If you want to learn how to make money with your YouTube channels, one of the first things you’ll have to do is get approved for the YouTube Partner Program. The YouTube Partnership program allows content creators to monetize their videos. If you want to better understand how to get paid for YouTube views, it’s crucial that you take the necessary steps toward Partnership approval. Becoming part of the YouTube Partner Program allows you to tap into multiple revenue streams, including ad revenue, live stream monetization features, and product merchandising. To qualify, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Have a linked AdSense account.
- Follow all the YouTube monetization policies.
- Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
- Have more than 1,000 subscribers.
Create Your Google AdSense Account
To become a YouTube partner, you need to have a linked AdSense account. You can use an existing AdSense account or create a new one. To get started, sign in to your YouTube account and head over to your channel monetization page, which you can find under “Channel” and then “Status and features.” After you’ve agreed to the YouTube Partner Program terms, you can begin the AdSense process.
Select “Sign up for AdSense.” From here, you’ll be prompted to enter your email address, sign in to your YouTube account, re-authenticate your YouTube account, and accept the terms and conditions.
Note: It’s important that you DO NOT create a new AdSense account through AdSense.com or monetization will be disabled for your channel. You MUST create one through YouTube’s monetization page.
After you re-authenticate your YouTube account to prove you are the rightful owner of your channel, choose the Google account that you want to use to sign in to AdSense. The “URL” section of “Your Website” will automatically be populated with your YouTube channel URL when you join through your YouTube account. If you’re already an AdSense publisher—even if it’s for a different website not associated with your YouTube login—you must use these same credentials, as duplicate accounts for the same person is a major red flag for Google.
Once you’re logged into AdSense, double-check that you’re using the correct email address or select “use a different account” to switch accounts if the information displayed is inaccurate. Follow the instructions to create a new account and submit your application. Finally, you’ll be redirected back to YouTube Studio and you’ll be notified once your application is approved.
You need over 1,000 subscribers to make money from your YouTube channel. To get those subscribers, you’ll need to be active in your approach. Just because you build it doesn’t mean they’ll come. Create a custom, documented strategy for attracting more subscribers and start getting to work.
YouTube Search Optimization
Like Google’s search engine, YouTube relies on content and keywords to gain insight into what videos are about and provide its users with relevant search results. Therefore, the content you use across your entire channel all plays a critical role in your ability to be discovered based on potential viewers’ search terms.
If you remember that YouTube itself is a giant search engine (technically, the second largest search engine in the world), you’ll pay closer attention to every content field. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
1) Just as you would optimize your headlines for blog posts, optimize your titles to include keywords. Your main keyword should be in your video title; not only is this helpful for YouTube but will give your potential viewers the most relevant information.
2) Next, use several relevant video tags. Like keywords, tags help YouTube determine the context of your content. According to research from Banklinko, there is a relationship between your YouTube rank and keyword-optimized tags. You can list as many tags as you’d like, but list them in order of relevance and importance. Most high-ranking videos tend to have between 5-8 tags, and each tag contains 2-4 words. Check out competitor rankings to see how others are using tags on their own videos. Then take a look at the YouTubers you’re subscribed to for further inspiration.
3) Encourage comments on your videos. The more comments your video gets, the more likely YouTube is to think it’s popular. To encourage comments, pose a question or ask for suggestions in your video. Ask your family and friends to engage in the comments section, too.
4) Use closed captioning and transcripts in your description. Closed captions are automatically generated by YouTube when you have this feature on (be sure to always speak clearly in your videos so this feature is accurate for users). Closed captions are crawlable by search engines, making it a simple way to boost that SEO power. The same goes for adding your transcripts and/or detailed description in your video description section. Both options should include several of your keywords and tags.
5) Share links to your channels and videos. Backlinks matter on YouTube, too. This means that the more referrals/links you get to your videos and YouTube channels, the better. Share across your social channels and link to them in your blog posts. If you’re being interviewed for an online publication, have them a link to your channel, too.
End Cards & Info Cards
End cards and info cards help your viewers understand that you have more information to offer. If they’re already watching your video, this is a good indication that they’re interested in learning more about the topic you’re talking about. Keep in mind that this theory holds true for educational videos and for entertainment videos.
These small, free features on YouTube are often overlooked but should be leveraged to encourage further browsing. For example, suppose you’re creating a video that’s talking about budget travel tips. In that case, you might use info cards to link to additional videos about the best countries to travel to on a budget or the best credit cards for travelers. From a psychological standpoint, this reminds your viewers that you have further information of value to offer them.
Create a Great First Impression
There are three aspects of creating a great first impression; your thumbnail image, your title, and your video description. Each of these three factors should create a harmonious balance. It should inform your viewer of what they can expect and get them excited to watch. Start by creating a branded thumbnail template that includes the video title and a high-quality preview image. Ideally, custom thumbnails will have a 1280×720 resolution and can be no higher than 2MB. In the image below, notice how each of the top results for “traveling Poland” feature videos with titles on their thumbnails.
