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How to start a Documentaries Videos YouTube Channel and make Money in the long run?

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by | Feb 7, 2024

Table of Contents

Documentaries Videos YouTube Channel is a YouTube channel that primarily focuses on the creation and sharing of documentary-style videos.


Documentaries are non-fictional films or videos that explore and depict real events, issues, people, or topics in a detailed and informative manner.


These videos often aim to educate, inform, and raise awareness about various subjects, ranging from historical events and scientific discoveries to social issues and cultural phenomena.


These Documentaries Videos YouTube Channel may cover a wide range of topics depending on the creator’s interests and expertise.


Some channels focus on investigative journalism, providing in-depth coverage of current events or historical occurrences.


Others may specialize in nature documentaries, exploring wildlife, ecosystems, and environmental issues.


Additionally, channels may delve into biographies, science and technology, travel, true crime, or any other subject that lends itself to a documentary format.


Creators on such channels typically conduct thorough research, gather relevant footage, conduct interviews, and employ storytelling techniques to present a compelling and factual narrative.


The goal is to engage viewers and offer them valuable insights into the chosen subject matter. Documentaries on YouTube channels can vary in length, style, and production quality, depending on the creator’s vision and resources.


Documentaries Videos YouTube Channel is a platform where creators share content that provides educational and informative perspectives on real-world/historical topics, offering viewers a deeper understanding of the subject matter through the documentary format.


Documentaries Videos as a YouTube Niche

Creating a Documentaries Videos YouTube Channel as a niche involves focusing on a specific genre or theme within the broader category of documentaries.


Niche channels often attract a dedicated audience with a shared interest in a particular subject.


Aspects to consider when establishing a Documentaries Videos YouTube Channel as a Niche.

  1. Choose a Specific Theme
  2. Target Audience
  3. Consistent Style and Format
  4. Thorough Research
  5. Engaging Storytelling
  6. Promotion and Collaboration
  7. Feedback and Interaction
  8. Optimize for Search Engines
  9. Consistent Upload Schedule
  • Monitor Analytics


  1. Choose a Specific Theme

    Identify a niche or theme that aligns with your interests, expertise, or the preferences of your target audience.

    Examples include history documentaries, true crime documentaries, science and technology documentaries, wildlife documentaries, or social issues documentaries.

Read more: How to Start a Family Vlogs YouTube Channel and Make Money in the Long Run?

  1. Target Audience

    Understand your target audience and tailor your content to cater to their preferences. Knowing your audience allows you to create documentaries that resonate with their interests, ensuring higher engagement and viewer loyalty.

  2. Consistent Style and Format

    Establish a consistent style and format for your documentaries. This includes factors like narration style, visual aesthetics, and overall production quality.

    Consistency helps build brand identity and keeps viewers coming back for more.

  3. Thorough Research

    Invest time in thorough research to provide accurate and well-informed content. Cite sources, interview experts, and present information in a compelling manner.

    A commitment to factual accuracy enhances the credibility of your channel.

  4. Engaging Storytelling

    Develop strong storytelling skills to captivate your audience. A well-structured narrative with compelling storytelling elements keeps viewers engaged and encourages them to watch your documentaries from start to finish.

  5. Promotion and Collaboration

    Actively promote your channel through social media, collaboration with other content creators, and participation in relevant communities.

    Building a community around your niche can foster a sense of belonging among your audience.

  6. Feedback and Interaction

    Encourage viewer feedback and interaction. Respond to comments, conduct polls, and consider viewer suggestions for future documentary topics.

    Engaging with your audience helps create a sense of community and improves the overall viewing experience.

  7. Optimize for Search Engines

    Implement SEO strategies to ensure your documentaries are discoverable through search engines. Use relevant keywords, create compelling titles, and craft engaging video descriptions to increase visibility.

  8. Consistent Upload Schedule

    Establish a consistent upload schedule to keep your audience engaged. Regular uploads help build anticipation and keep viewers returning for fresh content.

