When people started their YouTube journey back in 2005, nobody expected that it’d become the giant video platform we know today. Most of them would even post the most random things without ever thinking that it might go viral someday and earn them some cash. Now, we see millions of people craving to find out how to make money on YouTube alone.
According to Business Insider, YouTube earned a total of $15 billion in ad sales for the 2019 fiscal year alone– making it a huge asset for companies so that they can rake in some cash. But it’s not only YouTube’s parent company that is earning from the viewers alone. In fact, the top 10 earners on YouTube made $162 million in one year (June 2018- June 2019).
Forbes’ List of Highest Paid YouTube Stars 2018:
- 1. Ryan’s world, $22 million (22.4 million subscribers)
- 2. Jake Paul, $21.5 million (19.7 million subscribers)
- 3. Dude Perfect, $20 million (47.1 million subscribers)
- 4. DanTDM, $18.5 million (22.3 million subscribers)
- 5. Jeffree Star, $18 million (16.5 million subscribers)
- 6. Markiplier, $17.5 million (24.5 million subscribers)
- 7. VanossGaming, $17 million (24.9 million subscribers)
- 8. Jacksepticeye, $16 million (23 million subscribers
- 9. PewDiePie, $15.5 million (102 million subscribers)
- 10. Logan Paul, $14.5 million (19.9 million subscribers)
Because of the YouTube celebrities that we see online, most people these days are more than eager to create viral content that viewers can watch to earn them some cash. But what is it exactly that made them celebrities?
Celebrity YouTubers didn’t become successful right away. Most of these small-screen celebrities started with recording things that happened in their daily lives as they try to replicate the reality shows they see on TV. Meanwhile, others earned an audience by creating tutorials, product reviews, or by creating content that people will find entertaining.
You see, these YouTubers never really aimed to turn their channel into something profitable at first. Most of them started their channel because of a hobby or simply because they want to share their talent with the world. But because of technological advancements, opportunities to earn became a pleasant surprise and have become a million-dollar business that we see now.
People around the world stream five billion YouTube videos each day. And with each YouTube session, one viewer spends roughly 40 minutes of his time, which is 50% higher than the previous year (Omnicore).
Looking at these numbers, wouldn’t it be nice to start your content creating a career now? Fortunately, we have answers to some of the most common questions that people have.
Commonly asked questions by aspiring YouTube content creators
Do content creators get paid on YouTube by uploading videos?
YouTube doesn’t pay content creators the moment that they upload their videos on their platform. Similarly, they don’t let videos monetized by default, too. So, if you want to start earning money, you need to fix your account first.
First, you need to enable monetization in your YouTube settings on your account. Next, read about the YouTube Partners Program to know the regulations that you need to follow to become a successful content creator. From there, you’ll have the option to either join the program or have your content listed as part of YouTube Premium.
When do you start making money from your YouTube account?
Although the Forbes’ list may seem intimidating, you don’t need to be at the same level as these people before you can start earning. You can get your channel monetized even without having millions of subscribers. Although the number of subscribers does help, it doesn’t necessarily determine the money that you’ll earn.
Besides the number of subscribers and views, you also need to consider your channel’s level of engagement. It’s also best to determine the niche that your channel is under as well as other revenue channels that you can explore.
Keep in mind that the money that these top earners made doesn’t come from YouTube alone. In fact, every one of them has their line of merchandise that they sell on top of what they earn from their YouTube account. Since they already have a massive following, launching their merchandise became easy. So, if you want to follow in their footsteps, you first need to understand your target audience.
How do you distinguish your target audience?
Finding out more about your target audience is a great way to plan your content carefully. That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to build your audience so that you can be in a better position to monetize your channel in various ways.
For a lot of aspiring YouTubers who want to earn big, catering to more than one niche can put you in a better position to work with brands that are targeting a specific audience. So that you can find out more about your viewers, you need to figure out the gender of your audience and see if it skews toward a particular group. Next, learn what age range your audience falls into so that you can adjust your content. The other factor that you need to consider is the geographic location where you get the most views. You also need to learn about your audience’s overall engagement or what most people call “watch time.”
Once you have the right information for your demographic, you’ll have a clearer picture of your audience and use it to work better with brands. You can use YouTube Analytics to get an insight into this information and compare it to other tools such as Social Blade.
Making money on YouTube
Like how you make money on blogging, your audience plays a crucial role in turning your YouTube channel into a money-making machine. Whether through your videos or other side hustles or businesses, we’ll teach you a few ways to help make it easier to monetize your channel.
Now that you’ve come this far into the article, we’ll teach you a few ways to earn money other than streaming your content.
