How to Become a YouTuber and Make Money

Last Updated on Mar. 8, 2024 – by David Morgan
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Is it still worth dedicating the time and effort to become a successful YouTuber in 2023? 

With a staggering 1.7 billion monthly visitors, YouTube is the second most visited platform globally, only surpassed by Google. It surpasses the number of visits received by Facebook, Instagram, and even Amazon. This means that even if you're just starting out, the potential for channel growth is immense. 

Undoubtedly, learning how to become a YouTuber can feel overwhelming at first. There are numerous decisions to make, algorithms to understand, and equipment to consider. You'll need to master shooting and editing techniques, craft engaging video titles, and create eye-catching YouTube thumbnails. Most importantly, you'll need to explore monetization strategies to start earning money from your channel. So, let's dive right in!   

If you're short on time, here’s a video that offers quick tips and tricks for launching your own YouTube channel.

For professional video editing that will elevate your content, PowerDirector is here to help. With its comprehensive features, including templates, AI tools, and access to stock content, you can edit your YouTube videos like a pro.

What is a YouTuber?

Pick a Niche

YouTuber refers to an individual who creates and uploads their own videos on to a YouTube Channel. Many YouTubers have established a distinct brand identity for their channel and videos, encompassing a unique name, subject matter, and stylistic approach.

A professional YouTuber, or pro-YouTuber, goes beyond mere content creation and earns income by producing captivating, informative, or exhilarating videos that garner thousands, or even millions, of views and shares. For these accomplished YouTubers, each view translates into monetary gains, contributing to their financial success.

How Much Money Do YouTubers Make?

If you are learning how to become a YouTuber, the first thing you need to understand is that not all YouTubers make money. Only a small percentage of YouTube channels are set up for monetization (more on that later). 

Also, there is not a fixed number per view that everyone lucky enough to become a YouTuber with an AdSense account makes. The amount of money you make is based on your channel’s RPM, or rate per 1,000 views. The average RPM is $3-$5, although some very successful YouTubers have RPMs that are much higher. RPMs are based on many factors, such as the length of the video, ad blockers, your channel’s country of origin, and more.  

Successful YouTubers like Mr. Beast (who earned $54 Million in 2021) aren’t relying solely on views. They make money from ad sponsorships, merchandise, channel memberships, affiliate links, and more. 

For anyone who wants to become a YouTuber, it all boils down to this - the average annual income for a channel with 1 million subscribers is $60,000. 

How to Become a YouTuber

Pick a Niche

Pick a Niche

The first step in learning how to become a YouTuber is to choose a niche that is a cross-section of your interests and expertise. After all, if you already know a little about a topic, it will save you some work later! Your niche needs to be something you care about. If you seem bored or uninterested in your videos, your audience will notice. On the flip side, if you become a YouTuber who is enthusiastic and excited about your topic, it will create excitement in your viewers. 

You may think choosing a broad niche that will appeal to the most people makes sense. However, there is a lot of competition in those areas, and as someone who has just become a YouTuber, you won’t see much of that internet traffic. Choose something more specific. You’ll attract like-minded souls to your channel with much less competition.  

You may be interested in a variety of topics, but it’s important to start out making one type of video until you have a solid subscriber base. For instance, the popular family channel HobbyFamilyTV started off doing toy unboxing videos. After 10 years on YouTube and billions of views, they can make videos about anything they want, from gaming videos to simple Target runs!

Need help coming up with a channel idea? Here are 9 Hottest YouTube Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2023

Decide Your Channel’s Goal

Do you want to become a YouTuber to inform? Teach valuable skills? Maybe you want to help people in a similar situation to your own feel less alone. Do you want to help people sleep by creating ASMR videos, or help people get into shape? Maybe your goal is to make people laugh, or simply to entertain.

Finding a goal will help tremendously when you are developing and executing video content. It will provide consistency for your channel and help you hone in on your theme. 

If you plan to monetize your channel, you’ll have other more tangible goals to set. Set yourself one small, reachable goal at a time. For instance, if you have just become a YouTuber, your goal should be to reach 500 subscribers. Next, try to hit 1,000 subscribers so you can join the YouTube Partner Program. After that, your goal should be to make $100 so you can get your first paycheck, and so on. Setting small goals means you’ll be constantly reaching them! 

