Whether you’re making an everyday vlog or makeup tutorials, creators have the potential to reach a massive audience on YouTube, as more than 2 billion people log on to the video site every month.
But while many creators now earn enough to focus on making their YouTube videos full-time, making money on YouTube isn’t easy. It requires dedication, a targeted strategy, and of course, good content.
Here are five steps to making money on YouTube:
- Focus on your content.
- Grow your audience.
- Sign up for the YouTube Partner Program.
- Check out other sources of income.
- be patient.
Focus on your content
Making money on YouTube requires building an audience and getting views of your videos. The best way is to create high-quality content.
Find an area where you have unique expertise or a niche with a dedicated fan base and start posting content on a regular basis.
“Consistency is the key,” said Hallease Narvaez, a filmmaker with nearly 90,000 YouTube subscribers, who since 2015 has focused on monetizing a channel primarily focused on black women and natural hair. “No matter what identity you hold, rely on them and speak as truthfully as you can. If you’re not truthful, your audience will know.”
Expand your audience
An important way to grow your audience is to use other social media platforms to help build your brand and gain new followers. Andrew Lokenauth, a personal finance influencer with nearly 3,000 followers on YouTube, said he started growing his YouTube numbers using more followers on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter as channels.
“If you spend time producing content on YouTube, you can repurpose it for other platforms,” he said. “You can put the best 30-second hook on your TikTok and Instagram reels, or feed it into Twitter.”
Sign up for the YouTube Partner Program
The most direct way to make money with YouTube is to join its partner program. To be eligible, you need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and have logged at least 4,000 hours of active public viewing time in the past year.
Once approved, YouTube will start sending you a portion of the ad revenue generated by your page. In addition, you have other monetization opportunities with YouTube, including:
- Sell products to your audience through the store on your channel.
- Sell memberships to your channel.
- Sell ”Super Stickers” that viewers can use in your live chat.
Investigate other sources of income
There are many ways to make money from your content on YouTube without getting paid directly from YouTube. Here are a few:
If you do product reviews on your website, you can sign up for an affiliate program with an e-commerce company like Amazon. The e-commerce company will then send you a portion of the revenue if your audience buys through the link you posted.
As your audience grows, you may attract the attention of brands who will pay you as an influencer to create content featuring their products or work with them on sponsored projects.
For example, last year Narvaez partnered with Target to create a series of videos on her channel about Black-owned businesses selling products in Target stores.
Some YouTubers can make money by asking their viewers to pay on subscription crowdfunding sites like Patreon.
“My Patreon is set up on a monthly basis, or they can join the year at a slightly discounted price,” Narvaez said. “It’s where they get early access to my videos or get clips of my lessons on Skillshare.”
You can also raise money in one go by using a crowdfunding site such as Kickstarter and promote it on your YouTube channel.
Many successful YouTubers earn money by running courses to teach others how to follow in their footsteps. For example, Narvaez sells Skillshare courses on how to edit and make videos.
It takes time to build a large enough audience and enough engagement to start generating significant revenue. Many well-known YouTubers spend years building their audiences and creating content before they can successfully monetize it. It may take time to simply build enough followers to qualify for the YouTube Partner Program, but if you have a very active following, you might be able to get some sponsorship deals before then.
“Generally, I think it should be at least two to three years before you see any kind of steady income,” Narvaez said.