, most likely with you speaking as you do so. The combined effect gives your avatar the appearance of being active if a little wooden.

The advantages of this style are… well if we’re honest, not much. Really the only advantage is that you do not need to worry about some of the jerkiness and stuttering motion that can happen with the next method we are going to mention, but other than that, your choices of gesture will always be limited, and repeated use of the same gestures can be obvious to your viewers and break the immersion. You want them to connect with your avatar, and that will be hard if your avatar moves like a non-player character from a poorly-made video game.

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use? 2

Live Motion Tracking

This is the method that the overwhelming majority of virtual YouTubers use, and for a good reason.

Using the hardware of your choice (more on that in a moment) your computer or phone will track your body movements and facial expressions and have your digital avatar copy them.

This allows you to record a video in much the same way you would record any regular YouTube video where the YouTuber is on-screen, only you would be recording the result of the live animation rather than yourself. This method is by far the quickest and easiest way of animating a digital avatar, and it works with both 2DLive and 3D avatars.

There are two common ways to achieve this style of animation, and like most things, they each have their advantages and disadvantages.

VR Controllers

The first method we’ll cover is using a VR headset and controllers to animate your avatar. The upside to animating things this way is that the movements are very accurate, which means your avatars motions should look more natural. You also have a full range of movement, such as being able to turn a full three hundred and sixty degrees.

The downsides, however, are that you have to wear a bulky VR headset and controllers when you film your videos, and you also have to own a VR system in the first place. There are relatively cheap VR systems available these days, but the difference in quality between those more affordable systems and the drastically more expensive systems is noticeable. This isn’t a tech blog, so we can’t give an expert comparison, but it is entirely likely that the cheaper VR headsets would not be any better on the accuracy front than our next method, which nullifies their most significant advantage.

Video-Based Motion Tracking

Certainly the most convenient method, if not the most popular, video-based tracking essentially performs the same function as the above VR-based method, but it does so using only a webcam or the camera on your phone.

The advantages of this method are relatively obvious; convenience and cost. You do not need to have an expensive and bulky VR headset to use this method, with improvements in the technology meaning that even a cheap webcam can be enough to work with. It also makes life a little easier when setting up, since you can just plop yourself down in front of your camera and get to work.

Of course, there are the downsides we promised. In the case of video-based motion tracking, there are two primary downsides, and they are accuracy and range of motion. As good as the technology has gotten, this kind of tracking is still not on a level with the VR systems mentioned above. Beyond that, inferior video quality reduces the accuracy further. This can lead to unnatural-looking movements by your avatar.

On the motion front, the tracking software is generally good at following facial expressions and body movements from a stationary angle, but if you turn the side—or turn around—it will usually confuse the software, leading to more weird looking actions from your avatar.

Am I Too Old to Start a YouTube Channel? 3

Making Your Videos

Once you have your avatar made and your filming method is chosen, you are ready to start making videos. We would recommend doing plenty of test runs before you start throwing all your energy into a video. You don’t want to spend hours filming your first video only to find out that the avatar isn’t being recorded correctly.

If you are creating a full persona—where the account is run as if the digital avatar is a real person—be sure to stay in character when you are acting as that avatar, be it in a video, on a live stream, or even in social media posts. People understand that the avatar isn’t really a person, but people understand magicians don’t really pull rabbits out of hats—it doesn’t mean they don’t like the spectacle.

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HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Do YouTubers Get Paid for Views?

How YouTubers get paid is often a point of interest for people who are considering getting into the platform.

And, for that matter, many people who have no interest in becoming a YouTuber but nevertheless are curious.

There are, of course, several ways in which a YouTuber can get paid from their channel, and there is plenty of information about the different aspects of YouTuber earnings, many of which you can find on this very blog.

Do YouTubers Get Paid for Views?

So, straight to the meat of the topic. Do YouTubers get paid for views? The answer is a little mixed – YouTube channels need to be part of the YouTube Partner Program to earn money directly from the adverts displayed on their videos. Once a channel has 1000 subscribers, 4000 watch time hours and are accepted into the program they ca earn anywhere between $1-10 per thousand advert views.

There are other YouTubers that do get paid but that choose to operate in ways that don’t earn them money on a per-view basis.

Let’s back up a little.

It’s worth noting that, effectively, all YouTube earnings are based on views one way or another. Even YouTubers who earn their revenue primarily through things like brand deals and crowdfunding need to have enough interest in their content to make money, and that interest is expressed through views. Granted some methods of generating revenue require considerably fewer views to make a given amount of money than others, but it all comes to back to views one way or another.

Still, a channel getting a lucrative brand deal because they have millions of views a month is not what we typically mean when talk about getting paid for views on YouTube. So what do we mean?

The YouTube Partner Programme

We are, of course, talking about monetisation through YouTube’s Partner Programme, which is the most common way that YouTubers monetise their channels—at least in the beginning.

This programme works by displaying ads on your content and, for channels that qualify, splitting the revenue. There are certain criteria that need to be met, such as how long an ad is watched for, or whether the ad was interacted with, but for the most part, the basic rule of more view equals more revenue applies.

Watch Time

Of course, like most things in life, the reality is a little more complex. We’ve already hinted that the amount of time an ad is watched affects whether it earns any money, but when we are talking about revenue per view, the length of the video is also important.

YouTube doesn’t just show one ad on a video, it will cram as many in there as you let it, and the longer the video, the more ads that can be shown. Again, whether the ads get watched is a different matter, but a video that is long enough to show four advertisements has the potential to earn four times as much revenue as one that only shows one ad.

Engagement

Those of you who can read between the lines may already have made this connection, but the natural result of more ads increasing the revenue doesn’t just mean that longer videos have the potential to earn more money, it also means that engagement is important, too.

The crucial point about having that video we mentioned that is long enough to show four times as many advertisements is that those advertisements only earn revenue if they are watched. That means that if a viewer checks out before the second ad, the rest of those ads may as well have not been there for all the good they do.

How Many Views do you Need to Make Money on YouTube?

How is Revenue Calculated?

For view-based revenue on YouTube, there are two central metrics for calculating how money a channel is making; CPM and RPM.

CPM—cost per mille—refers to the amount of money that a channel is making per thousand views. CPM factors all the videos that are eligible for monetisation (and only those videos), which means that you get an average spread in terms of revenue, which is to say that videos that make very little will bring your CPM down, whereas videos that make a lot will bring it up.

CPM does not account for YouTube’s share of the revenue, nor does it factor any of the many other ways which you can make money through the platform, or external to the platform for that matter.

