How to Make Money with YouTube Videos 2020: (step-by-step Guide)

Every day, five billion YouTube videos are watched around the world. And they’re not just being watched — they’re being devoured. The average YouTube session by any one viewer is roughly 40 minutes, up 50% from the previous year, according to Omnicore. “Make Money with YouTube Videos”

Are you ready to monetize your YouTube channel?

What compels most creators to create is rarely money. It’s the thought of making something for the world to enjoy.

But ironically, that puts them in a great position to actually make money in a content-obsessed world.

While the hard part for many businesses is getting and keeping their audience’s attention, YouTubers have already figured that bit out.

All that’s left is to get creative—to channel the entrepreneurial drive to explore ideas—with how you choose to monetize your passion.

How do you make money from YouTube?

There are a few takeaways from Forbes’ list, putting aside the millions of dollars made and subscribers gained. 

First, YouTube channels can be monetized even if they don’t have millions of subscribers.

Your earning potential isn’t determined solely by the number of subscribers and views you have, but also by the level of engagement you generate, the niche you cater to, and the revenue channels you explore. That’s not to say subscriber count doesn’t matter

Second, this list of top 10 earners might give you the impression that the millions of dollars made comes directly from YouTube. In fact, each of these channels has its own line of merchandise.

These channels found and built their audiences first, before launching their own merchandise. If making money on YouTube is in your marketing plan, the first step is the same for everybody: have a clear understanding of your target audience.

1.Join the YouTube Partner Program and earn money from ads

The first revenue stream you’ll likely explore is ads. Whether you want to earn money on YouTube without creating videos or as a content creator, joining the YouTube Partners Program and setting up monetization is a vital step.

You can apply for monetization once you’ve hit 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over the past year.

How to enable monetization on YouTube

  1. Sign in to the YouTube account you want to monetize.
  2. Click the icon for your account in the top right corner.
  3. Click YouTube Studio.
  4. In the left menu, select Other Features > Monetization.
  5. Read and agree to the YouTuber Partner Program terms.
  6. Create a new AdSense account or connect an existing one to your channel. (You need an AdSense account to get paid.)
  7. Set your monetization preferences.

Once that’s done, head back to the dashboard and click the Analytics tab on the left side. From there, you’ll need to choose Revenue from the tabs at the top, then scroll down to the chart Monthly Estimated Revenue to get an idea of your predicted revenue.

How many views do you need to make money?

The number of views you get doesn’t correlate to revenue earned. If your video gets thousands of views but no one watches or clicks the ad, you won’t make any money. This is because of YouTube’s criteria for billing advertisers: a viewer must click an ad or watch the ad in full (10, 15, or 30 seconds) for you to get paid. 

However, with the release of YouTube Premium, you no longer need to rely on advertisers to create engaging or enticing ads to earn revenue.

Check out YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is a paid membership program that allows fans to watch and support their favorite content creators without ads.

For creators, not much changes, as they will get paid for content consumed by non-members on YouTube along with content on YouTube Premium. 

Creators are paid for YouTube Premium based on how much members watch their content. Consider revenue earned from YouTube Premium as a secondary revenue stream in addition to what you’re already earning through ads.

While it’s easy to set up, earning money through advertising as a YouTube Partner is far from the most lucrative revenue stream you can create for yourself.

Why you should look beyond ads for revenue

YouTube recently received a lot of backlash due to its decision to be more transparent about advertising on the platform and what qualifies as “advertiser friendly” content.

Essentially, many creators feared that, due to the nature of their content, they would lose out on the ad revenue that helps support their channel.

According to YouTube, your content could get excluded from ad revenue if it includes:

  • Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humor
  • Violence, including displays of serious injury and events related to violent extremism
  • Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity, and vulgar language
  • Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use, and abuse of such items
  • Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters, and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown

But the reality is that YouTube has been demonetizing content that it doesn’t deem advertiser-friendly since 2012 via an automated process, without warning and without the content creator’s knowledge.

Now, the situation is actually better, as creators are notified when their content is flagged and can contest any time they feel a video was mistakenly excluded from YouTube’s advertising network.

Advertising might be a common means of generating passive income for creators, but the trade-off is that YouTube gets to keep around a 45% share of ad revenue.

In short, YouTubers should explore other revenue streams to sustain their creative hobby.

