YouTube has more than 2.6 billion monthly active users. To put that in perspective, that translates to a quarter of the world’s population.
Bottom line: Video content is stratospherically popular. So if you are a video content creator, it makes sense to monetize your YouTube content.
But if you need help figuring out where to start, don’t worry. Here we go over YouTube’s monetization features and offer tips on how to get the most out of them.
We have a lot to cover, so let’s move on:
What is monetization on YouTube?
Simply put, this is how your YouTube content makes money.
To give you an idea of whether it is possible to earn income from YouTube, 394,000 people in the US in 2021, they made money as full-time YouTube creators.
People make money from all kinds of video content, from cooking and travel to fashion, makeup, and more. So there’s no reason why you can’t do it too!
So with that said, let’s explore how much YouTube creators make. Remember, this is not an exact science and not everyone gets rich! But here are some examples of non-celebrities who made a lot of money:
- Mr. Beast aka Jimmy Donaldson. She has 136 million subscribers, generating 23.6 billion views since she started in 2012. She has earned $54 million so far.
- smosh. This slapstick comedy collective is one of the oldest on YouTube, having joined the platform in 2005. They have earned more than 11 million with iconic video game parodies and music videos and have more than 24 million subscribers.
Of course, in the land of celebrities, there are Justin Bieber: With 71.7 million subscribers, generating 29.8 billion views since 2007. His net worth is $36.2 million (on YouTube).
But, coming back to earth:
- He win average YouTuber $2 and $12 for 1,000 visits.
- Creators receive 55% of the ad revenue generated by their channel. So if an advertiser pays $100, you get $55.
the first steps
However, before you can earn ad revenue from your YouTube videos, you need the following:
- 1,000 subscribers to your YouTube channel
- 4,000 hours of viewing in the last year (minimum) OR Get ten million valid public views of short films in the last 90 days
If you don’t meet these prerequisites, the best thing to do is to focus on increasing your numbers by posting high-quality content and marketing your channel.
Alternatively, you can rely on other YouTube monetization models, such as affiliate marketing, finding sponsors, or seeking donations from loyal followers (more on these methods below).
Once you meet the requirements mentioned above, you can apply to join YouTube Partner Program (YPP). This program allows you to set up watch page ads, short news ads, subscriptions and more to monetize your content.
However, to increase the likelihood of a successful request, you’ll need a Google account (with two-step verification enabled) and:
- You agree to follow YouTube’s monetization policies and rules.
- live in a country where is the partnership program available.
- You have no active YouTube Community Guidelines warnings on your channel.
- You have set up a Google AdSense account linked to your YouTube channel.
Let’s say you apply for the Partner Program and YouTube rejects your application. In this case, it will tell you why, and luckily, you can try again after 30 days.
For example, some of your videos may not follow YouTube’s guidelines. In such case, you may remove or reuse that content to satisfy those requirements.
Pro Tip: Familiarize yourself with the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) rules so you don’t infringe copyright rules. You should only upload videos that you have created or are authorized to use.
Proven Ways to Monetize Your Videos
With some practicalities covered, let’s explore some ways to monetize YouTube videos.
Note: You do not need to meet the YTPP requirements for many of the monetization methods below.
You must have seen ads on YouTube videos. These are launched before and/or during the start of the content.
In the screenshot below, a lumen ad plays before one of the Yoga videos with Adriene:
YouTubers get paid for ad views on their channel. Fees vary by country, demographics, and industry. However, with that being said, YouTubers earn, on average, $3 to $5 per 1,000 video views.
To use this monetization method, go to your YouTube dashboard (also known as YouTube Studio) and choose:
- Enable ads for a specific video
- Enable ads for more videos
You’ll also need to ensure that your content complies with YouTube’s advertiser guidelines and confirm that you own all rights to the visual and audio aspects of the video.
