t isn’t easy to make money on YouTube. It can take years to build up your followers and to monetize the content you create, but there are some key steps you can take so that your channel can make money today.

We’ve taken the time to break it down so you can figure out how to make money on YouTube and gain a deep understanding of YouTube video monetization.

Table of Contents

Everything you need to know about YouTube monetization.

  1. YouTube Monetization Basics
    1. How to Monetize Your Channel
    2. Identify Your Viewers
    3. Avoid the Yellow Dollar Sign
  2. Multiple Revenue Streams
    1. Paid endorsements
    2. Famebit
    3. Crowdfunding
    4. Patreon
    5. Sponsorship
    6. Selling video rights





How to monetize a YouTube channel

YouTube gives you the opportunity to make money from your videos.

To achieve success, it may require you to tap multiple different revenue streams, as simply relying on ads will only get you so far.

You need to first build an engaged audience, which basically means you need to have videos coming out no less than every two weeks, and you need people to comment, like, subscribe, and share your content.

YouTube has a program for those who go through the process, and this program is called the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).

Certain countries are allowed to monetize their YouTube channel due to international laws, and that list is provided here.

After that, there are a few steps you need to go through.

How to make money on youtube - Youtube monetization - Highest paid stars of 2017

YouTube pay chart: Not the Average Youtuber salary.


You must first read and agree to the YouTube Partner Program terms.

Once you have done this, you may then sign into YouTube, find the tab for YouTube Studio, and then you must select “Monetization”.

Follow the steps to unlock YouTube’s Partner Program Terms.


Next, you will want to sign up for AdSense.

AdSense is Google’s (they own YouTube) way of paying you for helping their business grow, and for selling ad space.

Technically speaking, you’re not being paid by YouTube directly. You’re being paid by Google Adsense. What happens is that Adsense aggregates your views and then will direct deposit you funds on the 21st of each month.

This is a big part of this whole concept because you also need to make sure that your videos are either corporate friendly or so popular that they are undeniable as a source of exposure for brands.

If you already have an AdSense account, you can just connect it to your channel, but if you don’t you will need to create a new account.  

You can only link one AdSense account to your channel, so if you have multiple on there your channel will be denied.

Click here to open up AdSense.


Now you need to decide your settings for your ads and monetization.

Choose which types of ads you want to play before your videos and make sure to set it so that your existing and future videos are monetized.

You can always go back and change settings later.


YouTube will now review your channel to make sure it meets their program threshold, which is mainly based on channel activity and then they will check to see if your channel isn’t breaking any of the rules.

To get to this point you need to have the following:

  • 1,000 subscribers.
  • 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months

You also need to understand general copyright guidelines, as they will affect how you can make money on YouTube.


YouTube Demographics

One of the first things you should do is figure out who is watching your videos. This will give you a sense of who you should continue to make videos for so that you can build a viewer base.

You might have a ton of teenagers watching your videos because you’re a video game reviewer, and you may not benefit from trying to go after people in their twenties if they won't enjoy your videos.

Your viewer demographic can be seen here.


Avoid YouTube's yellow dollar sign

The Yellow Dollar Sign is YouTube’s way of letting advertisers know that the content of your videos may not be suitable for all audiences.

Think of it as them tagging you as an R-rated movie.

It may sound cool, but it limits your channel’s viability for ads.

But how does YouTube determine this?


YouTube knows that content that is made to scare or shock your senses may get a lot of views, but it will also make a lot of viewers upset or angry about the experience they just had.

It might sound silly, but to an advertiser, it is pretty straightforward.

I don’t want my Tide detergent ad to be immediately followed by a Halloween jump-scare video.


Parents don’t want their children to hear profane videos, and because of this, your video will be flagged. Maybe it won’t - use your best judgement.


This is where you put a photo of Justin Bieber on your video about growing better carrots in your garden. You might get a few arbitrary clicks, but YouTube will flag you for it.


The first amendment allows you to say generally whatever you like, but it does not entitle you to advertisement dollars. YouTube limits their content a bit, but for the most part, they won’t stop your opinions.

They just don’t have to reward them, either.


YouTube salary for video creators

The average salary is between $1.50 and $3 per 1000 views. Yes, I know that’s not the YouTuber salary you thought, but welcome to the real world. 

The YouTube pay rate is very low.

But look at the numbers as a YouTube pay per view…

The YouTube pay per view is .0015 to .003 cents per view.

Google Adsense won’t cut you a check for under $100, so make sure you get those views up. It can take time.


YouTube Pay Chart. This is not the average YouTuber salary

Keep releasing videos and your YouTube pay rate should steadily rise.

To make around $100, you need to accrue around 50,000 views.  

That’s not a great Youtube pay rate.

Especially when you consider that YouTube said 99% of all users who monetize with ads only made around $100 in their first year.

But the top YouTube earners don’t just make money through their videos, they also reach out to other revenue streams.


Multiple Revenue Streams

Make money from more than ads

YOUTUBE monetization

Multiple YouTube revenue streams

Video Monetizing on ad revenue alone is way too daunting of a task. 

You’re going you have to think outside the box for other ways to make your YouTube career pay off.

It can take a long time to acquire the number of active users and commenters it takes to make any money from advertisements.

That can become frustrating, especially when only a limited amount of YouTube payments come in. But there are other ways to make cash and get your brand awareness out into the world. Like paid endorsements.

2.2 YOUTUBE monetization: Famebit


FameBit helps connect creators with advertisers so they can team up. They use a complex algorithm to track views, demographics, and your channel’s market share. At the end of the day, the most important lesson with all of this is to be authentic. Consumers and viewers know when you’re phoning it in. Find companies and products you love and it’ll be easy to talk about them to a wide audience.

2.3 YOUTUBE monetization: crowdfunding


It can be hard to ask for money, no matter your situation. There’s a fine line to walk with fans. You can’t be desperate but it’s nice to get help. There are lots of strategies to get your Crowdfunding game up to snuff. You can offer exclusive videos, giveaways, merchandise, and even early glimpses of content to incentivize people to buy.

2.4 YOUTUBE monetization: patreon


You made the videos. Now you want to earn money for them. Patreon allows you to speak directly to the fans. They pay what they think you’re worth. The best thing about Patreon is that there is no term-limit when it comes to accepting donations. That means people can sign up to donate monthly. There are several websites for you to consider when you’re crowdfunding. The first one is right in front of you; YouTube.

2.5 YOUTUBE monetization: youtube sponsorship

YouTube Sponsorship

YouTube recently added a button onto the bottom of some videos that reads “SPONSOR.” The button corresponds to a feature they’re calling “Sponsorships.” The great thing about using the YouTube Sponsor Button is that it’s right there on the video. You don’t have to link away or get people to go to another website.  

2.6 YOUTUBE monetization: sell video rights

Sell video rights

Sometimes a video gets so big it becomes recognizable to many, and this is a good opportunity for the creator to sell it off to big brands. Advertisers have gotten into the habit of using viral videos placed in their commercials to make it seem as though they are more casual. The ad folks want people to associate the joy they felt watching a particular video with the joy of using their product.


Build a Successful YouTube Channel 

So that’s how to make money on YouTube. Now that you know how to monetize your videos, it’s time to get creating. We have a post that covers How to Make a YouTube Channel That Stands Out

Seems important if you want to Monetize YouTube videos.Adding followers will help woo advertisers, sponsors, and product placement in no time at all.

We can’t wait to see where it takes you.

Up Next: How to Make A YouTube Channel That Stands Out →
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