How To Make Money on YouTube (With or Without Huge Subscriber Base)

Make Money on YouTube
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Once someone enters the internet world, they start to see many ways for them to earn money online.

There are at least a dozen ways to make money online. These include how to make money blogging, affiliate marketingeBook revenues, freelancing with sites like Upwork or oDesk, earning from AdSense, and so on.

But if we were to choose the best 2 options to make money online, blogging is usually number one, followed closely by monetizing YouTube videos.

Here are some interesting YouTube stats to chew on :

  • 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube, every day
  • 87% of online marketers use video
  • 82% of Twitter users watch video content on the social media site

These stats are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ‘Video Content’ being the largest medium. But what most of you should keep an eye on is the second stat which says 87% of online marketers use video.

If you are in the balance 13%, then you are lagging behind. But you can still catch up and we’ll show you how. Before, we move ahead, do read following two guides for vLogger:

8 Best ways to Earn Money from YouTube

  1. YouTube Partnership Program
  2. Channel Membership
  3. Merchandising
  4. YouTube Super Chat
  5. Crowdfunding
  6. Sponsored Videos
  7. Amazon Affiliates
  8. YouTube Premium

There are people out there who make a lot of money with YouTube.

There are even some artists who are earning over $20,000 every day from their YouTube videos.

There are a variety of ways to make money on YouTube.

Let’s start with this YouTube video:

How To Make Money on YouTube? (The practical guide)

The most popular ways to make money on YouTube:

YouTube partnership program (YouTube AdSense)

You can monetize your YouTube channel with AdSense. AdSense shows contextual ads on your videos and you earn money whenever a viewer clicks on the ad. This is by far the easiest way that YouTubers are making money.

The best way to increase your revenue is to increase the views on your videos. It is as simple as that.

This isn’t easy by any means. YouTube expects you to have put a certain bit of effort before you are eligible for the YouTube Partnership Program.

Eligibility Criteria for the YouTube Partnership Program

How do I register for the YouTube Partnership Program?

Assuming, you are eligible for the YouTube Partnership Program, here are the things you need to do.

Joining the partnership program

  1. In the top right, select your account icon > Creator Studio.
  2. In the left menu, select Channel > Status and features.
  3. Under “Monetization,” click Enable.
  4. Follow the on-screen steps to accept the YouTube Partner Program Terms.
  • Set-up an Adsense account or sign-up for Adsense via YouTube
  • Setting up an Adsense Account: To learn how to set-up an Adsense account, click on this link that will give you a step by step process
  • Sign-up for Adsense via YouTube: Alternatively, you can choose to sign-up for an Adsense account via YouTube. Click on this link for the step by step process.

Set your monetization preferences

  • In this section, you can choose either to monetize all your videos (existing and future) or just future videos
  • You can choose the type of ads you want to show your subscribers

YouTube monetization preferences
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Wait for YouTube to approve you

Once your account is approved, you can monetize all your uploaded videos and also your future videos. In the below screenshot, you could see earning from YouTube AdSense partnership program.

YouTube AdSense partnership program
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Merchandising

One of the oldest ways of making money for celebrities (Especially artists) has been through merchandising. Merchandising is an option for popular YouTube content creators to make money through their subscribers.

Merchandising Options

  1. T-shirts
  2. Caps
  3. Stickers
  4. Notebooks
  5. Jewellery
  6. Smartphone covers
  7. Stickers
  8. Mugs
  9. Hoodies
  10. Jumpers

YouTube understands this is a money making opportunity for creators and have partnered with a few merchandising companies. You can check the eligible companies here.

One of the best services when it comes to merchandising in Teespring.  They take care of the production and distribution of your merchandise and you can make a solid profit per piece of merchandise.

This is how selling merch on YouTube looks like:

Selling merch on YouTube
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However, if you have an active community on YouTube, merchandising could be a real profitable avenue for your channel. You can use a platforms like Shopify or Squarespace to manage everything of your own. This one is recommended for professional vLoggers and those who have a team to help and manage.

