It isn’t too late to create a channel and make money on YouTube. Although sometimes it appears like the video platform is saturated with content, there’s still room for new creators. You’ll have a smoother ride if you have a unique idea that’s yet to be shared by anyone else. Even if your idea is already out there, you might be more gifted at explaining points and possess a better personality than thousands of other influencers in your niche, thereby giving you an edge.
One advantage of video is that it’s currently the most engaging type of content. The good news is that its potential is yet to be fully tapped, so you still have a decent chance of earning with a YouTube channel.
How to make money on YouTube
You can monetize your YouTube content in the following ways:
1. The YouTube partner program
This is the most widely known method. You must apply and be accepted into the program before monetization. To qualify, your channel must have at least 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of views over a 12 month period. This threshold shouldn’t be hard to reach if you consistently post original content. Once your application is accepted, you’ll be able to earn through the following features:
- Revenue from ads displayed on your videos (Google Adsense).
- Monthly membership payments made by some subscribers in return for VIP treatment.
- Official branded merchandise from your channel shop.
- Super chat and stickers, where subscribers tip you to highlight their messages or shoutouts.
- YouTube premium revenue when a subscriber watches your video(s).
Apart from ad revenue, the other monetization methods are in various stages of beta testing so they might not be available to YouTubers in some parts of the world. You also need to be at least 18 years old to apply. You can only have a merchandise shelf if you have at least 10,000 subscribers, while eligibility for channel membership requires a minimum of 30,000 subscribers.
Patreon is a crowdfunding platform that enables content creators to receive monthly donations from their fans. You must register on the platform to start earning. Your fans are known as patrons, and can choose whether to pay a fixed amount per month or every time you post content on YouTube. Patreon collects a small commission from these donations.
The platform is perfect for getting to know your most loyal subscribers, as well as funding otherwise expensive purchases such as high-quality cameras and video editing software.
3. Brand sponsorship
Also known as influencer marketing, it’s a practical way to make money on YouTube. It works especially well if you own a channel with subscribers ranging from tens of thousands to millions. Since you have a large following, you can market products directly to your fans. You can also invite brands to sponsor your content in return for a shoutout in the beginning or end of your video.
Some influencers are approached by brands, while others have a marketing team that pitches partnership proposals to relevant companies. A good example is a hair gel company sponsoring a video on how to maintain your natural hair. Such a video would be beneficial to the creator, viewer, and the brand that sponsors it. If you post how-to videos, you may also team up with various providers of online courses to market their premium content.
4. Affiliate marketing
You might not know this, but YouTube is one of the best conversion drivers for affiliate marketers. If you’ve already signed up for an affiliate program such as Amazon’s Associates program, you can earn commissions by marketing their products through YouTube. One way of doing so is by posting an honest product review, preferably of an item you’ve personally used.
You can then post your affiliate link in the video description section. Every time someone clicks on it and goes ahead to buy it on Amazon, you’ll receive a commission. If done right, affiliate marketing could be the most profitable way to make money on YouTube. A single video could receive hundreds of thousands of views, tens of thousands of clicks, hundreds of conversions, and thousands of dollars in affiliate commissions.
5. Sell merchandise
You don’t have to be a member of YouTube’s official merchandise program to earn money. You can display your brand directly to fans if you’re marketing popular items such as tshirts, hats, handmade art, and other products. If you’re going solo, you’ll be limited to supplying only to buyers in your country or locality. You can make more sales by adopting a dropshipping strategy.
For designs, you may hire affordable talent from sites such as Fiverr, then build a store with Shopify, Oberlo or Aliexpress. These platforms will handle the complicated aspects such as shipping, payments, and returns. This convenience gives you more time to focus on marketing on YouTube.
6. Live engagements
If you’re consistent with your content creation efforts, your virtual money-making efforts will transition into the real world. It’s not uncommon for people who first found fame on YouTube to become radio or TV personalities, motivational speakers, or authors. You may also be appointed as a brand ambassador. Some YouTubers grow their brand by organizing meet-and-greets with fans, events that provide more creative content ideas. All these opportunities turn into new revenue streams.
7. License your content
Although largely unknown, it’s a passive way to make money on YouTube. As your channel grows, the likelihood of other media using your content will increase. Most will approach you with licensing deals. This way, you’ll kill two birds with one stone: earn from licensing, while receiving free marketing.
Final thoughts on how to make money on YouTube
This list is not exhaustive, there are several ways to make money with YouTube. You only need to think outside the box. Your channel is a powerful marketing tool. Most times other parties will approach you with monetization ideas that have never even crossed your mind. That’s why it’s essential to ensure you only post unique content that you’re passionate about, and that your fans will appreciate.