There are several ad formats you can opt for, so you have some control how ads appear on your channel
- In-stream ads that can be closed
- flash ads
- header ads
- In-stream ads that cannot be closed
You can find a fuller explanation of these and other types of YouTube ads at Google support.
Although there is YouTube Premium that removes ads from videos, content creators can charge for the views they get from those who have this subscription.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when a business compensates a third party (usually through a commission when a sale is made) to promote their products/services, usually through a unique link.
As a YouTube creator, you can easily share affiliate links in your video description and talk about the products you’re passionate about in your videos.
There are tons of affiliate programs out there, so you’re bound to find one that’s right for your content. In general, most affiliate programs offer a 5-50% commission, so it pays to shop around to find the right program for you.
Below I have taken a screenshot for such an example, Amazon AssociatesAmazon Affiliate Program:
As many 68% of YouTube users watched a YouTube video before making a purchase, so it’s easy to see how affiliate marketing complements this platform.
Once you have your affiliate link, insert it into your video description and direct viewers to where they can find it.
To help you get started, here are some types of videos that work well for increasing affiliate sales:
- Courses: For example, the top five eyeshadow palettes for 2023.
- Popular videos: Keep an eye on YouTube and TikTok trends. If your affiliate products complement them, jump on the bandwagon!
- Product Reviews: Around 90% of people You buy products after consuming a review, so why not discuss the pros and cons of a product you’re affiliated with?
3. Paid sponsorships
A paid sponsorship is when a brand pays you to use/reference their products/services in your content.
If you become a creator with a large following, paid sponsorships can be incredibly lucrative. In these cases, brands may want to approach you to collaborate. Therefore, make it easy by including your business contact information on your channel page.
However, if you’re not quite at this stage, you’ll need to start casting! When approaching the marks, refer to YouTube analytics to test you:
- viewer numbers
- What is the most successful content?
- Subscriber numbers
… etc. You want to provide potential sponsors with empirical evidence that your brand could benefit from working with you.
The amount you could earn from paid sponsorships varies, but as a general rule, you could wait for the following:
- $500 to $1,000 per video for 50,000-100,000 channel subscribers
- $1,000 to $3,000 per video for 100,000-500,000 subscribers
- $3,000 to $5,000+ per video for 500,000+ channel subscribers
Most podcast lovers will have come across Patreon. Podcasters, just like YouTubers, are eager to get sponsorship for their work.
If your YouTube subscribers are loyal enough to help you keep producing content, you can use a third-party platform like Patreon.
Patreon is an online platform for artists, podcasters, video creators, writers, etc., that allows fans to pay you on a monthly or per video basis. It’s free to get started, and there are pricing plans to suit every budget. Patreon only takes between 5-12% depending on your monthly income.
To attract Patreon subscribers, you can offer exclusive videos, branded merchandise, mentions, etc. A popular video creator using Patreon is Australian YouTuber DankPodsaka Wade Nixon, who joined the platform in March 2020. By September 2022, he had 36,000 backers earning him around $38,000 a month.
Below is a screenshot from his Patreon page:
Pro Tip: Before diving straight into Patreon, it’s worth exploring other popular Patreon alternatives, including Buy Me A Coffee.
5. YouTube channel members
As you probably guessed by now, this is where your loyal fans pay a monthly membership fee to your YouTube channel. In return, they receive exclusive content including live streams, discounts, 1:1 live chats, and personalized loyalty badges.
The latter allows loyal members to stand out in live chats and comments. Of course, it is up to you what benefits you offer and at what price level.
Note: YouTube determines what price levels it can offer. There are 19 pricing tiers ranging from $0.99 to $99.99 per month.
Channel subscriptions are basically YouTube’s version of Patreon. However, YouTube keeps 30% of what members pay you, but on the other hand, unlike third-party platforms like Patreon, fans don’t have to leave YouTube to access members’ content online. the one they pay
To start selling membership access, you must:
- You are part of the YouTube Partner Program
- Over 18 years
- Lives in an eligible country
- Do not create content for children.
