10 things I have learnt as a successful YouTuber
As part of our series on YouTube and vlogging, Parent Zone interviewed OzNozHD, a YouTuber who began his channel while at school and now has over 17,000 subscribers, to discover the ten things he has learnt whilst running a successful YouTube channel.
1. Anyone can start a channel, even from your bedroom.
The process that kickstarted my YouTube channel, OzNozHD, began when revising for my GCSEs. Throughout revision breaks I watched YouTube, especially FIFA related content. This got me thinking that with the school summer holiday ahead I could start making my own FIFA videos. I believed I had the charisma for it and had always enjoyed performance. That summer I began recording videos from my bedroom.
2. Don’t be nervous about how your friends will react.
Other YouTubers told me that they were teased when their friends discovered their YouTube channels. Fortunately, my friends reacted well. Of course, there was a little joking initially, but other than that my friends have been super supportive, and still show a keen interest in my channel. I believe that if they hadn’t supported me, they wouldn’t have been my true friends anyway.
3. Your parents will be supportive, no matter your initial concerns.
I didn’t discuss my YouTube channel with my parents until I had almost 15,000 subscribers. I’d been making content for over two years in the same house as them without them knowing. I can tell you it’s quite hard to build a channel while hiding it from the people you live with!
I thought that my parents wouldn’t understand. YouTube is something that makes perfect sense to young people but doesn’t to older people. However, when I did finally tell my parents they were extremely supportive.
4. Budding YouTubers need some parental support.
A presence on YouTube comes with a level of risk that young people wouldn’t normally be exposed to. There’s the risk of being hacked, having your personal information stolen and your bank details compromised. I’ve received numerous phishing attacks from bogus FIFA coin selling sites. I think that parents should oversee a young person’s YouTube channel to help manage this risk.
5. Running a YouTube channel can get you to Wembley.
One of the biggest opportunities that came through YouTube involved the 2017 FA Cup. They were running a social media campaign called “#cupstory” from the quarter finals onwards. I was chosen as the representative on social media for Chelsea. This involved going to every game in the quarter final and semifinal rounds. One of these games was Chelsea vs Tottenham in the semifinal at Wembley and I went with a load of other big YouTubers. I still think that the video I produced for that game is the best on my channel. It was truly a perfect experience. The FA social media team are fantastic, even now they keep in touch with me.
6. The fans are fantastic.
When I was at Insomnia gaming festival, one little lad, around twelve years old, came up to me and introduced himself and asked for a selfie. What was especially nice about this encounter was that his mum who was with him said that her son loved my videos and they were what kept him entertained after school every day. Hearing that made me think, “Well isn’t that the best thing ever!” Those sorts of interactions were the cherry on top of what was an incredible experience at Insomnia.
7. Be on brand, be consistent and bear in mind that content is king.
Branding is crucial to the success of a channel. You should want your branding to be simple but effective with a consistent look across social media platforms. When potential viewers come across your channel they will almost immediately decide whether to watch, let alone subscribe, based on the appearance of your channel.
Only upload videos that you enjoy creating and would yourself enjoy watching.
8. Network, network, network.
When you have less than 1,500 subscribers it is important to collaborate with other channels by making videos together, in doing so you bring together your respective subscriber bases. Collaboration and networking are important because they help to build professional relationships meaning that in the future you’ll have people to bounce ideas off and to support you.
9. Treat YouTube as a hobby, not a way to earn money.
Monetization is no longer a realistic goal for budding YouTubers. The most recent changes to the rules on monetization in January mean channels must have over 1,000 subscribers and over 4,000 watch hours in the last twelve months for their videos to be monetized. I think budding YouTubers should start their channel as a hobby and view any money as a bonus. Viewers will notice it almost immediately if your sole intent is monetary gain.
10. YouTube will teach you skills school can’t.
YouTube has taught me skills I would never have learnt at school, such as editing and video-making skills. My school didn’t even offer media lessons. Also, I wouldn’t have gained my confidence to be in front of camera or the ability to build a business and market a brand.
What I love about YouTube is that there is no one there to teach you but rather you must learn from your mistakes to improve and grow.
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Image: @OzNozHD YouTube channel