- You can make money on YouTube by joining the YouTube Partners Program, licensing your content to media outlets, joining an affiliate marketing program, selling branded merch, crowdfunding, or creating sponsored content.
- YouTube pays through Google AdSense every month.
- To maximize your YouTube income, make sure to understand your audience, focus on a niche, and master video SEO.
- The amount of money YouTubers earn varies from channel to channel.
- To maximize your reach, make sure to consistently brand your content, create effective thumbnails, and promote your videos on other socials.
Can You Make Money on YouTube?
Absolutely. Anyone and everyone can technically make money on YouTube.
That said, making money on YouTube is not a given. Simply creating a YouTube channel or account does not automatically monetize your content. As with most things, you need to meet specific criteria; creating income through YouTube takes effort and work.
But don’t panic yet. Luckily, there are multiple ways to monetize your YouTube channel and start earning money.
How YouTubers Make Money through the YPP
When YouTubers talk about making money from their content, they could be referring to several different income streams. However, the most standard and straightforward way is through YouTube’s Partner Program. Let’s take a closer look:
YouTube Partner Program
When you think of the most standard way of making money on YouTube, you’re probably thinking of the YouTube Partners Program (YPP). Being a YouTube Partner gives you access to different ways to make revenue out of your videos and content:
As a YP, you’ll be able to earn ad revenue from overlay, display, and video ads that run on your channel.
YouTube Premium Revenue
YouTube Premium (previously ‘YouTube Red’) is a way for paying members to watch videos ad-free. YouTube Premium represents a second income stream in addition to ad revenue because you receive a cut of their membership fee when they watch your videos. Don’t worry; creators don’t lose income just because a viewer is a YouTube premium member.
With channel memberships, you can offer exclusive perks, rewards, and benefits to viewers who choose to pay for a subscription and become paid members of your channel. You can set the different membership levels and what special perks each tier gets access to.
The YouTube Partners program also means you can start selling branded merchandise to your viewers directly through YouTube via your very own merchandise shelf.
Your merch shelf will be displayed on your video page.
Super Chat & Super Stickers
The Super Chat & Super Stickers features aim at content creators who do live streams and YouTube premieres. Your fans and viewers can pay to buy these specially designed stickers and messages to show their support for your work. And obviously, you’ll receive a cut.
Through BrandConnect, YouTube connects creators to brands looking to run branded content campaigns. Essentially, this service is trying to make it easier for brands to find YouTubers that they can advertise through and for content creators to strike lucrative deals.
Note: currently, the BrandConnect service is only available in the U.S., Canada, or the U.K.
YouTube Shorts Fund
The YouTube Shorts Fund is a new program aiming to reward content creators creating and sharing shorts. If you start shooting and uploading Shorts, based on how your videos perform, YouTube could reach out to you and reward you with between $100 to $10,000.
How to join the YouTube Partner Program
If you want to become a YouTube Partner, you’ll need to fulfill specific eligibility requirements. Here’s what you need to do:
- Enable 2-Step Verification for your Google Account
- Make sure you comply with YouTube’s Channel Monetization Policies
- Live in a country or region where the Program is available
- Have a clean slate with no community guideline strikes against your channel
- Have 4000 public watch hours or more in the last 12 months
- Have 1000 subscribers or more
- Link your Google AdSense account to your channel
- Get reviewed by YouTube
How do you get paid by YouTube?
Once you’ve put in the hard work to monetize your channel and content through the YPP, it’s time to get paid! But you may be wondering how exactly you receive payment from YouTube.
YouTube pays through AdSense, which is why you need to link up your account to your YouTube channel when first joining the YPP. A little note: you won’t be paid as soon as you start earning. Instead, your earnings need to pass certain thresholds before AdSense starts sending you your money.
Here’s how getting paid through AdSense works:
- If you live in specific locations, you’ll need to input your tax information and verify your identity before you can get paid.
- Once you’ve earned above the address verification threshold (above $10USD), you’ll receive a PIN in the mail. This is how AdSense verifies that you live at the address listed on your account. Once you input the PIN into your account, AdSense can start issuing payments to you.
