Welcome to the “money making side” of YouTube! In this article, we are going to break down several beginner-friendly ways to make money off of your YouTube channel.
The majority of the money I make off of YouTube is from growing my own personal channels and helping other people scale their channels.
I make money by showing people what I can create and how to make the most money possible for themselves off of their own channels. In other words, I make money by showing my results. But before I taught YouTube, I learned it for myself and had incredible success off of just my own channels.
Endless Possibilities of Monetizing YouTube Videos
There are many ways you can make money on YouTube. In this article we will cover ad revenue, how to get hired for paid sponsorships, shoutouts and affiliate marketing, physical product sales and personal merchandise, as well as my favorite; digital product sales.
Before we get into the details of all of these opportunities, I want to share probably the most important foundational tip to creating a loyal fan base. Having this type of established audience will ensure that you optimally monetize YouTube videos.
First and foremost, focus on giving away free value to your audience before you ever ask for anything back.
Starting Tips, Tricks, Secrets
As soon as you have a monetized channel and are able to generate ad revenue, you’re going to want to want to optimize your channel for making as much money as possible off of that ad revenue. I’d recommend starting by understanding what your CPM is. CPM means “cost per thousand impressions.”
You want to maximize your CPM. So focus on a niche where you can make as much money as possible for your views instead of “wasting views” on a low CPM. This will be discouraging especially if you become viral and successfully get a ridiculous amount of views.
FOR EXAMPLE: A $4 CPM makes you twice the amount of money off the same amount of views that a $2 CPM will make you.
Make Sure Monetization is ON
Be sure to enable monetization always for all your videos so you can earn money! If you see a 💲green dollar sign💲 next to your video, it means that you’re looking good and ready to get paid!
Double check the upload default checklist and make sure that all YouTube monetization requirements are met. Make sure monetization itself is on. Check off display ads, overlay ads, sponsored cards, skippable video ads, and even non-skippable video ads. If you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with ads, you don’t have to do this, but it’s my personal recommendation for optimizing ad revenue.
If possible, I’d recommend keeping your video length around 10 minutes. This is optimal for integrating multiple ads into your videos. I place ads every two minutes in my videos. This may seem excessive… and I’m sure you’re wary that your audience will get frustrated with so many ads.
However, YouTube isn’t going to show all of them. It knows not to play too many ads for one consumer, because that person will likely get mad and log off. If you max out the amount of ads YouTube allows on one video, this helps to make sure that every viewer sees at least one ad on your videos. Some people may get up to three ads, but most will only get one or two.
If you see a 💲yellow dollar sign💲 when you’re uploading a video on your YouTube channel, that’s a warning sign that YouTube had a problem with your content. Go back through your video, rewatch it, and see why YouTube might be flagging it. Maybe you said the “F- Word”, or got a little raunchy.
If you can’t figure out what happened, go ahead and put the video on “Unlisted.” This will make YouTube review it, and determine if it deserves the yellow dollar sign. It will either change to green and you’re good, or it will give you more insight on why its yellow. Then you can take the necessary actions to fix it. If you post a video with the yellow dollar sign, it can cause you to get limited views and miss out on ad revenue.
Another helpful tip is make sure to place the ads in strategic points of the video. For example, place one right before something eventful happens or right before a grand reveal in the video. That way the viewer is incentivized to keep watching, because they’re hooked on wondering what’s going to happen after the ad is done.
Selling Digital Products
Digital products are intangible goods that exist in a digital form. So basically a product where you don’t have anything in a physical, tangible form. Examples would be softwares, courses, NFTs, etc. This type of product is extremely lucrative because you can create it at a low cost and sell it potentially forever. If you’re making videos on how to do certain skills, just make an in-depth course with more details and sell it to your audience.
Selling a digital course, ebook or even just a pdf will help you to skyrocket your income in addition to what you make from the ads on your channel. Digital products are easy to scale if you do it correctly. If you have a business channel on YouTube, you only need 1-2,000 subscribers who value your content and they will quickly buy your course.
A good platform for starting a course is Teachable. I used this when I was starting off since its easy to use and self explainable. Another one is Gumroad. A resource I highly recommend for building your offer and making a sales funnel is Clickfunnels.
Digital products are honestly what helped me get to where I am today. Initially, they just paid the bills until I got established, and then became surplus income.
I’ve only done a sponsorship once. They wanted me to create a short advertisement and put it on 3 of my videos. I personally didn’t have the best experience with the company I worked with, so I didn’t pursue sponsorships any further. However, many of my friends and clients have made a lot of money off of this. The sponsorship I did paid me a total of $5,000. I was happy with what they paid me, but I learned a lot of lessons through the process…
First lesson I learned was to always collect the money up front. In my case, I made the three videos, they reviewed and approved them, and I promised to get them 300,000 views on the ads. I fulfilled my end of the promise but unfortunately they did not get the results they’d hoped for.
Then, they asked me to put the ads on more and more of my videos, which we hadn’t agreed on, and this taught me a second lesson. Always be very clear on what your terms are for the sponsorship. After a lot of back and forth and a lot of headache, I did end up getting paid, but it was exhausting. Thankfully I got paid eventually. Unfortunately, these companies will sometimes string you along, and then pull out last minute so you don’t end up getting paid at all.
A site I recommend for getting sponsorships is Social Blue Book which will tell you what your channel is worth and connect you with potential sponsorships. Another one is Famebit which is specifically for helping brands collaborate with influencers.
In my opinion, the best way to get sponsorships is by giving free value and building a loyal audience. They will naturally come to you. Make sure to have an email in your bio so they can easily contact you.
Once you get an offer, carefully research the company who has reached out to you and ensure they’re reputable. Hackers sometimes pose as companies “wanting to collaborate with you”, and next thing you know they’ve stolen your channel and resold it on the black market.
A really fun way to make money online if you have a social presence is by selling your own merch! This is something I haven’t personally done but I’ve had a lot of friends who did it and were very successful.
I’d recommend starting small, maybe by just creating some T-shirts or something. Get a Print- By-Demand website and you’ll be able to create and design a T-shirt with them. Often, they’ll print and ship the T-shirts for you, and you’ll never have to deal with any of it. However, if you are just starting out and want to save money, do it yourself. You can print like 100-1,000 T-shirts, ship them to your house and personally mail them to your fan base.
You can also hire someone off of Fivver to put your logo on a T-shirt and decide which quality or level you want (look up YouTube videos of people rating the different levels and decide what you want to go with). Get decent quality so your customers are happy. Experiment with routine drops; once a month, once a season, etc. It doesn’t cost you that much to get it all set up…you can usually cover start up cost by selling 10 items. This also helps with customer loyalty; it means a lot if your audience is excited about your brand that they’re willing to purchase and display it!
If you have a faceless automated channel, it might be a bit harder to create and promote merch, but its still 100% doable. You just have to be a bit more creative. Or just make something cool that people like and stick your logo on it in small print somewhere. 🙂
There are many more ways that you can monetize your YouTube channel. Hopefully these ideas I shared helped you get your creative juices flowing! I also share a lot of ideas in my free Facebook group so be sure to join that!
If you’d like to read a more in-depth article outlining even more ways to make money on YouTube, read this one by Ron Stefanski.
And, as always, my team and I love helping people start and/or grow their YouTube channels! If you’re serious about creating a profitable channel with excellent content, book a call and see if you qualify to work with us. Excited to hear from you!