start a youtube channel
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Video is the future! It is estimated that by 2022, over 82% of the traffic will shift towards video. Marketers are now broadening their content from text to video. What does this mean? This is the perfect time for you to start a YouTube in Uganda and make money from it.

With more than 1.3 billion users, YouTube is definitely the right avenue to build your personal brand as a video blogger and boost your visibility.

Video blogging is a new popular culture in Uganda. Many video bloggers in Uganda not only use YouTube to share information but also use it to make money online. In this guide, I will take you everything you to know about starting a profitable YouTube channel bossiness in Uganda. The guide focuses on starting a YouTube channel as business in Uganda. Let’s dive in!

Also read; The Insider Guide To Starting An Online Business In Uganda

 Why start a YouTube channel in Uganda?

If you tell anyone that you want to start a YouTube channel in Uganda and they tell you it is too late, ignore them. The vlogging culture has skyrocketed in Uganda over the past years and it has proved to be a very lucrative business for content creators.

Today, YouTube is the world’s second most popular search engine after Google. It is also the second most visited website in Uganda according to Alexa rankings. Current statistics show that YouTube has a total of 1.3 billion active users worldwide.

Below are some of the opportunities and benefits that come with running a YouTube channel in Uganda:

  • Run your channel from anywhere. No need of work experience, academic qualifications or office.
  • You can make money from your channel by applying for YouTube Partner Program.
  • You can start with no capital. Even if you can’t afford all video production equipment, you can start with what you have and get better equipment with time.
  • YouTube will be open your path to becoming an influencer. Influencers are paid for their roles in promoting brands.
  • You will get to meet and interact with different people in comments if you choose to actively engage with them.
  • Running a YouTube channel will boost your confidence, improve your communication skills and you will learn so much about the topics you create content from.
  • Fame and popularity. You get popular among your audience. Let’s assume your channel has around 100,000 subscribers, you are popular among those 100k people.

Related:

Requirements to start a YouTube channel in Uganda

Many people want to start YouTube video channels in Uganda but they do not consider the equipment required to get started. When starting a YouTube channel business in Uganda, you will need to acquire basic video production equipment that would enable you create good quality videos that are visually appealing to your audience. You however do not have to be perfect in the whole video production process. You just need to have the right equipment and the right skills to produce content. Below is a list of equipment you would most likely need on a daily basis regardless of the type of channel you want to start or the content you want to share.

Camera

Your most important tool is the camera. Your videos need to be shot in HD. This does not require you to have the most expensive camera but any camera that can record good and high quality videos of at least 1080p. A decent looking video can perform well on YouTube if its content is qualitative. You can get a good HD camera from as low as UGX 400,000/-.

Smartphone

You will need to have a high end smart with a high resolution camera (both front and back cameras). A smart phone would enable you shoot outdoor videos from places where you don’t necessarily have to go with your camera. A good smartphone will cost you about UGX 700,000/-.

Microphone

Even if your video has the best quality, it will be hard to keep viewers watching a video with poor audio quality. Built-in mics in phones and cameras always have bad audio quality as they can’t effectively record or eliminate ambient sounds. To prevent the issue of poor audio quality from happening, buy a simple lapel mic. An external microphone will ensure that you are heard clearly without any trouble. A lapel mic can be clipped on your clothes while you record your videos. Lapel mics go for as low as UGX 70,000/-.

Tripod

A tripod is simply a stand that holds your camera wherever you are and ensures that your video footage is steady. Tripods go for as low as UGX 90,000/-. If you will shoot your videos via smartphone, you will also need to acquire a smartphone holder for tripod.

Lighting

If you plan to shoot most of your YouTube videos indoors, then you will need to buy lights. Lights are very important as they help stabilize brightness and mood of the video. Lighting makes your video look lighter and also appears clearer. One lighting equipment costs approximately UGX 600,000/-.

Storage device

As you keep shooting video footages, you will eventually fill up your computer hard disk. Having an external hard disk or flash drive can help you sort storage issues. You can a buy a 64GB flash at about UGX 60,000/- and a 500GB external HDD at about UGX 120,000/-.

