4 min reads
YouTube stars are today’s self-made celebrities—people who have earned an audience by creating content geared toward teaching, entertaining, reviewing, and being awesome on the internet.
Most of these small-screen celebs do what they do just to do it, to scratch an itch for creating things and being in front of an audience.
Making money might not be your reason for starting a YouTube channel, but the opportunities to earn are a pleasant surprise once you realize how many of them there are.
Become a YouTube Partner
The YouTube Partner Program is how regular YouTubers get access to special features on the platform.
You don’t need to be a partner to make money on YouTube (just setting up an AdSense account and getting views is enough to handle that), but being a Partner makes it a lot easier.
YouTube Partners have access to multiple income streams: not just ads, but YouTube Premium subscription fees, and features that tap your fans’ wallets directly like Super Chat, channel memberships and the merchandise shelf (more on these later.)
Step 1. Start a channel
Make a google account and start a channel on youtube with that gmail account.
Step 2. Make your channel successful enough that it meets the YouTube Partner Program requirements
To join the program, you need a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months.
Here are some ideas for how to get more of those precious YouTube views.
Step 3. Set up an AdSense account
This is simple. Just follow YouTube’s official guide to AdSense accounts.
Step 4. Explore your new monetization features
Each monetization channel has different eligibility requirements. For instance:
- Ad revenue: to earn ad revenue, you must be at least 18 years old, and you must create content that is advertiser-friendly. Basically, the less controversial your videos, the more YouTube advertisers will be comfortable running ads on them, and the more money you make.
- YouTube Premium revenue: if a YouTube Premium member watches your video, you get a portion of their subscription fee. (This one is automatic, which is nice.)
- Channel memberships: in order to sell channel memberships to your subscribers (i.e., your fans opt in to pay you an extra amount), you need to be at least 18 and have more than 30,000 subscribers.
- Merchandise shelf: in order to sell merch from YouTube’s merchandise shelf, you must be at least 18 years old, and have at least 10,000 subscribers.
- Super Chat payments: if you want your fans to have the ability to pay to have their messages highlighted in your live chats during your live streams, you must be at least 18 (and live in a country where the feature is offered).
Step 5. Submit to ongoing reviews
As a YouTube Partner, your channel will be held to a higher standard, according to YouTube. You have to follow not just the YouTube Partner Program policies, but the Community Guidelines. Not to mention staying on the right side of copyright law.
Sell your own merchandise
Maybe you identify as a content creator first, and entrepreneur second. (Just remember that even Drake sells t-shirts.)
Alternately, you’re an entrepreneur first and video creator second, which means you probably already have a product, and you’re designing your YouTube marketing strategy to sell it.
Either way, merchandise is a viable way to earn money from YouTube.
If you have writing skills and creative talent, it’s also possible to get paid to create online content. I don’t do this as much as I used to, but I am very aware of how viable this income stream is.
One blogger I know, Holly Johnson, actually makes over $200,000 per year creating content for other websites. And actually, that’s on top of the six figures she earns with her blog, Club Thrifty.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she still worked a full-time job but created content online part-time to supplement her income. Over time, she was able to double and triple her rates until she could quit her full-time job to write. These days, she makes bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same via her online course, Earn More Writing.
According to Johnson, the key to making it as a freelance writer is figuring out a niche, networking with people who might hire you, and delivering high quality content 100 percent of the time. While there are a ton of writing job boards to help you get started, she says it’s fairly easy to find starter writing jobs on websites like Upwork.com.
It will be even better if you buy a domain and started writing on the niche you are passionate about.
In the past few years, Instagram’s endless feed of gorgeous photos has evolved into something between a glossy magazine, your best friend’s taste, and a boutique shop.
With over a billion monthly users, 71% of whom are under 35, Instagram is the platform of aspiration, inspiration—and now, in-app checkout.
If you have a decent follower base. There are three major ways to make money on Instagram.
- Work as an influencer to post content sponsored by brands
- Be an affiliate marketer selling other people’s products
- Become an entrepreneur and sell your own products
Affiliate marketing is one of the most lucrative ways to make money online. In the financial planning niche, affiliates include companies like online brokerages, online banks, and financial tools. These kinds of companies pay very good money if you’re willing to promote them. All the big ecommerce website like amazon, alibaba, ebay, DeGrocery has their affiliate programs
While the type of affiliates you work with will vary depending on the niche you’re in, keep in mind that some companies will pay you up to $100 per conversion. It’s not too hard to start earning real money with that kind of return on your time.
If you don’t believe me, check out Making Sense of Cents. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner is the entrepreneur behind this blog, and she is also the founder of a course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Through her website and course sales, Michelle consistently earns over $100,000 per month. No, that is not a typo.
There are all kinds of digital products out there, but there is always room for more. You can write your own ebook, or make online video or audio courses and sell it online in different platforms.
Another example of digital products is the wide world of printables. Lots of online entrepreneurs create digital products their customers can print at home, and they often make bank doing it. While many bloggers have their own printable budget templates, meal plans, or checklists, you can also find examples on Etsy.com.