RPM—revenue per mille—is a metric designed to give YouTubers a better sense of how much revenue their channel is making. Like CPM, it refers to the amount of money you are making per thousand views, but unlike CPM, it factors in all views. It also factors in several other sources of revenue (from within the YouTube platform) such as memberships, and super chat.

Revenue Sources YouTube Doesn’t Account For

YouTube can only factor in revenue that you make through their platform, but there are other ways to earn money from the success of your channel.

Let’s take a brief look at some of the more popular ones.

Third Party Subscription and Donations

The most direct way for your viewers to support you is by sending you money, of course.

This can be done through direct donations, such as through PayPal, but it can also be done using platforms like Patreon, which allow your viewers to set up a recurring payment to support your content.

This is essentially the same model that the YouTube Membership system is based on.

Brand Deals and Endorsements

For YouTubers who have a significant influence in a particular area—or just a heck of a lot of subscribers—brand deals and endorsements can become an option.

This is where a company comes to you directly, paying you to endorse a product or service, sponsoring a video.

These deals are typically far more lucrative than anything you would get through the YouTube Partner Programme, but are much harder to get since your channel has to be very successful to get noticed by brands. It is possible to get brand deals as a smaller channel, but you generally have to be a big player in a specific niche for that to happen.

Affiliate Marketing

For YouTubers whose content lends itself well to affiliate marketing, tying in your content to a relevant affiliate program can be a great way to increase the revenue your channel earns.

The most common example of this is YouTube channels that review or highlight products sharing Amazon Affiliate links to those products in their descriptions.

How to Increase Revenue Per Views

Though there is no one-size-fits-all solution, we can boil down the keys to success to a few significant points. Firstly, focus on watch time and engagement. The longer your videos are, and the more watch time they accumulate, the more revenue they will have the chance to generate.

There are also ways to direct your content so that it is more likely to earn more money. Generally speaking, targeting niches that have a high click through rate, or that get bid on highly by advertisers, will mean that your videos generate more money per view.

Beyond that, though it no doubt feels like a bit of a cop out, the best advice for increasing the revenue of your channel is to focus on the content and make the best videos you can. High quality content is the foundation upon which successful channels are built, and starting with a good foundation will always give you a better chance of success in the long run.

How Much is a View Worth on Average?

As we have hopefully made clear, there is no fixed amount we can give, but for a rough idea of how much a view is worth, the average ad view on YouTube will make somewhere between $0.01 and $0.03.

This is, of course, subject to any criteria regarding how long the ad is watched for. Ads that are watched for less than a given amount of time will not earn the channel any money.

If this number seems a little low, it generally is considered to be, which is why YouTube Partner Programme earnings are rarely deemed a good method to base your entire income on.

Final Thoughts

Trying to put a solid number on something like YouTube earnings is a losing battle; there are simply too many variables that can change that number.

And, while YouTubers can often calculate their earnings as a per view metric, the reality of those earnings is often considerably more complicated, with revenue coming from several different places, and at a far from consistent rate.

If you are becoming a YouTuber with revenue generation being the primary goal, it will help to shape your channel from the very beginning with that in mind; focusing on appropriate niches, making content that lends itself well to earning money.

If you are joining YouTube for the love of making content, however, just focus on that to begin with, and figure the rest out as you go along.

Categories
SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Do YouTubers Use Teleprompters?

Asking “do YouTubers use teleprompters” is a bit like asking whether people wear hats. “Some of them do, some of them don’t”, will invariably be the answer.

Unlike television, where we can confidently say that most onscreen personalities are using a teleprompter (or a cue card or something similar), YouTube has no common standard.

It is entirely up to each individual YouTuber how they run their channel, and while there are certain things that work and things that don’t work in most cases, there is technically no right or wrong way to go about it.

Do YouTubers Use Teleprompters? – When surveying my own audience if they use a teleprompter, full script, notes only or prefer to just wing it – 60% of creators prefer to wing it with 9% of them using a teleprompter to keep them on topic. 

Do YouTubers Use Teleprompters? 7

Of course, this would be a rather short and pointless post if we left it there, so we’re going to take a more in-depth look at the role of teleprompters in YouTubing—what are they, how you can get a teleprompter set up, and which situations are best for using a teleprompter versus situations it is best not to.

Do YouTubers Use Teleprompters? 1

What is a Teleprompter?

In the strictest terms of what is used in broadcast television, a teleprompter (also known as an autocue) is a device for projecting a script onto a transparent surface in front of the camera. This is done in such a way that the person in front of the camera can see the words, but they are invisible to the camera itself, with the advantage here being that the presenter or host can read the words while looking directly at the camera.

This is obviously a very useful tool in situations where the on-camera personality has a script to stick to, or needs prompting on what they have to say, but it is not necessarily what is meant when used in the context of YouTube.

There are several options for a teleprompter like setup for YouTubers, including the simplest option of having the text on the screen of your laptop or computer, with the camera above it.

That being said, there are some very affordable options available these days that replicate the full functionality of a traditional teleprompter, often using a phone or tablet as the source of the text.

These can be bought for around £50, which is a considerably more attractive option than the thousands that it would have cost to buy the kind of teleprompter that has been used in broadcast television studios for decades.

Makeshift Teleprompters

Not everyone can afford even relatively inexpensive gear like a £50 teleprompter—especially when it is possible to make do with what you have. You can fashion a teleprompter-like setup out of the electronic gadgets you have in most cases.

There are plenty of free apps that will handle the scrolling text part of the equation, and the physical side of things just requires you to be able to see the screen that your text is being displayed on. If you have a stand or clip, you can put it near the camera, but even propping it up against a vertical surface will work if you have no other options.

The trick is to get the screen as close to your camera as you possibly can. The closer the text is to the camera, the more it will look as though you are looking directly at the camera when you speak. If you can’t get your text near the camera, consider moving yourself back. The further you are from the camera, the less obvious it is that you are not quite looking directly at it.

When to Use a Teleprompter

As accessible as teleprompters are—and as easy as it is to set one up—there is still a time and a place for them.

Not every type of YouTube video warrants a teleprompter, and there are plenty of types of video that would actually be worse for the use of one.

There are some situations where it isn’t that important, such as voice over videos where the speaker is not on screen. In these cases, editing can take care of any issues without the viewer being any wiser.

That being said, having a teleprompter—or at least a script—could at the very least improve your workflow, and give you less work to do on the editing side of things.

For YouTubers whose ability to talk in a free form kind of way is one of the more appealing aspects of the channel, forcing yourself to read a teleprompter can often make the content feel stilted and awkward compared to the usual fare. And, of course, any kind of interview or other dynamic content cannot be scripted, so an autocue is entirely useless.

