So, you love animals and you love YouTube – it makes perfect sense that you should start your own Pets YouTube channel. It sounds like a lot of fun, but what practical steps do you need to take to not only launch your own channel, but make it a success? Here are a few tried and true tips.
1. Decide on Your Concept
You know that your channel is going to be all about pets, but starting this endeavor with only a very vague notion of what exactly you want to do could mean a lot of unnecessary trial and error. Instead of winging it, try to work out a concept you could stand behind.
For instance, do you plan on focusing on just a couple of animals, like cats and dogs, or do you prefer exotic pets? Do you want to deal with a specific aspect of pet ownership – like health or training? What style of videos do you want to make: funny, playful, serious or something else entirely?
Do you plan on practical presentations, and if so, what do you need in terms of space and equipment to make those videos? Exploring the already existing channels could help you realize if maybe there is a need for a specific kind of channel that doesn’t yet exist.
2. Launch the Channel
Making a business channel on YouTube is probably the simplest part of this project. All you need to do is sign in to YouTube, find your user icon in the top right corner of the screen, and choose the gear icon to access your account settings. There you will find the option to create a new channel.
Make sure you choose the option “Use a business or other name”, and put in what you want your new pet channel to be called. A catchy and unique brand name is always a bonus, as it will make it easy for people to search and remember the name of your channel. Next you will be prompted to describe your channel. Put a lot of thought into filling out your profile, and remember to link to your channel’s social media and website if you have one.
3. Make Sure Your Pet is On Board
If you plan on using your own pets a lot in your videos, then make sure they are up for being filmed. If your pet is too restless it might be a very frustrating experience for the both of you. Try making some videos of them before you actually commit to this whole enterprise. Be gentle and patient, as animals might need some time to figure out what you want them to do.
4. Target Your Audience
When you are creating a new channel, it’s very useful to think about the audience you would like to target. Obviously, they are pet owners, but researching the community through forums, comments and popular websites could help you create a more detailed profile of your potential viewers. Having at least a general idea of your target audience’s age, interests, income bracket and other similar data could help you tailor your content more specifically to appeal to them.
5. Make a Schedule
Leaving your posting schedule up to the times when you feel inspired can lead to a channel which feels haphazard and has trouble gaining and keeping subscribers. Instead of leaving it up to chance, think about what might be a realistic schedule for you. Having a consistent posting schedule is a requirement for gaining viewers.
To gain a loyal viewer base, you need to hit an optimal balance between quality and quantity. Once you know how often you would like to post, make an effort to plan out what videos you would like to make in the following period, for instance a month.
Planning will also help you take advantage of seasonal and other special opportunities. For instance, if you know your puppy has an upcoming vet check-up, or if you are planning on taking him camping, being prepared beforehand will allow you to use these opportunities to make interesting videos that you wouldn’t be able to make otherwise.
6. Get the Equipment
However great and charming your ideas are, it’s doubtful you’ll reach success by filming your pooch with a shaky phone camera. You don’t have to start out with a pro quality camera, a good web camera or your smart phone’s cam will do, but you will need a tripod or a Gimbal to keep your recordings steady.
If you plan on taking plenty of outdoors videos, playing or running with your pet, an action camera might be a wise investment. Sound quality is often the greater problem, since many phone, action and web cameras don’t meet the sound quality standards you need for a successful video. You can solve this problem by getting an external microphone.
7. Spread the Word
You could have the best content in the world, but it will sit alone and neglected in a corner of YouTube if you don’t know how to reach an audience. In the case of a pet-related YouTube channel, you need to try reaching other pet owners who would be interested in your content.
Use the powers of SEO (like optimized titles, descriptions and tags) to rank well with search engines. Using well-thought out hashtags and posting to relevant groups will help you build a strong social media presence. Finally, try to be active on pet owner forums.
8. Find Ways to Make Money
Most people think that YouTubers make the majority of their money through ads. In reality, even channels with viral content make very little. A million views (which is an impressive number) only translates to around a $1000.
Instead of relying on Adsense, you are much more likely to earn money through affiliate programs, brand promotions and sponsorships. Whichever route you take, be prepared to work and put out content without direct profit for a while. It takes time to build an audience, and you can’t earn much without one.
Launching a pets YouTube channel requires a little bit of planning, and a lot of patience, but if you have a great idea it’s definitely worth the effort.