Here are a few examples:

This one is from YouTube Zoella and see her merchandising in the video below:

YouTuber Casper launched his own line of T-shirts:

YouTube Super chat 

Another way to monetize your YouTube Channel is through the YouTube Super Chat feature. YouTube introduced this feature in late 2017 to a few of their content partners.

YouTube Super Chat
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This feature is rather simple. During a live feed, if a person wants their comment to stand out and be pinned for a while, they have to pay. This money goes directly to the YouTuber.

Eligibility for Super Chat

  • Your channel is monetized
  • Your channel has over 1,000 subscribers
  • You are over 18
  • You are located in one of the available locations

You can head over to YouTube features page and look for Superchat option and enable it.

Eligibility for Super Chat
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Channel membership

Just a while back, YouTube launched the ‘Sponsorship’ feature which has been renamed as ‘Channel Membership’.

Channel Membership let’s eligible YouTube Creators to collect a monthly subscription fee from their biggest fans.

In exchange, fans get access to exclusive content, perks, and badges from their favorite content creators.

Step 1: Check if you are Eligible: Eligibility Criteria for Channel Membership

To become eligible for a Channel Membership, you must be a serious YouTube Creator with a solid following. Here are the details

  • Your channel must have more than 30,000 subscribers
  • Your channel is in the YouTube Partner Program
  • You are over 18 years old
  • You are located in one of the available locations
  • You (and your MCN, if applicable) have agreed to and are complying with our terms and policies (including the applicable Commerce Product Addendum)
  • You have zero active strikes (Copyright strike, community guidelines strike. You are allowed 3 strikes before termination)

Step 2: Joining Channel Membership

If you are eligible for Channel Membership, you will get notified by YouTube. You can also check your eligibility status on this page.

Step 3: Switching on and off your Channel Membership

You can choose to either, switch on and off your channel memberships from the above link.

Crowdfunding

One of the ways fans can show true support to the creator is through crowdfunding. As a concept, crowdfunding is taken off. People get together, pay small amounts of money to get a physical product or a digital product made.

Content creators often use crowdfunding platforms to make their monthly quota of money. This is done in the early stages when they haven’t reached a certain subscriber base or don’t have other monetization strategies on the horizon.

Here is a list of all the platforms one can use to crowd raise money. One of the most popular platforms in this space is Patreon.

Sponsored videos

A sponsored video is where a YouTube creator takes money from a company and in return promote their brand or product. Most of the content creators do it in a smart and funny way that suits their style and something their subscribers will love

How to get sponsored videos on YouTube

Before you actively start selling your content for sponsored videos, here are a few things you need to work on if you haven’t already.

  • Fix your branding and niche

Get your basics right. Make sure to have a beautiful logo and all your content has amazing thumbnails, that represent your style. If your logo is from a free logo maker site, don’t expect companies to take you seriously. Spend a few bucks and fix your branding. You can hire someone from Fiverr or 99designs to create brand material for your YouTube channel.

There’s another huge mistake early YouTubers make.

They want to do everything all the time and they don’t stick to a particular niche. For example, if you start with a food recipe video and then in the next video you talk about fixing issues on the computer, your subscribers will not know what you’re selling.

Your subscriber base will be scattered and companies will find it hard to identify with your audience as they are thinned out.

  • Build it well and they will come

Understanding that your content is what brings subscribers, views and ultimately money is important. Without your content, your business doesn’t exist. Make sure to think of new ideas, ideate with a few friends, write scripts to better the content, retake the bad parts and so on. At the end of the day, you should be putting your best work out there.

Step by step to getting sponsored videos on YouTube

  • Identify the right kind of companies for your niche

Everybody is not your target market. Companies from a specific industry will only be suitable for your business. Identify the industry and identify a few companies and prepare a list.

  • Grow with the small guys – Local and Small Businesses

Before you get to the big wigs, you need to find the small fry. There a lot of small and medium businesses that are looking for advertising services. Collaborate with these companies and start small. Slowly, you will build your reputation and you can aim for larger companies.

