While making money from blogging may be straightforward, earning money from YouTube can be a bit more challenging since you have less control over what links and ads you can place on your YouTube videos and channel.
When you’re a top YouTuber with hundreds of thousands or millions of subscribers, you can easily get sponsorship deals from major brands just like an Instagram influencer can. Many of the top YouTubers earn millions or tens of millions of dollars per year just by promoting various products in their videos. New Media Rockstars, in fact, did a survey of some of the top YouTubers to know what they make each year and here are some of the findings:
- EpicMealTime makes around $3.1 Million (7 million subscribers)
- Ray William Johnson sits at $4.2 Million (10 million subscribers)
- FunToyzCollector weighs in at a whopping $30.4 million (8 million subscribers)
But what if you only have a few hundred or thousand subscribers on your YouTube channel? You can still make money! That’s the beauty of the internet, there are always ways to make money online whether you have a following of a dozen or a million.
How to Earn Money On YouTube
1. Ads by Becoming a YouTube Partner
One of the easiest ways to earn money on YouTube is by showing ads on your videos when people watch them.
In order to start earnings from ads on YouTube, you will need to apply to become a YouTube which is easily done in the Creator Studio section of your YouTube account by going to the Channel menu to verify your account and enable Monetization (click here to go there directly).
Once approved, you will need to connect your YouTube channel to your Google AdSense account to actually start earning money and to see reporting. If you don’t have an AdSense account, find out how to get one here.
Once you’ve set up everything in YouTube, you will begin to earn advertising revenue anytime someone watches your videos.
2. Sell Stuff on Your Merch Shelf
If you’re lucky enough to have at least 10,000 subscribers, you can display a merch shelf below your videos where you can sell branded products like t-shirts. YouTube has partnered with TeeSpring to offer this premium merch location.
TeeSpring offers a 14-day conversion cookie for a referral to their website and offers YouTubers an extra $1 for any sales. This is a great extra for YouTubers who want to build their brand. Learn more here.
Once your following on YouTube has grown to a substantial amount (20K+ subscribers), you’ll begin receiving emails from companies who wanted you to promote their products on YouTube. Initially, you’ll receive requests from small companies who are just trying to get publicity for their products. As you grow larger with 100K+ subscribers, you’ll begin receiving requests from major brands.
How to Earn Money off YouTube
1. Affiliate Referral Sales
Another way you can earn an income off of YouTube is by recommending products. For example, if you run a technology YouTube channel you could recommend the best laptops and earn a commission while doing so.
This is strategy is ideal if you have built an audience who knows and trusts you and your recommendations. Customers are more likely to buy products that they know a knowledgable person has tried and tested.
There are several ways you can promote products in your YouTube videos. If you’re recommending physical products, you can use the Amazon Affiliate program to create product links that you can link to in your video descriptions or in YouTube cards.
Amazon also offers the Amazon Influencer Program to YouTubers who have a significant following. This program gives YouTubers a personal landing page on Amazon.com where they can promote their favorite products. You can easily place a link to this landing page in your video descriptions or on your About page.
Many online products also offer affiliate programs so if you use any programs regularly and wanted to do a review of the product just Google that product name + ” affiliate program” and see if one exists.
Another great way to find affiliate programs that you may want to promote is by going to a
If you have a loyal following, Patreon may be a great choice for you. Like the patrons of the old days who sponsored famous composers and musicians like Mozart and Beethoven, Patreon allows your fans to “subscribe” to your content by paying for a monthly membership to your content. You can offer exclusives to your Patreon fans, like behind-the-scenes footage or free downloadable content.
Learn more about Patreon by watching the video below:
However you choose to earn money on YouTube, just remember you will still need to put in a lot of work. Just because you put up a video and a monetization channel on YouTube doesn’t mean anyone will watch it. You really need to understand your audience and what they like. Otherwise, your videos might just come off as a sales pitch.
If you are able to create engaging content and build a following, there are plenty of ways to monetize the traffic. The key is to build value for your customers so that they will help you build value from your YouTube following.
Good luck and feel free to share your YouTube channel below if you want help or advice on building it!