YouTube Partnership Program
One of the primary cash streams that you might want to consider is from ads. Joining the YouTube Partnership Program is a great way to monetize your channel even without creating videos every day. What’s great about it is that you can apply for monetization once you reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 for the past twelve months.
Steps to enable monetization on your channel
- Log in to your YouTube channel account.
- Click the gear symbol to access the settings account. You can find it in the top right corner of the screen.
- Move your mouse cursors and click YouTube Studio.
- Select Other Features > Monetization found in the left menu.
- Read the YouTube Partner Program terms and conditions and tick the box to agree.
- You can either create a new AdSense account or link your existing one to your channel.
- Set up your monetization preferences.
Once you’ve followed the steps, you can now go back to the dashboard and choose the Analytics tab found on your browser’s left side. Next, go to the tabs section and select Revenue at the top portion. You can check your predicted revenue, go back to the tabs section, and then scroll down to the Monthly Estimated Revenue.
The number of views that you need to start earning
The number of views doesn’t dictate the amount of money that you’ll earn from your channel. So, even if you get a lot of views, but not even one watches or clicks the ads, then you won’t generate any revenue from it. That’s because YouTube has strict criteria when it comes to billing advertisers.
So that you can get paid, a viewer must either click an ad or watch the entire ad in full. Most of these advertisements last between 10 to 30 seconds, depending on the video.
However, this rule doesn’t apply to those under YouTube Premium. Since YouTube Premium technically doesn’t show any ads, content creators don’t need to rely on advertisers to create engaging videos, nor do they need commercials to earn income.
Understanding YouTube Premium
YouTube Premium is YouTube’s very own paid membership program that lets people support and stream videos on YouTube without any ads flashing on their screens. It doesn’t affect the creators’ income in terms of video monetization since they’d still get paid for every content that non-members will watch along with the content on YouTube Premium.
Content creators get paid for YouTube Premium whenever members watch their content. You can look at it as an alternative source of revenue, aside from what you’re getting through ads. While it’s quite easy to set it up, it still doesn’t surpass the amount of money that you can earn as a YouTube Partner.
Why you should consider other forms of revenue
A lot of people weren’t happy when YouTube decided to become more transparent about advertising on their platform. They also received a lot of backlash because of what they deemed as “advertiser-friendly” video content. That’s because content creators were afraid that the materials that they will release would cause them to lose their ad revenue, which helps fund their channel.
Based on YouTube’s statement, any content that includes the following topics will get excluded from ad revenue. These are the following:
Any sexually explicit content. It includes sexual humor or partial nudity.
Video clips or scenes that include violence and other acts that display serious injury. It can also be events connected to violent extremism.
Inappropriate form of language. It can consist of profanity, harassment, and the use of vulgar words.
Scenes depicting drug use and other regulated substances. It can include selling, abuse, and use of the items, as mentioned above.
Sensitive or controversial topics, which can consist of subjects related to political conflicts and war. It can also include natural disasters as well as tragedies.
However, what most people don’t know is that YouTube has been demonetizing content since 2012 using an automated process. And they do it without any warning or disclaimer to the content creator.
Ever since they released the qualifiers, creators are now aware of what not to post on their channels. Even more, they also get notified whenever their content gets flagged. They also have the opportunity to contest the report, especially when they feel that the video got excluded from YouTube’s advertising network by mistake.
That’s why even if advertising is an excellent way to generate income, it’s still important to know other ways to help you sustain your hobbies and make a living out of it. Since YouTube gets to keep at least a 45% share of the ad revenue, don’t you think it’s better to explore other means to get the cash running?
There are a ton of products that you can sell to help you earn money from your YouTube channel. Aside from selling t-shirts, coffee mugs, and tote bags. There is an infinite number of products that you can include in your merchandise.
Selling products don’t only help you boost your revenue, but it also helps you put your brand and your personality outside of the internet. Even more, it’s also an ideal way to strengthen the bond that you have with your fans since most of them would do anything to support you in any way. Although it may look complicated, selling branded items is a lot easier than you might think.
For starters, you don’t need to manufacture the products on your own. You can hire someone to create affordable designs from freelance sites that you can use for your merchandise. In that way, you can guarantee that your items have the right quality that your audience deserves.
Meanwhile, you can use print-on-demand providers to help you with handling orders. You can use it to manage the shipping and fulfillment process as well as provide your customers with the right support. It’s a great option to manage your business with as little effort as possible.
You need to choose the right merchandising network to use for your site. Although almost every other merchandising companies provide the same services, some equip its users with less control over discounts or adding products. These features are crucial when it comes to promoting your eCommerce stores.
Meanwhile, you can also go beyond selling t-shirts and mugs by selling products that people rarely find anywhere else. Try thinking outside the box and come up with unique items that you can sell online but still related to your niche.
