But getting there isn't as easy. Some creators use their platforms to share tips and tricks on how to build a career online fast.
One is Benji Travis, who has been on YouTube for over a decade. He helps run four YouTube channels with a total of 3.8 million subscribers and said he makes a seven-figure income this way. His wife Judy Travis is a beauty vlogger behind the channel Itsjudytime.
Benji Travis uses his platforms to share tips for a successful career online. He and fellow creator Sean Cannell wrote the book "YouTube Secrets: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Following and Making Money as a Video Influencer" and run the YouTube channel Video Influencers, where they share similar tips to their 530,000 subscribers.
"One of the best audiences to reach out to is the one where you are already in their shoes," Travis told Business Insider. "You know how to talk to that person so naturally. It helps you get over that fear of being on camera, and helps you say the right words to get them to watch your videos and learn from you, but also subscribe."
Travis shared four tips people can follow to get their first 1,000 subscribers on YouTube.
1. Figure out what value your videos will provide
The first thing creators should do is know what value you're going to offer the audience, and start small. Focus on the first 1,000 people you're going to reach. That'll create a niche audience. For example, if you were going to start a gardening channel, you might narrow in on first-time home owners.
Next, decide on the length of your content. Will they be short tutorials or deeper dives?
2. Decide on a frequency and stick to it
Like a TV show, you want to be consistent so you establish a connection with your audience. Travis said he recommends people publish at least once a week — with the caveat that they shouldn't sacrifice quality for quantity.
"You've got to commit to something, and consistency is key," he said.
3. Study the data and learn from your results
Travis said one of the biggest mistakes people make is to not continually improve their videos. He recommends looking at metrics like comments, likes, views, retention, and click-through rate, a measure of how many people see your video thumbnail and click on it.
If you put out a 10-minute video, how much of that video is the average audience looking at? Travis said 70% is a good figure to aim for.
"What you want to do is try to hold your audiences attention for as long as possible," he said.
4. Sweat the details
Getting people to watch and return for more means focusing on the details.
"You're always trying to deliver more value in each video you upload," he said.
This could mean buying a good camera and improving things like lighting, title and thumbnail, the image people see when they come across your video, he said. Your title should be compelling and represent what's in your video. Free websites like PicMonkey can create an image that will make people want to click-through.
For more on how influencers are profiting from their success online, according to industry professionals and creators, check out these Business Insider Prime posts:
- A 5-step guide to making the most money possible from YouTube video ads, with advice from top creators: We talked to industry insiders about how a YouTube creator could monetize their channel through ad revenue and the tactics influencers are using.
- A Syracuse University student who is a YouTube star teaches an 'unofficial pop-up class' on becoming a successful influencer. Here's the slide deck she uses: We spoke with a Syracuse student who has 425,000 subscribers on YouTube on her advice on how someone could start a successful career on YouTube and Instagram.
- How Instagram influencers land their first brand-sponsorship deals: Influencers and brand execs share their tips for landing that first deal.