YouTube is a video sharing website that was launched in February 2005 and bought by Google in November 2006. The video sharing website allows virtually anybody to upload videos they have either created themselves or have permission from the copyright owner to do so.
Once you've uploaded a video, you can sign up for an AdSense account (if you haven't already got one) and have relevant ads displayed on your video, which in turn will earn you a small commission, which is split between yourself and Google.
YouTube has changed drastically over of years, and when it 1st started video contents was predominantly provided by amateur do-it-yourself YouTubers, but is now used by most big international companies who use the video sharing website to advertise their products from computer games to the latest movies.
Despite a massive rise in big companies and self-employed professional video producers using YouTube, it still has a thriving amateur community where some of them have become mini celebrities, or I should say Internet celebrities who are making hundreds of thousands of pounds, sometimes even millions per year. In all honesty, if you're over the age of 18, you've probably never heard of any of them, nor would you necessarily want to. Their videos are not of a particular high quality and only appeal to a younger audience.
It depends on what you intend to do. If you intend on filming yourself, other people, animals or just the general scenery, then a digital camera that can record high definition video is essential. If you only intend on showing people how to perform certain tasks on a computer, then you will need some screen recording software. If you intend doing both, then you will need both a camera and screen recording software. It's also a good idea to invest in some video editing software which will give your videos a much more professional look. You may also want to invest in accessories such as a tripod, which will make life easier.
That is completely up to you but you should try to stay away from things that have already been done over and over again on YouTube. For example, there is little point in filming yourself playing the latest videogame and screeching like a baby or how to best apply the latest lipstick and mascara. YouTube is absolutely flooded with those types of videos. Instead, try to make useful and helpful videos. If, for example, you know how to change the rear brake light on a Peugeot 308, then do it. Even if there are already several videos showing you how to perform this task, you should still get a decent amount of views, especially if your video is easier to follow. If you don't want to feature in your videos, then try filming your local surroundings. Most towns and cities always have interesting places and landmarks that people search for online. If you're an animal lover and have a cat, dog or guinea pig, try filming them, and you never know they might do something cute and funny that becomes an Internet hit.
As long as its within the YouTube terms and conditions there are no limitations on what you can film and you will come up with new ideas as time passes.
Making money on YouTube isn't a quick process and you have to be prepared to be in it for the long term. When you 1st start uploading videos to YouTube, you will only make a couple of pence per week. However, as you build up your video portfolio, that can start turning into pounds per week. You're never going to become a millionaire unless you get really lucky and one or more of your videos becomes a huge Internet success that receives millions of views every month. The vast majority of videos you upload will probably get no more than 1000 views per year, but If you keep yourself motivated and upload at least 1 or 2 videos per week, you could easily achieve an income of £25-100+ per week after a couple of years. And remember, once you upload those videos, that's basically it. They don't require any maintenance and they will make you a passive income for years to come.
No, YouTube is completely free and you can upload as many videos as you like that comply with their terms and conditions. Whether YouTube will remain completely free in the future, nobody really knows, but since they make their money from displaying ads on videos, it will most likely remain free for a long time to come.
The biggest downside has to be that you're not in full control of your videos or account. YouTube is owned by Google and Google essentially does what it likes, and that means they could delete one or more your videos or completely ban your account at any time. Once the Google hammer comes down, that's it, all your hard work will be destroyed in a split second. You need to be very, very careful and make sure you do not violate any of their terms and conditions and only upload videos that comply with them.