YouTube: 7 ways to make money today with lights, cameras, and cash
YouTube stars are today’s self-made celebrities. They are people who have created video content that aims to teach, entertain, review, and be awesome on the internet.
These small-screen stars do their jobs mainly to make a living, to be in front of an audience, and to create.
Although making money is not the reason you started a YouTube channel or website, it’s a pleasant surprise to discover how many opportunities there are to make money.
Which YouTuber makes the most money?
Forbes reports that these 10 accounts were the highest-earning YouTube accounts in 2020.
- Ryan Kaj, $29.5 Million (41.7 Million Subscribers)
- Mr. Mr.
- Dude Perfect – $23 Million (57.5 million subscribers).
- Rhett and Link, $20 Million (41.8 million subscribers).
- Markiplier (Mark Fischbach), , $19.5million (27.8 Million subscribers)
- Preston Arsement – $19 Million (33.4 Million Subscribers)
- Nastya – Anastasia Radzinskaya $18.5million (190.6 million subscribers).
- Blippi, Stevin John, $17 Million (27.4M subscribers)
- David Dobrik $15.5 Million (18 million subscribers).
- Jeffree Star $15 million (16.9 Million subscribers)
You might have many questions about the YouTube stars’ rise to fame. Let’s look at some of these questions.
Are you paid to upload videos to YouTube?
YouTube doesn’t pay content creators for videos they upload. Videos are not monetized automatically. To make money on YouTube, enable monetization in the settings of your YouTube account. You can then choose to join YouTube Partner Program, or have your videos featured on YouTube Premium.
YouTube: How can you make money?
The Forbes List has a few key takeaways, even if you don’t count the millions of subscribers and billions of dollars spent.
YouTube channels can be monetized, even if they do not have millions of subscribers. Your earning potential doesn’t depend on how many subscribers you have. It also depends on the engagement you get, the niche that you serve, and the revenue channels you use. It doesn’t mean that subscribers don’t matter. Check out our tips for more subscribers on YouTube.
The second is that this list of the top 10 highest earners may give the impression that millions of dollars are made directly by YouTube. Each channel has its own line. These channels first built their audience before they launched their own merchandise. The first step to making YouTube money is understanding your target audience.
YouTube audience understanding
You can monetize your content by building your own audience. Understanding your audience is key to maximizing the potential of the opportunities available to you.
Many YouTubers are looking to monetize their channels. The more niche you have, the easier it will be to work with brands that target specific audiences. (More on this later).
Pay close attention to the following:
- To determine if your audience is more male than female, you can use the gender analysis to find out.
- The most common age group your audience falls within
- Your videos are being viewed in the same geographic area as your country or city.
- The overall engagement of your audience, or “watch time”,
This demographic data will help you gain a better understanding about your audience and allow you to better work with brands. You can pull all demographic information from YouTube analytics. However, to compare your channel with others, use a tool such as Social Blade.
Now let’s talk about how YouTube can make money.
YouTube: How to make money
While your audience may unlock your YouTube channel’s earning potential, as often happens with Instagram bloggers or influencers, it is the creation of multiple revenue stream through side hustles and businesses that makes you money.
There are many creative ways you can make money on YouTube.
- Sign up for the YouTube Partner Program
- Sell merchandise or products
- Crowdfund your next project
- Get your audience to support your work with “fan funding”
- You can license your content to the media.
- As an influencer , work with brands
- Become an Affiliate Marketer
Let’s look into each one.
1. Get involved in the YouTube Partner Program
Ads will be your first source of revenue. Ads are the first revenue stream you should explore if you are looking to make money on YouTube as a content creator or without creating videos. Joining the YouTube Partner Program is an essential step.
You will need to agree to YouTube’s monetization policies. After you have reached 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the last year, you can apply to monetization.
How to make YouTube monetizable
- Register for YouTubeYou want to monetize.
- Click the icon to access your accountIn the upper right corner.
- Click YouTube Studio.
- Select the appropriate option from the left menuOther Features>Monetization.
- Accept and read the YouTuber Partner ProgramTerms
- Register for a new Google AdSense AccountConnect an existing channel to it or create one. To get paid, you will need an AdSense account
- You can set your preferences for monetization.
After that, return to the dashboard and click on the Analytics tab. To get an estimate of your YouTube revenue, scroll down to the chart Monthly Expected Revenue.
How many views are required to earn a YouTube payment?
Revenue earned doesn’t necessarily correlate with how many views your video gets. You won’t make money if your video is viewed thousands of times but no one clicks or watches the ad. YouTube has a unique billing system that allows advertisers to be paid. To get paid, a viewer must click on an ad or view the entire ad (10, 15, or 30-seconds).
YouTube Premium has been released and you don’t have to rely on advertising agencies to create compelling ads that generate revenue.