Where teleprompters shine, however, is with monologue-like content. When the YouTuber has scripted a section (or an entire video) and will be essentially talking to the camera, a teleprompter can allow you to get your speech off clearly and in much fewer takes than trying to remember your lines, and will take less preparation than memorising those lines.

Do YouTubers Use Teleprompters? 2

Using a Teleprompter

Given that the basic premise of a teleprompter is reading some text from a screen, there is not much in the way of learning to do when first using it.

That being said, while teleprompters are simple to understand, they can take a little practice to get good at.

Of course, some people will be naturally good at this which may seem unfair to those that aren’t. Unfortunately, the universe is rarely fair, and we just have to do the best we can.

For those of us that have to work a little harder at this, the main thing is practising what you are going to be doing. In other words, reading silently won’t cut it. You need to be reading text out loud, and working on your delivery.

The goal is for your speech to seem natural, rather than the awkward stilted speech of someone who is reading something aloud and is not comfortable about it. Consider reading aloud the next time you pick up a book, for example, or when you next read an article.

Why Not Just Memorise?

An obvious question might be, “if I have to spend so much time practising reading out loud, why not just spend that time rehearsing the actual words I will be saying?”

Of course, that is an option. There is a relevant idiom that goes something like, “give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” If you decide to put this time into rehearsing, rather than practising, you are effectively condemning yourself to rehearsing for every video you make.

If you can get good at reading from an autocue, you can just turn it on and go.

Sure, it will be slow-going in the beginning as you get to grips with the skill, but it will get easier, whereas rehearsing each video never changes; you will always have something new to rehearse.

That being said, there is no right or wrong way to YouTube. If you try using a teleprompter and find it’s not for you, don’t feel as though you are doing something wrong. If an alternative method works for you, that is the right method.

Do YouTubers Use Teleprompters? 3

Don’t be Stubborn About Edits

There can be a temptation to believe that teleprompters are pointless if you have to edit or retake parts of your video.

This can lead to YouTubers either scrapping the teleprompter when they make mistakes, or blindly refusing to acknowledge those mistakes.

It is important to remember that we are only human, and even professional television hosts sometimes mess up when reading from a teleprompter.

The important factor is not whether the teleprompter completely eliminates errors and the need for editing from your videos, but whether it reduces those errors and edits. You should always be striving to make your content better, both for your viewers to watch and for you to make.

If a teleprompter don’t make your content worse but does improve things by a noticeable amount, it is worth keeping around.

Eye Contact Matters

One thing that can be a problem for YouTubers—especially those who record in cramped spaces or use makeshift teleprompter setups—is appearing to look at the camera while you speak.

When a YouTuber is constantly looking at something other than the camera, it can get distracting for the viewer, so it is worth adjusting your setup as much as possible so that you appear to be looking directly at the camera when you are, in fact, reading your script from the teleprompter.

Weirdly, this is one of those situations where a little is often worse than a lot. Looking just to the side of the camera is often more distracting than looking in a completely different direction. If your circumstances make looking at the camera impossible, this may be a handy piece of information to have.

Of course, we are not advising you to stare madly into the camera like a glassy-eyed crazy person, not blinking, face straining from the effort of not looking away.

Above all, you want to appear natural when reading from your teleprompter.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE LISTS SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind

The growing trend of virtual YouTubers, or VTubers, is one that isn’t showing any signs of slowing down!

A natural result of this growth, there is much interest in virtual YouTubing as a potential inroad to becoming a YouTuber, not to mention an alternative path for experienced YouTubers.

If you want to know what virtual YouTubers are, you can check out this post, but one of the best ways to learn about a thing is to observe that thing.

To that end, we’ve put together a list some of the most notable virtual YouTubers on the platform today, complete with a bit of information about what kind of content they make and. For your convenience, we’ve split our picks into different sections so you can easily zero in on what you’re interested in.

So, without further preamble, let’s get into our virtual YouTuber list!

Anime Virtual YouTubers

Given that the virtual YouTuber phenomenon started in Japan with anime characters, and given that anime characters still make up the overwhelming majority of active virtual YouTubers, it feels only right to start here.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind

Kizuna AI

What better virtual YouTuber to kick things off with than the one that started it all. Kizuna is widely regarded as the first virtual YouTuber. She has two channels and covers a variety of topics in a vlog-like format, as well as Let’s Play-style videos, despite being known for having particularly poor gaming skills.

Kizuna is more or less the blueprint for a character virtual YouTuber, remaining in character all of the time and running the channel as though Kizuna herself is the YouTuber. Kizuna’s success has led to her getting millions of subscribers, many of which find her mannerisms and quirks adorable. She’s not necessarily a child-friendly account due to the fact that she will occasionally curse in her frustrations at failing in some video game or another, but that’s all part of the charm.

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Mirai Akari

Within her first year of being on YouTube, Mirai had attracted over three hundred and fifty thousand subscribers to her account; a phenomenal effort any type of YouTuber. And, at the time of writing this post, she has more than doubled that figure. Like Kizuna, Mirai does a lot of streaming video games, though you will find that this is a common theme among virtual YouTubers, especially of the Japanese anime variety.

Her initial “backstory” was that she was an amnesiac-suffering time traveller, come back to 2018 to find human connection through her YouTube channel. Whether or not the interesting gimmick is a draw or not, her content seems to keep people coming back for more.

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Nekomiya Hinata

Like Mirai and Kizuna, Nekomiya is another game streamer, though we can further refine her audience a little because she has a keen interest in first-person shooter games, so don’t expect much in the way of Animal Crossing here. She’s not a fan of horror games, but that makes it all the entertaining when she plays them.

In the nearly two years since she started her YouTube channel, Nekomiya has amassed an impressive following of over half a million subscribers. She has a distinctive look with her bright pink hair, extremely long pigtails, and cat ears. That is actual cat ears, not a quirky headband with pretend cat ears. This is one of the more significant draws of virtual YouTubing; you can be whatever you want.

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Luna Kaguya

If you thought Mirai Akari getting three hundred and fifty thousand subscribers in under a year, wait until you see Luna’s record. This impressive VTuber managed to hit a million views per video in her first month. Needless to say, that’s quite an achievement.

Luna is the first virtual YouTuber on our list whose content does not focus on video game streams. Instead, Luna makes content of a more comedic nature that tend to come in bite size chunks—often under a few minutes in length. The humour involved is not always family-friendly, however, so don’t let that cutesy digital avatar fool you.

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Tokino Sora

Moving firmly back into the realm of game streamers, Tokino is a streamer who has a thing for rhythm games, so it should come as no surprise that she dances a lot, as well. One advantage of this is that her content is much more accessible to non-Japanese audiences. After all, you don’t need to know the Japanese language to watch a Japanese person (or digital avatar) dance to music.

