How to start a vlog that earns you money?

By Ritvars Lauza read
09 Feb, 2024
How to start a vlog that earns you money?

Making money online isn’t just for selected special few. With the rise of video anyone with a camera and a good YouTube channel idea has the opportunity to be successful. You just have to know what you’re doing.

To tell you the truth,

there hasn’t been a better time to start a vlog than now. Right now the barrier of entry is super low and If you’ve been sitting on an idea for a while now’s the best time to act.

In this post I’m going to go over how to create a vlog that can earn money.

1.Plan ahead and pick your niche

If you want to start a vlog that actually makes money, it’s best if you don’t go into it blindly. Do it right and you’ll have a versatile monetisation strategy behind your videos. Plan ahead and it’s possible to start making money from the get-go. 

You should start by picking a specific niche. Niching down helps with giving your channel a direction and talking to a specific target audience. Since not everyone has the same interests, trying to create videos that appeal to everyone is completely impossible and useless.

With a specific niche, such as Call of Duty walkthroughs or DIY home decor, you can target a certain audience that has its needs.  Understanding these needs is the secret key to your channel’s monetisation.

Some examples of highly specific niches  would be:

  • cake decorating tutorials
  • podcasting tutorials & gear reviews
  • dance workouts
  • photoshop tutorials
  • dog training
  • well-known classical music pieces played on a guitar.

Since every niche is different, the same monetization method does not work for all. You can choose to roll ads before your videos play but without millions of viewers, the income won’t amount to much. Some niches have the potential to bring in high views but are super high in competition as well contrary to some that are so specific that your target audience will be really tiny – such as gaming vs something as specific as downhill longboarding.

You might also want to consider something that has the potential for product reviews and recommendation this can open your doors to affiliate marketing (more on that below).  For instance someone in the home repair niche could recommend best tools for home repair and then get a commission when someone buys them.

There’s also something called sponsored posts. For instance you could look into getting sponsored by a specific game or specific brand of sports nutrition if you’re into fitness. You would get paid directly for mentioning them. Depending on the niche, there might not be enough brands to see a substantial payout. So think about this as well.

Sellfy seller Fornpatric is a great example of making money from a super specific niche. He targets french horn players. He posts song covers, instrument reviews, and tips for playing better. To monetize his YouTube channel, he sells digital sheet music he wrote or transposed for songs people want to play on the french horn.

Since he positions himself as a teacher, his target audience values his knowledge and advice in this specific niche. That means they are more likely to buy his products, as well. And by selling his own product, he gets to keep the entire profit as well as create new ones to encourage repeat customers and consistent income.

That’s why it’s important to figure out your angle and niche from the get go. It shouldn’t be too big or too small, it should have people using variety of products and in the end you should have an opportunity to create your own digital product.

2. Brand your channel

After choosing a niche comes the fun part: branding your channel. Branding is super important. Not only does it help make creating videos and other content faster in the long run, but it also helps your audience identify you faster.

Naming your channel is the first step, and maybe the most overwhelming. There are a lot of ways you could go about this. You could name it after yourself. But unless you already have a following somewhere else, it may be harder to pick up traction this way.

Try to use keywords that describe your channel’s niche to help it appear in searches and so that viewers know what kind of videos they are clicking on. You also need to make your channel name as catchy as possible so people will remember it.

That being said, keep your name simple. Don’t make it too long. When in doubt, look to popular YouTube channels and use their names as a formula for creating your own. Channels names like Screen Junkies and Video Influencers both get the job done.

Having a unique style to your channel also sets the tone for your videos. If you’re creating a beauty channel, you’d want your style to be glamorous and brights. If you’re creating a DIY or craft channel, you’d want the style to be fun and creative.

Sellfy Seller Sorelle has a great example of a unique style that is present in all of her videos. She uses a combination of presets, fonts, and imagery to create her style and her viewers love it. They can relate to it or they see it, and want the same style for their photos and videos.

Because of this, Sorelle has been able to sell the presets that she uses on her own photos and videos and sell them for profit. Her viewers love her branding so much, that they want a piece of it for themselves. Having a unique style can pay off!

You can create a unique style with the use of different elements:

  • Logo: Your logo represents you, so send a message with it! Choose your fonts, colors, and images carefully because you will be using this logo everywhere- from your channel to your social media profiles to your online store.
  • Font: Fonts are a great way to carry style throughout a video, especially if you find yourself using text to break up sections of your videos. Every font says something different, take comic sans and times new roman for instance. Look at all of your font options and choose the ones that best match your branding.
  • LUTs and Presets: A LUT or preset can create a certain vibe for your video, so take advantage of that. From lightening up the video to creating a cinematic effect, LUTs and presets can be your best friend when branding your videos.

Canva is a great free tool that you can use to create branded images and thumbnails for your channel. And editing software, such as Adobe Premiere, is perfect for creating your own LUTs and presets.

