How Realistic is YouTube Monetization?
While many creators struggle to monetize their YouTube channels, it’s not as hard as you might think. There are some barriers to monetization (which we’ll cover), but monetizing your YouTube channel is an entirely realistic goal—and the more subscribers you have, the easier it will be.
We’ll cover several avenues of making money through YouTube here, including:
- Advertising (through the YPP)
- Affiliate Programs
- Brand Partnerships
- Selling Products
Apply for the YouTube Partner Program
When we talk about YouTube monetization, the most common thing people think of is revenue generated from ads.
This monetization method is the simplest one since you don’t have to do much after you set up monetization. In order to start earning revenue from ads on your YouTube channel, you’ll need to join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).
In order to qualify, you need:
- to have 1,000 or more subscribers
- over 4,000 Watch Time hours in the last 12 months
- to comply with all of YouTube’s community guidelines and policies
- to have a Google AdSense Account
Things to Know About Watch Time
The Watch Time rule ensures that creators are active, and there are some additional stipulations you should keep in mind:
- Watch Time refers to the total time all viewers have spent watching your videos
- Live streams count towards Watch Time
- Watch Time accumulated from deleted videos is erased
- If you drop below 4,000 hours after approval, YouTube may remove you from the YPP
- You can gain Watch Time by purchasing views from Managergram
YouTube’s Policies and Guidelines
The most important thing to know about YouTube’s policies and guidelines is that they are vehemently against reused material. Copyright law is complex, and if you’re anywhere close to the line of breaking it, YouTube will likely decide that you’re not eligible for the YPP.
If you want to adhere to YouTube’s community guidelines, steer clear of:
- any inappropriate or offensive material
- misinformation (like conspiracy theories or fake news)
- including any form of content that isn’t original (soundtracks, images, podcasts, etc.)
Just follow these basic rules, and YouTube shouldn’t have any issues with your account.
Set Up a Google Adsense Account
If you’re making money from YouTube, the site needs to pay you somehow, right? Well, you don’t get the option between direct deposit, PayPal, or Venmo. You’ll need to have a Google AdSense Account to qualify for the YPP and monetize your YouTube Channel.
Join Affiliate Programs
If you don’t have enough influence yet to monetize through the YPP, you don’t have to wait to start making money. While you should still focus on creating watchable content and growing your YouTube channel, you can join affiliate programs in the meantime to start generating passive income through your posts.
Here’s how affiliate programs work:
- You sign up for the affiliate program.
- You post custom links to sites or products.
- When someone buys a product or service through your custom link, you generate income.
It’s that easy. Here are some of the top affiliate programs you can join:
You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) stop there. Think of any company that you support, then ask yourself if they have an affiliate program—they probably do.
Partner with Brands
While you might think of affiliate programs as a partnership, partnering with brands is more than just sharing a link.
Even if you have a small, niche following, brands will pay you to review and promote their products and services. For brands to give you free products and offer payment, you’ll need to have a loyal following that will trust what you have to say about a brand.
In the best-case scenario, you can form a long-term partnership with a brand you know and love. You’ll receive free products and payment, and you’ll get to share what you love with your followers!
Depending on what kind of channel you run, some brands are more likely to want to partner with you than others. For example, makeup brands will be more interested in partnering with a beauty channel than a gaming subscription service. Makes sense, right?
Join Influencer Networks for Opportunities
Instead of simply waiting for brands to contact you, you’ll want to reach out to brands or get connected in other ways. The best way to link with brands is through influencer networks, such as:
- Tagger Media
- Open Influence
Every influencer network is different, with each having its own pros and cons. For some influencer networks, you’ll need to apply to brand campaigns. For others, you’ll need to apply just to get on the app. Others offer software that helps you match with potential collaborators.
Grow Your Influence by Networking
Not interested in joining an influencer network (or just looking for even more ways to monetize your YouTube channel)? You can also find brands to partner with through other YouTuber’s channels and social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
The easiest way to grow your influence is to engage with other people in your niche. Reach out to other creators who inspire you or people you’d like to collaborate with. See who they partner with and use that as a guide for who you can partner with. In some cases, your network may even be able to connect you with the brands you’d like to work with.
Reach Out to Brands Directly
You can ask your network for connections, but you don’t have to stop there. You can ask brands directly for partnerships, too.
If there’s a brand you love, don’t be afraid to send them a message or email pitching yourself as a potential avenue for marketing. Instagram is one of the best ways to do this.
Just find their account and send a note to their attached email. Then, you’ll be in touch with who you need to speak to.
You can also find the right email or number by searching for the company name on google along with “PR Contact.”
Think of your cold email or cold call like an interview. Give your elevator pitch. Show them what you have to offer. Put your best foot forward. And hope for the best.
Sell Something on YouTube
Another way you can make money through YouTube is to sell your own products. If you already own or support a business, YouTube is a great way to boost sales (and make a little extra cash in the process if you use our other tips).
If you don’t have a product developed, you may want to consider the potential revenue. Whatever you sell should align with your following, and if you’re not sure about this route, it’s probably because this is the most difficult way to generate an income through YouTube.
Selling a product will open up a whole new can of worms, so if you’re looking for fast and easy money, start with monetization, affiliate programs, and brand partnerships first.
Conclusion: Gain Influence and Income on YouTube
While gaining influence and income on YouTube isn’t impossible, developing a popular YouTube channel is still work that will require your time, energy, and effort.
If you need help getting off the ground, Managergram’s various YouTube marketing services can boost your following. Having more YouTube subscribers, Watch Time, and likes will make monetization much easier.