If you meet these prerequisites, go to the monetization page in your YouTube account, click the Subscription tab, and you’ll be taken through an introductory guide.
Below is a screenshot of one YouTube channel membership «Those Two Brits» Channel Registration Popup:
6. Live streams on YouTube
It’s important to remember that you can use live streaming to monetize your videos. While only 32% of YouTube users watch live video, that number is likely to rise.
If you don’t have ideas about what to do in your live streams, why not give it a try?
- qs and aces
- live interviews
- Sharing your thoughts on a relevant trending topic
- behind the scenes content
- product demos
To boost viewer engagement during live streams and monetize your content, use YouTube Super Chats or Super Stickers. Super Chats and Stickers are basically the same thing, the only difference is that one shows a chat message while the other shows an animated sticker.
Viewers can buy them so that your profile picture stays at the top of your live chat stream. The time depends on the value of your purchase. Meaning, the more viewers spend, the longer Super Chats or Super Stickers stay at the top of the chat stream.
Viewers can pay between $0.99 and $50 for a Super Chat or a Super Sticker, with YouTube keeping 30% of each.
Interestingly, the most watched live broadcast on YouTube is Felix Baumgartner’s Space Leap, with 8 million visits. The second is 2.8 million people watching a performance by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli at the Duomo in Milan, Italy on Easter Sunday.
7. Sell products on your channel
You may already be producing branded merchandise to reward sponsors or subscribers, eg t-shirts, tote bags, badges, baseball caps, etc. But, have you thought about monetizing your YouTube channel?
The easiest way to do this is through a print-on-demand service like Gelato, Printful, or Printify.
For the uninitiated, print on demand is a type of dropshipping business model. Here, you partner with a manufacturer to sell items decorated with your own designs/logo.
When a viewer purchases an item, your print-on-demand provider produces, prints the item, and ships it to your customer on their behalf.
If you don’t have your own designs, try using free and intuitive graphic design tools like Canva and get creative. Alternatively, go to a freelance platform like Fiverr or Upwork to hire someone to create your designs.
some more tactics
Below I’ve listed some best practices for driving engagement, which of course goes hand-in-hand with monetizing your YouTube videos:
do your research
Therefore; We mean identifying the topics and types of videos your audience engages with the most. One way to do this is to check your YouTube statistics to see which videos are the most popular. You can even ask your audience to provide feedback at the end of the next video.
Then, with this information in hand, you’ll be better positioned to optimize your content strategy accordingly.
Results vary, though A study found that video content on the following topics is the most popular:
- Personal finance and investments
- Cars, Technology and Gadgets
- video games
- Physical aptitude
We also suggest that if you already have a niche, you research the competition. See what they do well and where they lack so you can jump in and fill the gap.
Don’t forget the video description.
Use the video description to give users more information; this could include:
- A summary of what the video is about.
- Affiliate and sponsor links
- social connections
- Links to Patreon (or one of its alternatives)
- Any discounts you offer
It’s just another thing to give your viewers everything they need to interact with you.
YouTube presents excellent earning potential for creators around the world. But to benefit from their affiliate program and earn money from ads, you need to accumulate 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours.
While this is a great goal, don’t be discouraged if you haven’t reached it yet!
There are many other ways to monetize your content while building your audience, including affiliate marketing, Patreon, sponsorships, PODs, and more. Not to mention that diversifying YouTube’s monetization strategy is a good idea in case their algorithm turns against you one day.
Remember that generating a steady income from your YouTube channel will not happen overnight and you will need to invest time in growing your audience.
That’s all from us friends; If you found this post helpful, check out our other monetization-related content:
- How many Instagram followers do you need to make money?
- How many TikTok followers do you need to make money?
- How many YouTube subscribers do you need to make money?
Divulgation: This post contains affiliate links. This means that we may make a small commission if you make a purchase.