Are you an avid fan of YouTubers? You are probably wondering how you can get a piece of this lifestyle and use the platform to raise some cash for yourself.
In this guide, we’re going to cover 10 Ways to Make Money Using Official Monetization Options on YouTube, How Much Money Can You Make, How To Get Started If You Don’t Have A Channel And How To Use Smart Marketing To Grow Your Audience.
In This Guide: Six Important Things You Should Know
First, benefits of making money on YouTube
Monetizing a YouTube channel is a way for YouTubers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and educators to build audiences, brand and generate new revenue streams.
Residual income is a great thing to make money off of YouTube videos. You can go to the trouble of gaining momentum with a YouTube channel for a short period of time and generating (little or much) income in the years to come, even if you are not so actively posting new videos.
Starting a YouTube channel is also a great way to turn your hobbies or interests into income.
You can create content and build audiences on almost any topic – from travel to web design to toy reviews – and monetize it creatively. It could be a way to fund your trips, attract new customers, or get free products.
Second: How To Make Money With The Affiliate Program On YouTube
YouTube offers YouTubers who meet the requirements of the affiliate program, monetization functions built into the platform.
What is the YouTube Affiliate Program?
For many YouTubers, advertising revenue through the YouTube Affiliate Program (YPP) is the first step in making money on the platform.
YPP enables YouTubers to make money by sharing a portion of the revenue generated from ads on their videos. YouTube can serve ads for any content posted on its platform, but you can only earn money from those ads if you participate in the program.
To participate in the YouTube affiliate program, your channel must:
- More than 4,000 hours of playback (total time spent watching your videos) in the last 12 months.
- Have 1,000+ subscribers.
- Be linked to a Google AdSense account.
- Follow YouTube’s monetization guidelines, including community guidelines and AdSense program guidelines.
YouTube also recommends that you set up two-step verification for your Google Account to avoid delaying the verification process.
How to apply to be a YouTube partner and monetize your channel:
- Confirm that your channel meets the eligibility criteria from 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 viewing hours; and that none of your content violates community guidelines that don’t allow things like nudity, hate speech, or fraudulent practices.
- Check and sign the YPP terms. You can find this in your YouTube Studio under Monetization.
- Sign up for Google AdSense. You can do this through the monetization section of YouTube Studio. You have the option to connect an existing AdSense account or create a new one.
- Go through the verification process which usually takes about a month. YouTube specialists and an automated program review your channel content to make sure it complies with guidelines.
If approved during the review process, you will have access to YouTube’s built-in monetization features. Which functions you can activate for your channel depends on whether you meet function-specific requirements such as number of subscribers and location.
|Age||Subscribers||What is it|
|Advertising revenue||18 *||1,000||Share income from ads in your videos.|
|Channel memberships||18th||> 1000||Charge fans for a premium monthly subscription.|
|Merchandise shelf||18th||> 10,000||Promote your branded items on your rendering pages.|
|Great chat and great stickers||18th||n / A||Let fans pay to have their messages highlighted during live streams.|
|YouTube premium revenue||n / A||n / A||Share YouTube Premium membership fees when members watch your videos.|
* Children can make money through AdSense if they have a legal guardian over the age of 18 to manage the AdSense account.
1. Advertising revenue
As an Approved Affiliate, you can make money off of ads that appear automatically on your YouTube videos. You share sales with YouTube and ads can appear as follows:
- Display: On desktop computers only, these indicators will appear in the top right corner of the screen next to your video being played and above the “Up Next” list of suggested videos.
- Overlay: These ads also only appear on the desktop like a banner ad in the bottom 20% of a video ad.
- Video: These are video ads (super-short commercials) that play before or in the middle of your video (that is, “pre-roll” or “mid-roll”). They can be skipped after five seconds, non-skippable and run for 15-20 seconds, or bumper ads that run for six seconds.
In order to earn ad revenue, you must meet YouTube’s guidelines for ad-friendly content. This means that your videos cannot contain:
- Inappropriate language
- Adult content
- Shocking content
- Harmful or dangerous actions
- Hateful and derogatory content
- Recreational drugs and drug-related content
- Firearms related content
- Controversial issues
- Sensitive events
- Seditious and degrading
- Tobacco related content
- Adult themes in family content
Youtube explains these guidelines in more detail, including tips to help you check your own content for compliance, and it points out the importance of context – for example, sex videos may contain some sexual content, and music videos may be okay with profanity (because YouTube is more like your cool aunt is than your strict father).
