In the light speed, oversaturated media landscape of the 21st century, bloggers and video professionals have to make the extra effort to stand out of the crowd; through special videos and marketing ploys, unique and extravagant settings and locales to employing humour or sharing valuable tools - the bloggers of the now are savvier than ever. In addition, the nature of our information economy allows successful bloggers which are able to generate significant traffic to generate income off of their hard work and investment; major blogs, and especially video blogs can be monetized in a plethora of ways.
However, if you are setting out to create a successful blog that can eventually be monetized - there is no need to re-invent the wheel. As is in any professional field, it is always best practice to experience, examine and learn from trailblazers and existing influencers:
The most successful (and controversial) YouTube vlogger is definitely Sweden’s PewDiePie; with more than 99 million subscribers on YouTube, he has built a digital empire. While he started off with making gameplay videos with his commentary (which are still his go-to crowd-pleasers), PewDiePie’s rapport has expanded to animated and more narrative videos, as well as meme analysis and response videos to other celebrities and digital influencers. His huge following has allowed him to generate income from several sources - sponsorship and product placement, which will usually centre around the games he plays, as well as merchandise revenue, which is generated by various PewDiePie products that are sold directly from his YouTube channel. Despite having a rough 2018 with some controversial and antisemitic statements, PewDiePie still brought in more than $15 million last year.
Lele Pons, Born in Venezuela, started as a Vine star (to those who’ve forgotten - a defunct social platform that featured very short videos, and which gave birth to many of the current crops of YouTube celebrities). She then turned into a YouTube sensation and posts new, hilarious videos every week. Lele’s comedic sketches often star her as an exaggerated version of herself, frequently poking fun at her own heritage. Lele is also fond of incorporating her relationship with Twan Kuyper, a YouTube personality of his own right). She also regularly collaborates with her fellows from another YouTube channel, Shot Studios. Lele has posted numerous videos in the last couple of years and has surpassed 14 million subscribers, and her substantial following on YouTube is reflected by a significant following on Instagram - where she is currently one of the top earning influencers.
This video channel is vastly different from both PewDiePie and LeLe’s, but also has a subject matter which has found a sizable market. The Internet-based show is created and hosted by the Green brothers: John and Hank Green and is a self-proclaimed vehicle to make nerds as cool as possible. The first incarnation of the channel was the "Brotherhood 2.0" project, which set the stage for the vlogging-focused Vlogbrothers channel, which has over 3.5 million subscribers. While some claim the Green brothers played a significant role in creating present-day YouTube culture, their Vlogbrothers channel was the first in what became a diverse portfolio of YouTube channels. The brothers sparked the creation of a community of fans - Nerdfighteria. While the blogs deal with ideas regarding science and culture, the brothers’ channel is assisted by branded merchandise - linked from their various videos.
Now That You’re Inspired - What’s Next?
Greatness isn’t built overnight. It takes a hard and concentrated effort to build your content library and your brand. In addition, monetization can and should be integrated into your brand building (after all, research shows consumers feel that if they paid for something - it has to be worth something). However many of the influencers in the social media field monetize their content off of YouTube or other video platforms and create other websites and written blogs to support their efforts. An effective tool that can assist with that is QUID; this versatile monetization tools are highly adaptable, can be integrated into vloggs, podcasts and blogs and will allow you to receive micro-payments as small as 1¢!
Remember, success is a journey and the most successful people in the field have built diverse portfolios and created an infrastructure to be supported financially by; set both as an intention, and coupled with a savvy idea or a fresh approach - you will be on your way.