For many people, YouTube is a space where they can spend endless hours watching cats chase their tails and snowboarders jumping around in the snow, but for you, it could be a place to make money online.
Now forget all the myths you might have heard about how easy it is to make money on YouTube, the usual, just upload some videos, slap up ads, get millions of views and become a millionaire, because they are exactly that, myths.
Now, the question is, can you make money on YouTube?? Like everything else on the internet, absolutely yes. Will it be easy and fast?? Maybe in your dreams. In fact, if you’re looking to make some quick buck, you should probably try something else but if you’re already an avid video creator and you’re willing to put in the hustle, then maybe, just maybe, you might become the next YouTube superstar. In some few years.
Before you even think of going the YouTube route, you must have a few things down already. You must obviously know what type of videos you’re going to be creating and what’s going to be their general focus. You must also have your content strategy down to pat, this way you don’t run dry and you can churn up a steady stream of content. Another thing is video quality, the better the quality of your videos, the more views you’ll be likely to get. Making money with YouTube will never be easy, but you also don’t have to shoot yourself in the foot by not having these things on the ground before getting started.
Now let’s skip over the boring part and get down to making money.
Through YouTube – Ads & YouTube red
This is probably the most popular (not necessarily the best) way to make money from YouTube. Truth is, the money you make from ads is a tiny fraction of what’s possible on YouTube. In fact, unless you already have millions of views on YouTube, you’re not even going to make a sizeable income from ads, and believe me when I say it, millions of views are no joke. But still, you’re here for a reason so let’s get on with it.
First off, you have to partner with YouTube but to become a partner, there are several requirements that you must scale through, the most important ones being that; your videos must abide by the site’s advertising guidelines, and you must already have at least 10,000 channel views combined on YouTube. Obviously, the more videos you have, the easier it will be to reach this threshold. Someone with 10 videos will need 1000 views per video while someone with 200 videos will only need 50 views per video. Also, high quality, entertaining videos are likely to get more views, so put some real effort into planning and creation.
Once you’re approved as a partner, you can connect your channel to Google AdSense, the company’s advertising system. Advertisers use AdSense to bid for space on videos based on factors such as your audience, video topic, and relevant keywords.
You then get paid based on the number of “impressions” your videos get, which is when someone interacts (clicks or watches) with one of the ads on your videos. Ads are not displayed on every video though, so the number of views is not directly equal to money in the bank, though you might say it’s directly proportional.
You’ll get paid once your balance reaches $100 so if you have a small channel, you might only get paid once every few months, but hey, good enough right??
Ads are not the only way to make money by partnering with YouTube though. Ever heard of YouTube red?? That’s YouTube’s ad-free subscription service, where people pay to subscribe to watch your videos, and if you have more than 1000 views, you can put your videos behind a paywall and enable Super Chat, which lets viewers pay to have their messages highlighted during a live stream. To use that feature, partners have to be older than 18. So make your videos available on YouTube red, and you have another stream of income opening up to you.
Contrary to popular opinion, influencer marketing is probably the best way to make money with YouTube. Because you already have a loyal audience who are willing to come back several times to watch your videos, brands are often willing to pay you a lot of money to promote their products in your videos.
Brands are investing more and more in influencer marketing, spending their typically large advertising budgets on influencers who’ve already won the loyalty of their audiences. As an avid YouTuber, this could be you, if you can negotiate the right deals. If you can’t, holla at me to do it for you (lol…), for a cut of course.
How much money you’ll be able to get for each brand endorsement depends on several factors, such as your audience demographics, quality of your content, how unique/profitable your niche is and how well the brand fits into your story. But for a ballpark, a mid-level influencer charges a brand on average $200 to $500 per post, according to one study.
The key when partnering on brand-sponsored content is to be transparent about it—not endorsing anything you don’t actually like or believe in, and being upfront with your audience about why you’re doing it. Also, always remember to notify YouTube by ticking “paid promotion” in the advanced settings tab of your video manager to prevent your video from being removed.
You may check out some of the influencer marketplaces below where you can add your channel to get more exposure to brands and increase your chances of getting an endorsement deal.
- Grapevine Logic: One of the more popular influencer marketplaces, you only need 1000 followers to join.
- Famebit: With a wide range of brands to work with, you might find a sponsorship opportunity you’ll be proud to be a part of. You need 5000 followers to join.
- Channel Pages: Partner with other YouTubers as well as brands.
- Crowdtap: Complete small content creation “tasks” in exchange for money and other rewards. There’s no restriction on how many followers you need to join.
Alternatively, you can also become an affiliate for brands and make residual passive income through commissions from every sale you generate through your channel. This works especially well if you review products as part of your YouTube channel. Since there’s no risk involved on the brand’s end (they only pay when they make sales), there’s usually a low barrier to entry.
Popular affiliate programs include Click Bank (1% to 75% commission depending on what the vendor sets) and Amazon’s Affiliate network (earn up to 10% per sale). You can also reach out to brands in your niche that are running their own affiliate programs.
There are several other ways to make money from YouTube such as selling products, crowdfunding projects, fan funding, licensing, etc but the most important thing is to be creative in how you choose to monetize your channel. As long as you keep churning out high quality, engaging content, you’ll have no problem whatsoever when it comes to monetizing your channel.
Remember to work hard and smart, and don’t forget to share.