Do you dream of being the next MrBeast? This legendary YouTuber earned $54 million from his accounts in 2021. While you can’t expect to experience this kind of success as a newbie, starting a channel and making a living by being a YouTube creator is possible.
YouTube offers a diverse monetization strategy to help you earn through the platform. This post unpacks everything you need to know about how to make money on YouTube.
Step 1 – Apply to Join the YouTube Partner Program
YouTube serves ads to viewers, offering members of its “YouTube Partner Program” the chance to earn revenue from providing opportunities to advertisers. Advertising revenue is available for all YPP members, and you’ll need to meet the following criteria to qualify.
- Your channel must have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers.
- Your videos must accumulate 4,000 watch hours in the last year.
- You must reside in an eligible country.
- You must link your Google AdSense to your YouTube account.
- Your content must comply with YouTubes advertising guidelines.
- You must live in a qualifying area.
If your account meets these eligibility requirements, you can apply to join the YPP by navigating to the “monetization” tab in your profile. As a YPP member, you can access all the YouTube monetization features, including Super Chat, Super Thanks, and memberships for your viewers.
How Much Money Can You Make on YouTube?
Don’t assume video views equate to ad revenue. YouTubers earn when a viewer watches the ads served up by YouTube during your video. You’ll also receive payment when a user clicks on those ads.
As a YPP member, you’ll earn approximately $18 for every 1,000 ad views. You don’t receive any money if the viewer runs adblocker software or skips the ad.
When Does YouTube Pay You?
YouTube pays YPP members after their account balance reaches $100. Based on the abovementioned rate, a good estimate of revenue gives you around $4 for every 1,000 video views. You’ll need 25,000 views on your video to reach the $100 threshold.
$100 per video doesn’t sound like it’s worth the hassle to be a YouTuber. Fortunately, you can use several other strategies to grow your revenue while you’re waiting for your account to grow its subscriber base.
Step 2 – Super Chat, Super Thanks, and Memberships
As a member of the YouTube Partner Program, you get access to all the monetization tools on the platform. Super Chat, Super Thanks, and memberships are fantastic tools for growing your YouTube revenue without relying on ads.
Super Chat allows you to receive payments from your viewers in live YouTube events. All live streams on YouTube feature a chat box to the left of the screen. You’ll see a ‘$’ icon on the top of the chat box where users click and receive the option of sending you a ‘tip’ for your content contribution.
After the live event closes, YouTube allows you to collect more ‘tips’ through the “Super Thanks” function. You’ll see a “Thanks” icon below and to the right of the video screen. Users click this button and tip the creator using their credit/debit card or PayPal account.
Channel memberships allow subscribers to receive added value and extra content that standard subscribers are not privy to. You can arrange subscription tiers at various prices, say $5, $15, or $20. Each level offers more value to the subscriber in return for their money.
Step 3 – Sell Affiliate Products
Most new YouTubers start their monetization strategy through affiliate links. YouTuber “Matthew Posa” has a camping channel where he explores the outdoors with his dogs. In the early days, Matthew would list his camping gear in the description with links to the equipment on Amazon.
This strategy enables you to earn affiliate income by selling products you believe in and use in your videos and life. Every time a user clicks your link and purchases a product, you receive a commission from Amazon. Amazon isn’t the only game in town. You could sell affiliate products through other sites like ClickBank and ShareASale.
Essentially, you’re using your videos to indirectly promote these products. For instance, when you see Matthew enjoying a comfortable sleeping pad in his videos or boiling water on his JetBoil to cook food, you’re more likely to follow the link to make a purchase.
Remember to use CTAs in your videos. Point the viewer to the ‘Link in the description” for your affiliate products.
Step 4 – Find Sponsor Deals
As your channel gains traction, reach out to sponsors. Dozens of brands will throw money at you to send them more business. Companies like “BetterHelp” and “Athletic Greens” are good examples of brands that see the importance of advertising in-video with influencers and creators on YouTube.
The sponsor requires you to dedicate a section of your video to promote their products. For instance, the creator “Phillion” has a partnership with “Helix Sleep Mattresses.” Phillion discusses controversial content that can result in “nightmare fuel” for his viewers.
He uses his content strategy to introduce a segue in his videos where he asks his viewers to consider a Helix mattress if they want to sleep easy tonight. Brand deals can land you a lump-sum payment or commission from sales, depending on what the brand offers.
The sponsor might also send you a free product to promote in your videos. If you’re a tech channel like “Unbox Therapy,” that means you’ll receive a steady flow of cool gadgets to review on your channel, and you can keep many of them as part of the deal.
You’ll have to notify the YouTube team if you decide to follow the route of sponsored content. Visit the ‘advanced settings’ tab in your creator studio and click the box to let YouTube know you’re using paid sponsor content in your videos. Failing to notify YouTube about this activity could result in a strike to your channel or demonetization of your videos.
Step 5 – Create a Merch Line
Merch sales are a big part of being a YouTuber. Logan Paul is one of the most successful creators on the platform. He released his ‘Maverick” brand on his YouTube account, earning between $30 million to $40 million in his first year from merch sales alone.
Open an account with a ‘Print On Demand” (POD) company like Bonfire. They allow you to upload your designs to hoodies, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and other consumer products. When the subscriber orders merch, the POD company handles the delivery and collects the money, taking a commission for the service.
You could sell merch like clothing or consumer goods. Or you could offer online courses. Thousands of crypto and forex traders on YouTube promote trading courses that sell for hundreds of dollars. If you have specialized knowledge and can turn it into a program, you can use YouTube to promote it and increase your revenue.
Final Thoughts on How to Make Money On YouTube
Starting a YouTube career requires a huge investment of time and effort into producing high-quality content for your audience. While barriers to entry are low, there’s no guarantee of success on the platform.
Stay persistent in your first year of producing content. If you stick to your strategy, you’ll eventually gain traction with your target audience. Sign up for the YPP, and implement the other tips in this post to create multiple streams of revenue for your YouTube business.
Provided you stay persistent with your efforts, you’ll eventually reach the infection point of success with your account, and you’re on your way to being the next MrBeast. Good luck!