  • Monitor Analytics

Use YouTube analytics to track the performance of your documentaries. Analyze viewer demographics, watch time, and engagement metrics to refine your content strategy and better understand your audience.


Top Documentaries Videos YouTube Channels to Follow

  1. DW Documentary
  2. Free Documentary – History
  3. Free Documentary
  4. Free Documentary – Nature
  5. Noclip – Video Game Documentaries
  6. Best Documentary
  7. tv Documentary
  8. WELT Documentary
  9. Java Discover | Free Global Documentaries & Clips
  • FRONTLINE PBS | Official
  • YFN Lucci
  • Moconomy
  • The People Profiles
  • Real Stories
  • Real Crime
  • Real Wild
  • Luc Forsyth


How Someone Can Start Small and Grow slowly within 24 Months

Starting a documentaries YouTube channel and growing it slowly over 24 months requires a strategic approach, dedication, and consistent effort.

Read more: How to start a Life Hack YouTube Channel and make Money in the long run?

Remember, the key to success is not only creating quality content but also building a community around your channel. It’s about establishing a connection with your audience that keeps them coming back for more.


Here’s a step-by-step guide to help someone begin their journey

  1. Identify Your Niche

    • Choose a specific niche or theme for your documentaries. This could be anything from history, science, true crime, to personal stories. Having a niche helps you target a specific audience.
  2. Research Your Audience

    • Understand your target audience. Know their interests, preferences, and the type of content they are likely to engage with. This will guide your content creation.
  3. Create a Content Plan

    • Plan your documentary topics in advance. Create a content calendar that outlines when you’ll release each video. This helps maintain consistency.
  4. Invest in Quality Equipment

    • Invest in decent video and audio recording equipment. While starting, you don’t need to spend a fortune, but ensure that your videos have good production quality.
  5. Learn Basic Editing Skills

    • Learn basic video editing skills. There are many free or affordable editing software options available. Editing enhances the overall quality of your documentaries.
  6. Create Compelling Thumbnails and Titles

    • Design eye-catching thumbnails and craft compelling video titles. These elements significantly impact click-through rates.
  7. Optimize SEO

    • Optimize your video titles, descriptions, and tags for search engines. Use relevant keywords related to your niche to improve discoverability.
  8. Engage with Your Audience

    • Respond to comments on your videos and engage with your audience through social media. Building a community is crucial for growth.
  9. Collaborate with Others

    • Collaborate with other creators in your niche. This can expose your channel to a wider audience and provide valuable networking opportunities.
  10. Promote on Social Media

    • Share your documentaries on various social media platforms. Use platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to connect with your audience and promote your content.
  11. Be Consistent

    • Stick to a consistent upload schedule. Whether it’s weekly or bi-weekly, regular uploads help keep your audience engaged.
  12. Monitor Analytics

    • Use YouTube analytics to understand what’s working and what isn’t. Pay attention to watch time, audience retention, and subscriber growth.
  13. Iterate Based on Feedback

    • Pay attention to viewer feedback and adapt your content based on it. Continuous improvement is key to long-term success.
  14. Patience and Persistence

    • Understand that growth takes time. Be patient and stay persistent even if your early videos don’t gain immediate traction.
  15. Monetize Strategically

    • Explore monetization options such as ads, sponsorships, or merchandise, but be strategic and ensure it aligns with your brand and audience.



How long will it take to Grow a Documentaries Videos Youtube Channel?

There is no set timeline for how long it takes to grow a Documentaries Videos Channel. Some channels experience rapid growth within a few months, while others may take a year or more to see significant results.


It depends entirely on your specific circumstances and the strategies you employ. Be persistent, stay dedicated to creating quality content, and adapt your approach based on the evolving needs of your audience.


The time it takes to grow a Documentaries Videos Channel on YouTube can vary widely based on several factors.


I cannot give you one-size-fits-all answer, as success depends on the content quality, niche, consistency, promotion efforts, and audience engagement.


