How to Start a YouTube Channel With Your Phone Generating 10M/Year in Kenya

In 2013, I dreamt of becoming a movie producer and YouTube popped as the best option to get started.

I got too ashamed to start my YouTube channel because I’m shy and I’m prone to overthinking.

So I created my channel and left it.

These days I wonder what would have happened if I picked the camera and started creating YouTube content.

In 2018, the urge to plunge into the YouTube game became stronger than my shyness and I decided I will begin speaking my mind; I don’t care if I get hate or love.

You have noticed too that many people are moving to online content creation and online work because there’s money to be made and lots of money.

I, for one, cannot begin to count my number of friends who’ve started a YouTube channel over the past couple of years.

While most of them are just pursuing the thrill of adventures and vlogs, I have quite a few who’ve started a YouTube channel just to make money.

Starting a YouTube channel is easy because you sign up for the service.

The hardest thing about YouTube is remaining consistent or becoming a success.

Since taking the plunge in 2018, I made a few sewing videos, business idea videos and a few opinion pieces.

I was still very shy about it but the business videos and sewing videos gained attention.

Then one day, I mentioned in one of the videos that I work online and someone asked, ”Why don’t you show us how to make money online legitimately in Kenya?”.

I never thought people were interested in making money online.

I decided to publish more videos about working online and the more I published the more I saw people and my business soared and keep soaring.

I have to mention, I wasn’t consistent in 2018, I still battled shyness and overthinking plus I played with the niches. Thank God for the gift of curiosity. I learn things a bit too fast.  

Is YouTube a Good Career?

If you don’t have anything going on in your life at the moment in terms of work stuff, you may be thinking if YouTube is going to hold up for the long term so that you not only make some money from it but actually earn a living.

I’ll give you reasons why YouTube is a good career for you.

  • Can be a good career starter. You don’t have to make videos for the rest of your life. YouTube allows you to grow your customer base, such that when you branch out, your viewers can be your first customers. 
  • You leave a legacy behind. “The Internet never forgets.” You’ve heard that  before, right? With a YouTube channel, you can leave your presence online for future generations.
  • You will pursue your passions and have fun. You are at liberty to choose what you like and engage your audience in it, so you don’t have to feel like you are wasting time on something that you do not really like. You can always quit.
  • Huge following. Like I said before, your followers are likely going to be your first customers on a business.
  • You can improve your interpersonal and communication skills especially when you get to interact with your followers. 

Also, YouTube is likely to be with us for the longest time. Online content creation is viable and will never die. You can start a YouTube channel as a career or do it as a side job. However, you want to.

How Do I Start a YouTube Channel and Make Money?

Starting a YouTube channel is quite simple.

Oftentimes what you will need is a phone which comes preinstalled with the app.

You’ll also need an Internet connection and if your PC does not have YouTube, you will need to first install the app. Now to start:

  1. You will sign into YouTube. It is so easy you can do it in a couple of minutes, if there is no glitch. You will need to have a Google account, so if you don’t have one you will start by creating your Google account for YouTube.
  1. You have now successfully signed in. Next thing you want to do is to click on the user icon at the top right of your screen. Done?
  1. Click on the gear icon that will get you to “Your Account” YouTube settings. 
  1. Click on “create a new channel”
  1. Choose either a custom/business account or personal account.
  1. Lastly, you want to upload your profile, add a name, description, and links to your site then click create. If you cannot think of a name at the moment, you can use the YouTube name generator to guide you.

Now, we have already started our channel, how are we going to make money? I will give you an overview of what you should be doing on your channel to make money, then discuss it in detail later in the article.

Find your niche

If you have not already thought about what you want to do, you should start considering all the niches you can pick from that will make you money.

Take a look at what is most popular on YouTube and see if you can do anything along those lines.

There is food, business, tech, travel, fashion, beauty, home decor, gaming, coaching, academia etc.

Post regularly

Start posting your videos.

Make it consistent

Do not keep your audience waiting for months on end after a first video.

They will pull away from your channel and remember you need to keep these viewers if you want to make money.

Get the right gear and learn some skills.

You will need to have the right camera with good quality so that you can produce high-quality videos that your customers are going to like.

After creating your YouTube channel and knowing all that you need to make money on the channel, I will insist that you always focus on these areas of your YouTube journey. 

  • Managing your YouTube account
  • Creating videos
  • Monetisation
  • Policy, safety and copyright

You do not want to mess up and risk not making money from your YouTube channel.

Is Creating a YouTube Channel Free?

