An Overview Of The Process to Monetize a YouTube Channel
By Tom Seest
There are some online entrepreneurs who choose text as their media format of choice when it comes to communicating with their target audience ‘ and there are others who prefer to go the route of videos.
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and many loyal users turn to it as a first resource whenever they seek information. While many marketers are working to build the written content on their sites, you may want to look at the profit potential this video platform has to offer instead of (or in addition to) the other.
Many people know how to create interesting and informative (or entertaining) videos, but they aren’t aware of all the different ways they can monetize their content. Once you’re aware of this, you’ll want to go about your content creation a bit more strategically.
Below, you’ll discover how to get the ball rolling so that your YouTube account is earning to the maximum of its ability, including both on and off-platform monetization opportunities.
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Table Of Contents
- How to Meet the Requirements to Earn from YouTube Content
- How to Pick Niche Topics That Explode on YouTube
- How to Understand How to Rank Videos Well in the YouTube Search Engine
- How to Sell Info Products to YouTube Viewers
- How to Earn Affiliate Commissions from Reviews on YouTube
- How to Tap Into Advertising Revenue as a Content Creator on YouTube
- How to Charge Membership Fees for a YouTube Channel
- How to Enable Shopping from a Store on YouTube
- How to Profit from Live Chat Streams and Highlighted Comments on YouTube
If one of your monetization goals is to get paid from YouTube as a partner content creator, then you’ll need to find out if you’re eligible to get paid for your video content on that platform.
You have to be at least 18 years old (or, have a legal guardian who is in charge of your income). You have to be able to accept the contractual agreement with them, too. Some monetization requires certain revenue streams to be enabled, like the YouTube Premium option, which we’ll discuss shortly.
Whenever you apply to be part of this program, they’re going to review your channel. You want to make sure it has a good theme that is obvious to the reviewers. They’re going to be looking at the videos that get the most views, along with the newest videos you’ve created.
They’ll be checking the metadata on your videos. This can include things like the descriptions, the title, and even the thumbnails that you are using for your channel. They’re going to see if your videos adhere to their community guidelines.
This includes things like not being spammy or deceptive, not using topics that are sensitive and unethical, not delivering misinformation, etc. They also want to make sure that you’re not simply creating the same video over and over again.
The content within your videos needs to be different so that the viewers can see a difference between the videos. Another thing they don’t like is if you are simply aggregating or curating information from other creators, without any unique or original creation of your own.
Their, they don’t mind if you curate a snippet of a video or some other content from someone else, as long as you also provide your reaction or additional commentary. They have stated that they are also against any program generated content.
This may include things like artificial intelligence videos. You want to make sure you live in a country where the YouTube partner program is active. If you rack up too many strikes for violating community guidelines, then you may not be able to get approved for monetization.
YouTube has an option that you can turn on where they will notify you whenever your channel is eligible for monetization. They’ll notify you once you have 1000 subscribers that have consumed 4000 hours of view time (not including Shorts) or, you have 1000 subscribers and at least 10 million views of your Shorts within a three month time frame
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If you don’t already have a strong sense of what topic you’ll pursue for your YouTube channel, you’ll want to give it some thought. There are two things you want to think about ‘ what’s popular and what’s profitable.
Those are two very different things. For example, prank videos are very popular. They get millions of views. This can result in a great deal of creator fund profits, but if your goal is to sell info products or promote affiliate products, it’s not a good choice.
You want to choose a niche that you’ll enjoy. Being a YouTube marketer demands a commitment of consistency. If you pick a topic you can’t stand just because it can be profitable, you will dread working on this business model every day.
There are dozens of niche topics that have a huge audience on YouTube. These include:
* Tech Gadgets
* Legal Advice
* Health and Fitness
* Marketing and Making Money/Finances
* Lifestyle Topics
* Fashion and Beauty
* Home Improvement and DIY Projects
* Arts and Crafts’and more!
Some niches can be drilled down or themed for something specific. For example, lifestyle is a popular niche that can be lucrative. It might be ‘living off the grid’ or ‘RVing.’
You could promote all sorts of RV products for the RV itself ‘ d’cor, for example. Or gadgets they may need like a sewer hose kit, water hose, RV levelers, cell phone signal boosters and more.
For the off grid niche, you could promote all kinds of things ‘ from solar chargers to chicken coops ‘ anything with a survival/prepper mindset, including gardening, self defense, communication gadgets and more.
You want whatever you pick to be a topic that you either know about or are passionate about learning more and sharing with others. You don’t have to have a PhD or be a top experts as long as your enthusiasm shines through.
