- The first step to making money on YouTube
- How to choose a revenue stream
- Cost and fees
- Pros and cons
- The bottom line
The first step to making money on YouTube
Step 1: Create a YouTube channel
- Sign in to YouTube on a computer or mobile.
- Click the profile photo in the top-right corner and click “Create a channel.”
- You will be asked if you’d like to create a channel.
- Double-check the details and confirm.
- Sign in to YouTube on a computer or mobile.
- Go to your channel list.
- Choose to create a new channel or use an existing Brand Account by clicking “Create a new channel.” To use an existing Brand Account, choose the Brand Account you’d like to use from the list.
- Fill in the details and name your new channel.
- Click “Create.”
Step 2: Customize your YouTube channel
Step 3: Enable monetization
Step 4: Sign up for Google AdSense
Step 5: Decide on a revenue stream
- Sell your merch. YouTube can help you market all kinds of merchandise, including t-shirts, tote bags, coffee mugs, hats, etc.
- Crowdfund your next project. Crowdfunding is a great way to make a little bit of start-up money. To do this, you can offer a sneak peek or “trailer” that explains your product or project to your audience.
- License your content to the media. If you have a video that has the potential to go viral (or a video that’s already gone viral), you can license your video(s) in exchange for money.
- Create sponsored content. Instagram isn’t the only platform for influencers. To create sponsored content on YouTube, all you need is a brand partner and an idea.
- Set up a “fan funding” account. Fan funding is kind of like crowdfunding, except instead of raising money for a specific idea or project, your fans are paying to consume your content.
- Join the YouTube Partner Program. Once you’ve reached 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours (for one year), you can apply for the YouTube Partner Program.
Step 6: Upload your first video
Step 7: Optimize your videos
- Optimize the title. Be sure to use Google-friendly keywords in your title. Use a free keyword tool, like KeywordTool.io, to help you figure out the best keywords to use.
- Optimize the description. The description should be concise, yet descriptive. Add keywords (avoid keyword stuffing) and link out to related videos. You can also create a “table of contents” in the description area to help viewers find what they’re looking for.
- Add tags. Include a few tags that are relevant to your content.
Step 8: Promote, promote, promote
How to choose a revenue stream
Sell your own merch
- Wear your product/merch in your video
- Feature subscribers who have bought and/or are using your products/merch
- Ask subscribers to submit product reviews
- Host a giveaway
- Add your store’s link to your video descriptions
- Include compelling calls to action at the end of your videos
Crowdfund your next project
License your content to the media
Create sponsored content
Set up a “fan funding” account
- Buy Me a Coffee. BMC is a platform where content creators can receive one-time (supporters) or monthly donations (memberships). Through BMC, creators have the option to customize their membership options and offer exclusive rewards. (I have a BMC account, too!)
- Ko-fi. Ko-fi is just like BMC: there are no fees and creators get 100% of their donation. Creators can set up monthly subscriptions, sell products, or get a one-time donation.
- YouTube’s Super Chat and Super Stickers. Super Chat and Super Stickers offer video creators the option to monetize their channels through the YouTube Partner Program. These monetization features allow viewers to purchase chat messages and pin them to the top of a chat feed. The more money a user spends, the longer the Super Chat or Super Sticker stays at the top of the feed. Super Chat and Super Stickers are only available to YouTube Partners.
- Channel memberships. Channel memberships allow viewers to join a creator’s channel by paying a monthly payment. Channel members get member-only perks, like badges, emojis, etc. Only members of the YouTube Partner Program can offer channel memberships.
Join the YouTube Partner Program
- Merch shelf. The merch shelf feature allows eligible video creators to showcase their merch on YouTube.
- YouTube Premium revenue. YouTube Premium allows viewers to watch videos ad-free. Creators who are a part of the Partner Program may be eligible to get a part of a YouTube Premium subscriber’s subscription fee when viewers watch their content.
- Adhere to YouTube’s monetization policies (i.e. making sure your content is “advertiser-friendly”
- Live in a country or region where the YouTube Partner Program is available
- Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months
- Have More than 1,000 subscribers
- Have a linked AdSense account
Cost and fees
Pros and cons
YouTube sell your own merch
- Selling merch online means you can operate your business 24/7
- An online store gives you the chance to reach global markets
- Having an online presence will help boost your organic traffic
- With the ongoing battle with security, you may have to work harder to build trust with your customers
- To link out to your store, it must be on the list of approved site and you’ll need to be a part of YouTube’s Partner Program
- You must be 18 years old or older and have more than 10,000 subscribers to use the merch shelf
YouTube crowdfund your next project
- Little to no financial risk
- Your campaign could go viral
- You could build a large community of followers who will, in turn, support you and your business
- Crowdfunding takes time
- Sometimes, campaigns don’t succeed
- Someone could steal your idea before you’re funded
- You may have to pay a fee, depending on the crowdfunding platform you use
- You can only link to your crowdfunding site if it’s on the list of approved sites and you are part of the YouTube Partner Program
YouTube license your content to the media
- User-generated content (UGC) gets more views on Facebook and YouTube
- By selling or licensing your content to a site like Jukin Media, you save on marketing costs
- UGC is a great way to generate organic traffic to your site/channel
- You may be unhappy with the deal that’s offered
- The video may be transferred to another channel
- Anonymity isn’t guaranteed
YouTube create sponsored content
- You get to decide which brands you work with
- 100% of the profit goes directly to you
- Consumers trust sponsored content more than traditional ads, according to Time
- Creating sponsored content is time-consuming
- Sponsored content can be seen as deceiving
- Failure to disclose sponsorship may result in community strikes or account termination
YouTube set up a “fan funding” account
- Fan funding offers a low-risk way to get funds/donations
- Easy to set up
- Increased exposure and community building
- Channel memberships make it easy to receive recurring donations
- Some fan-funding sites take a percentage of your earnings
- You may encounter payment issues
- To participate in channel memberships, you must be a part of the YouTube Partner Program, have more than 1,000 subscribers, and be at least 18 years old
YouTube join the YouTube Partner Program
- Make money on YouTube
- As a YouTube Partner, you retain all copyright and distribution rights of the content that you create
- Get access to special programs and tools (including YouTube analytics) to help you increase your following and boost viewership
- All content must be 100% original
- The YouTube Partner Program is only available in certain areas of the world
- YouTube has tons of rules that restrict what you can do and what you can monetize
The bottom line
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