YouTube is the second most visited website in the world. Nearly 2 million users log in every month who devour 5 billion YouTube videos every single day. If you’re wondering how to make money on YouTube, then look no further. Today I’m going to show you 5 strategies to earn income from your YouTube channel.
It’s a common misconception that all YouTubers make their money from getting a ton of views on their videos. A million views is not really that attainable for people that are just starting out. So let me teach you how you can make money on YouTube without relying solely on views.
1. Make Money on YouTube with Affiliate Marketing
What’s affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other company’s products. So basically, you find a product that you like. You promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
How to become an affiliate?
So to get started, you’ll sign up for an affiliate program. There’s no shortage of affiliate programs out there, so whatever industry you’re in, you’ll be sure to find one. Once you sign up, you’ll get a unique link, and you’ll put that link in the description box of your YouTube videos; that link tracks how many people have purchased after clicking on the URL. And then you get a kickback.
Some common examples of items you could earn a commission on are clothing, technology, or food items. Like anything in life, you will need to be consistent with your affiliate marketing efforts. Join as many affiliate marketplaces as you can. Try ClickBank, rewardStyle, and Amazon associates. You can even reach out individually to companies that run their affiliate programs. Some classic ones are Glossier and Mejuri if you’re in fashion. GoDaddy and HostGator are great if you’re in tech.
Spend about an hour on Google researching your niche and start firing off emails introducing yourself and inquiring about the program.
How much money do YouTube affiliates make?
Now, if you’re wondering how much you can make, it will vary. But for example, Shopify affiliates, on average, make $58 per conversion.
Cheap flights will pay you about 45 cents every time someone clicks on your link.
In your video, you can explicitly guide viewers to take advantage of the link, or you can discreetly drop the link without mentioning it at all. It’s up to you and whatever you feel comfortable and successful. Though it sounds like a numbers game, affiliate marketing is also an art. It takes tact to balance organic versus sponsored content and to avoid looking like a walking advertisement.
Remember that your audience is your biggest asset, and you could lose their trust because you’re posting too much promotional material. So rule of thumb is only to promote products that you can personally back and that will resonate with your audience.
2. Join the YouTube Partner Program and Earn Money from Ads
What is the YouTube partner program?
YouTube partner program lets creators monetize their videos through ads. So if you’ve ever seen a skippable ad before or ads overlaid on top of a video, those are the YouTube partner program ads. As the name suggests, it’s a partnership where YouTube provides the platform, and its users are creating the content. And then together, revenue from the ad is shared between YouTube and the content creator.
How do you apply to the YouTube partner program?
Now to be a part of the YouTube partner program, you need 4,000 hours of public watch time in the past year, and you’ll need a thousand subscribers. If you have those requirements, you’re going to want to apply.
To apply, go over to the creator studio, hit channel. Then under monetization, hit enable. You’ll accept the terms, link your ad sense account, and then set your monetization preferences. Set these preferences on how you’d want your ads to appear on your videos. Hit apply. And once your account is approved, the account status will update to monetization enabled.
How do you make money through the YouTube partner program?
So here are some tips to help you make the most money possible without having a million subscribers. First, you’re going to want to carve a niche out. The more niche your channel, the better position you’ll be in working with brands looking to target a specific audience. So you want to pay close attention to your analytics to see if there’s a skew anywhere. That’s going to indicate whether you do have a niche. Keep an eye on the gender and the age of your audience and where they’re located.
So, let me give you some examples of how you can create niche content. If you want it to create content surrounding fashion, how could you make this more niche? Instead of just posting videos of what you bought, you might want only to post videos of what you bought at thrift stores and how you reworked the pieces.
Next, you’ll want to post often. Try one to three times a week and keep at it, stick to it for a year and surprise yourself with how much traction you’ll gain. And, of course, have high-quality videos.
Nowadays, you can get excellent equipment for pretty reasonable prices. If you have an iPhone and natural light, you’re golden. And you can even edit your videos on your phone with Adobe rush.
How much money can you make from the YouTube partner program?
You’ll get paid on an RPM basis. RPM refers to the revenue per thousand views. YouTube will take a 45% cut, though. So you want to factor that in; however, the amount of money you make is not black and white. It will vary from creator to creator.
So, for example, lifestyle blogger Meghan Pruitt is a micro-influencer with 42,000 playbacks in March, and she made $100.
Whereas business influencer Cathrin Manning has over 200,000 subscribers and made around $5000 in June’s month. So hopefully, that gives you a rough idea.
Outside of your niche and the type of content you make, your earnings will depend on various external factors. It will depend on what kind of ads are being placed on your videos and what’s going on in the world around you. Right now is a perfect time for content creators, since everyone is online, either on YouTube or Netflix.