  • Platforms that connect brands with YouTubers:

Here are top sponsorship marketplaces that help you get sponsored videos:

  1. Grapevine
  2. Izea
  3. Channelpages

Famebit

Famebit
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Famebit is a YouTube company and they connect content creators to brands.

  • There is no cost to sign-up and it is absolutely free for both the creators and the brands.
  • There is a 10% commission charged on the final payment the creator receives
  • You need to have 5,000 followers to join Famebit.

Grapevine

Grapevine is a YouTube Sponsorship Company that works with top brands like Coca-Cola, Walgreens, Ogilvy and Match

  • It’s absolutely free to join Grapevine
  • You will need at least 10,000 subscribers before you are eligible to apply for sponsorships

Local businesses are ideal as you can meet them face to face and pitch your content.

  • Reach out and pitch

When you run a YouTube channel and you are serious about it, you need to start thinking like a business person. The first thing any entrepreneur should be good at is, selling. Selling is everything. Here are a few ways to reach out to companies.

  • Cold email prospective companies with an interesting pitch
  • Tweet to a company
  • Get introductions from your social circle
  • Book appointments face to face by cold calling
  • Attend networking events

Amazon Affiliate:

One of the other ways to make money is through promoting Amazon products. Generally when content creators who make money through Amazon affiliates, generally review their products on the channel.

After the review, people buy the product through the link and the creator makes money.

To become an affiliate with Amazon, click this link

Affiliate marketing 

This method will let you earn a large amount of money in a very short time. All you need to do is pick the right product, create a video around it, and put the link in the description. You earn per sale and usually (depending on the affiliate partner) the payout is pretty nice.

One of the best ways to use YouTube is to actually drive traffic to your own website. Many YouTubers drive traffic from their YouTube pages to their website by cloaking their links.

Capture email and monetize (MailChimp, Aweber (30 days free trial), Convert kit)

Answer Questions and Make Money

One of the best parts about being a YouTube creator is having fans. After you hit a critical mass, fans appreciate one on one interactions and communication with you. If you want to take this relationship to the next level and make money off of it, you can join a platform like Worthyt that lets you get paid to answer fan questions.

YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is YouTube’s answer to Netflix. Under this, subscribers can enjoy ad-free videos, original and unique content, play the YouTube app in the background, download videos to watch when you are offline.

In a nutshell, YouTube can help you earn money if you don’t have a blog or if you are still in the process of building one.

And once your blog is all set to go, you can put the video version of your blog posts on YouTube to earn some extra bucks.

YouTube can also benefit you by getting website visitors who are not using Google as their primary search engine, but who found out about your site from one of your videos.

YouTube supports almost all video formats and you can post videos in a wide range of categories.

You can post about your trip to Milan or do a video review of the AirB&B or hotel you stayed in. You can also make tutorials about WordPress, hosting platforms, and other blogging or tech-related things.

There is a lot of software out there which will let you record your computer screen making on-screen tutorials easy to produce.

The possibilities are endless; so are the earnings.

Have you been using YouTube?

Have you been making money? Let me know in the comments below.

 If you have any questions or would like more information about how to monetize YouTube videos, ask me in the comments.

Subscribe on YouTube

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

75 thoughts on “How To Make Money on YouTube (With or Without Huge Subscriber Base)”

  1. Darshan Sawant

    Hi Harsh,

    Please help me!!!!!

    I’m really confused. I’ve put some vedios on YouTube and activated them for monetization with Adsense account. I received a confirmation from them that the account is enable for monetization along with some reference ID. However, the status is still showing pending and when I login to adsense account it is saying that my account is being reviewed and can take a week for this. I’m unsure whether I’m earning for the clicks that have be done on my vedios. Please suggest and explain.

    Darshan Sawant

  2. hi friends ,

    i want to make some money from youtube .can you please guide me in doing this.
    means what should i do
    how to upload videos
    please reply me with step by step procedures

    i will be thankful to you

  3. What if i have 2 or more youtube channel using one email id ?
    Can i earn from all of my 2 or more channel or only one channel can be monetise?

