Starting a YouTube Channel for Money

Jacques du Rand 2022-09-22

So you want to start a YouTube channel and make some money?

Yes, anyone can start a YouTube channel and eventually even monetise their channel earning a little income from their work, but doing this is no simple, nor easy feat and it will require a lot more work than you thought it did. But it looks so cool, and all those people get sent all these cool products for free?! This sure sounds like a fun thing to do!

Here is what you need to know.

Creating a YouTube Channel

Creating a YouTube channel is very straightforward. All you need is an email address.

  1. Sign in to YouTube on a computer or the mobile site.
  2. Click your profile picture. Click the first option “Create a channel” and follow the steps.
  3. You'll be asked what you would like to name your channel. It has to be unique. Choose something that will be easy to remember as well as embody what your channel will be about.
  4. Check the details (with your Google Account name and photo) and confirm to create your channel.

Finding Something To Talk About

The next part sounds easy, but it’s not.
Finding a topic or theme that you enjoy talking about, doing, showcasing, creating tutorials or whatever is a little harder to do. In order to be successful on YouTube you need to be authentic. The more authentic you come across, the better your channel will do.
People tune in for a number of reasons, either you’re:

  1. A master of your craft
  2. Funny
  3. Enjoyable to watch

You want people to tune in and keep coming back to hear what you have to say.

Finding Your Voice

This has nothing to do with a singing voice, but more about how you present yourself. It comes back to being authentically you. Don’t try and copy someone else’s style. Just be you and your people will find you. When you try to be something you’re not, or copy someone else, it will show and you will lose viewers.


When starting out, thankfully one does not need to go out and buy all the latest video equipment and full production gear. Start with what you have. If that is your mobile phone, just make sure it has good video quality (at least 1080p) and sound quality.

Once your channel starts getting a bit of a following - we suggest upwards of 1,000 subscribers. Then you can perhaps look at starting to buy more video equipment. Do it slowly and start small.

Video Editing

Thankfully there are a vast plethora of video editing software to use these days. You can even use apps directly on your phone if you don’t want to edit on a laptop. Most software is paid for. One does find the occasional free video editing software, but they often put a brand watermark on the final videos making it look very amateur. Even though you might be, try to opt for better software so you look a little more professional.

Some of our favourite video editing software include:

  1. Adobe Premier
    • Professional video editor
    • Steep learning curve
    • Cost: R680 Lifetime licence
  2. Filmora - Wondershare
    • Professional Video editor
    • Comes with a range of video titles, easy to use effects and audio tracks.
    • Low learning curve
    • Cost: R870 Lifetime licence
  3. Apple iMovie
    • A basic editor, but comes with all the add-ons the pro editors come with, including effects and soundtracks.
    • Great tool to start with.
    • Cost: Comes free with your Mac, but you can also download it for Windows.
  4. Movavi
    • Professional Video editor
    • Comes with a range of video titles and easy to use effects.
    • Low learning curve
    • Cost: R800 Lifetime licence

Looking Internet Loadshedding Options ? Having a stable internet connection to load your videos is of key importance else it could take hours for your video to load. In South Africa, we also have the added concern of not having electricity due to load shedding, so know your load shedding timetable, or use our method for keeping your internet up during load shedding.


When you build a video channel and start gaining momentum on building your channel you have to deliver content consistently. To keep growing your brand (channel) you have to show viewers you are not a one-and-done channel and they can expect videos from you regularly at a specific interval. This will help grow your reliability and trust and soon your subscriber numbers will start growing.

Requirements by YouTube for Monetisation

There are a few ways to make money on Youtube. The most popular method is through Ad Revenue. Here you make a portion of money based on adverts shown during your video. The more times your video is watched, the more your revenue kitty will grow.

Requirements include:

  1. Be at least 18 years old, or have a legal guardian older than 18 years of age who can handle your payments via AdSense.
  2. Live in a country/region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
  3. At least 1,000 subscribers on the channel
  4. Have no active Community Guidelines strikes on your channel.
  5. At least 4,000 collective watch hours across your videos

Once you have checked off these 5 minimum requirements you may apply for monetization by applying for the YouTube Partner Program. YouTube may still reject you even if you have passed the minimum requirements.

The review process takes approximately about a month. If you are rejected you may apply again once you have resolved any issues they may have rejected you for. If you are successful you can start fine tuning the type of ads that will show on your videos.

What Do You Actually Earn?

With the average YouTube pay rate hovering between $0.01 (17 South African cents) and $0.03 (50 cents South African) for an ad view, a YouTuber can make around $18 (R300) per 1,000 ad views, which comes out to $3 (R52) to $5 (R90) per 1,000 video views. Forbes also estimates that for top talent, a YouTuber can make about $5 (R52) for every 1,000 video views.

If your channel grows well - and manages a subscriber base of upwards of 50k you will start being noticed by brands in your particular space too. If they relate to your personality and channel you might find yourself lucky enough to be approached by brands who will send you additional monetisation opportunities like products, or additional revenue earning through affiliate programs etc.

News Flash: YouTube Shorts

Youtube has just announced that creators can earn up to 45% of the revenue for a YouTube Short. This is seen as a way to defend against TikTok's popularity and their own short format.