YouTube and online video
Never before in history has the ability to beam your face into people's home been more accessible. TV has been a barrier in the past but these days anybody can create a YouTube channel and share their story with the world.
Sharing our stories is important to further normalize disability; we need to be on the same platforms as everybody else. However you should consider being entertaining if your goal is to be a star, add humour to your videos if you really want an audience. Perhaps find some locals to collab with, this can extend your audience. Alternatively you can also collab with people all over the world through video conferencing.
Reactions from the audience can range from viewing you as an inspiration to trolling you. As somewhat of a public figure myself I get more annoyed at the people calling me an inspiration, but I don't really get trolls. People can be blocked or the comments can be turned off entirely if the reactions bother you.
Many portable computers have cameras and mics built in or you can find a second hand one.
If you are camera shy you don't have to appear on camera. It is possible to do this by pointing the camera away from you. Another option is recording your voice and making a video but you may have to learn how to do this.
If you cannot talk you can still release video by using a text to speech program and using that as an audio file instead of a recording of someone's voice.
For existing bloggers I know someone with a disability which got progressively worse and he can no longer type the way that he could. He now uses video as an alternative to blogging.
YouTube is also the second most used search engine after Google. Being available in both will expand your reach. Another point is getting decent rankings on Google can take thousands of words; it could be easier to do a ten minute video with a good thumbnail, optimized tags and a decent description.
YouTube has a subscriber function which isn't perfect but this still means that your content will be delivered to at least a good chunk of your subscriber base and you don't have to rely on people remembering to visit your website. You may additionally want to maintain a newsletter to publicize your latest videos.
YouTube videos can be posted to Facebook pages however uploading videos directly to Facebook is typically a better way to ensure the content gets delivered to more people who like on your Facebook page.
As of 2018 Instagram has also launched their own video platform called "IG TV" which stands for Instagram Television.
Just because several video platforms exist doesn't mean you have to use them all. You may be better off trying to grow your audience on one platform before expanding to another.
To make your video accessible to people with hearing difficulties you may want to learn how to do closed captions or provide a transcript.
Creating online videos can be a way to earn money if you have a significant subscriber base. If you have 1,000 subscribers you can have YouTube display advertisements to earn you money. However unless you have a few hundred thousands views per month the income might not be substantial so some creators use sites like Pateron.com to get financial support from fans.
With Pateron.com you can either have fans pay you monthly or for each video that you produce. Many people who do independent news shows opt to get financial contributions monthly and this allows them to maintain a studio.
Additionally you can accept brand deals as a source of income but you are more likely to get them if you are popular.
How to get popular on YouTube
As we already mentioned collaboration with other YouTubers is a great way to gain popularity. A good place to start would be checking whether your area has a Facebook group where YouTubers hang out. Alternatively most YouTube channels have their Email address on their about page, you could Email them if they are local.
There might be opportunities to get on TV or radio and this is an opportunity to mention your YouTube channel or Facebook page. I was once on a current affairs show in New Zealand and because they mentioned that I had a Facebook page I got about 4,000 likes to it.
People find YouTube video on search engines so you need to optimize for this by having great thumbnails and a catchy title. Having good keywords and tags will also help. Finally you should upload a subtitle file so that YouTube (and people with hearing difficulties) will know what you've said in the video.
Currently people commenting will get videos to show up to people more so at the end of your video tell your viewers to like, comment and subscribe. You may also want to tell them to watch another video to keep them on your channel for longer as YouTube also rewards this.
As far as creating content you could make videos on common problems that people with your type of disability face. This means if people are searching for a problem that you cover your videos will likely show up.
YouTube will also reward videos that captures the attention of the audience until the end of the video. Many YouTubers will add background music to their content and using a free video editor will enable you to do this. You are also best to design your presentation to hook the viewer at the beginning so make sure you tell them what to expect by watching.
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