How to monetize and make money from a YouTube channel:
YouTube presents awesome opportunities for content creators to build an audience and generate income through videos. But simply having a YouTube channel is not enough – you need the right monetization strategies.
This guide will walk through how to make money on YouTube using various monetization methods.
Before monetizing your channel, first focus on creating great content and building an initial viewer base:
- Determine your niche – technology, music, cooking, gaming etc.
- Use keywords in titles, descriptions and tags to optimize discoverability.
- Create on a consistent schedule and promote videos on social media.
- Produce high-quality, engaging videos using both free and paid tools.
- Develop your on-camera presence and content style.
- Customize channel artwork, branding and layout.
Once you establish viewership with great content, you can begin monetizing your channel.
Enabling YouTube Ad Monetization
The primary way YouTubers make money is by allowing YouTube to place ads on their videos.
To qualify for ad monetization:
- Verify your channel in YouTube Studio.
- Enable monetization in Creator Studio settings.
- Connect your channel to an AdSense account.
- Allow all ad formats like display, overlay, and video ads.
As viewers watch your monetized videos, you earn a portion of the ad revenue generated.
Maximizing Ad Revenue
Follow tips to increase earnings from YouTube ads:
- Optimize frequency and placement of ads in longer videos.
- Make videos over 10 minutes to include mid-roll ads.
- Review metrics in YouTube Analytics to assess viewer drop-off and engagement.
- Create consistent evergreen content to drive views over time.
- Broaden reach by collaborating with other creators.
- Balance monetizable content with some non-monetized videos.
More views of monetized videos over time means higher ad earnings.
Joining the YouTube Partner Program
The YouTube Partner Program provides additional monetization options like channel memberships.
Requirements to join:
- Have at least 1,000 subscribers.
- Earn 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
Once approved, you can offer exclusive perks to subscribers through channel memberships.
Selling Branded Merchandise
Offering custom branded merchandise is a great additional revenue stream.
Merchandise ideas include:
- T-shirts with channel logo and graphics.
- Popular catchphrases from your videos.
- Mugs, phone cases, hats and other accessories.
Use sites like Teespring to create, market and sell your branded merchandise. Promote merchandise offerings in your videos and descriptions.
Crowdfunding from Fans
YouTube allows monetization through voluntary “Super Chat” or “Super Stickers” donations from viewers during live streams.
Fans pay to pin highlighted chat messages and stickers to show support during live broadcasts. You receive a portion of each Super Chat and Sticker purchase.
Enabling Fan Funding
If your channel is part of the Partner Program, Fan Funding lets viewers contribute direct donations to financially support your channel.
To receive fan funding:
- Turn on monetization in Creator Studio.
- Enable Fan Funding and determine donation tiers.
- Add bank account for transfers of received donations.
Promote the option to donate to your channel through banners, end screens and video messages.
Leveraging Channel Memberships
With channel memberships, viewers pay a monthly fee for exclusive perks only for members like:
- Access to “members only” videos and vlogs
- Behind-the-scenes footage or bloopers
- Members-only live streams and chats
- Shoutouts from you in videos
- Email newsletters
- Merchandise discounts
- Polls to vote on video topics
Provide compelling benefits at different membership tiers to drive recurring subscription revenue.
Selling Your Own Products or Services
Offer products or services you create that viewers will find valuable:
- Sell digital products like online courses, ebooks, resource guides and more.
- Create physical products related to your niche viewers will purchase.
- Offer paid one-on-one video consulting or editing services.
- Host paid virtual classes teaching skills related to your expertise.
Promote offerings through your YouTube channel, website, and social channels.
Once your channel gains enough views, you can get sponsorships from relevant brands.
Ways to integrate sponsor promotions:
- 30-60 second sponsored ad segment in some videos
- Shoutouts promoting the sponsor’s products/services
- Co-branded custom video content
- Sponsor provides products featured in your video
- Brand’s watermark added to a portion of the video
- Sponsor’s channel shoutout during video intro or end screen
Ensure sponsorships align with your brand and do not damage credibility with overt promotions.
Joining an MCN (Multi-Channel Network)
Joining an MCN like Fullscreen, Studio71 or Stylehaul provides resources and tools in exchange for a revenue share.
Benefits can include:
- Assistance with video optimization
- Creator collaborations and cross-promotion
- Copyright management
- Monetization consultation
- Creator support resources
- Brand sponsorships and partnerships
The right MCN helps you grow faster in exchange for a typical 5-30% cut.
Using the right mix of ad monetization, channel memberships, fan funding, sponsorships, digital products, and other methods can help you monetize YouTube success and turn your channel into a steady income source. Focus on value for viewers, and multiple revenue streams will grow over time.