Laptop

It is very essential to invest in a good laptop. You will use a laptop to edit and publish your videos on YouTube. You can get a used laptop in Uganda at UGX 500,000/- but it is advisable to invest in a brand new one if at all you can afford. A new laptop that is good for video editing will cost you roughly UGX 1,200,000/-.

Video editing software

After acquiring all your basic equipment, the next thing is to invest in a good video software that would be used in post-production. There are hundreds of video editing software out there, some are free, freemium while others are all-premium.

If you can’t afford an all-premium software, go for a cracked version of it, which you can download for free online or get cheaply from local software sales hubs in Kampala. I’m not in way encouraging software piracy, if you really can afford, support the developers by buying their software.

As a starter, I recommend Filmora and Wondershare. Most YouTubers use these two software to edit their videos. Other software video editors use include; Adobe Premiere, Camtasia, Sony Vegas, Screenflow etc

Power bank

If you will be using your phone to shoot videos, you will need a power backup. Video recording can drain your phone battery faster, and there’s nothing worse than a phone blacking out when you have just recorded your video halfway. Having a good power bank at hand would be a wise move!

Skill needed to run a YouTube channel

Below are the skills you need to have to effectively run your YouTube channel:

Research skills

If you are someone who is not good at reading and researching, it might be difficult for you to produce good quality content. Before you create content on any topic, first do extensive research both online and offline to ensure that you produce quality content that is highly competitive and factual.

Speaking skills

You should have good communication skills and ability to speak to your viewers in an engaging manner. Never should you ever make your viewers feel bored or disengaged. If viewers can’t find your communication interesting, they will leave your channel for a competitor’s and might never return.

Video editing skills

To efficiently run a YouTube channel business, you need have at least basic video editing skills. As a starter, unless you can afford, it will be costly for you to employ or hire a professional video editor every time you want to upload a new video.

Learn video editing and make your own videos. The internet is full free learning resources, why not take opportunity of these free resources and equip yourself with free video editing skills?

One best place to learn video editing for free is YouTube. YouTube has easy-to-understand tutorials on almost every topic you can ever imagine.

Video shooting skills

You need to have good skills on how to shoot videos. You need to have skills on how to handle a camera or how to take amazing photo shoots.

SEO skills

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a web optimization practice in which several techniques are employed to make content appear in search like Google, Yahoo Search and Bing.

It is very important that every YouTuber equips himself with basic SEO knowledge. If people can find your videos in Google when they search for related terms, there is high chance that they would end up clicking on your video link which would increase your viewership.

To get started, head over to Google and search for “YouTube Video SEO” or “How optimize a YouTube videos for SEO”.

Steps to start a YouTube Channel in Uganda

  1. Pick a niche
  2. Develop a content plan
  3. Get a name for your channel
  4. Create a YouTube Channel
  5. Get video production equipment
  6. Monetize your channel
  7. Promote your channel

Pick a niche

When staring YouTube channel business, the very first thing you need to do is find a niche you want to target. It is very important to decide from the start what the purpose of your channel is.  It is recommended that you choose a niche that you are passionate about. Enjoying what you do is a key to the success of any business. If you focus your content on a specific niche, then you have a reason for people to watch your content.

YouTube Channel Niche Ideas for Ugandans

Some people already know what their niche will be when they decide to start a YouTube channel because they want to focus on something they have passion about, understand best or usually do.

For example if you are dancer, you know you want your channel to be about dance skits or dance lessons. If you are naturally funny, you know you want to make people laugh.

But maybe you want to start a YouTube channel because you want to make money online in Uganda or simply fancy the idea of creating video content and you would like to live a YouTuber’s life. If you don’t have a particular topic in mind yet, here are some of the most popular and profitable niche ideas for YouTube Channel content:

