DAY 11: How To Get Started On YouTube and Make Money in 2021

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Is it possible to become a YouTuber from scratch in one year and make a full time living?  In this post, we’ll break down what being a YouTuber really means and how you can successfully be one.  

If you just started following me, you probably know that I’m a guy who lives in a van and teaches people how to make money online.  But for the people who really know my background, my story looks a little different.  They know that I actually started out on YouTube teaching others how to dance!  

Now, if you're somebody who watched a dance tutorial of mine in the last week and are now reading this post, I apologize.  I have aged 10 years and completely flipped what my content is about.  Sorry, I won't be making any dance tutorials soon.  

In case you are that person, here's some dance moves so you don't feel too disappointed… 


In my heyday I was making about two to three dance tutorials a week.  I think today I have over 300 videos on my channel dedicated to dance.  I created so many because I really wanted to be a YouTuber! 

Sadly, the money never came; I couldn't make money just off of the ads alone.  Looking back, I'm extremely grateful for this problem because it got me to where I am today!  I learned to diversify my income no matter what I was doing.  Making all my money from one source (like normal people) was too risky for me, and it should be for you too.  

I became burnt out on creating dance tutorials and receiving no income so I took a break.  I put my YouTube career on pause for years and focused my energy elsewhere.  Anyhow, to make a long story short, I’m back!  Thanks to a TikTok video and some encouraging words from Ryan Pineda, I hope to make this year the best one yet for my channel!

YouTube is one of the only platforms that pays you for your content.  However, as I said before, I was previously stuck in a headspace that YouTube just wasn't right for me.  That's when I began to really dig deep and figure out how people were making 10K a month online.  I started to come across channels of really amazing and transparent influencers like Meet Kevin and Graham Stephan who are making 7 figures from YouTube!  Talk about inspiration!

Lesson #1

As a YouTuber in the dance niche, I obviously needed trendy and popular music to dance to.  The only problem with this was that all trendy and popular music was copyrighted; I didn't own the songs I was dancing to.  Although my channel had millions of views, I was only monetizing on the small fraction of my videos that didn't include copyrighted music.  

So… Lesson #1 is if you want to be a YouTuber, everything you create — including music — must be original

Luckily these days there are platforms that allow you to use really good non-copyrighted music.  Back in my day, the only free songs available to me were the crappiest sounds out there.  Now, all you have to do is sign up on a free platform and you'll have thousands of amazing, quality songs at your disposal!  

Lesson #2

Next, just like any other side hustle, you cannot half-ass being a YouTuber!  You have to go all out.  What does that look like?  Well, I’m leading by example!  The first 30 days of this video/blog style course are made to be more structured but I promise that I will continue to post daily for the rest of 2021, specifically on YouTube.  I have already noticed an increase in views and subscribers of my YouTube channel as you can see below…

The picture above depicts my first two years on YouTube.  I started taking it serious in January or 2010 by creating dance tutorials.  You can see I was uploading regularly and things started taking off for me in late 2010 to early 2011.  I had almost 226K views!  But, if you haven't noticed already, my total estimated revenue for my first two years on YouTube was a mere $1.10.  Yikes.  I made my first penny — actually two pennies — on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2011.  

Now let's look at my stats after 3 years on YouTube…

As you can see, I was still making literal pocket change.  $55.40 was all I had made in 3 years!

After 5 years on YouTube, I had 6.8 million views and 41K followers!  I looked like I was living the dream life.  However, yet again, when you look at my income, it was only $69.12. Even when I thought I was posting enough, I wasn't.   

Lesson #2 is that no matter what, you need to keep grinding and putting out content as much as you can!  On top of this, you need to be aware of how your content is doing and what may be holding it back from thriving.  

Lesson #3

I began to accept that because I needed to use copyrighted music, I probably wasn't going to be able to make a full time living off of YouTube alone just yet.  That's when I made my first product — a digital dance tutorial.  I sold it using a platform called Gumroad (this is a great platform for those of you who are just starting out!). Here's how my numbers played out…

$200 a day doesn't seem like much to me now, but back then it was life changing!  Just from creating a product outside of YouTube while still using my channel to promote it, I made $22,431!  With these sales, I began to gain more and more subscribers to the point where I would get 50 to 100 new ones per day.  

My course was a simple, 60 minute course that taught people how to dance the robot.  It's amazing to think about all of the things you could teach about in order to make an impact in someone's life.  You don't need to have a big following, all you need is a niche.  If you want to learn more about making money from teaching online, check out my post on it here!   

Lesson #3 is to try and create a digital (or physical) product that relates to the content you make on YouTube.  

In 2015, my channel began to grow.  I had 9.6 million views, 60K followers, and had made $643.72.  This isn't a ton of money but it was definitely more than the past years.  

Now it's 2021.  At the time of checking my analytics for the sake of this video, it was early January.  So far, this is the most I’ve ever made off of YouTube ads alone in my whole life.  In just 6 days I made $726.02 where before, it took me 6 years to make that much!


These numbers are all based on CPM.  CPM stands for cost per thousand impressions and determines how much money you can make based on the views you get.  

The First Steps...

If you think being a YouTuber is right for you, consider how you would answer these two questions:

1. What is your niche?

A niche is a must for any side hustle.  Which one do you want to pursue?   

2. Can you commit to being consistent?

Being a YouTuber is all about consistency.  How often can you commit to putting out quality content?  Weekly?  Daily? 


If you really think being a YouTuber is right for you, you’ll next need to learn about SEO or search engine optimization.  YouTube is actually the second largest search engine on the internet!  Understanding SEO will help your videos rank when after you post them.  

YouTube has two KPIs or key performance indicators. The KPIs determine why your video ranks the way it does.   They are the click through rate and the watch time.  

The click through rate is the number of people who decide to click on your video as opposed to similar videos that are brought up when they type in a key phrase or word.  It's essentially a popularity contest.  Click through usually depends on how well your title is written and how intriguing your thumbnail is.  

Watch time indicates how long the viewer views your video.  If you post a clickbait style thumbnail, chances are your watch time is going to be low even if you have the most clicks.  Watch time is dependent solely on the quality of your video.  


In addition to a well thought out title, you need to use keywords when optimizing.  Key words should be short phrases or words that relate to your video.  This helps YouTube know what our video is about.  If you need help thinking of keywords, as yourself what might someone search for when they are trying to find my video?


Lastly, you need a short description that lets the viewer know what your video is about.  It should be a concise paragraph that is a minimum of 3 lines. 

I know this year is going to be a crazy record year for me on YouTube and I hope it is for you as well!  That being said, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the snail speed income and many, many frustrations in the beginning of my time on YouTube.   It's going to be a long haul, but the rewards are so worth it!  

Is being a YouTuber for you?  If so, comment your channel name below!  I’d love to be your first subscriber.  

As for now, thanks so much for staying with me to the end.  I'll see you in the next post.  

Peace and God bless. 

For the complimentary worksheets and resources, go to  

I make new content every single week, so be sure to subscribe to my Youtube and follow my Instagram @brambilabong and TikTok at @AdrianBrambila. I also have tons of resources and courses on my website that you won’t want to miss. Head over to to learn more about what I do and how I live a financially free life.

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