Technically, yes.

Starting a YouTube channel is absolutely free.

You only need to sign in and get started.

However, when we want to talk about the expenses of a YouTube channel for professionalism, you may want to get a good camera, which will cost you some money.

Otherwise, it costs nothing to start your YouTube channel.

How Do I Market My YouTube Channel and Build a Bigger Audience?

So you have finally started a YouTube channel, created and uploaded your first video, but there are close to zero or no views.

You feel disappointed, unmotivated and overwhelmed.

Don’t worry.

There are multiple ways you can drive traffic to your site and get more views on your channel.

Optimise YouTube for SEO

You will have to use Google-friendly keywords for your videos’ titles so that you can appear at the top of the search engine results.

More people will click on your video this way.

Create high-quality videos

That’s why I keep stressing the importance of a good camera.

You’ve noticed that you are attracted to videos that have high-quality resolution and perfect lighting because they give you a comfortable viewing experience. 

Share your YouTube links on other platforms

You can use social media, that is Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to share your links.

You can also opt for blogging and email marketing and drive the audience to your site.

Give contests and giveaways

Who doesn’t like free stuff?

More people will want to participate and win free stuff so you need to know how you can organise those if you want to reach a bigger audience. 

Interacting with viewers

Go on live or hold Q and A sessions with your audience so that they can build trust with you and they also get to influence more people to visit your channel.

Customise thumbnails

Sometimes when I see a creative and attractive channel art on YouTube, I get compelled to click on the video. Which I do.

Channel reviews

Having your channel reviewed is also a good way to promote your channel to a bigger audience, especially if your channel gets positive reviews.

Work with other channels

You can ask top-performing channels to talk about your channel to their viewers so that they can also know about you.

Work with brands

Some reputable brands can drive their audience to your channel when you work with them, for example through brand sponsorship. 

Offering consistent real value content

When people like what you give them consistently, they will recommend more people to you and you will be promoting your channel in this way.

What Skills Do I Need for YouTube?

You may be wondering if there’s any skill that you need to have to run a YouTube channel. Here are a few skills that I think will be quite useful to you on YouTube. 

Social media expertise

You need to know how to work your way through different social media platforms and have a huge following on each of them.

Management skills

You will be pseudo running your own business, so you have to be a good manager of time and the projects you will handle.

Tech-savvy

This is in case of any glitches or inconveniences with the devices you are using to create videos on YouTube.

Communication skills

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it when someone does not respond to my questions in the comment section.

I’d immediately unsubscribe!

I know sometimes there are so many comments on your channel and you may not find time to answer them all, but please try to engage your viewers every time you upload a video. 

Video Editing Skills

Other “skills,” you will need are motivation and ambition. 

How Do I Get Paid on YouTube?

I’ll start by contradicting this popular belief: No, you do not get paid by subscribers, you do not get paid by the number of likes and you do not get paid by the number of comments.

How much you will earn as a YouTuber will depend on the video that you share and the views that you get, among other factors that I will talk about here. You will get paid on:

  • The number of views your video receives 
  • The number of clicks an ad receives
  • The ad quality 
  • Ad Blockers 
  • Video length.

So what happens is that once you upload a video on YouTube, you do not start making money immediately.

You need to have at least 1000 views in your channel and your total public watch hours should be 4000 within the past 12 months to get paid.

You may have noticed that some YouTubers have crazy long hours in their videos and they do this because they want to reach the required watch time to start making money.

Others opt to make consistent short videos to hit the target.

Whatever approach your viewers are responding to should probably be what you stick to.

You will be making money through adverts for the number of views.

How Much Do YouTubers Make Per Video?

YouTube requires you to have at least 1000 viewers on your channel to get paid.

On one video, you can make any amount of money depending on the number of views, the click-through rates of ads and how they are displayed throughout the video.

You will be paid per ad view and per video view.

Usually, it costs around $3 dollars per view on an ad and $15 per view on the YouTube channel. This will come to around $18 per video view.

You can either make more or less depending on the factors we have talked about.

What is the Average Salary of a YouTuber?

The average salary fluctuates from time to time for any YouTuber because you will be paid in accordance with your efforts and dedication to your channel.

If you let your efforts die out, you will be paid less than what you were earning.

For a beginner who has hit the targets to start making money on YouTube, expect to earn $100 from your views.

How Long Will It Take Me to Start Making Money on YouTube?

If you are just starting your channel, how soon you make money will be dependent on your efforts and consistency to produce quality content and engage your audience.

