Some people are making millions on YouTube, but is YouTube monetization right for you? And what are the monetization rules?
Everyone knows that making money on YouTube is not easy. It can take years to build up followers and to monetize the content you create for your channel. A YouTubers salary fluctuates and is never consistent and there are YouTube payment hurdles you need to conquer before you can cash out. Still, if you want to make money on YouTube, you're not alone.
So how can you actually earn money with video content on the internet?
Today I'm going to go the many ways there are to monetize YouTube and take you through all the steps that may eventually lead to making your channel profitable.
Let’s jump into...
YouTube's Monetization Policies
Want to earn money with YouTube? Not so fast. There are rules set up by the website that regulate who can and cannot make money. These rules only cover advertising, but they also affect how many people see your videos, and they help you get more of an audience if you follow them.
Let’s take a look at YouTube’s policies so you can make sure your channel is up to snuff.
The Rules for YouTube Video Monetization
YouTube is constantly working with businesses and consumers to make sure their policies are up to date. Just last year, they reorganized their policies that regulate which videos are allowed to make money. But that doesn;t always apply to everyone. Like, do movie channels earn money on YouTube? It depends on what kinds of content you show.
Does your channel qualify to let you earn money on YouTube?
YOUTUBE MONETIZATION RULES:
- Your content is advertiser-friendly.
- You created the content or have permission to use it commercially.
- You are able to provide documentation proving you own commercial rights to all audio and video.
- Your content complies with YouTube Partner Program policies, YouTube’s Terms of Service, and Community Guidelines.
- YouTube reserves the right to disable monetization for accounts that do not follow our guidelines.
As we move forward, these basic tenants of the YouTube advertising policy need to be met in order to earn money with YouTube. That can be frustrating, but if you want to break these rules, the only hope to monetize your video channel is to add a Patreon link or ask people for donations via Paypal.
The YouTube payment rules are strict, so make sure yo follow them or you might not be able to cash out YouTube.
Can you make money from YouTube playlists?
Being an aggregator of videos don't get you anything except maybe subscribers who want to pay for your original content. If you're trying to compete with the free YouTube Audio Library you're also in for a shock. You can't make money when someone else is giving it away for free.
So...how can you monetize your YouTube channel?
How To Earn Money With YouTube
The YouTube Partner Program
It's in YouTube's best interest to get you online and creating content. After Google, YouTube is the #2 website people go to in order to learn facts or research answers. Content is king, and having great content means driving traffic to your site. Many companies are branching out and creating videos that they then monetize on YouTube as an extra source of income.
And lots of people are making their YouTube videos a way to cash their own checks.
Are you ready to start your career on YouTube?
Want that YouTuber salary?
That's where the YouTube partner program comes into play. The Youtube partner program controls and tracks all advertising applicants. So if you want to consistently earn ad revenue from your videos, you'll need to join the program.
But it's not that easy.
YouTube mandates that your channel must have 4,000 watch hours over the past year and 1,000 subscribers before you can even apply for advertising privileges.
You need to grow your channel.
So get to work producing content and sharing for views. You have a long road ahead.
If that seems like a lot to track, don't worry. Google has you covered.
Get a Google Adsense Account
So if you want to make money on YouTube...you don't need to prove anything to YouTube. You need to prove it to Google.
Hard to follow?
Let's look closer.
Google Adsense keeps tabs on YouTube. When you apply to make money on YouTube, your adsense account tracks your videos. Let's say you qualifty - great! Google Adsense aggregates your views and then will direct deposit your funds made from advertisements on the 21st of each month.
If your content is excellent and draws tons of views, then you'll be swimming in cash like Scrooge McDuck.
You're on your way to that lucrative YouTuber salary.
How YouTube Advertisements Make You Money
Without going into painstaking detail on what happens behind the scenes with cookies and browser history, YouTube Ads have been created to appeal to the buyer’s targeted audience. They’re chosen based off your video’s topic, fan demographic, and the location of the viewer on the globe.
How do brands decide if they want to advertise with you? They need to decide if you're the kind of video content they want to be in business with moving forward. Do you create content that's appelaing to a wide array of brands? Or are you in a niche market?
If the brands want to be associated with you then you’re ready to earn money with video via their advertisements.
