YouTube is a video-sharing platform where people can upload their own videos, watch videos uploaded by others, and react to videos with likes, shares and comments.
Sоmе people соnѕidеr YоuTubе аѕ a ѕосiаl mеdiа platform with a focus оn videos. It iѕ a рlаtfоrm thаt hаѕ ѕеrvеd аѕ a sort оf vidео-hоѕting ѕitе fоr mаnу buѕinеѕѕеѕ аѕ wеll.
To others, YouTube is another platform where they can extend their content marketing efforts to, utilizing video.
However, with the introduction of YouTube Advertising, the platform has given many content creators the opportunity of monetizing their videos. So it has also become a hub for content creators in various niches.
With the option of earning on YouTube, many entrepreneurs have flooded YouTube hoping to earn good money, but a few people have gotten disappointed because they were not properly prepared.
Jeff Rose, a personal finance contributor at Forbes, believes that many people who start YouTube Channels will never make good money even if they have many subscribers. In this post he says, “ Most people who start a YouTube channel will never make millions of dollars, and it may not even matter how many followers they have.”
Agreeing with Jeff’s view, Grant Sabatier writing for Millennial Money says “…making decent money with YouTube is difficult. With stricter rules and regulations, aspiring vloggers need to try a lot harder to be able to make this platform lucrative.”
“Any newbie YouTuber should be prepared for years of relentless sharing of unique, engaging content.”
Tayo Aina, a Nigerian entrepreneur and YouTube Content Creator said in this video that “The life of a YouTuber when you start out is not glamorous at all; you spend a lot of money making all these videos especially for someone like me who travels a lot.
“You travel to a lot of places and then you make videos about them, and the money you make from the videos is not even enough to cover and pay for your expenses.”
“You have to pay for your hotel bills, pay for your transportation, pay for your food, and when you travel to tourist destinations, you have to pay entry fees in those places.”
Titiola Oludimu, writing for Techpoint Africa agrees with Tayo saying that “…only the very popular YouTubers who get millions of views on their videos earn significantly through AdSense.”
“In Nigeria, unfortunately, only a handful of YouTubers can boast of getting paid substantially off the Google-owned platform.” She concluded.
However, these views presented above are not meant to discourage you from starting a YouTube channel. The truth is that many people have earned from YouTube in Nigeria also.
For example, Mark Angel, easily Nigeria’s biggest YouTube Creator says he makes enough money from YouTube to pay his staff members.
In this interview with Smartmonkey TV, he says, “”The money from YouTube pays for 17 local staff and 5 offshore. But I’ve been able to mature into other physical businesses. We embrace brands.”
According to Thisday, Popular comedian, Broda Shaggi while discussing with Art Lecturer and Author, Dr Bolaji Ogunwo on Instagram Live, had this to say about the profitability of Instagram versus YouTube; “Create a YouTube channel, very important, Instagram won’t pay you for your content, the only way you make money from Instagram is by advertising for brands, post on your page as adverts, that is the only way you can make money, but YouTube your video is there forever you keep making money from every view.”
Fisayo Fosudo is another Nigerian that has made money off YouTube but the fact is that he did not actually make his money off YouTube Advert revenues like other content creators in countries like the US and the UK.
Instead, he, like many other Nigerian YouTube content creators, makes money by collaborating with brands. In this conversation with Tech Cabal, he says, “I have about $800 in lifetime earnings but I can’t access it. The bulk of the money doesn’t come from YouTube, it comes from the brands that we work with creating content for an audience.”
So as you can see from the testimonies of the content creators above, people do make money on YouTube in Nigeria. But you have to strategise properly before starting out in order to maximise your earning potentials.
Fisayo’s situation is not unique to him, as many Nigerian YouTube content creators employ brand collaborations to make money.
This brings us to the million-dollar-question; how do you make money on YouTube.
How Can You Make Money on YouTube?
In this post on Investopedia, Mary Hall espouses some ways through which you can make money on YouTube.
While these steps can work anywhere, I am going to shed light on these strategies in the Nigerian context. What can work and what is likely not to work in Nigeria?
Below are a few strategies that you can employ to earn as a YouTube creator in Nigeria:
This is the default way that creators make money on YouTube. It is an arrangement where a creator chooses where YouTube can put ads in his content, and if people watch the ads, the creator gets paid by YouTube.
To qualify for the YouTube Partner Program, you must have at least 1,000 subscribers to your channel and a total of 4,000 watch hours in the previous period of 12 months. YouTube says it requirements helps it to “..properly evaluate new channels and helps protect the creator community from spammers, impersonators, and other bad actors.”
If you qualify for the YouTube ads, sign up for the YouTube Partners Program by following these steps from Smallbusiness.chron.com:
. Log into your YouTube account; click the “Creators & Partners” link toward the bottom of the page.
Click the “Become a Partner” tab, followed by the “Get Started” button on the following screen.
