Cashing in on YouTube

They do what they do out of passion and for the love of their audience.

16 March 2021 | Technology

Hinauarue Rijatua

Millennials today are dominating the social media space, with creatives all over the world showcasing their talents, hobbies and interests. The worldwide web has become a platform for wide-reaching engagement and sharing, as well as a platform for earning some serious coin.

YouTube happens to be one of the many social media platforms that one can earn money from, depending on the channel’s views and rankings. Namibian influencers and content creators can make a steady income from this platform.

How does this work, you might ask, Well, we have just the scoop for you.

Hina Rijatua, the co-founder, brand and creative content strategist for Avid Marketing Agency, says that “if used correctly, YouTube can be a great income source for young creatives. Once monetised, consistent content and creating authentic, engaging videos is crucial in ensuring the growth of your channel and an increase in revenue.”

Sit back and relax as we dive into cyberspace and how exactly these influencers make money on YouTube.

YouTube is an application that gives creators a space for online video sharing. It is the second biggest searched website after Google, so you can only imagine the level of interaction!

This service gives creators access to a worldwide audience that can subscribe to their channels, ensuring they will come back every time a new video is uploaded. Viewers can like or dislike a video and leave comments.

The creators can build a relationship with their audience and grow their channel in this way. This is where the numbers begin playing a role, where the monetary eligibility comes in. YouTube is free for anyone to join, whether you just want to view for your entertainment or create videos of your own.

We asked a few local YouTube influencers to tell us about their journeys.

Sharon Tjimbundu says she spent three years trying to decide whether starting a YouTube channel would be a good step for her. Despite not being sure if people would be interested in her content, she was determined to create a platform for herself, as she has always been a creative and expressive person. “Growing up, I always wanted to be on a fun TV show but there aren’t many opportunities in our industry so I feel like I created my own TV show,” the 24-year-old says. She says she enjoys the creative freedom YouTube offers her.

“The requirements are not specific because the ways that you can make money on YouTube are many,” she says.

She says she had to change her location to South Africa and reach a certain amount of watch time to make her channel eligible for monetisation.

She mentions that Namibia isn’t as recognised in the YouTube community as it has the potential to be and encourages Namibian creatives to push forward.

“I would love to see us cement ourselves to be recognised by worldwide brands and prove that we are not limited by our demographic.”

Tjimbundu shares a love for food, beauty and fashion and creates content that is relatable to her audience.

Tjimee Maendo started similarly. The 22-year-old content creator says she did not start a YouTube channel to make money, but rather that to give expression to her passion. “I wanted to help my small community in the beauty sector due to frequent questions they asked about my lifestyle.”

After gaining a steady following, Maendo says she researched the steps needed to take her channel to the next level, and eventually was monetised.

“I joined the YouTube partner programme, signed up and give them consent to run ads on my videos, which created revenue.”

She says it was not easy gaining a following on this platform, and there was a lot of work behind the videos you see today. “It all comes back to strategy and statistics, time spent strategising and planning, not at the start but the more you grow, the more exposure and success.”

The young beauty and lifestyle vlogger mentions that she did not start her channel for the payments, but rather for her supporters and being able to share and be creative knowing it would benefit someone else.

“The YouTube community goes through my life experiences with me, they encourage me, they give me tips and advice. I inspire and motivate them as well.”

Maendo says her best tip is to maintain consistency in posting videos. Her beauty and lifestyle vlogs have an audience that has pushed past the borders of Namibia.

Gayle Mudjanima too has reached a worldwide audience with her popular ‘village vlogs’ and interactive content. She says YouTube has been a platform for her to express herself and create content that feels authentic to her. “Whatever comes to my mind, I just do.”

Her audience demographic has gone international with viewers from all over the world. “Certain videos like village vlogs have connected me to a lot of people worldwide. It has helped me reach people from different races, age groups and places around the world.” It did not take long for her to start making some serious coin on YouTube.

The 23-year-old says she had to wait three months for YouTube to review her channel and create an active AdSense account before the money started rolling into her account every month.

Above all, the content creator says, “You have to be very consistent in posting and your content needs to be of good quality and value.”

Lastly, her advice for upcoming content creators is: “Just be you! It takes a lot to get personal but at some point, you grow comfortable. Don’t take everyone’s comments personally.”

After speaking to the money-makers themselves to find out what being a YouTuber is really like, their experiences as well as their journey, we have the ultimate “how-to” on growing your channel and making money from it simultaneously.

With the help of Google and YouTube itself, we have broken it down for you:

Step 1

Change your location settings to South Africa for eligibility.

Step 2

Your channel should reach 1 000 subscribers and 4 000 watch hours. After that, the advertisements begin running through your videos, which generates money.

Step 3

Create an active AdSense account and provide your banking details.

Step 4

Once you reach the 70-euro threshold, money comes rolling into your account every month.

Above all, these content creators believe that money is not the goal. They do what they do out of passion and for the love of their audience and the fact that you are rewarded for that is just a plus.

Avid Marketing Agency goes on further to say, “Like a CV, ensure the material you put out there represents you and your brand appropriately. A good strategy is to remain consistent. Along with original, engaging content, it goes a long way. Be mindful of what you put out there and enjoy yourself.”

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