By some of the standards set on YouTube, Tokino is quite normal in appearance; no animal parts or outlandish hair. Instead, Tokino presents herself as a regular anime girl with brown hair. However, she does dress like an air stewardess. We haven’t watched enough of her content to know why.

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Azuma Lim

Azuma can be a little love-or-hate for some people. She has a quite distinctive appearance with her purple hair and golden firey eye—not to mention the cat-ear hoodie she likes to wear—but it is her voice that can be make-or-break for many people. It is a little high-pitched, even by virtual anime YouTuber standards.

As far as content goes, Azuma is another video game streamer, though she does make other types of videos, such as topical commentary, and she is very engaged with her audience and will often respond to fans. She also makes music and even occasionally tries her hand at English.

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Moemi & Yomeni

Next up, we have our first pairing on the list. Moemi & Yomeni are an anime duo that streams video games and makes some very… interesting content. Not, we should stress, family-friendly content. As far as games go, they have a general leaning towards open-world games like Minecraft, and battle royale games like Fortnite.

Expect to see plenty of cats, a whole lot of music, and generally all the things you would expect from animated Japanese entertainment. Moemi & Yomeni are also part of a larger virtual YouTuber family that includes some other popular virtual YouTubers, so you can expect to see a few guest appearances from time to time.

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Fuji Aoi

While music is a common theme throughout virtual anime YouTube, Fuji Aoi brings us our first channel where music is the main theme. Expect plenty of cover songs from Aoi, which can make for great background music if you are into the style. There is plenty to choose from, so just pick a playlist and let it run while you get some work done.

Like many of our virtual anime YouTuber picks, Aoi saw some spectacular growth when she first exploded onto the scene, gaining over a hundred and seventy thousand subscribers in her first year. You might not have a clue what she’s saying (if you don’t speak Japanese) but you’ll be able to enjoy the music regardless.

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Dennou Shojo Siro

In Dennou Shojo Siro we find another game streaming and dancing combo. In this case, the games tend to be a little eclectic, with everything from Minecraft to Battlefield 5 on the table. Perhaps one of her more unique characteristics is her appearance, which is ghostly pale with white hair. This combined with a somewhat unique laugh has landed her with the nickname of “White Dolphin”.

This channel took less than two years to reach half a million subscribers, so that should give you an idea of the type of quality you can expect, the rest is just a matter of whether you are interested in the content.

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Noja Loli Ojisan

One of the first things you might notice about Noja Loli Ojisan is the distinctive features that make her somewhat unique among virtual anime YouTubers. For one thing, she is part fox. At least, she has fox ears and a foxtail. The second thing is her voice, which is that of her male creator.

Whatever you may think about this eclectic combination, it seems to have worked for her, since her channel is approaching two hundred thousand subscribers.

In terms of content, Noja interacts with fans in live streams, hosts roundtable chats with other virtual YouTubers, and even sells merchandise such as a doll of Noja.

Non-Anime Virtual YouTubers

The world of virtual YouTubing is so thoroughly dominated by anime characters that we can comfortable lump what remains after the anime into one section, which is not to say any of the following YouTubers have much in common. We are also not saying that these YouTubers aren’t Japanese—the VTuber phenomenon began in Japan, after all. That being said, there is a specific aesthetic and culture around anime, and these virtual YouTubers do not fit that aesthetic, even if they are Japanese channels.

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Apoki

Apoki is a truly multi-platform star, with far more followers on TikTok than on YouTube. She takes the appearance of animated girl (more akin to a Disney or Pixar style than an anime one) and sports large rabbit ears poking through her red hair.

Her main focus is music, and she seems to have aspirations of becoming a legitimate recording artist. Her content often revolves around this, and is an interesting mix of the virtual and real worlds, with Apoki often being blended seamlessly into real-world settings.

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Virtual Obaachan (aka Virtual Grandma)

As the (English) name suggests, Virtual Obaachan is a virtual YouTuber who takes the appearance of a cartoon granny, and in that guise, plays a range of video games. There is obviously a lot of mileage to be had from the novelty of a sweet old grandma playing videos games that are not always family-friendly, and the virtual nature of the YouTuber adds another layer of novelty. Further adding to this dichotomy is the fact that she will often talk about things being “immodest” and taboo, and then go ahead and say something taboo without hesitation.

This combination has worked for Virtual Obaachan, as she currently sits at a little over a quarter of a million subscribers.

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AI Angel

AI Angel is probably the most popular virtual YouTuber outside of the anime crowd, with over seven hundred thousand subscribers at the time of writing this post. AI Angel claims to be an AI who takes on the form of a human woman so that she can interact with other humans through video chat applications, play video games, react to memes, and a host of other types of content.

What is interesting about AI Angel is that the creators are not going for a cutesy anime or cartoon look with their virtual YouTuber avatar. Instead, they are travelling down the road of realism, and continually update the visuals of AI Angel to improve the realism (as well as refresh her image). AI Angel’s appearance is already quite realistic, and it would not be difficult to believe that, in the near future, she could be so realistic that some viewers would have difficulty recognising that she was a virtual YouTuber.

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Code Bullet

Code Bullet is a bit of an odd one out on this list, but we wanted to include him to show another type of virtual YouTuber. Unlike the above examples, Code Bullet is not presenting a character as such, but himself in the guise of an animated avatar.

The avatar in question is a hand-drawn human with an old-school computer monitor for a head who gesticulates to add emphasis to the words being spoken. Though we’re sure it is mainly the content he is making that has landed Code Bullet his nearly two and a half million subscribers, his digital avatar is an intrinsic part of that content. Given that he is by far one of the most popular examples of this kind of channel, it would not be outrageous to assume that the virtual YouTuber aspect of his videos has helped.

Final Thoughts

And that concludes our virtual YouTuber list. For now, at least, virtual YouTube is dominated by Japanese-language channels and anime avatars. More English-speaking channels are popping up, however. And as AI Angel has shown, it is certainly possible to be a successful virtual YouTuber without using anime or speaking Japanese.

We expect this niche to expand into the western world in a bigger way in the near future. How big it will get, we couldn’t say, but with a relatively untapped market of English speakers, growth would seem to be inevitable.

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What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use?

Virtual YouTubing has been growing in popularity recently, with many new YouTubers opting to don a digital avatar to make their content rather than record their flesh-and-blood self. Naturally, an increase in popularity in something like this leads to… well, more popularity.

