Got the talent to create entertaining videos and a knack for showmanship? Becoming a YouTube content creator might be your key to success.
YouTube video creation is one of the most lucrative ways to make money online, especially if you have loyal viewers who help you clock in views, likes, and comments.
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Tighter YouTube Monetization Policies
But since 2018, YouTube has tightened its regulations, raising the requirements for each video creator who wants to start earning money from their YouTube channel.
Video creators now need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and tally 4,000 hours of overall watch time within the past 12 months before being considered for the YouTube Partner Program. Previously, the threshold was set at 10,000 public views without requirements for viewing hours.
Furthermore, channels that continuously violate community guidelines will be removed from the YouTube Partner Program. Three strikes will kick the user out of YouTube.
If you fulfill these requirements, good news—you can monetize your YouTube videos! The only question that remains is, how?
First Things First: Enable YouTube Monetization
You won’t be able to jump start your YouTube monetization process if your account’s not in monetization mode.
To do that, here are the steps you should follow:
- Sign in to your YouTube channel using your Google account.
- In the Settings menu, click “Creator Studio.”
- Go to the Dashboard and choose “Channel” just below the Community tab.
- Select “Status and Features” from the dropdown menu. From here, you can see if your monetization status is enabled or not.
- If it’s not enabled, click “Monetization” under Channel, and then click the “Apply for Monetization” option.
- Your channel will be placed under review for a few days before it gets approved.
How to Monetize Your YouTube Content
Now that you have enabled YouTube monetization, it’s time to make money from your videos! With over 400 hours of video uploaded on YouTube every single minute, the competition is pretty fierce.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get your share of the pie. Check out the following powerful strategies to earn money from your YouTube channel:
Earn from ads by becoming a YouTube Partner
The easiest way to earn passive income from YouTube is by applying to the YouTube Partner Program.
As a YouTube partner, you can make money from posting ads on your videos via Google AdSense and getting memberships for your channel. You can also take advantage of the SuperChat feature, which allows you to boost comments from your viewers during live chats, thus increasing their visibility.
But before you can become a full-fledged YouTube partner, you must adhere to YouTube’s ad rules. You also have to follow the requirements—4,000 video watch hours and 1,000 subscribers in the last 12 months.
That doesn’t mean that you have to be on YouTube for a year to achieve these figures. If your content goes viral, you might be able to clock in 4,000 watch hours for a single video in a matter of weeks. You can also create 40 videos and aim to get 100 watch hours on each.
It all depends on how alluring your content is, as well as the strategy you’ll take.
Encourage your fans to donate to fund your videos
Crowdfunding is another technique that you can use to monetize your YouTube channel.
If you’ve already built a loyal fan following, you can ask them to help fund your new videos by donating. To collect payments for your content, you can use platforms like Patreon and Tipee, which allow your followers to make recurring or one-time donations. With these platforms, you can also give perks and rewards to your donors, depending on how much they donate.
Although this type of monetization is often seen on nonprofit channels, you can also use it for profit. As long as you continue to produce exciting content that’s relevant to your viewers, you’ll be surprised at how generous they are in funding your video operations.
Use affiliate links on your videos
If you can use affiliate links to monetize your blogs and podcasts, who says you can’t do the same for your YouTube videos?
Promoting affiliate products is a huge earning opportunity, especially for tutorial and product review channels.
The way it works is simple. You review a particular product, recommend it to your audience, and put your affiliate link on the video description and comments section. Just make sure you call attention to your link on your video. When a viewer clicks your link to buy that product, you earn a commission.
But don’t think that you can just put affiliate links all over your YouTube content. If viewers don’t click those links, they won’t translate to money. Your viewers will only click your link if you’re a trusted resource on the subject matter.
For example, if you usually do makeup reviews, an affiliate link for a coffee product might not generate enough clicks as an affiliate link for a new brand of lipstick.
You also have to build trust among your audience and make them see you as an expert. Your video content should help solve concrete problems, like a lipstick that lasts for a whole day and does not smudge while you eat. If a product doesn’t answer your audience’s problems, they’re unlikely to buy it.
You can join plenty of affiliate programs on the internet. Look for programs in affiliate networks like CJ, Impact, and Shareasale.
You may also join the Amazon influencer program to make money through Amazon recommendations. All you need to do is enter the program, review and recommend Amazon products, then direct your viewers to Amazon using your affiliate links. You get an 8% to 10% commission for every viewer who clicks your link and buys the product on Amazon.
Monetize your videos using sponsored content
If you already have a massive following on YouTube, you might attract big brands and companies who are looking to promote their products and services in a successful YouTube channel. These companies pay YouTubers handsomely for allowing them to sponsor content.
If you’re not being pitched by any company, you may reach out to them and ask for sponsorship, provided that you have a lot of engaged followers.
But don’t just take any company’s offer. Make sure that the paid content you’re going to publish on your channel truly adds value to your audience.
It’s pretty much the same when you’re choosing affiliate products. If you’re not discerning with the sponsored posts you allow in your channel, your audience will lose their trust and start unsubscribing.
Maximize YouTube Red
YouTube Red is YouTube’s ad-free version. Viewers pay $9.99 to watch YouTube videos without ads.
Now, if you’re making money through ads, this might sound like bad news for you. But actually, you can still generate money based on view time.
The longer a visitor watches your video, the higher your revenue is. That means you should keep your content as engaging as possible to increase your watch time and engagement.
Make money using YouTube Paid Contents
Though most videos on YouTube are free, many people forget that the popular video streaming platform also has a paid version—YouTube Premium.
With YouTube Premium, you can create gated content that’s only accessible to viewers who pay subscription fees. You can start offering paid videos once you reach 1,000 subscribers. It’s a great way to monetize your YouTube channel by offering paid courses or video series.
Use YouTube as part of your marketing funnel
A marketing funnel is a multi-step process that turns your viewers into actual paying customers. If you’re selling a product or service, you can leverage YouTube videos to spread the word and get more sales.
One option is to use YouTube videos together with your blog. If you’re writing a blog post about a lipstick you’re selling, you can repurpose that post and turn it into a video. Embed that YouTube video in your post to get more views. Place links to your e-commerce store on both the blog post and video so that you get more product sales.
Optimize your YouTube SEO
Did you know that YouTube is the second-largest internet search engine after Google?
That’s why you should pay attention to SEO or search engine optimization. It’s one of the best ways to start gaining followers so that you can eventually monetize your channel through the techniques stated above.
When optimizing your videos, take note of the following YouTube SEO ranking factors:
- Number of comments
- Number of subscribes after watching video
- Thumbs up and thumbs down ratio
- Video length
- Clickthrough rate on YouTube search results
Although videos don’t have written words, optimizing your videos still requires keyword research. What do people most commonly search on YouTube? Include these high-value keywords in your video title, description, and tags.
To know how your keywords are performing, you can check your YouTube “Traffic Source: YouTube search” report. It will also give you an idea of what specific keywords your viewers are searching for when they stumble upon your video.
Monetizing your YouTube channel is a breeze when you have tons of followers waiting for you to drop a new vlog. But remember that the best thing to do is to pair your videos with other marketing strategies—like blogging and funnels—to maximize your earning potential and enjoy a steady stream of revenue.