YouTube pays you for subscribers

Make Money On YouTube: The Ultimate Guide to Monetizing a Vlog

YouTube stars are real celebrities these days: people who have built an audience by generating content on the Internet that is educational, entertaining, useful, or just plain cool.

And most of them just do it because it's fun - because it's exciting to make videos that others can watch.

Earning money on YouTube is probably not the reason for you to start your own channel, but it is good to know that there are many ways to make money.

Table of Contents

  1. What do you get money from YouTube for?
  2. How can you make money on YouTube?
  3. How do you "sell" without annoying your audience?
  4. How important are subscribers to making money with YouTube?
  5. Are you ready to monetize your YouTube channel?

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What do you get money from YouTube for?

First things first: what do you get money for on YouTube? In the YouTube universe there are four big key figures: subscribers, likes, views and clicks. A few of these can have a direct impact on how much money you make on YouTube.

Do I get paid to upload videos to YouTube?

The content creators are not paid by YouTube for their uploaded videos. Videos are also not monetized by default. In order to start making money on YouTube, you need to enable monetization in your YouTube account settings. From there, you have the option to join the YouTube partner program or list your videos on YouTube Premium.

Do I earn money on YouTube per subscriber: in or like?

The number of subscribers you have only indirectly affects your earnings on YouTube. With more subscribers, the number of your regular viewers naturally increases, but a subscriber does not automatically mean income. It is possible to create channel memberships that are subject to a fee, but it is not advisable to hide all of your content behind this obligation to pay. Only with good free content can you show your viewers what added value they can expect from a paid membership.

Reading tip: Are you encouraged? Here are 8 tips on how to get more subscribers on YouTube.

Do I get paid for likes on YouTube?

Even with likes, you cannot earn money directly on YouTube. On the basis of the likes, however, you can estimate which type of video is particularly popular and which is less likely to be. Then you can decide which type of content you want to focus on in particular. The more likes a video has, the further up the YouTube search it will be displayed and the more people will be aware of your video and you.

Can I make money with views and clicks on YouTube?

If you have signed up for the YouTube affiliate program, your views and clicks are the two metrics that will interest you the most. Both views and clicks can generate income by placing ads on your videos. These are selected, for example, by the AdSense ad auction or the Google Ad Manager. You can choose from different display types and thus decide whether your views or your clicks are more relevant when making money with YouTube.

How can you make money on YouTube?

Just like with Instagram influencers or bloggers, your audience can generate a good income for you, but the key is still to tap into various income options.

Fortunately, there are several ways to make money on YouTube:

  1. Become a YouTube partner and earn money from ads.
  2. Earn money on YouTube by selling products or merchandise.
  3. Finance your next project through crowdfunding.
  4. Enable your audience to support your work by sponsoring them.
  5. Sell ​​usage rights to your content to media companies.
  6. Work with brands as an influencer or affiliate.

Let's take a closer look at each of the options.

1. Become a YouTube partner and earn money from ads

The first source of income you can tap is advertising.

You have to sign up for the YouTube affiliate program, which is no problem in the Creator Studio area of ​​your YouTube account. Click on channel in the menu to confirm your account and allow monetization.

If you are a member of the Affiliate Program, you will also need an AdSense account to join Google's advertising network, get paid, and see reports like the ones below.

Once that's done, you'll see a green "$" next to the videos in the video manager, which means that videos have been unlocked for monetization. You can click on it to edit your settings for each video.

This gives you the choice between several types of advertisements and you can decide for yourself whether you want to earn money from the number of advertisements or the number of clicks on the ads on YouTube. You do not choose the ads yourself; instead, they are awarded through AdSense auctions, the Google Ad Manager and other YouTube advertising sources.

It's all very easy, but it's not the most lucrative way to make money on YouTube.

