If you upload videos or livestream to a YouTube channel, you’re bound to wonder at some stage – ‘how can I make money from YouTube?
We’ve all heard about the YouTubers making millions, but… how? And what are the chances you can turn your channel into a full-time and lucrative career?
Well, first, let’s look at the many ways people can make money from the platform.
The best ways to earn on YouTube
- YouTube Partner Program
- Affiliate Marketing
- YouTube Super Chat
- Merchandising and YouTube Merchandise Shelf
- Follower support and crowdfunding
- Channel Membership
- Brand Partnerships and Sponsored Content
Let’s look at each of these in turn.
1. YouTube Partner Program
You’ve almost certainly seen YouTube ads on videos. They’re the ones that show up before and during videos. These are powered by ‘Adsense’.
AdSense aims to show contextual ads on videos. If a viewer clicks on an ad on your video, you earn money. The more viewers you have, the more people that are likely to click. The more people that click, the more money you can make!
Are you eligible to be accepted onto the YouTube Partner Program?
Well, YouTube itself has a good answer to this in terms of when you can qualify to earn from its YouTube Partner Program, Channel Membership and Super Chat.
YouTube Creators uploaded this video in 2019 ‘intro to making money on YouTube‘:
In it, monetisation strategist Stefan explains that as long as you make ‘consistent videos that views really like watching’, and you follow community guidelines, you are on the right track. Then, it’s simply a case of hitting their minimum numbers to apply, which are:
- 4,000+ video watches in the last 12 months
- 1,000+ channel subscribers
He does warn that you can be removed from the YouTube Partner Program if you are inactive for 6 months or more.
If you are eligible, you can apply to join the program.
Here’s how to apply for the YouTube Partner Program:
- In the top right of any YouTube page (assuming you’re logged in), select your account icon and click > Creator Studio.
- In the left menu, select Channel > Status and features.
- Click Enable on ‘Monetization’.
- Accept the YouTube Partner Program Terms.
Once approved, you’ll have to sign up for an Adsense account and then set up your monetisation preferences in your account settings – such as whether you want skippable ads, automatic ‘mid-roll’ ads (the videos that show up in the middle of videos) and more.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the secret weapon many influencers, live streamers and content creators simply aren’t aware of – but it’s at the forefront of our thinking at Radioactive Talent.
Simply put, brands pay commission for products and services sold as a result of your referral – whether that’s you linking to it from your video description, the video itself or simply telling your viewers about a site using a special referral code or web address, that allows the brand to ‘know’ it was you were responsible.
We broker these affiliate marketing partnerships for talent and brands in multiple sectors, but find it works especially well in e-gaming, travel, health and fitness and arts and crafts.
3. YouTube Super Chat
Super Chat was introduced in 2017, and, in the words of YouTube Creators’ official channel, ‘allows you to build stronger connections with your fans and earn more money’.
With this feature, viewers of your YouTube live streams and Premieres can purchase ‘Super Chats’ to highlight their messages within chat.
You can enable Super Chat on YouTube’s features page, providing you meet its eligibility criteria and your channel is already accepted by the Partner Program.
4. Merchandising and YouTube’s Merchandise Shelf
Creating merchandise for your audience to buy is a fun and customisable way to build your community, while also earning money.
We work with our talent to identify possible product lines that their audience will love. From t-shirts to phone covers, we help our influencers, livestreamers and content creators to easily create and sell products online. To direct their viewers to these products, YouTubers can link to bespoke websites we help to create from video descriptions, from links in the videos themselves and by simply introducing their products to viewers in videos!
There are great margins and high degrees of creativity available with this option.
Another related option is YouTube’s ‘Merchandise Shelf’. This feature, introduced in 2018, requires channels to be an approved Partner, have a minimum of 10,000 subscribers and have no community guideline strikes. It’s a way to showcase channel-branded merchandise – again, we work with talent to create products, from start-to-finish – from the biggest suppliers on video pages, which can be a lucrative way to increase the visibility of official merchandise. Find out more about YouTube’s Merchandise Shelf here, including how to sign up and manage the feature.
5. Follower support and crowdfunding
We work with our talent to identify opportunities where crowdfunding platforms can and could be utilised to increase revenue.
Platforms like Patreon give influencers the ability to offer a range of ‘perks’ to supporters that pledge a certain amount of money, either on a one-off or regular basis, giving fans a way to get exclusive content.
YouTube has created this list of approved crowdfunding and fundraising platforms, which also includes charitable fundraising platforms.
6. Channel Membership
Following on from crowdfunding, YouTube introduced Channel Membership, which does a similar job.
It allows eligible channels to earn a monthly subscription fee from fans, in exchange for perks and other exclusive content they can’t get anywhere else.
This video explains more:
To be eligible for Channel Membership, your channel needs to have been accepted onto the YouTube Partner Program. Your channel needs at least 30,000 subscribers, making this a feature designed for more established and popular creators, and you need to have zero community guideline strikes.
If eligible, YouTube will inform you, but you can also check at this link. We’ve found this to be an especially lucrative way to earn on YouTube.
7. Brand partnerships and Sponsored Content
Finally, we have been working with brands of all shapes and sizes for more than a decade, ever since YouTube was in its infancy as a way to make money.
As such, brokering partnerships and sponsored content deals between creators and the perfect brands for their audience is something we’re highly skilled at. This bespoke service can be fantastic for all parties, giving creators the support and earnings they deserve while allowing brands to reach their target market in a fun, accessible and trackable way.
So, you’ve learnt how to make money on YouTube…
If you’re a creator that could benefit from our professional support, or a brand that would like to better work with creators, get in touch!