However, here are some General Considerations to Achieve Growth within 24 months

  1. Consistency and Frequency

    • Regular, consistent uploads are crucial. Channels that upload frequently tend to gain more visibility and have a higher chance of attracting subscribers. Aim for a sustainable upload schedule that you can maintain.
  2. Content Quality

    • High-quality content is more likely to attract and retain viewers. Invest time in research, storytelling, and production to create compelling documentaries. As the quality of your content improves, audience engagement is likely to increase.
  3. SEO and Discoverability

    • Properly optimize your videos for search engines. Use relevant keywords in titles, descriptions, and tags. This can enhance your channel’s discoverability and increase organic growth.
  4. Audience Engagement

    • Building a community around your channel is crucial. Respond to comments, ask for viewer feedback, and encourage interaction. The more engaged your audience, the more likely they are to share your content.
  5. Networking and Collaborations

    • Collaborate with other creators in your niche. This can expose your channel to a wider audience and introduce your content to new viewers.
  6. Promotion on Social Media

    Utilize social media platforms to promote your videos. Share snippets, behind-the-scenes content, or engage with your audience on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

  7. Patience and Persistence

    Growing a YouTube channel takes time, and results may not be immediate. Be patient and persistent, and don’t get discouraged by slow initial growth.

  8. Monetization Considerations

    If monetization is a goal, understand that it typically requires meeting certain eligibility criteria, such as having a minimum number of subscribers and watch hours. Monetization may become more feasible as your channel grows.

  9. Adaptability and Improvement

Pay attention to analytics and viewer feedback. Adapt your content strategy based on what works well and what your audience enjoys. Continuous improvement is key to sustained growth.


Documentaries Videos Ideas that are Popular for a Channel to Grow Big

Creating compelling and unique documentary video ideas is crucial for attracting and retaining viewers on a YouTube channel.


Remember to add your unique storytelling style, conduct thorough research, and engage with your audience to make your documentaries stand out.


Additionally, staying updated on current trends and addressing timely topics can contribute to the growth of your channel.


Popular and Engaging Documentary video ideas that have the potential to help a channel grow.


Unsolved Mysteries

Explore unsolved crimes, mysteries, or disappearances. Engage your audience with in-depth investigations, interviews, and theories.


Historical Deep Dives

Take deep dives into specific historical events, periods, or figures. Offer a fresh perspective, lesser-known facts, and captivating storytelling.


Technology Evolution

Trace the evolution of technology, gadgets, or innovations over time. Explore the impact of technological advancements on society.


Environmental Issues

Address pressing environmental concerns such as climate change, deforestation, or pollution. Showcase initiatives and solutions.


Space Exploration

Dive into the mysteries of space exploration, covering historic missions, current projects, and the future of space travel.


Biographies and Profiles

Create biographical documentaries about influential individuals, artists, scientists, or historical figures. Explore their lives, achievements, and impact.


Cultural Traditions

Showcase unique cultural traditions, ceremonies, or festivals from around the world. Provide insights into diverse customs and practices.


Scientific Breakthroughs

Explore groundbreaking scientific discoveries and innovations. Break down complex concepts for a broader audience.


True Crime Investigations

Investigate and narrate true crime stories, cold cases, or legal mysteries. Present the facts, evidence, and potential resolutions.


Exploration of Subcultures

Dive into niche subcultures, communities, or lifestyles. Offer a window into worlds that may be unfamiliar to the broader audience.


Medical Breakthroughs and Innovations

Explore medical advancements, breakthrough treatments, or innovative healthcare solutions. Discuss the impact on patient care and well-being.


Economic Trends and Market Shifts

Analyze economic trends, market shifts, or financial crises. Explain complex economic concepts in an accessible manner.


Political Profiles and Histories:

Examine the histories and profiles of political leaders, movements, or revolutions. Provide context and analysis of political landscapes.


Epic Journeys and Expeditions

Follow epic journeys, expeditions, or quests. Whether historical or contemporary, showcase the challenges and triumphs of exploration.


Food and Culinary Histories

Explore the history and cultural significance of specific foods, cuisines, or culinary traditions. Dive into the origins of popular dishes.