Learn from Your Competition

The sheer number of people who visit YouTube every day may lead you to believe it will be easy to become a YouTuber and immediately attract tons of viewers. However, there are also millions of channels out there and many are making the same kinds of videos you are. And if you are the new kid on the block, your videos will be the least likely to pop up in searches.  

What we are trying to say is - you have lots of competition. 

Have you heard “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer?” While we aren’t saying to think of your competition as your enemies, it is a good idea to visit similar channels often and learn what you can, such as how they shoot and edit YouTube videos, and how their video intro looks. You will better understand what they are doing that works well, and even what doesn’t. It’s okay to emulate competition. Just don’t copy them.

Speaking of enemies, try not to make any! You never know who you could end up collaborating with in the future. Sometimes similar channels do crossover episodes which can double the audience for both channels. 

Brainstorm Ideas and Develop a Content Schedule

Brainstorm Ideas and Develop a Content Schedule

Before you upload your first video and become a YouTuber, you need to have a bunch of video ideas ready to go. It will not only help with the production process on later videos, but it will help you see if your niche has legs before you waste time going down a certain path. If you completely run out of ideas after only 3 videos, you may want to come up with a different niche. 

Like we said above, check out what your competition is doing. While you don’t want to copy their videos, watching them can be a springboard for coming up with your own ideas. Can you add a twist to what’s already out there? It’s also important to think about your target audience and what they would want to see. For instance, let’s say on your channel you unbox Star Wars toys. While lots of channels do the same thing, have any of them done it while riding Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland? Dressed as an Ewok? If it’s something you would love to see, chances are other people will as well. 

Next, you need to come up with a manageable publishing schedule. If you’ve just become a YouTuber, chances are you have a full-time job. Make sure you don’t overextend yourself, or your channel will become too stressful and may fizzle out. 

We recommend having several months’ worth of videos ready to go before you launch your channel and become a YouTuber. Because it is a good idea to maintain a consistent posting schedule, this will greatly reduce your anxiety as you build your channel. It will also allow you to post a few videos in quick succession, to help gain new followers. For instance, you can post a new video daily for the first week, then go to a weekly or monthly schedule after that. 

Whatever schedule you choose, make sure your audience knows when to expect new content and try to be consistent.  

Pick the Right Equipment

Pick the Right Equipment

Chances are you already have a desktop computer and even a camera or smartphone you can use to shoot your videos. Here are some other equipment you will need to become a YouTuber. 

Video Editing Software - PowerDirector

Video Editing Software - One of the most important pieces of equipment you will need to become a YouTuber is a quality video editor for YouTube. PowerDirector is the best way to edit YouTube videos, especially for beginners. A new YouTuber has a lot to do and learn, don’t make using your video editor for YouTube a daunting task! PowerDirector has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, AI-powered tools, and even an Auto Movie mode that will help beginners edit YouTube videos in only a few clicks. It is also filled with tools and features that you will want as your editing skills improve. 

Video Editing Software - PowerDirector

PowerDirector is filled with tools designed especially for those who want to become a YouTuber, such as templates for intros and outros, YouTube-specific aspect ratios, direct uploads to YouTube, and a royalty-free music and sound effects library.

Click the link below to download the best video editor for YouTube for free.  


Lights - The minute viewers detect bad lighting, they will switch off. No one wants to have to squint to see a video, nor do they want to be blinded by ugly, glaring lights. You don’t have to spend lots of money on fancy lighting, simply turn off harsh flourescents and bring in extra lamps. If you are using a webcam, try an inexpensive ring light.  


Microphone - The only thing more unappealing to viewers than bad lighting is bad audio. While a phone or webcam is perfectly suitable for recording video, we don’t recommend relying on their built-in mics. For example, a wearable microphone will be best if you need to walk around while the camera follows you. An omnidirectional microphone will be best if you are interviewing someone and the microphone needs to pick up both your voices. And a shotgun mic may be best if you want the mic to offer focused listening. For more information, check out our article The Best Microphones for YouTube.

Build Your YouTube Channel Page

You’ve already learned so much about how to become a YouTuber, you may be thinking it's time to upload your first video! Sorry, we aren’t there yet, just bare with us. Before you post that first video, you need to take care of your YouTube Channel Page. 

Channel Name and Description - Your channel name should be easy for viewers to remember/pronounce (how else will they find you?), and represent what your channel is about. You should use the same name across all of your social media profiles as well. 