Since you’ve already established your audience, it’s much easier to drive traffic to your site. Even more, since you’ve already gained your audience’s trust, it’s much easier for you to sell your products to a specific market.
For those who are looking for a way to finance their ideas and bring it to life, crowdfunding is the best way to go. It’s a practical way to help you get better equipment and cover the cost of hiring actors, etc.
Many of the most successful creative projects that used crowdfunding often provide their audience with a trailer to make them interested in the project. They can then pitch in their ideas to make it even more exciting. That’s why it’s a must to shoot a video showing them what it would look like once it’s complete.
Two popular crowdfunding sites can help you get the funds running so that you can start your campaign. These are Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Kickstarter is one of the most popular crowdfunding sites and is an excellent avenue for funding unique ideas and other creative projects. Just ensure that you set a realistic goal that you can meet to start the funding.
On the other hand, Indiegogo is an excellent alternative to Kickstarter since it offers more flexible funding options. It’s ideal for clever and unconventional things that can help people solve the most common problems.
Although it sounds similar to crowdfunding, fan funding works a bit differently from the latter discussed.
For many content creators, creating content is the best way to reach out to people without forcing them to watch your videos. So, if you’re continually producing quality content, your viewers will likely support your ideas in any way.
There are several fan funding platforms that you can consider getting the funds that you need. They also provide content creators with a way to engage with their viewers and give them the option to support your project.
If you decide to start fan funding for your channel, make sure that you’re transparent with how you spend the money. Nobody wants to feel like they got scammed by their favorite celebrities. That’s why you need to ensure that you show a breakdown of all the costs associated with the production. Doing so will keep your audience invested with your ideas and even help add value to your content.
Next, offer them bonuses to encourage them to pledge. Giving them access to some of your exclusive content will make them feel valued as a fan. Thus, encouraging them to provide higher pledges and other donations.
A few of the most popular fan funding options that you can consider are YouTube’s Super Chat, Patreon, and Tipeee.
YouTube’s Super Chat is an extra feature that you can use when you go live on YouTube. It provides your viewers with an option to donate by using the tipping jar whenever they want and how much they want.
Patreon is another excellent fan funding option for content creators who are considering crowdfunding. It has a membership platform that provides content creators when an easy way to get paid. Fans can simply subscribe to them for as little as one dollar each month to get some exclusive deals.
Another option is Tipeee, which is a unique fan funding alternative that features one-off and recurring donations. The tip is entirely voluntary and optional, which is perfect for viewers wanting to support their favorite creators.
YouTube Channel Memberships
Another option that you can consider is the YouTube Channel Membership. It lets the audience subscribe to your content via monthly payments for perks exclusive only for members. It can be badges, merchandise, exclusive live streams, or even videos. It can also be discounts and other goods that you offer.
To apply for YouTube channel memberships, you should be over the age of 18 and has at least 30,000 subscribers. Next, you need to agree to the terms and conditions of the feature and have zero penalties on your account. Once you have everything settled, all you need to do is ensure that every content you upload is of the highest quality. Since YouTube primarily handles everything about Super Chats, you don’t need to worry about managing it.
Creating merchandised items is also extremely easy when using Super Chats. All you need to do is choose one image, and you can already create hundreds of various things to sell. You can even set up your eCommerce store in an hour, even without prior knowledge of web design. With all these features, it can be a great avenue to establish your brand and boost your earnings.
That’s why it’s crucial to fully commit to your audience once you start with Super Chats. Since they’re paying for a subscription, you need to ensure that you provide them with content worthy of their money. One way to do it is by using music to add more elements to your content. Using the right set of music will help you reach out to your target market much easier by adding emotions into every scene. You can either use it as part of your intro, outro, or even as a background music piece for your content.
YouTube has also upgraded its systems to include different membership levels. With each level, creators have an option to set different price points for every channel membership, each with unique perks.
Licensing your content
If you have any video that went viral, licensing it can also be a great addition to your revenue. You can exchange the content for money to any morning shows, TV news outlets, or even online new sites that want to feature your video in their program.
There are also video marketplaces that list videos online. Posting it in such avenues can help make it easier for others to find your videos and even purchase them.
Becoming an influencer or an affiliate
If you ask any YouTuber out there, almost everyone would say that becoming an influencer is their ultimate dream. Experts say that becoming a YouTube influencer is the highest-paid platform for brand partnerships (Ager). Brands know how valuable their reach can be. That’s why some of them are willing to pay around $20 for every 1,000 subscribers and $2,000 for every 100,000 subscribers.
Brands these days know how valuable internet reach can be. So, they’re now investing more in influencers than traditional marketing. It creates a massive opportunity for content creators to negotiate with these brands to get the right deals.
