How to Become a Successful YouTuber in 15 Steps (2024)

Want to create vlogs for a living? This career just might right up your alley.

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

How to become a YouTuber

Ready to take the plunge into the YouTube world? You’re in good company.

With millions flocking to the platform, the prospect of becoming a YouTuber has never been more exciting — or competitive. Whether you aim to be the next top gamer, vlogger or influencer, your work has been cut out for you.

Lucky for you, this guide is tailored for beginners like yourself. We’ll cover the steps you need to take, how to make money, and what life is like in the YouTube limelight. So, let’s get started on your journey to becoming a successful YouTuber!

What is a YouTuber?

So, what is a YouTuber, anyway? Well, it'’ someone who creates content for YouTube with the goal of entertaining, educating or inspiring an audience.

You might start off just looking to share your passion, but can end up making it your full-time career. Once you reach that level, you’re not just famous; you’re a content machine, engaging with fans and even getting paid for your creativity.

This is what you’ll typically do:

  • Craft and produce videos based on your chosen niche
  • Cut and polish your footage to make it engaging
  • Reply to comments, share updates, and foster a community
  • Use social media to spread the word about your videos
  • Understand your performance through views, likes and watch time
  • Get into the YouTube Partner Program, land sponsorships, and earn money.

Ready to dive in? Becoming a YouTuber can be as simple as uploading your first video. But turning it into a career… That’s where the real challenge starts.

What is the job like?

Picture this: your office is wherever you set up your camera and laptop. You’re your own boss, deciding when to film, edit and publish. Sounds dreamy, right? But it’s not all laidback vibes.

If you’re eyeing success on YouTube, you’ll need discipline. After all, it’s a business model like any other job, and consistency is key, while you’ll often find yourself burning the midnight oil to meet deadlines and keep your audience engaged.

From brainstorming ideas to poring over analytics, the job varies each day, making it both exciting and challenging.

Should I become a YouTuber?

Still on the fence about diving into the YouTube universe? Let’s weigh the pros and cons to help you decide between a business model or a hobby.

The pros

Let’s talk about the good stuff: the benefits that make becoming a YouTuber tempting:

  • Creative freedom: Own your content, from start to finish.
  • Money-making potential: Once successful, the pay can be lucrative.
  • Flexible hours: Work around your own schedule.
  • Global impact: Your vlogs can reach an international audience.
  • Diverse income: Between sponsorships and the YouTube Partner Program, multiple revenue streams are possible.

The cons

However, it’s not all YouTube glory. Before you take the leap, consider these potential drawbacks:

  • Cut-throat competition: The platform’s saturated, making it hard to stand out.
  • Time sink: Creating content isn’t a walk in the park; it demands time and effort.
  • Unsteady pay: Your salary’s not a sure thing; it fluctuates.
  • Privacy trade-off: A famous face can mean less personal space.
  • Risk of burnout: The pressure for new, engaging content is constant.

How much do YouTubers earn?

So, you’re curious about how much you could earn if you take the plunge into the YouTube universe, right? The answer isn’t straightforward. Some YouTubers barely make enough for a coffee run, while top-tier creators easily pull in six or seven figures a year. Crazy, huh?

Your potential earnings depend on several factors. Let’s start with your content’s niche. Gaming channels, for example, often do well, as do beauty vlogs. The audience you attract also plays a significant role. Age, location and interests — these demographic factors can impact how brands interact with you, which in turn affects your sponsorship deals.

Another major factor? Your subscriber count and video views. Simply put, the more eyes on your content, the higher your earning potential. In the YouTube Partner Program, you’ll get paid through ad revenue, which is directly influenced by your view count. Sponsorships and affiliate marketing are also major players here. Brands are more likely to work with you if you have an engaged audience. That’s why you’ll often see famous YouTubers promoting products or services.

And let’s not forget merchandise. If you’ve built a strong brand, your audience will likely want a piece of it — literally. Selling your own merch can be an excellent additional revenue stream.

