How To Make Money On Youtube

Have you ever dreamt of becoming the next YouTube sensation? Perhaps you are already a freelancer, free from the daily grind and a boss looking over your shoulder, and you are looking for a new source of income. 

And, with so many ways to make money online, you’ve come here because you’re curious about what YouTube has to offer. Here’s my response: money and free advertising.

You can earn money on YouTube by monetizing your own channel, directing traffic to an existing blog, or becoming a YouTube marketing expert. I’m here to show you how to use YouTube as a free marketing tool for your company, a client’s company, or your own brand.

There are six steps to making money on YouTube. And you must complete all of them…in the correct order. The six steps are:

  1. Create Your YouTube Plan
  2. Set Up Your YouTube Account
  3. Record Your First Three Videos
  4. Launch Your Channel
  5. Gain Your First 100 Subscribers
  6. Monetize Your Channel

I have laid out the material in this order – and with these specific action steps – for a reason. Trust the process and follow through.

Step 1: Create Your YouTube Plan

Knowing your audience and your objective on YouTube sets you up for success. Your plan provides a clear direction, and when the rubber hits the road, holding on to your goals keeps you thriving.

Here are the things you should do to create your YouTube plan:

  • Choose your niche.
  • Research your niche on YouTube and Google. Who is your target audience?
  • Brainstorm your video marketing strategy. Make a list of what potential customers need to know about your business, and how you’ll transform that into a video.
  • Brainstorm the types of YouTube videos you want to feature on your channel.
  • Brainstorm your content and subcategories.
  • Identify your “evergreen” content. Plan content that stays relevant long-term.
  • Create your editorial calendar. Enter video ideas and publishing dates.
  • Be real, be kind, and remember to follow YouTube’s community guidelines.

There is room for everyone on YouTube, so be yourself! Do not limit yourself to niches that you think are the most “marketable”. Pay attention to what you actually want to do, to your audience, to your goals on YouTube, and to the quality of your content.

Step 2: Set Up Your YouTube Account

1. Start With a Google Account

Before you can create a YouTube channel, you need a Google account. If you already have an email account with Google (e.g., Gmail), you can use it to sign up for YouTube. If you do not have one, you can create one by visiting and clicking Sign In.

Then, as instructed on the screen, proceed. When you create a new Google account on YouTube, you’ll be asked whether you want to use a personal or branded account. A personal account is one that only you manage and that includes your name and photo in your Google Account.

Multiple owners or managers can manage a brand account. Branded accounts can have a unique name and photo from your Google Account. Start with a branded account if you aren’t sure what name and photo to use.

2. Name Your Channel

If you’re setting up a new Google account, or if you’re setting up a brand account on YouTube, you can choose a name for your YouTube channel. 

Take a minute to select a name that reflects your business. If you’re building a personal brand, you can use your own name. If your channel is promoting a project or product, incorporate that as concisely as you can.

3. Create a Round Logo 

Be sure to put some thought into your round logo (aka channel icon), but don’t get stuck here. You must get this right because your round logo, along with your channel name, appears below every video you upload and every comment you make. You want to make a good impression when viewers first see you.

4. Choose Your Channel Art 

Your channel image is the banner that appears at the top of your YouTube page. It’s the first thing people see when they visit your channel, even before they watch any videos. Your channel image needs to match the rest of your brand. To do this, you can simply choose one or two colors and one or two fonts for your overall branding.

5. Complete Your YouTube Profile

Fill out your About page first, which can be found on the right tab of your YouTube channel’s homepage.

Your About page should include all of the information about your company. Write a few short paragraphs about who you are, what you do on YouTube, and why people should follow you in the “Description” section of the About page.

You don’t need to write a novel, so keep it short. Some people include links in this section, but they must be written in full, beginning with “https://www….”.

You can include links to your professional website, social media profiles, and other pages you want to promote below the description. These embedded links are an excellent way to highlight external branding that represents you and your relevant projects.

You can include a link to your PayPal page among the embedded links. Customers can pay you directly for the products or services you sell on YouTube this way.

