Tuesday, April 23, 2024

What qualifications are necessary to work as a full-time content creator on YouTube?

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What qualifications are necessary to work as a full-time content creator on YouTube?

Here is a realistic breakdown of creating high-value and high-quality content as a YouTube Content Creator and what the time investment would look like for the average person.

  • 0.5-2 Hours of Filming for a 6-12 Minute Video (on Average)
  • 4-10 Hours to Edit a 6-12 Minute Video (on Average)
  • 2-6 Hours of Research and Scripting
  • 1-2 Hours of creating and Optimizing Thumbnails, Titles, and Metadata
  • Uploading 1-3 Times Per Week (100-150 Videos Per Year)
What qualifications are necessary to work as a full-time content creator on YouTube?
What qualifications are necessary to work as a full-time content creator on YouTube?

On average, if a creator is making high value (attention-getting, interest-driven), high quality (well produced and well performed) content consistently (1-3 videos a week, every week), and they do this for 3-5 years, they COULD get to a position to go full-time.

Typically it takes 500+ videos to cross the threshold to 100,000 subscribers or more on YouTube, and at this level, one is usually able to become a Full-time YouTube Creator. However, it’s not necessary to reach this large of an audience or make this number of videos in order to go full-time; it’s just typical and verifiable.

However, if we use those factors as a baseline, then the prerequisite circumstances to become a full-time YouTuber one needs:

  • 15-25 hours a week of time freedom to produce quality content.
  • 3-5 years of a stable income and stable lifestyle that allows them to create consistently.
  • And to be competitive, they need at least mid-level hardware and software on top of it. Therefore, R45 000-R75 000 of capital over a period of time.

In terms of those capital resources, most creators tend to need more than a smartphone to be truly competitive in their niche or content category; however, it’s fine to start with what you have. Higher production quality does help a creator stand out from other small channels and is immediately noticed by an audience that took a chance on a creator they aren’t familiar with. Keep in mind that we are talking about being competitive with the quality of channels that already have 100,000 subscribers or more. Being competitive among smaller channels would have a much smaller investment. And many may already have a computer capable of video editing, which greatly reduces the investment required.

How to Properly Invest YouTube Startup Capital

  • Video Editing Computer (Laptop) R20 000
  • Premium Video Editing Software and Plug-ins R350-R1000
  • Video Camera R7 000-R35 000
  • Camera Lenses R2 500-R6 000
  • Proper Lighting R3 500-R10 000
  • Quality Microphone R600-R2 000
What qualifications are necessary to work as a full-time content creator on YouTube?
What qualifications are necessary to work as a full-time content creator on YouTube?

It’s not enough to have the resources to produce quality content without having the skill and education to make use of those resources. There is an advantage to those with prior experience in addition to having the 15-25 hours a week of time freedom.

If one has to learn everything from scratch, one requires either larger levels of time freedom or, while lacking that, will be able to make less content and content of overall lower quality. And this is why it takes many 3-5 years to get to just 10,000 subscribers and produce their first 100+ videos because of splitting their time freedom between learning and creating.

This is responsible for inconsistency in content and prolonging the quantity aspect of content over this long a period of time; people change interest, get discouraged, and if they don’t give up outright, they pivot too often, believing that would produce better results. They never develop the depth of experience required because their attention and efforts are both divided and diluted.

This is the learning curve that creates a baseline for the ability to produce high-quality content on YouTube in a consistent manner and reduces the time needed to produce high-quality overall videos. 100 hours in each of 5 Categories will make someone PROFICIENT and above average, giving them the ability to not only get attention but retain it.

What qualifications are necessary to work as a full-time content creator on YouTube?

500 HOURS OF EDUCATION FOR YOUTUBE BEGINNERS

  • 100 Hours of Video Editing Practice.
  • 100 Hours of Learning Content Strategy.
  • 100 Hours of Learning YouTube’s System & Tools.
  • 100 Hours of Graphic Design and Thumbnail Crafting.
  • 100 Hours Learning Lights, Camera, and Audio.

Without investing those 500 hours, people typically end up making very low-quality, below-average, or mediocre content. There are exceptions, but they are not the rule. They are the naturally talented few.

Content with no plan or purpose that is random and self-serving, and unattractive to viewers.

Lazy thumbnails and the inability to focus on content that anticipates the audience keep new and small YouTubers from growing and standing out on YouTube, much in the same way that someone who dresses poorly and cannot read the room fails to attract friends and influence people. This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy where the “rich get richer, and the poor get poorer” on YouTube, but it’s a matter of choice rather than chance.

What qualifications are necessary to work as a full-time content creator on YouTube?
What qualifications are necessary to work as a full-time content creator on YouTube?

The description above is representative of the far majority of the content uploaded to YouTube. However, the average creator doesn’t upload 100 consistent videos for 1 audience in 1-2 years. If they did, they would have 500-1000 hours of education if they were intentional about it.

If a creator uploads their first “100 crappy videos” with the intent to get 1% better each upload and they put at least 10 hours round trip into each video and upload 1-2 videos a week without missing a week…

They can meet the threshold for learning to make DECENT content. This is what I refer to as the “threshold of acceptable quality in your niche.”

If this takes them 1-2 years, that is them graduating from being a candidate to being an actual apprentice-level YouTuber.

If they go from there and make better quality videos and learn to edit faster, and find their voice and niche, they can get to their first 10,000 subscribers.

After 3 years of making DECENT videos consistently while still improving to the threshold of competitive quality instead of just acceptable quality, meaning a video from a channel with 100K-1M subscribers is indistinguishable from their content. A creator might go FullTime.

By full-time, we mean having the option to replace traditional income with content creator on YouTube income, usually diversified by some combination of:

Full Time income is typical R50,000-R75,000

What qualifications are necessary to work as a full-time content creator on YouTube?
What qualifications are necessary to work as a full-time content creator on YouTube?

Why am I not saying how many views and subscribers it takes to go full-time? It’s correlation instead of the cause, and it depends on your niche. But also your lifestyle.

If you’re a gamer, you need 2-5 million views a month.

Real estate agent? 250,000 views.

This would result in earning on average R45000-R65000 a month.

But that assumes content is monetized, and also it makes you dependent on the platform entirely. To have stability, you need more income streams and a reliable MRR (monthly recurring revenue) that can at least cover living expenses and healthcare coverage.

Most creators’ path to going FullTime is being able to get a monthly sponsor with a long-term contract of 6-12 months that would be close to their monthly paycheck. For those who can’t get those deals, they try to increase product sales or affiliate links to stop tying their money to time exclusively.

Making full-time YouTube sustainable largely comes down. To passive/automated income such as e-commerce and affiliate links, and monthly recurring revenue from long-term brand deals and paid memberships.

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This ties income to value instead of labor/time for the creator

Beyond making R100,000 a year, the best investment a creator could make is, instead of increasing lifestyle, hiring a full-time editor to help them make 25- 100 videos a year that can be the BEST videos in their niche or category.

This is better than a second channel initially

The next best investment is building their own site or e-commerce store that they can use to generate R50,000-75,000 a year of reliable income that they control fully, that will cover their lifestyle independent of social media that could rely on ads for traffic.

Details of individual content format, niches, circumstances, or preferences aside, this is what it would take to be a full-time content creator.

If you enjoyed this article, consider reading my book “Create Something Awesome: How Creators Are Profiting from their Passion in the Creator Economy.”

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What qualifications are necessary to work as a full-time content creator on YouTube?
Article by Roberto Blake

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