Are you creating content for YouTube? If you want to earn money on your videos, a good place to start is to monetize your channel. Through YouTube’s partner program and built-in ad system, you can actually start earning money pretty quickly.
While you shouldn’t expect to make a lot of money immediately, over time, those small amounts add up, and the bigger the audience you get, the better the kick-back will be. The best part about this system is how easy it is to set up and start earning. Let’s go through the steps required to monetize your videos and explore some other ways to make money through your content.
How to monetize on YouTube: a step by step guide
The main way to earn money through your YouTube channel is by joining YouTube’s Partner Program. First off, to be accepted into the YouTube Partner Program, there are a few things you must tick off. You need to:
- Have at least 1,000 subscribers
- Reach 4,000 valid public watch hours in the past 12 months
- Sign the terms and conditions
- Have an AdSense account
- Get reviewed and approved
- Comply with YouTube’s Community Guidelines.
Okay, so let’s go into detail on how you monetize your channel, step by step:
- On the YouTube homepage, click your profile icon and select ‘YouTube Studio’ in the dropdown menu.
- Find the left navigation bar and click ‘Monetization.’
- Once you’ve met the requirements, you’ll see an ‘APPLY NOW’ button. Click it!
- Now you need to review and accept YouTube’s terms and guidelines. A note here is to make sure your location settings are correct; otherwise, you might run into problems – if your channel isn’t set to the right country.
- Set up your AdSense account by clicking this link. What you need to do there is basically to enter your email address, the URL you want to show ads on, review terms and conditions, sign in to your Google account, and create your AdSense account. If you already have an AdSense account, you need to confirm that by signing in to it and connect your YouTube channel.
- If you want to monetize your soundtracked videos, you need a license to use the music. With an Epidemic Sound subscription, you can choose from 35,000 tracks and 90,000 sound effects to enhance your content.
- Now, you have to wait for about a month during the review process. Hopefully, you’ll get accepted, and if not – you can always apply again after 30 days!
Once you become a YouTube partner, you can enable ads on a per-video basis if you want to. A good thing to be aware of is that the advertising revenue is based on the number of viewers and where these viewers are based, so the bigger the audience you’ve got, the bigger the revenue you’ll get. Read more about YouTube’s partner program.
How much can you make after you monetize your channel?
The amount you can make on YouTube varies significantly depending on your niche, the number of clicks your ad gets, the length of your video, where in the world your viewers are located, and of course – the number of views your video gets.
A good thing to know is that the average YouTube pay rate ranges between $0.001-0.004 for an ad view. An established YouTuber can make around $18 per 1000 ad views, which usually comes out to about $3 to $4 per 1000 video views. But a more realistic expectation is probably to earn $1 to $2 per 1000 views. To give you some context, you need to be generating over a million views per month to replace a full-time income. That’s why so many creators don’t rely on Google AdSense monetization alone.
Worth mentioning is that pure video views, without ads, can bring in revenue as well, if the views come from YouTube Premium users. In these cases, YouTube shares some of its subscription revenue with the creators. Just like with the ad-generated revenue, YouTube takes a 45% cut of a creator’s Premium earnings.
Other ways to earn money from your YouTube channel
There are a few different ways you can make money through your YouTube channel; some are directly linked to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), and others are not. Let’s explore some of them.
Paid Content allows you to sell access to a specific video. You can set the price of the video, but you’ll have a split with YouTube. This might be ideal for business-oriented YouTube channels that want to sell a premium service. It could work for more personal channels, but your audience may dislike this strategy. This way of earning money requires you to agree to a ‘Commerce Addendum’ that goes over the terms of service.
Super Chat & Super Stickers
Super Chat and Super Stickers are monetization products that YouTube has introduced for live streaming. These features enable a chat participant to pay money to have their chat message highlighted. This gives it more importance over regular chat and gives you a bigger reason to interact with it. Because if someone is paying money to send you a message, you should definitely interact with them. These features are great as they allow you to earn extra revenue at the same time as engaging with your audience.
If you have a longer-term goal or a dream that you wanted to explore, your YouTube audience might want you to take them along on the ride and offer to sponsor you. You could have a dream to publish a cookbook, produce a short film, record a music demo or spend a year traveling the world – your loyal audience could help to get you there.
There are lots of crowdfunding platforms, showing that people power is a real thing. Just remember to offer your ‘backers’ worthwhile rewards and lots of incredible content to make up for their sponsorship of what could just be a wacky or wild idea.
Utilize all your social media platforms
Lots of YouTubers have active, engaged profiles on several social media platforms as an enhanced offering to their YouTube channel. This is a smart move as you’ll increase your following and be able to find a new audience, depending on the platform and its content type.
On top of that, brands could be willing to work with you on sponsored content across channels, such as brand endorsements and product, service, or experience reviews. Just be wary of stats and analytics; businesses will want to see a return on investment by tapping into your audience. Brands look for a mixture of audience reach and engagement when choosing influencers, bloggers, and creators to work with.
Use your expertise to do freelance work
With a successful YouTube channel, you might also have developed sound videographer skills. This probably also means you can create a brand, market its content, and draw in an engaged audience. Due to this, businesses might approach you (or you could pitch to them), offering you work based on your skills. This may be freelance work produced for them or in conjunction with them. Either way, you now have a portfolio to show potential clients or brands what you can do. Turn your talent into coins in the bank.
Sell your merchandise
Through your content, you’ve probably developed funny characters, coined catchphrases, or perhaps you’ve noticed a gap in the market for products that you know your audience would love. Make these a reality with branded products, which you can sell via a web store and
There’s really no limits to what you can brand, package and sell these days, think up some ideas, crunch the numbers and ask your audience what they think – you may have an incredible entrepreneurial spirit inside you that you never knew existed! To help sell your merch, check out the merch shelf that allows eligible creators to showcase their official branded merchandise on YouTube. The shelf appears on the video page of eligible channels but might not show on all video pages.
Some other ways to earn money on YouTube include licensing your content to other businesses and work with brands as an affiliate or influencer.
Good things to know before monetizing your channel
- If your channel was rejected from YPP, you haven’t ‘failed’ forever. You can reapply in 30 days, which is enough time to fix any problems on your channel.
- It will take YouTube about a month to review your application.
- When it comes to AdSense revenue, you’ll earn 55% of all advertising profits while YouTube takes the other 45%.
- The revenue share for Super Chats and Channel Memberships is a 70-30 split. You’ll get 70% while YouTube keeps 30%.
- You need to make at least $100 before YouTube sends funds to your bank account, and it takes up to 60 days for that money to arrive.
Finally, if you want to monetize videos soundtracked with music and sound effects, that journey starts with a music subscription. Why? If you’re using music you’re not licensed to use in your content; you won’t be able to monetize. Sign up for a free trial here if you haven’t already.