You can include your email address at the bottom of the About page so that your viewers can contact you. If you make your email address “public,” you will undoubtedly receive mail, so be prepared! After watching your videos, people want to connect with you on a human level. This can even lead to future business contacts.

Finally, double-check your channel homepage for any typos or image size errors. You have an unlimited number of edits on this page, so keep all of the information up to date.

6. The YouTube Studio

This tool helps you make high-quality content right out of the gate. So make the most of these built-in tools that YouTube offers. You can navigate to the studio by selecting your profile picture in the top right, then selecting YouTube Studio.

Step 3: Record Your First Three Videos

1. Plan Your Initial Content

Let us face it, creating videos can be intimidating. It’s a complicated process, from planning to shooting to editing and uploading. So for your first three videos, try to simplify each step. For starters, focus on the following:

  • Keep each video short (3-5 minutes). It doesn’t need to be long, but it does need to be interesting.
  • For your content, focus on a topic you’re familiar with in your chosen niche.
  • Keep it low-risk. This video doesn’t have to be the end-all-be-all introduction to who you are. (You can tackle that when you get more comfortable with your goals.)
  • Keep the production simple. The goal is to shoot, edit, and upload each video as soon as possible. It’s enough to showcase yourself talking.
  • Optional: Choose something “visual” to guide your content. You can add footage (videos or still images) that tells a story or proves your point in a simple, direct way.

2. Video Template

The video template has four components: intro, meat, call to action, and end screen.


Start by introducing yourself and what the video is about. In the editing process, you can also add a simple title screen containing the title (and subtitle, if relevant) of your video. However, it’s still a good idea to introduce the topic verbally.


After the intro, get into the “meat” of your video. Ask yourself, What would the viewer want to know about me or my topic? And then answer those questions. This is the most substantial section.

Call To Action (CTA)

Include an “ask” at the end of every video you make. This is the call to action (CTA) for your viewers. You have your audience’s attention: now what do you want them to do? 

Let them know. For example, ask them to like, comment, and subscribe to build engagement with your channel and increase your subscriber list.

When you deliver this call to action, be sure to wait until the end of the video. Viewers want to see what you have to offer before they ”subscribe” and ” like.”

End Screen

Your end screen is the final portion of your video. It’s there to reinforce that call to action and direct your viewer to other videos on your channel. You add the end screen graphics during the editing stage.

But while you’re still rolling, add some “filler” footage at the end of your video. This is not supposed to be anything important. This filler acts as a background for the graphics you layer on top later. You may give yourself 20-25 seconds of filler footage.

3. Edit and Upload

After you’ve captured your video footage, the next step is to edit it. I recommend using iMovie, a free third-party editing software app.

Don’t waste your money or time on expensive software until you’ve established yourself on YouTube. For the first three videos, you keep the editing simple. Don’t get hung up on this. Consider the overall length of your video.

Set a timer for 3-5 minutes. If any part of your video appears to be veering off course or running too long, cut it. If you sneezed or laughed, you can also cut those moments. Always keep your video’s purpose in mind. Consider your background audio while editing. Would music brighten the mood and fill the void?

Music can be added while editing. Alternatively, you can add music after uploading using YouTube’s library of copyright-free music. If you use music, make sure it doesn’t drown out your voice if you’re talking in the video. Remember to save the final 20-25 seconds of “filler” footage I mentioned earlier.

That time is required for your end screen, which you add after uploading the video file using YouTube Studio. I go into more detail about this below. Finally, go over your video one more time to ensure you haven’t missed anything.

Step 4: Launch Your Channel

1. Promote Yourself Everywhere

The best way to gain subscribers is to promote yourself. The more social media platforms where you have an existing following, the more likely your channel is to be seen on Google.

2. Share on Social Media

Start your channel by announcing it and linking to your first video. Get people to sign up. Whenever a new video is released, announce it on YouTube. If you can, post a short teaser of the video to Facebook or Instagram.

