If you have an active channel with fabulous content and you excel at social media and community interaction, you have a good shot at making some money from all your hard YouTube work. In YouTube and digital advertising lingo, this is known as monetization.
Now is a great time for businesses and creators of digital content to focus on video content. You can do this with YouTube’s monetization features.
We’ll talk about YouTube monetization in this article, its rules and requirements, and how you can monetize your YouTube videos.
What is YouTube Monetization?
YouTube monetization is the process of making money from your videos.
Join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) if you want to enable monetization on YouTube.
YouTube requires the following to qualify for monetization:
- Over the last 12 months, 4,000 watch hours were logged
- You should have at least 1,000 subscribers.
By creating quality content and promoting your channel, you can increase these numbers.
In addition, there are some other requirements for setting up and monetizing your channel. We will discuss them next.
YouTube Monetization Rules and Requirements
The idea of monetizing your YouTube channel is as appealing as it sounds, but there are a few snags. YouTube monetization requires few requirements, but it is very beneficial.
Once you’re a member of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), your success depends on how well you do with your videos. As your content gets more views, you will be able to make more money.
YouTube’s copyright and monetization rules must be followed at all times. Therefore, you should only upload videos you have made or been authorized to use. Also covered by copyright are music or audio tracks, other copyrighted works, and videos.
The following actions may be taken if you violate any of the policies:
- Ads are removed from your videos
- YouTube Partner Program suspension
- Suspension or termination of accounts
If you violate YouTube’s policies, you will be notified via email. They will also let you know if you have any options.
Now, let’s look at what you need to do to start monetizing YouTube videos:
Apply to the YouTube Partner Program
To be a part of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), you must live in a country or region where YPP is available and have a lot of valid watch hours on your content — 4,000 hours of watch time on public videos in the past 12 months, to be precise.
Perhaps even more difficult to obtain — 1,000 subscribers. Lastly, you need to sign up for an AdSense account.
After you’re a member of YPP, you need to follow all the policies regarding monetization, community guidelines, terms of service, and Google AdSense.
Plus, you need to pay close attention to the kind of content you create if you want to maintain an advertiser-friendly environment on your channel. Not to mention, if your content is targeting children, pay extra close attention to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act laws — also known as COPPA laws.
Don’t expect your YPP application to be accepted immediately. After you agree to the terms of service and connect your AdSense account, your channel gets reviewed by both a machine and a human to ensure that your content follows all guidelines.
You’re given the ability to check your application status at any time, but it could take over a month after your channel is reviewed.
If you’re accepted, you can set up your personal preferences for the types of ads you want on your content and enable monetization on all your uploads. Don’t give up if at first you get rejected from YPP; you can update your content and apply again in 30 days.
How to Enable Monetization on YouTube
Once you’re in the YPP, turn on monetization for as many videos as you can. If you are uploading new content, you can do this while doing so, but it’s safer to wait until after uploading videos (a few hours).
Your content will have been processed by then. You will be notified if the system finds anything that could demonetize the video, such as profanity, adult themes, or copyright claims.
Here’s how to enable ads on your YouTube video and make money:
- On your YouTube page, click your channel’s icon and then choose YouTube Studio from the menu that appears.
- Doing so brings up the YouTube Studio dashboard.
- Click the Channel item on the Navigation menu on the left side.
To monetize individual videos:
- Using YouTube Studio’s Videos tab, click to select a particular video and then choose Monetization from the menu that appears
- You can now choose the types of ads you want to run on that individual video.
- Choose the type of ads you want to run and then click Save.
To enable multiple ads for monetization:
- Using YouTube Studio’s Videos tab, click on multiple videos to edit monetization settings in bulk.
- Choose the type of ads you want to run and then click Save.
You can always monetize your entire channel from the YouTube Studio Channel tab. Just choose Status and Features and a new menu will open where you can click Enable under the Monetization section. In your Studio settings, you can then set your upload defaults for all future videos.