- When your earnings go above $10, you’ll need to select your payment method. When you first create your account, you will have inputted either your bank account or PayPal details. At this point, you can choose how your money is sent to you. Select between: Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT), Check, Wire Transfer, or receiving money through Western Union or Rapida.
- You will only start receiving payments when your unpaid earnings surpass AdSense’s payment threshold, which is $100USD. And you will receive a monthly payment.
Monetizing Your YouTube Videos
Although the YPP is a straightforward way to monetize your YouTube content, it’s not the only way to make money on YouTube. So what other ways do YouTubers make money?
8 Other Ways to Make Money On YouTube
License your content to the media
Licensing your videos out essentially means giving other media platforms or organizations the right to replay your content for a fee.
Either leave it to media outlets to contact you directly or try listing your video on marketplaces like Jukin Media.
Get your fans to pay you directly
If you’ve got a loyal and committed audience, chances are they’ll want to support you and your work. Whether you’re looking for a regular supplementary income stream or need some extra cash for a specific project, fan funding is an effective way of making money from your YouTube channel.
As we saw, the YPP makes it easy to encourage your viewers to support you financially in exchange for special perks or exclusive content. That said, there are other ways to get your fans to pay you directly, namely through crowdfunding.
If you’re asking your fans to make a regular contribution to support you and your channel, you should look into setting up a Patreon account. Just like the YPP, you can offer membership perks such as exclusive or ‘early-access’ videos, member-only live streams, or members-only merch.
Whereas if you’re raising money for a particular project, platforms like GoFundMe or Kickstarter are probably better options.
Make the most of your YouTube marketing funnel
Your YouTube channel and your content can be a highly lucrative revenue stream if you want it to be. Here are just a few ways you can capitalize on the power of your YouTube marketing funnel:
Become an affiliate partner
Affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize your YouTube channel if you haven’t yet got a super big following. Affiliate marketing is low-risk for the brand involved because they only pay you when and if your viewers buy one of their products. All you need to do is promote their product to your viewers, encouraging them to use your affiliate link. You’ll get a proportion of any sales made off the back of your videos.
Become an Amazon Influencer
A common example of affiliate marketing is the Amazon Influencer program. When you sign up, you have to start promoting Amazon products on your channel. You can then choose to include an affiliate link directly to the products or through to your customized Amazon storefront in your video description. You’ll earn commission on qualifying purchases made through your affiliate link or Amazon storefront.
Note that Amazon does check whether you have a YouTube channel and looks at the number of subscribers your channel has and other engagement metrics when reviewing your application to become an Amazon Influencer.
Create sponsored content
As we saw, YouTube now has its very own service to connect YouTubers with brands. However, this isn’t the only way to start creating sponsored content. Plus, if you manage to strike a deal yourself, it means that you don’t have to cut YouTube.
Sponsorship deals can arise organically. If you gain enough of a following or create content in a specific niche, you may find that brands start approaching you themselves.
Approach brands with an offer. It’s always good practice to send over a brand or channel pitch that outlines what you are offering them. If they like what they see, they’ll provide you with a partnership, and you can start creating sponsored content. However, if you don’t want to wait around, it’s on you to take the initiative.
Remember, there are a lot of advertising regulations that you need to adhere to, so make sure you’re clued up on what that entails.
Sell your merch
Even if you’re not a YouTube Partner, you can still sell your own branded merchandise. Merchandise is a great way to make money from your YouTube content and build a community and connect with your audience.
Bear in mind that if you’re not on the YPP, you won’t be able to have a ‘merch shelf’ on your channel. This means you’ll need to create your website or online store through which your viewers can purchase their merch.
Remember to shamelessly promote your merch through your videos and other social media platforms, including the link to your website in your video descriptions and captions.
Sell a branded product
This monetization strategy will work better for certain types of channels than others. Still, you could design a related product such as an exclusive course, webinar, or even a private membership community platform that your viewers can pay to get access to.
Best Practices to Make Money from YouTube Videos
Understand your audience
The first and most important thing you need to understand is your existing and target audience.
