Recently I went to talk to a group of girl scouts about blogging and was hit with one resounding response: Fourteen-year-olds don’t want to be bloggers. They want to be YouTubers. More and more, YouTube is beginning to become seen as a valid career path, and people are making full-time livings on the platform, and children are becoming multi-millionaires from their uploads.
With that said, it’s no wonder more people are trying to become YouTube stars.
But, if you have big YouTube dreams, let me caution you this: You never want to put all of your eggs into one very unstable basket.
Gaining a following on YouTube can mean making tens of thousands of dollars a month, but it also opens you up to a lot of income instability. Take what came to be known as the “adpocalypse” early in 2018.
All of a sudden, advertisers were pulling their ads from certain types of video content, and videos that aligned with YouTube’s guidelines were mistakenly getting demonetized. In short: it was a scary time to be a YouTube creator.
That’s where diversifying your income comes in…
If you’ve spent time on the Teachable blog, you’ve heard me say it before: If you want to be a successful online business owner, you have to be diversifying your income.
Sometimes, income streams fail. If you have only one income stream that failure can be catastrophic. If you’ve been diversifying your income, on the other hand, a failed stream is never ideal, but it’s not going to make or break you or your business.
How to diversify your income as a YouTuber
By the title of this post, I’m sure that you can already guess where I’m going with this, but I believe online courses are the best way for YouTubers to diversify their income.
Online courses are so great for YouTubers for a few reasons:
YouTubers already have an engaged audience
YouTubers are proficient in creating video content
YouTubers have a built-in marketing platform
Even better? Online courses are a product that you create once and can sell over and over again. Even just a quick mention in every third video and a link in all of your video descriptions can help maintain a steady stream of sales.
What type of course should YouTubers create?
This will vary greatly depending on what type of YouTuber you are. Daily vloggers will create very different online course compared to food vloggers whose courses will look different than beauty vloggers.
Let’s look at a few examples:
Daily vloggers create a mini reality show around their lives. They record and edit a YouTube video every single day. They likely don’t have a unique niche that they focus on, and their audiences tend to have varied interests. A lot of their viewers are likely younger audiences who are interested in creating a daily vlog themselves.
This puts daily vloggers in a great position to create a “how to daily vlog” online course.
Many daily vloggers grow a following through living a unique lifestyle, so maybe they’ll create a course on how to raise three under three, how to live in an RV, how to raise a vegan family, or whatever it is that suits their lifestyles.
Beauty vloggers grow their audiences by showcasing different makeup looks and tutorials. Because they give so much away for free, many beauty YouTubers fear that they can’t create an online course.
Really though, their course just needs to cover an angle they’ve never touched on their channels.
For example, if a beauty YouTuber is known for complex and in-depth tutorials, they might create an online course breaking down the basics they use to build their looks. Or create an online course on creating a beauty “toolkit” with all of the products and tools they use.
Food vloggers fall in the same boat as beauty YouTubers. They’ve built their channels creating entire recipe videos for free, so it feels like they won’t be able to package any value into a course to sell.
Like beauty YouTubers, they need to get creative. Healthy eating vlogger? Create a course on switching from the Standard American Diet to a more healthy lifestyle. Restaurant chef creating YouTube videos on the side? Create a course on plating 5-star restaurant quality meals. The key is to get creative.
How to promote your course on YouTube
The next obstacle a lot of YouTubers run into is actually promoting their online courses on their channel.
Most people won’t sit through a ten-minute commercial for your online course, but they will watch a video that provides value while priming your audience to purchase your online course.
For example, if you created a course on kitchen skills to promote on your food channel, you might create a video called “Basic Knife Skills Every Chef NEEDS to Know,” and you can go over the basics of cutting and chopping.
At the end of the video mention that you have an entire online course covering every basic skill that builds the foundation to becoming a competent chef and it’s at a discount for anyone who made it through the video. Give your audience a coupon code and let them know that they’ll also be getting a bonus directly from you when they use it. This bonus can be something small like a downloadable ebook, or maybe a personal Skype call with the first fifteen customers.
The key is to make sure you’re not just selling. Instead, you need to:
Make your viewers feel like they’re getting a special offer
Thank your audience for watching and supporting you
Spinning your course as a method for you to 1. better connect with your audience and 2. support your YouTube channel so you can create more content will help your audience get more excited about your course and increase their likelihood of them supporting you.