Currently, Facebook accepts both horizontal and vertical videos. Instagram is comparable to Facebook, with the addition of square videos. Pinterest, on the other hand, favors square and vertical video formats. LinkedIn and Twitter have their own set of requirements.

You can repost your YouTube videos on all of these social media sites, but you must work with the aspect ratios of each platform. You can do this by resizing images on your own, in Canva, or in other apps.

3. Paid Advertising on Social Media

I don’t recommend paid advertising until your channel has an established following and organic traffic. Before spending money on marketing to new people, you must understand who your target audience is and what they are looking for.

The exception is if your channel is a part of your existing business. If you have a budget and a clear message, you can run Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest ads to promote your channel.

If you’re planning a big subscriber incentive, channel project announcement, or another channel-related news blast, you can use paid advertising to promote these initiatives and direct people back to your channel.

4. Share With Your Email List

If you have an email list, send some newsletters to promote your channel launch. This is another opportunity to gain new subscribers from your existing network. 

Build excitement before and after you launch your new channel. Let people know why they should watch your videos and subscribe to your channel. And once your channel is live, keep sharing new videos with your subscribers.

Step 5: Gain Your First 100 Subscribers

1. Respond To Comments

If you want to build your subscriber list, you must respond to every comment on your channel. This is where the human connection comes in. Yes, there’s a lot of automation, spam, and garbage in YouTubeland. But you can be a force for good!

2. Connect With Other Channels

Commenting on other channels is another way to connect with the YouTube community and gain subscribers. When you leave a comment, show that you watched the whole video by saying something specific to their channel or video. 

This makes you stand out from the crowd. It’s much more effective than generic comments, like “Great video!”, which many people post, all too often.

3. Join Live Streams

Another method to boost your subscriber list is by joining live streams on YouTube. When you join a YouTube live stream, you connect with other channels, gain community, and increase visibility. On the other side, holding a live stream helps the host channel connect with its audience on a personal level.

Step 6: Monetize Your Channel

YouTube monetization involves joining the YouTube Partner Program, then earning money through various methods. In order to apply for the YouTube Partner Program, you must meet the subscriber and watch hour requirements. They are:

  • 1,000 subscribers, and
  • 4,000 watch hours over the last 12 months.

Up to this point, you’ve focused on gaining subscribers. But what are “watch hours,” and why is this a requirement for monetization on YouTube? Watch hours are significant because they show how much time people have spent watching your videos.

Watch time is the best metric for determining whether your content is engaging viewers. Viewers will quickly discover any “empty promises” on your channel (such as misleading titles or tags or low-quality content). Potential subscribers who have been disappointed will not return. You must attract viewers who are enthusiastic about the content you offer.

These are the people who support you on a personal level, rather than because you’ve swapped subscribers, as in “I’ll subscribe to your channel if you subscribe to mine.” Organic engagement from people who enjoy your videos is critical to your YouTube success.

This is why watch time is such an important metric. All of your statistics, including subscribers and watch hours, can be found on the Analytics page for your channel. Analytics are an important part of the YouTube process. Based on your current numbers, you can use them to set future goals for your channel.

You must wait for approval when you apply for the YouTube Partner Program. YouTube accepts channels that follow their community guidelines, as well as the watch time and subscriber requirements.

YouTube conducts regular channel reviews to ensure that their Partners are adhering to the community guidelines. There should be no issues if you create family-friendly content.

After being approved, you set up a Google AdSense account (to receive payment from ad revenue) and a direct deposit to ensure that you are paid on time. Here are four ways to make money on YouTube once you’ve been approved for monetization. It’s worth noting that YouTube has different eligibility requirements for each method, though there is some overlap.

1. Ad Revenue

If you want to earn some ad revenues from your YouTube videos, you have to become a part of the YouTube Partner Program. This program lets you make money by showing ads on your videos.

However, you need to meet certain requirements to join the YouTube Partner Program. You have to have at least 1,000 subscribers on your channel, and your videos need to have been watched for a total of 4,000 hours in the past year. This shows that people are interested in your content and are watching it regularly, which is important for advertisers.

