Wondering how to monetize YouTube content? You’re in the right place! This guide has been written specifically for content creators looking to earn money off of YouTube videos. There’s a common misconception that getting views on YouTube is enough to make a decent income. While having a channel that has a good amount of views (and can generate new viewers consistently) is important, it doesn’t guarantee that you will earn a lot of money.
YouTube pays ad revenue to content creators who have passed the platform’s eligibility requirements. However, today there are many ways to earn money by building a loyal following on YouTube (or any other social platform) even if you don’t have a million subscribers.
This guide will cover:
- How to monetize content on YouTube using 6 simple methods.
- Tips on what content can be monetized on YouTube.
- A brief outline on how much you make when YouTube monetizes your content.
Let’s get started!
6 Ways to Earn Money on YouTube
1. Ad revenue
YouTube Partner program allows you to place ads on your video and earn money for each time an ad gets viewed or clicked on.
You can easily join the program. Whenever you log in to YouTube Studio, you will see a monetization tab, and you can always visit it to enable monetization on your videos.
However, you must first meet YouTube’s eligibility criteria, which is as follows:
- Have at least 1,000 subscribers.
- Get 4,000 watch hours on regular videos in the past 365 days; or,
- Get 10 million views on Shorts in the past 90 days.
Consider this a benchmark to hit as soon as possible. Not only does it unlock monetization, but it also verifies whether or not your videos are working in your niche.
YouTube Studio offers you a number of tools to achieve this goal and grow your channel faster. The analytics tab gives you deep insights into your channel’s performance and helps you identify areas for improvement.
Finally, don’t forget to set up an AdSense account, this is how you monitor ads on your videos and get paid.
2. Sponsored content
Creating sponsored content frees you from the YouTube Partner program.
This is the bread-and-butter of “making it” on YouTube, this is usually the biggest income driver for most content creators. Basically, you reach out to brands and offer to create sponsored content for them in exchange for a payment.
The amount of money you can ask really depends on the size of your subscriber base as well as your overall engagement levels.
However, recently even micro influencers (those with 10,000 to 50,000 subscribers) have been able to demand big paychecks.
That’s because these influencers have a very narrow, super target and highly engaged audience (even though it’s small). Brands and marketers love this because ad campaigns in partnership with a strong micro influencer are generally much more profitable than working with big influencers.
The point is, there are money-making opportunities for anyone who creates content on YouTube, even if it’s highly niche content that only a small amount of people would like to watch.
Memberships allow you to offer exclusive videos, live chats, merchandise, and more to followers who pay a recurring fee to show their support to your channel.
This method of monetization was popularized by Patreon but now you can access membership features from within YouTube. However, you must meet additional requirements for this.
You must have 30,000 subscribers, a steady stream of new followers and consistent high quality content.
Here’s how you can turn on Memberships on YouTube:
- Go to YouTube Studio.
- Submit membership perks.
- Create an intro video.
- Set pricing for different tiers of support and membership.
- Add the Join button on your channel homepage.
4. Monetization platforms
Third-party monetization platforms offer excellent tools to turn your online following into money. YouTube ad earnings are usually too low to build a sustainable content creation business.
Moreover, finding sponsors and offering memberships adds to your workload. It takes extra time and effort to find sponsors and make content for them.
As for exclusive members, you are required to produce extra content that offers special value in addition to free content for your primary channel. This can be impractical for most new creators who don’t have the financial resources to build full media teams.
That’s where monetization platforms like Paysenger come into play.
Paysenger is a creator platform that offers a plethora of monetization tools all in one place. Creators with or without a following can easily create an account and start monetizing content with no minimum eligibility requirements.
Here’s how you can earn money on Paysenger:
- On-demand content: Paysenger is a creator marketplace where sponsors, idea makers, and fans can pay you to make videos for them. This could include shoutouts or viral-worthy content based on other people’s ideas. You get paid each time you fulfill a request.
- Subscriptions: You can easily monetize by offering subscriptions and exclusive content to your most loyal fans. Payments could be either one-time or recurring.
- Tokenized economy: Paysenger’s algorithm constantly reaches out to users to promote creator accounts and rewards everyone with EGO tokens for their participation. Fans get rewarded for giving likes and showing support to creators, and creators earn tokens for producing viral content.
- Paid messaging: Every interaction on Paysenger is paid including direct messages! Your time and expertise as a content creator is valuable, so Paysenger offers you a way to monetize personal messages and your attention as well.
5. Product sales
The biggest advantage you have as a content creator is that you can reach people without spending any money on advertisement.
This allows you to sell products and services virtually for free by talking about them in your videos. All you need to do is come up with a great product idea and set up an online store. Content creators usually sell clothes, accessories, beauty products, merchandise, digital products (courses, NFTs, etc.) wallets, and much more. Your product and design choice depends on your brand and niche.
Platforms like Shopify and Gumroad make it really easy to create an online store and put your products up for display. You can use a supplier in China or services like Shipbob for supply-chain and logistics. If you’re wondering how to sell your own merch after creating it from scratch, check out our comprehensive guide.
6. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is the oldest way to monetize content on the internet. As opposed to merchandise sales, as an affiliate marketer you earn a commission for selling other people’s products.
It works like this:
- You obtain your own trackable link from a brand.
- You place the unique trackable link in your content and encourage people to buy using your link.
- You earn a commission each time someone purchases a product using your link.
Companies like NordVPN and GoDaddy have great affiliate programs and you can simply head to their website and get your unique trackable link. This also works for product sales on Amazon.
For example, here’s @RoomieOfficial’s affiliate links to various camera and audio equipment that he uses to make his videos. He earns a cut each time someone makes a purchase on his page:
What content can be monetized on YouTube?
1. Original content
All original content on YouTube can be monetized. This means that you can’t use copyrighted music or use other people’s videos without permission.
Advertisers want to be associated only with high quality content, so YouTube is more likely to place ads on your videos if they’re original and without any copyright strikes.
YouTube doesn’t play ads on Shorts because they usually last only 20-30 seconds on average. However, that doesn’t mean Shorts won’t help you monetize your account and boost your earnings.
It’s much easier to get views on Shorts than long form content so they’re an excellent way to grow your channel especially in the beginning. Moreover, creating Shorts sends traffic to your channel and increases views on long form content which earns more ad revenue.
3. Long form videos
Long videos on YouTube can earn the most ad revenue because it’s much easier to put ads in them. This could include tutorial videos, travel vlogs, comedy sketches, cooking videos, podcasts, interviews, or anything that can hold the attention of viewers till the end.
The more people you have who watch the entire video, the more ads you can show them, and the more revenue you can earn.
If you’re just starting out as a YouTube creator then you might be overwhelmed by the amount of things you need to do to consistently produce content. The thing is, you should be spending all of your time and energy on content instead of worrying about monetization.
Sadly, there’s no other choice since you can’t continue producing content unless you find a reliable source of income to support your passion. YouTube is highly competitive and you will have to keep creating fresh content for a long time until your lucky break.
Until then, use monetization platforms to support your work so you can achieve your goals faster. Good luck!
Looking to grow as a content creator? Use a platform like Paysenger that automatically manages monetization for you. It collects payments for one-time content requests, pays you monetization revenue for posting viral content, and even takes payments from potential sponsors and partners.
Become an early adopter today to get more exposure (since competition is low at the moment). The platform is available to use for creators, idea makers, fans, and also idea makers/sponsors.