But in 2017, during the adpocalypse, content creators weren’t making as much from ads on YouTube. The adpocalypse, by the way, is a term that refers to mass advertisers like Pepsi and Walmart pulling out of ads. So the amount of money that you make will fluctuate. It’s not predictable. And since you have no control over this, you’re going to want to diversify your revenues, which leads us to our next point, selling products or merchandise.
3. Selling Physical and Digital Products
How to sell products using YouTube?
You can have complete control over your income by running your own online business and using YouTube to sell physical goods, services, or digital products. This is what’s called a lead magnet. Now a lead magnet is a marketing term for free-content made to make a sale eventually.
So let me give you an example, say you have a business selling toys. You might want to film videos of kids unboxing your products and then drop a link to your e-commerce toy store in the description box.
Now let’s take a real-life example. So let’s look at Deliciously Ella. Deliciously Ella is a plant-based cooking guru, and she has her cookbook. She uses YouTube to post how-to videos for her recipes. 99% of her videos are tutorials making her content super focused and niche. And these videos will act as warm leads for book sales, snack line, and her brick and mortar location. So, as you can see, she has a ton of different ways that she makes income.
So here are a few ideas of how you can start your own business.
Ideas of what you can sell on YouTube to make money
You can use a print on demand service to make your t-shirts, pillows, and coffee mugs. If you’re focusing on creating video content primarily, and the business part second, the beauty about print on demand is that it’s a semi-automated way to sell customize merch. And it requires very little to no effort on your end. You can also sell services like consulting and online dance classes.
Alternatively, you can sell digital products. Now digital products are some of my personal favorites because they are infinitely scalable, and they allow you to make money while you sleep. Consider selling online courses, PDF books, workout plans, and gated content. Whatever you’re selling, you’ll want to link it in your description box. I recommend using a trackable link with utm.io. So you know which videos are making the most sales. Speaking to it somewhere in your video, either verbally or as an info card, will increase conversions.
4. Crowdfund Your Next Creative Project
Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Every project creator sets their projects, funding, goal, and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers credit cards are charged when they expire.
Funding on Kickstarter is all or nothing. So if the project falls short of its funding goal, no one is charged. If a project is successfully funded, Kickstarter applies a 5% fee to the funds collected.
Backers pledge money for different reasons. Some backers are rallying around their friends’ projects, and a new idea inspires many. Others are inspired by a projects rewards. To incentivize more donations, you can offer a copy of what’s being made, a limited edition, or a custom experience related to the project.
Project creators keep 100% ownership of their work, and Kickstarter cannot be used to offer financial returns or equity or to solicit loans. Some projects funded on Kickstarter may go on to make money, but backers are supporting projects to help them come to life, not to profit financially.
How to film a promotional video for Kickstarter
Film an explainer video of your business and what you plan to bring to the world and upload it to YouTube. Check out this video made by the final straw.
They made this video to raise money for their new business idea, and they were wildly successful. The video has high production value as they did put a few dollars behind it. But the magic is in the founder’s personality and how the information was creatively communicated. They end the video with their logo and available now on Kickstarter. Your call to action at the end of the video will direct people to the crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter or Indiegogo so that they can learn more about you and pledge money.
5. Let Your Audience Support Your Work Through Fan Funding
What’s fan funding?
Patreon lets your favorite fans become active participants in the work that they love by offering them a monthly subscription. It gives you the freedom to create what you want and what your audience loves so that you don’t have to tailor your content to the sponsor’s needs. By receiving direct support from your fans, it breaks from ad-based monetization models’ constraints and has to appeal to a mass audience. Using an interface like Patreon makes processing payments clean and easy for both the fans and the creator.
How does fan funding work?
The content that you produce has to have an aim and benefit the viewer in some way. Do you create educational content or entertaining content? Then, once you build a fan base, you’ll tell them that there’s a way that they can support you. Your fans will mostly support you for the pure reason that they enjoy your work, and they want to appreciate you for what you do. However, it’s always nice to add an incentive to thank them for their kindness.
Let’s say you’re a musician you could give away free MP3 downloads, or you can give shout outs to your supporters at the end of the video.
Is fan funding right for you?
I would recommend starting a Patreon once you have an established audience invested in you and your content. Like with any of these tactics, you’ll want to focus on growing before you monetize.
All right, guys. So don’t just take one of these ideas, I recommend you try most of these ideas to exhaust all the possible ways to monetize your YouTube channel. When you do this, you’ll put yourself on a fast track to making YouTube a part-time gig that can eventually lead to full-time. So what you just saw are five killer tips to get you on the road to building a successful YouTube channel.