Why you shouldn't just look at (AdSense) advertising as a source of income

YouTube has already been criticized for its decision to be more transparent when it comes to advertising, it was about what counts as "advertiser-friendly" content (i.e. good content for advertisers). Many YouTubers feared that they would lose advertising revenue because of the content they generated.

According to YouTube, certain content can no longer receive advertising when it comes to:

  • Sexualized content, which can include nudity and sexual humor

  • Violence, including videos and photos of serious injuries and events related to violent extremism

  • Inappropriate language, including forms of harassment, swearing, and especially vulgar language

  • Drugs and medicines, including the sale, use and abuse of such substances

  • Controversial or controversial issues and events, including issues such as war, political conflict, natural disasters, and tragedy, even if no images are shown.

However, YouTube has been systematically de-monetizing such content with an algorithm since 2012.

Reading tip: Would you like to learn more about how the YouTube algorithm works? Read this post.

So YouTubers have been losing advertising revenue for a while, even without warning or their knowledge.

Therefore, the current situation is even better as the content creators are notified when there are problems. You can appeal if there is an error so that videos can be unlocked again.

With over 180,000 subscribers, businessman Marc Gebauer knows how the YouTube business works. You can hear his impressive story on the Shopify podcast!

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The big downside to advertising on YouTube is that YouTube keeps around 45 percent of advertising revenue. In other words: YouTubers should definitely consider other sources of income if they want to finance their hobby.

Let's do that.

2. Make money on YouTube by selling products or merchandise.

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Selling merchandise - t-shirts, coffee mugs, bags, backpacks, whatever - offers many other benefits besides income.

For example, you get extra publicity for your online brand in the offline world. It also increases fan loyalty, who are now investing in you in the truest sense of the word.

Roman Atwood, for example, sells all kinds of products under the Smile More brand in his store.

Selling such products is much easier than it seems at first glance. You can order cheap designs for certain products like t-shirts on sites like Fiverr.

And when it comes to processing orders and customers, you can integrate service providers such as Oberlo or print-on-demand providers into your store. They take care of shipping, storage and customer support and you enjoy the great advantages of a dropshipping business. Plus, you don't incur any printing costs until you actually sell something.

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Other alternatives are well-known merchandising networks such as DFTBA (Do not Forget to Be Awesome). However, you will compete with other YouTubers in a market and have less control over products, discounts, integration of your content and all the other things that you could control with your own online shop.

You can even go a step further and make and sell your own products. Do it like Dagi Bee, who founded a company out of her YouTube career and not only combines a creative agency and various online shops but also various brands.

Since you've already built your own audience, you have two starting advantages that other companies can only dream of:

  1. A Content productionthat constantly sends traffic to your store.

  2. The Trust your audiencethat you already own because you regularly provide him with good content for free.

3. Finance your next project through crowdfunding

If money is all that stands between your idea and making it happen, crowdfunding is a great way to make your idea come true.

Whether you need it to buy equipment, hire actors, or meet other expenses, you can get your audience and the crowdfunding community involved in funding if the idea is good enough.

Many successful crowdfunding projects started with a good trailer video. So spin one that explains your project and suggests what the final product will look like. A good example is the Kickstarter campaign for Kung Fury, a short film that pays homage to action films from the eighties.

Popular crowdfunding sites that have run successful campaigns from YouTubers include:

  • Kickstarter: One of the most famous crowdfunding sites, ideal for financing cool products and creative projects. Make sure your funding goal is realistic, as you will only get money if the goal is achieved.
  • Indiegogo: A Kickstarter alternative that offers more flexible funding options.

Reading tip: We introduce you to 8 lucrative platforms for your crowdfunding. Find out more here.

4. Enable your audience to support your work by sponsoring them

Similar to crowdfunding a project, you can also try fan funding with donations from your audience.

As a YouTuber: in you are part of the internet without somehow asking your audience to pay. So if your content is good, your audience may be ready to support you on an ongoing basis.

Many fan funding platforms offer you another place for those interested to discover your projects and give you the opportunity to thank your biggest supporters.

