​You’ve heard it’s easy to earn money on YouTube, so you’ve come up with an idea for a YouTube channel, and you’re ready to get going.

Here’s the first thing you should do:


Before you head through the gate and into the lush green grass of YouTube stardom, there’s a few things to consider first.

Let’s look at the 10 YouTube fundamentals most recommended by ​those who have walked the trail and found it well worth the time.

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10 Fundamentals of Successful YouTube Channels

Long-term success requires vision. You have to look beyond the first video to those that follow. Use the 10 concepts below to increase your odds of making your YouTube dream come true.

1. Shareability: Why will others want to share your work? Those who hear about you from friends and family are a whole lot more apt to share your channel with others. Is the idea (topic) you have for your YouTube channel helpful? ​Will your videos be funny? What’s the point? Can you summarize the effect you want to achieve in one sentence?

2. Conversation: ​How often will you speak directly to your audience instead of talking about something or somebody else? Your fans want to feel like you care about them, that you know they are there. Make room for conversation.

3. Interactivity: How can you get your audience involved? How can you get them to participate? ​How can you get them to respond? ​How can you get them ​to provide their opinions and comments?

4. Consistency:  Will you launch new videos on a regular day of the week? Do you stick to the same topic? Is there a consistent personality? Your audience should feel like you’re as trustworthy as an old friend and as comfortable as a favorite couch. Keep your branding and theme consistent too.

5. Targeting: Is your audience clearly defined? Who are your top prospects? Who cares about your work? Is there an underserved audience you can reach? Define your niche. Then speak directly to the people most likely to be interested in your work. Target at the channel level, the series level, and the video level. Always remember who you’re talking to.

6. ​Sustainability​: ​​​How long can you keep pumping out material? How long do you want to stick with the same theme? Do you have the resources to sustain your idea over time? Do you have the enthusiasm and energy it will take? Consider ways to become more efficient and productive.

7. Discoverability: How can you leverage the search function to get your videos found? How can you get mentioned in the related videos stream? Can you relate to hot topics or current events? Use the search box to see what pops up when you type in a search term. Those are the current hottest topics on YouTube. Learn ​how to optimize your channel and videos for SEO (search engine optimization) with effective titles, tags, and video descriptions.

8. Accessibility: ​Will new viewers feel comfortable and enjoy your work no matter where they jump into your series? Get them up to speed as needed. Link to the first video in the series. ​​​You don’t want people to come and leave because they just don’t “get it.” Film with both the new viewer and the steady viewer in mind.

9. Collaboration: Will your idea be open to inviting others to help build your channel? Can you connect with your community by bringing friends and peers on as guests? Collaborators don’t have to be in the studio with you. They can send a clip from another country, if needed. Collaboration should benefit you both.

10. Inspiration: This may be the most important factor. You have to love the work you’re doing and be absolutely enthused about it. True passion is difficult to fake. The camera knows who wants to be there and who doesn’t. The idea must be good for both you and them.

I know you’ve heard all about “viral videos” and how one knockout punch can make you famous and turn you into a millionaire … but that’s not the way most successful YouTubers got started.

Begin with vision. Begin with a solid plan by considering all 10 of the following considerations, and build your strategy accordingly. If you already have a YouTube presence, use these 10 guidelines to audit it for effect.

When your channel is live, don’t forget to let the Monkey know. Let’s work together to help one another grow.

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