Note that the advertising guidelines, which are designed to protect advertisers from selling their products alongside problematic content, differ from the community guidelines. Community guidelines are designed to protect viewers from problematic content, and your videos must meet these standards in order to even be published on YouTube.
2. Channel memberships
You could sell channel memberships to your loyal fans if your channel has 1,000+ subscribers and your channel isn’t set as “kids-specific”.
Channel membership allows fans to pay a monthly fee to access perks like emojis and badges. and exclusive content like community posts, videos and live streams.
Badges are a way for fans to show their loyalty to your brand – they show how many months someone has been a member. Custom emojis allow viewers to react to your videos during live chats.
To start selling channel memberships, your channel must have a community tab, which is like a mini social media feed on your main YouTube page, where you can post and invite comments from fans.
3. Merchandise shelf
Create merchandise like t-shirts, coffee mugs, towels or whatever else you want to get your biggest fans to showcase your brand.
With more than 10,000 subscribers to your channel, you can use this feature to facilitate merchandise sales directly on YouTube.
To sell merchandise on YouTube, you’ll need to set up items with one supported dealer first. This includes websites like Design by Humans, Fanfiber, and Merchbar. You activate merchandising functions and connect your retailer via the monetization area in YouTube Studio.
You can view your merchandise shelf for your entire channel or toggle it on and off for individual videos. You can also add a store tab to your channel’s home page, pin an item to a live stream, or post merchandise on video end screens.
4. Great chat and great stickers
Anyone can start a YouTube livestream to connect in real time with viewers for an event or course. Live chat is automatically available to viewers for commenting during a live stream.
Viewers can buy a Super Chat or Super Sticker during a live stream to get noticed in the live chat. With Super Chat they can highlight their messages and send animated messages with Super Stickers, which will be displayed in the feed.
If you have a very engaged audience with fans who want to grab your attention – and stand out from other fans – Super Chat and Super Stickers can help them get their message across.
5. YouTube Premium Earnings
YouTube Premium is YouTube’s paid streaming service for users. It allows users to pay a monthly fee to watch ads-free videos and access perks like original YouTube content, downloads, and background playback.
As a YouTube partner, you can earn some of the revenue from having a YouTube Premium member watch your videos (as they are known to not watch ads on your videos). Rewards are paid based on how many members are watching your videos.
Third, how to make money on YouTube without the affiliate program
You don’t have to monetize your videos on YouTube to make money from YouTube content. Creators have found many innovative ways to get paid for the content they create and the audience they build on YouTube.
These strategies could be a good option for large channels or channels with fewer than 1,000 subscribers that are not eligible for monetization through the YPP.
6. Funding from fans
A popular option for online content creators of any genre. With paid membership programs like Patreon, Tipeee, and Buy Me a Coffee, creators can build and monetize a community.
You can post your YouTube videos without making any money through the affiliate program and instead invite your fans to send you a tip or subscribe to a paid membership through a third-party website.
How they work:
- Patreon: Set monthly membership levels – like $ 3, $ 6, and $ 12 – with different access to perks like exclusive videos, audio, or newsletters. Members subscribe to and access content through the Patreon platform, and Patreon withholds 5% to 12% of fees depending on the service plan chosen.
- Tippeee: Create a Creator Page and invite fans to give any amount they want, one-time or as a recurring post. You can include discounts for tipsters to choose from, but these are not tied to contribution amounts.
- Buy me a coffee: Create an easy way for backers to tip you for your creations through PayPal or a credit card. You can also add a monthly membership option with exclusive benefits at a price you set. For sites with a membership option, you can post (similar to Patreon); For support-only pages, your page will only display a feed of supporters.
7. Influencer Marketing
If you have an audience looking for recommendations about a product, brand, event, activity, or other thing, you could get paid by brands to create sponsored content.
You don’t have to have a huge audience to make money Influencer marketing, but you should have loyal, engaged audiences. How big it has to be to make money depends on the size and focus of your niche. A YouTube channel about using Google Sheets could monetize a much smaller audience than one about video games.
Depending on what you’re promoting, sponsored content is usually a review, guide, overview, or story about a product, service, or brand.
It helps your viewers introduce something a business wants to sell, but without the hard sell of a commercial or ad. Brands partner with you because your audience trusts you and, of course, wants your referrals.
You can connect with brands by getting noticed through relevant hashtags, contacting them directly, or connecting through an influencer marketplace like:
- Grapevine logic: Sign up with at least 10,000 YouTube subscribers to develop marketing campaigns with the assistance of the Grapevine Logic staff.
