How to make money on YouTube

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Aina Prat Blasi
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Do you want to learn how to make money on YouTube? Here are the most effective ways to start making money from your YouTube videos.

While anyone can enjoy uploading videos to YouTube for fun, there may come a time when you actually want to earn an income from your video content. If you're planning on spending a lot of time on your channel, you've probably wondered how to make money on YouTube.

The truth is, very few people are going to get rich on YouTube, so it's important to set realistic expectations. However, as a YouTuber, you have several options for monetizing your videos and earning money from your work.

How to make money on YouTube

Let's take a look at how to make money on YouTube by discussing the most popular monetization methods.

Advertising through the YouTube Partner Program

Like most free services, YouTube is powered by advertising (unless you pay for YouTube Premium). Before watching most of the videos, and often in the middle of the longer ones, you will need to watch a short ad. Part of the money goes to the canal; the rest go to YouTube itself.

YouTube has certain guidelines for when your channel is eligible to participate in the YouTube Partner Program. Membership is required for monetization (which means ads appear on your videos). At the time of writing, YouTube requires a channel to have 4.000 watch hours in the previous 12 months, plus 1.000 subscribers, for monetization.

This means that you won't be able to make money from ads until you start building a fan base on YouTube. To check your progress, visit yours, then click on the card Monetization to the left. You will see if your channel meets the requirements and if not, where you are not up to par. Click Notify me when I am eligible if you wish to receive an email when you have reached them all.

When you meet the requirements, you can proceed with enabling monetization on your channel using this page. You'll need to link your AdSense account, choose the types of ads you want on your videos, and then run a review.

Unfortunately, there is no simple formula for how much money you can make through YouTube ads. It depends on how many people watch the full ad, how many viewers are using an adblocker, and other factors. Additionally, YouTube has encountered many problems in the past with advertisers withdrawing their ads from the platform. This has led the site to demonetize videos for a variety of reasons and frequently change the rules relating to monetization, which makes the resulting income inconsistent.

Overall, this means that ad revenue is not guaranteed at first. To address YouTube monetization issues, many creators use additional methods to make money on YouTube.

Positioning of products

Product placement is an ancient advertising technique common in TV programs and movies; it also works for making money on YouTube. The practice essentially boils down to using specific brands to promote them. For example, a Sony Pictures movie may include a shot of someone playing a PlayStation on a Sony TV.

On your YouTube channel, you may be able to enter into a product placement deal with a company relevant to the type of video you produce. Of course, you'll likely need to build a following before a brand wants to advertise with you, so this isn't something you can do when you're just starting out.

Product positioning doesn't have to be the entire focus of your video, just a part of it. Mentioning or using a trademark in your video naturally is all it takes.

This is a solid advertising tactic because people can't skip it. Additionally, viewers often feel a connection with their favorite creators. This lends more authenticity to your recommendations, but you need to be careful that this doesn't backfire.

If you don't make it clear that you've been paid for the promotion or don't like the product you're reviewing, it could negatively affect viewers' opinion of you. Thankfully, YouTube includes a checkbox to let all viewers know that a video contains sponsored content. This makes it clear in advance that you have been paid for inclusion.

Sponsorships and sponsored videos

Sponsored videos are similar to product placement, but with a few key differences. While product placement involves integrating a brand into an existing video, a sponsored video is based entirely on that brand or product.

For example, if you run a game channel, a developer might contact you to make a video about their game. Since you probably wouldn't have played this game otherwise, you'll let your viewers know that the developer paid you to make the video. A good sponsorship deal would allow you to share your true thoughts on the game so that any praise isn't considered fake.

Sponsorships also come in less drastic forms. Many YouTubers include a short message from the sponsor at the beginning or end of their videos. This is essentially a quick ad for a separate brand from YouTube ads. Sometimes, these include a viewer discount code to save some money if they sign up for the service.

Like product placement, sponsored videos are a good money-making alternative, but you should be careful with them. If it doesn't sound genuine to you, your audience may find these videos or quotes in bad taste. Therefore, you should try to avoid advertising something that you have never actually used or that you don't really approve of.

Affiliate link

You've probably heard of affiliate links, as many websites use affiliate systems to make money. Essentially, affiliate links allow you to create a unique URL for a website. When someone follows that link and buys a product, you get a small percentage of the sale.

These are fairly easy to set up and require no endorsement deals from brands. If you mention a particular product in your video, you can include an affiliate link to its Amazon page in the description.

Affiliate links are a good source of passive income. After all, if someone is going to buy a product anyway, it makes no difference to them if they buy it through your affiliate link. Like the other methods, it's a good idea to clearly disclose to your audience when you include affiliate links.

Fan Funding and Channel Subscriptions

Many people have turned to fan funding as an alternative way to make money on YouTube. This often involves joining a service like or that allows fans to donate money each month to support their favorite channels.

Most creators who use a service like this offer tiers of rewards in exchange for the support of their fans. You could list their names at the end of each video, host a video chat with them every month, provide early access to the videos, or provide behind-the-scenes clips. It's a great way to connect the biggest fans with their favorite channels, and it provides a fairly consistent form of revenue that isn't ad-dependent.

YouTube now offers its own way to do this via the Channel Subscription feature. Once your channel meets certain guidelines, you can allow viewers to sponsor you monthly via YouTube in exchange for some perks, in much the same way as Twitch memberships. It is up to you to decide whether to pursue sponsorships on or off YouTube.

If you are live streaming on your channel, you can also use the Super Chat feature. This allows viewers to donate money in exchange for highlighting their message for some time during a stream.

Finally, it doesn't hurt to have a donation link set up for a service like PayPal.

Sale of merchandise

Another monetization option is creating merchandise to sell to your fans. Selling physical products is a good way for your fans to support you and get some swag at the same time. You'll just need enough following for people to have an interest in buying your merchandise.

Consider expanding to other services

This last point is slightly different from the one above, but it's still worth considering. If you've gotten to the point of being successful on YouTube and earning some money, it's not a bad idea to diversify your online work a bit. Spending time on other platforms will open up even more revenue streams for you.

For example, if your YouTube channel is known for scripted videos on a topic like cooking tips or video games, you could start using Twitch to stream directly to your viewers and earn money through subscriptions. If you don't already use services like Instagram to drive traffic to your YouTube channel, try posting clips to grab people's attention as they scroll through videos on that platform.

Whether you use other services to bring more people to your YouTube channel or take your followers to another platform for a new type of content, you won't be limited to just YouTube.

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