Although you can monetize videos, not all of them will show ads. To fully monetize videos (and keep them that way) you should create content rated PG to PG-13.
Other Ways To Monetize on YouTube
Our next step will be to explore all the different ways you can make money from your YouTube videos.
YouTubers may wonder how much money they make. Some of the highest-paid YouTube creators earn millions of dollars from their videos, but not all do. YouTube channels earn about $18 for every 1,000 views.
Online and on the platform, YouTube has changed the way creators make money.
Here are the top 10 ways you can make money on YouTube:
1. YouTube Ads
Traditional methods of earning money on YouTube include ads that appear before and during your videos.
Once you’re a member of the YPP, you can monetize your videos through ads. If you wish to run ads on your videos, keep in mind that YouTube’s advertiser-friendly guidelines must be followed.
YouTube offers a variety of formats for advertising, so you can choose where ads appear on your videos.
2. Channel Membership
Members of YouTube channels receive exclusive perks in exchange for a monthly subscription. Creators can offer exclusive offers to channel members such as product discounts, 1:1 live chats, or exclusive videos.
When your viewers click the join button on your channel, they can earn loyalty badges, access to private live streams, and exclusive videos. The creator decides what works best for them.
YouTube memberships are a smart way to make money because you can customize everything – even the price. As the creator, you can charge members anywhere between $0.99 and $100 per month.
3. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing has been touted as one of the best ways in which individuals can generate income.
Traditionally, affiliate marketing was about advertising products and services through your own marketing efforts.
That concept still holds true. However, YouTube is able to augment affiliate marketing in such a way that channels can work in tandem with sponsor brands.
A classic example of this approach is how-to videos which utilize products from sponsors in order to demonstrate how something is done. This is not the case of “This video is brought to you by…” but rather, you are demonstrating how an action is done by using a specific product that you will present in your video. Other examples are tutorials (similar to how-to videos), unboxing, product reviews, or even critiques.
All of these types of videos place the center of attention on the product that is being advertised and direct viewers’ attention toward these specific items.
Of course, this isn’t free. Affiliate members generally get a cut from product sales conducted through their channel. So, if a viewer clicks on a link that then leads to a purchase, that channel will receive a commission.
This type of monetization is highly dependent on solid content and may not always generate substantial income. In some cases, the income generated may not cover the cost of producing the video. Nevertheless, successful affiliate marketers can clean up by generating greater visibility for a brand.
4. Paid Sponsorship
This seems like a no-brainer.
Brands will scour YouTube in an attempt to find influencers and channels which are as popular with their core customers. Often, this leads brands to approach YouTube celebrities and propose agreements in which these celebrities will endorse their products in some way.
In some cases, it might be something as simple as being seen wearing a specific brand or using some type of brand name product. Other times, successful channels will openly push products by encouraging their subscribers to check out a given sponsor’s brand.
This type of monetization tends to be done on the fringes of YouTube. However, great care needs to be taken since openly pushing a brand or product may be deemed to be a violation of policies. As such, it pays to double-check guidelines in order to ensure that content posted does not infringe said guidelines in any way.
One very important aspect to consider with sponsors: Channels are required to openly disclose their relationship to that advertiser in such a way that viewers are warned that they are endorsing a sponsor. So, it pays to do your homework on this particular aspect.
5. Super Features: Super Chat, Super Stickers, Super Thanks
You might have noticed that some chat messages stand out over others when watching a live stream on YouTube.
Creators can enable Super Chat on their live videos and premieres because YouTube allows it. You can charge your audience anywhere from $1 to $500 to have their message featured in a livestream chat.
Super Stickers work the same way as Super Chat.
Users can buy fun stickers instead of buying messages. To attract their favorite creator’s attention, these stickers get pinned to the top of the chat stream.
Finally, users can show their appreciation to their favorite creators using the Super Thanks feature. Donors receive a featured comment, along with an animated GIF, for donating a small amount.
If you have a loyal audience, a third-party platform like Patreon lets you offer exclusive benefits to patrons who support your content and channel.