Below, we’ll share how to earn money from YouTube without AdSense.

2.Sell merchandise

Another way to make money on YouTube is by selling merchandise, helping you fulfill your online business idea. You can offer products you’re already selling on other platforms, or you can create a new collection based on your channel’s content.

Keep in mind that you’re far more likely to make sales if your videos already have a fan following, so focus on building your popularity before you start producing such products.

Step 1: Design your products

Your merchandise should represent your brand, appeal to your target audience and build a community around your channel. As you dream up your products, think of something relevant to your niche that your viewers would be interested in.

Note that you can check your YouTube analytics to get a better understanding of the kinds of people interested in your content.

For instance, if your channel is about makeup or beauty, you might want to sell branded cosmetics or makeup bags.

On the other hand, if you’re a YouTube fitness instructor you might consider selling branded fitness equipment and energy bars. You can also poll your audience to ask about which kinds of products interest them the most.

Step 2: Source and build your products

Now, it’s time to make your product ideas come to life. You’ll likely need a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer to produce and deliver your products to you. You can also try dropshipping, a method by which the manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer ships the products to customers directly.

Whichever method you choose, be careful not to overstock at the beginning. Instead, start with just 1-2 products and produce them in small amounts. That way, you’ll have time to gauge their popularity and estimate how many people will buy.

Step 3: Start an online store

To handle transactions, you’ll need to create an online store. This will allow you to manage end-to-end fulfillment, accept secure online payments and more. Having your own professional eCommerce site will also boost your brand’s credibility while providing a dedicated platform for your audience to browse through your merchandise.

Step 4: Enable your merchandise shelf

If you’re a YouTube Partner, you can also take advantage of YouTube’s inbuilt merchandise shelf. This lets you display up to 12 official branded products on the video page of your channel so that you can showcase the items to your viewers.

Step 5: Promote the products in your YouTube videos

Once you’ve created your products and set up a website, spread the word by promoting them in your videos. Think of creative ways to present the merchandise to viewers, such as wearing or using it or featuring customers with your products.

Conclude your videos by reminding users to like, subscribe, and check out your website. You should also add a link to your online store in the description section so that users can navigate seamlessly to your website and make a purchase.

03. Crowdfund

Crowdfunding is the practice of raising money from a large number of people, whether it’s friends, family or third parties interested in your project. This is a viable option for making money on YouTube if you’re looking for monthly revenue or a one-time donation to jumpstart your efforts.

Step 1: Join a crowdfunding site

First, you’ll need to join a crowdfunding platform. Take a look at YouTube’s list of approved crowdfunding sites for different options. Some of the most well-known ones include:

Note that some platforms are best for raising money for one-off projects, while others help you run a long-term fundraise. Whichever your preference, make sure to choose a platform that aligns with your needs.

Step 2: Promote your crowdfunding efforts

After you create an account, you’ll need to raise awareness of your campaign. This is where your YouTube channel comes into play. You can use your videos to tell the story behind your project or brand. Build interest, excitement and suspense by keeping your fans up-to-date on your fundraising progress. In addition, draw in donors by offering rewards – such as shout-outs, exclusive content or free merchandise – depending on the amount they contribute.

To raise further awareness, couple your YouTube videos with other social media marketing strategies. Post about your campaign on your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and include links to both your YouTube videos and crowdfunding page. At the same time, you can increase your content’s visibility on Google by optimizing your YouTube SEO.

4.Use fan funding

Another option for making money on YouTube is fan funding. While crowdfunding platforms target a general crowd for donations, fan funding specifically sources funds from your audience.

Step 1: Join a fan funding platform

You can get started with fan funding by joining a dedicated platform. One of the most popular is Patreon, which provides tools for content creators to get recurring, long-term support from their fans.

Another option is to fan fund through YouTube directly using YouTube’s inbuilt features. For this, you first need to become a YouTube Partner. As a Partner, you can raise money by offering channel memberships, which take the form of a Join button directly beneath your YouTube videos. By clicking this button, fans will get the option to provide regular support in exchange for perks like custom badges, custom emojis and exclusive content.

Additional YouTube features that are built into the Partner program include Super Chat and Super Stickers, which let fans pay you in exchange for pinned comments and animated graphics, respectively.

