Here’s the truth:
Starting a profitable YouTube channel in 2017 takes a lot of work.
The good news is that there are some YouTube channel ideas that will be easier than others to start making money with.
One of the biggest decisions you need to make is what type of channel you want to build. A key factor in getting loyal viewers is choosing a niche and being consistent.
So what makes a good YouTube niche?
First and foremost, it should be topic that you care about. Building your channel just to make money on YouTube is likely going to hold you back. You won’t have as much fun and that will eventually show with your viewers.
YouTube stars who make the most money are clearly doing what they love!
Secondly, the niche should be something that you are knowledgeable about, or you are willing to learn lots about. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert, but it helps.
Any subscribers that you earn are going to come back because they trust you, and they are learning from you. In some cases, they might just be entertained by you but often the YouTube channels that make the most money are the ones that help out their viewers.
Top YouTube Channel Ideas
Once you have built your following, then you can start to think about different ways to monetize your channel. Two of the most effective approaches we will discuss are using Affiliate Marketing, and YouTube Sponsorships
Keep reading to find out how to make money in each one of these popular niches!
#1 – Makeup
Makeup is one of the most popular and profitable YouTube channel topics. There is an endless flow of make-up products in the market, and consumers are trying to figure out what to buy, and how to use it properly. Popular video ideas include teaching new techniques, or make-up reviews.
You will obviously want to look good in your videos so make sure to pick a good camera, and set up some decent lighting!
When creating a Makeup video, be detailed, informative, and have fun!
Check-out Michelle Phan for a great example of a detailed tutorial:
#2 – Gaming
Some of the richest YouTubers are actually gamers. People like PewDiePie and Markiplier have built massive followings and earned millions of dollars by doing what they love – playing games.
There are many different types of game videos that are popular in this niche. For some quick views you can review new games, discuss big industry announcements, and put together top 10 lists. If you are knowledgeable in the scene, consider covering esports.
Streaming while you play on sites like Twitch is also a tremendously popular type of content that can help you to build a connection with your audience.
It is tough to stand out in this crowded space now, but if you keep your content fresh and genuine then you can build a fan base of your own!
#3- Food & Cooking
Are you a foodie? If so, then you can create an entire YouTube channel about your passion. Viewers everywhere are looking for inspiration for their next meal. You can give them that inspiration!
Showing off recipes is a great way to get started. Demonstrate exactly how to create tasty dishes. You can also discuss different ingredients, techniques, or kitchen tools that you think people should know about.
Rosana Pansino makes excellent food videos that people love with her ‘Nerdy Nummies’ segment.’
#4 – Yoga
Yoga has taken off as an extremely popular activity worldwide, and YouTube is turning into a hub for high quality yoga classes. It’s not quite the same as leading a class int he room, but many YouTubers have taken to this channel idea because there is a big audience who will come back for more.
It is a crowded space, but you don’t need millions of followers to make money with this niche. If you create routines that people really love then they might end up watching the same video many times. Don’t forge that with AdSense you make more money with every single view!
Here is a great video example with the very popular channel ‘Yoga with Adrienne’
#5 – Exercise & Training
More people are turning to YouTube to get advice that used to require expensive personal trainers. If you are a gym rat, then this could be the perfect YouTube channel idea for you.
There is a lot of subject matter to cover here. You can give general tips and advice. You can give detailed demonstrations on how to perfect the form of a specific exercise. Or you could give complete workout tutorials that accomplish specific goals.
There is lots of opportunity to add value to your viewers, and even a modest following could result in a lot of views if those people trust your advice.
#6 – Unboxing Products
New products are being released all the time, and viewers often look to YouTubers to take the plunge and investigate. You can show off what actually comes with a new product, what it looks and feels like and give your first impressions.
These channels are a fun way to give some helpful advice to viewers, as well as try a bunch of cool stuff! Toys, electronics, fashion items, collectibles – there are many things that you can test out first.
These channels tend to attract sponsors who want to get their products in front of as many people as possible. You can also make some money with affiliate links for anyone of your viewers who might want to purchase the product!
#7 – Tech Reviews
Most people use dozens of technology products every single day. In our homes, or offices, and our pockets, there are many items that we rely on to live our lives.
As a result, people are hungry for content that can help them sort through all the choices and pick the best tech tools for them. With constant new releases and updates, you definitely won’t run out of material for your channel.
This doesn’t have to be limited to physical items either: there are many apps and software programs that people want to learn about before committing their money to it.
#8 – Travel
Planning on taking some trips in the future? Why not start a YouTube channel and document your adventures?
Travel channels tend to have some of the coolest videos on YouTube. You can show off beautiful and interesting places you visit and help people to plan their next trip.
It is impossible to go everywhere, but when you do go somewhere there is lots of content to cover: best places to eat, top sites to see, hidden gems etc. Make sure to bring a good action camera with you.
If you build a following, you may find yourself with hotels and attractions that will want you to visit them and will pay you to do so!
#9 – Fashion
Fashion is a great fit for a YouTube channel topic. There are nearly infinite fashion options for people to choose from when it comes to clothing and accessories, and you can help them look their best!
