HOW TO BE A HIJABI YOUTUBER / ENTREPRENEUR + INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Asalamualaikum everyone! In today’s post I am going to share some tips on how to be a hijabi YouTuber with some industry insights added in as well. I think that because we are living in a time where social media and content are a major part of today’s world, this video is going to be very helpful to those of you who want to participate. I get a lot of questions from girls asking how I started my blog and YouTube channel, so I want to give you an in-depth “lecture” on everything you need to think about beforehand.
The reason I am creating a post that addresses hijabis specifically is because in addition to the struggle it takes to achieve success on YouTube, we as Muslimahs have a different set of problems that we face when we try to put ourselves out there.
So before we start, I’d like to share a little info about myself….
My name is Muska Jahan and I am a hijab fashion blogger. It has almost been a year at this point since I’ve started my blog (March 2015) and YouTube channel (April 2015). I really enjoy what I do, and I feel like the response that I’ve received from my viewers has been very positive as well. I’d like to think that although I haven’t reached major numbers and followers at this point, I am going on the right path and my current strategies are doing well for me so far. In addition to that, I just completed my Marketing BBA from the University of Houston (woohoo) and I have some professional internship experience working with social media, SEO, and content creation. Because of this, I can give some insight on looking at YouTube through both the creative and business perspective.
So…… because of my education and experience, I feel like I’m at a point where I can give some valuable knowledge to those of you who are interested in sharing your content and changing the world 🙂 .
1. DECIDE IF YOU ARE READY TO START A YOUTUBE CHANNEL
The first question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you are ready to start a YouTube channel. This is because takes a LOT of confidence to put yourself out there. In a world full of trolls and people with nothing better to do, vloggers have to deal with a lot of criticism. As women who openly share that we follow the religion of Islam, it introduces a whole new level of internet bullying that can really break someone down if they aren’t ready for it.
A person who is ready to start a YouTube channel is someone who is passionate about the things they love and wants to share their enthusiasm with the world. If your love for your topic of choice exceeds the discomfort that you know lies ahead, then get online and sign up for your channel!
2. FIND OUT WHY YOU WANT TO BE A YOUTUBER
In order to achieve a successful channel, you have to have an idea of what purpose you want to fulfill on YouTube. This will allow you to focus on the types of videos you want to create and will give your audience an idea of what you are all about. For example, although I am only 22 years old at the moment, I know that my purpose is to share the beauty of modest fashion. I want to make girls who are currently wearing hijab or just thinking about it become more confident with themselves. It is with this goal in mind that I can continue to make content that focuses on my topic of choice.
If your only purpose on YouTube is to achieve fame or make money, just know that you will be extremely dissatisfied. It takes a loooooong time to become a somebody on YouTube and make money in this industry. That being said, it isn’t a bad thing to have a monetary goal in mind when starting your YouTube channel. I know that I would personally like to become a modest fashion entrepreneur Inshallah, but I am aware that it will take a lot of time and dedication on my part before I can expect to achieve financial stability from this goal.
3. GATHER YOUR EQUIPMENT
The standards of having a “good” and “subscribe-worthy” channel have definitely been raised since the early days of YouTube. I know that a lot of people say that you don’t need a good camera to start, but I think that statement is only partly true. If I see a channel with good content and crappy quality, I will be willing to overlook it. However, if I see a channel with equally good content and amazing quality, then I will opt to subscribe to the better one because it has better visuals. Just in case you are interested, I have listed my current tools that allow me to create my videos and blog posts. I personally have two separate laptops (my editing one is really heavy), but if you don’t want to fork over extra money it’s not necessary.
Camera: Canon G7X
Video Editing Software: CyberLink PowerDirector 13 Ultimate
Image Editing Software: Photoshop CS3 (it’s free)
Image Creation Software: Illustrator CS3 (it’s also free)
Blogging Laptop: Acer Chromebook 11
Editing Laptop: Fujitsu w/ an i5 Intel processor
Lighting: Mostly natural lighting but I use a lamp with an LED light bulb from time to time.
4. CREATE YOUR FIRST VIDEO
Okay so once you know your YouTube purpose and you’ve acquired some equipment, you are now set to create your first video!
It’s not necessary to publish the first video you make. I personally had to practice a few times in front of the camera before I felt ready enough to even looking at my footage 😀 . It’s a nerve-wracking process that forces you to really look at yourself, but it’s very rewarding as well. I am a lot more self-aware of my habits and it’s really interesting to see how much I have grown along the way.
When you create your first video, it really opens up your perspective on the creation aspect of YouTube. It allows you to see the whole process of planning, filming, and editing required to make a simple video. In the beginning, you shouldn’t feel discouraged if your videos don’t come out the way you want them to. It’s a learning curve that you must go through, and Inshallah you’ll get better each time.
If you feel, however, that YouTube is not for you, you can always return everything you purchased 😀 . Make sure to work on creating your first video as soon as possible to test the waters and see if it is something you want to participate in and devote hours and hours of time into.
5. PUBLISH YOUR FIRST VIDEO
Once you have practiced in front of the camera a hundred times and you feel proud of what you have created, 🙂 you should publish your first video! Create your channel, upload a nice banner and logo that represents your vibe, and share your creation with the world :D. This is the thrilling part of YouTube that allows you to sit back and feel the excitement when you see that people are actually watching, commenting, and liking the movies you have uploaded.
