Why you should consider becoming a YouTuber

YouTube content creators at a past workshop at the Mövenpick Hotel in Nairobi on October 31, 2019.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • While the list of the top ranked YouTube channels in the country are dominated by news media brands and musical artistes, several local creators have managed to find relative success with their audiences. 

In the last few months, several Kenyan creators have stepped up sharing of content related to their personal lives in the wake of Covid-19 disruption.

This is to not only maintain the interest of their followers as they work from home, but also to ensure that even during this difficult period, people still continue subscribing to their channels. 

As individuals find themselves with a lot more time in their hands, more people are joining the online content creation bandwagon. 

There is a spike in activity in the space, ranging from podcasts and online motivational forums to fun, easy going conversations on every subject under the sun.

One platform many are gravitating to, and where several Kenyan creators have found success, is YouTube.

While the list of top YouTube channels in the country is dominated by news media brands and musical artistes, several local creators have managed to find relative success with their audiences and maintain a loyal fanbase. 

These include parenting lifestyle video blogs Yummy Mummy and The Green Calabash, makeup artist Wabosha, fitness instructor Frankie ‘Just Gym It’ and many others. 

Here are some of the reasons that people are choosing to become content creators on YouTube.

Make a living

More than a billion hours of video are watched on YouTube each day, generating billions of views. On average, people who log on to the platform watch more than one hour of video per day on their mobile devices or personal computers. This translates to more than 2 billion logged-in users per month.

Creators can leverage these views to make a livelihood through content they upload by monetising their channels. This means that they'll get paid for the eyeballs they are able to attract. 

Other content providers also make money through sponsorship by corporate clients looking for product visibility online.

Global visibility and self expression

YouTube is available in many different localised versions in over 100 countries. This gives users a total of about 80 different languages to choose from. 

For Kenyans, this means having the option to choose between either English or Swahili and other available languages like French, Spanish and German. 

This gives you an opportunity to attract a wide pool of local and international viewers to your content.

Creator recognition

YouTube recognises and celebrates its content creators all over the world.

They are often feted upon reaching subscriber milestones such as attaining 100,000, 1 million and 10 million subscribers.

Locally, makeup artist Wabosha Maxine, the WaJesus Family, rapper Khaligraph Jones and many others have been recognised for hitting the 100,000 subscriber mark.

Kenyan comedian Daniel Ndambuki, popularly known as Churchill, was awarded the Gold Play button for surpassing the 1 million subscriber mark last year.

No content restrictions

One can upload as many videos on YouTube as they want. Comparatively, YouTube has more video content than any other platform. 

There is also no restriction on video length. Estimates have shown that on YouTube, about 72 hours’ worth of video is uploaded to the site every minute. 

This provides viewers with a wide array of content that they can watch at any time. 

Similarly, YouTube also has a much larger file size cap. This means that the maximum size limit of a video you can upload on YouTube is 128 gigabytes, which is unlikely to compromise the quality of even the largest video files. 

This is particularly advantageous for those who produce lengthy content.

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So what are the basics of having a successful YouTube channel?

Subject focus

First, you need to establish what your channel’s main goal and content type will be. 

For instance, if it's a religious or fitness channel, it is important to maintain that niche as it will improve your optimisation. It will also help to quickly define and attract your target audience, as well as keep them loyal.

Consistency

Similarly, it is crucial to be consistent with your uploads. Some upload once a week, others twice weekly while some creators manage to share content every day. 

Whatever you choose, ensure it's a frequency you are comfortable with and that you will not run out of ideas.

Quality

Last year, Google advised Kenyan creators to upload quality videos in order to attract a sizeable local and international audience.

“What we have seen from our analytics is that 60 per cent of content created in any country is always exported so it’s very important for creators to think about how they are meeting the needs of the global village,” said Dorothy Ooko, Google's Sub-Saharan Africa Head of Communications and Public Affairs.

Use analytics

If you're serious about vlogging, then it goes without saying that you should make use of available tools to track the performance of your videos. 

Google, which owns YouTube, has provided several ways for creators to gauge how their audiences engage with their content. 

Using its analytics, one can view their channel's key metrics such as top videos, real-time activity, audience reach, engagement and revenue.

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