On April 28, 2021, I received this email:
Two months after opening my channel, I became a professional YouTuber and got integrated into the Partner Program. For a year now, I have been making money from my Youtube videos.
And I understand that it’s very tempting for others to make it a major activity, especially when you know that video distance learning is exploding.
But let’s be honest for a minute: becoming a professional YouTuber doesn’t look like the picture we have of them. Posting excellent content isn’t enough to get perspectives and get going.
In this article, I have decided to list the three things I wish I had known before embarking on this adventure.
3 things that would have allowed me to save a lot of time…or rethink my decision.
#1. Becoming a professional YouTuber… It’s hard and takes time
When we look at the videos of independent YouTube creators like Squeezie, EnjoyPhoenix, Normam and Cyprien, we can tell ourselves that it is easy to generate millions of views on Youtube and get millions of subscribers. After all, all you have to do is turn on your webcam and film yourself interacting with a video, talking about a topic close to your heart or telling jokes.
In fact, it doesn’t happen at all.
It takes time to prepare a video. Then you have to film it, edit it, publish it to Youtube and edit it. All this without guaranteeing that your video will be the least viewed.
The first few times you will be very excited and have a lot of ideas to discuss. Posting your first video will be a real adventure. It will be a different story in a few weeks.
To be a professional YouTuber, you must first love creating videos. If you are doing this to be famous or to “make easy money” you can go ahead.
Also, be prepared to receive hate messages. Haters are reality. you go necessarily Receive, even if there is already less than you think. It will make you very funny the first time. A stranger hates you for no reason and tells you so openly. It is completely free. I don’t know how some YouTubers with 1 million views per month (or even more!) are doing. In my opinion, creating a channel and getting views should not be a source of pressure for these video influencers.
Good news on the other hand: I was very surprised because it affected me less than I thought. Then (even better news): By watching and commenting on your video, they increase its reach.
#2. The reward does not go to the best content
It’s totally surprising, but creating quality content isn’t the thing you should aim for. What matters is creating high-quality content for youtube. This makes all the difference.
Youtube doesn’t care that your video is professional, original, made by real journalists, well edited, etc. (What one would expect from the quality of the content). No, YouTube only looks at 3 key data:
- Click rate through your thumbnail
- Watch time (It’s Youtuber’s terms that represent the average time someone watches your video)
- Viewers interaction (whether they click ‘like’, subscribe, comment, etc.)
And that’s totally normal when you think about it.
The goal of Youtube is to stay on the platform as long as possible (this way the youtube user will get maximum ads from advertisers).
So they have to keep recommending videos that (1) will interest you and (2) will make you stay for as long as possible. The above three data make it possible to measure all this.
So the reward does not go to the most creative or original video.
This principle was also noted by Roman Incione from the series creative In a video I recommend it to you.
# 3. It is not enough to raise money
To become a professional Youtuber, you have to advertise yourself. And this is not done in two clicks as some sites think.
You must first create a legal form for your professional activity. I advise you to go to the Urssaf website and register with the status of a self-entrepreneur (freelance worker) by creating a small business. They say you are a small business owner. This is the simplest and least expensive solution. Otherwise, you have the option of SASU but there it happens with another formal business center and CCI.
Every month, you will have to announce the collected amounts (without exceeding the turnover ceilings of the general system of self-entrepreneurs) and pay social contributions on them (about 20%). The remaining amount (after social contributions) is then subject to income tax.
Yes, the salary you provide for your Google Adsense account does not go directly to your pocket. Also plan to pay a CFE (Business Equity Contribution, a type of loyal housing tax issuance) each year.
The sequel was for me the biggest surprise because no one talks about it.
In Europe, Google is headquartered in Ireland. When you monetize your Youtube channel, you are doing a favor for an Irish company. We rent advertising space to our videos. In return, Google sends money from Ireland to France.
Therefore, it is up to you, French entrepreneurs, to make your monthly DES (Declaration of European Service) with French customs services.
And this is where it gets funny.
To create a DES, you need a VAT number within the community. However, you do not have this number if you are self-employed. Thus, it is up to you to file a special request with your tax department (assuming your professional account on the tax website is active, otherwise you must create it upstream) to get it back.
Yes, setting up a company (and even being active as an individual entrepreneur) plays the role of a detective to understand who is asking what, find your SIRET number, deduct VAT and manage your bills. It took me two months easily. The joys of tax administration.
In short, it is not enough to raise money. You must also declare it several times and pay the dues on 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 should now be able to activate monetization of your Youtube videos and get income from ads. you need :
- to have the first 1000 subscribers;
- Collected more than 4,000 hours of YouTube views over the past 12 months;
- not subject to active warning;
- Create an Adsense account to access the ad network.
To do this, create videos (cover videographer) that match the needs of your audience … especially Youtube (marketer cap). You won’t have to put on your accounting hat until later, when you’re making money and having “rich problems.”
Use your strengths to create a premium YouTube channel: games, tutorials, playlist, comedy, vlog, video games, struggle, fitness, demo video, internet hype, aesthetic YouTubers… The possibilities are enormous!
Note: You do not need to be part of the Youtube Partner Program to do product placement (also known as “persuasive advertising”). But at this point, your views are likely to be low and your total view count is low, so the advertiser won’t really be interested.
Becoming a professional YouTuber is a huge topic, and while I wanted this article to be a bit harsh on the topic, I don’t regret being a part of it at all. Go for it, you too! It’s a great form of entrepreneurship. You will meet wonderful people.
If you want to dig deeper into the topic (and in particular study ways to monetize your online presence), I wrote a huge article on the topic.