How to Make Money on YouTube During a Pandemic

If you make a living, or even a nice side income on YouTube, the pandemic probably won’t impact your earning potential as much as it would a 9-5 employee. If you’ve only been uploading as a hobby or thinking about it but never taking the plunge, being locked in your home for weeks is the perfect time to get started. Or, if you’ve only spent time wondering how to get paid for YouTube videos, now is the perfect time to learn. There are a few things you can do to help you maintain or increase the amount of money you make on YouTube during turbulent times which are experienced on a large scale.

Increase Your Activity

No matter how often you usually post, it’s time to take it to the next level. People are at home and looking for ways to entertain and distract themselves at unprecedented levels. You have the opportunity to connect with new people and increase your subscriber rate at a level you may never again experience.

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If you’ve already got a release schedule set, that’s fantastic! Stick to it and begin thinking of new content that is time sensitive to help bring in the extra traffic spending more of their free time on YouTube now. You could do this by looking at the current Google Trends as they apply to all of the interwebs. For the Coronavirus Pandemic, Google has created a special subset of trends devoted entirely to what people are searching for as it relates to Covid-19. No matter what the usual focus of your channel, a globally shared experience is relevant. There is no doubt that your viewers are thinking about what is going on in their community, country, and the world as a whole and you can contribute to the conversation through the lens of your niche.

If adding content that is hyper-focused on current trends doesn’t feel authentic to your channel, you can always increase your content by simply adding more of what you already do. There are plenty of people who want to escape their new reality and you can provide that escape by allowing them to binge watch a special series on your channel.

If these options don’t seem like enough to significantly increase the amount of content you’re delivering, don’t worry. There are several more options to help you get to your goal.

Live Stream

Another way to increase the amount of content you are delivering to your subscribers is to Live Stream. Even if you are a record and edit kind of YouTuber, now is the perfect time to jump into the deep end and show your audience who you are without the bells and whistles of scripting and editing. If you’ve never done this before, it’s important to note that it can take up to 24 hours to enable live streaming from your account – so don’t announce you’re doing it until you’re sure you have it set up and running properly.

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If this isn’t a format you’re accustomed to you may be wondering why you’d want to stare at a camera and just talk without a plan or a script. There are two answers. The first is, so people will get to know you and establish a connection that leads to more engagement and eventually more sales. The second is, you don’t have to do it without a plan or a script. There’s nothing wrong with having bullet points to help you stay on track. The reason you’re going live isn’t so that you ramble on endlessly, it’s to engage with your community. Encourage them to chat with you and see what happens. You may even find that you enjoy the more personal nature this type of connection provides.

Get Curious

Sure, you can look at the demographics of your channel and the analytics that tell you what your subscribers have watched or liked the most – but what do you really know about them as individuals? Probably not much but it’s easy to learn more.

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You could ask a question during the video and encourage your viewers to answer in the comments section. This will increase community engagement and give you the opportunity to respond personally to those who post which will help develop trust with your audience. It can also be time consuming.

Another option is to add a poll to your videos. This isn’t as intuitive as one might hope, but it isn’t difficult once you realize that polling is a possible function of cards. You can add cards to poll viewers to learn more about what they want from you. If you’ve just offered a tutorial on how to play the theme from Jaws on guitar, give your audience a series of options and film the top two choices. If you want to know if they’re interested in more live streaming videos, a Q&A session, or a new series on a specific topic – just ask.

When you show your audience that you are curious about them and you’re there to serve them to the best of your ability, you can build a level of loyalty that is impossible when you are creating content based on what appeals most to you. Who knows, you may get an idea that leads to a viral video because of how tapped into the collective unconscious you are.

Spark Joy

How do YouTubers get paid? The answer is: easier than you may think. Ask yourself what you can do that would increase someone’s joy when the world is filled with scary news and people are looking for any light at the end of the pandemic tunnel? Do that.

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Maybe that means taking a break from your usual topics and filming pictures of your cat chasing a laser pointer for half an hour while you talk about how annoyed she has been that you’ve been invading her personal space as you shelter in place with her. If you can make people smile or forget for the length of the video that the world seems to be crumbling around them, your audience will thank you by watching to the end of the video which increases the amount you earn while doing something nice for them.

You know the cliché ‘it’s better to give than to receive’? It became a cliché because it rings true for so many people. What can you give to your audience that will make them happy during a period of social distancing and economic uncertainty? Reach out to brands in your niche and see if they want to partner with you for a giveaway. Depending on the size of your channel, consider sponsoring your own giveaway for items that are easily used by the majority of those on YouTube such as digital gift cards they can use to purchase things they need (or want).

You know your audience best, especially if you’ve been asking them questions. Take what you know about them and ask yourself what you and only you could give them to make their lives a little happier At this moment and then get to work making it happen.

Making money on YouTube during a pandemic is fundamentally the same as any other time. You need to have revenue streams in place, a solid fan base, and consistent content. But to take it to the next level and also offer support to those who support your creative endeavors you must do more. Pick one of the options above and see how you can give back while also securing your earnings.

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