Your channel description is equally important. This is a brief description of what your channel is all about. It will appear on your channel’s page and the first 100-150 words will show up in search results (so put the important info in the beginning). The description is yet another way to optimize your channel by adding in necessary keywords. 

Profile Image - First and foremost, your profile image needs to be a clear, high-quality image that adheres to YouTube’s recommend size parameters (800 x 800 pixels, no larger than 4MB). Make your image a square, with the important bits in the middle since YouTube will crop it into a circle.  Choose an expressive image of your face with a solid, brightly colored background. If you have graphic design chops, you can create a logo instead. 

YouTube Banner - Also known as channel art, your YouTube banner is the first thing people will see when they click on your channel. Be consistent with your branding elements and use similar colors and fonts for your channel logo, thumbnails, and banner. Make your banner eye-catching and readable (your text should pop and not blend in with the background). You should also include buttons that link to your social media pages. Click here for more information on how to make a YouTube banner. 

Create and Upload Your First Video

Create and Upload Your First Video

Now you are ready to create your first video and officially become a YouTuber! Remember that a little planning will go a long way when shooting content. Even if you aren’t shooting scripted content, you should have a vague idea of what you need to say so you don’t come across as rambling or require 15 takes to get it done. 

And no matter what kind of content you are creating, try to edit YouTube videos with a beginning, middle, and end. Remember to pay attention to sound quality and lighting, and add visual interest with your video editor for YouTube. 

Once you have a few videos ready to go, you can upload your first one. 

Uploading a video requires you to fill out the video title, description, and relevant tags. You may have a video editor for YouTube like PowerDirector that allows you to do this directly from the software. These are all areas where you can optimize your content for the robots. It’s important the algorithmic robot side of the internet knows what your channel and videos are about so you get in front of the right people. This happens when you use relevant keywords that are common to your niche and the specific topics you are addressing in the video. If you’ve just become a YouTuber and this sounds confusing, don’t worry. There are sites such as Semrush that can generate the appropriate keywords for your topic. 

And finally, don’t forget to add a compelling thumbnail image. When tons of similar videos pop up in a search, your thumbnail is what will lead most users to choose your video over another. 

Need more help? Check out this article about uploading your videos using a video editor for YouTube. 

Monetize Your Channel

To become a YouTuber that actually makes money, first you need 4,000 watch hours in 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. Once you hit these marks, you can apply to join the YouTube Partner Program and start earning income. Please be aware that your channel will be monitored before you can join the YPP, so always make sure you are adhering to YouTube Community Guidelines

Next, you need to sign up for an AdSense account so you can make money from ad views. Pre-roll ads, also called in-stream advertising, are ads you see just before the video begins playing. You watch the ad for a few seconds and then have the option of continuing to watch or clicking “skip ad” to get to the YouTube video. You only get paid if the viewer watches the ad for at least 30 seconds. 

Bumper ads are short ads that only play for a few seconds during longer videos. These are ads the viewer can’t skip. They interrupt the video, so the content creator needs to make sure the choice to allow these ads is warranted. If your content is valuable and engaging, people will wait around while the ad plays because they want to see what else you have to say.

Sponsorships are another way you can become a YouTuber that earns money. Connecting with companies that are within your niche can be useful and adds variety to your content. For example, if you are representing a specific brand of glazes for your pottery channel, you’ll do a number of videos on glaze techniques, using that brand and their glaze colors.

The YouTube Partner Program allows your channel to earn money in a variety of other ways. You can earn money if a YouTube Premium user watches your content, you can sell channel memberships, sell merchandise on YouTube’s Merchandise Shelf, and sell Super Chat/Super Stickers during Live Streams. 

For more information about how to become a YouTuber and monetize your channel, click here

Stay in Touch With Your Community

Once you’ve become a YouTuber and uploaded your first video (congratulations on hitting the button, by the way), there’s still some maintenance work you need to do to ensure the growth of your channel. This involves reaching out and engaging with your subscribers while actively seeking new ones.  

Comment - Go back to published videos with some regularity, especially new ones and popular videos, to check on the responses and comments. Become a YouTuber who asks compelling questions in the comments, and you are sure to get answers, which increases engagement. Replying to comments can also increase engagement because people can see that you are a real person who cares about their questions. 

Share - YouTube has the unique ability to be added to your website or blog where you announce and share your latest videos. Make sure to share new videos and channel announcements (upcoming meet and greets, live streams, etc) to all of your social media pages as well. 

