Last updated in September 2020
From the life of a YouTuber is the first instalment of my new side hustle series where I interview people who have successfully set up a side hustle. If you are interested in being interviewed and have a successful side hustle, please reach out to me.
From the Life of a YouTuber introduces you to my sister who earns extra cash with her YouTube channel.
Table of Contents
From the Life of a YouTuber
Please describe yourself.
My name is Sephie and I am a 29-year-old YouTuber. I have been in the business for six years, starting out as a hobby YouTuber. Previously, I worked as a retail assistant. However, I am a homebody and never enjoyed working a standard job. Looking for alternatives, I realised my YouTube channel had potential as a full-time job.
What does your channel focus on?
I’m a videogame Youtuber. I predominantly play games I like, for example, The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon and Fire Emblem (each of these is a series with several games). My first big hit was Inazuma Eleven which I played in Japanese. As I was the only streamer doing this, I gained a regular audience from this.
My most profitable game was Pokémon Sword and Shield. Because I bought the game the moment it was released, I could upload new episodes faster than other YouTubers.
How did you start your YouTube channel?
In the beginning, I played videogames with my friend and we also enjoyed watching Let’s Play videos. One day we realised we could make this kind of videos ourselves and decided to give it a try.
Combining our money, we bought the necessary equipment (a capture card, a microphone, a switcher, and necessary cables). Buying the cables was the most challenging part, as there were several different ones and we were unsure of what we needed.
What does an ordinary working day look like for you?
I do not have a fixed starting time; instead, I start working whenever I have some quiet time. First, I edit and upload videos which I recorded on the previous day. Each video is about 30 minutes long. Then, I create and edit the preview images for these videos, as well as write the descriptions, text (keywords), and video title.
Next, I answer user comments on already published videos (usually about 10-20 comments). Late at night I continue and record videos for about two or three hours because it is quieter at night. While I record, I already think about titles and moments to screenshot.
After finishing uploading these videos, I upload each episode into an editing software. Subsequently, the videos are rendered. Videos have two audio tracks and rendering (also called encoding) combines them into one. This minimises the file size so that the upload is quicker. One upload takes 20-40 minutes per video.
On average, I publish two new videos per day which go live at 3 pm and 4 pm every day. On Saturday evenings, I also stream. Streaming means playing live with an audience watching as I play with other streamers.
What was your biggest challenge as a YouTuber?
The biggest challenge was when my friend whom I ran the channel with moved away. Her job was writing video descriptions and research keywords. Furthermore, she also owned the laptop we used. When she left, I had to borrow my mothers’ computer until I had my own.
How can people get started on YouTube?
If you are interested in starting a YouTube channel, you first need to find a topic you can stick to. Additionally, you need to be aware that it takes time and effort to become established. You are unlikely to gain hundreds of followers on your first day.
YouTubing is very much a trial-and-error process but as you gain experience, you will eventually become successful. Starting out is very easy as all you need is a phone camera. You can simply upgrade your equipment once you become more established.
Do you have any tips for new YouTubers?
Firstly, you should be aware that it takes time to become successful and should not be disappointed if you do not see results immediately. Secondly, commenting on the videos of other YouTubers in the same niche may be helpful and get you your first followers.
How does monetarisation work on YouTube?
To make money on YouTube, you have to enter the partnership programme. This changes from time to time but when I started, the entry requirement was 1,000 followers and 100,000 channel views.
As a member of this programme, you can monetise your videos and decide where you want ads to be displayed (before or after the video, or in the middle). Long videos are paid better but people will often no fully watch them.
There are also channel memberships which work like Patreon. Followers who pay get some perks which depend on the channel. I offer my own emoticons to be used in my channel chat. Plus, paid members also do not see ads.
A second source of income on YouTube is streaming. Followers who watch the stream can donate with donations generally ranging from €5 to €100.
Where can people find you?
From the Life of a YouTuber summary
The main takeaways from From the Life of a YouTuber are that YouTubers have flexible working hours allowing them to decide themselves when to work. This means you can fit YouTubing around your current commitments easily.
However, we have also seen that building a successful YouTube channel takes time and effort. Therefore, it is important to be patient and stay committed to your channel even though you may not see results instantly.
You may also be interested in the other parts of this series:
For more ideas for new side hustles, read 10 ways to make £1,000 from home.
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