Making money on YouTube takes more than just uploading high-quality videos. Also, YouTube videos are not automatically monetized.
If you’re wondering about “how to monetize my YouTube channel“, there are a number of best practices to follow. This article will teach you how, and discuss common mistakes to avoid.
Is making money as a YouTuber easy? Yes, if you know how to do it, stay consistent and motivated.
Here’s a hint, it isn’t all about subscribers. Having millions of subscribers is great as long as those subscribers actively engage with your video content.
The truth is, you don’t need millions of subscribers to make money on YouTube. You just need enough active subscribers so that each video you post gets plenty of views and ad engagement.
The key to making money on YouTube is having influence over a receptive audience. Let’s take a closer look at how to monetize a YouTube channel and become a YouTube star.
While joining the YouTube Partner Program is the main way most channels monetize, don’t let that limit you. Once you have passed the threshold to apply, you definitely should, but there are many other ways you can profit from popular YouTube content before you meet the minimum eligibility requirements of the YPP.
To join the Youtube Partner Program (or YPP), you need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months. You also need to follow the YouTube channel monetization policies before you apply. Your channel will be reviewed to ensure it follows all other terms, policies, and community guidelines. Once approved, you will be a partner with access to monetization methods, like paid ads and other perks.
There are many terms, policies, and guidelines to follow when becoming a YouTube partner. Most of it is pretty common sense, like not posting inappropriate content or adult themes, but there are some common mistakes creators make that can cause their application to fail—namely, copyright issues.
Here is what YouTube has to say about it:
Creators should only upload videos that they have made or that they’re authorized to use. That means they should not upload videos they didn’t make, or use content in their videos that someone else owns the copyright to, such as music tracks, snippets of copyrighted programs, or videos made by other users, without necessary authorizations.
One of the most common copyright breaches is when videos include licensed music without permission. If you do not own the rights to a song, you cannot use it in your video. The same goes for video clips, though there are instances of Fair Use where permissible.
If your YPP application is rejected, don’t panic. The rejection email will include the reasons why so that you can make the necessary changes and try again.
You must wait 30 days to reapply, so be sure to make any corrections suggested in the email and review all of the terms and guidelines once again to ensure your channel qualifies. This may include editing or even deleting content, if necessary.
While the YouTube Partner Program is the primary source of revenue for most YouTubers, you would be passing up an opportunity if that was the only method you use. If you are wondering, “what do you need to get monetized on YouTube?” below are 13 other strategies you can use to leverage your high-quality content.
It is simple enough to be a YouTube partner as long as you meet the guidelines. Here are the steps you need to take to become a YouTube partner:
After approval, your videos will be monetized via advertisements. Be sure to sign up for the other YPP benefits, like Super Chat, YouTube Premium subscription fees, and channel memberships.
Google AdSense is how you will get paid as a YouTube partner. Luckily, signing up is pretty straightforward. Assuming you already have a Google account, just sign in and follow the account creation steps with AdSense entering some basic information like your age and country. You will also link to your websites here. YouTubers who qualify for YPP can go straight to the Monetization menu from YouTube Studio here.
Once you are officially a YouTube partner and ready to start making money with ads, just follow these steps to activate ads:
You can easily customize which ads you want to run on which videos for the best results. It can be tempting to use non-skippable ads to increase the chances viewers watch them, but you run the risk of impatient users clicking away and losing their view entirely. Try out different methods to find what works best.
Brand-sponsored videos are the top way to make money as a YouTube influencer. YouTube influencers can earn between $315 and $3,857, according to an eMarketer survey:
The survey showcased that you don’t need millions of subscribers to make money from brand sponsorships. You can be a YouTuber with as few as 500 subscribers and make over $300 per video post.
But how do you connect with brands to land those profitable sponsored video post opportunities?
You could reach out to brands on your own or wait for them to contact you. However, the fastest way to start getting brand sponsorship money for YouTube videos is to tap into an influencer marketing platform network.
Affiliate marketing is not just for bloggers. It can be a very profitable form of revenue for social media influencers, especially YouTubers.
What is an affiliate marketer exactly? Affiliate marketing is actually pretty simple. Here’s how being an affiliate marketer for works:
Affiliate marketing is so easy you can be up and running as an affiliate marketer for top brands in a week. Let’s take a look at an example of how tech-minded YouTuber The Tech Chap uses affiliate links to make money:
This video is a 12-minute tech comparison of the MacBook Pro vs. Dell XPS. The YouTuber does a great job of highlighting the comparison points. And guess what? You can buy each of these tech products via affiliate links in the video’s description:
When a viewer clicks through via the affiliate link, they are redirected to the Amazon product page. Sometimes you can even include discount codes with your affiliate offers. This content creator is an Amazon Associates Central partner. Here’s what the Amazon product page looks like for the MacBook Pro:
You can see the unique affiliate link with the influencer’s YouTube handle, and the price for each MacBook Pro is $1,449.
Now let’s do some math. This video netted 97,000 views. If a mere one percent of the viewers bought this product via the YouTuber’s affiliate link, that’s 970 sales. With a minimum 3 percent cut of each sale, this YouTuber potentially made over $42,000.
That is a pretty amazing profit for just one video. Affiliate marketing can be a very lucrative way to monetize an influential channel.