YouTube Premium: What’s it all about?
YouTube Premium allows users to support and watch their favorite content creators, without the need for ads. Creators will not be affected by the changes as they will still get paid for YouTube Premium content and content consumed by YouTube Premium members.
YouTube Premium creators get paid based on the amount of people who watch their content. YouTube Premium revenue can be considered a secondary revenue stream to your existing ad revenue.
Although it is easy to set up, making money as a YouTube Partner can be difficult.
You should look beyond advertising for revenue.
YouTube received a lot of criticism recently due to its decision not to be as transparent about advertising on YouTube and what content is considered “advertiser-friendly”.
Many creators worried that their channel would be without the ad revenues that they earned because of the nature and content of their content.
YouTube says that your content may be excluded from advertising revenue if it contains:
- Sexually suggestive content includes partial nudity or sexual humor
- Violent extremism can lead to violence, such as the display of severe injury or events that are related to it.
- Inappropriate language includes harassment, profanity and vulgar language
- Promotion of drugs and other regulated substances, including the sale, use and abuse of such items
- Even if no graphic imagery is used, controversial or sensitive topics and events can be discussed.
YouTube is demonetizing content it does not consider advertiser-friendly since 2012. This was done automatically, and without any warning to the creator.
The situation is now better. Creators are notified whenever their content is flagged. They can also contest any video that they believe was excluded from YouTube’s advertising network.
Although advertising is a popular way to generate passive income for creators it comes with a trade-off: YouTube’s parent company Google gets a 45% share in ad revenue.
YouTubers need to explore other streams of income to support their creative hobbies.
We’ll show you how to make money on YouTube without AdSense.
2. 2. Sell products and merchandise
You can sell many products that will help you make money with your YouTube channel. Selling merchandise-t-shirts and coffee mugs as well as tote bags and snapbacks is a great way to make extra income.
Merchandise can increase your visibility by making your brand and personality visible offline. It also deepens the connection between you and your followers as they “buy” what you do.
Roman Atwood offers a wide range of merchandise at his Smile More store.
Selling branded merchandise is much easier than you might think.
Use Fiverr to order low-cost designs for specific products like tee shirts.
You can also integrate your store with Oberlo, or any other print-on demand provider that takes care of fulfillment and shipping. This will allow you to reap the rewards of a print on demand business that requires less effort.
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You can also partner with an established merchandising network, such as DFTBA. You will be competing with other YouTubers, have less control over your products, offer discounts, integrate your content, as well as all the benefits that come with having your own ecommerce website.
You can also make and sell your own products, and even power your business via your YouTube channel. Luxy hair sold hair extensions using how-to videos.
You’ll be able to start your YouTube channel with an established audience and have two advantages that other store owners will envy:
- Content engine that drives traffic to your store consistently
- You’ve earned the trust of your audience by providing them with your brand of content regularly for free
3. Crowdfund your next creative idea
Crowdfunding is a great way to bring your idea to life when money is not an option.
If your idea is strong enough, you can appeal to your audience and the crowdfunding community for help.
Crowdfunded projects that are successful often offer a preview or “trailer”, which gets people excited. Consider making a video explaining the project or giving a glimpse of what it will look like.
These are some of the most popular crowdfunding sites that have a track record of delivering campaigns to YouTubers:
- Kickstarter.This is one of the most popular crowdfunding sites. It’s great for funding creative projects and cool products. You will only be able to secure funding if you achieve your goal.
- Indiegogo.Alternative to Kickstarter that allows for flexible funding options.
4. Your audience can support you through “fan funding”.
You can set up fan funding streams similar to crowdfunding to raise donations from your audience.
You are a creator. This means you can contribute your voice to the internet, without asking your audience to pay. If you provide quality content, your audience may be more inclined to support you.
Many fan funding platforms provide creators with another way for people to discover and reward their work.
Wait, But Why is more long-form content than YouTube videos. It’s also a great example for receiving support from Patreon.
Follow these best practices if you decide to go with crowdfunding. First, be transparent about how the money will go. This will make your fans more invested in your mission or story, and will allow them to buy into the content’s value.
Offer attractive rewards to encourage pledges. You can make donors feel special for being loyal fans. This will increase your chances of getting donations and higher pledges.
There are several popular options for fan funding:
- YouTube’s Super Chat.When you are streaming live on YouTube, Super Chat is a tool that allows you to chat with your viewers. You can create a tipping container for your viewers that allows them to contribute whenever they want. As outlined above, you will need to create a YouTube account to advertise on YouTube.
- Channel memberships.Channel memberships allow viewers to support your channel by paying monthly fees in return for exclusive perks. To access Super Chat, you will need to be part of YouTube Partner Program.
- Patreon.This membership platform makes it easy to earn money for creators. Subscribe to your favorite creators starting at $1 per month and get exclusive rewards.