  • Celebrity Gossip
  • Entertainment and Showbiz
  • Political analysis
  • Political activism
  • Human rights activism
  • How To’s
  • Makeup and Beauty tips
  • Unboxing new products
  • Life hacks
  • Personal development
  • Feminism
  • Product reviews
  • Gadget reviews
  • Top lists
  • Comedy skits
  • Health and fitness
  • World or Local new
  • Science and technology
  • Cooking guides and tips
  • Fashion and Style
  • Real life stories
  • Travel Vlogging
  • Hair care and hair styles
  • Sports commentary and analysis
  • Farming videos e.g how to rare chicken
  • Social media buzz
  • Crafts DIY
  • Programming tutorials
  • Music lessons
  • Dance Tutorials
  • Wedding videos
  • Behind scenes of events
  • Educational channel e.g Teach History
  • Car reviews
  • Viral challenges
  • Street interviews
  • Interview and ask me everything videos
  • Business – How to start a business
  • Motivational and inspirational speaking
  • Hacking videos
  • Events – What went down!
  • Explain Concepts
  • Yoga / Workout lessons
  • Relationship counselor / advise
  • Movie reviews
  • Game reviews
  • Book reviews
  • Make money videos

Related;

Develop a plan / strategy

When you intend to make vlogs or tutorials, planning for your channel is very crucial for your success.

Here are 5 guiding principles for creating a content plan for your YouTube channel:

  • Know your goal
  • Know your brand
  • Know your audience
  • Know your competition
  • How unique will you channel be?

Get a name for your YouTube Channel

Your channel name is extremely important. It is what people with associate with your YouTube presence. The name must express your core message. Keep it short, relevant, readable and brandable. Do not use numbers or hyphens in your name.

Getting started with YouTube channel business – Creating an account

To create a YouTube channel, you must have;

  1. A Google account
  2. A YouTube account

Let’s learn how to create these two

How to create a Google account in Uganda

To avoid confusion, a Google account is not the same as a Gmail account. A Google account is used to access all Google services that require logging in, including Gmail, YouTube, Google drive, Google Adsense etc. When signing up for a Google account, a Gmail account is created automatically. Below are the steps to create a Google account in Uganda

  1. Head over to Google Account Sign page
  2. Fill the your first and last name, choose your username and password.
  3. Review Google Terms of Service and Privacy Policy by checking the box.
  4. Next, enter your phone to receive a verification code.
  5. Enter the code received on your phone.
  6. That’s it. You’re done creating a Google account.

How to create a YouTube account in Uganda

Below are the steps to create a YouTube account in Uganda.

  1. Go to youtube.com
  2. Click on Sign in
  3. Login with your Google account
  4. Once you successfully login, your YouTube account is created automatically.
  5. That’s it. You now have a YouTube account

How to create a YouTube Channel In Uganda

There are two types of YouTube Channels ie Personal and Business/Brand Channel. Below are the steps to create both of them:

Creating a Personal YouTube Channel
  1. Go to youtube.com
  2. Sign in with your Google account
  3. Once signed in, click on account icon and click “Your Channel”
  4. A form will pop up with the name on your Google Account pre-filled. This name can be changed to another of your choice.
  5. If you want to use same name for your channel as that on your Google account, click Create Channel and you are done.
Creating a Business YouTube Channel
  1. Go to youtube.com
  2. Sign in with your Google account
  3. Once signed in, click on account icon and click “Your Channel”
  4. A form will pop up with the name on your Google Account pre-filled.
  5. Ignore number 4 click on Use a business or other name link located at the bottom of the form
  6. Enter your business or brand name and click Create
  7. That’s it, you now have a business/brand channel.

NB: You can have more than one YouTube channel with same Google/YouTube account.

Configure your YouTube Channel

  • Add YouTube channel art (cover photo)
  • Add your YouTube logo or profile photo
  • Add channel icon
  • Fill out About / Description section
  • Add channel links e.g Facebook and Twitter links
  • Add channel Trailor
  • Add your contact details
  • Create channel username/URL
  • Edit your privacy settings

Promote your YouTube channel

You have put in the time and effort to setup your YouTube channel with all the bells and whistle. Now let’s make sure people can find it and watch your content! Below are some of the ways you can promote your YouTube content and improve your visibility online:

  • Promote via social media
  • If you have a blog, embed your videos in articles. Do same on social platforms and forums.
  • Promote with Google AdWords
  • Run contents
  • Work with brands
  • Email marketing
  • SEO strategies

Monetizing your YouTube channel

Making money on YouTube is a prospect that attracts many people to start a YouTube channel, but it is not as simple as deciding to become a YouTuber and then get rich overnight.

The most popular way people monetize the YouTube Channels is through YouTube Partner Program (YPP). The YPP comprises of several monetization methods. To earn money on YouTube, you need to apply for and be accepted into the YouTube Partner Program.

