First launched in 2005 as a place where independent users could upload and share the videos they've created, YouTube exploded into one of the world's most recognizable and widely used websites.
YouTube is one of the fastest-growing platforms in the world. With that growth came a unique opportunity for users: making money from the videos they produce and upload. YouTube stars like Pewdiepie make millions of dollars a year on the platform, but there are still plenty of opportunities for newcomers to break into the space and make a living with videos. Here's how to make money on YouTube and start cashing in on this lucrative platform.
How To Make Money on YouTube
There are numerous ways to make money on YouTube. Some of them require you to be a part of the YouTube Partner Program, requiring 1000 subscribers and over 4000 watch hours in the last year. Although partners will make more money, there are numerous ways for non-partnered users to monetize.
Here are 11 ways to monetize your YouTube Channel and earn money with online video!
To start earning money with display ads, you need to have a YouTube partnership and set up a Google AdSense account. With these, you can start earning ad revenue with the pre-roll and mid-roll ads that appear on YouTube videos.
Users can expect to earn approximately 20 cents per view. This doesn't sound like a lot, but videos with thousands of views can earn a lot of money with display ads alone.
Super Chats and Super Stickers
YouTube Partners can monetize their channels by encouraging viewers and subscribers to use super chat and super stickers. Like the bits and cheers available on Twitch, these super chats and stickers allow viewers to pay small amounts of money to get their comments highlighted or support a channel in small ways.
The limitation to making money with super chats and stickers is that these features are only available during a live broadcast. If you upload videos to YouTube rather than broadcast live, you cannot monetize with this feature.
Get Viewers To Join Your Channel
Another perk of the YouTube Partner Program is that it allows you to monetize when users join your channel. Joining a channel on YouTube is the same as subscribing to an affiliate on Twitch. Users pay a monthly fee to gain access to custom emotes and additional content provided by the channel owner.
The significant advantage of using YouTube over Twitch is that YouTube gives creators more revenue. Twitch splits the subscription fee 50/50 with the creator, while YouTube only takes 30% of the revenue, giving the creator 70%.
YouTube Premium offers viewers the opportunity to watch YouTube without any ads. Users pay a monthly fee to watch as much content as they want on YouTube ad-free. These users are called premium subscribers.
YouTube splits the revenue earned from premium subscribers between itself and its partners. Each partner receives a share based upon the amount of time premium subscribers spend watching the individual channel.
Make Money Without Being a YouTube Partner
To make money on YouTube with the four methods listed above, you have to join YouTube's partnership program. The strict requirements mean that you won't become a partner overnight, but there are additional ways to earn money on YouTube before achieving this goal.
Here are seven additional ways to earn money on YouTube that work for YouTube Partners and creators who haven't joined the partnership program.
Get a Bonus From the YouTube Shorts Fund
YouTube's answer to TikTok, shorts are quick videos that you can upload with your mobile device. YouTube's shorts features are still in beta, and YouTube is rewarding creators who use them. They have set up a 100-million-dollar fund to give bonuses to creators who use shorts.
There is no guarantee that any user will receive a bonus. They are based on the performance of shorts on the channel and are rewarded monthly. The bonus amount varies and can be anywhere between $100 and $10,000 each month!
If you enjoy creating short format videos, making them in bulk and trying for a shorts fund bonus is a great way to make money with YouTube.
Drive Traffic to Your Own Website
YouTube is just one of the many ways to make money online. Many users create a YouTube channel to funnel traffic to their other online businesses where they have more control over user experience, sales, and advertisements. You can also make money blogging, with a podcast, on Twitch or as a social media influencer, and YouTube is an excellent marketing platform for all of those things.
To do this, make sure you include a link to your website in both your YouTube profile and your video descriptions. Users who watch your videos can then click the links and go directly to your website, which you can monetize in various ways.
Become a Brand Ambassador
Brand Ambassadors work with specific brands to promote their products to an audience. When searching for ambassadors, brands look for creators with viewers who align with their target audience. Some brands even work with micro-influences if the audience is a good fit.
Brand ambassadors make money through a contract with the brand. They will wear/showcase the brand's products in most of the content they create. The promotion details and payments depend heavily on the contractual obligations and will differ with each brand.
Monetize Your Audience With Affiliate Marketing
One of the best ways to make money with a smaller audience is affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, a YouTuber can talk about a product they love and include their affiliate link to the product in the video description. If a viewer uses that affiliate link to purchase, the YouTuber gets paid with an affiliate commission. It doesn't cost the viewer anything extra to use a YouTuber's affiliate links.
When promoting affiliate products, be sure to disclose the relationship. Not disclosing violates Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations and can make your audience lose trust in you.
Create Sponsored Videos
A sponsored video is a video that a brand pays you to make. It's different than a brand ambassadorship because it's generally a one or two video deal, whereas a brand ambassador is a continuing relationship with a brand.
Consider brands in your niche that might want to leverage your audience to get sponsorship deals. Small brands will frequently work with small content creators if the audience and niche are a good fit.
Set up a Patreon
Many content creators turn to Patreon to earn extra income. This platform matches creators with donators and helps artists continue to produce quality content.
Patreon allows creators to set up various levels of donations, but you usually need to offer your fans something in return for the assistance. Many YouTubers provide additional video content, including unedited videos or blooper reels, and some even make extra videos just for their Patreons.
Create Your Own Merchandise
A final way to make money on YouTube is with your merchandise. Some creators make paintings, crafts, or stuffed animals to sell directly to their fans, while others use Print on Demand platforms to sell t-shirts and other goods with their designs on them.
You can create other products, including courses, ebooks, instructional videos, or printables. The only limit to the type of merchandise you can sell is your imagination, but make sure that it aligns with the kind of video content you create.
The Truth About Making Money on YouTube
Learning how to make money on YouTube is just the start. The harsh reality is that it's a lot harder than it sounds. To make money online, whether on YouTube, through blogging, podcasting, or any other online venture, you need to build an engaged audience. The more visitors you have to your platform, the more likely you are to make money.
Rather than focusing on making money, focus on uploading quality, engaging content, and building your brand. If you can accomplish this, the money is sure to follow.