Step 2: Promote your fan funding efforts

In order to run a successful fan funding campaign, you’ll need to spread the word to your audience so they have the opportunity to contribute. Conclude your videos by politely inviting viewers to support your work.

05. License to the media

Most content doesn’t go viral. When it does, however, many news outlets want copies so that they can replay it to their audience. In this case, you can make money by licensing it to the media and charging them a license fee for permission to use it.

Step 1: Put your contact information front and center

There’s no real formula for creating viral content. It’s often just a matter of strong marketing strategies and chance. If you do happen to create a viral video, the first thing you should do is make your contact information easy to find. This will improve the chances that news outlets will reach out and offer payment in exchange for a licensed copy.

Create an email account containing the name of your YouTube channel, and place it on your website and in the description section of your YouTube channel. Explain what this email address is for with a clear and direct statement, such as: For business inquiries, please reach out at [email address].

Step 2: Join a video rights marketplace

You can also pay to have your videos listed in a video rights marketplace. This makes it easier for media professionals to find and purchase your content. Jukin Media, for example, is a video rights marketplace that saves your files in their content library and sends it to news channels, advertising agencies and other organizations. You’ll then make money if these organizations decide to use your content.

06. Create sponsored content

If your channel gains traction, you can become an influencer and make money on YouTube with sponsored content. Once you have a large and engaged following, you may be able to profit by endorsing branded products.

Step 1: Find a brand to sponsor

As you grow your number of subscribers, brands might start to reach out for a collaboration. When this happens, it’s a good idea to research the brands and their products before promoting them on your channel. Endorse products that you can sincerely recommend to fans so that you avoid compromising the quality of your content.

If you have a particular brand in mind you’d like to sponsor, you can reach out to them yourself and explain how they would benefit from working with you. For example, you might tell them why your target audience is relevant, how many people are subscribed to your channel, and how much engagement your videos receive.

You can also find brands by joining influencer marketplaces such as Grapevine LogicFamebitChannel Pages and CrowdTap. Some companies on these influencer marketplaces will gift free products in exchange for sponsorship, while others offer payment.

Step 2: Create branded content

Once you partner with a brand, there are several ways you can promote them on your channel. For example, you can create entire videos focused on the brand or include the products in other video content. Many beauty influencers, for instance, sponsor beauty products as part of a broader makeup tutorial.

7. Work with brands as an influencer or affiliate

Brands are investing more and more in influencer marketing, spending their typically large advertising budgets on influencers who’ve already won the loyalty of their audiences.

This creates a massive opportunity for you as a creator if you can negotiate the right deals.

Brendan Gahan, a YouTube marketing expert and influencer, recommends establishing your baseline flat fee by looking at the number of views your videos typically get and multiplying it by 5 to fifteen cents per view (which is around what many brands are willing to pay for views via YouTube ads).

Depending on your leverage—your audience demographics, content quality, and how unique and profitable your niche is—you might be able to negotiate a better deal if the brand is a good fit.

Becoming an influencer on YouTube is reported as the highest-paid platform for brand partnerships, according to Aqer. But to give you an idea of what you can potentially charge, a mid-level influencer charges a brand around $20 per 1,000 subscribers, or $2,000 per $100,000 followers, according to one study. 

The key when partnering on brand-sponsored content is to be transparent about it, not endorsing anything you don’t actually like or believe in, and being upfront with your audience about why you’re doing it.

Here are just a handful of the many influencer marketplaces you can add your channel to and get discovered by brands both big and small:

  • Grapevine Logic: One of the more popular influencer marketplaces, you only need 1,000 followers to join.
  • Famebit: With a wide range of brands to work with, you might find a sponsorship opportunity you’ll be proud to be a part of. You need 5,000 followers to join.
  • Channel Pages: Partner with other YouTubers as well as brands.
  • Crowdtap: Complete small content creation “tasks” in exchange for money and other rewards. There’s no restriction on how many followers you need to join.

Some influencer marketplaces offer you free products, while others are known for having big brands who are willing to pay more. Capitalize on the opportunities that best suit your needs, but list yourself in as many places as you can to ensure maximum visibility for your channel.

Alternatively, you can also become an affiliate marketer for brands and make residual passive income through commissions from every sale you generate through your channel. This works especially well if you review products as part of your YouTube channel. Since there’s no risk involved on the brand’s end (they only pay when they make sales), there’s usually a low bar to getting started.