We mean by this to understand what content they like, what types of products they’d be interested in, what kind of marketing they’d respond to, and more. Knowing your audience will ultimately help you grow your channel, give you the ROI that you deserve and help you make your channel the most lucrative it can be.
Make videos that appeal to a niche audience
Though you may read the word ‘niche’ and ask why you’d limit your audience, this is a highly effective way to ensure your channel is super profitable. The reason? Niche audiences tend to be highly captivated and engaged with your content. This means that sponsorship deals and any other promotional content will benefit from an extremely targeted audience.
Master Your YouTube SEO
YouTube SEO is essential for encouraging organic traffic to your videos. If you do it right, your video SEO will ensure that your video is searchable, ranks highly, and is recommended to your target audience.
Here are some tips for optimizing your YouTube SEO:
- Research keywords and make sure to use them in your video title, video file name, and your video description.
- Use hashtags and tags in your video description
- Correctly categorize your video
- Include subtitles or closed captions with your video.
If you want to find out more about creating the perfect video with excellent SEO, check out our guide to making a YouTube Video.
Build Your Following With Consistent Posting
Another important way to build out your audience base is to be consistent. Try, as far as possible, to upload videos regularly. If you’re posting at random intervals, you’re unlikely to attract an audience that consistently comes back for more.
Make the Most of Your Descriptions
In addition to boosting your YouTube SEO, your video description is critical for maximizing viewers and watch time, as well as including important information and links. If you craft an engaging description, you’re more likely to capture the attention of your viewer and prompt them into sticking around for longer on your video.
As much as video SEO is important, don’t force keywords or write only for the search algorithm. Try to write descriptions that convey your brand or channel tone of voice and accurately describe the video’s contents. Remember, you’re addressing your viewers.
Finally, your video description is essential if you’re trying to sell products through external links to your viewers. Don’t forget to list these clearly alongside effective calls-to-action (CTAs).
Create Engaging and Informative Content
You should strive to create genuinely engaging and informative content. At the end of the day, as a content creator, your success is determined by what your viewers think of your videos. Effective monetization is only possible if you have an audience who trust your word and want to support your work.
Collaborate With Other YouTubers
If you’re still trying to grow your channel, a great way to gain additional exposure is by partnering with other YouTubers. By uploading joint content, you’ll cross-pollinate each others’ audiences and probably wind up shooting some great videos while you’re at it.
Try to Make Your Videos 8+ Minutes Long
There isn’t a minimum length of video for monetizing to make it clear. If you’re getting into creating YouTube Shorts, you can still make some good money with the Shorts Fund, as we saw earlier.
However, for standard format YouTube videos, it’s generally accepted that you should be aiming for upwards of 8 minutes. This is because this opens up the opportunity for mid-roll ads (ads that play in the middle of your video).
In addition to additional revenue opportunities, longer videos are the most popular and most engaging. This means long-form videos benefit both you and your viewers and are likely to be more attractive to any potential sponsors too.
How much money do YouTubers make?
Before we look at specifics, it’s important to understand two crucial metrics: RPM and CPM.
What is RPM?
When we think about how much YouTubers make for every 1000 views, we’re thinking about RPM or ‘Revenue per Mille.’ For YouTubers, the RPM is based around all income streams, including ads, channel memberships, YouTube Premium revenue, and Super Chat and stickers. RPM is also calculated after YouTube takes its 45% cut.
What is CPM?
CPM stands for ‘Cost per Mille,’ or more specifically, cost per 1000 views. This number shows you how much an advertiser pays to play their ad on YouTube.
You’ll see mention of CPM and play-back-based CPM. CPM is the cost an advertiser pays for 1000 ad impressions. Impressions are counted anytime an ad is displayed. A play-back-based CPM refers to the cost an advertiser pays for 1000 video playbacks where an ad is displayed.
Who are the top paid YouTubers?
According to Forbes, the following 10 YouTubers were the highest paid for the year 2020:
- Ryan Kaji - $29.5 million
- Mr. Beast (Jimmy Donaldson) - $24 million
- Dude Perfect - $23 million
- Rhett and Link - $20 million
- Markiplier (Mark Fischbach) - $19.5 million
- Preston Arsement - $19 million
- Nastya (Anastasia Radzinskaya) - $18.5 million
- Blippi (Stevin John) - $17 million
- David Dobrik - $15.5 million Jeffree Star - $15 million
How many video views do you need on YouTube to make money?
