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Have you ever wondered what it takes to make money on YouTube?

You’ve heard of the ludicrous amounts of money some content creators get from monetising their videos.

Some recent stats released by YouTube show just how dedicated the users of the platform actually are. Viewers log onto the site daily, and watch countless hours of content each week.

This isn’t even taking into consideration the monstrous $8.6 billion in revenue YouTube made in the fourth quarter of 2021 alone.

But it isn’t as easy as just uploading a video and raking in the cash, there’s more to it.

We’ve broken down how to make money on YouTube and what you can expect along the way.

The YouTube Partner Program.

This is the obvious one! The YouTube Partner Program allows creators to earn revenue with ads that run on their videos.

The basic requirements for of the Partner Program criteria are:

  • 4,000+ authentic public watch hours within the past year
  • 1,000+ subscribers
  • An active and linked Google AdSense account

You’ve no doubt seen your fair share of ads on your favourite YouTube videos. Since YouTube saw an increase of 25% in ad revenue last year, you’d be amongst the majority who have.

angry Joe show ads screenshot
The AngryJoeShow as a partner with YouTube has ads running before and during their videos.

From in-video to pre-roll, ads are a relatively hands-off way to make money on YouTube.

There isn’t a cut and dry amount of money that can be made from ads on your YouTube videos, the amount takes into account a few variables:

  • Your viewers’ demographics such as location and age
  • Whether there are relevant advertisers for your videos
  • Your content and industry

YouTube themselves have stated that there are no guarantees for payments, or a share of the revenue from ads. The information thats available is mostly anecdotal.

The previous revenue system of $1 per 1000 views has changed and become a lot more complex with the algorithm constantly changing based on what content is popular on the platform.

You essentially need to be earning thousands (or millions) of views per video to see any meaningful revenue.

Just be mindful of not overfilling your videos with ads, they’ll become unwatchable and your audience numbers will begin to diminish.

Channel memberships.

Channel memberships with YouTube are designed to support the creators who are looking to make money on the platform.

angry Joeyoutube join screenshot
The AngryJoeShow showing off their YouTube Join tiers.

It is similar to a membership on Twitch or a Patreon membership. Your subscribers will pay a monthly fee in exchange for channel-specific perks. This might include exclusive content, chat badges and more. These benefits vary based on the membership tier.

The membership feature is relevant to creators that post their primary content to YouTube rather than using it as a place to share secondary content from other platforms. If you’re active on your channel regularly, the Memberships feature makes perfect sense. Currently, the eligibility for Channel Memberships is almost identical to the Partner Program.

Promo links.

Promo links are the alternative to running ads on your videos.

The description below your video is valuable space and YouTube gives you a 5000 character limit to work with. By driving your audience to relevant links in your video description you’ll be able to increase traffic across things like;

  • Your website.
  • Your merch shop.
  • A lead magnet (ebook, etc.).

Content creators who have a decent following will often put an affiliate link in the video description. The concept behind this is simple, you mention the product in the video, you drive your audience to the link in the description, and presto!

good mythical morning links in description screenshot
Good Mythical Morning making use of links in the video description.

This is a popular tactic among creators who make more educational content, think of a ‘how-to’ channel and you’ll get the idea.

It’s important to remember that the product isn’t the sole subject of the video in this instance, you can make a quick mention or make it a portion of the video and drop the link in the description.

Sponsored content.

Sponsored videos on YouTube are becoming more and more popular as each day passes, especially across channels that have a following.

good mythical morning bright cellars sponsor screenshot
Bright Cellars sponsoring an episode of Good Mythical Morning.

Sponsored content means that you are actively promoting within your video. This type of advertising is usually mentioned at the start of the video to provide some transparency to viewers since they won’t be able to skip this part of your content the way they can skip YouTube ads.

Audiences of a YouTube channel can sometimes become critical of sponsored content especially when the product or service has very little do with the channel. The best types of sponsored content are the ones that can tie-in with the content on the channel.

Product focused promotional videos.

Branded, promotional videos can fall into a few categories;

  • A brand compensates the creator in exchange for their content or a review.
  • The brand has provided talking points and instructions to the creator.
  • The creator is making a video to highlight a brand and earn affiliate revenue.

These videos are most common among skincare and beauty brands who reach out to content creators to unbox a special package on camera for their viewers.

The affiliate link will be one of the first things you see in the video description for these types of promotions.

These videos are less common across all channels because they feel a little bit too much like an ad, but for product based channels this is a no-brainer.

A final thought.

Making money on YouTube isn’t as simple as following these tips and getting paid. You need to be consistent in your content and grow your following first. With a bit of hard work, and some creative ideas you’ll have the following to put these tips into action!