6. REALIZE THAT THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS OVERNIGHT SUCCESS
After posting a few videos, it is common to see a dip in confidence for new YouTubers. My advice to you is to avoid becoming depressed when you aren’t receiving the reaction you desire on your channel. It’s a normal feeling to want more for yourself, but you have to realize that there’s no such thing as an overnight success. All things take time, and Inshallah you will reach your goals with hard work and dedication.
If you look at the channels of successful & popular YouTubers, you can see how long it took for them to reach their current status. If you watch their first videos (assuming that they haven’t deleted them), you will notice that they probably came across as more self-conscious and nervous. Later on during their YouTube journey, however, they learned how to be themselves in front of the camera and used this acquired skill to convey their message and gain recognition with time.
If you find yourself getting depressed with the status of your channel, just recognize that your worth is not determined by the amount of subscribers or views that you have. Take a breather and just focus on having fun with your channel. YouTube is supposed to be about sharing and connecting with others, so don’t lose sight of that. Instead, use the time to perfect your filming and editing skills while your channel is still small. Work on providing more quality and quantity, and God willing, your efforts will bring success.
7. GET TO WORK!
After you have posted your first few videos, you probably have a better idea of what you’d like to focus on your channel. In addition, you’ve probably acquired some new skills and should be absorbing as much information as you can to make your channel the best it can be. It is during this time of exponential growth that you need to keep your head down and get to work. Produce as many quality videos as you can and experiment here and there to find out what works best for your vision. Study the reactions you are receiving from your newly acquired audience and engage with them to answer their comments and see if they have video requests. I guarantee you that if you focus on creating what you love and wow your viewers at the same time, your followers will grow and cheer you along the way.
8. FEARLESSLY INTRODUCE YOURSELF
Once you have created a whole library of content (for me this was 50+ videos), take the time to email a list of blogs, influencers, magazines, companies, etc. that are in your industry and mix with your brand. After doing this myself, I received responses from people who really liked my channel and actually wanted to work with me. My cold emailing allowed me to acquire valuable contacts within my industry that I am currently working with today.
9. FIND YOUR STYLE
The best YouTubers are the ones that are constantly upping their game and incorporating their style into their videos. Work on obtaining amazing editing skills that show who you are as a person. Your uniqueness will separate you from the rest, so make sure to express yourself in a way that makes you stand out. If you constantly upload videos that are predictable and have been done by everybody else, then it makes it hard for people to find value on your channel. People want fresh content that is entertaining and worth their time.
10. BE CAUTIOUS
As someone who wants to look out for my fellow Muslimahs, I just feel the need to mention that it is in your best interest to have a strong sense of what your values are before you post a video. Whether you identify yourself to be more on the liberal or conservative side of the spectrum, make sure to post videos that are consistent with your beliefs. I personally like to think that I am somewhere in the middle, and I find that creating videos that aren’t controversial is my happy place. This arrow on the compass points me towards the direction that prevents me from overthinking or feeling regret.
11. OVERCOME CRITICISM AND RESISTANCE
Unfortunately, when I first started my YouTube channel, I went through quite a bit of resistance. A lot of people were trying to tell me that I was doing something wrong, but I believed in myself and continued to work on creating videos that would help Muslimahs feel like they had a special place to watch fun videos about modest fashion. It’s important to note that if you come from a background where people tend to be more on the private side, there is a very realistic chance that you will experience the same thing. If you feel like you aren’t doing anything wrong, just move on and do your best to ignore people that don’t understand your vision.
On the flip side, just note that the people surrounding you aren’t the only ones who will give you criticism. There will be people from random parts of the world who feel the need to make fun of you regardless of race, religion, and gender. It’s a dark part of the internet that can send you into misery, but if your purpose is larger than yourself, you will develop thick skin along the way. Block and delete the inappropriate losers, and focus on the people who genuinely enjoy your content and are cheering for you along the way.
Click here for a list of words you can copy and paste into your comment filter. It is an amazing way to deter trolls from getting the satisfaction they’re looking for because it prevents them from getting their comment published.
12. UNDERSTAND THE BUSINESS OF YOUTUBE
The last major topic that I want to discuss is the business of YouTube. In today’s world, it’s no secret that you can create a considerable amount of income through uploading videos. As someone who has studied a bunch of YouTubers and can look at the situation through a business perspective, I think it’s important to note that you shouldn’t rely on YouTube alone if you want to make this a full-time career. Unless you have hundreds of thousands of engaged subscribers, Adsense will not pay your bills.
Two examples of Muslimahs that have gone full-time on YouTube and are venturing out to obtain multiple streams of income to support themselves are Amenakin and Dinatokio. They have made a living on YouTube in a way that is tasteful and correlates with their respective brands. In Amenakin’s situation, she promotes her makeup and lash lines by regularly posting videos with tutorials and makeup tips. On the other hand, Dinatokio promotes her clothing line by creating videos that showcase her personality and taste in style.
I hope you enjoyed this post on how to be a hijabi YouTuber. It’s a tough and rewarding experience and I hope I’ve provided some insight on what it’s like to create videos and send them out into the internet universe 😀