Sometimes, your personality will be the deciding factor in whether or not your YouTube videos thrive or fail on this platform. You want to see what other content creators are doing in that particular niche, and think of how you can set yourself apart or add to the conversation for your viewers.
There are different types of videos you can do with your niche topic. For example, you can do a how to video or series, you can do an unboxing video if you are promoting a product, you can do a story time video where you are sharing a personal experience, etc.
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Understand that YouTube is the second largest search engine that exists online. In fact, Google actually purchased YouTube over a decade ago, so you can image the strategy for rankings is very similar to what you would normally do in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) for your blog.
There are millions of people who, because of their preference for video over text, head straight to YouTube to conduct their searches instead of going to Google. Your videos should start with a goal to achieving a ranking for a particular keyword or phrase.
All of the same advice applies with videos as it does text, such as using long-tail keyword phrases to rank higher, easier than trying to rank for extremely broad 1-2 word concepts.
When you initially come up with the theme or topic for your channel, conduct some preliminary keyword research and use a variety of tools such as keyword tools, Answer The Public, People Also Ask, and more.
Take a peek at Google Trends to see what people want to know in your niche. For example, if you’re in the cooking niche, you can type that in at trends.google.com, and you might see phrases people are searching for that you can make a video about.
Some of the ones found at this moment that might make great YouTube video reviews include:
* Pans for cooking fish
* Campfire cooking kit
* Hotplate for cooking
This is when it’s set to the default of Rising Trends. But you can also select Top Trends, and you’d see different topics. On the day this report was written, you’d see topics that you could cover that include white wine cooking, cooking set, and cooking salmon.
You could take those over to another keyword tool and enter each one to see what kinds of questions people are asking. Or, enter it back into Google Trends to see what one of those options tells you.
Since that doesn’t deliver a lot of results, take it to Answer the Public and get a list of 69 additional questions, such as:
- Does white wine cook out of food?
- How to cook chicken in white wine
- How to store white wine for cooking
You can look at competitors who have created similar content and figure out how your video might get chosen as a “Recommended” option in the right sidebar. It will have similar keywords, thumbnails, length of video, and so on.
Check those videos out and see what they have in common such as the tags and descriptions or other factors you feel might make your video cluster in with the others nicely.
You also want to adhere to all of the basic, mainstay advice for SEO with your YouTube videos. These include the use of a good title, description, and tags for your videos. You even want your video file name to be a keyword you’re trying to rank for.
You want to optimize them and give them an attractive, attention-grabbing thumbnail, too. From there, make sure you’re asking people to like and share the video and subscribe to your channel.
Make sure you put it in the right category, and whenever possible, use closed captions to cater to voice search and also the impaired. You may also want to group certain videos together in a playlist to make navigation of your channel easier.
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Creating your own info products for your niche followers is a great way to boost your online income if you use YouTube to promote them. You don’t want to create spammy videos, though.
Start by coming up with an info product idea that you can fill with information that will cater to the needs of your target audience (and especially your followers on YouTube). Use the tools mentioned earlier to see what they’re searching for and how you can develop a product for them.
You will want to create more than just a single product, too. With info product sales, you can create an entire funnel of upsells, and down-sell offers to really ramp up your earnings.
When everything is in place for your text or video product, you want to create videos that are valuable and helpful to your audience, with the product being mentioned in passing as a tool to help them achieve the goal or eliminate the pain point you’re discussing.
You want to use storytelling and personal experiences to highlight how you achieved something or made life improvements. You might offer a variety of tips or bits of advice and then make your info product one of the solutions, too.
It’s okay to do a video showcasing a product and what it can do for people, too. But with each YouTube video you create to sell info products, try to bring the content back to how it helps your viewer.
If you’re able to do it, you may want to host some live stream videos on YouTube where your followers can engage with you and ask questions, much like a webinar system or live stream on other platforms.
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Affiliate earnings are sometimes easier to generate for many new YouTubers than that which is provided from info product sales. You may feel more at ease reviewing and promoting someone else’s product than you do bragging about your own.
If your goal is to grow your affiliate earnings, then you will want to choose a niche that allows you to promote both digital and tangible products. However, if you do find a niche that is primarily tangible, such as toys, you can still become a top performer on this platform.
The first and most important thing you want to remember as an affiliate is that your viewers trust you to present the truth to them about which products are best for their needs as well as which ones they should avoid.
When you are thinking of which product you want to promote on a certain YouTube video, start with the problem and then find a solution for it. This solution may be a gadget that they order and have shipped to their home, or it may be a strategy where they download a digital eBook and read about how to do something.
You can sign up for a wide variety of affiliate programs, such as those on Amazon, Commission Junction, Share-a-Sale, ClickBank, Warrior Plus, JVZoo, and more. YouTube does allow you to include affiliate links that link out to other platforms.
