If you’ve spent as much time on YouTube as we have, I’m sure you’ve seen series such as The Annoying Orange, Equals Three, SMOOSH or any other of the hundreds of viral videos that YouTube promotes. Such series are inherently expensive and time consuming, and as you might guess, their creators are not able to simply do it as a side job. Instead, it is their primary occupation, and they are paid by Google thanks to YouTube’s Partner Service.
If you’ve ever had a video that did well in terms of views, you may have received a notice from Google inviting you into a “revenue sharing” program. This is a program created by Google to encourage its most popular content uploaders to keep doing what they do best, create awesome content. By giving them a cut of the ad revenue generated by their videos, Google is enticing their users to enable advertisements on their viral videos. This can be a great boon to someone who uploads a video that subsequently goes viral, however, it isn’t exactly a long-term strategy for people who want to make money on YouTube, either by inventing a series or by running a popular channel.
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For users who want to turn YouTube into a business, it is necessary to join the YouTube Partner Program. This program not only allows you to better monetize your videos through revenue sharing, it allows you to learn about upcoming trends and techniques that are making YouTube videos popular. While it can’t enable you to produce the next viral hit without fail, it can help you to improve the quality and quantity of your videos, while gathering useful feedback from your viewers and building your popularity. Many of the front-page and “featured” videos are produced by the YouTube Partner Program, and because they have a vested interest in seeing you succeed, Google will help you in terms of video production and promotion.
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So how do you do well with the partner program? The key is to have a theme, concept or idea that you can carry out repeatedly, generating new videos and attracting viewers on a regular basis. While single videos here and there can be popular, to consistently be a hit, you need to produce something that your viewers expect and want. Some good examples are reliable and regular reviews of new products and “how to” instructional videos. Comedy series featuring a consistent comedic character (“Fred”) or theme (“The Annoying Orange,” “Equals Three”) are also very popular.
HELPFUL HINT: A good YouTube movie is between three and ten minutes long, but ideally no more than five. It should be fast-paced, direct and entertaining, with multiple jokes and quick images.
A good point of comparison would be the classic “Looney Tunes” and Disney cartoons of the 30s, 40s and 50s, which each lasted less than five minutes and were filled with constant jokes and content. Any examination of modern successful YouTube partners will reveal that they are likewise quick and to the point, with tight scripts, good editing and eye-friendly backgrounds. Good music selection is also important, as is audio and visual quality, which should be as high as is practical.
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