The life of successful vloggers seems a heaven to millions of people worldwide. This is because this way of making a living is considered “easy money”. People watch YouTube videos and think ‘Oh, I can do that too’.
Yet, the situation is totally different for anyone who already created their channels. YouTube influencers understand well that there is a lot of work behind the veil of such dream life. And if you want to be popular and receive a good income, you have you think of your YouTube activity as a real business.
But in case you already have a decent audience and a good position on YouTube, what’s next? In this article, we’ll explain how to establish (if not yet) and grow your YouTube business. But first, let’s discuss why you need to think about this at all.
- Why develop your YouTube business
- Businesses that were born of YouTube channels
- Other ideas for YouTube business
Why grow your YouTube business
If you’ve been on YouTube for a while, traditional ways of making money such as revenue from advertising, sponsorship or affiliate links, probably already bring you some income.
And it’s hard to argue that YouTube is constantly growing and thriving. As of the end of 2017, the number of YouTube users was 1.47 billion and it’s expected to grow to 1.86 billion by 2021. So doesn’t it mean that YouTube does the whole work for you and if it’s growing, then your profits will eventually skyrocket as well? Why care about building a business around your YouTube channel at all?
Well, there are several reasons for that. It’s, of course, great if your channel is popular enough to allow you to monetize it by placing ads on your videos. Yet, there are two downsides of this means to income:
- You need to always keep your YouTube audience engaged. This is because YouTube’s rates per view are really low so a lot of people must watch the ad placed on your video to make it profitable for you. No one knows exactly what’s YouTube’s share in income received from advertising. However, the average CPM (cost per thousands of views) constitutes $7.6 and Google keeps about 45 percent of that. Hence, you can get only around $4.18 per 1,000 views.
- Your income completely depends on YouTube policy. And this is a real threat. Because, basically, YouTube is the boss, so it can change the rules of the game at any time as it happened at the beginning of this year. As you may know, in February 2018, YouTube tightened criteria for video creators who want to apply for monetization. Before the changes, they needed to have only 10,000 views. Now, it’s required to have 4,000 hours of viewing time on the channel within the preceding 12 months plus 1,000 subscribers.
Summing up, YouTube is definitely a great starting point and may remain a foundation of your income stream but relying only on it is a slippery slope. To stay safe and grow, you need to establish an independent business and use your YouTube channel as a platform for its promotion. The idea, however, is not a know-how in the vloggers’ world. So let’s take a look at how the richest YouTubers’ have already turned it into reality.
Businesses that were born of YouTube channels
Dude Perfect is in top-3 most profitable YouTube channels. As of September 2018, it had 31 million subscribers and brought its creators about $14 million in 2017. The main topic of the channel is basketball tricks which are so high-level that even seem fake.
The channel creators are five basketball lovers — Coby, Cory, Garrett, Cody, and Tyler. In 2011, they created a mobile basketball game — Dude Perfect that was inspired by their YouTube videos. Later, they released Dude Perfect 2 and some other games (all available on iOS and Android).
Besides gaming app, these guys have their own website where they sell different branded merchandise related to sports — from baller bands to backpacks.
PewDiePie is a YouTube channel created by Felix Kjellberg, a popular video gamer from Sweden. Felix became the most-subscribed user on YouTube in August 2013, and now his channel has over 70 million subscribers. Last year, Felix received $12 million from its activity as a YouTube blogger.
What does he do? The channel became popular mostly because of Felix’s commentaries of online games but it also contains other funny videos.
In 2015, Felix released his own gaming app called PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist that is available for iOS and Android. Reportedly, on the day of release, the game earned $100k for its owners.
Logan Paul has two YouTube channels: Logan Paul Vlogs (18.6 million subscribers) and TheOfficialLoganPaul (over 5 million subscribers). Last year they brought him around $12.5 million.
What are his channels about? Well, that’s not an easy question. Logan publishes short films on TheOfficialLoganPaul and Logan Paul Vlogs is for funny and sometimes controversial videos. One of them, a music video The Fall Of Jake Paul, has already got more than 200M views.
But besides being a YouTube star, Logan shows a great example of how one can build a business out of vlogging. He developed a mobile app called The IAm Logan Paul App that is available in both — App Store and Google Play Store. Via this application, Logan shares all his social media and videos to help his fans always stay active and engaged.
On top of that, Logan has an online store where he sells clothes from his clothing line called Maverick by Logan Paul.
Other ideas for YouTube business
The above cases are only to show you some examples of how you can use your popularity on YouTube to grow your business. You might have noticed that most YouTube influencers choose to create an app or online shop. This is not accidental. Since YouTubers “meet” with their audience online, creating digital products is the easiest way to make money.
However, the list of opportunities is indeed endless and only the sky is the limit. Here are some ideas:
- platform with courses
- sports or fitness app
- shopping app (say ‘Hello’ to Kim Kardashian)
- social platform for fans
- YouTube channel app
If your YouTube channel (and business) is growing and everything is getting serious, it’s also important to think about optimization of some processes. This is especially applicable to those YouTubers who already have a team of content creators, assistance, scriptwriters, videographers etc. But this is an easy task because everything you need is to develop software that will do the work. For instance, you can create a channel management tool to help you with data analytics, messaging, planning and scheduling.
Putting it all together
YouTube is a unique phenomenon and if you make money there, you’ve already done a great job. But if you don’t want to depend on someone else’s decisions and dream about building a real business, you have to think beyond its boundaries. The most popular and proven way to turn your YouTube popularity into cash is to develop a mobile app or create an Internet store. But you can also think about other ideas — everything depends on your audience and channel content.
Already have an awesome app idea?