How to be Successful on YouTube: Advice from Arkadian

Business May 10, 2019 4 min read

We know that many of our subscribers and readers have YouTube channels or have an interest in creating one. The prospect can be scary with so many YouTubers out there vying for eyeballs.

Luckily, we had a chance to talk with a successful YouTuber called Arkadian. He gave some great advice for building your channel and keeping up with production. Check out what Arkadian had to say in the interview below.

Interview with YouTuber Arkadian

How did you decide to get into making a YouTube channel? And how long have you been at it?

I decided to get into YouTube when a friend of mine began to grow his own animation channel. I had never traditionally been into the creative arts, but the accessibility of YouTube excited me and I wanted to grow a brand.

From our start date in March 2015 to October 2015, we had grown our audience from nothing to over 250,000 followers, establishing the 6th largest social media brand in New Zealand. I’ve now started a new individual channel and have been doing YouTube for almost 18 months.

Do you have a background in media, video production, or the like?

I never worked or studied in any multimedia disciplines or video production. I was always a software/programmer.

Through my IT and technology business, my company XCERIO ended up partnering with Adobe to offer the Adobe Certified Associate and Adobe Certified Expert qualifications to students studying at university, which was essentially the industry toolbox for the YouTube world but was never something I had never personally done myself.

Once I started YouTube, I used my own material and worked through the Adobe Certified Associate Premiere Pro course and learned about the production process, scriptwriting, camera angles, editing techniques and how to use the Adobe CC Premiere program itself, and I had enough to start producing.

What kinds of things do you do to promote your channel and spread the word?

Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, the usual things you’d expect. However, something people don’t often understand nor give enough credit to, is still to this day, over 90% of our views come natively from YouTube.

They do a great job of promoting good content. Which is another reason YouTube is becoming so attractive to up and coming artists, comedians, and video producers. As anybody with good talent, commitment and good work ethic can succeed thanks to YouTube.

Do you make a living on your YouTube videos? Is it just something you do for fun?

Initially, I made a comfortable living, after I started to get bigger, I made more than enough to support 2-3 people and put money back into the channel. It’s an incredibly rewarding system.

I took a year off of work to give it a good stab, and I found myself working 12-16 hour days trying to keep up. But the reward was shown. It’s kind of strange, you work incredibly hard for 3 months, racking up hundreds of hours and get a paycheck for maybe $100. But it’s all a long-term investment, because 16 months down the track, I cannot focus on YouTube at all, and still collect the fruits of my labor.

Can you explain how multi-channel networks work? Are you part of one?

Multi-channel networks are essentially the talent agents for YouTube. They recruit creators and support them in various ways. Some offer better advertising opportunities, access to premium paid sound libraries, but many act as a guardian against any wrong-doing.

They are usually well connected in YouTube circles and can help combat wrongful copyright strikes, becoming verified, managing their income and helping promote the channel. In return, YouTubers pay a small percent of their income to the MCN as a commission.

For most YouTubers, an MCN is almost vital for great success, as the amount of work they save you is definitely worth it, especially in the early days

What is your process for creating a new video from a production perspective?

I have many different types of videos I produce, as YouTube rewards consistent content. Because of this, my production process is cut quite short.

I usually develop the programming for a series first, and break it into steps, for the intro, outro, any title cards, and develop all the assets I’ll need for the general series. Step two, is scripting. I’ll write 1-3 scripts for episodes, refining and drafting them to get a good vocal flow.

Step three, I film my videos. I’m lucky enough to have a green screen and a teleprompter, and so I can usually work through 3-5 episodes in a single session and have lots of footage to move into post-production.

Step four, Premiere Pro. I apply my chroma key, cut and engineer the audio, map it to the video and begin creating the final product. I’m not incredibly technical within Adobe so I do all of my work exclusively within Premiere Pro finding shortcuts where I can.

The key is to increase the appearance of production value, without increasing the time. It’s one of the reasons I found Motion Array, I could use text animation templates that would take me two minutes to apply, instead of creating After Effects compositions which would take me hours.

It’s like every little league coach has ever said. Focus on the basics and the results will come. 

Are there any places on the web that you go for inspiration or advice on how to make your channel more successful?

YouTube! There are tonnes of creators out there doing lots of great stuff in different fields and areas. It’s so inspiring to go see a popular video in another genre and adapt it to your passion and see it blossom.

What are your plans for your own channel over the next year?

Keep on chugging.


To check out more videos from Arkadian, be sure to check out his YouTube channel.