Some popular fan funding options are:

  • YouTube's fan funding: This function on YouTube lets you set up a "tip glass" into which viewers can throw something at any time. All you have to do is set up your YouTube account for advertising as described above.
  • YouTube channel memberships: With this function you can provide special content for members who support you monthly with a small amount. You can set up different memberships with different amounts and must also be registered in the affiliate program in order to earn money with YouTube in this way.
  • Patreon: The platform that makes it easy for creatives to get paid. Fans can support their favorite creators every month for as little as a dollar a month.
  • Tipeee: Allows you to collect a combination of one-time and recurring donations.

5. Sell usage rights to your content to media companies

If you happen to have created a popular viral video - say a funny clip with your dog - you can license this content for a fee. TV news, morning magazines, online news sites, and others you could ask about rights should your video get really popular.

However, you can also list your videos on a marketplace like Jukin Media, where your content can be found and bought by the right people.

6. Work with brands as an influencer or affiliate

Influencer marketing will be a cornerstone of advertising for the next decade. (Gary Vaynerchuk)

Brands are investing more and more in influencer marketing, spending large chunks of their advertising budget on influencers who already have loyal audiences. For creatives like you, this means a great opportunity to negotiate good collaborations.

Brendan Gahan, YouTube marketing expert and influencer, recommends that you look at the average viewer numbers of your videos and multiply them by 5 to 15 cents. (That's roughly what companies pay for something like this on YouTube.)

If you're doing really well, depending on your audience, the quality of the content, and the profitability of the niche, you can even negotiate better deals if the brand is a perfect fit.

To give you another idea of ​​what you can charge for: Mid-level influencers: on average, brands charge between $ 200 to $ 500 per post. In the same study, 69 percent of the YouTubers surveyed stated that they did not believe that working with brands would compromise their authenticity.

The key to a good partnership and sponsored posts is transparency. Don't recommend anything you don't really like and explain to your audience why you're doing something.

Listed below are a few of the many influencer marketplaces where you can find brands and product sponsors big and small:

  • Grapevine Logic: One of the most popular marketplaces, you only need 1,000 followers to participate.
  • Famebit: There are a lot of brands here and you may find a product sponsor with whom you enjoy working. You need 5,000 followers to participate.
  • Channel Pages: Partner with fellow YouTubers and brands.
  • Crowdtap: Create minor content commissions in exchange for cash and other rewards. It doesn't matter how many followers you have for this.

Some marketplaces let you get free products, while others big brands are willing to pay more. Use the options that best suit your needs, but be present in as many places as possible so that product sponsors can find you too.

You can find more information on the topic in YouTube's Guide to Paid Product Placements, Sponsorships and Recommendations.

Alternatively, you can also become an affiliate for brands, then you will receive commission for every sale made through your channel. This works especially well when you are reviewing products on your YouTube channel. Since it is risk-free for the brands (they only pay when something is sold), there are usually no entry barriers.

Popular affiliate programs include Click Bank (one to 75 percent commission, depending on the retailer) and Amazon's Affiliate Network (up to 10 percent commission per sale). You can also reach out to brands in your niche that have their own affiliate programs, which is by no means uncommon in e-commerce.

Here are a few tips for influencer marketing from Shopify retailers and partners:

How to sell without annoying your audience

Many of the monetization strategies mentioned above involve promoting products (e.g. your store) or campaigns (e.g. crowdfunding a video series). You still need to make your audience aware of this without compromising your credibility.

Many creative minds worry about "selling" themselves in the eyes of their own audience. But if you never ask, you will never get anything. There are a number of places you can promote your product or campaign.

Build a "Call to Action" (CTA) into your videos

"If you liked this video, click the like button and subscribe to this channel."

Many YouTubers have such CTAs at the end of their videos to increase their audience. By suggesting what your audience should do, you increase the chance that this will happen, too.

You can also change this approach and focus your audience on a source of income.

Reading tip: