Report: How to Become a YouTube Influencer

Turning YouTube into a source of influence — and income — requires dedication and patience.

It’s common knowledge by this point that YouTube is a spectacular place to grow an audience, and we know many ways to leverage consumer demand when creating content. However, less is understood about how to become a general success on YouTube. A whitepaper from Grapevine, a YouTube influencer marketing marketplace, exploring how much work it takes to reach the top.

The first point of consideration for anyone seeking success on YouTube are the videos themselves. While interesting content plays a big part, there are other factors that influence channel growth. Grapevine’s survey of 1,861 creators turned up many common practices.

89 percent of all creators surveyed were “builders” with fewer than 5,000 subscribers, while nine percent were “trendsetters” with fewer than 100,000 subscribers, and only two percent were “celebrities” with more than 100,000 subscribers.


Patience and dedication are perhaps the most important traits of successful creators. Given popular subject matter, consistent publishing schedules, skilled demographic targeting, and plenty of time spent on each video, builders will see an average subscriber growth rate of 216 percent in the first five years.

The longer a creator dedicates themselves to YouTube, the more likely they are to gain a substantial subscriber base. If a channel is still producing consistent content after five years, the creator has a one-in-five chance of becoming a trendsetter or celebrity.

Celebrities spend the most time working on each individual video, with 67 percent of them spending more than six hours per video. By contrast, 49 percent of builders only spend up to five hours on each video.

Upload frequency is also extremely important, but there is a point of diminishing return. Monthly or weekly uploads have big impacts on subscriber growth for builders, while trendsetters and celebrities see the most growth from uploading several times a week. Daily uploads have much smaller impacts, with 11 percent subscriber growth for trendsetters.

Only one-in-14 users who make a living from YouTube upload daily, so perhaps it isn’t worth the effort.

For more information about maturing with your audience, and how the average channel compares to the largest channels, view the whitepaper here.

Image courtesy of JuliusKielaitis /