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Matt Santoro: How a YouTuber Earns a Living as an Educator and Entertainer

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Matt Santoro

Matt Santoro is a content creator who blends entertainment with education in videos he posts on his YouTube Channel. Since the launch of his YouTube channel in February of 2010, Matt has amassed over 2.6 million subscribers. Every Saturday he releases a new video about amazing facts. The best part is, this is Matt's full-time gig, allowing him the opportunity to do what he loves and earn a living while doing it.

This is his story:

Q: Why did you decide to begin making videos on YouTube?

A: In late 2009 I discovered multiple people who were making YouTube videos such as Ray William Johnson, Dan Brown, among others. After watching them for a while I noticed they had a following and were “famous” on the internet, and I thought “Hey! I could do this!”. So I did ☺

Q: Why did you decide to make list videos of amazing facts?

A: I’ve always made list videos. It was just a format that I liked. It’s nice and clean and structured. It lets the audience know exactly what to expect.

Q: You describe your content as “educating and entertaining.” What inspired you to bridge these two components together in your content?

A: It wasn’t until recently that I started branding myself as an education channel. I had still been calling myself comedy, which is still present in my videos, but it is now secondary to the information itself. My influence to make “infotainment” videos was Bill Nye. I always loved watching him growing up, he was so entertaining and you learned so much from him.

Q: How big of an impact has YouTube’s partner program been in allowing you to monetize your content?

A: Without the partner program I wouldn’t have been able to make this my full time job. That being said, it is not what motivates me to do this. I make videos because I love doing it, and that should be the motivation for anyone on this platform. If you do this to “get rich” or “famous” you’ll never make it-it takes years of hard work to get to a point of success. You need to be motivated by something more than money or fame.

Q: In what ways beyond YouTube’s partner program have you been able to monetize your brand?

A: I have yet to branch out into areas such as merch or brand deals. I have been thinking more and more about it but the timing just isn’t right yet. I like keeping the perception that I am just a guy who likes doing this because it’s fun. I don’t like thinking about the money aspect.

Q: When you started posting videos on YouTube did you ever believe you could earn a living doing this?

A: I never thought I’d earn a living off of this, although I was aware you could do so. Making it on YouTube is akin to winning the lottery. Yet here I am!

Q: Everyday more and more content creators are popping up, creating more competition for “eyeballs.” What do you think the future holds for online media in terms of opportunity given the amount of people and new platforms that are coming onto the scene?

A: There is limitless opportunity for us. I believe online media will continue to grow and eventually overtake all forms of traditional media. And I think that’s a great thing!

Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned early on as a content creator on YouTube?

A: To focus on the content and not on the money or the numbers. It’s easy to obsess on how many subscribers one is getting day to day, but if you focus on the quality and quantity of content you put out, it’s far easier to find success.

Q: What does the future hold for you as a content creator? Any interesting upcoming projects?

A: I have a new series that I am going to be working on, but it will take some time to develop, so it’s a secret as of right now.

Q: What advice could you provide to others looking to establish a brand as a social media personality/content creator?

A: My advice is don’t think of YouTube in business terms like “brand”. Just start making videos because you are interested in it. Over time, as your channel grows, you will find your branding and you will evolve with it. All the most successful content creators have followed this path, and it works!

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