YouTube is one of the social media platforms that has made people celebrities. A lot of people have earned an audience by creating video contents focused on tutorials, entertainment, reviews and being totally awesome on the internet. Making money might not be the sole reason for starting a YouTube channel, but the opportunities therein are quite enormous, coupled with the fun and side benefits.
This article will mainly discuss ways to earn from YouTube. Video creation is another tedious part of content creation. Coming up with ideas might be quite difficult, especially if you are laid with the burden of an influencer. But you can read up on our article on video projects for beginners and video bloggers to get more ideas.
Let’s address frequently asked questions by potential video bloggers and beginners.
Do you get paid for uploading videos on YouTube?
Content creators are not paid by YouTube for uploading videos, neither are videos monetized by default. For you to earn from YouTube, you have to monetize your account. All you have to do is enable monetization via your YouTube account settings. You will also see other options there, and you can choose to join the YouTube Partners Program or have your videos listed on YouTube Premium.
How to make money from YouTube
A lot of people think that you need a certain number of subscribers before they can start earning from YouTube. Hence, the fear of owning a YouTube channel because they really do not know how to bring people to subscribe to their channel. First, your channel can be monetized even without having millions of followers or subscribers. In other words, your earning potential is not only determined by the number of subscribers and views you have. But also by the level of engagement you generate, your niche, and the revenue channels you explore.
However, that doesn’t mean the number of subscribers do not count. You can check out how to get subscribers here. If you check the list of top YouTube earners, you may think that the million they get is directly from YouTube. The fact that they make money from YouTube is not disputable, but these channels build their audiences first before launching their merchandise. Now, if making money from YouTube is your marketing plan, then you have to get a clear understanding of your target audience. And this criteria is applicable to every niche or business line.
Who will watch your YouTube channel?
In understanding your target audience, this is one crucial question that needs an answer. Building your audience puts you in a better position to monetize your content in different ways. But you can only take full advantage of the opportunities if you understand your audience. Your channel can focus on different niches addressing a set of audience, and that gives you better chances of working with many brands.
Meanwhile, in answering the question of who will watch your YouTube videos, you have to pay attention to the following:
- The gender of your audience – you must ascertain if your content focuses on a particular group, that is, the age range most of your audience falls into.
- The geographical location – hear include countries or cities where your videos are being watched.
- The watchtime of your audience and their overall engagement.
By knowing all these, you will have a better understanding of your audience, and you will be able to work with brands. You can also get this demographic insight from your YouTube analytics. And if you want to compare your channel against other channels, you can try a tool like Social Blade.
Now that you have understood how to relate to your audience, let’s talk about the different ways you can make money from your YouTube channel.
Making money on YouTube
Just like blogging, YouTube channels are another means of earning passive income because it is easy to monetize. Ways to make money from YouTube include:
- Become a YouTube Partner and earn from ads
- Sell products
- Crowdfund your next creative project
- Let your audience support your work (fan funding)
- License your content to the media
- Work with brands as an influencer or affiliate.
Become a YouTube Partner and earn from ads
The first source of income you will likely explore as a beginner is ads. You can apply for monetization once you hit 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch-hours over the past year.
How to enable monetization on YouTube
- Sign in to the YouTube account you want to monetize.
- Click the icon for your account in the top right corner.
- Click YouTube Studio
- In the left menu, select Other Features > Monetization.
- Read and agree to the YouTuber Partner Program terms
- Create a new AdSense account or connect an existing one to your channel. Note: you need an AdSense account to get paid.Set your monetization preferences.
- Once you are done, go back to the dashboard and click the Analytics tab on the left side.
- From there, you’ll need to choose Revenue from the tabs at the top, then scroll down to the chart Monthly Estimated Revenue to get an idea of your predicted revenue.
How many views do you need to make money?
The number of views you get doesn’t equate to the revenue you will earn. If your video gets thousands of views but no one watches or clicks the ad, you won’t make any money. This is part of YouTube’s criteria for billing advertisers: a viewer must click an ad or watch the ad in full (10, 15, or 30 seconds) for you to receive payment.
However, with YouTube Premium, you don’t need to depend on advertisers to create engaging or enticing ads to earn revenue. The YouTube Premium is a paid membership program that enables fans to watch their favorite content creators without ads.
