How to Make Money on YouTube: 6 Effective Strategies
If you’re wondering how to make money on YouTube, look no further than these 6 strategies for monetizing your channel and your creative work.
Okay, ad revenue is the most obvious way to make money on YouTube. But it’s not the only way—or, to be honest, the best way.
(Spoiler: the best way to make money on YouTube is all the ways.)
So you already know this article is not going to be about how easy it is to buy a Swiss watch with the ad revenue from your YouTube views. (Though if you have millions of views, you could probably at least rent one. Wait, don’t.)
How to make money on YouTube
Become a YouTube Partner
The YouTube Partner Program is how regular YouTubers get access to special features on the platform.
You don’t need to be a partner to make money on YouTube (just setting up an AdSense account and getting views is enough to handle that), but being a Partner makes it a lot easier.
YouTube Partners have access to multiple income streams: not just ads, but YouTube Premium subscription fees, and features that tap your fans’ wallets directly like Super Chat, channel memberships and the merchandise shelf (more on these later.)
Step 1. Start a channel
Don’t worry, we have a handy guide for this. It’s called ‘How to create a YouTube channel.’
Step 2. Make your channel successful enough that it meets the YouTube Partner Program requirements
To join the program, you need a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months.
Here are some ideas for how to get more of those precious YouTube views.
Step 3. Set up an AdSense account
This is simple. Just follow YouTube’s official guide to AdSense accounts.
Step 4. Explore your new monetization features
Each monetization channel has different eligibility requirements. For instance:
- Ad revenue: to earn ad revenue, you must be at least 18 years old, and you must create content that is advertiser-friendly. Basically, the less controversial your videos, the more YouTube advertisers will be comfortable running ads on them, and the more money you make.
- YouTube Premium revenue: if a YouTube Premium member watches your video, you get a portion of their subscription fee. (This one is automatic, which is nice.)
- Channel memberships: in order to sell channel memberships to your subscribers (i.e., your fans opt in to pay you an extra amount), you need to be at least 18 and have more than 30,000 subscribers.
- Merchandise shelf: in order to sell merch from YouTube’s merchandise shelf, you must be at least 18 years old, and have at least 10,000 subscribers.
- Super Chat payments: if you want your fans to have the ability to pay to have their messages highlighted in your live chats during your live streams, you must be at least 18 (and live in a country where the feature is offered).
Step 5. Submit to ongoing reviews
As a YouTube Partner, your channel will be held to a higher standard, according to YouTube. You have to follow not just the YouTube Partner Program policies, but the Community Guidelines. Not to mention staying on the right side of copyright law.
Sell your own merchandise
Maybe you identify as a content creator first, and entrepreneur second. (Just remember that even Drake sells t-shirts.)
Alternately, you’re an entrepreneur first and video creator second, which means you probably already have a product, and you’re designing your YouTube marketing strategy to sell it.
Either way, merchandise is a viable way to earn money from YouTube.
Step 1. Imagine and design your product
Merchandise for your channel is meant to both represent and feed your audience’s connection with you. That means your merch should be unique.
Hawaiian YouTube star Ryan Higa launched his milk-based energy drink Ninja Melk to leverage the popularity of his viral comedy, Ninja Melk. While he also sells t-shirts and other merch from his online shop, Ninja Melk’s appeal is broad enough it has its own website.