Channel memberships are a new way for fans to support their favorite channels. YouTube memberships are essentially VIP subscriptions that provide special benefits like unique emojis, stickers, and even exclusive content. It is up to the creator to set their reward levels and prices, so consider what your fans would be most interested in paying for.
To turn on channel memberships, simply navigate to the Monetization tab on the left-hand side of your YouTube Studio page and select the Memberships option from the top bar. This will have all the information you need to walk through setting up your offers and activating memberships. Note that you do need to be part of the YPP with all eligibility requirements to turn on memberships.
Many YouTubers have leaned on platforms like Patreon to encourage donations or sell bonus content to fans. Patreon allows you to paywall exclusive content like behind-the-scenes videos, personalized content, or gifts like autographs. Consider a patronage approach if you have hardcore fans hungry for more of your content or personal items.
An additional revenue stream for many types of content creators is to sell merch. This could be actual consumer products your business sells or just branded items like posters or t-shirts. No matter what kind of company you run or what type of videos you create, there is almost certainly something you could sell to your fans.
YouTube is experimenting with merchandise shelves that allow you to display items for sale directly below a video, on end screens, or on your channel’s store. This can be a great way to boost sales.
Live streams are a popular new way to create content for YouTube fans. In addition to helping reach new viewers and offering a unique perspective on your channel, they can also be a great way to earn money. How? With Super Chat and Super Stickers.
During live streams, viewers can buy highlighted chat messages or animated stickers to help their messages stand out. The amount they spend determines how long their message gets pinned to the top of the live stream chat board, and the channel gets 70% of the proceeds. Stickers range in price from 99 cents to 50 dollars each.
To set up Super Chat and Super Stickers, simply go to the Monetization menu in YouTube Studio and select Supers from the tabs at the top of the page. You will be guided through the simple activation process, and these features will automatically be enabled on all future live streams.
The YouTube Shorts Fund is a $100 million investment in channels that make quality Shorts. If you have posted a Short in the last 180 days, and the total performance of all of your Shorts is high, you may receive an email offering you $100 to $10,000 for your work. Simply accept this payment with a linked Google Adsense account. The best part is you are eligible for a payout from the fund every month and don’t need to be part of the YPP.
Since YouTube Premium subscribers aren’t shown video ads, content creators don’t earn advertising revenue from them. To balance that out, YouTube pays out a portion of Premium subscriptions to channels they watch.
YouTube Premium is a subscription service that removes all ads for users. It also grants access to YouTube Originals, offline viewing, and background play.
BrandConnect is a program that connects content creators with marketers looking to promote their brands. Essentially, YouTube BrandConnect serves as the middleman for earning influencers on their platform sponsorship deals. The terms of those deals are largely left up to the channel and company once they partner through the program.
Fan Funding is available directly through YouTube and allows fans to make contributions to their favorite creators. YouTube saw a need for this feature after many projects on the platform were being funded through Patreon or PayPal donations. If you are part of the YPP, you can simply enable Fan Funding as one of your monetization features. Note that YouTube takes a small commission of about 5% from each donation.
Many YouTube projects have been funded using platforms like Kickstarter. Examples include the bonkers martial arts comedy Kung Fury or the supernatural sci-fi short film SCP: Overlord. The former received over $630,000 in funding, while the latter received just under $23,500. Even so, they are currently sitting at 38 million and 15 million views, respectively. If you have an idea people want to see, consider crowdfunding.
Especially if your channel does a lot of how-to videos or other educational content, you can use your knowledge and expertise to create online courses. A common strategy is to offer some content for free on YouTube, with exclusive videos offered in an online course behind a paywall.
YouTube is the perfect platform for showing products in action. These could be how-tos, tutorials, or unboxing videos. From there, you can direct viewers to your website or another platform to purchase the product for themselves.
There are many ways to leverage YouTube to promote sales of your own products or through an affiliate program. The key is to give honest feedback and show the product in action. Don’t be tempted to promote a product you don’t believe in and lose the trust of your audience.
YouTube recently added merch shelves that allow you to showcase products to your fans and viewers. You can find more details in the Monetization menu.
To join the YouTube Partner Program (or YPP), you need a subscriber count of 1,000 and 4,000 watch hours in the last year. This will give you the opportunity to monetize through paid ads, along with other perks as a partner. That is not to say there aren’t other ways to monetize a YouTube channel before becoming a partner.
Before entering the Partner Program and earning advertising revenue from YouTube, you can monetize your channel over time in other ways. Examples include:
These are just a few ways content creators can monetize their content without ad revenue from the YPP.
The most important thing you can do is post high-quality content consistently. Two videos have the potential to earn twice as much watch time as one video. It is also more likely that someone who watches one of your videos will watch another one. Quantity is key for racking up watch hours. It can also help to share your videos on social media platforms where they can go viral and get shares.
No. Advertisers are only charged if their short-form ads are watched all the way through. If you skip an ad right away, the advertiser is not charged, and therefore, the video creator also does not make money from that ad.
Yes. Unique views are different from views. Unique views count how many unique users have watched a video, whereas views count all views, including multiple views by the same user.
Scalefluence is an influencer marketing platform with a robust network of top brands and marketing agencies looking to connect with YouTube influencers like you. We work with brands across nearly every industry and niche, so we can find quality brands ready to sponsor your content.
If you want to learn how to monetize your YouTube channel, Scalefluence can help. Sign up today to connect with brands and receive coaching on how to grow your audience and turn views into dollar signs!