The best YPP monetization method is Advertising Revenue set up through Google AdSense (also known as AdSense for YouTube). AdSense is an advertising program run by Google through which website, app and video publishers earn money from their content through targeted and interactive media advertisements.

Those little advertisements that pop up when you try to play any video on YouTube are by Google AdSense. Usually the ads are in display, overlay or video formats. The ads are created and paid for by brands or advertisers who want to promote their products.

These ads are not placed on your videos automatically; you have to first Apply for the YPP program and be accepted. However to get approved for YPP program, you have to meet their eligibility criteria first.

Over time, YouTube has changed requirements for one to become a YouTube partner and be eligible for AD revenue.

Currently, for a channel to be eligible for monetization, it must meet the following requirements:

  • Have at least 1000 subscribers
  • Have at least a total of 4000 hours of watch time within the past 12months.
  • Channel must not have prohibited content e.g sexual content
  • Must have original content.
  • Channel must adhere to YouTube Partner Program policies, YouTube Spam policies, YouTube Terms of Service and YouTube Community Guidelines.

You can apply for YPP anytime but your application will only be reviewed when you fulfill the above eligibility requirements.

Applying for YouTube Partner Program

  1. Sign in to YouTube.
  2. In the top right, select your account icon > Creator Studio.
  3. In the left menu, select Channel > Status and features.
  4. Under “Monetization,” click Enable.
  5. Follow the on-screen steps.

Also read; How To Monetize A Blog (Website) In Uganda [In-depth Guide]

Other ways to make money through YouTube Partner Program (YPP).

Channnel memberships.

Here you can create a membership program where members can enroll. Members pay a monthly fee in exchange for special perks that you offer. You need to have at least 30,000 subscribers to monetize your channel with memberships and must not have any community guidelines strikes.

Merchandise shelf.

Your fans can browse and buy official branded merchandise that is showcased on your watch pages. You need to have at least 10,000 subscribers to qualify for this program and you must not have any community guidelines strikes.

Super chat.

Your channel fans pay to get their messages highlighted in chat streams. To be eligible for this, you must be living in a country where Super Chat is supported. The good news is the Super Chat feature is supported in Uganda.

YouTube Premium Revenue.

Here when YouTube’s premium subscribers watch your videos, you get a percentage on their subscription fee.

External ways to monetize a YouTube Channel

Below are other lucrative ways to monetize a YouTube channel in Uganda

  • Brands pay to have their ads placed in your video.
  • Sell a service. Does you channel teach web development? Sell a web design service.
  • Sell products. Do you offer beauty tips? Sell your beauty products.

TIP: To effectively monetize your channel using external methods such as those mentioned above, you will need to have a website. For example if you sell beauty products, you need to have a website where you can direct your customers to order your products from.

There are more ways to monetize your YouTube channel. The most important thing is to consider how you will monetize your channel without losing your viewers. Nobody likes adverts. And if you muddy your videos with adverts, nobody will watch them.

While monetizing your channel can help you fund your content production process, it should be done strategically. As a starter your focus should be put on growing audience and not making money.

How to get paid for your YouTube Earnings (How YouTubers get paid)

You will receive direct payments from Google if you have monetized your YouTube channel with AdSense.

To qualify for AdSense payments, Google requires you to first verify your payment address. To do so, you will need to request verification PIN which will be sent to you via your physical postal address. Typically, a PIN arrives in 4-6 weeks upon request. To be able to request for verification PIN, you must have earned at least $10 in revenue.  If you don’t have a personal postal address, use for a friend or someone you know.

Since this is a YouTube channel tutorial, I will not go deep into details of an AdSense account, but everything to do with your AdSense earnings and payments can be found in your AdSense account, including your YouTube channel revenue statistics.

Now once you have verified your payment address, to be eligible for payment, you must have earned at least $100 in revenue. $100 is the minimum payment threshold for AdSense.

Payments are calculated on the last day of the month (30th or 31st) and issued on every 21st day of the month. This means that if by the last day of the previous month your earnings had not reached the payment threshold of $100, you will not qualify to receive payment on 21st the following month. Even if you reached a threshold between 1st and 20th, you still do not qualify to get paid on 21st, but will qualify for next month’s payment.

