On April 28, 2021, I received this email:
After 2 months of opening my channel, I have become a professional Youtuber and joined the partner program. From now a year, I am earning money from my Youtube videos.
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 for a minute: Becoming a professional Youtuber doesn’t look like our image. It’s not enough to just publish great content to get noticed and grow.
In this article, I decided to list down 3 things I wish I knew 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 It Takes Time
When we look at videos from independent creator YouTubers like Squeeze, EnjoyPhoenix, Norm and Cyprian, we can tell ourselves that getting millions of views and millions of subscribers on YouTube seems easy. After all, all you have to do is turn on your webcam and film yourself reacting to the video, talking about a topic that’s close to your heart, or telling jokes.
In reality this does not happen at all.
It takes time to prepare a video. Then you have to shoot it, edit it, post it on YouTube and edit. All of this is without a guarantee that your video will take even the slightest of views.
At first you will be highly motivated and you will have lots of ideas to discuss. Posting your first video will be a real thrill. A few weeks later it will be a different story.
To become a professional Youtuber, you must first love making videos. If you’re doing this to be famous or to “make easy money”, you can move on.
Be prepared to receive hate messages. Haters are a reality. you go necessarily Get it, even if it’s actually less than you think. This will make you have a lot of fun at first. A stranger hates you for no reason and tells you openly about it. It’s completely free. I don’t know how do some Youtubers who have a million views per month (or even more!). In my opinion, creating a channel and getting views should not be a source of stress for these video influencers.
Good news on the other hand: I was very surprised because it affected me less than I thought. And then (even more good news): watching and commenting on your video increases its virality.
#2. The reward doesn’t go to the best content
It’s amazing enough, but creating good quality content isn’t something you should be aiming for. What matters is creating quality content for youtube, And that 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 quality content). No, Youtube only sees 3 main data:
- Your thumbnail click-through rate
- Your viewing time (this is Youtuber jargon that represents the average time someone watches your video)
- Audience engagement (do they click “Like”, subscribe, comment, etc.)
And when you think about it it’s totally normal.
Youtube aims to make you stay on the platform for as long as possible (in this way, youtube user will get maximum ads from advertisers).
That’s why they have to keep recommending you videos that (1) will interest you and (2) let you stay for as long as possible. The 3 data mentioned above make it possible to measure all this.
So the bonus doesn’t go to the most creative or original videos.
This theory was also seen by Romain Anse from Chanel. a creative In a video that I recommend to you.
#3. not enough to raise money
To become a professional Youtuber, you have to declare yourself. And it is not done in 2 clicks as some sites believe.
You must first create a legal form for your professional activity. I suggest you to visit URSAAF website and register with the status of Auto-Entrepreneur (Independent Worker) through Creation of a Micro Enterprise. They say you are a micro entrepreneur. This is the simplest and least expensive solution. Otherwise, you have SASU option but there it is with any other business formality center and CCI.
Every month, you have to declare the amount collected (without exceeding the turnover limit of the general scheme for auto-entrepreneurs) and pay the social contribution on it (about 20%). Then the remaining amount (after social contribution) will be subject to income tax.
Yes, the salary you enter in your Google Adsense account does not go directly into your pocket. Also plan to pay your CFE (business property contribution, a type of housing tax pro version) each year.
The Sequel Was the Biggest Surprise for Me Because Nobody Talks About It,
In Europe, Google is headquartered in Ireland. When you monetize your Youtube channel, you are actually providing a service to an Irish company. We rent them out the ad space on our videos. In return, Google sends money from Ireland to France.
So it is up to you, French auto-entrepreneurs, to make your monthly DES (European Service Declaration) with French customs services.
And that’s where it gets funny.
To create a DES, you need an inter-community VAT number. However, you do not have this number if you are self-employed. So it’s up to you to make a special request to your tax department to recover it (assuming you have a professional account active on the tax site, otherwise you’ll have to create it upstream).
Yes, building a business (and even more activity as an individual entrepreneur) is taking the role of detective to figure out who to ask what, get your SIRET number, deduct your VAT and manage your billing. Took me easily 2 months. The joy of tax administration.
In short, it is not enough to collect money. You will also have to declare it multiple times and pay the dues on it.
What if I still want to get started and become a professional Youtuber?
Congratulations. You have the soul of a videographer-marketer-accountant.
Now you need to activate the monetization of your videos on Youtube and manage to get your advertising income. You need :
- You have your first 1000 customers;
- Collect over 4000 hours of youtube views in the last 12 months;
- not be under active warning;
- Create an Adsense account to access the ad network.
To do this, create videos (videographer cap) that suit the needs of your audience… and especially Youtube (market cap). When you’re making money and having “get rich problems,” you don’t have to put on your accounting cap.
Gaming, tutorial, playlist, comedy, vlog, video game, clash, fitness, explanatory video, internet buzz, beauty youtuber…
Note: You do not need to be part of the Youtube Platform’s partner program to perform product placement (aka “disguised advertising”). But your views are likely to be low and the overall view count at this point in time, so an advertiser won’t really be interested.
Becoming a professional youtuber is a huge topic and, although I wanted this article to be a bit harsh on the subject, I do not regret being a part of it at all. Go for it, you too! It is a great form of entrepreneurship. You will meet wonderful people.
If you want to delve deeper into this topic (and to study ways to monetize your online presence in particular), I have written a great article on the subject.