For people who dream of making money on YouTube, there are lots of online celebrities and channels to aspire to imitate. There's makeup superstar James Charles, who became the first male CoverGirl model. Liza Koshy's fame on Vine and then YouTube has led to traditional film and TV gigs, including a role in a Tyler Perry film. Even pop star Justin Bieber got his start on YouTube. According to YouTube, the number of channels that earned five figures or more grew by more than 50 percent from July 2017 to July 2018. Channels earning six figures per year increased by 40 percent.

7. Focus on audience retention. “If people are closing your videos after only viewing 15 seconds, you need to consider how to make the video more interesting to viewers. If people are leaving the video halfway through, this may indicate that you have focused on a specific topic for too long.” – Eleanor Reynolds, YouTube Marketing for B2B Companies: Tips & Examples, The Hallam Blog; Twitter: @HallamInternet

The good news is that income is rising, but efforts to generate a broad and loyal audience that turn to the service on a regular basis for original content appear to have hit a wall. The Journal points out how three years ago YouTube spent hundreds of millions of dollars on original content to build new channels, only to see many of them fail. Getting people to visit the site directly and regularly because there’s something specific they want to see, rather than dropping by occasionally via a link on another site or online service, appears to be a big challenge for the company.
This goes against what has drawn many audiences to the platform in the first place. YouTube has a history of LGBT acceptance – being the home of the “it gets better” videos, in which celebrities and public figures tell their coming out stories. Many people have also spoken about how YouTube’s videos on transitioning or mental health helped them greatly. So given this, it is hoped that going forward, YouTube also remembers to pay attention to their communities and audiences as well as the big brands and content creators.
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YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, when they worked for PayPal.[3] Prior to working for PayPal, Hurley studied design at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Chen and Karim studied computer science together at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.[4] YouTube's initial headquarters was above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California.[5]

And though they don't appear to be huge revenue contributors at this point, the YouTube Red and YouTube TV subscription services can't be overlooked when trying to value the company. Particularly YouTube Red, which provides ad-free YouTube, some original shows and access to the Google Play Music service for $10 per month, and which led YouTube to become the top-grossing U.S. iPhone app in March. Later this year, Google plans to replace Google Play Music -- in many ways Red's weak link -- with YouTube Remix, a music service that's fully integrated with YouTube.

The main revenue stream is often allowing YouTube to run ads with your content. The more traffic you get, the more you can make, says Ezarik. There are many variables that could determine how much you’ll get (and YouTube recently changed it so you need at least 10,000 lifetime views to start making money). Once you enable your channel for monetization, you’ll connect your YouTube channel to a Google AdSense account to earn money for your monetized videos.

Today, there are tons of examples of successful, high-profile YouTube marketing campaigns. From Moz and Rand Fishkin’s informative Whiteboard Fridays to Chipotle’s acclaimed series of emotionally powerful animated shorts, there are plenty of brands currently demonstrating just how much potential there is to create value and awareness by promoting great video content on YouTube.
“Using YouTube’s autocomplete suggestions, you may also get some good target phrases to consider, as well as harvest new ideas for future videos. Google Trends for YouTube Search can also help you evaluate the popularity dynamics of topical keywords and phrases.” – Aleh Barysevich, YouTube SEO: How to Optimize for the YouTube Ranking Algorithm, SocialMediaToday; Twitter: @socialmedia2day

Link economics -- For years, people in media and tech proclaimed the link economy. The idea was that you'd give away material, welcome people to link to it, and those links would bring new audiences that you could then turn into customers. But there is a basic problem, in that very few people actually click links that require them to go to other sites. As the Journal pointed out, many people simply watch a video hosted on YouTube and embedded elsewhere and don't actually visit Google's site, reducing the ability to display ads.

“With the help of Google Keyword Planner, or other keyword research tools, you can find topically-relevant keywords and phrases based on broader seed keywords, and evaluate the competitiveness of each along the way. For a newer channel, it would be reasonable to start with easier, less-competitive keywords or more specific long-tails, and once you succeed – to try ranking a video for more competitive terms.
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Starting in May 2017, YouTube will no longer allow users to add annotations to their videos. Instead, they are encouraging users to incorporate cards and end screens in their videos to poll viewers, link to external sites, or direct people to other videos. Thankfully, cards and end screens are as easy to add as annotations. Cards are small, rectangular notifications that appear in the top, right-hand corner of both desktop and mobile screens. You can include up to five cards per video, but if you’re including multiple cards, be sure to space them out evenly to give viewers time to take the desired action.