Your subscribers come to you because they enjoy your original content and trust you to either provide engaging and entertaining content or to teach something. One of the most important aspects of running a successful channel is remaining authentic to your subscriber needs as a YouTuber. This means never compromising your values to grow your subscriber count, providing advice and recommendations that you would follow, and producing content that you would watch. Being authentic helps your subscribers feel like a part of a community.
Boost Public Watch Hours
It’s not enough to simply have subscribers; YouTube also wants to know that your content is being viewed and is useful to its users. To fulfill YouTube partner requirements, you need 4,000 valid public watch hours over the previous 12 months. Here are a few ways you can boost your watch hours and get one step closer to fulfilling YouTube Partner requirements:
Create A Clear Intention
The first thing you need to do is understand your intention for each video. This helps you create content that makes your goal clear to your audience. Everything that they need to know about what they’ll get out of your video should be clear from the context of your thumbnail image, title, and description. Ask yourself, “What information am I hoping to get across to my viewers?” Build your title, image, and description around your answer.
Make Video Outlines
Next, create an outline for each of your videos and follow your outline from inception through creation. Without an outline, your videos will quickly start to feel haplessly thrown together and your viewers will not be able to detract value from them.
Detailed video outlines help you maintain organization and uniformity and help your viewers stay engaged. Furthermore, maintaining an outline library or archive of all your videos will help you better understand the content you’re producing from a high-level overview. You’ll be able to reference your outline archive time and time again.
Build Playlists to Curate Similar Content
Next, create playlists around similar content. For example, if a particular video performed well in the past, it makes sense to stay within the same niche for future content and compile your videos into a playlist. Check out a few of the playlists from the YouTube channel, Kinging It:
Playlists make it easy for your viewers to continue consuming channel content. Your viewer has already demonstrated interest in your videos and if it’s easy for them to navigate to similar content without heading to the YouTube search bar, they’re more likely to keep watching. The goal is to give your viewers every reason to binge-watch.
Keep in mind that your playlist content shouldn’t be copycat videos of one another; every video—including those that share a similar theme—needs to be unique and add value to the channel. Once you’ve created a few playlists, add your playlists to your video homepage so that users who are interested in your channel can quickly gain a high-level overview of all the amazing content you produce.
Understand the Marketing Funnel
Lastly, focus on the traditional sales and marketing funnel. A YouTube marketing or sales funnel outlines the user journey from the initial impression to the moment they become a subscriber and beyond. For example, the first step in your funnel would be to attract potential viewers with your thumbnail images and video descriptions, while the last step might be to encourage your subscribers to receive an alert whenever you post a new video.
Source: Awesome Creator Academy
Your first point of contact with potential viewers is almost always your thumbnail, so it’s important that your thumbnail uses great imagery, and typography, and helps create a picture of what the viewer can expect from clicking your video. When you’re able to successfully achieve this at the top of the funnel, you’re more likely to increase impressions and watch hours towards the bottom of the funnel.
It’s important for YouTube creators to analyze their content and identify areas of opportunity and improvement. YouTube Studio and YouTube Analytics are free tools that help you dissect your content to learn more about what’s working and what isn’t working. There are plenty of powerful insights you can glean here. For example, you’ll be able to determine at which points in your video your audience seems to be losing interest. From here, you can begin to reevaluate your content outline and create a narrative arc that’s engaging from beginning to end.
Break Up Static Shots
One of the best ways to increase your watch time and boost your engagement is to break up the static shots in your content. In film, a static shot refers to a point in time where the camera stays fixed and focused on a single subject. Although there are different types of static shots, it’s crucial that you interject with more dynamic shots. For example, overlay an information video with b-rolls; secondary visual shots that are spliced together with your main footage to further illustrate your point, bolster your story, or create dramatic tension. This is especially important for long reviews or instructional videos containing hours of video.
Follow YouTube’s Monetization Policy
In order to qualify for Partner eligibility, you’re required to abide by monetization rules. If you’re new to the platform, this can be somewhat confusing—especially since YouTube changes its terms and services semi-regularly. YouTube will check your channel to see if it’s suitable to monetize. They’ll take a look at the main theme of your YouTube channel, most viewed videos, newest videos, video metadata, and the biggest proportion of watch time.
Useful Resource: How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel?
Next, if you want to get paid for YouTube views through ad revenue, you must meet advertiser-friendly guidelines. They’ll be assessing your channel for inappropriate videos including spam and deceptive practices, hate speech, harassment, and child safety.
YouTube also prohibits you from creating repetitious content; content that is so similar from video to video that the viewer cannot tell the difference. While content can certainly follow a similar pattern, Google will block monetization for your entire channel if you’re consistently creating content with the same theme and template. Think of this as the YouTube version of Google’s duplicate content red flag. YouTube wants to create a user-friendly platform where viewers are able to access the most relevant content, and where search results show a diverse selection.
Becoming a YouTube Partner is the first step toward turning your YouTube channel into a money-making machine. Although the requirements are simple, building a following and meeting those requirements take hard work and dedication. Consistency is key. Continue to produce, rework, and analyze your metrics. Before you know it, you’ll be able to take advantage of YouTube’s growing arsenal of monetization tools.