Making a Home
ouTube is the new business-and-entertainment frontier, which means there’s as much excitement and creativity associated with creating and managing a YouTube channel these days as was the case during the early
days of television, when the sky seemed the limit. YouTube — like television before it — is caught up in the same adventure that comes from defining its target audience as well as finding out what audiences are willing to watch.
For television, the adventurous nature of its early endeavors could be traced to the fact that TV was so new that audiences really didn’t know what they wanted. For YouTube, working in today’s market, it’s much more about meeting the diverse interests and needs of an audience that attracts more than a billion people from all over the planet.
Anyone who wants to show off their video prowess or share their vision with the world can hang a virtual shingle on YouTube by starting their own channel. Of course, when television began, we humans had more toes than the TV had chan- nels. These days, YouTube has billions of users. That makes running a successful YouTube channel seem a bit more daunting.
Having more than 2 billion monthly active users can make getting noticed on your channel feel like searching for a virtual needle in an online haystack. Yet regard- less of the steep increase in competition, the intention has always been the same — get people to watch your channel. But it’s not all bad news: You also have an advantage over your counterpart in the 1940s. Back then, it took a great deal of capital to get started on television. Today? Not so much. In fact, if you just want a platform for presenting some of your video work, YouTube can make that possible without your having to fork over one thin dime.
Knowing that YouTube is free to use should reduce some of your worries — at least from a financial perspective. Couple that with the size and diversity of the YouTube audience — and the endless number of topics that interest them — and it’s easy to believe that you have a fair chance of success for your channel. That’s true, up to a point — if the point is you want your channel to thrive, you need to provide your viewers with compelling content.
Saying that your channel needs to host solid content that people actually want to see seems as glaringly obvious as saying a hamburger joint must make a good burger in order to survive. But content merely makes up the first part of the equa- tion. The rest depends on how you bring viewers to that content: While YouTube is free, video production certainly is not. Unless you want to shell out money from your own pocket, you need to generate some funds to produce high quality content for your channel. In the world of YouTube, one major way to generate such funds is with advertising revenue — and it should come as no surprise that the more viewers you can attract, the greater your potential to generate advertising reve- nue. How much depends on your needs and ambitions, but increased revenue can lead to better production values, which brings it all back to more revenue.
But before you start worrying about all that money you’re going to make, let’s take a look at what it takes to get started on a YouTube channel for you or your business.