America has it pretty much figured out on what it takes to become one of the popular YouTube kids. Back here in South Africa, we’re gradually getting there with a handful of interesting folk emerging as stars of the local YouTube scene.

Anne Hirsch is one of these homegrown YouTube celebrities – she has a self-titled show hosted on the popular video-sharing site and is considered one of the biggest (local) stars on YouTube which draws audiences of up to 30 000 viewers.

Hirsch spoke to at the Google Think Video conference earlier today about what being an African YouTube star is like, how she started using the platform, and what it takes to make content that people will like and, more importantly, watch.

“Being on YouTube is great, it’s a fairly new platform in South Africa and I think Google is doing a great at promoting it here,” Hirsch explains.

“I started doing it not knowing much about YouTube but I had an idea for a show and we wanted a platform to host it on. I chose YouTube because it’s so easy, all you need is an internet connection, you can film content from a device as simple as your smartphone and it’s cheap.”

Hirsch’s advice for anyone who wants to start making YouTube videos and getting them noticed on the site is to just go for it.

“If you have an idea, upload it, start small, even if it’s just you in your bedroom with a webcam or video camera. Make great, compelling content. Ask yourself, would you be interested in watching the type of content you want to put it if you were a viewer.”

In terms of monetising content, Hirsch says there’s never a guarantee that you’ll actually start making money from your videos, but you can always take a chance and select the monetise option when uploading a video.

“All-in-all it’s a great time to be making content for YouTube in South Africa,” she says.

Watch an episode of the Anne Hirsch show below: