YouTube’s popularity is growing year on year because of cultural changes – people want to see content now, and YouTube offers the perfect method of entertainment while you’re out and about.
However, with the expanse of different types of YouTube content, there’s also a vast array of income levels.
Sure, some people might be able to earn a little bit of money if they create a decent quality video, just from their viewer count, but there are people out there with 8 figure salaries. So, how do they do it?
1. YouTube Ads – Partnership Program
Using YouTube advertising is the most common way to make money on YouTube. As long as you have videos where the content isn’t too controversial and doesn’t contravene any of YouTube’s policies, then they’ll allow you to partner with them to show ads. The more ads you show, the greater your revenue will be.
2. Premium Member Revenue
Premium members of YouTube get a less ad-heavy experience and some extra features. Every time a premium member watches your whole video, you’ll gain a little of their revenue if you’re signed up to the Partnership Program.
YouTube ads are excellent and hassle-free, but YouTube takes a cut. Sometimes, negotiating directly with a brand will work out better for you if their product works with your content. You display their product in your video, put it in front of their target audience, and they’ll pay you directly.
4. Merchandise Shelf
YouTube offers its own merchandise section called the ‘merchandise shelf.’ Once you’ve become a fully-fledged YouTuber with at least 10,000 followers, you’ll be able to create and sell your merch from your channel.
While the merchandise shelf works well for a while, you might want to sell elsewhere once you’ve become a ‘professional.’ Your subscribers might support you by buying your merchandise directly from your website – put a link in your video description.
6. Clothing Brands
The best merch is clothing. People love to be asked where they got their shirts, and it allows them to brag about how they found your awesome channel first. It’s free, organic marketing for you and also earns you a bit extra.
Make sure you design your own logo that works with your content. You might even want to bring out seasonal variants to create a ‘collect them all’ kind of culture.
7. Channel Memberships
If you become part of the YouTube Partnership Program and gain a large following, you’ll have access to extra features, including limiting some of your content to members only.
You’ll broadcast the majority of your content to the broader audience to continue to grow your following, but specific videos will be strictly for your hardcore fans who’ll pay a membership fee to watch. If you still haven’t reached that level it might be worth looking into ways to buy YouTube views in order to give yourself that extra level of credibility.
Affiliate marketing is a great revenue stream, especially if your channel reviews products. You can review a specific product and pop a link to it in the description. If you sign up for Amazon’s affiliates program, any purchases made through your link will add extra lining to your pockets.
It doesn’t always need to be your face that makes the cash. All you need is a specific target audience. You then need to pull together content that meets their requirements
You don’t even have to use content you’ve created, but make sure any content you use follows copyright laws.
10. Celeb Appearances
Gathering fame outside YouTube can be easier said than done if you’re looking to be a professional YouTuber. It all depends on the content of your videos. If you don’t feature in your videos, it can be tricky to gain any external traction. However, if you become enough of a personality during your videos, people will pay to have you involved in their projects, as it may increase their following.
Collaborating on charity projects or group videos can boost your viewership.
11. Event Broadcasting
Once you’ve reached a certain level of popularity and you’re a YouTube celebrity, there’s the option to create and broadcast your own events for your channel’s exclusivity.
One example of this is the boxing match between Logan Paul and KSI – both huge YouTubers with a massive subscriber base. They hosted their boxing event to boost their infamy, bringing more people to the channel and raking in those dollars.
12. Coaching & Selling a Course
When you’ve made it big, offer to coach others to help them get where you are. YouTube is a great way to create a members-only coaching platform that people need to pay directly to access.
13. Live Streaming
Live streaming on YouTube can help boost your watch rates at certain times of the day and, if you’re a member of the Partnerships Program, you can ask people to pay a tiny amount to have their comments highlighted or discussed within your live stream.
There are many crowdfunding applications out there, and if you have fans, they’re usually more than willing to donate a few dollars to your next project. Ask for donations and give them access to extra content as a reward.
If you have an amazing video that suddenly goes viral, there will be many news outlets online that want to display a link to your content. If you’ve licensed it first, they’ll have to pay you to use it.
16. Video Rights Marketplaces
If you operate a footage channel of things like natural disasters or interviews, you can sell your content to news channels that require up-to-the-minute footage. Jukin Media is a great place to auction off your content.
17. Traffic Building
If you own a website and usually earn most of your money through blogging or selling merch there, it makes sense to reach out to your potential YouTube audience and bring in more income. Creating video content related to your website can attract a wider audience, and you can link them directly to your site.
18. Product Promotion
If you have your own products to sell, you can promote them on YouTube. Either create your own channel aimed at your target audience or partner with similar channels aimed at the same market and see if you can strike a sponsorship deal to drive up your traffic.
19. Episodic Content
Setting up a regular content video stream will keep building your subscribers and ensure they log in to watch regularly.
If you’re creative, why not create an online story or short TV show of your own. Your viewers will have to tune in to catch the next episode, and it opens you up to lots of advertising opportunities.
20. Metadata Expertise
Google and YouTube itself offer a wealth of analytics at your disposal. If you study the stats out there, you’ll be able to find the most popular search words within specific countries using certain demographics. Your channel doesn’t all have to be about one topic. Use your research skills to create content that sells.
You’ve all seen those Facebook vids with ‘talking’ dogs. Make your pet YouTube famous by showing videos of their life, getting them to try different foods or wear different outfits. Everyone loves a furry friend, and they might become a YouTube sensation much faster than you.