YouTube is half the internet: 1.9 billion users log in every month. But at the same time, 500 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute.
So you already know this article is not going to be about how easy it is to buy a Swiss watch with the ad revenue from your YouTube views. (Though if you have millions of video views, you could probably at least rent one. Wait, don’t.)
Read on, and we’ll lay out seven ways to earn income from your YouTube channel, complete with step-by-step instructions.
Table of Contents
How to make money on YouTube
1. Join the YouTube Partner Program
The YouTube Partner Program is how regular YouTubers get access to special features on the platform.
You don’t need to be a partner to make money on YouTube (just setting up an AdSense account and getting views is enough to handle that), but being a Partner makes it a lot easier.
YouTube Partners have access to multiple income streams: not just video ads, but YouTube Premium subscription fees, and features that tap your loyal fans’ wallets directly like Super Chat, channel memberships, and the merchandise shelf (more on these later.)
Step 1: Start a YouTube channel.
Step 2: Make your channel successful enough that it meets the YouTube Partner Program requirements
To join the program, you need a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months.
Step 3: Set up an AdSense account
This is simple. Just follow YouTube’s official guide to AdSense accounts.
Step 4: Explore your new monetization features
Each monetization channel has different eligibility requirements. For instance:
- Ad revenue: to earn ad revenue, you must be at least 18 years old and create advertiser-friendly content. The less controversial your videos, the more YouTube advertisers will be comfortable running ads on them, and the more money you make.
- YouTube Premium revenue: if a YouTube Premium member watches your video, you get a portion of their subscription fee. (This one is automatic, which is nice.)
- Channel memberships: to sell channel memberships to your subscribers (i.e., your fans opt to pay you an extra amount), you need to be at least 18 and have more than 30,000 subscribers.
- Merchandise shelf: to sell merch from YouTube’s merchandise shelf, you must be at least 18 years old and have at least 10,000 subscribers.
- Super Chat payments: if you want your fans to have the ability to pay to have their messages highlighted in your live chats during your live streams, you must be at least 18 (and live in a country where the feature is offered).
Step 5: Submit to ongoing reviews.
According to YouTube, as a YouTube Partner, your channel will be held to a higher standard. You have to follow the YouTube Partner Program policies and the Community Guidelines. Not to mention staying on the right side of copyright law.
2. Sell Products
Maybe you identify as a content creator first and entrepreneur second. (Remember that even Drake sells t-shirts.)
Alternately, you’re an entrepreneur first and video creator second, which means you probably already have a product, and you’re designing your YouTube marketing strategy to sell it.
Either way, merchandise is a viable way to earn money from YouTube.
3. Create sponsored content
You don’t have to be on Instagram to be an influencer. The advantage of the #sponcon strategy is that you don’t have to give YouTube a cut of your earnings. You negotiate directly with the brand, and they pay you directly. No wonder it’s a popular way for YouTubers to make money.
If you can offer brands a large and/or engaged audience—and your content is relevant to their target market—they probably want to hear from you.
4. Become an affiliate partner
If your YouTube audience is loyal and engaged but not quite there yet headcount-wise, look for companies investing in affiliate marketing.
YouTubers affiliated with businesses encourage their viewers to visit the brand’s online store or specific product pages. They then get a percentage of sales made through their — you guessed it — affiliate links.
In terms of setup and logistics, affiliate partnerships are similar to sponsored content deals, so follow the steps from tip #3 to get started.
5. Get your fans to pay you directly
This strategy for making money on YouTube includes a few different income streams, but they all have one thing in common: you have to make it easy for your fans to show their appreciation with their credit card.
6. Use crowdfunding
Soliciting donations online is now commonplace. Whether you’re looking to build ongoing revenue from a pool of small monthly donations or looking to fund a personal, channel-related project, crowdfunding is how many YouTubers make money.
7. License your content to the media
When a video goes viral, every news outlet wants to get their hands on a copy to replay it for their audience. Fortunately, established media companies are well aware that they need to pay for their use. And voila, you’ve got yourself another way to make money on YouTube.
As a content creator, licensing your most successful work to the media can be as simple as making sure you’re easy to find.
FAQs About Youtube.
How much money can you make on YouTube?