For some, it may take them 2-3 months to make money on YouTube.

Others it may take them years to start making decent money or even earn a living.

Remember not to give up. It only gets better.

How Do I Monetise My YouTube Channel Fast?

So you have already reached all your targets and you want to start using your YouTube channel to make you money.

You have reached 1000 subscribers, your viewers are more than a thousand per video and your overall watch hours in the past 12 months is more than 4000.

YouTube has a partnership program known as the YouTube Partnership Program (YPP) that allows you to get paid through advertisements on your channel.

You have to join this partnership program so that they can direct Google ads to your YouTube videos and you get paid.

There are certain requirements you must meet if you want to be accepted into the program.

What are the Qualifications for Monetisation on YouTube?

For YouTube to accept you into the partnership program, you have to:

  • Have at least 1000 subscribers 
  • Attain the 4000 valid watch hours in the past 12 months.
  • Have 1000 views or more per video
  • Sign in and agree with the terms and conditions 
  • Have a linked adsense account 
  • Get reviewed and approved

Once you have been reviewed and approved, you will start making money per a thousand views or get a 68% share per click on ads.

What is the Criteria for Monetisation on YouTube?

This criterion will dictate if your channel is going to be monetised or not.

  1. Follow YouTube channel monetisation policies
  2. Live in a region where YPP is available.
  3. Have no copyright claims or community guidelines flagging down your channel
  4. Have at least 4000 public watch hours in the last 12 months.
  5. Have a linked Adsense account
  6. Have more than 1000 subscribers 

How Do I Know My YouTube Video is Monetised?

You will know that your YouTube videos are being monetised when you turn on the ads and see a Monetisation icon next to each video you upload.

There are different types of icons so you should know what these icons represent so that you do not end up confused.

How Long Does It Take for YouTube to Approve Monetisation?

Once you have applied for monetisation by joining the YouTube Partnership Program, you will have to wait 30 days for your application to be reviewed.

If you have been accepted into the program, you will receive an email confirming the same.

If you have not yet been accepted, you can wait another 30 days before you are able to send in your application again.

What is Not Monetised on YouTube?

It can be frustrating when you send in your application to the YPP and it gets rejected.

When the YouTube Partnership Program rejects your application, they are not going to give you the reasons why they did that and you will be left trying to fix what you do not know.

If your channel is not getting monetised, you will have to look for the following things.

  1. Copyright infringement. There may be copyright claims to the content you have put out on your video, for example if it is a playlist that has been copyrighted. 
  1. Your channel showing predatory behaviour like sexual harassment and spamming.
  1. Violating community rules and guidelines. 

When you notice this, you might want to go back to YouTube’s policy guidelines and see what it is you did that is not in line with what is required of you.

Next, you have to delete all these posts and steer clear from making these mistakes in the future.

Can You Lose Monetisation on YouTube?

Yes. It is possible for your channel to be demonetised regardless of your viewer’s count, watch hours and subscribers. This happens for the following reasons:

  1. When you stop posting and remain inactive to the public for 6 months or so, YouTube will pick up on that and stop paying you.
  1. Violating YouTube monetisation policies will also have you not getting paid.
  1. If your channel is suspicious of predatory behaviour or violates the community rules and guidelines.

When Does YouTube Pay Me?

You will be paid on a monthly basis through a direct deposit to your PayPal or bank account. This will be on the 21st of every month or between 10-14 of every month. 

How Hard Is It to Make Money on YouTube?

A lot of people usually start YouTube thinking it’s a get rich quick scheme.

I have two friends so far who quit because they didn’t see it “benefiting” them in any way and they were spending a lot of time and energy in giving out content to their viewers.

Bottom line is, it is quite hard to make money on YouTube.

Especially for these small YouTube accounts that are run by non-celebrities. It can take forever.

Consistency and determination are key.

Like any other business, you will not start realising the profits immediately.

It’s also not good going into anything with money being the main motivator behind it.

Advantages of Having a YouTube Channel

Here are some of the benefits you can get from starting a YouTube channel to make money.

  1. You earn money through videos. We already talked about how your videos are going to earn money. This is through the number of viewers and through the ads.
  1. YouTube is free. It will cost you nothing to create an account and get started.
  1. Generating more traffic. You have an open platform to get a huge audience because your content is made public to everyone.
  1. You can share information easily.  There is no communication barrier and you can reach people across the globe through a single YouTube post.
  1. Building interpersonal skills. When you interact with your audience you get to improve on your interpretation and communication skills. 
  1. YouTube has backlinks that will improve your SEO. This will help your channel to grow fast because it will be appearing on top of the search results.