Popular affiliate programs include Click Bank (1% to 75% commission, depending on what the vendor sets) and Amazon’s Affiliate network (earn up to 10% per sale). You can also reach out to brands in your niche that are running their own affiliate programs, which isn’t uncommon in the ecommerce space.

8.Run ads to turn YouTube views to money

Many creators use AdSense to monetize their content. They create great videos, optimize them, and earn passive income by running ads on their YouTube account.

With so much content produced every day on the largest video sharing platform on the web, it is often difficult to get a lot of views consistently. But it is not impossible.

Let’s say, for example: you would like to earn $1,000. Based on average industry standards, your video will need around half a million views to earn $1,000 in AdSense money. That works out to be about $2 per 1,000 views (CPM).

Of course, there is no magic CPM number. It differs based on countries, type of ads, and your channel’s performance. But there are ways to increase your CPM. To do this, you will need to create content on profitable niches. The best way to find such niches is to do keyword research to find competitive keywords with high cost-per-click (CPC).

Use high cost-per-click keywords

There are certain types of industries where advertisers are willing to pay more to get the attention of consumers, like insurance and real estate. Meanwhile, niches like food recipes have CPMs that are much lower. Use Keyword Tool to find competitive keywords in your chosen niche that you can use to optimize your YouTube videos.

To achieve your first $1,000, you will need to draw out a plan and strategize how to get views on your video. It will require a lot of upfront work, and you may not earn a lot of money consistently, but it can potentially give you a steady passive income in the long term.

9). Maximize your views to leverage on affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing can be an incredibly lucrative way to turn YouTube views to money. Monetizing your channel through affiliate marketing is often best done for review-based content, whether it is a beauty product, digital services, or similar types of industries.

For example, if you are running a photography channel, you can create a review on a newly launched mirrorless camera, and share affiliate links in your video’s description section. You can also create YouTube cards and redirect viewers to your website or blog that contains the affiliate links.

When you recommend a product through an affiliate link, like Amazon, you will earn a commission from the product purchase. Depending on the affiliate partner’s policies, you can also earn a small portion from other products that the person buys on the website within a specified duration of time.

If you can grow your channel, you will increase the chance of turning your YouTube views to money via affiliate marketing. But most importantly, you need to have a long-term plan, build an active community, and create a solid reputation for yourself. Only then will you be able to generate enough level of trust to entice viewers to buy the products that you recommend in your YouTube videos.

10). Sell digital products through your YouTube channel

Selling digital products through a digital platform is a great way to diversify your income. Since you don’t need to keep physical stock, you will be able to sell an unlimited number of products without worrying about inventory, fulfillment, and shipping. Compared to affiliate marketing, selling digital-only products is often a more profitable way of turning your YouTube views to money.

Selling digital products is a profitable way of turning YouTube views to money

To help get you started, here are some ideas on digital-only products that you can sell through your YouTube channel:

  • E-books
  • Online tutorials (or webinars)
  • Mobile apps
  • Presets (for camera, photography, graphics, etc)
  • Templates (for banners, websites, blogs, etc)
  • Email courses
  • Membership sites
  • Plugins
  • Printables

Although selling digital products may be less of a hassle compared to shipping physical products, they still require a lot of upfront work.

You will need to invest money in hiring experts to create your e-book, app, presets, or landing page. Alternatively, if you have the right skill sets or willing to learn, you can do it yourself. It will be far cheaper than hiring people to do the work for you, but it will require a lot of time and effort on your part.

The great thing about using digital products to turn YouTube views to money is you can use your knowledge, experience, and passion to generate income through growing your channel on YouTube.

Once you have grown your community and consistently receive a lot of views on your videos, you will be able to position yourself as a subject matter expert. With an excellent reputation on YouTube, it will be easier to promote and sell your digital products to your viewers.

How much money can you make on YouTube?

Now that you know how to make money on YouTube, you’re probably wondering whether you can earn enough for it to be a full-time job. These stats provide some insights into how much YouTubers make:

1.Google pays 68% of their AdSense revenue to the video creator. That means that for every $100 an advertiser pays, Google will pay you $68.
2.YouTube advertisers pay an average of $0.18 per view.
3.A YouTube channel can receive $3-5 per 1000 video views, on average.

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