It’s the big question of our generation—how can you make money on YouTube?
While there’s definite potential in going hard and trying to get the infamous “one million views”, that’s not the whole cash-dollar story when it comes to earning some extra cash from the juggernaut video-sharing platform. You can absolutely have some side earnings coming through the door if you know the few easy ways YouTube lets you monetise your channel. Spoiler alert, you’ll only need 1000 subscribers.
Here’s how to make money on YouTube.
Monetise Your Channel In Your Account Settings
First thing’s first, you don’t automatically get paid for uploading videos to YouTube. Along with this, videos don’t just get monetised accidentally and ads aren’t randomly placed in videos by default. In order for you to start earning money from YouTube and the content you’re creating, you’ve got to jump into your settings and join one of two monetisation options—joining the YouTube Partners Program or listing your videos on YouTube Premium.
YouTube Partner Program
Being part of YouTube’s Partner Program gives you access to a suite of monetisation features including ad revenue (one of the easiest ways to bring in some extra bucks without having a large audience), channel memberships (if you’re at least 18 and have more than 30,000 subscribers), merchandise (if you’re at least 18 and have more than 10,000 subscribers). Being part of YouTube’s Partner Program basically just means your channel and content gets constantly reviewed by YouTube to ensure you’re meeting YouTube’s policies and guidelines.
You can apply for YouTube’s Partner Program once your audience hits 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours in one year.
YouTube Premium is based on a membership program, giving subscribers wholesome access to their favourite creators without the hassle of ads popping up mid-video. This model realistically works seamlessly if you’ve already got a cult following.
Get Creative And Sell Your Own Products Or Merch On YouTube
The beauty of YouTube is that if you’re keen to make money off it, having a channel is almost like having your own shop, but online. Merchandise is super popular on YouTube but it does require a solid audience being built beforehand. Having a channel can give you a subscriber and audience pool which you can then try and drive back to a website which houses your own products or merch. YouTube gives creators the ability to drop links in the description box (which you can do regardless of how many subscribers or views you have), custom link on your profile banner (this allows up to five different links in case you also want to steer people towards your Instagram or TikTok) and of course, linking in the infamous end screen.
If you’ve watched many a YouTube video in your time, you’ll be well across that final screen which is available to add to the end of your videos when you join YouTube’s Partner Program. This screen shows for 20 seconds and kind of acts like a “call to action” so you can direct anyone watching your videos to go watch another one of your videos, to subscribe to your channel or click through to an external website eg. a site where you might be hosting some goods to sell.
Set Up A Fan Funding Platform For Your YouTube Account
By now, you’ve definitely heard of platforms like Patreon and perhaps Tipeee. These platforms allow audiences to donate money to channels they love, especially if they want to keep watching content. Patreon is a membership-based platform where users basically subscribe for as much as they want (as little as $1 a month) and Tipeee allows users to do one-off donations or give regular donations.
Become An Affiliate On YouTube
Much like how you would make money on Instagram, YouTube allows its creators to be affiliates. The most effective way to do this on YouTube, is through trying products and reviewing them. From here, you can make some commission off any brand partnerships if people click through a trackable link.
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Image credit: Marco Xu