On April 28th, 2021 I received this email:
2 months after opening my channel, I became a professional Youtuber and integrated into the partner program. I’ve been making money from my YouTube videos for a year.
And I understand that it’s very tempting for others to make it a core activity, especially when you know that remote video learning is exploding.
But let’s be honest: becoming a professional Youtuber doesn’t look like what we imagine. It’s not enough to post excellent content to make views and stand out.
In this article I decided to list the 3 things I wish I knew before embarking on this adventure.
3 things that would have saved me a lot of time… or reconsidered my decision.
#1. Becoming a professional Youtuber… it’s hard and takes time
If we look at the videos of YouTubers from independent YouTubers like Squeezie, EnjoyPhoenix, Normam and Cyprien, we can say that it looks easy to get millions of views on Youtube and millions of subscribers. After all, all you have to do is turn on your webcam and record yourself reacting to a video, talking about a topic you care about, or telling jokes.
In reality, that doesn’t happen at all.
Creating a video takes time. Then you have to shoot it, edit it, post it on youtube and edit it. All this with no guarantee that your video will draw even the slightest attention.
The first few times you will be super motivated and have lots of ideas to discuss. Posting your first video becomes a real adventure. It looks different a few weeks later.
To be a professional Youtuber, you must first love making videos. If you’re doing this to get famous or “make easy money,” then go ahead.
Also, be prepared to receive hate mail. Haters are a reality. You go Necessary get, even if it’s actually less than you think. It will make you very funny at the first time. A stranger hates you for no reason and tells you so openly. It’s totally free. I don’t know how some youtubers are doing who have a million views per month (or even more!). Creating a channel and getting views shouldn’t be a source of stress for these video influencers in my opinion.
On the other hand, good news: I was very surprised because it affected me less than I thought. And then (even better news): by watching and commenting on your video, they increase its virality.
#2. The bounty does not go to the best content
It’s quite surprising, but creating quality content is not what you should aim for. What matters is creating quality content for YouTube. And that makes the difference.
Youtube doesn’t care if your video is professional, original, made by real journalists, well edited, etc. (which is what you would expect from quality content). No, Youtube only looks at 3 main dates:
- Your thumbnail click-through rate
- Your watch time (it’s Youtuber jargon that represents the average time someone watches your video)
- Viewer interaction (like, subscribe, comment, etc.)
And that’s perfectly normal when you think about it.
The goal of Youtube is that you stay on the platform as long as possible (this way the Youtube user gets maximum advertising from advertisers).
So they need to keep recommending you videos that (1) interest you and (2) make you want to stay as long as possible. The 3 dates above make it possible to measure all of this.
So the bonus does not go to the most creative or original video.
Romain Ansion from the chain also noticed this principle A creative in a video that I recommend you.
#3. Raising the money is not enough
To become a professional Youtuber, you have to declare yourself. And it’s not done in 2 clicks as some sites would have you believe.
You must first create a legal form for your professional activity. I recommend you to go to the Urssaf website and register about starting a micro-enterprise with auto entrepreneur (self-employed worker) status. You say you are a micro-entrepreneur. This is the simplest and cheapest solution. Otherwise you have the SASU option, but there it happens with another business formality center and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
Each month you must declare the amounts collected (without exceeding the turnover ceilings of the general system for self-entrepreneurs) and pay the social contributions (about 20%) on top of that. Then the remainder (after social security contributions) is subject to income tax.
Yes, the salary you submit to your Google Adsense account does not go directly into your pocket. Also, plan to pay your CFE (Business Property Contribution, a type of per-version housing tax) every year.
The sequel was the biggest surprise for me because nobody talks about it.
In Europe, Google’s headquarters are in Ireland. When you monetize your YouTube channel, you are actually providing a service to an Irish company. We rent you advertising space on our videos. In return, Google sends money from Ireland to France.
It is therefore up to you, the French car entrepreneurs, to submit your monthly DES (European Declaration of Service) to the French customs authorities.
And this is where it gets fun.
To create a DES, you need an intra-community VAT number. However, you do not have this number if you are self-employed. It is therefore up to you to make a specific request to your tax department (provided your professional account on the tax side is active, otherwise you will need to create it upstream) to get it back.
Yes, starting a business (and even more so running a business as a sole proprietor) is playing detective to understand who to ask what to find your SIRET number, VAT deduction and manage your billing. . It took me about 2 months. The joys of tax administration.
In short, it is not enough to collect the money. You also have to declare it several times and pay fees for it.
What if I still want to get started and become a professional Youtuber?
Congratulation. You have the soul of a videographer-marketer-accountant.
You must now manage to activate the monetization of your videos on Youtube and have your advertising revenue. You need :
- Have your first 1000 subscribers;
- Accumulate 4000+ hours of YouTube views in the last 12 months;
- Don’t be actively warned;
- Create an Adsense account to access the advertising network.
To do this, create videos (cap for videographers) that meet the needs of your audience… and especially Youtube (cap for marketers). You don’t have to put on your accounting hat until later, when you’re making money and have “rich problems”.
Use your strengths to create a YouTube channel that stands out: Gaming, Tutorials, Playlist, Comedy, Vlog, Video Games, Clash, Fitness, Explainer Video, Internet Buzz, Beauty YouTuber… the possibilities are enormous!
Note: It is not necessary to be part of the YouTube platform’s affiliate program in order to perform product placement (aka “obfuscated advertising”). But at this point, your views are probably low and the total number of views is low, so an advertiser won’t really be interested.
Becoming a professional YouTuber is a huge subject and while I wanted this article to be a bit harsh on the subject, I have no regrets about being a part of it at all. Join us, you too! It’s a great form of entrepreneurship. You will meet amazing people.
If you want to dig deeper into the topic (and specifically study the ways to monetize your online presence), I wrote a mega article on the subject.