Youtubers aren’t always taken seriously by the mainstream media, but the most successful Youtube channels are big businesses worth millions of dollars.
Let’s take someone like beauty-vlogger Zoella, whose annual income has been estimated at $US900,000. That’s generated in part from sales of her products and multiple books targeted at pre-teens (even though some of those have turned out to be ghostwritten), but also from views on her YouTube channel.
Or gaming YouTuber PewDiePie, who’s estimated to have earned a whopping $124 million since 2010.
It’s a tempting proposition for millions of young people who hope to earn a living on the popular social video channel.
Among them is Melbourne-based Lachlan Guertin, who’s racked up over 100,000 views on his channel and recently begun to monetise his content.
So how has he done it?
Q: Why did you get into YouTube?
I wanted to start a YouTube channel because I watched other people’s videos and admired their creativity and their growth. I saw how they made YouTube a career and how they gained so many opportunities from it. I also used to make home videos, music video and a bunch of random videos for school assignments so I thought that I should start making videos to put online so I would get a bigger audience and maybe it would go somewhere.
Q: What kind of videos do you make?
I like to make videos that I would enjoy watching, so things that I find funny or interesting. I’ll film things with my friends and do funny things, or talk about new music I like – such as Taylor Swift. I’ll also document events in my life like meeting celebrities, or vlogging my time at concerts. I just like to have fun really.
Q: Since starting, how many subscribers have you gained?
I have just over 1,000 subscribers which I think is really cool because I gained a lot in a short amount of time. I’m really excited for the future and I hope I grow a lot more.
Q: How much are you earning from your channel?
I do make some money from YouTube, but only a small amount so I can’t make it my job just yet. I also can’t make money from videos that use copyrighted content, which makes it difficult because I do like to make music videos or music montages with songs in the background. But,my highest-viewed videos that make me the most money are typically when I talk about new song or albums, which is really cool.
Q: Do you feel as though there is competition between you and other budding YouTubers?
I used to compare my subcribers and my views to other small YouTubers I know, but now I just like to focus on myself and the videos I make. I think it’s really cool when I get a lot of views on reaction videos but the videos I like the best are the creative ones I come up with myself and spend a lot of time on.
Q: Do you hope to do YouTube long term?
For now, it’s just a hobby of mine and I love doing it, but I would like to do it long term and see where I can go with it. Making videos is really fun for me, and I’m excited to see how I’ll go in the future.