Once you have a particular slant in mind that includes a problem and a solution, you want to decide how you want to create a video that showcases the benefits of the product as well as any features they may enjoy.
Many people like to do unboxing videos for tangible products that they are promoting on YouTube. This is when you spend money to order a product, and you record every aspect, from the receipt of the product to opening the box, and then go over your thoughts about what you have in front of you.
You don’t have to put yourself on screen for these types of videos. Many people have the camera aimed at their hands on the box with just their voice as an overlay to what they are seeing.
You can find these videos for many different niche topics, such as someone unboxing MREs (meals ready to eat) for a survival channel, a toy that’s supposed to be a hit at Christmas, and so on.
You can go to youtube.com/hashtag/unboxing to see a variety of popular ideas. This can help you spend other slants for your reviews. For example, you can have an unboxing video, but it can also be a this versus that slant, where you pit two things against one another.
If you are reviewing info products as an affiliate marketer, you may want to develop a bonus that you can create a video about. Or, you can create a video about a particular problem and present the solution along with your bonus as an added incentive for them to buy through your link.
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Whenever someone visits your videos on YouTube and watches them, you can have ads enabled on your channel so that you earn money from these views. You can monetize an entire channel or just certain videos if you want to.
YouTube has different ads that allow people to run on their channel on the videos you create. For example, you’ve probably been watching a video there yourself and skipped the ad.
These are called skippable in-stream ads. They also have non-skippable versions, in-feed video ads, bumper ads, out-stream ads, and masthead ads. With skippable ads, the viewer usually gets a countdown to when they can skip the video.
You can’t skip Bumper ads, either ‘ and it’s a six-second or less video that’s short, punchy, and memorable. Some of the video ads are just placed on YouTube in the sidebar, etc., not on your video.
But to earn from ads, you need to make sure you have an AdSense account. As soon as you achieve at least $100 in earnings, you’ll get paid and continue getting paid on a monthly basis.
As a content creator, you’ll still get paid from YouTube Premium, also. Even though these members don’t see ads, YouTube takes in money from their fees, and they divvy a portion of those earnings up among content creators who get the most views.
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Another way you can profit from your YouTube channel is to make your content viewable via a membership. You can get paid and your members will get perks the general public doesn’t get.
These might include superficial things like an emoji or badge, access to live chats or other items. Not everyone can operate a built-in membership program for their channel. You have to be 18 and have at least 1,000 subscribers, and it has to be approved for the YouTube Partner Program.
You’ll have to make sure your channel has a Community tab and that most videos are eligible (meaning there are no music claims, etc.). Pricing will vary with a YouTube membership channel, and you can offer memberships for anywhere from $0.99 to $99.99.
Keep in mind that you also have the ability to take your membership program off YouTube. You can use Patreon or even password-protect your blog posts and embed private videos in there if you want to have a membership program, but your channel doesn’t necessarily meet all of YouTube’s requirements.
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Shopping is another way you can earn on your YouTube channel. Using the Shopping revenue option, your fans can buy merchandise from your store. You can promote your own products or someone else’s if you’re an affiliate.
You can do this using the normal videos, live streams and Shorts. They’ll even give you the data about which products are more well-received by your viewers so that you can tailor future promotions.
Products will be featured at the end of the video, and you can tag them right in the video and pin them during a live chat session. To promote products from other brands, you have to have at least 20,000 subscribers ‘ but if you’re promoting your own products, you only need 1,000 subscribers.
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You can even profit from your YouTube channel by earning from live chat streams as well as comments people pay to have highlighted on your videos! The Super Chat option is available to let viewers buy a digital image that suddenly shows up during a live chat video.
The Super Stickers option makes the digital image (which can also be animated, by the way) show up on the live chat feed. To use these alternatives, you have to be 18 and have a monetized channel.
With Super Thanks as a method to generate a revenue stream, your viewers pay to have their comments show up in a prominent way in the comments section of your video. This feature was once called Viewer Applause.
They can buy animated images to share and their comment will be a unique color from the general viewing public. You, as a creator, may want to give your Super Thanks buyers a shoutout to show your appreciation.
Keep in mind, there are many different ways to monetize your channel ‘ and new ideas are always popping up. For example, you might decide that instead of writing info products or promoting tangible items, you’ll use your existence as an influencer to design and sell tangible merchandise of your own.
YouTube doesn’t have to be leveraged as a direct revenue generating tool where the platform is paying you. You can also use it to drive traffic to your landing page and build a list so you can cater to the needs of those subscribers at a later date.
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