YouTube as a Job - Can Being a YouTuber Be a Full Time Career?

Jul 28, 2021


Have you ever wondered if having YouTube as a job is possible and what it's like as a full time career? If so, you've come to the right place.

Go to any elementary school or high school, and ask students what they'd like their job to be when they get older. Chances are, a large segment of students will say they want to be YouTubers. But is this a realistic goal, or would these students be better off attempting to gain a career in a traditional industry?

In this article, you will learn:

Can YouTube Be a Full Time Job?
Is YouTube a Good Job?
How to Make YouTube a Career

Read on and learn everything you need to know about being a full time YouTuber.

Can YouTube Be a Full Time Job?


So, can YouTube be a full-time job? After all, whenever you hear about YouTube in the mainstream media (for positive reasons) they often draw attention to the fact that many content creators are quite wealthy.

YouTube can be a full-time job. The platform generates as much (if not more) attention as TV and Hollywood and is only continuing to grow. If you put in a lot of effort and are smart when it comes to managing the money you make from YouTube, you could create a fantastic career for yourself.

With this said, it's important to recognize that the success rate is not as high as it might seem. The vast majority of content creators will never earn enough money on YouTube to be able to make it their full-time job.

As the platform continues to grow, more creators will get the ability to make YouTube their full-time job. However, success is not guaranteed. So, if you would like to try and earn a full-time income on YouTube, recognize that you'll be taking part in an uphill battle that many have already tried and failed at.

Is YouTube a Good Job?


You might be wondering- is YouTube a good job? After all, it's one thing to be able to make a full-time income on YouTube, but there's no point in doing so if the job is going to make you miserable all the time.

If you look at YouTube through a traditional lens in an unbiased manner, you'll probably conclude that YouTube is not a good job. People judge you and your work daily, the workload can be intense, and your income can technically disappear at any moment.

However, if you are someone who values control and freedom, there's a good chance that the positives of having YouTube as a job will outweigh the negatives. This is especially true if you're a creative person with a strategic mind and you don't mind going without a guaranteed income.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the type of person you are. Many people think they'd enjoy being a full-time content creator, only to realize that it's a lot of work and requires a thick skin. For most people, having a traditional 9-to-5 job will lead to more overall happiness based on the provided stability and ease of work.

How to Make YouTube a Career


Making YouTube your career is possible, but it will require a lot of work. If, however, you do the right things, the workload can be very manageable and you can avoid time-wasting activities that will not lead to positive results.

Here's how to make YouTube a career:

  1. Define your success
  2. Select a direction
  3. Research your competition
  4. Plan your brand
  5. Research video topics
  6. Create high-quality content
  7. Prioritize SEO
  8. Build relationships
  9. Use social media
  10. Repeat the process consistently
  11. Be patient

Let's discuss each of these steps in more detail.

1. Define Your Success

To begin the process of making YouTube your career, you must first define what your definition of success is.

For some people, success on YouTube can be defined as having a small following of devoted viewers that support them with their attention.

However, if you're serious about making a career out of YouTube, your definition of success must match up with this goal. You must define clear goals and the steps that you must take to accomplish these goals. This way, you can create a strategy that will help you make progress in areas that will have an impact on your goals.

2. Select a Direction

To build an audience, you must know which audience you'd like to attract. Knowing this, you must select a direction for your YouTube channel by determining your niche and defining your ideal target audience.

Many content creators attempt to operate variety channels. Variety channels upload all sorts of videos, from gaming let's plays to vlogs. The problem with this approach is, these channels often end up with a segmented, inactive audience. This is why you must determine what niche you'd like to be a part of and the videos you'd like to create.

Remember, your goal is to be able to make an income that can replace the income your job (or future job) provides. If you're going to make videos for children, who are not likely to purchase affiliate products, for example, you'll need to focus your attention on getting as many monetized views as possible.

3. Research Your Competition

One of the best ways to create an action plan for your channel is to look at what your competitors are doing. Specifically, you should look at large channels in your selected niche and take note of what they are doing.

Think about it- these large channels have managed to do what you wish to do- grow and monetize an audience. By looking at these channels reverse-engineering what they do, you can determine what it is you should do to achieve a similar result.

Take note of your competitors:

  • Video presentation
  • Video topics
  • Upload schedule
  • Channel age
  • Monetization methods
  • Marketing methods

These items will help assist you when crafting the strategy you're going to follow to be able to make YouTube your career.

4. Plan Your Brand

The way you present your brand will have an impact on your ability to grow an audience and make money from your content. If you do not create professional branding elements for your channel, it will look unprofessional and amateurish.

Branding elements include:

  • YouTube channel banners
  • Display pictures
  • In-video elements (lower-thirds, transitions, etc)
  • Video intros and outros

All of these items on your channel must remain consistent and must be high-quality if you wish for people to take your channel seriously. Hobbyists can afford to ignore these things- you can't, because your goals are different than theirs.

5. Research Video Topics

Before taking your camera out and pressing record, you need to know what your videos are going to be about. Similarly, if you want your videos to be seen, you must create them on topics that your target audience is interested in.

There are many ways you can research video topics for your videos. You can look at competitor channels and see what videos they upload, or you can become a member of various niche-specific forums to get a sense of the topics your audience is interested in.