Your videos also need to follow YouTube’s rules for making money. This means they need to be appropriate and not violate any copyright rules, among other things. You also need to be in a country where the program is available. And you’ll need to connect a Google AdSense account so you can get paid for the ads.

Once you meet these requirements and get accepted into the program, you can start making money. You’ll earn money from ads that appear before, during, or next to your videos. 

The money you make from ads isn’t based on how many times people watch your videos. It depends on what viewers do with the ads, like clicking on them or watching them all the way through. On average, a YouTube channel might make around $18 for every 1,000 ad views. 

YouTube also allows you to earn ad revenues from Shorts. The earnings from YouTube Shorts can range from $0.01 to $0.07 per 1,000 views.

2. Channel Memberships

In channel memberships, subscribers pay you a monthly recurring fee to access your content and receive monthly perks. You can offer a variety of member-only perks, including badges, emojis, personalized videos, member-only live chats, and more.

To enable Channel Memberships, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be part of the YouTube Partner Program.
  • Have more than 30,000 subscribers (or 1,000 for gaming channels).
  • Be over 18 years old.
  • Reside in a country where Channel Memberships are available.
  • Ensure your content is not set as ‘Made For Kids’

You can set different membership levels, starting from $4.99 to $49.99 per month. It’s important to offer various tiers to accommodate different levels of engagement and financial commitment from your audience.

YouTube takes a 30% cut of the revenue generated from channel memberships, meaning if a viewer pays $5 for a membership, YouTube keeps $1.50, and the creator gets $3.50.

You can monitor your earnings through the ‘Analytics’ tab in YouTube Studio, where you can track membership growth and revenue.

3. Super Chat

When you go live on YouTube, viewers can send a Super Chat (an amount of money) to support you. In order to receive this income, be sure to select “Accept Super Chats” when you’re setting up for monetization.

To maximize earnings from Super Chat, you have to actively engage with your audience during live streams. You can use calls to action, reminding viewers that they can use Super Chat to get their messages highlighted.

Remember to thank viewers who use Super Chat. This can make them feel appreciated and possibly encourage more viewers to use the feature.

4. Sell Merchandise

Larger channels can take advantage of “merch shelves” within YouTube. This is where you showcase your branded merchandise with your channel’s designs. You need an account with a merchandise retailer, such as Teespring, which you then integrate with YouTube. 

You can sell coffee cups, pillows, sweatshirts, and more through YouTube, and your channel keeps the revenue. For smaller channels, you can also sell merchandise or other products without YouTube’s third-party assistance. 

For example, for arts and crafts, you could link sales pages to your YouTube channel, or sell your products on live streams or in a “live auction” setting. This is another way to use YouTube’s marketing platform to gain visibility and receive direct revenue from the sale of your products.

5. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing on YouTube is a way to make money online by promoting other people’s goods and services in your own videos.

In the comments or in the “Description” section under the video, you usually can find these clickable links.

For this reason, the system is not unlike traditional affiliate marketing. The only thing that changes is the medium in which the game is played.

However, you can still create content such as product reviews, how-to guides, etc. that ultimately lead readers to a specific affiliate network. It’s just that you use videos instead. If a viewer makes a purchase after clicking on your referral link, you can then get a commission.

To get started, you need to become part of an affiliate program. There are companies like Amazon Associates, ShareASale, and ClickBank that offer these programs. Once you’re in, you can make custom affiliate links for products you want to talk about in your videos.

There’s a virtually infinite variety of possible video styles, formats, and lengths to choose from when creating affiliate marketing videos.

But there are a few tried-and-true formats that have shown promise. An excellent content strategy for a YouTube affiliate is to create reviews of individual products.

It’s easier to rate products when you have used them yourself, rather than just talking about them.

There’s a lot of commercial intent behind these “product” keywords.

This is probably the main reason why 62% of buyers always read online reviews before making a purchase.

What’s more, a whopping 52% of consumers are more influenced by a positive review on YouTube than any other source when making a purchase decision.