Innovative Architectural Wonders

Showcase innovative architectural projects, from historical monuments to modern marvels. Discuss the design, construction, and impact.


Human Rights Issues

Address human rights issues globally. Shed light on social justice movements, advocacy, and initiatives for positive change.


Behind-the-Scenes in Industries:

Provide behind-the-scenes looks into various industries, whether it’s filmmaking, manufacturing, or agriculture. Explore processes and challenges.


Examples of Channels that started Small and Grew Big

Success on YouTube often involves a combination of factors, including content quality, consistency, engagement with the audience, and adaptability.


These channels have demonstrated the potential for growth by catering to the interests of their viewers and delivering compelling documentary content.


The following are a few examples of YouTube channels in the documentary genre that started small and experienced significant growth:



Top5s is a channel that explores mysterious and unexplained phenomena, providing top-five lists on various topics. It started as a small channel and gained popularity for its intriguing content.

Top5s (TV Series 2014– ) - IMDb

Bright Insight

Bright Insight focuses on historical mysteries, ancient civilizations, and alternative theories. The channel gained recognition for its well-researched content and thoughtful analysis.

BrightInsight raises $101M for its pre-built digital health platform - Drug Delivery Business

Real Stories

Real Stories showcases documentary movies, full-length documentaries, and award-winning films. Over time, it has become a significant platform for true crime and crime documentaries.

Real Stories - YouTube

Barcroft TV

Barcroft TV covers a variety of documentary-style content, including human interest stories, unique lifestyles, and extraordinary individuals. The channel has grown to be a prominent source for captivating real-life stories.

Barcroft TV (@Barcroft_TV) / X


MrBallen shares true and sometimes unbelievable stories, often focusing on personal experiences and encounters. The channel has gained popularity for its storytelling style and has grown substantially.

Honoring Victims. Supporting Families - MrBallen Foundation

Drew Binsky

Drew Binsky’s travel documentaries started as a small venture, and his channel has grown into a significant platform for exploring different cultures and destinations around the world.

Drew Binsky - YouTube

Baumgartner Restoration

Baumgartner Restoration documents the restoration process of various artworks and historical items. The channel has gained a large following interested in art conservation.

Baumgartner Restoration | Know Your Meme

Bald and Bankrupt

Bald and Bankrupt features travel documentaries where the host explores lesser-known destinations. The channel started small and grew by capturing authentic and unfiltered travel experiences.

Bald and Bankrupt - Wikipedia


Geographics delves into geographical and historical topics, exploring different regions and cultures. The channel has grown by providing informative and engaging content.

Geographic Segmentation: Definition, Characteristics & Examples

 Journeyman Pictures

  • Journeyman Pictures shares a variety of documentaries covering social, political, and environmental issues. Over the years, it has become a notable source for thought-provoking content.

Journeyman Pictures - YouTube



By combining your YouTube channel with a well-designed and strategically utilized website, you can create a more comprehensive online presence.


This approach not only helps you grow your audience but also provides opportunities for additional revenue streams and community building.


Growing your YouTube channel with a website can be a strategic move to expand your online presence, increase discoverability, and diversify your revenue streams.


Creating a website for the Documentaries Videos Channel will open ways to earn extra from affiliate marketing and give examples of Documentaries Websites


Create a Professional Website

Choose a user-friendly platform like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace. Use a clean and visually appealing design that reflects your channel’s branding.


Integrate YouTube Content

Embed your YouTube videos directly on your website. Create a dedicated page or section for your videos to make it easy for visitors to explore your content.


Optimize for SEO

Optimize your website for search engines to increase discoverability. Use relevant keywords in your content, titles, meta descriptions, and image alt tags. This can attract organic traffic to your site.


Create a Blog or Articles Section

Start a blog or articles section on your website. Write articles related to your documentary topics, share behind-the-scenes insights, or provide additional context to your videos. This adds value and improves SEO.


Implement Affiliate Marketing

Integrate affiliate marketing by promoting relevant products or services in your blog posts or on dedicated pages. Choose affiliate programs that align with your content.