Still, while the reason for exponential levels of interest in virtual YouTubing may be obvious, the way that virtual YouTubing is done might not be. If you are scratching your head about how VTubers make their content, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’re going to take a look at the way these videos are made, and then we’ll highlight some of the most popular apps and programs that are used to do it. So, follow us down the rabbit hole!

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What are VTubers?

Let’s start with the basics for anyone who’s landed on this post without knowing what a VTuber is. This is a topic that deserves an entire post of its own, so, we won’t dwell too long here.

VTubers are digital avatars that are animated by someone, with the videos being presented as though the digital persona is the one making the content. VTubers make more or less the same kinds of videos as their meat-counterparts—vlogs, reaction videos, etc.—with the significant exception that they are not constrained by mere physical reality.

They can look, however they want, they can do things like fly around the screen or spawn items out of thin air, and be in whatever setting they wish without having to go travelling.

There are many reasons someone might choose to be a VTuber, such as wanting to keep their real identity private, being camera shy, or just wanting to express themselves as something completely different to their everyday self.

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How Does VTubing Work?

A common misconception by people who first discover virtual YouTube is that the videos are made similarly to the way that, say, a Pixar movie is made—with someone painstakingly animating each frame of the digital avatar to match up with the audio track and any other events that are happening in the clip. This is not the case. At least, not for the vast majority of VTubers out there.

Instead, the software is employed to capture the YouTuber’s movements through a webcam—or, in some cases, a virtual reality headset and controllers—and translate those movements onto the digital avatar.

In this way, the YouTuber is able to film a video relatively naturally, with them doing their part in front of a camera in much the same way a regular video would be filmed, while the software takes care of all the hard work of making the digital avatar copy the YouTuber.

If you have ever used one of those filters on apps like Snapchat that put a silly hat on your digital head or apply digital makeup to your digital face, this is more or less the same kind of technology.

It is possible that there are YouTuber’s out there animating digital avatars by hand. As good as the motion-tracking software that VTubers use is, it is still not perfect, and an experienced animator would undoubtedly get better results doing the whole thing by hand. Unfortunately, even an experienced animator would require a big ol’ chunk of time to do this, which is not practical for YouTube videos, especially when most of them work to upload schedules that include multiple videos per week. The motion-capture programs may not be perfect, but they are usually good enough.

Now, about those programs…

What Program do Virtual YouTubers Use?

When it comes to software for making virtual YouTube videos, there is a surprisingly large selection to choose from. Granted, not everything on this list was necessarily intended for this purpose, but that hasn’t stopped people from using them.

Many of my clients recommend Animaker to make VTuber videos – its easy to install, easy to learn and doesn’t require too much technical knowhow to master.

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use? 1

Live2D

Live2D can be a little confusing at first as you might see it pop up in several places. Though there are dedicated applications—such as Live2D Cubism—it can help to think of Live2D as a plugin rather than a standalone application.

This is a way of animating digital avatars using layers of 2D artwork. For example, the eyes would be on a separate layer to the head, and by moving the eyes slightly, the technique gives the impression that the head has turned a little. In doing so, Live2D can create an impression of three-dimensional art without actually requiring a 3D model.

Live2D itself does not include a way to track real movements, such as through a webcam. For that, you will need additional software, or you could use an application that provides motion tracking functionality while incorporating Live2D, such as…

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FaceRig

If Live2D is the technology that enables the virtual YouTuber scene, FaceRig is one of the applications that utilise that technology, though there is more to FaceRig than Live2D.

Using your webcam, this application tracks your head and facial movements and translates them to an onscreen digital avatar, which can be chosen from a wide selection of 3D and 2D characters. You can put your digital character in front of a selection of backgrounds, or just leave them over something plain or even green for future greenscreen effects. You can also process your voice so that the recorded video comes out with a voice to match your digital avatar.

FaceRig is limited in the sense that you can only control facial expressions and some limited head and upper body movement. That being said, the results are stunning, with some incredibly realistic visuals being possible through the app. There is also a budding community around the software, with many new digital avatars being created and shared.

FaceRig is available for a relatively modest sum—around $15 or £13—though there is a pro version that you will need to upgrade to if you make more than $500 per month from the content you make with the app.

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VTube Studio

Like FaceRig, VTube Studio is an application that provides head tracking functionality and makes use of Live2D technology. This application only provides the 2D style of digital avatar animation, but where it shines is its multi-platform nature.

VTube Studio is available on Android and iOS as well as Windows and macOS, adding an air of convenience to it. How practical it would be to make full-fat YouTube videos using the mobile app we couldn’t say, but many YouTubers make the occasional video or piece of content using their phone, and with VTube Studio, VTubers can do the same.

The app is free, though there is a watermark on any video produced by the free app. You would have to purchase the pro version to remove that watermark.

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Wakaru

Wakaru is essentially the same as VTube Studio in terms of features, though it has a different pedigree. Wakaru emerged out of the Japanese culture that brought about virtual YouTubing in the first place, and as such, has a special place in many VTuber’s hearts.

You can animate your 2D digital avatar using a webcam and via several in-app controls that will allow you to make your avatar do things like blink. There is no mobile app, though you can use your phone as a camera with the use of third-party apps that essentially turn your phone into a webcam.

Wakaru is free, though it should be noted that many users feel like the software has been abandoned at this point. That is not to say it is not useful, but don’t expect any cool new features to be added to it.

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VTuber Maker

The name, VTuber Maker, is a little misleading (and has led to a number of negative reviews as a result). It does not allow you to “make” VTubers—indeed, you have to pay to be able to import your own digital character—but it does allow you to animate digital avatars using your webcam, and it is free (importing avatars aside).

You can switch backgrounds, perform several predefined gestures, and the app even comes with a widget that creates a draggable version of your avatar that you can drop in the corner of the screen on top of whatever you are doing. Perfect for gaming streams.

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VRoid Studio

Unlike the above VTuber Maker, VRoid Studio does enable you to make your VTuber avatars. It is heavily geared towards the Japanese anime styles of avatar that dominate the VTuber space, but it has an incredibly easy to use interface that makes creating a professional-looking avatar attainable for even the most un-artistic of us out there.

It should be emphasised that this app is just for making the avatar, not animating it, and certainly not animating it with motion-capture technology. Currently, it is in beta and free to download, though we are not sure if it will remain free when it comes out of beta.

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VKatsu

VKatsu is a solid offering in the realm of animating digital avatars. It lets you create your avatar, choose from several predefined avatars, set the background, and more.

Now for the downsides. It is designed to work with VR headsets for motion-tracking, meaning you will need to own an expensive VR system to animate with your body. Also, it is Japanese-language only, which is fine if you’re Japanese, but most people who read this blog are not. And finally, it is in Early Access, which in and of itself is not a bad thing, but if you check the FAQ about the game, it states that they hope to come out of Early Access in… 2018.

