What is Youtube?
Youtube is a free video sharing platform. It is the world’s second largest search engine, next to Google, With 3 billion searches per month. The reason it is so popular is the vast volume of videos it hosts. You can find almost any kind of video from Fitness, programs, to cooking tutorials, to travel vloggers and storytellers, to even reviews on your favorite tech gear. So how does Youtube work to make money?
The goal of youtube, much like Google, is to ensure that your search query is always answered as accurately as possible. Youtube, or Google actually, does this by automatically creating an account for you using your Gmail and allowing you to get personalized results, create playlists, and comment on other videos. This is so YouTube can “learn” your preferences; for example, say you look for videos that help you learn how to play the guitar. The next time you visit YouTube, if you’re signed into your Google account, YouTube will automatically serve up more videos that teach you how to play the guitar. This feature helps YouTube personalize what they show to users so they offer a more relevant user experience.
This is important to note, for this builds the premise to how to make money on youtube.
How Do You Earn Money on Youtube?
Youtube is a Google-owned web property and much like Google, the majority of its revenue comes from allowing advertisers to publish ads on its platform. You can see ads instream (during a video), or on the side and suggested video sections.
Youtube incentivizes it’s “creators” by paying them a percentage of ad revenue for the number of views creator’s videos get. You can do this by creating a channel and enabling monetization on your videos.
In essence, post some videos, attract viewers and then cash in on revenue generated from ads.
How do Youtubers actually make money?
Earning money from youtube ads isn’t always a good way to make a living. On average, youtubers make $2 for 1000 views. So if you wanted to make $1000 in one month, you’d have to get at least 500k views. Youtube also has rules on being able to join the partner program. You can’t even begin to earn any money until you have 4K hours of watch time and at least 1K subscribers within the past year. There are also various other recent changes to their monetization criteria that have demonetized a lot of videos and have caused quite a stir in the youtube community this year. Overall, It takes a lot of time and effort in creating engaging content to get a reasonable amount of views where you would live off of ad revenue. For a lot of people the ad revenue is not the goal.
What makes Youtube my favorite social site for generating revenue, is that the audience that you attract is much more engaging than any other social platform. And leveraging that engagement you can make money by combining your video efforts with these other forms of income, outside of youtube.
For example, you can start an online shop. Sites like Shopify make it easy for you create and manage an e-commerce store. You don’t even need physical products or inventory. you can do what is called “drop shipment” and sell goods from other wholesalers or retailers and they deal with all the shipments. You, in essence, serve as their marketer and earn a commission on every sale.
Another thing you can do is join an affiliate program. Sites like amazon have affiliate programs where you earn a commission by directing traffic to a particular product. Any sales of that product earn you the commission. This type of earning is very popular with review youtube channels as well as fashion and lifestyle based channels. But can certainly be applied to any type of channel.
A third thing you can do is, once you have a strong following you can begin to attract sponsors. Sponsorship money can be very big for you and your channel. Some people have asked up to $10K for every 100K views on a sponsored video. It just takes some work reaching out and working on an agreement with a sponsor. I have a few videos covering the steps you can take on reaching out to brands and getting sponsorships. Go check them out!
Finally, a fourth thing you can do is create on-demand content where viewers pay to watch exclusively curated content. What you can do is see which videos or topics have been the most popular on your channel and then turn that into an exclusive series where people will pay to watch. It can become a monthly subscription fee or a one-time program fee, but it can be a great form of passive income. Usually very popular with educational videos and fitness prgrams.
So how do you grow your channel and start making money on youtube?
The best thing I can suggest is to stick to a niche. Focus on topics you already know naturally and can discuss and demonstrate very easily. Then, research who covers similar topics and do what I like to coin as “benchmarking”. Take a look at their most popular uploads. see how they covered a topic. Then try to replicate it, but instead fill in the gaps. Was there something that they could have covered more thoroughly? Could a visual aid have helped explain the topic better? Are you better at editing and could you make a much a cleaner version of the video?
All those things make youtube better. If you think about it, you are doing exactly what youtube wants. you are answering a search query with the best possible content. If you are always working on making the best video for that topic, then it is very likely that you will begin to grow an audience. and then you can apply some of the alternative earning methods I discussed and start making a living through youtube!