- YouTube BrandConnect: YouTube launches its native influencer marketing program to select channels that help YouTubers connect with brands. To be eligible, you must be part of the YouTube Affiliate Program.
- Channel pages: Add your channel details to this network so brands can find you in search results. Brands search the network and contact you if your channel is right for their campaigns.
8. License your content to media outlets
If a video is very well received on your channel or 🙌 🙌 🙌 goes viral – or just contains content that other media outlets might find valuable – you can make money selling media the right to post on their own channels.
This is different from a website’s ability to embed your YouTube video in their content or share it on social media – you get credit for all of those views and potential advertising revenue.
Licensing your content allows these websites to natively republish the content within the limits of the license.
If a video goes viral, media may contact you about usage rights. If you want to proactively license your content, you can post your videos on websites like. list Jukin media and ViralHog to connect to points of sale and get help managing your license agreements.
9. Promote your product or service
Sharing free content and building a community on YouTube is a great way to build your expertise and build a business that sells things like coaching, courses, or freelance services.
For example, if you’re a website designer who specializes in Squarespace sites, you can host a channel of how-to videos that show viewers how to use various Squarespace features.
Your videos would show up when people search for Squarespace-related questions on YouTube and Google, and you could build a community of people who trust your expertise and come to you first when they need web design help.
Get creative to apply this strategy to your business – the options are endless. Here are a few ideas:
- Show your expertise. Create instructional and explanatory videos that answer frequent questions from your target customers about the service you offer. Optimize them for search so that users can find them more easily when they have questions.
- Present your brand. Record answering viewer questions or preaching your philosophy so potential customers know what you are about.
- Network and spread your influence. Interview experts for a talk show or video podcast to get to know key people in your industry and present yourself to their audience.
- Promote your projects. Use your YouTube channel to showcase your upcoming projects and get fan support. For example, share movie trailers, book cover revelations, or customer testimonials for your services or programs.
10. Affiliate Marketing
You can make money promoting other companies’ products or services without creating sponsored content. Of course, if you mention products or brands in your content, join affiliate programs and share your links in the video description.
When viewers click your link, buy the product, or sign up for someone else’s email list, they get paid.
Affiliate marketing works particularly well with educational videos. Of course, when you’re teaching viewers how to do things (like using Squarespace as I mentioned above), you’re going to mention brands and tools that you love and recommend. With affiliate marketing, you can get paid for viewers following your recommendations.
If you have a large following online, you may be able to get in touch with companies directly to get affiliate deals. But most affiliate marketers use affiliate networks to take advantage of offers that companies offer to all creators who meet their qualifications.
You can find affiliate opportunities through networks including:
Fourth, how much money can you make from YouTube?
How much you can make from YouTube videos depends on many factors. The most obvious thing is how many video views you get – but even how much do you get for those views is hard to pin down.
According to most reports, YouTubers make around $ 18 per 1,000 ad views, which is around $ 3 to $ 5 per 1,000 video views.
But there is no perfect data on what YouTubers actually earn, just lots of individual anecdotes mixed in with headline-grabbing earnings reports from YouTube stars.
Examples of successful YouTubers
To give us an idea of what type of content is popping up on YouTube, Forbes has been tracking YouTube stars’ estimated earnings over the past few years. Here are the Top earner Forbes reports for 2020.
|Surname||What they do||Earnings 6/1/19 – 6/1/20||Views 01.06.19 -6.01.20||Subscribers from December 2020|
|Ryan Kaji||Unboxing videos for children||$ 29.5 million||12.2 billion||41.7 million|
|MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson)||Stunts and humor||$ 24 million||3 billion||47.8 million|
|Age perfect||Sports and Comedy||$ 23 million||2.77 billion||57.5 million|
|Rhett and Link||Sketch comedy||$ 20 million||1.9 billion||41.8 million|
|Markiplier (Mark Fischbach)||Video game breakdowns||$ 19.5 million||3.1 billion||27.8 million|
|Preston upgrade||Minecraft and other gaming videos||$ 19 million||3.3 billion||33.4 million|
|Nastja (Anastasia Radzinskaja)||Children’s vlog||$ 18.5 million||39 billion||190.6 million|
Of course, you don’t have to make tens of millions of dollars to be considered successful in any job, especially if you’re just looking for a side job.
Here are a few other people who have found more achievable success on YouTube over the years:
- Gabby Wallace, who teaches English as a second language through her channel Go Natural English, told The Penny Hoarder that she made $ 120,000 in one year through YouTube ad revenue, sponsorship, and course sales with approximately 100,000 subscribers on YouTube. That was a few years ago – Wallace now has over 2 million subscribers!