So, bottom line: there’s money to be made, but how much you’ll earn is up to you, your content and how well you can engage an audience.

How to become a successful YouTuber

Ready to turn your YouTube dreams into a full-fledged career? Follow these 15 steps to increase your chances of YouTube success.

Step 1: Find your niche

Your passion is your compass in the YouTube journey. In a sea of content creators, your genuine interest in your topic will set you apart.

Choose a niche that not only excites you but also has staying power so you’re not pigeonholed into a fad that will fade away. A smartly selected niche helps you aim your content at a more defined audience, giving you a better shot at building a loyal viewership.

Remember: authenticity is magnetic. When your love for your subject shines through, it’s easier to win the hearts — and clicks — of your target audience.

Step 2: Do some market research

Once your niche is clear, dive into some detective work. Successful YouTubers within your chosen area become your unofficial guides, helping you understand what clicks with the audience.

Check out their videos, but don’t stop there — analyze their engagement metrics, the comments section and even the style of their video descriptions.

This gives you an understanding of what works and what doesn’t. But don’t just be a clone; identify areas they might have missed or topics that are underexplored. This is where you can carve out your own unique space, giving you a competitive edge in a crowded landscape.

Step 3: Plan your content

Spontaneity has its charm, but when it comes to sustained YouTube success, consistency and planning are key.

Create a content calendar that acts as your roadmap, outlining what types of videos you’ll produce and when you’ll publish them. Aim for a mix of evergreen content — videos that stay relevant over the long haul — and trending topics that capitalize on current buzz. This combination keeps your existing audience engaged while also drawing in new subscribers.

Be alert to special dates or happenings that sync with your niche. Whether it’s holiday seasons, industry events or new product launches, these occasions provide fertile ground for content that’s both timely and relevant. Planning your content ahead of time also frees you up to focus on quality, rather than scrambling at the last minute.

Start with a simple monthly calendar, and populate it with your video ideas. Use tools like Google Trends to identify hot topics and analytics from your past videos to see what’s resonating with your audience. Always keep a backup list of evergreen topics for those times when you’re stuck for ideas.

Step 4: Gear up

Starting out doesn’t mean you need the most expensive equipment. However, a decent camera and microphone can make a big difference in how viewers perceive your content. Good lighting, meanwhile, is often overlooked but crucial; it sets the mood and enhances video quality.

Investing in these basics will help your videos look and sound professional, drawing in more viewers and setting you on the path to success. You can always upgrade your gear as your channel grows, but even a smartphone with a good camera can be enough to get started.

Step 5: Learn video editing

Editing is crucial for creating polished, engaging videos. You don’t need advanced video editing skills — basic editing know-how goes a long way. Familiarize yourself with simple tasks like cutting footage, adding transitions and inserting text or graphics.

Some popular free video editing software for beginners include DaVinci Resolve and HitFilm Express. Popular free options for beginners include DaVinci Resolve and HitFilm Express. Numerous tutorials are available online to guide you in through these tools. The time you invest in learning these basics can significantly elevate the quality of your content.

Step 6: Create a channel

Setting up your YouTube channel is a breeze.

Start by ensuring you have a Google account ready. With that in place, navigate to YouTube, click on your user icon in the top right corner, and follow the prompts to create your channel.

It’s a swift process, but don’t rush through it. Take a moment to decide on your channel name, which will be the first impression viewers have of you. Ensure it reflects your niche and is easy to remember.

When it comes to your channel image, design an appealing banner and eye-catching logo that encapsulate the essence of your content. Remember: this is the beginning of your branding journey on YouTube, so make it memorable. Once your channel is live, you’re all set to start uploading your carefully planned and expertly edited content.

Step 7: Design your brand

Visual appeal plays a pivotal role in attracting and retaining viewers. Your channel’s banner and logo aren’t just placeholders; they’re the visual identity of your brand. Spend quality time creating a banner and logo that embody what your channel aims to deliver. They should mirror both your niche and unique style, helping viewers instantly get a sense of what you’re about.

If you’re not skilled in graphic design, it might be wise to invest in a freelance designer. A professionally designed look isn’t just eye-catching; it adds credibility to your channel, which can be a magnet for new subscribers.

Step 8: Make an intro video

Your intro video is your virtual handshake, setting the stage for new viewers. In this short clip, introduce yourself, and outline what your channel offers. Whether it’s weekly cooking tutorials or daily vlogs, let viewers know what to expect and why they should subscribe. Pin this video to the top of your channel page so it’s the first thing newcomers see.

To make your intro video more polished, you might want to use platforms like Canva or InVideo. Both offer user-friendly templates designed for this specific purpose, helping you create an intro that’s both engaging and professionally done.

Step 9: Upload regularly

Consistency is the linchpin of a successful YouTube channel. Select a consistent upload schedule that you can feasibly uphold, whether it’s a weekly commitment or bimonthly uploads. Stick to this schedule diligently; consistency helps build trust with your audience and enhances your channel’s visibility on the platform.

To keep yourself accountable, mark your chosen upload days prominently in your content calendar. Set reminders or alarms to notify you a few days before your scheduled upload. This will give you time to finalize your video and make any last-minute changes. A reliable posting schedule not only keeps your current audience engaged but also makes your channel more appealing to new subscribers.

Step 10: Engage with your audience

Fostering a sense of community around your channel is crucial for its growth. Make a regular habit of interacting with your audience by responding to comments and addressing questions on your videos. Set aside a specific time each week, like an hour after each new upload, to engage directly with viewers.

This practice not only deepens your relationship with your audience but also provides valuable feedback on what content resonates with them. High levels of engagement can also boost your videos’ rankings, making them more likely to be suggested by YouTube’s algorithm, thereby attracting even more views and subscribers.

Step 11: Analyze metrics

Monitoring your channel’s performance is key to your success on YouTube. Make a habit of checking YouTube Analytics at least once a week. Pay attention to key metrics like watch time, audience retention and subscriber growth. These indicators reveal what’s working and what needs fine-tuning.

For example, if a specific video has a high retention rate, consider making more videos on similar topics. Conversely, if another video has low engagement, think about what might have gone wrong and adjust accordingly. Use this data-driven approach to refine your content strategy, ensuring that you’re always delivering what your audience wants to see.

Step 12: Optimize for SEO

Don’t underestimate the power of SEO in increasing your channel’s visibility. Begin your research by exploring keywords associated with your niche. You can use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, or leverage YouTube’s search suggest feature to identify relevant keywords and phrases. Once you’ve got a list, incorporate these keywords naturally into your video titles, descriptions and tags.

Doing so will improve your videos’ rankings in search results, leading to more views and subscribers. But remember: SEO isn’t a one-time task; periodically revisit your keywords and update them based on current trends and analytics data. By consistently optimizing for SEO, you make it easier for potential subscribers to find and engage with your content.

Step 13: Monetize

Reaching the thresholds for the YouTube Partner Program is an important milestone. Once you qualify, don’t hesitate to apply. However, before you do, review YouTube’s advertising guidelines to ensure your content is ad-friendly. Understanding these rules can help you avoid monetization hiccups down the line.

After you’re accepted, explore additional revenue options like channel memberships or Super Chat during live streams to diversify your income streams. Always keep an eye on your revenue analytics to gauge what’s working, and adapt your strategy accordingly. Proper monetization can turn your passion into a profitable venture, making all your hard work worth it.

Step 14: Collaborate

Collaborating can significantly amplify your channel’s reach. When looking for partners, target those whose audience intersects with yours. This ensures a higher chance of engagement and subscription from the new viewers you gain. Reach out with a well-crafted pitch that highlights the benefits for both parties. It could be a joint video series, a challenge or even a product review.

After the collaboration, evaluate its success by checking analytics like viewer crossover and engagement rates. Use this data to refine your approach for future partnerships. The right collaboration can elevate your content and introduce it to a whole new audience.

