Is it possible to “make it” online without a certain level of expertise? Many budding creators have a passion that they want to share online but hold back for fear of not being good enough. Here are a few ways that you can let your personality and unique perspective guide your path to online success — even if you don’t know everything. 

Identify your niche

Finding your niche is a key step to creating a channel with the potential to grow. It will allow you to develop authority in your field — even if you don’t really know that much — and help your channel to stand out in the massive sea of YouTubers. If your channel is about travel, it’s hard to compete with the many travel YouTubers out there. However, if your channel is about traveling as a couple for cheap around Europe, you have a better shot at finding an audience of like-minded people. It will also help you to be the leading voice in that space; there will be fewer channels to compete with. Having a niche allows your fans to have more to talk about when recommending you to their friends or followers. That helps you instantly connect with your ideal audience.

Don’t forget that learning is part of the process — and it makes for engaging content.

For instance, if someone recommends a finance channel to you, you might not be interested. But if you’re a millennial living in New York, and someone recommends a finance channel for millennials living in big cities, you’d be more likely to tune in. Gaby Dunn, a comedian and accidental finance expert, capitalized on this with her podcast series “Bad With Money.” Her sector is finance. Her niche is being somebody who, throughout her life, hasn’t really had a grasp on financial literacy or best practices. Gaby’s personality drives the conversation, especially her honesty and sarcastic sense of humor, but her specific niche ensures she’s one of the most prominent voices when it comes to being bad with money. 

Gaby Dunn and her book, Bad with Money
Get specific with your niche. Gaby Dunn homes in on her specific experience and expertise, and she’s attracted a loyal audience as a result.

Keep learning

Take the initiative to further your education. The goal isn’t necessarily to be the best in your field — although if you do become the best, congrats! The goal is to grow your knowledge base for other reasons. Firstly, becoming a more informed person allows you to create better content that draws from a deeper pool of knowledge. Even beyond that, gaining some new insights into your chosen field might spark some unique and creative ideas that you wouldn’t otherwise have come up with.

A gamer doesn’t need to be a professional in the competitive scene to create high-quality gaming reviews or upload playthroughs. They can show their audience so much more if they learn a few new tricks in their favorite games. And finally, putting in the effort to educate yourself will prove to your audience that you’re dedicated. People appreciate when you show up for them. The hard work shown by your continuous growth will not be lost on your fans. 

Don’t forget that learning is part of the process, and it makes for engaging content. Many YouTubers will create videos around experimenting with new things or growing their current skills. Be fully transparent with your viewers that you don’t have it all figured out yet and they will be more than happy to watch your journey.

Creativity is key

If you’re not an absolute pro in your niche, then you can more than make up for it with creativity. Many YouTubers who aren’t necessarily experts in their fields have managed to find success by combining their passion with their unique takes. For example, Safiya Nygaard has become one of the most influential beauty and fashion YouTubers on the platform. While she certainly serves up amazing looks on a regular basis, her creativity is what made her blow up. She’ll bake lipsticks into cakes; combine all her foundations, lipsticks, and eyeshadows to create “franken” makeup; and wear platform Crocs for a week. Her original — and honestly, pretty weird — approach to beauty and fashion ensure her videos go viral almost every time, despite the fact that she doesn’t work professionally as a makeup artist or fashion designer. 

Screenshot from Safiya Naygaard's YouTube channel video listings
Safiya Nygaard never pretends to be an expert on the topics she covers in her videos. It’s this transparency that helps fans connect with her and her content.

Be yourself

However, keep in mind that all the creativity, education, and niche-finding in the world won’t mean anything if you’re not yourself. There are millions of YouTubers these days, and the one thing you can do better than anybody is to be authentic. Don’t be afraid of vulnerability, as that is what most fans are there for. Utilize platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and blogs to showcase your personality further and drive a deeper connection with the audience. Show off those creative cakes on Instagram, share a detailed account of your trip to Thailand in a blog post, and post your political hot takes to Twitter. You don’t need to be engaged everywhere, just the places that matter to your fans and potential fans.

The value you produce as a creator isn’t solely determined by how experienced you are in a certain field, and nowhere knows that better than the many niche corners of the internet. Creativity can take you further than anything else. And while it can be intimidating to begin creating content online, the best you can do is dive in and give it your all, because you’ll never make it anywhere if you don’t at least try.