Like a YouTube channel membership, Patreon is widely used by YouTube creators and brands. Tiered memberships allow you to offer patrons different perks regardless of your subscriber count. Give perks such as early access and one-on-one time to subscribers, or offer behind-the-scenes videos.
7. Sell merchandise
YouTube channels with more than 10,000 subscribers can sell merchandise via merch shelves on each video page. Your fans might buy branded merchandise from you on YouTube if you’ve built a strong brand community.
For YouTube creators without their own website, this is particularly useful if they want to sell merchandise to their fans. There are over 45 merch platforms and retailers worldwide that can help you grow your brand.
8. YouTube Shorts Fund
In May 2021, YouTube will launch a $100 million fund specifically for Shorts creators. Over the course of 2021-2022, YouTube Shorts creators will receive this money every month.
Based on the engagement and views on their Shorts videos, YouTubers can make anywhere between $100 and $10,000 every month. Eligibility changes every month, so if you do not qualify one month, you might qualify the next.
The YouTube Shorts Fund does not require members to be in the YouTube Partner Program, so this is a big benefit for creators who do not meet the YPP program’s requirements. However, the YouTube Shorts Bonus is still subject to certain eligibility requirements.
9. YouTube Premium
YouTube Premium is YouTube’s subscription service. Members have access to ad-free content, can download videos, enable background playback, and more.
What does this mean for monetization? Do YouTube creators who monetize their videos through ads continue to get paid if YouTube Premium members view their videos? Of course.
YouTube distributes payment to creators from subscription revenue at the beginning of every month, just like ad revenue. Your earnings will, of course, depend on how many Premium members watch your videos.
10. YouTube BrandConnect
Brands and YouTube creators can connect through YouTube BrandConnect. Creators’ recommendations are trusted by audiences. In addition, BrandConnect can be used to link YouTube channels with brands
In the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom, this service is currently available.
How To Get Your YouTube Revenue Information
In YouTube Analytics, you’ll find a section called Revenue, a vital resource for channel managers responsible for monetization. Within the Revenue section, you’ll find many important metrics worth analyzing; the default topline metrics you can view by any duration of time requested include
- Your estimated revenue: Estimated net revenue from Google-sold ads.
- Estimated monetized playbacks: Counts the ad impressions served on your content, or impressions served that caused a viewer to abandon the video because of a nonskip ad.
- Playback-based CPM: The gross revenue per 1,000 playbacks where ads were shown. This doesn’t show you what the advertiser ended up paying for. CPM — technically cost per mille, where “mille” is the Latin word for “thousand” — is a common measurement used in the advertising industry.
You can have multiple impressions (impressions are the number of times an ad is presented to a viewer) per playback. If a viewer is served a TrueView instream preroll ad, a display ad, and an in-video overlay, it counts as three impressions, not one.
YouTube Analytics is truly robust. Looking at only the Revenue tab, here are some of the other default reports you can use to monitor revenue:
- Monthly estimated revenue: Covers the last six months of your channel’s estimated revenue.
- Top-earning videos: Highlights the videos that made the most money in the chosen timeframe.
- Revenue sources: Covers how your channel actually made money in the chosen timeframe.
- Ad types: Shows you which ad types were served on your content. This is especially helpful because you won’t see all the ad types just by watching your own video content, due to targeting parameters set up by advertisers.
- Transaction revenue: Shows estimated revenue from transactions like Super Chat and paid content for the chosen timeframe.
Whenever you look at your analytics reports, keep an eye out for events that stand out in the charts — such as peaks or valleys in the data — to determine what’s working well and what may need improvement.
If you have hundreds of videos but only a handful of them are making any revenue, if might be time to make some changes to your video content strategy.
It is not just great for brand awareness to create and publish videos. YouTube is also a great way to monetize your work.
Is your YouTube channel ready to grow? Brand your YouTube account if you’d like to start monetizing on YouTube. To get more views on your videos, promote your channel. You have more chances to make money on the platform the more views and subscribers you have.