For aspiring influencers, experts recommend establishing a baseline flat rate based on the number of views multiplied by 5 to fifteen cents for each view. You can probably negotiate for a better deal based on your audience demographics and the quality of your content.
For those who are planning to try their hands at becoming an influencer, one of the key things you need to remember is transparency. Several YouTube celebrities have gotten into issues regarding sponsored deals. So, if you’re endorsing anything, it’s best to be upfront with your audience right away.
A few of the most reliable influencer marketplaces are the following:
- Grapevine Logic: only requires content creators to have 1,000 followers so they can join
- Famebit: works with a wide range of brands but requires 5,000 followers to join
- Channel Pages: Partners with both brands and other YouTubers
Crowdtap: Content creators can receive money and other rewards once small content creation tasks are complete. The platform doesn’t require people to have any number of followers to join.
Every influencer marketplace has its perks that they can offer. Some can provide you with free items, while others can help you connect with popular brands to boost your exposure. You should try to choose a marketplace that can help you open more opportunities and ensure maximum visibility for your channel.
Another way to earn money from brand partnerships is through affiliate marketing. You can make residual passive income every time you generate a sale through your channel. This type of revenue works well for people who review products on their channel. Since brands only need to pay whenever you generate sales, it’s relatively easier to get started than becoming an influencer.
A few of the most popular affiliate programs that you can consider are Click Bank and Amazon’s Affiliate network. Click Bank provides up to 75% commission while the latter can help you earn as much as 10% for every sale. When trying to choose the brand that you want to work with, it’s best to reach out to companies in your niche running their affiliate programs. It’ll be much easier for you to negotiate with them since you have a similar audience.
The best way to sell without annoying your viewers
Let’s admit it, hard-selling can be obvious, especially when you put it on video. People who like to watch videos on YouTube have a keen eye for it, which is why many YouTubers always try their best to be as honest as they can when it comes to promoting products. Although we’ve already mentioned several ways to help you sell products, you need to make sure that you refrain from selling out your merchandise.
The importance of a call to action
Recording call to action statements in your videos is a great way to encourage the audience to subscribe to your channel. Thus, helping you grow your viewership. By suggesting the intended action that you want to happen, there’s a high probability that they will take it.
Adding YouTube cards
Whether you’re promoting your merchandise or working with a brand, YouTube Cards is an ideal way to get your viewers’ attention. You can set them up and adjust the time to make them appear right where you need them. Doing so will make it less distracting while still creating an impact.
Adding links to your video descriptions
If you have a Patreon Page or any other avenue for revenue aside from your channel, putting the links to your video description is an effective way to market them without being too obvious. Meanwhile, if you’re creating videos for your products are managing an eCommerce store, you can encourage them to purchase your merchandise or by offering discounts. You can simply put a link for any of your promotions so that they can easily access it.
Using other platforms for promotions
Now, it won’t do you any harm if you use other means to promote your platform. Remember that there are tons of other social media platforms that you can use to promote your other sources of income. So, try to spread the word by using these channels to advertise your products or services. The more places that you got them posted, the higher the chance that it’ll get seen.
Money doesn’t drive every content creator to make videos. It’s their passion to create something that people can enjoy that drives their creativity when creating their projects.
Since the world has become obsessed with watching videos online, now is the best time to channel your creativity into something that can act as another source of revenue– and what better way to do it than with monetization.
With everything that we’ve discussed, you need to remember that not everyone gets to be successful enough to earn a living on YouTube.
The money will not come rolling at the moment that you upload your first set of videos. You need to create strategies to get your audience’s attention and maximize your revenue.
You need to know your audience to determine what content to create and the niches that are more profitable than others.
A few of the factors that can help you narrow your audience are the following:
- Geographic location
You can use this information to customize your content and help boost your engagement.
Now, there are a few ways to help you measure your engagement. You can try to use the following examples to help you identify what course of actions to take to increase your viewer engagement:
- Know the average number of contents your viewers watch
- See if they leave any comments on your videos or if they share them
- Check if your viewers click on the product links
- Learn if they complete watching the ads on every video
Learning these things is crucial if you want to make a living out of YouTube. If you want to learn more, you can access YouTube’s Creator Academy to learn a few techniques to measure and improve your engagement with your viewers.
Picking the right music for your video
Using the perfect track for your video can amplify your reach and resonate with minimal effort. That’s why it’s crucial to decide what role music will play in every scene of your video. Remember that every tune has its qualities that fit specific projects.
Using music in your video not only cue audiences into how to feel, but it also helps you get an emotional response. It’s a powerful way to tap into the emotion that you’re trying to convey.
However, finding the right music is like finding a needle in a haystack. It can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, with our subscription plans, you get unlimited access to all music tracks on our website, and finally, you can focus on creating videos that people will enjoy!