Build an Email List

Set up an email subscription option on your website. Encourage visitors to subscribe for updates, exclusive content, or newsletters. This allows you to directly reach your audience.


Promote Merchandise

If applicable, sell merchandise related to your documentaries. Create a dedicated store section on your website to showcase and sell products. This can be an additional revenue stream.


Cross-Promote on Social Media

Link your website to your social media profiles and vice versa. Share your website content on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to drive traffic.


Create a Community Forum or Comment Section

Foster a sense of community by adding a forum or a comment section to your website. Encourage discussions and interactions among your audience.


Utilize Analytics

Use website analytics tools to track visitor behavior, popular content, and referral sources. Analyze data to understand your audience and tailor your content accordingly.


Offer Exclusive Content

Provide exclusive content or early access to videos for website subscribers. This encourages audience loyalty and can be a valuable incentive.


Collaborate with Other Creators

Collaborate with other creators in your niche and feature their content on your website. This can lead to cross-promotion and introduce your audience to new content.


Include a Call-to-Action (CTA)

Encourage website visitors to subscribe to your YouTube channel, follow you on social media, or join your email list. Include clear CTAs throughout your website.


Regularly Update Content

Keep your website content fresh and regularly update it with new articles, videos, or announcements. Regular updates can improve search engine rankings and keep your audience engaged.


Monetize Thoughtfully

Explore different monetization methods on your website, such as ads, sponsored content, or premium content. Ensure that monetization strategies align with your brand and don’t compromise the user experience.


Examples of Documentaries Websites

Top Documentary Films

This website offers a vast collection of free documentaries, organized by categories. It incorporates affiliate links and advertisements.


Documentary Heaven

Documentary Heaven provides a curated selection of documentaries on various topics. The site incorporates affiliate marketing and ad placements.



DocPlay is a subscription-based streaming service for documentaries. It offers a user-friendly website with a variety of documentaries.



Docuseek is a platform for educational documentaries. It incorporates a clear layout and offers a combination of subscription-based and individual rental options.


Long term Plan for the Channel

Long term plans should earn you more money, subscription, partnerships and every possible growth. Diversifying your revenue streams can provide stability and sustainability for your documentary YouTube channel.

Monetizing a documentary YouTube channel involves implementing various strategies to generate tangible income. Here are several ways to monetize your documentary channel.


YouTube Ad Revenue

Enable monetization on your YouTube channel to earn money through ads. Once you meet the eligibility criteria, YouTube can display ads on your videos, and you’ll earn revenue based on factors like ad impressions and viewer engagement.


Affiliate Marketing

Incorporate affiliate marketing by promoting relevant products or services related to your documentary content. Include affiliate links in your video descriptions and on your website.


Earn a commission for every sale or lead generated through your unique affiliate links.


Sponsorships and Brand Deals:

Collaborate with sponsors or brands that align with your documentary content. Negotiate sponsored content or brand deals where you showcase or discuss their products or services in your videos.


Merchandise Sales

Design and sell merchandise related to your documentaries. This could include branded apparel, posters, or other items. Use platforms like Teespring, Spreadshop, or Printful to create and fulfill orders.


Crowdfunding and Donations

Engage your audience through crowdfunding platforms like Patreon or Ko-fi. Offer exclusive perks, behind-the-scenes content, or early access to documentaries for supporters. Encourage viewers to make voluntary donations to support your channel.


Subscription-Based Models

Consider offering premium or exclusive content through subscription-based models. Platforms like YouTube Channel Memberships or Patreon allow you to create a tiered membership system with special perks for subscribers.


Educational Partnerships

Partner with educational institutions, online courses, or e-learning platforms to create educational content. Collaborate on sponsored documentaries or provide supplementary material for educational programs.


Licensing and Syndication

License your documentary content for syndication to other media outlets, streaming platforms, or educational institutions. Negotiate licensing agreements to earn revenue from the distribution of your documentaries.


Adapt Content for Other Platforms

Repurpose your documentary content for other platforms like podcasting or audiobooks. Monetize through sponsorships, ads, or subscriptions on those platforms.


