Register with the Dutch Business Register
You may not make a living by vlogging right away, but if you intend to be a fulltime vlogger, you will need to register as a business. If you qualify as a Dutch entrepreneur, you have to register with the Dutch Business Register at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK and the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst).
Every business owner in the Netherlands has to file and pay taxes: VAT and (corporate) income tax.
Every 3 months, you will have to file a VAT return, unless you make use of the Small Businesses Scheme (KOR). Read more about the VAT return.
Depending on your legal structure, you will need to file an income tax return once a year, or a corporate income tax return. Most likely, your legal structure as vlogger will be an eenmanszaak (sole proprietor), but you may also register as a bv (private limited company). Eenmanszaken file income tax returns, bvs file corporate income tax returns.
As a Dutch entrepreneur you may be eligible for tax deductions and allowances, such as the Small Business Scheme (KOR). In order to benefit from most entrepreneur allowances, you must spend at least 1,225 hours per year on your business. So make sure to keep a record of the hours you spend on vlogging, including preparation, marketing, networking, and other business activities.
Identify your target audience
If you want to become a successful vlogger, you must first make sure you reach your target audience. To do so, you need to study your target audience. What are the demographics and characteristics of your target audience? What is the best way to reach your target audience? Do you have competitors? And if so, what can you do to stand out?
Use multiple platforms
In addition to YouTube, there are other sites where you can post videos, such as Vimeo and DailyMotion. This way you can expand your market and potentially make more money with the same material.
Nowadays, most of us are used to carelessly recording everything and sharing it publicly. However, there are rules for sharing these photos and videos with the public. You are only allowed to film freely in public spaces and public roads, as this comes under the heading of free information gathering. Different rules apply in confined spaces, because people may assume that their privacy is protected. Is it a publicly accessible space? Then you must be transparent about the presence of the camera.
Copyright and portrait rights
Videos and photos you have made yourself are protected under the Dutch Copyright Act. This implies that only you determine how, where and when your work is published or multiplied. If you film or photograph people, you will be the owner of the copyright but not the portrait right. Portrait right falls under copyright laws. This means that you often need to ask permission before you can publish portrait photos or videos.
When others use your videos or brand, you can charge a fee for this. This compensation is also known as royalties.
Making an income with vlogging
When you start vlogging, it may take a while before you actually start to make money. YouTube requires content creators to have at least 1,000 subscribers within 12 months and at least 4,000 hours of watch time in order to be eligible to apply for the YouTube Partner Program. Only if you meet these requirements can you start making an income with your vlogs. Dutch YouTubers receive approximately between € 0,50 and € 4,00 per 1000 views. There are other ways to make money with your vlogs, including:
- Advertising: If you want to make money with advertising, you have to link your YouTube account to an AdSense account. If your viewers click on the ads that come with your videos, you receive a commission. Please note: you must be 18 years old, have limited legal capacity or have a parent/caregiver in order to link your YouTube account to an AdSense account. Your money will only be transferred when you start making an income of more than 70 euros.
- Sponsored content: If you get many views on your videos, sponsors will approach you for a collaboration. For example, they may suggest that you use their product in your videos in return for money or free products. Ask yourself if you the brand really fits with your online image and content. Sometimes brands can do harm to your reputation or make you lose followers.
- Affiliate marketing: If you don’t want to wait for sponsors, you could also choose suitable products yourself that you can recommend to your followers. This is called affiliate marketing. You will receive a unique URL from the selling party which you can place in the description of your video. If your viewer buys a product from the seller via this link, you will receive a certain percentage of the purchase amount.
Make your own merchandise
Once your brand starts growing, you can choose to create your own merchandise. You could, for example, design your own t-shirts and coffee mugs and sell them to your followers.
If you are a successful vlogger, you may have the opportunity to be represented by an agency. There are several types of agencies; management agencies, marketing agencies or ‘influencer’ agencies. Agencies often connect you with brands, organise campaigns and manage your financial administration. In return, a percentage of your income is withheld by the agency.