Still, it is free and very capable. If you have a compatible VR headset and speak Japanese (or don’t mind fiddling around with the controls to work out what they mean), this could be a useful application for you.

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VRChat

As the name suggests, VRChat is a virtual reality chat application, allowing users to assume the digital appearance of an avatar of their choosing and interact with other users in a virtual world.

The useful part here is that it features full lip-sync and eye-tracking functionality, as well as a range of motion-tracking. You can also use a range of gestures. VRChat isn’t designed for VTubers as such, but it can certainly be used that way.

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Unity

Our last mention is a little unconventional. Unity is a popular free game engine that is used to make video games. Which is to say that it is geared towards video games—it is a very versatile platform that can be used for a wide range of things. The idea behind it is that you can develop your game or application taking advantage of Unity’s built-in capabilities, rather than having to re-invent the wheel, so to speak, be writing your own graphical rendering code. It is not something that the average computer user can just pick up and run with, but if you have any experience coding in C# or Javascript, or you have tried your hand at game development before, there are libraries available to handle things like lip-syncing and head tracking.

This is a niche option, but for those who can make use of it, you will have far more control over your digital avatar than any of the options above, since you will be able to add literally any feature you are capable of coding. It will also allow you to custom-tailor the features you have to suit your needs, rather than making do with the way someone else’s app works.

Unity’s free version is fully-featured, but the licensing states that you must purchase a license if you make over a certain amount of money per year from your projects made in Unity.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are several options when it comes to picking out software and apps to help you bring your VTube dream to life. You may notice that most of the options on this list are either free or have a free version, so don’t be afraid to try them all out and find the one that works best for you.

Remember to check any licensing information regarding the software you choose, as the “pro” model—where you can use the app for free as long as you are not making more than a predetermined amount of money from your use of the app—is becoming increasingly popular.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

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What are VTubers?

There have been several YouTube trends over the years, most following the same basic pattern of exploding onto the scene, being everywhere for a hot minute, and settling down into another corner of the platform. We’ve seen it with everything from Let’s Play YouTubers to Reaction YouTubers, and now we’re seeing it with VTubers, but what are VTubers?

A VTuber—or Virtual YouTuber—is a YouTuber that uses a digital avatar as their main onscreen persona, often using motion tracking software to directly translate their movements onto their digital avatar. This allows the VTuber to film themselves naturally as any regular YouTuber would, while still using the digital persona they have created.

Of course, we’re going to take a much closer look at this YouTube niche, as well as considering the reasons you might want to become a VTuber yourself – including a great way to make videos without showing your face.

What are VTubers?

A Brief History of VTubers

Originating in Japan, VTubers tend to present themselves as anime girls, using the likenesses of popular online artist’s work.

The earliest instance of what would become virtual YouTubing came from visual novel makers, Nitroplus, who started uploading videos that featured an animated 3D version of their mascot. This mascot would essentially make vlog videos about her life while also throwing in mandatory information about the companies upcoming releases and other news. It was a marketing ploy, after all.

However, VTubers were not a thing way back in 2010 when Nitroplus started making these videos, and the official first VTuber is widely considered to be Kizuna AI, who first appeared on the scene in 2016 and was the first to refer to herself as a virtual YouTuber. The main difference between Kizuna AI and the various similar channels that had come before her was that Kizuna AI was operated more like a typical YouTube channel in the content of the video and the fact that she responded to fans. It would take less than a year for her to reach two million subscribers.

The popularity of Kizuna could be put down to the fact that YouTube was wall-to-wall vloggers in front of webcams at the time, but whatever the reason, the immense popularity of the channel naturally led to a lot of similar channels popping up, and thus the VTuber trend began.

These days there are thousands of VTubers, and seven of the ten biggest Super Chat earners were VTubers. Clearly, there is a big market for this kind of video.

Is this sounds a little too weird for you but you still want to make videos on YouTube without showing your face, here are 12 YouTube Channel Ideas without showing your face without needing to be a cute, creepy anime animation.

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How Are VTuber Videos Made?

As touched on above, VTubers do not manually animate their virtual avatars in the way that a company like Pixar might for their movies. That kind of thing had been done on YouTube before VTubers came along, but it is a lengthy process that requires a lot of skill and patience and is really not practical for something like a YouTube video, especially if the video is quite vlog-like in nature and intended to be uploaded on a similar schedule to those vlogs.

The majority of VTubers use motion capture applications like Live 2D, or FaceRig. These applications monitor the subject through their webcam, tracking facial and body movements and manipulating the digital avatar so that it, in turn, copies the movements. In this way, the VTuber can record their video naturally as though they were recording a regular on-camera video and use the footage outputted by the application for their video.

Why Anime?

Even a brief look into the world of VTubers will reveal that it appears to be almost entirely anime characters—a style of animation that originated in Japan. There may be some complicated social or psychological reason for this, but we’re not aware of any studies. Our best guess is that it is a kind of snowball effect—the first VTubers were anime characters, so it appealed to people who liked anime more.

That being said, the definition of a VTuber—if something like this can be said to have a definition—does not necessarily restrict the video content to Japanese anime characters. For example, AI Angel is a VTuber whose digital persona is that of a caucasian woman. AI Angel makes a range of types of videos from the perspective of being a real AI interacting with people on the Internet and trying “human” things, and has, at the time of writing this post, amassed over seven hundred thousand subscribers.

Granted, AI Angel is something of an outlier in the VTuber community, with the vast majority being firmly in the anime camp. But she does help to illustrate the fact that VTubers are not limited to anime if they don’t want to be.

What Kinds of Content do VTubers Make?

The type of content made by VTubers, unlike the visual style of the videos, is relatively open. For the most part, VTubers make videos in the style of whatever is popular—just like regular YouTubers. They do vlogs, reaction videos, gaming videos, etc.

There is, of course, a considerably lean towards the kinds of content that Japanese people are interested in, but that is only a byproduct of the space being predominantly made by and for Japanese people. As AI Angel has proved, you don’t need to limit yourself to that particular box.

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Is Being a VTuber Expensive?

When the prospect of specialist software is floating around, the question of cost is never far behind it. In terms of the software itself, the news isn’t too bad. You can find very inexpensive—even free in some cases—applications that will let you animate virtual avatars using your phone or computer. Of course, the more features and quality you want to incorporate into your videos, the more you will find yourself needing one of the more expensive apps. Still, even FaceRig is only around £13, with that price going up to £50 if you make over a certain amount of money per month from the use of FaceRig.

