I recently discussed 11 ways to earn money from your website. You can also make money online if you operate a YouTube channel – well you can if you are patient. Google owns YouTube. So compared to most of the other social networks there is a more direct pathway to assist you to make money on YouTube.
In reality, making money is the simple part of operating a YouTube channel. It is far harder to build a channel with a large following than it is to be famous on Facebook or Instagram. You obviously need to film, edit and upload regular videos. You have to own the copyright on these videos, so means that you have to spend the time making them.
However, if you love making videos, have the know-how, equipment and skills, then it is probably a relatively simple process for you to make money on YouTube.
You Need a Large, Popular Channel First
While there are definite paths to help you make money on YouTube, you cannot do it, if you only have a tiny following. You have to build yourself a large and popular channel first. You genuinely need to create a fanbase.
Now, if you are over 30, you are probably unaware of just how popular some of the channels are. Ignoring YouTube’s own themed channels, the most famous YouTube channel belongs to PewDiePie. The anarchic, and very un-PC, PewDiePie runs a gaming channel, where he currently has 58 million subscribers. His fans have downloaded his videos an incredible 15.7 billion times.
Now, you will not need eye-popping statistics like that for your channel. However, you won’t make money on YouTube if you are still struggling to reach 1,000 subscribers. If you are to succeed, you need to consider your video channel as being equivalent to a full-time job.
Just as the early stages of blogging should all be about building traffic, your beginning YouTube days should focus on creating videos that people like and encouraging subscribers.
Assuming that you have built up a respected channel, what can you do to make money on YouTube?
1. Receive Advertising Revenue on Your YouTube Channel
With Google owning YouTube, there is a clear path for you to sign up to Google Adsense and attach ads to your videos. With Adsense, every viewer will see a different set of ads on the videos they watch. It depends on the viewer’s web-surfing history.
Be warned, though, that most people who sign for Adsense receive little or no money. You do need to have good traffic, and preferably a good relationship with your viewers, first.
You and Google share the money an advertiser pays. Reports suggest that Google keeps approximately 45% of the total amount that advertisers pay. You will earn between $1 and $2 per 1000 views (CPM – cost per mille – it is Latin). The payment rate changes regularly though.
People have to watch an entire ad, rather than skipping it, for it to count as a “view.”
You could also choose to have cost per click (CPC) ads placed on your YouTube channel, although you are dependent on people clicking on these ads.
There is a minimum payment level of $100. If you do not earn enough money, then Google does not have to pay you.
If you can generate enough traffic to your channel, you will be able to exceed Google’s threshold and then receive payments from them.
So, work on creating create quality videos, and put plenty of time into promoting them.
The moment you monetise your content and begin to share advertising revenue with YouTube you qualify to become a YouTube Partner. This status gives you detailed analytics about your viewers and the ads they clicked on – or avoided. You receive a few other partner benefits, like custom thumbnails and extra promotion from YouTube.
2. Influencer Marketing
Once you have made a name for yourself, you have further ways to make money on YouTube. If your YouTube channel creates enough of a stir that you come across as being influential, then sponsorship opportunities often arise. You will need a sizeable audience first, though, before companies come knocking at your door.
If a business believes you are an influencer, and that it can benefit from linking its name with your channel, it will consider sponsoring you. The more significant your audience size, the larger the payment you should be able to negotiate.
You need to make any sponsorship arrangements very clear to your audience. America’s FTC has been looking closely at cases of undeclared influencer marketing of late.
A sponsor could pay you to use their product in your videos. You can endorse it by using the product and recommending it.
3. Sell Affiliate Products
It is common for YouTube channels to review products. They often place a link in video descriptions which takes viewers to a site where they can buy the products they have seen discussed. Regularly these links are set up as affiliate links and If a visitor buys the product, the owner of the YouTube channel receives a percentage of the purchase price as commission.
You do need to be honest and transparent about your affiliate connections. As always, you need to provide value to your subscribers.
There is a range of affiliate marketplaces where you can search for products to review. These include Amazon Associates and ClickBank.
The money you receive can be higher than with AdWords, but you only earn payment when somebody buys a product, having used your affiliate link. Sometimes people sign with a recurring amount, and you can receive affiliate income every time they make a payment.
You do need to keep your trust with your viewers, so do not come across as too salesy. You must provide truthful reviews. Don’t have anything to do with a product you do not like and would not use yourself.
4. Sell Merchandise
Once you have built up a personal fan base, you could consider merchandise related to your channel. You could sell a range of keyrings, mugs or hats promoting your site. Your followers will be happy to buy your merchandise as it helps them identify as part of your group.
You target these products at your most loyal fans. The more significant and watched your channel, the more your followers will hunt for merchandise.
You can promote your merchandise in your YouTube videos. Just be careful you do not appear too commercial and alienate your audience. You still need to come across as authentic to them.
If you have built up a following who loves your videos, you might have an option to raise funds through crowdfunding. YouTube creators have discovered that many of their supporters are happy to help them out financially. With crowdfunding, people go to a particular page on a website, like Patreon, and donate money to help you.
The Nerdwriter produces a weekly web series of videos aimed to cultivate worldview. He set a crowdfunding goal of $3,000, so he could create more original animation and also buy new camera equipment. The Nerdwriter then targeted various milestones of $400, $700, $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000 in his funding quest. He also provided an incentive to his crowd funders, by posting 30 videos that he restricted to viewing by his funders.
If you want to know more details about how to make money on YouTube, take a look at the Influencer Marketing Hub article on the topic.