Alternatively, another option that has been determined to be a great topic research strategy is to look at what keywords YouTube suggests as autosuggestions when entering words into the search bar on YouTube.

6. Create High-Quality Content

People visit YouTube to watch high-quality videos, plain and simple. So, if you wish to get these people to watch your videos and support you financially, you must ensure that you create and upload high-quality content.

Now, you're probably wondering- what exactly is high-quality content? Well, high-quality content possesses a combination of:

  • High educational or entertainment value
  • High-quality production value
  • Consistent presentation

When you create videos, you must ensure they contain these elements. Meaning, your videos should entertain or educate your target audience, they should look and sound great, and should be presented similarly to previous uploads.

7. Prioritize SEO

If you look at many large channels on YouTube, you'll notice that they tend to use attention-grabbing titles. They do this to encourage users on YouTube to click on and watch their videos, which makes sense. However, this is not the ideal way for you to title your videos when you're just starting your channel.

You see, one of the best ways to get viewers initially is through the YouTube search results. The only way your videos will show up in the search results for viewers to find, however, is for you to prioritize SEO.

Ideally, your video titles, descriptions, and tags should all contain relevant keywords that describe the subject matter of your videos. Doing this will help YouTube determine what your videos are about so they can be ranked and delivered to viewers interested in those topics more effectively.

8. Build Relationships

Nowadays, one of the best ways to grow an audience is to collaborate with other YouTube content creators. But to collaborate with other creators, a relationship must first be formed, thus explaining the importance of building relationships.

Relationships with other content creators can be built by commenting on their videos, engaging with them on social media, and even talking to them on platforms like Discord. In fact, this is exactly what the largest content creators do- talk and engage with each other regularly.

Along the same lines, you should also build relationships with your audience. Always respond to their comments, engage with them on social media, and consider generating leads and building an email list to send them semi-personalized emails.

9. Use Social Media

Speaking of social media, you should use it. There are of course some negatives to doing so, but using social media presents a large number of positive benefits that cannot be ignored if you're looking to build an audience and make YouTube your full-time job and career.

Many videos that perform well often do so because they gained traction on social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook. Of course, many promotional efforts will be ineffective, but the opportunity is always present.

Along with promoting your videos, you should use social media to engage with your target audience. For example, you can respond to tweets from followers of Twitter accounts that post similar YouTube videos to yours, or like their posts on Instagram.

Over time, people will begin to follow you and engage with your posts on your social media accounts. When this happens, you can direct these people to your YouTube videos, which will lead to an increase in views, subscribers, and revenue.

10. Repeat the Process Consistently

As it was stated above, YouTube is a lot of work. You cannot create and publish a video, promote it on social media, and wait for the views and money to roll in. To make YouTube your career, you must show up and put in work every single day.

Most full-time YouTubers develop strategies, daily schedules, and routines that allow them to do the things necessary to create videos and grow an audience every single day. It cannot be stated enough how important discipline and organization are for remaining consistent.

Start by determining how long it takes you to record, edit, optimize, and promote a single YouTube video. Then, try to make the process more efficient, and build a schedule based on the results of your findings.

11. Be Patient

Want to know why so many people struggle to do YouTube as a career? It all comes down to a lack of patience. People start a channel, create videos, and quit after a few months when they do achieve the results they thought they would.

YouTube is a long-term game with no guarantee of success. If you are not willing to be patient, you will struggle to become a full-time YouTuber. 99.9% of full-time creators created videos for multiple years before getting to do so as a career- would you be willing to do this?

You need to be honest with yourself- are you willing to be patient and put in the work necessary even when you aren't achieving your desired results? Many creators would say they are willing to go through the tough times, but few end up doing so.

Is Being a YouTuber a Job?


At this point, you might be wondering- is being a YouTuber a job? After all, many YouTubers appear to live a life of luxury. Is this perception reality? Or, is being a content creator a busy, challenging profession?

Put simply, being a YouTuber is not just a job- it's multiple jobs. You see, as a content creator, you will be responsible for performing many tasks. These tasks are often done by professionals who dedicate their life to focusing on a specific skill.

Some tasks that content creators on YouTube need to do include:

  • Planning and research
  • Scriptwriting and outlining
  • Video production
  • Video editing
  • Audio editing
  • Graphic design
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

All of these tasks are things that are done by freelancers and at marketing agencies. Many content creators often outsource these tasks to freelancers and agencies when they have the capital to do so.

So, knowing that creators must learn many different skills and perform all of these tasks, it's easy to see how being a YouTuber could be considered a job. While it is a fun job, it's a difficult one that requires a lot of time and effort.


You now know the reality of having YouTube as a job. YouTube can be a full-time career, but it takes a lot of work to put yourself and your channel in the position to earn a full-time income by creating content. However, if you do the right things and stick with it, there's no telling where you and your channel might end up in the future.

Daniel James
Hi there! I’m Daniel, the founder, and CEO of Tubefluence. I help businesses and influencers utilize the power of YouTube marketing to grow an audience and generate leads.
TubeRanker offers the ultimate toolset for Creators & Marketers to optimize their videos against the YouTube algorithm and rank higher in YouTube & Google searches and recommendation engines.
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