- Tipeee.You can use this platform to get both one-off and regular donations.
- Buy me a Coffee.Buy Me A Coffee allows creators and artists to accept donations and membership fees. This is the “#1 Patreon Alternative”, with more than 300,000 creators. It’s much easier to accept payments through Buy Me A Coffee. There’s a flat fee of 5% for all features, whereas Patreon can charge up to 12%. Payouts are immediate.
You can sell your content if you create viral videos with mass appeal, such as a clip that features your dog.
If your videos go viral, TV news outlets, morning news shows, and other creators may reach out to you for permission to use them.
You can also list videos on a marketplace like JukenMedia where the right people will find your content and make purchases.
This video showing a woman in a Chewbacca mask became viral. Tons of media outlets wanted to be involved.
Brands are increasingly investing in influencer marketing. They spend their large advertising budgets on influencers with loyal followings.
If you negotiate the right deals, this opens up a lot of opportunities for you as a creator.
Brendan Gahan is a YouTube marketing expert, influencer and YouTube marketing expert. He recommends setting a baseline flat fee by looking at how many views your videos get, and then multiplying that number by 5 to 15 cents per viewer (which is roughly what most brands will pay for views via YouTube ads).
According to WebFX data, the potential costs for influencer marketing on YouTube is:
- Video for YouTubers with 10,000 subscribers: $200
- Video for YouTubers with 100,000 subscribers: $2,000
- For a YouTuber who has 1,000,000 subscribers, $20,000 per video
If the brand is a good fit, you might be able negotiate a better deal depending on your leverage – your audience demographics, content quality and how unique or profitable your niche is.
When partnering with brands to sponsor content, transparency is key. Don’t endorse anything you don’t believe in or like, and be open with your audience about why.
These are just a few of the many influencer markets you can add your channel and be discovered by big and small brands:
- Grapevine Logic.You only need to have 1,000 followers in order to join this popular influencer market.
- Channel Pages.As well as other YouTubers, partner with brands.
- Crowdtap.You can complete small tasks to create content in exchange for cash or other rewards. There is no limit to how many followers you can have.
While some influencer markets offer free products, others have big brands that are willing to pay more. Make sure you are listed in all the right places to maximize your visibility.
7. Affiliate marketer?
Affiliate marketing is a way to earn a commission for promoting products or services made by other brands. Affiliate marketing can be done by promoting brands’ products and services. This could include endorsements, product placements, or other content. You must however, make sure to disclose your partnerships to viewers in any videos.
This is especially true if you are reviewing products on your YouTube channel. There is no risk for the brand (they only get paid when they make sales), so it’s easy to get started.
Popular affiliate programs include clickBank (1%-7%5% commission depending on what the vendor sets) or Amazon’s Affiliate network (earn as much as 10% per sale). Reach out to brands within your niche who are offering their affiliate programs. This is not uncommon in the ecommerce industry.
How to “sell” your audience without irritating them
Many of these strategies involve promoting products and campaigns (e.g. crowdfunding a series). However, you need to ensure that your promotions do not compromise the integrity of your content.
Many creators worry about “selling out”. But you won’t get if you don’t ask.
You have a variety of options for placing products and campaigns.
In your videos, record a call for action
“If this video was interesting, please like it and subscribe.”
To increase their audience, many YouTubers include a call-to-action at the end of videos. Your audience will be more likely to perform the action you intend.
This approach can be adapted to direct attention of your audience to revenue-generating opportunities.
Your videos can include well-timed YouTube Cards
YouTube Cards are a great way to grab the attention of viewers, whether it’s a part of a deal with a company or your products.
To increase their impact, you can schedule them to appear at the perfect moment.
In your video descriptions, add links
Add links to your video descriptions to help you direct viewers to your Patreon page or Kickstarter campaign.
Unbox Therapy is a great option for video producers who want to generate revenue as affiliate marketers. Unbox Therapy is a YouTube-based company that specializes in product reviews. It uses affiliate links to make money through YouTube viewers.
You can encourage new customers to shop at your Shopify store by offering “buy X, get Y” discounts or promotions.
Promote your offer on other platforms
YouTube is not the only place you should be distributing your content.
Spread the word on new campaigns and discounts via Twitter, Facebook, or any other profile you have.
Your message will be more visible if it is shared in as many places as possible. It’s a smart idea to expand your audience beyond YouTube by social media advertising.
The rise of “YouTubepreneur”
Most creators are motivated by money. It’s the idea of creating something that the whole world can enjoy.
Ironically, this puts them in a great place to make money in a content-obsessed society.
Although it is difficult for most businesses to get and keep their customers’ attention, YouTubers have already done that.
It’s up to you to be creative and to channel your entrepreneurial drive to explore new ideas with how to monetize your audience or your passion.