Everyone wants to know how to make money on YouTube.
With news of 6-year-olds making $11 million a year on YouTube or a professional circus juggler earning $10k/month, it’s not surprising why everyone dreams to get a slice of the YouTube money-making pie.
In fact, thousands of couples, parents, comedians, product reviewers, gamers, and almost every kind of hobbyists are currently making vlogs about their life, careers, experiences, skills, and anything under the sun.
Some are even earning a decent amount enough to replace their day jobs’ income.
So how do these people do it?
3 Easy Ways to Earn Money on YouTube
YouTube may seem like a time-waster for many…
But if you switch your focus into making the video-sharing platform as a money-making goldmine, then opportunities to earn passive, unlimited income will definitely open up.
Here are the top 3 ways you can earn money on YouTube:
The easiest and most common way people earn money on YouTube is through AdSense.
AdSense is Google’s in-house program that allows publishers to serve advertisements on their content and earn on a per-click or per-impression basis.
Google only lets a YouTube account-holder to join this program if his/her channel reaches 4000 watch hours within 12 months and a minimum of 1,000 subscribers. Once these requirements are met, apply to the YouTube Partner Program (by signing up, fixing preferences and waiting for a review to get accepted or denied).
AdSense and YouTube may be two different programs under Google, but you can apply to AdSense via YouTube.
Make sure that all your content follows YouTube’s community guidelines at all times to avoid being kicked out of either AdSense or YouTube.
How to Get Started
Once you’ve been accepted to YouTube Partner Program and AdSense, and mastered the do’s and don’ts of YouTube, here’s how you can begin earning money:
- Enable Youtube Monetization – Go to your channel’s preferences, and click ‘Status and features.’ Tick “enable” on the “Monetization” box and press “Get Started” on the next page.
- Link YouTube to AdSense – By now, you should have applied and been accepted into AdSense and YouTube Partner Program. Go back to your creator studio, CHANNEL>MONETIZATION>”Set up an AdSense Account” and click next.
- Enable Monetization for YouTube Videos – Go to CHANNEL>MONETIZATION and click “Monetize videos.” Under this setting, you’ll see a link going to the video manager, since you can monetize your videos individually from there as well.
- Produce engaging and interesting videos – You make money based on the number of YouTube views, so to be able to earn a significant amount, you’d have to upload videos consistently and attract a high volume of traffic (followers).
How much can you earn?
The amount you can make from YouTube AdSense will depend on several things, including popularity of channel, amount of viewers, watch time/viewer retention, CPM/CPC, and so on.
The numbers vary, but YouTubers earn about $1 to $4 per 1000 views from AdSense. Note that this is just an estimation – YouTube pays based on the advertiser’s chosen ad type (either on a Cost Per Click/CPC or Cost Per View/CPV model).
You make money based on your viewers’ engagement with the ads. Engagement means if the viewer clicks on the ad, or watches the ad for over 30 seconds.
In addition, YouTube AdSense takes approximately 45% of your ad revenue. This means that if you earn a dollar, you’ll share 45 cents to YouTube and you get 55 cents.
AdSense members are paid on a monthly basis (payments are sent between 21st to 26th of each month). They can choose from checks, wire transfer, electronic fund transfer, or Western Union remittance as method of payment.
2. Affiliate Marketing
So it’s not surprising that you can use affiliate marketing to make money on YouTube as well.
However, not a lot of YouTubers incorporate affiliate marketing into their YouTube videos and channels.
If you’re new to this, affiliate marketing is simply about directing other people (in this case your YouTube viewers) to a store (like Amazon, Target, Walmart, and others), then earning a commission from any product that YouTube viewer bought since he/she clicked your affiliate link.
The best thing about affiliate marketing is that each link you use has a corresponding cookie, which is placed on the viewer’s PC or phone to track what they purchase. The product you recommend (or link to) doesn’t even have to be the item they buy. You still earn commissions even if they decide to skip your recommendation and buy something else.
How do you start?
Any video that reviews or recommends products can easily be used for affiliate marketing.
Affiliate programs are not exclusive to specific stores like Amazon. Smaller brands and companies may also offer their affiliate marketing program to CJ.com, LinkShare.com, ShareASale.com, and other similar websites.
To make money on YouTube with affiliate marketing, your only choice is to include links on the video description, or in the actual videos (via annotations or overlays). The goal, whichever method you choose, is to redirect traffic to an affiliate landing page.
How much can you earn?
Commissions vary between affiliate marketing programs, niches, amount of YouTube viewers, the YouTuber’s popularity, and a bunch of other factors.
Just like earnings in AdSense, the key is to produce a lot of engaging videos consistently. The more videos you upload on YouTube, the more opportunities you’ll have to add affiliate links.
Note that YouTube has no specific rules about affiliate marketing, but many marketers believe that YouTube probably isn’t too happy if you keep on redirecting viewers away from YouTube. So balance out your videos with and without affiliate links.
3. Third-Party Sponsorships
Getting sponsors from brands and companies is the real deal. It happens everyday on YouTube, but only for the top tier.
This is the dream of many YouTubers, since having a sponsor can definitely turn their hobby into a full-blown career.
Getting third-party sponsors used to be hard, but with websites like Famebit, GrapevineLogic, ChamBoost and other similar services that bridged the gap between YouTube creators and sponsors, getting paid extra money has become much easier.
Your popularity, viewer engagement, and other stats would play a huge role in determining your fees.
How much can you earn?
The sky is the limit to how much you can earn from third-party sponsorships. Some YouTubers even become long-term brand ambassadors for international companies.
Of course, brands and companies tend to look for YouTube creators who can carry their products well. So if your YouTube channel is all about beauty, fashion and cosmetics, it’s harder to get sponsors in the tech niche.
Make Extra Money with YouTube’s Channel Memberships
Formerly known as Sponsorships, the Channel Membership is a special program that rolled out on YouTube Gaming. It allows viewers to support a channel on a monthly basis and in return, receive exclusive badges, freebies, and other special perks.
It isn’t available on all channels yet, but YouTube says it will roll out the feature throughout the year. To see if your country and channel is eligible, check requirements here or view your eligibility status.
The Bottom Line: How to Become YouTube Famous
Making money on YouTube isn’t easy.
Like blogging and other passive-income-generating ways to earn online, it could take you months, years or even several years to actually make bank.
There aren’t secret techniques to earn a profitable revenue on YouTube. It all boils down to how many followers you can attract and how quickly you can become “YouTube famous.”
If you want to market your YouTube channel some more, here are several things you can do:
- Learn about SEO and video marketing. Using the right keywords on descriptions is gold.
- Create a community within your channel – reply to comments and engage in other ways.
- Plan your content and try to bring something new to the table.
- Be authentic. Stick to your values, mission and goals.
- Keep up-to-date with YouTube policies.
Once you’ve amassed a sizable and loyal following, you can be sure that they’ll be watching whenever you upload a new video, click on a link if you recommend a product or website, and engage in contests, polls, and other activities you plan to hold.
As a result of having healthy engagement level on your YouTube channel, you can maximize the earning potential of your AdSense, affiliate links, or sponsored posts of every video you upload.