Disadvantages of YouTube

Some of the problems that you will face when you start your YouTube channel are listed below.

  1. Rules and restrictions. YouTube has community rules and guidelines that you need to stick to otherwise your channel gets suspended or removed in case of violation.
  1. Everything is public. If you have pure gold content, you cannot limit the channel to be viewed by those who’ve paid for your services. You may also have some private content that you want to share. If you are like me and you love being anonymous on the Internet, do not worry. You can always go incognito. 
  1. You do get to choose what you advertise. Once you have your linked adsense account, any advertiser can promote their products on your channel.
  1. Your account may be disabled without reason. Sometimes you may find that your account has been suspended or hacked and this may make you lose subscribers if you do not recover your channel quickly. 

Tips for Starting a YouTube Channel to Make Money

When you want to start a youtube channel to make money, you have to think outside the box and see how you can still make money from the channel even if you have not yet been approved for monetisation.

There are other ways to make money on YouTube and get your audience more involved.

I’m what you are doing on your channel.

I’ll give you some tips and advice on how you can ensure this happens so that you can start a successful YouTube channel and make money from it.

Other Ways to Make Money Without Google Ads  

Without YouTube Partnership Program monetisation, you can still make money from YouTube in these ways.

Create and sell your products

If you have a small business and you would like to expand your customer base, for example, let’s say you sell handmade soaps, you can promote these products on your channel and sell them.

One of your audience probably needs them.

Brand sponsorship

Partner with other brands and get paid for marketing their products on your YouTube channel.

You will be talking about the products they offer and refer your audience to obtain these products or services from them.

Join an affiliate program

Become an affiliate marketer and sell products through your affiliate links on your channel.

You will get paid and make money from your channel in this way.

Consulting/ Freelancing

You can offer one-on-one coaching with your audience and they pay you for your services, for example, if you are a therapist or a dating coach. 

Sell digital products

This may be offered as a package for your expertise, for example preparing a course for those people who would like to engage or learn more from you from your audience. 

You can also use YouTube to generate traffic for your blog posts or website and depending on what it is about, you will be making money this way.

How to Make Videos Go Viral and Get Your Channel Noticed

If you want to get your channel noticed so that you can start making money fast, you will have to do the following.

Create unique content

You want to make sure that you distinguish yourself from others.

You want to be as original as possible.

Don’t copy others.

It’s not good practice and imitation shows a lack of originality. 

Use emotions

You can add some bit of storytelling to your videos so that your audience can find something they can connect to. Human beings share relatable experiences. 

Find a target audience

You do not want your videos to get lost in the online crowd so start by looking for the audience that is most interested in your content. 

Reach out to similar brands

You can approach brands that offer the same content as you and are high achievers and see how you can leverage these connections.

Optimise for SEO

Use the right keywords to make your videos appear at the top of the search results, that way you are more likely to get clicks.

Use social media

Go to your social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and use that to generate more views.

Produce quality content

More people will be attracted to what you have produced for them and you will get more views this way.

YouTube Unexplored Niches in Kenya

When you are starting a YouTube channel, you want to make sure that what you have decided to settle for as a niche is going to be popular, generate leads, increase viewers and make you money.

I have done some research and I saw many people leaning towards these specific niches.

You can see what is fit for you and start making money.

Channel Ideas and Popular Topics 

Here are some YouTube channel ideas and popular topics that you can try.

Relationships

People today want advice on how they can date and navigate friendships with other people. If this is what you like to talk about, you can offer professional advice about it and make your money.

Beauty and fashion

With so many women and men being drawn into makeup fashion, this is probably one of the best niches for anyone who is experienced in this field.

Health and fitness

You can create videos and offer tutorials on how to be fit and make money by doing this.

Food

There are thousands of food recipes on YouTune today, but who said there is no room for more. If you love cooking, share your recipes with your audience and make money this way.

Interior design

People are looking to remodel and improve their homes and workspaces every day. If you have knowledge in interior design, this is the best niche for you.

Gaming

There are a lot of gamers on YouTube. You can perfect your skills on a particular game and join them.

Business and tech

You can offer entrepreneurial advice to people who want to start out on their own business ventures if this is one of your areas of practice.

Academic studies

Give lesson tutorials to your audience and make money by doing this. I would go on YouTube if I’m studying for an exam and missed an important concept from a lecture.