Where the real expense may come from, however, is the required hardware.

Video production is already an intensive thing as far as the required computer power goes, and it is even more demanding if you stream. Adding a layer of realtime motion capture and digital animation can put a real strain on your computer if it was only just keeping up before. This will especially be the case for people who are making gaming videos.

You may find that your recording computer needs upgrading or even replacing. Or you might find switching to a dual computer setup is necessary. This is where one computer handles the streaming and recording side of things, leaving your main computer free to do whatever it is you are doing.

Another area that might cost you is your recording setup. Motion capture software is improving all the time, and the degree to which software can track and replicate your three-dimensional movements from nothing but a flat video is, quite frankly, astounding. That being said, the motion capture software is only as good as the video it is capturing from.

If you have a cheap webcam or poor lighting in your recording space, you will probably find that the avatar animation software you are using struggles to accurately track your movements, and certainly your facial expressions.

It is somewhat ironic that to make videos where you are never onscreen; you may well need a more sophisticated and expensive recording setup to capture your image more accurately than you would need if you were just pointing a camera at yourself and talking to your audience.

How to Make Money on YouTube Without Showing Your Face

Is Being a VTuber the Right Choice for Me?

The first thing you should ask yourself is why you are considering it at all. Making YouTube videos just for the sake of making them will usually end up in failure. The good news is that the scope for what constitutes a good reason to make a YouTube channel is quite broad. You might just like playing with technology like the motion capture software VTubers use, and a YouTube channel could be an outlet for that passion. You could even have very little interest in making videos but like doing something that there is an audience for regardless. For example, there are many successful channels that play video games without any commentary or additional flavour, and people just tune in to watch them play.

Once you have decided what your channel is going to be about, the next step is deciding if the VTuber route is right for you. There are a few reasons you might want to throw on a digital avatar;

  • You are camera shy and don’t feel like you can get over it any time soon
  • You want or need to keep your real identity private
  • You want to express yourself in ways you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing as yourself.
  • You just think it’s cool

As the last point hopefully illustrated, there really is no limitation to why you might choose this method of making videos. Sure, if any of the above reasons apply to you, then you have additional reasons for taking the VTuber route, but, at the end of the day, you don’t need a good reason. It’s an artistic choice. It is far more important you have a good reason for making videos in the first place.

Copyrights and Trademarks

It probably doesn’t need saying, but in the interests of being thorough, we’re going to say it anyway. Trademarked and copyrighted characters and art should be avoided. It will only get your video struck by YouTube in the long run—especially if your videos become popular. This includes artwork by relatively unknown artists online. No matter how obscure the art, if it is not Creative Commons or Public Domain, and you have permission from the artist, you should steer clear.

Remember, the relationship between your digital persona and your audience is very similar—if not perhaps identical—to the relationship they would have with a regular flesh-and-bone YouTuber. If you have to change your digital avatar because of a copyright dispute, it will have a similar effect to how it would go down if a regular YouTuber just gave their channel to someone else and that person started making videos. People become attached to their favourite entertainers, even when those entertainers are digital.

If it is a somewhat unknown artist’s work, you want to use, ask for their permission, and be sure to keep a copy of their email in your inbox. If a large company owns the likeness you want to use, you may as well accept that it is not going to happen. You could still try, just don’t expect a favourable reply—if any.

What is YouTube CPM?

Is This a Passing Fad?

Keeping in mind that this is a guess based on the way things usually go down on YouTube; yes and no. Yes, it is almost certainly a trend that will die down a bit once it has peaked, but unlike a fad, it probably won’t go away once its time in the spotlight has passed. YouTube trends, as we mentioned above, tend to explode onto the scene, dominate everyone’s recommendations for a time, and then settle down into being another sub-community on the platform.

It is unclear how big this trend can get—perhaps it has already reached its peak—but it is worth noting that there is nothing inherently Japanese about the concept of a VTuber, and yet the majority of VTubers are Japanese. Now, this could speak to some sociological reason that western audiences aren’t interested in VTubers, but it would seem more likely that this disparity is because the western audience hasn’t caught on yet, which would, in turn, suggest that VTubing would be in for another big surge when they do.

Given that this is an English-language blog companion for an English-language YouTube channel, we’re going to assume that the majority of the readers are western. So, has this post inspired you to go out and start a VTube channel? Perhaps you could be in the vanguard of western VTubers, cementing yourself as one of the leading channels in the English-speaking VTube space.

Or perhaps you think it’s all a bit silly. Why not let us know in the comments?

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Can You Make Money on YouTube if You Are Under 18?

With YouTube becoming more and more of a legitimate career path, and with the barrier to entry being so low that anyone can get started from the comfort of their own home or even bedroom, it makes sense that many young people would be eyeing YouTube success before they have even left school.

At the same time, increasing concern over the safety of children online has led to ever more restrictive guidelines regarding what you can monetise on YouTube, which complicates the matter for children looking to make money on the platform.

The only real restriction on children making content on YouTube is the minimum age of thirteen. You have to be at least that age to have a YouTube channel. There are ways to work around this that we’ll touch on later in the post, but that is the only real hard limit, but it is a limit on creation, not on monetisation.

When it comes to earning money on your channel, the content you produce is more relevant than the person making it. You could be fifty years old, but if your content is designed for children, it will be subject to the additional restrictions that apply there.

Similarly, if you are fifteen years old but making content that is primarily watched by adults, you would not be subject to those restrictions.

This may all sound a bit vague, but don’t worry, all will be explained. So, can you make money on YouTube if you are under 18? Let’s find out.

Can You Make Money on YouTube if You Are Under 18? 1

Videos With Underage Audiences

Thanks to COPPA regulations, there are now considerably stricter limitations on the information that can be collected from underage watchers. While this in and of itself is not an issue regarding monetising your content, it has an indirect effect that is an issue.

The fact that YouTube is not allowed to collect as much data on their underage viewers is a significant deterrent for advertisers since one of the most compelling factors of online advertising is the ability to target your ads at increasingly narrow demographics.

If YouTube isn’t allowed to collect the information that will allow them to identify what kind of demographic is watching, advertisers can’t be sure their ads are being shown to the right kind of viewer.

It is not just videos that are marked as “for children” that fall afoul of monetisation denial, however. YouTube’s can determine if a video is primarily made for children—if for no other reason than the audience will be predominately children.

Even if you do not mark your content as intended for children—even if you do not intend for your videos to be watched by children—YouTube will mark it as such if the audience turns out to be mostly youngsters.

Making Videos As An Underaged YouTuber

There are two ways to consider the term “underage” when talking about YouTube. The first is in the legal sense of you not being able to make certain decisions for yourself due to your age. Some kinds of decisions have different age limits (drinking alcohol vs living on your own, for example) and all of them differ from region to region.