To join the YPP, you’ll need at least 1000 subscribers combined with a minimum of 4000 watch hours in the last year.
Do you get paid for uploading videos on YouTube?
You won’t get paid just for uploading videos to YouTube. However, if you’re a YouTube Partner, you’ll get a cut of ad revenue and be able to benefit from other monetization options.
And if you manage to strike sponsorship deals, you may get an upfront payment for shooting and publishing the video on your channel, depending on the agreement.
How much money do 1 million YouTube views make?
There’s no single set figure for the money you can receive for hitting 1 million views, and the answer varies from content creator to content creator.
A Business Insider article found that it ranged from $3,400 to $40,000, depending on who you asked.
How many views do you need to make $1000 on YouTube?
Unfortunately, there’s no standard for the number of views you need to make $1000. However, it’s generally accepted that you’d probably need to hit around YouTube 500,000 views to earn $1000 from your channel.
How much money do YouTubers with 100k subscribers make on YouTube?
Again, the figure will vary greatly depending on which channels you look at. It also depends on which monetization avenues the particular creator is taking advantage of. Another thing to remember is that the same number of subscribers doesn’t necessarily translate to the same number of views. According to Outofthe925, a channel with 100k subscribers but 1.3 million monthly views makes around $13,000 every month, whereas a channel with the same number of subscribers but only 316,000 monthly views will only make $1,800.
How much will YouTube pay for 1000 views?
This depends on your specific channel, niche, and other metrics. This is why different YouTubers have different CPMs and RPMs.
How many subscribers do you need to make money on YouTube?
Theoretically, you don’t need that many subscribers to start making money from your videos. That being said, the bigger your audience, the quicker (and easier) it will be to monetize your content.
As we saw earlier in this article, you can still start making money through affiliate marketing if you’ve got a smaller channel. And you may even be able to get a brand partnership if your audience is niche enough.
If you’ve got 1000 subscribers or more, you’ll be able to become a Youtube partner and monetize your content using their range of tools.
How many YouTube views do I need to make $2000 a month?
According to Influencer Marketing Hub’s YouTube Money Calculator, you’d need 36,562 views/day with an average engagement rate of 50% to make $2000 a month.
How many views do you need on YouTube to make 100k a year?
Using the same calculator, you’d need 150,000 views a day with an engagement rate of 50% to make $100,000 a year.
6 Marketing Tips For YouTubers
Your channel and video are great assets, but you need to ensure you help them shine. Here are just a few practical tips for marketing your videos effectively:
Organize & design your YouTube channel well
Don’t underestimate the importance of your overall YouTube Channel. Though it’s tempting to commit all of your energy into producing stellar videos, investing a bit of time in your channel can make a world of difference. Firstly, make sure that when your viewers click through your channel, they are greeted with a well-designed and brand-consistent page.
It should be immediately clear what kind of creator you are and what types of videos you create.
In addition, try and make it easy for viewers to navigate your content. If you’re a prolific video creator with tons of content, help your subscribers out by organizing your videos by category.
A good thumbnail is essential. A good thumbnail should be high-quality while also reflecting the content of the video. Although the saying goes, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’ some viewers will most definitely decide not to watch your video if your thumbnail doesn’t seem that interesting or inviting.
Promote your videos
Although a proportion of viewers will come across your videos organically - especially if you get your video SEO right - it’s also essential to promote your new videos.
Create short teaser Clips, post countdowns on your Instagram account, and set your video to ‘premiere’ on YouTube to build hype around your new upload.
Value your audience
YouTube is about creating content for your viewers, so don’t underestimate the power of building a relationship with your audience. Take the time to engage with your audience, replying to their comments and taking note of their suggestions.
Live streaming on YouTube is a fun way to diversify your offering and connect with your audience in real-time. Live broadcasting offers your subscribers a chance to get to know you better and act.