Sadly, this age-old question has one infuriating answer: it depends.
The sky is the limit, as a 9-year old YouTuber and multi-millionaire Ryan Kaji’s story proves. But getting into 7-digit territory takes a lot of time, consistent work, and luck.
YouTube revenue relies heavily on AdSense. In simple terms, YouTubers get paid for each ad view on their channel. But rates vary across geographies, demographics, and even industries (software ads may have a higher CPM than, for example, clothing ads).
On average, YouTubers make between $3 and $5 per 1,000 video views through AdSense. This can stack up to a pretty paycheck if your channel reaches many people. It’s not uncommon for prominent creators to cash out upwards of $200,000 each month from AdSense alone.
But even if your channel is trending and AdSense revenue is filling up your bank account, remember that YouTube fame depends on many factors, some (or most) of which are out of your control — the YouTube algorithm can change, as can your audience’s tastes and needs.
Follow our seven tips and branch out to ensure that the money you make on YouTube turns into a healthy and consistent income. Merch, branded deals, and crowdfunding can earn you money even if, for whatever reason, your AdSense paychecks go down.
How much money do YouTubers make every 1,000 views?
With the average YouTube pay rate hovering between $0.01 and $0.03 for an ad view, a YouTuber can make around $18 per 1,000 ad views, which comes out to $3 to $5 per 1,000 video views. Forbes also estimates that a YouTuber can make about $5 for every 1,000 video views for top talent.
With that said, creating a YouTube channel can be a great side hustle, primarily if you produce engaging content that attracts a large audience. However, getting to this point can be challenging work, and we’ll get more into that later on in this post.
How much money does a YouTuber make per subscriber?
YouTube does not pay you based on the number of subscribers you have on your channel. Subscribers are people who choose to follow your account so that they can have easy access to your latest videos. When you post a video, it will automatically show up on their homepage.
Subscribers are valuable because they’re the ones who will most likely comment, like, and share your videos with even more people. That means you can gain more views and potentially more YouTube money if you place suitable ads. So, while YouTube does not pay you based on the number of subscribers you have, they are integral to the number of views your videos receive.
How much money can a YouTuber make per video?
The amount of money a YouTuber can make per video depends on various factors, such as the number of views they accumulate and how many Google ads are displayed throughout their videos. Using Forbes’s estimated pay rate of $5 per 1,000 views, a YouTube video with 1,000,000 views can make upwards of $5,000, which makes being a modern-day influencer a pretty lucrative job! However, as previously noted, these are estimates, and some YouTubers may make more or less depending on the quality of the ad, click-through rate, and other factors.
It’s also important to note that this is a rapidly growing area. According to a study by eMarketer, social video ad spending will increase 44% from 2019 by 2021. That’s a $14.89 billion increase.
How many views do YouTubers need to get paid?
To get paid by YouTube, you need to reach a $100 or more balance from views. This means you’ll need to garner 20,000 views if you receive $5 per 1,000 views. YouTube created the YouTube Partner Program to make this happen, which allows you to get paid through advertisements on your page. To be accepted into the YouTube Partners Program, you must:
- Have at least 1,000 subscribers
- Reach 4,000 valid public watch hours in the past 12 months
- Sign and agree to the terms and conditions
- Have an AdSense account
- Get reviewed and approved
Once you’re in the Youtube Partners Program, you’ll be able to start bringing in money through advertisements. This is done in two ways: cost per thousand views (CPM) or cost per click (CPC). With CPM, you can earn money based on every 1,000 views you accumulate, while with CPC, you can earn money based on the number of people that click on the ad placed on your page or video.
However, it’s important to note that Google will give you 68% of the revenue when displaying ads with AdSense. So, for example, if a video generates $1,000 from AdSense revenue, you will receive $680.
Who are the top paid YouTubers?
10. Logan Paul – $14.5 million
9. PewDiePie – $15.5 million
8. Jacksepticeye – $16 million
7. VanossGaming – $17 million
6. Markiplier – $17.5 million
5. Jeffree Star – $18 million
4. DanTDM – $18.5 million
3. Dude Perfect – $20 million
2. MrBeast – $250 million
1. Ryan ToysReview – $262 million