There are six formats of YouTube Ads
YouTube Ad Format
You want your YouTube ads to work for you. For that, you need to make sure your channel is positioned as an authority in the space. And you desperately want to avoid the “Yellow $.”
What’s the “Yellow $?”
While it's not the kiss of death, it's close.
The Yellow Dollar Sign is a way for YouTube to tell advertisers that you have some objectionable content that may not be suitable for all viewers. That means you're closing a window to who may want to work with you in the future.
Getting a steady YouTube payment is hard enough. You can reduce the risk of your video’s getting the Yellow Dollar Sign by avoiding the following:
- Shocking Content: Everyone loves a surprise, but YouTube doesn’t prioritize it.
- Profanity: This can alienate viewers and advertising. Consider a “bleep” button.
- Misleading or Explicit Thumbnails: Don’t be clickbait!
- Controversial: Taking a stance is okay, but try to limit public outcry.
These are all recommended by Google and YouTube to ensure your videos stay suitable for everyone and attractive to advertisers. Think about your favorite channels. Do they use all these steps?
Alright, now you know what's at stake.
Let's start coutning those views and tally up how much money we're going to make on YouTube.
How much do YouTubers get paid per 1000 views?
The average Youtuber salary is between $1.50 and $3 per 1000 views, depending on their audience.
Yes, you heard that right. I know that’s not the YouTuber salary you thought, but welcome to the game. The YouTube pay rate is very low. It takes consistent views in the tens of thousands to millions to actually make a high YouTuber salary.
To put it even more succinctly...THE YOUTUBE PAY PER VIEW IS .0015 TO .003 CENTS PER VIEW.
When Does YouTube Start Paying You?
Right away, as long as you're raking it in. Otherwise, it might take a while. Google Adsense won’t cut you a check for under $100. So make sure you get those views up! It can take time. Keep releasing videos, and your YouTube pay rate should steadily rise.
Here’s the bad news: To make around $100, you need to accrue around 50,000 views. That’s not a great Youtube pay rate especially when you consider that YouTube said 99% of all users who monetize with ads only made around $100 in their first year.
What can help move your channel forward?
Find Your Target Audience
It's easy to say your target audience is "everyone," but also shortsighted. In the beginning, you want to find and capture your market and then look for crossover. Focus in on who you’re creating content for and make sure you service their needs. It will help you, and your brand, stick out.
Remember how we talked about ads wanting to be specified and targeted at certain markets? The more you narrow your view, the easier it will be for them to understand why they should invest ad space into your videos.
That’s when YouTube starts paying you.
Still, what about the times there's nothing happening and you're not gaining any views?
Use SEO to Attract Viewers
Even the most successful YouTube channels tend to bottom out at some point. If your gains have gone static, it might be time to try to use Google's algorithm to garner more views. This means creating titles, tags, and descriptions that are search engine optimized.
SEO makes your videos easier to find and tells Google that they are THE authoritative take on something. This causes your video to rise to the top of Google, and thus get more views on YouTube.
Easier to find videos + great content = more subscribers.
Video Monetizing on ad revenue alone is way too daunting of a task. You’re going to have to think outside the box for other ways to make your YouTube career pay off.
You don't have to work alone though. Sometimes the best way to learn how to monetize your YouTube videos is to...
Build Your Network
If you're trying to monetize your YouTube videos you're playing the long game. It can take a long time to acquire the number of active users and commenters it takes to make any money from advertisements. That can become frustrating. Especially when only a limited amount of YouTube payments come in. But there are other ways to make cash and get your brand awareness out into the world.
Start talking with companies and meeting people who may be in the same area as you. If you sell fishing poles, find the person who makes the hooks. And the person who makes the lures.
Offer to meet up. Do a call. Or make videos with one another.
If you start advertising each other, you'll get lots of crossover clicks too. Suddenly their 10,000 followers may become yours. and vice versa.
If you have a ton of people watching your channel, you can also reach out to products and offer to incorporate them into your videos for a fee.
Get Paid Endorsements
What's a paid endorsement? Paid endorsements for products like sponsorships or brand deals are lucrative ways to support yourself and your channel. That means if you sell stuff like camera equipment, you get Red to let you play with a camera and then tell people to use it. And maybe they pay for you to head to Costa Rica to use it.
