The power of social media has always been measured by how it gives everyone a chance to communicate their personal ideas to the whole world instantly. It’s interesting to note that there are some opportunities that lie in making money off what you say or do, as is the case with revenue created through YouTube.
YouTube’s slogan “Broadcast Yourself” sums up their entire philosophy of sharing your experiences, whether ordinary or spectacular on their platform. The good news is it’s possible to take advantage of the popularity of your content and pocket something in the whole process.
Quite a number of success stories can be found in Africa and in the rest of the world that prove that with the right approach, good revenue can be realised from the right content.
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In South Africa people from different walks of life have been cashing in on the popularity of YouTube. Guys like fitness expert Peter Cilliers, Game Ranger Rob Vamplew and an acapella band called The Soil have all been recognised as significant earners through YouTube.
In the case of Cilliers he has managed to create an income of over US$60 000 a year with his YouTube channel SixPackFactory. Not bad for something that started as a hobby and a recorded weight loss program.
Nigerian entrepreneur Jason Njoku launched NollywoodLove in 2011 which became the first web channel sharing the very popular Nollywood movies. With a following in over 200 countries and over one million views in less than year, the channel soon earned over US$25,000 per month.
Njoku eventually transferred this huge success to the creation of his own site called iROKOTV. Today iROKO Partners is YouTube’s biggest African contributor and through spin-off ventures, like iROKING for streaming music, generates millions of dollars in revenue every year.
So where does the money paid from YouTube videos come from? I am glad you asked. It’s all about advertising revenue. According to a 2012 report, by 2017 advertisers will spend up to US$6 Billion online video advertising, this is up from a 2012 figure of US$2.5 Billion.
To get a slice of this figure, content creators need to come up with the right material that creates the right following. This means content that can cut across various segments such as geographic boundaries. The Zimbabwean market alone might not cut it because of the limited numbers of internet users. Material that is regionally and globally relevant is what works best.
It is important to work on creating stuff that shows originality, creativity and material that is engaging enough to create a huge following. Consistently churning out new material also helps bring in subscribers to your channel. Other things to consider are smart promotion through social networks and keeping a pulse on what your audience likes. All this requires a lot of hard work!
Once you’ve gotten the content bit figured out the next step is to join the YouTube Partner Program which allows for monetisation of videos. This is where most aspiring YouTubepreneurs fall short. To be approved YouTube requires at least 1000 subscribers to your channel, over 1000 views on all videos and over 10 000 channel views. These are just some of the listed requirements which show how serious you need to be to make something off it.
All things having been said, there is an opportunity that lies in YouTubepreneurship. Zimbabweans like Nqobizitha Mlilo, founder of Nafuna TV have already identified opportunities that YouTube provides and if anyone feels they can go the distance with making stuff that’s engaging they should do so.
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