AdSense Payment methods in Uganda

In Uganda, AdSense supports the following payments methods;

  • Wire Transfer (Bank)
  • Cheque
  • Western Union

Western Union is the most convenient payment method for Uganda and your money comes on same day unlike Wire Transfer and Cheque methods which can take over 10 days for the money to arrive.

NB: If you are monetizing your YouTube channel with external non-YPP methods, it is up you to figure out how you will receive payments. If you sell products online, you can accept payments online via PayPal (if you have a supported account), credit card, mobile money or cash on delivery if your target clients are predominantly Ugandans.

How much can you earn from a YouTube channel?

This is a hard question to question to answer. In this section, I will assume you have monetized your YouTube channel with AdSense and I will only discuss possible or estimated earnings with AdSense.

The amount of money you earn totally depends on the quality and amount of traffic you get on your channel. Before we estimate the money one can earn with YouTube, we need to first understand the following terminologies used in advertising:

  • Cost Per Click (CPC). This varies, but usually $0.01 to $1. On some special occasions, it can go as high as $100.
  • Cost Per Mille (CPM). CPM advertising refers to the cost per 1,000 impressions.
  • Revenue per 1000 Impressions (RPM).
  • Click Through Rate (CTR). These are clicks per 100 impressions. Varies between 1-10% depending on your niche and ad placement.

Now, from the above, your YouTube earnings will largely depend on two primary factors ie CPC and CTR. However CPC varies from niche to niche and will also depend on the countries where clicks are coming from. If you are getting views from Tier 1 countries like US, UK, Canada, Australia etc, your CPC will be high compared to that from Tier 3 countries like Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Congo, Rwanda, Zambia etc

Now let’s assume your RPM is $2/1000 video views, and you are getting 10,000 video views per day. This means you can potentially earn revenue of $20 (about UGX 75,000/-) in day. If your daily video views remain constant for the next 30 days, you can earn $600 a month (about UGX 2.2M).

If you work hard and follow the right vlogging practices, you should able to earn at least $1500 (about UGX 5.5M) per month from AdSense alone.

If you also monetized your channel with other revenue streams, it means you will earn extra income from your channel. For example you could run corporate ads in you videos, sell products or sell a service. Doing one or two of these could earn you an extra income of UGX 1.5M per month.

However, there are important points to note:

  • Not all your videos will show advertisements. AdSense selectively shows ads to every user. Sometimes a user can watch a video and not see a single ad at all.
  • Views are not equal to ad impressions. You can have 1000 views but still earn nothing.
  • Your earnings will largely depend on user engagements with your videos not just views. You will earn more if users click ads.
  • A huge number of users use adblockers to block advertisements on websites. If a user watches your video with an adblocker that effectively blocks YouTube ads, you won’t earn anything from them.
  • Half of YouTube users access the platform via mobile. My guess is they use the YouTube app where you can’t block ads.

From this you should learn that the more traffic you get, the more money you earn. However it doesn’t have to be just traffic, it has to be quality traffic. Many new YouTubers are always eager to get thousands of subscribers and views. They go ahead and litter their video links all over social media in a bid to get views and subscribers so they can increase their revenue. This is wrong as it will not only kill your reputation, but Google will penalize you for that. In fact, social media traffic doesn’t have much value as compared to organic or direct traffic.

Challenges of running a YouTube channel In Uganda

A few challenges you will encounter as a YouTuber are;

