The Pros And Cons Of Making Money Through Online Videos
In the last couple of years, YouTube has made billions of dollars off of content creators who find ways to make money off of their videos. The platform allows users to upload their content for free but makes money off the engagement the videos get. While there are many benefits to getting paid to make videos, there are also a lot of cons. Below, you’ll discover the pros and cons of making money through online videos.
Pro: Earn Money Via Influencer Marketing
One of the most attractive things about YouTube is that you can use the platform to showcase your videos, but you don’t necessarily have to. If you’ve got a sizable audience and you think that they’d be interested in a product or service that you promote on YouTube, then you can use the platform to make some extra cash. Most notably, YouTube creators can make money off of influencer marketing through brands paying them to promote their products in videos.
Depending on the size of your audience, you can make money off of brand deals through sponsorships, product placements, and affiliate marketing. To put it simply, if you’ve got a sizable audience and the brand trusts you to communicate their message, they may pay you to talk about them in your videos.
Con: Lots Of Competition
With so much competition on the platform, creators have to be strategic about how they monetize their content. The video below from YouTube creator and fashion YouTuber Karim Kassar shows you the best and worst practices for making money off of videos.
If you want to become a YouTube creator, you’ll have to compete for attention with millions of other content creators. For a while, having a large number of views was enough to make a video stand out. However, brand deals, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing all require a high level of engagement from viewers, which means you have to develop a strategy to encourage people to subscribe and to engage with your content. That, in turn, can translate to making money online.
Pro: Monetize Your Gaming Channel
If you’re a gamer, then you might already know about Twitch, the giant live-streaming platform that’s mostly known for gaming content. If you’ve got a channel that features games and you think that your audience would like to watch streams of game content, then you can use the platform to make money off of advertising and affiliate marketing. Since Twitch users can tip content creators with cryptocurrency, you might also be able to make a few extra bucks from gaming enthusiasts who want to support your channel.
Con: Difficulty In Independently Funding The Channel
One of the biggest barriers to entry for YouTube creators is funding the channel. When you first start a channel, you’ll need to purchase a camcorder to record your gameplay and a tripod to keep the camera steady as you play. Not only that, but you’ll also need to purchase a computer with a good graphics card to ensure that your gameplay looks great. When you’ve accumulated enough content to start getting views, publishers and brands will notice your channel and might want to work with you, but until then, you’re on your own.
Pro: Chance To Gain Exposure
While it’s true that having a popular YouTube channel can boost your chances of getting brand deals, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing opportunities, it also means that you’ll have to deal with a lot of competition. When you first start a channel, you’ll primarily have to focus on attracting and engaging an audience, which can help you establish yourself as a known commodity and increase your chances of earning a living off your work. Additionally, since the platform is so fragmented, with users across the globe, you’ll have to find a way to engage with your audience regardless of where they are.
On the plus side, having a YouTube channel is a great way to gain exposure for your music, product, or novel. If you’ve got an interesting story to tell or an outlet that you think your audience will be interested in, then the platform can offer you a chance to get your message out there to the world. It’s also a place where musicians can connect with fans and where brands can have exclusive interviews, lessons, and demonstrations.
Con: Limited Content Available For Non-English Speaking Countries
Since the platform’s user base is globally-distributed, there are actually a lot of countries where YouTube isn’t available. In English-speaking countries such as the U.S., you’ll likely have access to everything from the platform’s full archive, but if you’re from a country where English isn’t the primary language, then you’ll have to rely on subtitles or captions to understand what’s going on in the video.
Additionally, if you want to make money from your YouTube channel, then you’ll have to set up automated subscriptions so that you can monetize your content at any given moment. For example, if a brand sees that you have a large audience and they think that you’re the type of person who would be interested in their product, then they might offer you a bit of money to feature their product in a video or two. When they click that button, their product will be automatically subscribed to by you so that you can get paid when a video is uploaded that features their product.
Pro: Great For Music Gaining Momentum
The most successful music YouTube channels feature mostly upbeat, catchy songs with a variety of instruments playing so that the song never gets old. If you’ve got an electric guitar, keyboard, or synth in your corner, then you can use YouTube to showcase your talents and gain exposure for your music. It’s also a great place for musicians to discover new, popular songs to play at their next gig. If you play an instrument and have a decent microphone, then recording yourself playing and posting the video to YouTube is a quick and easy way to gain a following.
However, not all musicians will be able to make a living off their YouTube channel. If you’ve got a large enough audience, you can put yourself on the map as a musician to get some gigs, but until then, you might have to look for other ways to make money.
Con: Heavy Demographic Focus
One of the things that makes YouTube so unique is that it’s a mix of content where you’ll find people of all ages watching and participating. While the video format itself was originally designed for kids’ TV, the platform grew to become a home for adults as well. If you want to make money off of YouTube, then you’ll have to decide whether you want to primarily target audiences based on their age or based on their location.
If you want to target an older audience, then you can use the platform to showcase instructional videos on a variety of topics, from cooking to fixing cars to fashion. Since older generations usually have more money to spend than younger ones, you can bet that brands will be knocking on your door to work with you.
On the other hand, if you want to target a younger audience, then you can use the platform to showcase short-form videos that are often times funny or entertaining. While it’s a bit harder to monetize content that’s meant for kids, parents often times turn to YouTube to entertain their children while they do their chores or fix their car engines. If you can establish yourself as a trusted source for entertaining content, then you can potentially make a lot of money off of your YouTube channel.
Pro: Video Creators Get Their Own Platform
Since users have the ability to search for any given topic or keyword on YouTube, content creators can use the platform to build a community of people who share their interests and passions. If you’ve got a sizable audience on the platform, then you can use it to discover other content creators who share your interests and connect with them on a personal level, as well. It’s a place where people who love the same music, games, or fashion can come together to share their passions and build a relationship with one another.
Additionally, since YouTube is owned by Google, the world’s largest search engine, you’ll have access to all of its tools and features, including Google Analytics, which can track your video’s performance and allow you to fine-tune your approach for future videos.
Con: Some Video Content Is Only Available To Premium Subscribers
Content creators who’ve amassed enough subscribers to be recognized as experts in their fields can make money off of each video they upload by charging subscribers a one-time fee to see video content that is only available to premium subscribers. Since many of the videos are educational and deal with complex subjects that regular viewers might find difficult to understand, premium subscribers are usually attracted to these types of videos.