- Franchesca Ramsey, aka Chescaleigh, had steadily built her following and extra income on YouTube before her 2012 viral video “Sh * t White Girls Say to Black Girls” put her in the spotlight. She was hired by MTV to do the web series “Decoded” a few years later, then became a writer on Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,” and in 2018 published a book about her experience.
- Entrepreneur Marie Forleo has been hosting her YouTube show for entrepreneurs and creatives, MarieTV, for a decade. She started with a webcam at her kitchen table and has built a fan base of more than 700,000 subscribers. She doesn’t monetize directly on YouTube, but instead uses the platform to build audiences and sell her online programs, including the B-School, which has more than 64,000 students since its inception in 2010.
Fifth, brand new to YouTube? How to start
In case you’re drooling about the options but haven’t already started a YouTube channel, here is a quick guide to getting started as a YouTube creator.
- Choose your niche. What kind of content do you want to create? Funny, educational, thought provoking, or educational. The options are only limited by YouTube’s guidelines which basically say you are not allowed to post pornography or anything super obnoxious. Your subject can also help you determine the name of your channel (if you’re not using your own name).
- Set up your production. Of course you need a camera. You can record a YouTube video using a device as simple as a smartphone or webcam, or you can opt for a full studio setup with a camera, lights, and microphones. Our recommendation? Start small and easy and build as needed.
- Create a channel. You must have a Google account to be active on YouTube (assuming you’ve already covered this part). Then you can create a channel by simply logging in to YouTube and clicking on “Create Channel” under your profile picture.
- Confirm your channel. Enter your phone number to receive a verification code so YouTube knows you are real. You can upload videos that are limited to 15 minutes without getting verified – but this step is super easy and beneficial, so we recommend it.
- Upload videos! That’s all it takes You upload videos and see analyzes for your channel via YouTube Studio directly in your YouTube account.
Once you’re set up, your biggest challenge with monetization is growing your audience – so brush up on some YouTube marketing basics.
Sixth, YouTube Marketing Basics to Grow Your Audience (and Income)
YouTubes Creator Academy is a comprehensive resource for best practices and tips to improve your content, grow your audience, and engage viewers. Read tons of free lessons to learn how to grow your channel and make money on YouTube.
Here are a few basics every creator should know:
Learn YouTube SEO
As part of the Google (Alphabet) family, YouTube is both a search-based and a social platform. Tons of generally unknown YouTubers get millions of views and generate significant revenue on YouTube as viewers find their videos through Google or YouTube search.
You can learn endless tips and tricks to optimize YouTube videos for search, but here’s what every YouTuber should keep in mind right from the start:
- Video content: If it fits your niche, create videos of what your target audience wants to know. Take on frequently asked questions and turn your answers into content.
- Video title: Write clear, descriptive titles that will get people to click to learn more. Do a little research to select keywords that are relevant to your video and put a strong one in the title.
- Video descriptions: Include keywords and a good overview of the video in the video description so that the YouTube algorithm knows what the video is about.
Keep posting new videos
YouTube likes new content and active channels. So, if you regularly post new videos, your content can show up in searches and suggested videos.
Older videos with lots of views and engagement can still generate search traffic and generate you passive income, which is great. You can increase your income by keeping your channel active and YouTube offering lots of new content to recommend to viewers.
Create engaging content
What YouTube loves more than anything is content that viewers click, share, like, comment on, and follow to another video. With appealing content, viewers stay on the platform so that the algorithm rewards them.
It’s good for your viewers and your brand too!
Think of your audience in everything you create. Even if your content is a vlog about your life, consider what you get out of each video before you record it, and work on producing a video that accomplishes that goal.
Ask questions to invite comments and encourage viewers to search for your other videos and subscribe to your channel.
Ready to make money on YouTube?
Starting a YouTube channel can be a smart move towards creating an extra income to generate extra income – or eventually a new full-time job – for yourself.
Few successful YouTubers make the majority of their money through the YouTube affiliate program, But signing up and taking advantage of some of the monetization options could be an easy way to get started.
As your audience and business grow, you can diversify your income by adding sponsored content and affiliate marketing, licensing your content, or promoting your company’s core products and services.
As with any other side business or business, YouTube isn’t a way to make money quickly, but it can be a fun way to get creative, connect with an audience, and grow your income.
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) has been writing and editing in the personal finance, career, and digital media sectors since 2011. She writes regularly for The Penny Hoarder.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com