Make sure you take all the time you need to craft your brand until you have everything looking perfect because it will help define your channel to potential subscribers in the long run.

3. Build a community

After creating and branding your channel, you need to focus on engagement. Monetizing your YouTube channel is useless without great engagement. Even if you have millions of views, it doesn’t do any good unless your viewers are interacting with your content.

The best way to encourage engagement with your viewers is to build a community. Relate to your subscribers and talk to them like they were there with you. Make it easy for them to reach out to you by asking questions and telling them to leave their answers in the comments. And it’s always a good idea to remind them in each video to subscribe or turn on notifications for your videos.

Sellfy seller Peter McKinnon has created a loyal community on YouTube. His audience loves watching his videos and getting to know him. When he launched his own merch and presets, that just strengthened the community because they were able to show their support for him by buying his products.

Making different kinds of videos is another way to help build your community. Don’t just stick to one type. If you post tutorials on designing graphics, get creative so you aren’t posting the same thing every time. Shake things up by reviewing a new design software, critiquing other pieces of design, or even just a personal vlog where you discuss your life or work. This helps your audience get to know you better.

Product launch videos are another great type of video to throw in the mix. Anytime you launch a new product create a video explaining and showing how to use it. Chris Hau does this with his video on making photos pop with his new lightroom presets to get viewers excited about purchasing them.

There are tons of different vlogging ideas you could use to throw some variety and more personality into your channel and start growing your community.

4. Choose your monetisation method(s)

After working hard to find a niche, brand your channel, and build a community comes the part you have been waiting for: making money! It may seem like it take a lot to get here, but it will all be worth it once you start seeing the cash roll in.

There are pros and cons to every monetization option. Take the time to research each so you can find the best fit for your channel. Here is a few to get you started:

  • Ads: If you want to make money from ads on YouTube, you will need to apply for the YouTube Partner Program. This will give you access to all of YouTube’s monetization features through Google AdSense. To be eligible, you must have 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and at least 1,000 subscribers.

Ads are definitely an easy way to make money, if you have a lot of engaged viewers. Ads usually only pay cents per view or click. If you only get 1,000 views on a video, that’s only $10 for hours of hard work. And that’s even if every single viewer clicks on the ad, which is highly unlikely.

Ads work best if you have tons of viewers or a highly engaged audience. Through YouTube’s monetization features, you can choose the types of ads that play before your video. It is important that you choose ones that will get your viewers’ attention without a doubt for you to see a substantial earning from ads.

  • Affiliate marketing: This option can work a lot like ads when it comes to needing a lot of engaged viewers. When you post an affiliate link for a brand, you are only earning a small percentage of a sale made when a viewer buys something. So you want to make sure your viewers are already highly engaged with your content before implementing this monetization option.

When adding links for sales, make sure to create videos that make your audience want to buy these products. Don’t just throw links in here and there- this will not make you money. There are a lot of possibilities for affiliate marketing videos including tutorials and reviews. The more creative you get, the more likely you are to make a sale.

  • Sponsored videos: Sponsored videos give you a larger earning at a time than ads or affiliate marketing. When you find a brand to sponsor one of your videos, they will pay you a lump sum for advertising them on your channel. With sponsored videos, you don’t have to worry about only making only a few cents here and there.

However, many brands are picky about the YouTubers the work with. They want to know that there will be a return on their investment of advertising with you. They look at analytics like subscribers, viewers, and engagement rates to see if you are a good fit for advertising their product.

If your views or engagement isn’t quite up to par, you may have a hard time finding a brand to sponsor you at first. When initially reaching out about sponsored videos, it’s a good idea to focus on the benefits your channel presents. Such as the demographics of your target audience lining up with the demographics for the brand’s target audience.

  • Sell your own product: Compared to using AdSense, and other forms of monetizing your YouTube channel, selling your own product can make you the most profit. For starters, instead of only earning pennies or a small percentage every time a sell is made, you get to keep the entire thing!

You also get more control over what you sell and how to sell it. This freedom allows you to create a product that is molded to your audience’s wants and needs. After all, who knows them better than you?

When you get right down to it, creating a product can be fun. And so can selling it. Selling your own product can allow you to do what you love and with the right online store platform, it can be easy, too.

When you’re ready to start monetizing your channel, use this YouTube money calculator to get a rough idea of how much you could be making.

Your turn

Making money from a vlog takes a lot of work, but it is definitely possible! It isn’t just for YouTube famous influencers. With a clear plan and strategy in mind, you can start a vlog from scratch that could one day provide you a full-time income. Just stick with it and don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine through!

Already have 1,000 followers? Check out our guide on how to make $1,000 from 1,000 followers without paid ads below!

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Ritvars is the marketing lead at Sellfy. With over 6 years of experience in online marketing & eCommerce, Ritvars shares his knowledge in Sellfy blog. He is inspired by the success of Sellfy creators and is passionate about finding new ways how he can help them succeed.