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Did you receive the letter detailing the upcoming changes to the YouTube monetization policy? It set a lot of people on edge, but here are some tips for moving forward and continuing to grow your channel despite the YouTube changes.
On January 16, 2018, YouTubers were surprised to receive a letter detailing upcoming YouTube changes that will affect who is eligible to join the YouTube Partner Program, which is how many vloggers monetize their videos. 2017 was a rough year for YouTube and while YouTube said the changes were necessary to protect their “creator community from bad actors,” the changes were a big surprise – and blow – to YouTubers with new or small channels.
Here’s a quick look at the YouTube changes and how they will affect new and small video creators.
What are the YouTube Changes?
When I started my first channel, I was able to begin monetizing my videos almost immediately through my AdSense account. When my husband started his channel a little while later, the requirements were for YouTubers to have 10,000 views before monetizing via the YouTube Partner Program. Things are going to be a little different, though, moving forward.
With these new YouTube changes, which fully go into effect on February 20, 2018, video creators are required to have 4,000 hours viewed per year and accumulate 1,000 subscribers in order to join or remain in the monetized partner program. For many small YouTubers, like myself, the new YouTube monetization policy had the potential to be a huge setback.
There has been some confusion about the 4,000 hours requirement. While some people initially thought the requirement was for views, it is indeed for hours viewed. You can see how many hours you have by looking under analytics and viewing the last 365 days. This will show the number of minutes. Divide this number by 60 to determine your total hours.
What Can Small YouTubers Do?
Thankfully, the YouTube community is full of vloggers who are willing to help others succeed. Little groups have popped up all over YouTube where creators are helping each other reach their goals. More people are watching the content of small YouTubers and people are subscribing to each other’s channels. It’s been a wonderful thing to see!
If you haven’t reached one, or both of the requirements, there are things you can do.
First of all, you want to start connecting with others, if you haven’t already. Seek out other YouTubers producing similar content and then subscribe and comment on their videos. This encourages them to subscribe to your channel and, hopefully, watch your content as well.
Something else you can do is utilize social media. Share your videos through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. The more places you can share your videos, the better.
Are there Alternatives to YouTube?
I, of course, began searching for alternatives to YouTube as soon as the YouTube monetization changes were announced. What I found was that many companies that were once competing with YouTube no longer have a strong hold in the market. Many other platforms don’t have partner programs that will allow you to monetize your videos and still others are very limited in the type of content that can be monetized. In other words, there are alternatives, but if monetization is your main goal, you’re still better off at YouTube. (Keep an eye on Facebook Watch, though. Some believe this platform could take off in light of these YouTube changes.)
Is YouTube Still Worth It?The key to getting people to spend time watching your content and then subscribing to your YouTube channel is being passionate about your topic.Click To Tweet
Thanks to these crazy YouTube changes, you may be asking yourself if starting a YouTube channel is still worth it. Won’t it take forever to reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours viewed?
Strangely enough, I started a new channel literally two weeks before these changes were announced. Learning about the new requirements was a big blow. However, I’ve found that things are going really well. With only four videos uploaded, I already have almost 80 hours viewed and 146 subscribers.
The key to getting people to spend time watching your content and then subscribing to your YouTube channel is being passionate about your topic. Make videos because you really want to share your knowledge and/or experiences with the world, not solely to make money.
In addition to being passionate about your topic, it’s important to understand how to use SEO in titles, descriptions, and tags. (Yes, SEO really is everywhere!) You also need to know how to research popular and evergreen topics and create videos around those topics if at all possible.
Don’t Let These YouTube Changes Hold You Back
While new and small YouTubers are definitely going to have to work harder to join the monetized YouTube partner program, anyone that wants to start a YouTube channel shouldn’t let these changes hold them back.
Yes, YouTube does seem to be showing favoritism to those that have larger channels. This will probably prevent many people from starting a channel. It seems as though YouTube is trying to discourage new talent. Whether or not that’s the case, or it’s just business, you shouldn’t let it kill your dream. Those who are passionate and willing to work hard will find a way to succeed.
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