Click the “Enable my Account” button from the Monetization screen.
Read and agree to the YouTube Partner Program’s terms of service page, and then click “I Accept.”
Click to enable the types of ads you wish to display on your videos. These include ad overlays, YouTube’s TrueView in-stream ads or links to products you can manually implement. The ad overlay option displays sponsored commercials at the bottom of the video, while the TrueView option displays ads prior to playing the video.
Click “Monetize” to effectively set up your YouTube Partner Program and monetize your videos.
If you have garnered a considerable following in a given niche, brands in that niche will definitely reach out to you to partner earning you good money in the process.
For example here’s a YouTube channel operated by Jackie Aina, a beauty enthusiast living in the US. Her videos have amassed huge views and she regularly collaborates with brands to showcase and do tutorials using their products.
Here’s is one of such videos
Chizi Duru is another beauty blogger that incorporated brand sponsorship into her strategy. Here’s an example of how she does it well.
Invoice Nigeria has listed steps to follow as a YouTube Content Creator to start earning from brand sponsorships:
Find brands and campaigns that match your audience.
Pitch your creative ideas and present the proposal to the brand within their parameters (product review, 30-60 shoutout, etc.)
If accepted, you are hired and will begin collaboration with the brand to produce the project.
Build out content and seek brand approval.
While it might not be as easy as listed above; if these steps are followed, you will be on your way to getting your first brand partnership.
Affiliate links is another strategy that YouTube creators have been employing to boost earnings. It is strategy where you share affiliate links of products that are related to your niche, and you earn a percentage if your followers buy from the affiliate advertiser.
Influencer Marketing Hub says an affiliate link “will usually be a link in the video description directing the viewer to a site where they can buy the product. These links are set up as affiliate links (so that the shopping site knows exactly where potential visitors arrive from). If the visitor ends up buying the product, the owner of the YouTube video receives a percentage of the purchase price.”
One other way to make money from YouTube is by selling merchandise to your followers. This is not yet a very popular income strategy on YouTube Nigeria yet, but there is a huge opportunity if it can be harnessed properly.
Consider this, PewDewpie a channel that focuses on Let’s Play videos and comedic formatted shows made a mind-blowing 6,834,645 from merchandise sales on YouTube in 2019 according to respawnfirst.com
Although it is nearly impossible to replicate those numbers, one can see the huge opportunity that exists in merchandise sales.
There are other ways of making money on YouTube including using YouTube to get traffic to your website and blog, information marketing and even building your own personal brand on YouTube, but the ones highlighted in the previous section are the most popular. Make sure that you continue experimenting.
Starting Your Own YouTube Channel
Looking to start a YouTube Channel in Nigeria
There are several things that you must consider before starting your own YouTube Channel or else you will get burned playing with fire.
Creating on YouTube is supposed to be fun, so there is really no reason being caught unawares.
Makeuseof notes the things you want to consider before starting a YouTube Channel as follows:
Filmora says in this post that “A niche is what makes your channel unique.” While that is not an all-sufficient definition, it captures what you should do when considering a niche. A niche is simply what you want to focus your content on.
It could be tech, fashion, health, wellness, sports or any other thing.
However, when choosing a niche, make sure that it is something that you are very comfortable discussing.
This is another thing that is of utmost important. You want to plan how frequently you will be creating and posting videos before you start your channel.
You can definitely adjust your frequency as you go along, but knowing it ahead of time, helps you plan and informs other decisions.
The equipments you are going to need is both dependent on your niche and your budget. The former is going to dictate more because a gaming vlogger and a reaction vlogger might both need a screen for their content while a beauty blogger might not. This is why it is quite important to define your niche before anything.
Unfortunately you are not going to start your blog and get millions of subscribers instantly, unless it is a high-in-demand content with no coverage at all.
If you are not in that class, you will have to define a promotion strategy that will put you in the face of people that are interested in your type of content.
Advertising, SEO and social media strategies are all promotion strategies that you can adopt for your channel.
It is important that you enjoy what you are doing with YouTube, but it is also very important to make revenue. Running a YouTube channel costs money and you need to at least make that money back or you will run into debt.
Creating attractive videos that provide value on YouTube also takes a lot of time and effort, so you need to define your revenue strategy.
Above, I have defined various ways that YouTube creators in Nigeria can make money. Study it properly, look at what you think can work for you and run with it,
Personally, I’d advise that you combine two or more strategies that will work for you.
Defining Your Goals
It is also very important to define your goals when you are starting out on YouTube. State your short term goals, mid-term goals and your long term goals.
When you set your goals, strive very hard to meet them. For it is in so doing that you truly grow your channel and your revenue.
YouTube is a great platform for content creators to share their content while earning good revenue at the same time. But starting a YouTube channel requires the proper amount of research and doing things the right way.
Selecting a profitable niche, defining your goals and providing value are steps that one can take to grow one’s channel and brand.
To your growth.