You can review new clothing items, keep people up to date on trending styles, and give practical tips on how to maximize your wardrobe.
Here is a great example from Sarah Betts.
These channels tend to attract a lot of attention from sponsors, or opportunities to earn money as an affiliate when your viewers buy the products you are promoting.
#10 – Sports
YouTubers are slowly replacing traditional media like ESPN when it comes to sports coverage. Viewers want to keep up with their favorite leagues, and tend to stick with their favorite sources of info when they find them. That can be you!
You will never run out of content here. You can share highlight videos, update on news and rumors, and analyze players and teams. Also, don’t forget about bloopers 🙂
*Just make sure to check the copyright standards in the specific sporting league that you choose to cover. You don’t want to put time into a video that will be taken down with a copyright strike!
#11 – Digital Marketing Advice
More people than ever are trying to build their own businesses and there are 1,000+ different ways that they can do so. From social media, to email marketing, to paid digital ads, trying to figure out how to get people’s attention can be overwhelming.
If you have some expertise in these topics, then you can have a really valuable YouTube channel. Show someone how to get blog traffic from Pinterest. Describe how to sell your product on YouTube. Explain how to set up an effective Google AdWords campaign.
While these subjects don’t always get a high volume of views, some of the products that you explain can pay very generous affilaite marketing fees for anyone who follows your recommendation and buys that product/ service.
#12 – Animals
Funny and cute animal videos were some of the first viral sensations on YouTube. Today these videos can still be favorites and spread like viral wildfire.
You might also create content for pet owners. Share training tips, or review pet products to help your viewers make the right choices for their furry family members.
Here is an example of some training tips from Zak George.
#13 – Humor
Sometimes a good channel idea is just about having a laugh. If you have a gift for making people laugh, then you likely have some future fans on YouTube.
Many of the most popular YouTubers achieved fame because they came up with creative ideas that people found funny. Given how easy it is to share videos online, a good video can legitimately go viral and boost your following over night.
#14 – Men’s Style
While beauty and fashion have traditionally been considered topics that help out women, there is a growing audience for men’s style content.
You can create hours of content on every question a man might have about style. How to dress for professional occasions, how to match, what accessories to look into.
You can mix tutorials with product reviews and potentially make good money with sponsorship or affiliate links.
#15 – Photography
Many thousands of passionate photographers look to YouTube to learn about techniques and products that can help them take the perfect photo.
You can contribute to that community by sharing ‘how-to’ tutorials, on things like camera settings, lighting, editing etc.
You can also post reviews of products that you have tried. Photography equipment is expensive and so people want trusted advice to make the right purchasing decisions. These videos not only get views, but are a good opportunity to make money with affiliate links.
#16 – Movies & Entertainment
If you are a film lover, then you are not alone. Take your opinions about the big and small screen
If you have some experience creating entertaining videos of your own, then you could create parodies or original content that could catapult you into the big time!
Here is a fun example from Screen Junkies with one of their hilarious ‘Honest Trailer’ videos.
#17 – How-To
Think about how many Google or YouTube searches start with the words ‘How-To.’ Everyone has questions and they are increasingly looking for good videos that have answers.
You can go broad, or try to give advice that is related in some way. Even a couple of videos that rank high on popular search terms can mean millions of views on your channel.
This video on how to tie a tie has over 24 million views!
#18 – Nutrition
Most people are trying to improve themselves in some way, but they don’t always know how.
The subject of better nutrition is a deep and complicated one. If you can give trustworthy advice, then you can build subscribers who will turn to you first as they try to improve their own well being.
Answer common nutrition questions, and interview experts to produce high quality content. If you are looking to make money, there are many nutritional products that you can review and recommend (as long as they are good ones!)
#19 – Software & Apps
There are a LOT of digital tools out there. No matter what you need, there is probably an app for that. Or maybe even hundreds.
If you like technology, consider building a channel that highlights and explains helpful software tools. You can get a good volume of very targeted views by posting ‘how-tos’ and showing how to get the most of tools. Think of popular tools like Photoshop or iMovie, but don’t limit yourself to that.
You can also post reviews to help people choose the best software. Many platforms offer referral or affiliate links so that you can make some money if your advice leads to a sale.
#20 – Music
YouTube is one of the biggest music platforms on the world, even if most people don’t think about it that way. You can make a ton of different music content that people will love.
You could go a couple of different ways with this. You could review music and discuss news in the industry like collaborations or award shows. Alternatively you could teach about instrument care, or review music equipment.
As a bonus, if you ARE a musician, then you can share your work and show people behind the scenes of your musical journey.
#21 – Hair Care
There are some very successful YouTube channels that are dedicated exclusively to having great hair.
Much of the content is ‘how-to’ in nature with very popular tutorials on different hair styles. You can also share tips on hot products that can help give people the perfect look.
As with makeup and fashion, hair channels tend to get attention from sponsors and have potential to make good money by discussing good products.
So there you have it! The 21 best YouTube channel ideas that can help you find an audience and maybe even make some money! What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below 🙂