Do you want to learn how to make money off YouTube? As Google’s most popular service, over 1.8 billion users log into YouTube every month. It stands only second to the internet’s biggest platform as of now, Facebook. Many of YouTube’s famous personalities and channels are top-earners as well. They get paid to advertise, market their products and more.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to do that and more.
1. What You Need to Know
You have a video content plan and a YouTube channel that’s ready to make money with.
Do you get paid right away when you upload videos on YouTube? No, you don’t. Neither are videos you upload on YouTube monetized by default.
Making money on YouTube isn’t as easy as uploading a few videos and then asking for sponsorships. To avoid spammers and impersonators, the platform has the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).
The YPP is YouTube’s way of including popular channel owners into revenue generation. When you become a business partner of YouTube, only then are you able to earn money through the channel. This includes earning through sponsorships and ad revenue.
The YPP requirements say you need at least 1,000 subscribers to monetize your account. You also need to upload at least 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months. When you meet these requirements, you can apply for the Partner Program.
Channels That Make the Most Money
Let’s talk about some of the top influencers on YouTube for 2019. Later, we will come back to this list for reference. We’ll also talk about other top influencers in specific niches that aren’t on this list.
At the top spot is 8-year-old Ryan Kaji of Ryan’s World, earning $26 million. He began with videos of toy-unboxing and playing. Now, he’s conducting science experiments and he even has a Nickelodeon show.
Dude Perfect sits in second place with $20 million worth of earnings. It’s a channel featuring five friends who try to break world records, play sports, and perform stunts. In third place is 5-year-old Anastasia Radzinskaya with earnings of $18 million.
Hosts of Good Mythical Morning take fourth place with $17.5 million in earnings. Rhett and Link are some of YouTube’s long-standing stars. With $17 million in earnings, beauty guru Jeffree Star stands in fifth place.
Those are five top-earning YouTube influencers of 2019. Below, we’ll do a quick rundown of those taking the 6th to 10th places with their earnings.
- Preston Arsement: $14 million
- PewDiePie and Markiplier: $13 million each
- DanTDM: $12 million
- VanossGaming: $11.5 million
Keep these influencers in mind because we’ll talk about some of them later. If you want to know more about what makes them top YouTube stars, check out and study their content. If you’re catering to a specific niche, research top influencers within that niche for you to study.
2. Sponsorships or Influencer Marketing
Getting into influencer marketing is all about establishing a large following. On YouTube, it’s about creating unique content and following trends to build a following.
The top-earning YouTube channels are influencers because they have millions of subscribers. Many YouTube influencers are performers, vloggers, makeup artists, or athletes. They are superstars in their niches and sometimes in similar niches as well.
For example, in the realm of D&D, one of the top influencers is a group of voice over actors playing the game, Critical Role. In their first few years, they had no sponsorships and merchandise. As their popularity grew, so did their guest players list, sponsors, and merchandise.
How to Become a YouTube Influencer
The first step is to build your audience. Influencers become influencers because they build a big following on the platform. The way to do this is to be authentic, credible, and creative with your videos.
Make your start by targeting a specific audience. Build a respectable reputation in that niche. You want to become an expert in that niche.
You don’t need to do anything else. Focus on one thing and later, you can expand your reach. Don’t feel content after you put your videos online.
Once you upload quality videos, promote them. Use social media like Facebook or Twitter. Do other things to keep building your subscriber base.
Remember, this step isn’t an overnight process. It takes time to get people hooked and to trust your brand of content. It’s especially challenging to keep them from unsubscribing to your videos too.
Next, apply for the YPP. The first step is reading the guidelines and agreeing to the terms. The next step is to set up an AdSense account if you don’t have one yet.
From there, choose an ad format and get brands to advertise on your videos. If you do well enough, you can get brand sponsorships too. Also, businesses can become influencers too.
Remember to keep your content consistent, authentic, and relatable to keep your audiences.
3. Try Affiliate Marketing
If you’ve tried bringing a website to succeed, you likely know about setting up affiliate links. Affiliate linking is the same on YouTube. These links are often those you find in the description boxes that lead to a brand’s product page.
If you want to know how to make money on YouTube, create a review channel. Many review channels include affiliate links of the products in their descriptions. Makeup tutorials link to the product pages of the pieces of makeup the YouTuber used.
The Amazon Affiliate program is an example. When viewers click the affiliate link under your video, you earn money when they buy the product. It can also work with anything else on the website as long as they arrived there via your affiliate link.
Often, in affiliate marketing, the bigger your subscriber base, the more money you earn. You can also do this with other types of affiliate sales, where people sign up for services with recurring payments. If this is the case, you likely gain affiliate income every time they make a payment.