  • If you are starting from scratch with no laptop, smartphone and video production equipment, acquiring all these devices may be more expensive for you than someone who already has them.
  • YouTube can be extremely time consuming especially if you are doing it as a side hustle. The process of creating content can be too lengthy as it involves planning, shooting, editing and publishing. If you have an 8-5 job, you may end up spending most of your free time creating content.
  • One thing that you can’t avoid as a YouTube beginner is criticism and negative comments. Even established YouTubers get them. You just need to have thick heart, learn from the negative comments and encourage yourself with positivity.
  • There’s a lot of competition in this field. To keep up with the competition, you will need to be unique and offer something your competitors aren’t offering.
  • Lazy and uncreative YouTubers will copy or plagiarize your videos. In case of plagiarism without your authorization, you can always report them to Google. If you report someone who re-uploaded your video without permission, two things will happen to them: Either the video will be pulled down or the earnings generated from such a video will be transferred to you the video owner.
  • A lot of work is involved during content production especially if you are working solo. You will solely take over the whole production process with roles such as graphic designer, content creator, video editor, social media manager etc.
  • You will initially be discouraged with how your videos perform. Your first videos will probably get 2-5 views or sometimes no views at all. Do not stress about that. Just remain consistent and your audience will grow with time.
  • Getting sponsorship deals seems a dream far away. There’s always stigma that the worth of a YouTube channel is measured by the number of subscribers and views it gets. If your videos have a low view count, it becomes hard to convince brands give you sponsorship deals.
  • Many new YouTubers get demotivated when their channels don’t grow as fast as they expected. Some of them never live to celebrate their first anniversary.
  • Hard to get noticed. You can create high quality content ever but it gets lost in thousands of videos uploaded on YouTube daily. Then nothing happens at all. Networking, marketing and exposure is a very big challenge YouTubers face.

What do you need to become a successful YouTuber?

Understanding YouTube’s principles is the secret to the success of any channel. What are thumbnails for? What matters about titles? Does viewer retention matter? These aren’t keys but they are just some of the triggers you must have at hand to group your channel into a successful one. They are;

Content

Content is the King! You need to create interesting, engaging and informative content, and should do regularly. The success of your content is basically measured in the viewer retention. The more high quality content you create, the higher your viewer retention will be.

Traffic

It is awesome to have great content. But if you upload your content and do nothing else, trust me, nobody is going to see it. You have to make sure your channel is getting traffic. This is where SEO comes into play. I mean titles, descriptions, tags, thumbnails etc. Make them attractive and engaging, so people who come across your videos can easily click them. Also promote your videos on other websites and via social media.

Engagement

Viewers shouldn’t just watch your video and go, you should make them engage with it. Ask your viewers to subscribe to your channel, like your video and share it with their friends. As a YouTuber, make sure you engage with other YouTubers too by subscribing, liking and leaving comments on their videos. This is one of the ways you can grow your audience and make your videos go viral.

Above are the key principles for the success of any YouTube channels. I have personally used them to get thousands of subscribers on my channels. They have never failed me…and the best thing is, you can use these principles to analyze your channel. For example if your retention is too low, you will know that you have to make your content endearing. If your viewership is really low, you have to check your traffic…and if people don’t like or comment on your videos, there you know that you need to work on your engagement.

General tips for a successful YouTube Channel

  • Only go for a topic you are passionate about
  • Do not do sub for sub
  • Post content consistently. At least 3 videos a week.
  • Respect your audience’s time. Don’t do a 45min video on topic you would cover in 10mins. Only make longer videos if it is really necessary. Do not intentionally lengthen them.
  • Your reputation is everything. It will you time to build it and a single mistake can destroy it.
  • Get a good camera and shoot high quality videos. If your content doesn’t look professional, no one will take you professional and it will be very hard for you to keep viewers.
  • In case you sell products online, invest in a good website where you will be directing your viewers to buy products.

Top 20 YouTube Channels In Uganda

In no particular order, below are the top 20 most popular YouTube channels in Uganda:

  1. UGXTRA Comedy
  2. Masaka Kids Afrikana
  3. Vision Group
  4. Anne Kansiime
  5. Next Media Uganda
  6. Eddy Kenzo
  7. NTV Uganda
  8. Rokani Media
  9. Ugandan Lifestyle
  10. Wolokoso mu UG Extra
  11. Teacher Mpamire
  12. Katusekemu
  13. Comedy Files
  14. Comedy Store by Alex Muhangi
  15. Chitti TV
  16. Salt Media
  17. Triplets Ghetto Kids
  18. Swengere Family
  19. Tumu Siime
  20. 2 of us

The data above was sourced from Socialbakers, Vidooly and Socialblade.

Final remarks

Starting a YouTube channel in Uganda and making money from it can be quite easy and fun. Remember it is not the equipment that makes your channel. It is the content and the techniques you use to get results. That’s what would make people watch your videos, like them, share them and subscribe to your channel. If you have poor and low quality content, even if you have the greatest video production equipment, it will be a waste of time and energies.

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