Seem like a great gig?
And there's a ton of money to be made on YouTube endorsements. And Social Media endorsements in general. In a recent Variety documentary, it was revealed that Bella Thorne gets paid up to $65,000 for a brand-endorsed Instagram and anywhere between $10,000 to $20,000 for sponsored Stories on both Instagram and Snapchat.
Reach out to companies and see if they’d be interested in teaming up with you. If they cover the nominal costs of making your videos maybe you can work something out.
See who’s using the same hashtags as you — skyscrape competitors. It's not stealing, it's an inspiration spark.
Overwhelmed at who to contact? Use FameBit.
FameBit helps connect creators with advertisers so they can team up. They use a complex algorithm to track views, demographics, and your channel’s market share. After perusing their website, the most important takeaway is that they want you to be specific about what you're selling, and your brand. So nail it down, then get the pros to help.
“Powered by data, we built the best in class tools to connect brands with the right creators, enabling branded content that reaches the right audience and inspires action.” --- FameBit
Don't worry, YouTube knows all this stuff can be hard to tackle. So they added their own "sponsor" button to help you out.
YouTube Sponsor Button
After a lot of user requests, YouTube added a button onto the bottom of some videos that reads “SPONSOR.” The button corresponds to a feature they’re calling “Sponsorships” which directly link your viewers to the content sponsoring the videos. The benefit to having the button on your page is that it gives you a high conversion rate. Clicks get you cash.
You can make a badge that can attach to your sponsors’ name on YouTube, so everyone knows they’re a supporter. If a well-known or respectable brand sponsors you, it can give you more clout with viewers. Imagine Nike endorsing your skate videos. Or Gatorade calling you the king or queen of hydration tips.
Let's say all these previous ideas come with too many strings.
You want your content unfiltered, unregulated, and personalized.
Time to ask the people to support your endeavors.
The videos and ideas are yours. It's time the audience shelled out the cash. The best thing about Patreon is that there is no term-limit when it comes to accepting donations. That means people can sign up to donate monthly, daily, yearly etc. That means as you grow the money can increase with the audience. And you can offer bonus stuff for people who offer more or donate more frequently.
Even one-time payment options.
What if you want to raise money for one video, or one season, or just one goal?
IndieGoGo / Kickstarter
Most people think of these websites when it comes to making movies, TV show, or products. But your video content is your product. If you can come up with an energetic campaign and pitch, these sites are a great place to make money. Targeted campaigns for specific needs can keep audiences in the loop on your content and get your message shared into the world.
The downside with these sites is that you have a limited amount of time to raise a goal amount. On Kickstarter, if you don’t make your goal, you lose all the money promised.
These sites should be used sparingly and efficiently. Our advice is only to set them up if you already have a massive amount of regular viewers and followers.
Summing Up How to Make Your Youtube Channel Stand Out
There you have it. The many ways to make money on YouTube. One thing remains true for every option though, you have to continue to create great content, and the money will come. Adding followers will help woo advertisers, sponsors, and product placement in no time at all.
These are the keys to monetizing your YouTube ventures.
Got better ideas? Leave them in the comments!
I can't wait to see which channels we see burgeoning out from this post.
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February 4, 2019 at 12:07AM
This whole article is BS.
Use YouTube to display your content, but don't rely on YouTube to get paid. I strongly doubt many people make a decent living, which is paying bills, with any YouTube monetization.
If you are truly providing a content that is useful and sought after, just provide a link to a paypal account or a patreon account. Don't waste time with the Google.
February 9, 2019 at 5:50AM
very in-depth and may prove useful for us. Thanks again NFS
June 6, 2019 at 12:14PM
Good read but you say and good options but, I can't even get to the YouTube partner program requirements (4000 hours!). I am 2000 hours away to reach monetization and I feel like giving up. Me and my friends we sponsor each other make videos etc. but it takes ages, YouTube should have set lower requirements in my opinion. What do you think about using sites that will increase hous fast? Like qqtube or Lenos, is it a “fast solution” or you think it’s not worth the investment? Anyway good article and thanks for the suggestions, hope one day to make money with YouTube!
January 13, 2021 at 3:56PM