How to Start a Kids Channel on YouTube

Tips to start a YouTube kids channel and make money doing it

Kids channels are by far the most popular theme on YouTube and make a surprising amount of money. Scroll through the Tubefilter Top 50 Most Popular YouTube Channels list on any given week and the majority are going to be kid-themed content.

In fact, the week I’m writing this, 39 of the top 50 channels on YouTube are for kids. The only other topic that even comes close in terms of views are music channels.

The #1 most popular kids channel on the video platform racked up over 859 million views last week, enough to bank over $1.5 million on YouTube ads alone!

Popular Kids Channels on YouTube
Popular Kids Channels on YouTube

YouTuber Ryan Kaji, star of the Ryan’s World channel, is reported to be the platform’s highest paid star with over 25.9 million subscribers and estimated to make well over $20 million a year through ads, sponsorships, his own brand of toys and a show on traditional TV.

Starting a kids channel isn’t as easy as pointing your smartphone at your kids and saying, “Do something funny,” but thousands of families have made it their full-time career and have made millions doing it.

This guide to starting a YouTube channel will not only give you the basics to getting your channel up-and-running but will give you some tips specific to making your kids YouTube stars.

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Types of Kids Channels on YouTube

Just like starting any YouTube channel, you need to start with an idea on the type of videos you’ll be making. Because of the way YouTube operates, your best chance of success is to make a name for your channel as one of the best in a specific topic.

Yeah, it’s not just about your kids running around acting crazy and getting it on video. If that were all there was to it, our 3 year-old and 7 year-old would be world famous!

There are three primary types of kids channels on YouTube that seem to do best.

  • Singing, nursery rhymes and songs – this one can be done without even having your kids on camera. Some of the most popular kids channels are animated videos of children’s songs.
  • Toys and Play with Me – This is probably the most prevalent type of kids channel and encompasses everything from the kids playing with toys to challenges and other games.
  • Crafts – This one isn’t quite as popular as the other two but can still do very well on that educational component that parents love.

Take a look around YouTube and the YouTube Kids App and you’ll see lots of examples of these. Click over to their videos to see what they do and some of the most popular videos.

How to Start a YouTube Channel

Actually starting a kids channel on YouTube is the easy part. I’ll outline the steps below along with some tips and link to a quick-start guide.

  • Set up your channel and About page. Setting up your YouTube channel isn’t going to make the videos go viral but it’s one of those critical steps that make you legit. You’ll start building a community by sharing what you’re about and will give people a reason to stick around.
  • Spend some time learning to use video editing software like Camtasia or Final Cut Pro. Even the most focused kids aren’t going to be able to do a video in one-take. Learn how to break your video up into pieces to record in parts for easier editing.
  • Good audio is probably the biggest struggle for kids channels. Your little YouTube stars are running around and that’s going to make getting consistent audio difficult. Test out a good shotgun mic and lapel mics to see which works best.
  • Learn the basics for uploading your video including creating a title and thumbnail that get clicks.
  • Learn how to promote your videos on and off-YouTube!

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How to Make Money with a Kids Channel on YouTube

Ad rates for Kids channels are extremely low so you can’t depend only on the ads YouTube shows before your videos to make you rich. I surveyed over 100 channels in different themes and kids channels came in last for average YouTube ad rates at around $0.002 per video.

To put that in context, you’ll make just $2,000 for every million views. That might not sound bad but million-view videos don’t come easy.

To make a true business of it, you’ll want to make a strategy for making money on your channel.

  • Free Toys this is the first compensation most channels get beyond ad revenue. Start getting a few thousand views on each video and toy companies will start reaching out to give you free toys to demonstrate.
  • Sponsorships is when the real money starts to roll in and can come from a wide range of companies including cereal makers, summer camps and (of course) toy companies.
  • Merchandise is another great way for kids channels to make money. Don’t think just the traditional merch like t-shirts though. Try other kid-related merch like school supplies with your brand.
  • Your Own Toy Brand is the top of the line for making money on a kids channel. More than 1,000 channel-branded products have been created from the Ryan’s World channel and sales in 75,000+ stores have earned the family as much as $150 million by some estimates.

Tips to Make Your Kids Channel a Success

Running a kids channel isn’t the most difficult on YouTube but the success of the niche is attracting a lot of competition. You can still be successful but you’ll need to follow a few rules to get there.

  • Treat it like a business and have a strategy – to be able to outlast the competition, you need a long-term strategy for how you’re going to make this work. Plan out how often you’ll post videos, how you plan on making money and what your goals are for the channel. This plan will keep you motivated and working when everyone else quits.
  • Batch Everything! It helps to do everything in batches so you’re not constantly scrambling to get a video done at the last minute. Make a few videos each weekend, planning out what you’ll do and filming them all together. Then edit and upload them all in one sitting. This will free up your week so your family isn’t trying to juggle a regular life against the YouTube career.
  • Be Cool! Turning your kids into a YouTube star doesn’t mean you want them to be the stereotypical ‘Hollywood child star’. Make it fun for them and educational. This way, they’ll stay interested in the channel and grow up learning about business.

Click to reserve your spot at the FREE YouTube Quick-start Webinar! I’m sharing three strategies that helped me grow my YouTube channel and double my business income and I guarantee they WILL work for you. Seats are limited for the webinar so make sure you reserve yours.

A recent poll by USA Today found more kids wanted to grow up to be YouTube stars than said they wanted to be astronauts or veterinarians. It’s the age we live in. With a little planning, starting a kids channel on YouTube can be your kids’ big break and set them up for life.

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