YouTube has become a platform where content creators can earn a full-time income from their video channels. While it does take a significant amount of time to build up an audience and views, if you create useful and engaging content on a consistent schedule, you can eventually earn money from the ads and sponsorships on your channel.
Here are five ways to make money from your YouTube channel:
Once your channel reaches 4,000 watch hours in the past year and 1,000 subscribers, you can apply to monetize your channel with ads. YouTube will then place ads on your videos and you’ll earn money from the ad revenue sharing. The more views your videos get, the more potential ad revenue you can earn.
YouTube will run ads on your videos and then share a portion of the ad revenue with you. The actual CPM or cost per thousand views varies depending on your channel content and audience demographics. But you can potentially earn $2-$5 per 1,000 views from YouTube ads. While this may not sound like a lot, if you’re getting millions of views per month, it can add up to a significant source of income. You’ll need to reach a high volume of views and subs to start making a full-time living from just the ad revenue sharing, but it can be a great way to earn extra money from YouTube.
As your audience grows, you can pitch yourself to brands and businesses to sponsor your videos. Whether it’s product placement, shoutout, or dedicated video sponsorship, you can negotiate a fee for featuring a company’s product or service. Especially if your channel content aligns with a particular industry, reaching out to relevant brands for sponsorships is a great way to earn money from your YouTube audience.
For example, if you have a gaming channel, you could pitch to gaming accessories or console brands to sponsor your videos. You could reach out to cosmetic and apparel companies if you have a beauty and fashion channel. Do some research to find brands that would be a good fit for your audience and channel content. Then, you can email the marketing teams to pitch your channel’s sponsorship opportunities. While it may take time to land sponsors, even a few sponsorships per month can be quite lucrative as your audience size grows.
Affiliate marketing is a popular way for YouTubers to earn money from their channel. It works by including affiliate links to products you recommend or use in your videos and descriptions. If people buy those products after clicking your affiliate links, you earn a commission on the sales.
Many YouTubers include affiliate links to things like:
• The video gear and equipment they use to create their videos. For example, if you have a tech review channel, you could include links to the cameras, laptops, and other gadgets you feature in your videos.
• Books, movies, music, and other media they recommend. For example, if you have a book review channel, you could include affiliate links to the books you review so viewers can purchase them.
• Other products related to your channel content. For example, if you have a cooking channel, you could include affiliate links to kitchen tools and ingredients you use in your recipes.
You’ll need to join the affiliate programs for the products you want to promote. Most companies offer affiliate programs and will give you a special link to track clicks and purchases. The commission rates vary depending on the program but are typically a percentage of the sale, like 4-10%. So if you promote a range of products and services and get a lot of clicks and sales, affiliate marketing can add up to a significant income stream for your YouTube channel.
For dedicated fans, you can offer a paid membership program with exclusive livestreams, newsletters, sneak peeks of new videos, one-on-one interaction, and other members-only perks. Viewers would pay a monthly or annual fee to get access to the membership community. This works best once you have a very engaged audience that would be willing to pay for a more premium experience with your channel. You can charge $4.99-$9.99/month or $49-$99/year for a membership. If you have tens of thousands of subscribers, even a small percentage signing up can add a significant revenue stream.
If you build a strong brand identity around your channel, you can create and sell merchandise like t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, phone cases, and other accessories featuring your channel logo or catchphrases. You’ll need to have a memorable brand and dedicated fans for this to work. But as your subscriber base grows, selling merchandise is an opportunity to earn money from your most loyal fans. You can either handle the merchandise fulfilment yourself or use a third-party service that will print and ship the merch for you. They’ll take a cut of the revenue but handle the entire process.
For popular YouTubers with a sizable local audience, hosting live events like comedy shows, speaking engagements, or fan meetups is another potential revenue stream. You could sell tickets to your events and earn money from attendance. Plus, touring around different cities could open up more sponsorship and merchandise opportunities. Live events take a lot of planning but can be very lucrative if you have a dedicated fanbase that wants to see you in person.
Overall, as a YouTube creator, the more ways you can earn money—ads, sponsorships, affiliates, memberships, merch, and events—the more potential revenue you can generate from your channel. While it takes time to build up your audience, by creating consistent content and exploring multiple income streams, you can eventually earn a full-time income from your YouTube channel. With passion and persistence, you can turn your passion into profit.