FAQs on How to Start a YouTube Channel

What equipment do I need to start a YouTube channel?

Google Account

Camera

Tripod

Microphone

Editing Software

A niche

How much does a YouTuber make?

From $0 – Millions of dollars converted into shillings, you can earn billions as a YouTuber

How many views do you need to get paid on YouTube?

Depends on your niche, engagement and what advertisers are paying. Also, you get paid according to your country.

How much does it cost to start a YouTube channel?

Free or more depending on how big you want to start.

For example, if you decide to invest in production, cameras, tripods and a team you have to plan for millions but if you start with your smartphone camera and a stack of books as your tripod, then it’s free.

How do I receive payment from YouTube?

You receive money from YouTube according to how you set your payment upon the Google Ads page.

Choosing bank means, you get your money every third week or however, you select.

And these days you get your Paypal money in your account in days.

Can I get paid on YouTube without a bank account?

Yes, set your payments at a much higher threshold so you can get your payment once in a while.

Can I get paid through Paypal on YouTube?

Yes, it’s the best way to receive your YouTube money. Arrives in days.

Do YouTubers get paid if you skip the ads?

No, you only get paid for the number of minutes, seconds or hours people watch your videos.

Do non-skippable ads pay money?

The short answer is, YES and they’re the best types of ads to have on your YouTube channel if you want to benefit from YouTube ads money.

How do I monetise a YouTube channel without ads?

There are a number of ways to monetise your YouTube channel without ads even without the 4k watch hours and 1000 subscribers and they include:

Sell digital products

In affiliate marketing, you won’t earn a lot unless you have a high-demand product people are looking for.

Start a business. What’s your offline business? Use YouTube to get more clients.

Can I watch my Youtube video to get 4,000 watch hours?

Yes, you can but don’t.

What’s counted as a view on YouTube?

From a user viewing your videos,

Watch at least 10 – 30 seconds of your videos

Watching your ads.

Can I like my own YouTube channel?

Yes, you can. I did this a lot in the earlier times as a YouTuber but don’t.

How do you increase view count on YouTube?

Have the best content/offer value with your content

Find your keywords

Focus on your descriptions

SEO

Have playlists

Promote yourself

Be patient

Does YouTube pay monthly?

Depends on how often you want to get paid.

How do you create a successful YouTube channel?

Start with and from a niche

Stay consistent

Focus on quality

How do I make 10M/year on YouTube?

Have a niche

Remain consistent

Answer customers’ questions, know what viewers want and offer it to them.

At first, you will experiment with content to find the right kind of content.

As you publish more, you realise what customers want by checking their reaction, response and how proactive your viewers are.

How long does it take to get 100 subscribers?

Keep publishing without worrying about subscribers.

How do I get 100k subscribers fast on YouTube?

Keep publishing as you did without subscribers. Remain consistent.

As for consistency, choose to publish content weekly or daily and stick with your schedule. Never miss a post for too many months at a time, ever.

Social media and YouTube loves regular publishing.

And YouTube like Google loves new content.

New content means you’re active so YouTube will recommend your content.

And YouTube recommending your content means new subscribers.

How long does it take for YouTube to approve monetisation in 2021?

Stop worrying about monetisation approval yet. Worry about providing value.

How long does it take to get 4,000 watch hours?

Keep publishing and marketing your content.

Resources

How to Start a YouTube Channel for Small Business in Kenya

250k+/Month Businesses to Begin on YouTube as a Kenyan in 2022 [Without a YouTube Channel]

Start a Social Media Marketing Business in Kenya

How to Start an Instagram Business in Kenya

The Best YouTube Niches for Kenyans to Cash in on YouTube Money [What to Talk About]

Best Camera for Kenyan Vloggers

Best Editing Software for Kenyan YouTubers [For Android, iPhone and Computers]

Best Phones for YouTubers Kenya

Best Tripods for YouTubers in Kenya

Best Microphones for YouTubers in Kenya

How to Remain Consistent Publishing YouTube Content in Kenya

I cannot point to a single person who is not using YouTube today.

It is a very easy platform to use and you can just start a channel with a few clicks, upload your videos, build your audience and make money.

You have to be careful when you are selecting a niche so that you do not end up fretting about not enjoying what you are doing.

Let your passions drive you.

Also, you will just be speaking to a passive audience so you need to know how you can keep them engaged with content that they like and ascribe to.

Be determined and don’t give up.

You may not make money right away, but rest assured that the wait is going to be totally worth it!

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Online Businesses / Work in Kenya