Ask for what you want - Since subscribers, views, and likes are valued by the YouTube algorithm, edit YouTube videos with a call to action and ask viewers to participate in supporting your channel. With all the distractions people face and the likelihood that they’ll immediately go on to another video, telling them what to do before they leave your video or channel is vital. Ask them to subscribe, like the video, and even check out another video of yours that you know they’ll find fascinating.

Monitor analytics - The only way to learn and grow is to use the feedback you get. Become a YouTuber who ignores the negative comments (because they are negativity, not feedback) and embraces suggestions and ideas. It also means utilizing the incredibly valuable analytics dashboard YouTube provides. They give you insights into how your videos perform so you can adjust and pivot your plans for future videos. Being adaptive and responding favorably to the information you have is an essential element only the best YouTube stars leverage well.

Download the Best Video Editing Software for YouTube

We’ve touched on a lot of important steps for how to become a YouTuber. However, none of it matters unless you have creative and engaging content. And you can only make the best videos if  you have the best video editor for YouTube. 

Best Video Editing Software for YouTube

PowerDirector is a beginner-friendly and affordable way to edit YouTube videos. And you don’t have to take our word for it. PowerDirector is a Google Play Editor’s Choice, PCMag Editor’s Choice, one of TechRadar’s Best Free Video Editing Software in 2023, and Tom’s Guide Best Video Editing Software in 2023, to name a few. 

Get the free video editor for YouTube that YouTubers trust when they want to get a final cut done fast. Click the link below and become a YouTuber today. 

How to Become a YouTuber FAQ

1. Can a Normal Person Become a YouTuber?

Absolutely. In fact, most well-known YouTubers were not famous before they had the opportunity to become YouTubers. There are millions of YouTubers out there and most would be considered “normal people.”

The beauty of YouTube is that anyone can become a YouTuber!

2. How Do YouTubers Get Paid?

Once you become a YouTuber and join the YouTube Partner Program, you can get paid in a number of ways.

The most common way to earn money is through ads, which pay per view. However, the YouTuber only gets paid if the viewer watches at least 30 seconds of the ad. Only around 15% of viewers will watch the required 30 seconds. Keeping that number in mind, most YouTubers receive between $3 and $5 per 1,000 views, depending on your channel’s RPM. 

RPM is the rate your channel earns per 1,000 views. It is entirely relative and based on what AdSense thinks your channel is worth. Some very popular YouTubers with millions of followers could receive upwards of $30 per 1,000 views. There are a number of factors that have an impact on your RPM, including your channel’s niche and country of origin. 

Being accepted into the YouTube Partner Program also allows your channel to earn in other ways. If a YouTube Premium user watches your content, you receive part of their subscription fee. You can also sell channel memberships, utilize YouTube’s Merchandise Shelf, and sell Super Chat and Super Stickers during Live Streams. 

3. How Many Views Do You Need to Get Paid on YouTube?

You’ve become a YouTuber, been admitted into the YouTube Partner Program, and created an AdSense account. So when can you expect that first paycheck? 

AdSense will not pay out until your balance has reached $100. If your channel is making an average of $4 per 1,000 views, this means you need around 25,000 views to reach $100.

4. Is Being a YouTuber Hard?

It’s not hard at all to become a YouTuber, because anyone with a camera phone, video editor for YouTube, and a YouTube account can do it. 

However, if you want to become a YouTuber who is successful, that’s a different story. It may seem like some YouTube channels put out super simple content and are just raking in the millions. But that channel put in tons of hard work and effort to get there. Every decision, such as what to title an episode, how the thumbnail should look, and what tags and descriptions to use, was carefully researched and thought out. They also learned about video production and how to edit YouTube videos. It takes a lot of effort to put out regular content, and some channels have weekly or even daily posting schedules. You have to consistently come up with fresh ideas, shoot, market and edit YouTube videos. 

5. Can a YouTuber Get Rich?

It is possible to become a YouTuber whose channel makes millions of dollars a year, but it’s important to understand that this is rare. In 2021, there were 31 million YouTube channels, and only 80,000 were eligible for monetization. Of those, some are making a comfortable living from their channels, but for most, it is a side hustle. 

Considering a YouTuber makes about $4 for a thousand views, the people who are really profiting from YouTube are doing much more than uploading videos. They are becoming brand ambassadors, selling merchandise, pitching shows to streaming platforms, and more.

