So you want to be a YouTuber in 2019?

What does it take to monetize on YouTube?

Being a YouTuber is on my top side hustles list. We created a YouTube channel just recently and we will document how that effort is progressing in this post.

Since around February of 2018, youtube creators must reach a total of 4,000 viewing hours in the past 12 months and have attracted at least 1,000 subscribers just to the quality of showing ads on their videos. This requirement does seem a little hard for a YouTuber beginner like us.

Our experiment

My wife started a baking business as her side hustle. Baking is her hobby so I thought that we could start a youtube channel to record her baking and cooking. It’s also a good opportunity to see what it takes to be a successful YouTuber. What does it take to monetize on YouTube and also what kind of money you can get as a small YouTube channel.


Since this is an experiment, we didn’t want to buy expensive equipment and used what we have around the house. We bought a Canon Vixia HF M500 a few years ago. We attempted to use the camcorder to record a baking session but since we are new to this it was rather difficult.

We found some YouTube videos teaching newbies how to make videos for YouTube, so we decided to follow their advice. This is a piece of good advice since we are not sure how our channel is going to perform and we didn’t want to purchase expensive equipment up front. We are using my wife’s new iPhone XS Max to record videos. My wife used the free iMovie app pre-installed on iPhones and another app called Videoshop.

Of note, seems like Final Cut Pro is the most popular YouTube editing software being used right now.

We also bought a $25 tripod for iPhones to stabilize our recordings.

As we grow our channel, equipment upgrade possibilities are Canon G7 Mark II and finally DSLR cameras such as Canon EOS 80D or Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

Our first video turned out okay, and we will continue to make videos weekly or every other week depending on our schedule. Hopefully, we will get to the threshold of 4,000 video hours watched and 1,000 subscribers. I will update this post when that happens so stay tuned!

Update 5/5/19

Our channel is mainly going to focus on cooking and baking. While the tripod and iPhone are good for Vlogging, capturing quality cooking videos was difficult. It is most effective to shoot an overhead video with some additional tools. I did some research and the following tools are essential for shooting cooking or baking videos. These tools are not that expensive but it’s needed to prove better quality YouTube videos.

Tools needed to shoot overhead cooking videos:

1. You need a foldable cellphone mount. This mount will clip on to the edge of your counter and allow you to shoot an overhead video.
2. MOUNTDOG 1350W Photography Continuous Softbox Lighting Kit. It was hard looking for a lighting kit since there were a lot of choices. However, I chose this one.
3. Wide angle lens for iPhone. These are a clip-on lens to your phone that allows for close-up photos and videos. I had a hard time picking which one to buy. I was going back and forth between Anazalea for iPhone and Android Lens and the Xenvo Pro Lens Kit. Ultimately I picked Anazalea because of the cost and fairly good reviews. We haven’t received our orders yet but I am excited to try them out. I will update this post after we had a chance to go for a test run.