Step 15: Stay updated

Adaptability is key in the ever-evolving landscape of YouTube. Stay vigilant about industry trends and platform updates. Follow trusted sources in the YouTube community, subscribe to channels that cover these changes, and engage in relevant forums or communities. YouTube often introduces algorithm tweaks and content policies, and staying informed is essential to maintain your channel’s visibility and adhere to guidelines.

Additionally, regularly revisit your content strategy to ensure it aligns with the latest trends and audience preferences. Embracing change and being open to trying new formats or topics can keep your channel fresh and appealing to both existing subscribers and potential viewers. Stay updated, stay relevant, and keep growing your YouTube career.

Popular YouTube channel ideas

Alright, you’re ready to dive into YouTube, but what kind of content should you create? Don’t sweat it! Here’s a guide featuring 10 popular channel ideas to get you started.

1. Gaming

2023 is a huge year for gamers on YouTube. With so many new releases and a massive audience, you could become the next big gaming influencer.

2. Cooking/Recipes

Everyone’s gotta eat, right? Whether it’s a quick weeknight dinner or a gourmet feast, cooking channels have a diverse and engaged audience.

3. Crafts

Crafting isn’t just for rainy days; it’s an evergreen topic. From knitting to paper crafts, this niche can attract a community of like-minded people.

4. Gardening

The world’s going green, and gardening channels are sprouting up all over YouTube. You can share your green thumb tips and build an organic following.

5. Fitness

Home workouts are booming, especially in the age of social distancing. Become the next fitness guru by sharing your health tips and workout routines.

6. Beauty and fashion

If you love keeping up with the latest trends, why not make it a career on YouTube? Review products, offer tutorials, and dish out style advice.

7. Tech reviews

Tech’s always changing, and people need someone to help them navigate it. Review gadgets and software, and you could become a trusted voice in tech.

8. Parenting

Navigating parenthood is tough. Share your journey, tips and tricks to create a supportive community for parents and soon-to-be parents.

9. Travel vlogs

Travel is slowly making a comeback. Capture your adventures and share insider tips. Your vlogs could inspire someone’s next getaway.

10. Educational content

Have a knack for explaining complex subjects? Educational channels are always in demand. Break down tough topics, and you’ll be a hit in no time.


You’ve got questions; we’ve got answers. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to kicking off a YouTube career in 2024.

Q: How do I start a YouTube channel?

Starting a YouTube channel is pretty straightforward. First, you’ll need a Google account. If you don’t have one, go ahead and sign up. Next, navigate to YouTube and click on the user icon in the upper right corner. Choose “Your Channel” and then hit “Create Channel”. Just follow the prompts, and you’re all set to become the next big YouTuber!

Q: How difficult is it to become a successful YouTuber?

Breaking through on YouTube can be a tough climb. It’s a saturated platform teeming with competition. To rise above the noise, you’ll need more than just interesting content; a well-thought-out strategy and unyielding perseverance are equally crucial. In a nutshell, it takes a lot to stand out.

Q: How many views do you need to get paid on YouTube?

To start getting paid, you’ve got to be part of the YouTube Partner Program. Requirements? At least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours within the last year. Once you hit those numbers and get approved, you can start earning through various avenues like ads, channel memberships, and even sponsored content.

Final thoughts

You’re now armed with the essentials to jumpstart your YouTube career in 2024. Whether your jam is vlogging, gaming or something else entirely, there’s space for you to carve out your own niche and make a career on YouTube.

But remember: success won’t happen overnight, and success could still mean low wages. You’ll need dedication, a good dash of luck and relentless passion. Overcoming competition is part of the journey to becoming a successful YouTuber, too. But if you’re all in, the sky’s the limit.

You could evolve into the next big influencer or even a household name. Who knows? Soon, we might all be tuning into your channel, eager to see what you’ll create next!

Got a question? Let us know in the comments section below!

Originally published on December 5, 2017.