  4. Hi harsh…
    Can you clarify my doubt regarding length of the video we upload on youtube.

    Suppose I have two videos one of 3 minutes and other of 20 minutes.

    How earning by both of these videos will be different given that both show up the advertisement only in the beggining?

  5. Hi there, I am very beginner to make money on YouTube, I don’t even know what kind of video should I make to attract visitor. Could you please send me the video guide?

    For instance, I thought that I should I buy a smartphone iPhone 6s to be used for my YouTube project as its camera is good quality.

    I have in my mind that I should capture about rural life in Cambodia, do you think that I could attract high number of visitor and watcher?

    1. It depends on the source of the video. If it is already up on some other channel, then your video would not be eligible for monetization.

  6. Hi Naeem
    i have youtube channel and i made video by self using camtasia studio and i have also save this project file so can i monetize this video and if youtube ask me provide proof then which proof can i need to send?
    i used youtube free music from audio library.

  7. Hey..one question suppose I upload remix of some song and monetise ..can I earn from that…is that legal or any actions are taken?

  8. This post is really interesting because it puts people in the know. Thank you for such a nice job. Sorry for asking this; is it posible to create a different section for youtube video and other videos upload in blogger? If so, how do I go about it. Thanks.

  9. Alexander Jemeljanov

    Is it right that using YouTube partner programs, the total views are not the views that will be counted for payment. And about 50% of earnings goes to Partners?

  10. I agree that YouTube is a great platform for online earning. I lot of people have migrated to YouTube just because of that. All you need to have is an idea or a category that you are interested in and can make good videos for the same

  11. Hello great Article,

    I have a YouTube channel which is based on Android Gameplay so I’m getting low cpc like 0.01-0.03 and I’m linked with adsense. Can u suggest me which is the best ad showing network which will give good cpc?

    Arbaz Shaikh
    Cheers!!!

  12. I have YouTube account but I am confused what I upload…So. well I am interested about gadgets…but I have no latest gadget..So how to get sponsorship from company of Electronic’s?

    1. You cannot get sponsorships or review units if you’re channel is fairly new. That’s why a tech channel isn’t recommend for people with less budget

  13. Hi,
    Will i be paid for youtube videos upload only or for adding ads to my videoas?and if its for video uploads only then how and when will i get paid.

  14. Hi Harsh,

    As you mentioned in your article that the good thing about YouTube is that we don’t need to buy any domain or hosting.So, this is in fact the easiest method to make money online from home. By using this method every one get benefits from it who don’t afford Domain and Hosting.

    Thanks for sharing such an excellent post 🙂

    Regards

    Mairaj

  15. Hi! I would like to earn money by uploading my originally composed songs. I recorded about 20 songs already and I am quite not sure if it’s going to be viral. But i think I do have a voice. Can I connect youtube to facebook? I think there’s so many audience in facebook and my songs would be catchy if it’s shared. Is it a good idea? …because I have a friend that got viral on youtube by just singing.
    Me, as a plus factor, I originally sing it with my guitar. :)) Im hoping for a response. I’m from Philippines.

  16. D. Sam Pranesh

    Hello there,

    This article was extremely Informative. Thanks for that. I am a music composer. I just want to check how this platform works out for me. Due to various reasons, i was not able to get into the movie industry despite several attempts and i gave up. Now My Idea is to make an animated video on my own with one of my tunes as instrumental Background for the Video. I will Mix and Master the song. Instrumental in the sense the melody line with some solo instrument like say flute, Piano, violin or so with beat and base line with strings and so on. A Quality tune and I am now learning Animation to serve this purpose. Please advise. Shall i start off with one video?

  17. HI

    Can I upload animated short films which I created for children on youtube. Are there any legal issues on uploading self created animated short films

  18. Daniel upright

    I’m a youtuber , i use to posted my videos but i don’t know how to create and add Google AdSense to my Youtube videos. please i need some help.

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