Live Streaming and Super Chat

Engage with your audience through live streaming on YouTube. Enable Super Chat, allowing viewers to pay to have their messages highlighted during live streams. This can provide an additional source of income.


Event Hosting and Workshops

Host live events, workshops, or webinars related to your documentary topics. Charge admission fees or offer premium access for exclusive content and discussions.


Consulting and Speaking Engagements

Leverage your expertise in documentary filmmaking to offer consulting services or secure speaking engagements at events. Monetize your knowledge and experience by providing insights to others.


Book Deals and Writing

Consider writing books or e-books based on your documentary topics. Sell these publications through online platforms or collaborate with publishers for traditional book deals.


Online Courses

Create and sell online courses related to documentary filmmaking, storytelling, or specific topics covered in your documentaries. Platforms like Udemy or Teachable can facilitate course creation and distribution.


Collaborative Projects and Co-Productions

Explore collaborative projects or co-productions with other creators, production companies, or brands. Revenue can be generated through shared production costs and distribution agreements.


Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs provide general guidance, and your specific situation may require tailored solutions. Stay informed, adapt to changes, and always prioritize the needs and interests of your audience.


How can I start a documentary YouTube channel?

Start by defining your niche, researching your target audience, creating a content plan, and consistently producing high-quality documentaries. Set up your YouTube channel and optimize it for search engines.


What equipment do I need to make documentaries for YouTube?

Equipment may include a camera, microphone, lighting, and video editing software. The specific gear depends on your budget and the level of production quality you aim for.


How often should I upload documentaries?

Consistency is key. Upload documentaries on a regular schedule that suits your production capabilities. Whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, set a schedule that you can maintain.


How can I monetize my documentary channel on YouTube?

Monetization options include YouTube Ad Revenue, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, merchandise sales, crowdfunding, and premium content subscriptions. Explore various revenue streams to diversify your income.


How do I promote my documentaries outside of YouTube?

Utilize social media platforms to share snippets, behind-the-scenes content, and promotional material. Build a website to showcase your documentaries and engage with your audience. Collaborate with other creators and participate in relevant forums or communities.


What are the key elements of a successful documentary YouTube channel?

Successful channels often have a clear niche, high-quality content, consistent uploads, engaging storytelling, audience interaction, and effective promotion on and off YouTube.


How can I increase viewer engagement on my channel?

Encourage audience interaction through comments, polls, and questions. Respond to comments and feedback. Consider hosting live Q&A sessions or discussions related to your documentaries.


Can I use copyrighted material in my documentaries?

It’s essential to respect copyright laws. Obtain the necessary permissions or use content under fair use guidelines. Always give proper credit and seek legal advice if unsure about copyright issues.


How can I optimize my documentaries for search engines?

Use relevant keywords in video titles, descriptions, and tags. Provide detailed and accurate metadata. Create compelling thumbnails. Encourage viewers to like, share, and subscribe, as these actions contribute to search visibility.


Should I focus on short or long documentaries?

The length depends on your content and audience preferences. Experiment with both short and long documentaries to see what resonates best with your viewers. Pay attention to analytics to gauge audience engagement.


How can I improve the production quality of my documentaries?

Invest in good equipment, plan your shots and scripts meticulously, focus on storytelling, and continuously seek ways to enhance your filmmaking skills. Consider feedback from your audience to make improvements.


Can I make a living solely from a documentary YouTube channel?

It’s possible but challenging. Diversify your income streams, explore sponsorships, affiliate marketing, brand merchandize and other monetization options. Building a sustainable income may take time and consistent effort.


In conclusion, running a successful documentary YouTube channel involves a strategic approach encompassing niche definition, high-quality content creation, consistent uploads, and effective monetization strategies.


Engaging with your audience, leveraging multiple revenue streams, and staying adaptable to industry trends are key elements in building a sustainable and thriving channel.


By combining creativity, dedication, and business acumen, you can create a rewarding long-term presence in the dynamic world of documentary content on YouTube.