As a creator, you will still get paid for content viewed by non-members on YouTube along with content on YouTube premium. You will be paid on the premium version based on how much members watch your content. The money you will earn is just secondary coupled with what you are already earning via ads.
Furthermore, you should look beyond ads for revenue. According to YouTube, you can get excluded from ad revenue if your content includes:
- Inappropriate language that promotes harassment, profanity and vulgarity.
- Promoting drug selling, usage and abuse.
- Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humor.
The truth is that YouTube has been demonetizing contents that are not advertiser-friendly since 2012 via an automated process. They do this without warning and without the content creator’s knowledge. Now, things are not the same, as creators receive a notification when their content is down. They can also report any time they feel a video was mistakenly excluded from YouTube’s advertising network.
Ads might be a common means of earning for creators, but the trade-off is that YouTube gets to keep around a 45% share of ad revenue. That is why YouTubers need to explore other options to sustain their creativity.
Crowdfund your next creative project
The success of many video projects can be linked to crowdfunding, so do not underestimate it. There are also popular crowdfunding sites to help you get funds for your project. They include:
- Kickstarter: One of the most well-known crowdfunding sites. The site is great for funding cool products and creative projects. But make sure you set an attainable funding goal because you will only secure it if you actually meet the goal you set.
- Indiegogo: A Kickstarter alternative that offers more flexible funding options.
Let your audience support your work through “fan funding”
This is very similar to crowdfunding a project. The only major difference is that, for fan funding, you exclusively seek support from your audience. But for crowdfunding, you seek support both from your audience, websites, and other people who are not your audience. So, if you are offering good content, your audience might be willing to support you.
Many platforms that fund projects offer content creators an opportunity for people to discover their content and get more audience. However, if you choose the crowdfunding route, make sure you are transparent about your project, and how the money you will receive will be spent. In other words, your genuineness will prompt your fanbase to invest in your project.
You can also offer enticing rewards for better pledges. That will make your fans believe that they will get something in return for supporting you. Some popular fan funding options include:
- YouTube’s Super Chat: Super Chat is a feature for going live on YouTube. It allows you to create a tipping jar for your viewers to donate whenever and how much they feel like contributing. You will have to set up your YouTube account for advertising as we mentioned earlier.
- Patreon: This is a membership platform that makes it easy for creators to get paid. Fans can subscribe to their favorite creators for as little as a dollar a month and receive exclusive rewards.
- Tipee: This gives you a combination of both one-off and recurring donations.
License your content to the media
If you happen to create a viral video that is appealing to the public — maybe a comedy clip, you can license your content in exchange for money. The video may attract TV news outlets, online news sites, and other creators might reach out about rights to use your videos if they happen to go viral. You can also put your videos in a marketplace for better recognition and higher purchases.
Work with brands as an influencer or affiliate
This is one of the bedrocks of advertising in the modern age. A lot of businesses are investing in influencer marketing, endorsing people who have won the loyalty of their audiences. This is a great opportunity for video creators if you can negotiate well. That is why it is essential that you create quality content in a profitable niche, so you stand a chance of better negotiations.
There is also a lot to earn from YouTube brand partnerships. The key when partnering on brand-sponsored content is to be transparent about the products.
Here are some influencer marketplaces:
- Grapevine Logic: One of the most popular influencer marketplaces, you only need 1,000 followers to join.
- Famebit: With a wide range of brands to work with, you might find a sponsorship opportunity. You need 5,000 followers to join.
- Channel Pages: Partner with other YouTubers as well as brands.
- Crowdtap: All you have to do is to complete small content creation “tasks” in exchange for money and other rewards. There is also no restriction on how many followers you need to join.
Some influencer marketplaces offer you free products, while others have big brands who are willing to pay more. Major on the opportunities that best suit your needs, but make sure you put yourself out in as many places as you can to ensure maximum visibility for your channel.
Alternatively, you can also become an affiliate marketer for brands and make passive income via commissions from every sale you generate through your channel. This works well if you review products as part of your YouTube channel.
If you just created your YouTube channel, you can run a campaign for your channel on other social media platforms. Grow your channel with your following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and any other profile you own. The more people get to know what you do, the higher your chances of getting subscribers.