The good news is YouTube does not make much distinction here. If you are over the age of the thirteen, you are free to make content and earn money on the platform.

If you are under thirteen, however, you are not allowed to have a YouTube channel under YouTube’s terms of service. That is not necessarily the end of the road as far as your YouTube dreams go, and we’re not just talking about waiting until you are old enough. You’re just going to need a little help.

Officially speaking, your channel won’t be your own, but you can enlist the help of an adult (typically a parent) who will be in charge of the channel, while you make the content. This is perfectly allowed under the terms of service, and many very successful channels have risen to prominence in this manner, both before and after YouTube clamped down on videos by and for underage people.

Being Responsible

Now, it is important to note that we are not trying to give you advice on how to circumvent YouTube’s terms of service here. There can be debate over whether YouTube’s approach is the best way, but few people would disagree with the intent behind it. The Internet can be a dangerous place for children, in both an emotional and physical wellbeing sense.

We are not advocating you get your parents to sign up for a YouTube account and just hand you the login details and leave you to it. And if you’re a parent, we strongly advise against doing this. The adult who officially runs the account should be overseeing the content that goes on it, even if it is just to cast a watchful eye over the final edit before it goes live. They should be moderating any contact the child has with people online, and they should be ensuring the child does not get taken advantage of.

There are always exceptions to the rule, but, for the most part, children need protection, so while we are giving you advice on how to make money on YouTube if you are under 18, it shouldn’t be taken as an encouragement to break YouTube terms of service.

Can You Make Money on YouTube if You Are Under 18? 2

How to Earn Money With an Underage Audience

As we mentioned above, there are restrictions on videos with underage audiences that all but rule out the conventional route of monetising your YouTube content through the YouTube Partner Programme, but that does not mean that you cannot monetise your videos at all.

Here are some ways you can make money with your videos even when your audience puts your channel below YouTube’s threshold for an underage audience.

Patreon

Patreon (and similar platforms) may be something a long shot if your audience is primarily underage since underage viewers are less likely to have money of their own to give. But, sites like Patreon have their own restrictions for who can use it. Patreon, for instance, has a minimum age restriction of thirteen years old to sign up, and eighteen years old before you can sign up as a creator or support another creator. They also allow under eighteens to be a creator or support one with written permission from a parent or guardian.

This means that if you have an audience that is prepared to support you through Patreon, you don’t need to worry about their age because Patreon’s terms of service will have ensured they are old enough or have permissions to do so. And, if you are too young to become a creator on Patreon, assuming you are over thirteen, you can get written consent from a parent or guardian and get started!

Promote Other Ventures

YouTubers with a young audience often build their content on top of something that appeals to that audience, such as video games. If you are able to, there may be a way to translate that appeal into a monetisable thing.

To take one popular example, Roblox—a video game where anyone can create their own mini-games for others to play—is especially popular among young gamers. It also provides the ability for people who create content for it to earn money through in-game transactions. If you have built an audience around such a thing, you could promote the games you create and potentially earn money that way. Another example would be an arts and crafts channel which also promotes an Etsy store where your own arts and crafts can be purchased.

If you go down this route, it is important to remember that the thing you are promoting needs to be relevant to your audience. There is no sense in building a channel around Marvel comic book-related content and then trying to promote a SquareSpace affiliate code. Of course, this is true of any age of audience, but it is especially true of younger audiences.

Can You Make Money on YouTube if You Are Under 18? 3

Target Older Viewers

Not everyone can shift their content in such a way that it changes the average ages of their audience—at least, not without drastic changes to the channel—but for some, it is definitely possible, and it may be the answer to your monetisation problems.

By shifting your content in a more mature direction and ensuring that your videos are not marked as made for children, you should be able to qualify for the YouTube Partner Programme—assuming you have met all the other criteria.

Of course, if you are making content aimed at very young children—seven to ten-year-olds, for example—this kind of shift will not be a practical solution. But, if your audience is a little older—fourteen to seventeen, for example—it may be worth looking into.

Tips for Being an Under-18 YouTuber

Firstly, if you are a parent or guardian reading this, we would recommend familiarising yourself with YouTube’s child safety page as a bare minimum. If you are the child YouTuber, it won’t hurt to read through that page either.

For the success part of YouTubing as a minor, we have some tips.

Don’t Take Things to Heart

There are mean people on the Internet, and they often don’t have much to say in the way of being constructive. YouTube disables comments on videos that are intended for a young audience for this very reason, but if you find yourself in the comments of yours or another YouTuber’s video and people are being mean to you, do not let it affect you.

There is a way of delivering constructive criticism that you may take some time to learn recognise. As a rough example, someone telling you that your videos are too quiet is useful feedback that you should take on board. On the other hand, someone telling you that you are ugly is not useful, since being ugly is a subjective comment and even if it were true, you can’t change how you look.

Learning to separate the useful criticism from the just plain insulting is a skill that will take a lot of practice, but in the meantime, do not let any mean comments you might encounter ruin your day.

Hone Your Craft

If you have dreams of becoming a professional YouTuber, take this opportunity to get as good as you can at making content. There are two important factors for young people here;

  • Their developing brains learn things more readily than when they are older
  • You will likely not have as much free time later in life as you do as a child.

You may be currently trying to balance homework, a social life, and any extracurricular activities you have with YouTube and wondering how that second point could be true. But trust us, while there are always exceptions, most people will have far less free time when they get older, start working full time, have a family, etc. Take advantage of all the spare time you have now to improve your video-making abilities.

If In Doubt, Don’t!

If you are in any doubt that something you are planning might be a bad idea, don’t do it. Or at least get a more experienced opinion before deciding. This can include things sharing personal stories online, expressing controversial viewpoints, and more.

Many people who did not grow up with the Internet (and some who did) have said and done things online that have had a significant and negative impact on their lives. Don’t risk saying something you might regret for the rest of your life this early on.

Can You Make Money on YouTube if You Are Under 18? 4

Privacy Privacy Privacy

We can’t stress this enough, but privacy is crucial, especially for under-18 YouTubers. If for no other reason than the YouTuber will almost certainly be living with their parents or guardians at that age and any privacy violations will affect the people you live with as well.

Don’t share personal information in your videos, and make sure there is nothing in the video that someone might be able to use to work out your home address or phone number, or anything of that nature.

Final Thoughts

YouTubing when you are under-18 is something that can be a fun hobby or a solid foundation for a future career, but you have to be careful. And, if you are a parent, remember that there is a reason you are responsible for your children.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.