• In November 2021, Vanessa Ideh Adekoya made $23,700 from her YouTube channel ‘Launch To Wealth.’
  • She believes in establishing a niche on the platform and posting high-quality videos consistently.
  • If you want to make money from YouTube, she advises treating it like a career rather than a hobby.

Vanessa Ideh Adekoya has managed to turn YouTube into a lucrative business and viable path to financial freedom.  

She launched her first channel in April 2020 and created content around whatever topics were trending at the time. It worked to some extent — she made some money, about $10,000 in eight months — but it wasn’t the content she wanted to be making. Ideh Adekoya, a certified financial education instructor (CFEI) and former accountant, wanted to create personal finance videos geared towards women.  

She decided to start from scratch and build a brand new channel, Launch To Wealth, in June 2021. She’s now making videos she’s passionate about and earning significantly more: In October, her first month being monetized on the platform, she earned $14,800. In November, she made $23,700. In December, she made $21,100 and had over 175,000 subscribers. Insider reviewed copies of her income statements that showed these details.

Here are the 28-year-old’s top five tips for making money on YouTube.

1. Have a cash cushion 

If you want to go all in on YouTube, have a safety net before you quit your job to do so. “That could be savings or having a supportive family,” said Ideh Adekoya, who left an accounting job at PwC to pursue YouTube full-time.  

Chances are, you’re not going to earn money off of the platform right away, she said. If you have a cushion, you won’t feel pressured to make certain types of videos in order to grow quickly. Ideh Adekoya saved three months’ worth of living expenses before quitting her 9-to-5 and starting her channel. Plus, her husband had a stable job and supported her career pivot. If YouTube didn’t work out, “I knew I wasn’t going to be homeless,” she said. “I knew I wasn’t going to be hungry.” 

Even better than saving up, start your channel as a side project, which is what she would advise her younger self to do. “If you start before you quit your job, you’re not pressured,” she said. “You have creative freedom. You can do what you really want to do, be patient, and then if you grow to a point where you feel comfortable replacing your full-time income with it, you can.” 

2. Establish your niche

Owning a specific niche on YouTube will help you build credibility, said Ideh Adekoya, whose two main focuses are how to earn more and build wealth. “You want to make sure that you’re providing content about a specific topic so that people can identify you with that topic.”

Some niches are more lucrative than others, she added. Finance, business, entrepreneurship, and tech are some of the highest-paying niches. That’s because of YouTube’s business model: The company makes money by charging clients to advertise on the platform (and creators get a percentage of that). “Clients who want to advertise on finance videos are usually banks and large organizations — big companies that have bigger budgets and money to put on ads,” she explained.

This information is available to all creators. “It’s not a secret,” she said. “If you go on the AdSense website, there’s a calculator there. If you do your research, you will see the niches that earn more money and finance is one of them.”

3. Post consistently 

If you show up consistently with videos that add value, you will grow your audience, said Ideh Adekoya. “People will stick around if they know what to expect from you: If you show up today and it’s great, and you show up tomorrow and it’s great, and you show up the next day it’s great, they will hit the subscribe button.”

Vanessa Ideh Adekoya

Vanessa Ideh Adekoya quit her accounting job in 2019 to pursue YouTube full-time.

Courtesy of Vanessa Ideh Adekoya

She posts a new video about once a week — and she prefers to upload on Tuesdays, which is the day that her videos tend to do the best. “YouTube has something called the studio, where you can see all the data,” she explained. “I can see when most of my viewers are online and that’s when I post.”

4. Think of YouTube as a career, not a hobby

“Treat your digital project like it’s a career and it will pay you like one,” said Ideh Adekoya, who is intentional about every YouTube-related decision she makes. “People are not just subscribing because I’m so special. Everything is calculated. I script everything. It doesn’t just happen. I sit there for hours writing line-by-line to keep my audience watching and to keep them hitting the like and subscribe buttons.” 

She’s even careful about the specific words she uses. “When I speak, I don’t say ‘y’all’ or ‘you guys.’ I say ‘you,’ so each person that’s watching feels like I’m talking to her. People want to hear from people they feel connected to.”

5. Invest in yourself

Ideh Adekoya wouldn’t be where she is today had she not invested in herself. Prior to quitting PwC, she self-educated and learned everything she could about how to make money on YouTube. Once she started creating videos, she honed her video editing skills and expanded her financial knowledge. She earned her certified financial education instructor (CFEI) designation in 2020.

The 28-year-old has big goals for her channel — she wants to expand her revenue streams by launching a paid membership service, working with brands on sponsored posts, and creating a YouTube course — and she won’t be able to hit them without continuing to invest in herself. 

That means hiring team members and outsourcing various tasks. She’s looking for an editor and someone to manage her membership service. “That way I can focus on what I’m really good at, creating, and the other parts can run without me doing too much,” she said.

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