How to become Youtuber in 2021? Best ways

Do you dream of building your own loyal Youtube following so you can quit your job?



You’re not alone. Many creators are hopping on Youtube amidst the pandemic to try to make their dreams a reality, and grab a piece of the billions of dollars created by Youtube advertising revenue.

It’s not too late to become “Youtube famous” or build a viable business from a loyal Youtube following, but it’s definitely getting more competitive.

Recently, I spoke with Youtube creator, Ashley, better known to fans as “Bestdressed,” to discuss what it takes to become successful with Youtube. The twenty-two year old’s witty fashion-focused vlog-style channel has over 3.6 million subscribers, with many of her videos raking in one to eleven million views. 

Youtube sensation, "Bestdressed," wearing one of her fashion creations

Bestdressed

Bestdressed shared some actionable tips to creating popular content and growing a Youtube audience. She also gave me a glimpse into the darker sides of internet fame, and how to protect yourself from a spiral of self-loathing.

Be consistent. And be your real self.

Bestdressed attributes her success to following a strict schedule which forced her to post consistently. “It can push you if you feel uninspired or not motivated to just put something out or try something new,” says Bestdressed. I also use this same strategy to fight perfectionism, which can sabotage you from sharing your content with the world.

Ashley Villa, founder and managing partner of Rare Global, the female-run talent management company that includes Bestdressed and Michelle Phan, strongly agrees.  “First things first: you really need to enjoy making content, and you have to be consistent. Easiest way to do that is to zone in on what you like and your unique perspective; evolve your content as your preferences change,” says Villa.

When Bestdressed first created her Youtube channel her senior year of high school, she thought she needed to be “bubbly and smiling” like all the other Youtubers she followed.

 But people started to really connect with her when she began to just be her authentic self. “This is easier said than done, since everyone draws inspiration from others. But the magic happens when you get comfortable in front of the camera, and feel like yourself,” says Bestdressed.

Other creators, like social media influencer and Youtuber, Jenn Im, are also leaning into their passions to create content. Villa says, “Jenn recently started to focus more on food content, especially Korean food. She genuinely loves to cook, entertain, and share her cultural cuisine with friends and loved ones – this shines through her videos and her subscribers are loving it.”


Grow your audience with the right collaborations

Youtube creators should think about collaborations early on. “Making shared content with other supportive creators is a great way to gain exposure to new views and expand your audience,” says Villa. 

For a collaboration to be successful, it needs to organically make sense. Villa shares the following tips for all Youtubers: “Viewers are smart, they can sense inauthenticity. Reach out to like-minded content creators who you love to watch and find a creative way to do a video together, that you share on each other's channels. Audiences can get excited to meet a new guest on a familiar platform, and become new fans.”

Don’t expect to get “Youtube rich” overnight

It took Bestdressed about one and a half to two years before she made $100 on a Youtube video. This can be frustrating, and it can be hard to stay motivated to spend two years creating content without positive feedback. However, Bestdressed encourages us to all keep grinding at Youtube, because those efforts really “snowball and pay off” over time. 

Protect yourself from “digital self-harm”

Because Bestdressed is sensitive, she sets boundaries to protect herself from “digital self-harm.”  Digital self-harm is an often inadvertent activity where one scrolls to look for mean comments about themselves or searches their own name on a gossip forum.

One of her strategies to avoid this digital self-loathing is to only read a few of the comments on her Youtube videos shortly after uploading, and not reading them after. Bestdressed also believes it’s tremendously important to have a strong support network in-real-life.  Interacting with childhood friends who love her regardless of what the internet thinks helps shield her from the internet’s toxicity, while also helping her stay grounded, despite the celebrity she’s amassed. 

“They help me peel back any unconscious layers of BS that I’ve put on top of myself...because I just couldn’t BS in front of them,” says Bestdressed.

There’s no shortcut to a loyal, engaged Youtube audience

Instead of attempting to make viral videos, Bestdressed believes the path to Youtube success requires hard work and creating great content people want to come back for. She actually believes in a principle she calls, “reverse-click baiting.” 

“I don’t want my titles to be misleading, but I want the video to be better than the title implies. So people feel that the video was better than they were expecting,” she explains. 

As a graduate of UCLA film school with a concentration in screenwriting, Bestdressed knows the importance of good storytelling. Here are a few of her tips for creating compelling video content on Youtube:

  • Have a strong introduction that sets expectations for your video, and familiarizes new viewers with you and your content.
  • Cut out any unnecessary or filler content you can from your video. Combine footage wherever possible. For example, if you are making a vlog, you can overlay the footage of you talking over your “montage footage” to make your video shorter.
  • Ask yourself: “Is this video one I’d want to click on and be happy to have watched?” If not, you have more work to do before posting it.
  • Good natural lighting is powerful. It can make something filmed on a cheap webcam look good. Try to face a window with natural lighting, if possible.
  • Your sound is more important than visuals. “People will NOT watch a video with bad sound. But if your video is a little pixelated or you’re shooting on your phone, they’ll still watch if the sound is good,” says Bestdressed. Using a proper microphone helps a lot, but you can even record using the “Voice Memos” app on your iPhone. Worst case, Bestdressed recommends just adding subtitles with a cute font if you can’t fix your audio problems. 
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