4. Ad Revenue: Get Paid to Advertise on YouTube
YouTube uploads about 400 hours of content every minute from creators worldwide. Brands have so much to work with, especially with so many hours of video content online. Enabling ads in and around your videos is one way to get paid to advertise.
A lot of YouTubers get their money from ad revenue. Remember the annoying ads that play before, during, and after YouTube videos. When you enable these ads, you’re making money on YouTube.
If you want to advertise on YouTube, you need to follow content guidelines. If you have videos that have an age restriction, you can’t monetize your video for ads. Some advertisers will reach out to you, especially if your audiences match theirs.
5. How to Start a Successful YouTube Channel
You won’t find success only by creating a channel and uploading random videos on it. Successful YouTube influencers connect with their audiences. Take a look at the following tips to start.
Be Authentic and Relatable
YouTube isn’t only about the creators. It’s about the creators making an authentic connection with their audience. This is why a lot of popular channels are vlogs on daily life, tutorials for daily makeup, and such.
For example, look at the early videos of Ryan’s World. It’s the channel of a child going about his daily playtime. You don’t need to create over-the-top videos to make it big.
Remember, people look for channels they can relate to. Even if you’re a business channel, you want to create relatable videos. Some of the most relatable videos are commercials like Duracell’s Trust Your Power.
Know Your Audience
When you upload a video, take a close look at your audience demographics and watch times. Observe the gender, age range, and geographic location. Knowing how long they watch your videos before they click away helps you know if you made an engaging video.
Finding out how old your audiences are will let you know if you need to adjust your content for the appropriate age range. The geographic locations will let you understand your audience better. Once you know your audience, you can start to monetize your videos in ways they’ll enjoy.
Also, note that you want to target a niche channel. The more specific your audience, the better for your YouTube channel. This puts you in a better position to work with brands targeting specific audiences.
Take Notes From the Creator Academy
How do you make money on YouTube? Try to go to YouTube for help.
YouTube also offers to help creators who want to know the basics of earning on the platform.
The Creator Academy is a page that guides YouTube content creators who want to earn. It also gives a quick rundown of the process that creators go through. Check it out for some detailed tips on how to earn on YouTube.
Getting to the top takes time. Getting a thousand subscribers alone can take months or years. Be patient, stay focused, keep creating content, and you’ll be fine.
Did you know that 41% of consumers get their video content on YouTube while 47% get it on Facebook? Even though Facebook topped YouTube yet again, many people still go to YouTube to watch videos. Yet, with so much content, your audience might have trouble finding you too.
Consistency is your key to YouTube success. If you create quality videos in the beginning, don’t shy away from consistency in your consequent uploads. Keep your quality consistent and your subscribers will love you for it.
Better yet, learn to improve your video quality. Look at the examples we listed above and see how their videos progressed in quality. Your progression doesn’t have to be so dramatic.
It’s as simple as buying better video cameras or microphones. It’s as easy as learning how to edit your videos better. Small changes are easier to get used to.
7. Pros and Cons of Earning on YouTube
YouTube as a career has a few pros and cons. In many ways, it’s a dream of many who want to follow their passions. However, you must also realize that nothing in life is perfect, including this.
Let’s begin with the pros of becoming a YouTuber. As we said, it lets you follow your passion. You don’t need to answer to a boss unless you’re creating the channel with a group.
You also don’t need to finish a degree or reach an age before you start earning money on YouTube. Yet, if you’re making chemistry videos, a background in it helps build credibility.
You can shoot, edit, and upload your videos anywhere. If you’re a travel vlogger, you will need a steady internet connection to upload your video. That’s about it.
Make your videos in the kitchen, at school, or in the office. Unlike setting up a business, you don’t need capital or partners to succeed. Your equipment is only video-taking equipment, a working mic, and editing software.
The cons are as heavy as the benefits of becoming a YouTube influencer. First of all, you need to be consistent with the quality of the content you produce.
Your ideas need to keep coming. You need to shoot the consequent videos with as much or more care. Consistency of quality is the key to success.
You don’t become a YouTube star overnight. It takes time to get to the top, like with anything else. Also, don’t count on your ideas staying unique.
Remember, people can copy your ideas at any time and even improve upon them. It’s up to you to keep stepping up your game to stay one step ahead. One way to do this is to start and/or follow trends.
Read our full guide to YouTube marketing for 2020 for more tips.
Start Monetizing Your YouTube Channel
That’s it for our guide on how to earn on your YouTube channel. Now, you know how to get paid to advertise, get affiliate partners, and more. We hope you learned from this post on how to make money on YouTube.
Do you want to see more informative content on becoming a digital influencer? Check out our other blog posts here. We have the resources and know-how to help you become an online influencer.