6. How Do Beginner YouTubers Make Money?

If you want to know how to become a YouTuber that makes money,  the first step is joining the YouTube Partner Program. You can’t get paid a dime - even if your video goes crazy viral - until your channel is part of YPP. To do this, you need 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months and at least 1,000 subscribers. Your channel also needs to comply with the YouTube Community Guidelines and adhere to YouTube’s Monetization Policies.

Once your channel has reached this important milestone, you need to sign up for an AdSense account. 

Now your channel can start making money. However, it will take a long time to become a YouTuber with enough followers so you can quit your day job. It’s important during these early days to sell yourself and your channel on social media, ask viewers to Like and Subscribe, or plan events such as Live Streams to interact with your audience. Once your numbers improve, you can start pitching sponsorships, selling merchandise, etc.

7. What Do Beginner YouTubers Need?

Beginner YouTubers don’t need to spend a ton of money to get their first few videos off the ground. These days, you can make a very high-quality video simply using your cell phone. However, we recommend you don’t rely on your phone’s microphone. There are some very good microphones available for cheap. 

You can also buy a cheap ring light if you make talking head videos, which will do wonders for the look of your video (not to mention make you look fabulous).

The final thing a beginner needs to become a YouTuber is a user-friendly video editor for YouTube. We recommend PowerDirector as the best video editor for YouTube beginners because it is affordable, easy to use, and comes with lots of YouTube templates, one-click effects, and allows you to edit YouTube videos with royalty-free background music.

8. Do YouTubers Get Paid if You Skip Ads?

Unfortunately, no. The YouTuber only gets paid if the viewer watches at least 30 seconds of the ad. Only about 15% of viewers will watch the needed 30 seconds. Some Bumper ads that play before videos are non-skippable, but skippable ads are the most common type of YouTube ad. 

You can also have Overlay ads and Display ads on your page. These are the ads that appear in small boxes on your screen. The YouTuber only gets paid for these ads if the viewer clicks on the ad to expand it. 

9. Does YouTube Pay Every Month?

Yes, YouTube pays its creators monthly, either by direct deposit or mailed check. However, AdSense only pays when your balance has reached $100, so you may have to wait several months to reach that goal.

10. Do YouTubers Get Paid for Old Videos?

A YouTuber can only receive royalties on videos that have been monetized. That means any videos you made before monetizing your channel will not get you money unless an advertiser claims the video. 

However, any old videos that were monetized to begin with will continue to earn passive income. 

11. What qualifications do you need to be a YouTuber?

There are no specific qualifications required to be a YouTuber. However, successful YouTubers typically have skills in video production, editing, and storytelling. They also have a good understanding of their audience and what content they enjoy. It's important to have strong communication skills and be able to engage with your viewers through comments and social media. Consistency, dedication, and a willingness to learn and improve are also essential qualities for a successful YouTuber.

12. How much does YouTube pay for 1,000 views?

The amount of money a YouTuber can earn per 1,000 views varies widely. It depends on several factors, including the advertiser demand for the niche, the type of ad, the viewer demographic, and the location of the viewers. On average, a YouTuber can earn between $0.25 to $4 per 1,000 views. However, some YouTubers may earn more, while others may earn less. It's important to note that YouTube takes a 45% cut of ad revenue, so the actual amount earned by the YouTuber is less than the total revenue generated. Additionally, YouTubers can also earn money through sponsorships, merchandise sales, and other income streams.

13. How do I get 4,000 watch hours on YouTube?

To get 4,000 watch hours on YouTube:

  1. Create engaging, high-quality content.
  2. Optimize video metadata for searchability.
  3. Collaborate with other YouTubers for cross-promotion.
  4. Promote your videos on various platforms.
  5. Create playlists and utilize end screens.
  6. Focus on viewer retention by delivering valuable content.
  7. Publish videos consistently according to a schedule.

14. How do I get 1,000 subscribers on YouTube?

To get 1,000 subscribers on YouTube:

  1. Create compelling content in your niche.
  2. Optimize your channel for search visibility.
  3. Stick to a consistent upload schedule.
  4. Encourage viewers to subscribe with clear calls-to-action.
  5. Engage with your audience through comments and community building.
  6. Cross-promote your channel on other social media platforms.
  7. Collaborate with other YouTubers in your niche.
  8. Utilize SEO techniques to enhance discoverability.
  9. Promote your channel offline when possible.
  10. Engage in YouTube communities and provide value to attract subscribers.
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