How Much Money Can You Make On YouTube?

YouTube earnings can vary widely, depending on factors like your channel’s size, content focus, viewer engagement, and how you monetize.

Big stars with millions of followers can rake in millions.

For example, take Blippi, who runs a popular kids’ channel. He pulled in a whopping $17 million in a single year from his videos, which were viewed 8.2 billion times.

But you don’t need a massive following to monetize your channel. Even smaller channels can make a good income. Here’re some examples:

  • Justine Leconte, a fashion creator with fewer than a million subscribers, brings in about $259,304 each year just from ad revenue.
  • Kelly Anne Smith, a YouTuber who talks about personal finance to an audience of 50k+. She managed to pocket around $900 from ad revenue in one month.

The more time people spend watching your videos, i.e., your watch time, the higher your ad revenue. And this income is entirely passive once your videos are published. 

On average, a YouTube channel can earn about $180 per 1,000 views, according to Influencer Marketing Hub.

However, it’s best to view ad revenue as a secondary benefit and not the primary reason for creating a YouTube channel. Instead, focus on using YouTube as free marketing for your business and take advantage of the other monetization methods.

For those starting out, you might try affiliate marketing. With the right niche and high quality content, this could earn you up to $500 per week.

Super Chat also offers higher income potential for newer channels, especially if you have an engaged audience who wants to support you. Donation from fans can range from $1 all the way up to $100…it can be exciting, as you never know what you might earn. Keep in mind, though, YouTube takes a 30% cut off Super Chat income.

Read more: Best Side Hustle Ideas


1. How Many Views Do You Need to Make Money on YouTube?

While views are important, they don’t directly translate to revenue. On average, a YouTube channel can earn about $180 per 1,000 views, according to Influencer Marketing Hub.

However, earnings are determined by viewer interactions with ads, such as clicks or complete views. YouTube’s criteria require a viewer to click an ad or watch it in full for creators to get paid.

2. How Do You Get Paid on YouTube?

To start earning directly through YouTube, you need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours within the past year, or 1,000 subscribers with 10 million valid public Shorts views in the past 90 days.

Once eligible, you can apply to the YouTube Partner Program to monetize your channel. Payment is made once your balance reaches $100.

3. Can You Make Money on YouTube with Few Subscribers?

Yes, you can earn money on YouTube even with a small subscriber count. Affiliate marketing, for instance, allows you to earn from product sales through your unique links.

Niches like food reviews, product unboxings, and top [X] lists are popular and can help you generate income based on sales rather than ad views.

4. What Are the Best Niches for Making Money on YouTube?

Popular niches include tech reviews, beauty tutorials, gaming, personal finance, travel vlogs, and educational content. However, success also depends on your unique perspective and the value you bring to your audience within your chosen niche.

5. Are There Any Costs Associated with Making Money on YouTube?

Starting a YouTube channel comes with diverse costs, depending on your choices. Here’re some examples:

  • Essentials: You need a computer and internet access (around $400), or use what you have.
  • Studio Setup: You can set up at home for free or rent a studio ($500/day).
  • Video Equipment: Start with a smartphone, upgrade to budget cameras ($150-$750), add affordable microphones (under $50), and basic lighting.
  • Editing Software: Free options like iMovie or paid ones (up to $300) for editing, animations, and thumbnails.

To save money, you can use stock resources like images and music, with some available for free, while others might come with a fee. As your channel gains traction, it’s prudent to gradually invest in improved equipment and software.

Final Words

After you’ve achieved monetization, you can’t sit back and relax. It’s only the first step to increasing your YouTube audience and income.

Vacations are sometimes necessary, but you should maintain a consistent presence until you’re well established and have a steady income. If you are inactive on your channel for six months, you may fall below the 4,000-hour watch time threshold in a year.

If you fall below this threshold, YouTube may terminate your participation in the Partner Program. If you are demonetized, you have the right to appeal the decision.

YouTube provides detailed information on why this occurred and how to resolve the problem. After that, you can make the necessary changes to your channel and reapply for monetization status.

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