YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world and for a good reason; it provides tremendous value to the YouTube audience.
Such a large audience creates a fantastic opportunity for people to start an online business, become an entrepreneur and make money on YouTube.
With over 2.6 billion users each watching on average 23+ minutes of YouTube per day, it’s no wonder why YouTube can generate such a high amount of advertising revenue.
There are many YouTube monetization strategies that we will explore, and the best option for you will depend on how you express your authentic brand.
Essentially, making money on the platform is on around YouTube Content Creators selling advertising to the YouTube audience.
In this article, we will explore the best ways for you to make money on YouTube in 2022.
YouTube Partner Program
YouTube’s Partner Program is the best way for YouTube creators to make money from their videos.
This is the main method content creators earn money on the platform through YouTube advertising. Every content creator should sign up for YouTube’s Partner Program as soon as they can.
YouTube content creators can earn money when viewers watch their ads by uploading videos and displaying ads before, during, and after the video.
Google will even pay you when YouTube Premium subscribers watch your videos without seeing ads.
To be eligible for the program, you must have a channel with at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 public hours of watch time in the past 12 months.
When you have reached the YouTube Partner Program eligibility thresholds, you can read and sign the Partner Program terms, and set up a linked AdSense account.
After completing the terms, YouTube will review your channel to ensure it adheres to its policies.
Once you are accepted into the program, you will be able to run ads on your videos and earn money from ad revenue. You can also make money on YouTube with Premium subscribers watching your content.
You will also have access to other features, such as being able to sell merchandise through your channel.
Here is an overview of the YouTube Partner Program by Google.
If you have spent any time watching YouTube videos in the past, chances are you have seen commercial ads built into the actual videos.
When you have a good amount of YouTube users subscribed to your channel and watching your video content, you can begin to run these video ads yourself.
Your potential to earn money from these commercials will depend on your leverage and your ability to negotiate.
Some of the highest-paid YouTubers are able to make $10,000 per ad, but a more reasonable expectation for an average YouTube channel would be between $100 and $1,500 per ad.
You can find and contact companies with YouTube affiliate programs, but when your channel grows, you will find that advertisers will reach out to you.
If you decide to use this technique to make more YouTube income, you want to create a unique ad that fits into the video.
Partner companies will have their own requirements such as running the commercial for 45 seconds within the first 90 seconds of the video and placing a link to their site in the video description.
Videos with commercial relationships need to be disclosed in YouTube studio. It’s also important to disclose these relationships to your audience.
Navigate to YouTube Studio and select “Content”.
Click on the video that you are running the commercial ad on and select “More options”.
Check the box next to “My video contains paid promotion like a product placement, sponsorship, or endorsement” and click SAVE.
YouTube will still run ads on these videos, but they will replace ads that conflict with your partner’s messaging.
Fully Sponsored YouTube Videos
Fully sponsored videos are another way YouTube creators can make money from their videos.
Fully sponsored videos are commercials that span the entire video, and they can be a great way to earn money if you have a large audience.
To create a fully sponsored video, you will need to find a company willing to pay you to make the video.
The amount of money you can earn from a fully sponsored YouTube video will depend on your audience size and engagement, but you can expect to earn up to 10 times the amount of revenue as a regular sponsored ad.
To create sponsored content, you can contact companies directly and ask if they are interested in sponsoring your channel.
Make sure the sponsored videos are content that aligns with your channel niche, and the video still engages and entertains your viewers.
As your channel grows and your audience size increases, companies will be contacting you with sponsored video opportunities and you will have to turn a lot of them down.
Affiliate marketing is another way to earn money on YouTube. With affiliate marketing, you promote products or services in your videos and earn a commission on your sales.
You can expect to earn between 5%-15% commission per sale with most affiliate programs, but some affiliate programs will have commissions as high as 50%!
Seeking out the right affiliate programs can be a bit of a process, but there are plenty of companies that have affiliate programs that you can sign up for.
The revenue streams available with affiliate marketing on YouTube are one-time revenue and recurring revenue.
With one-time affiliate revenue, you are paid a commission for each purchase. You are paid regularly with recurring affiliate revenue if the customer stays subscribed to the affiliate product or service.
Once you’ve found the right program, promoting products in your videos is easy – just include a link to the product in your video description and encourage your viewers to click on it.
To encourage users to click the link, you may want to bring attention to the description in the video.
A consistent method to make affiliate revenue on YouTube is to do product reviews of high priced products.
If your audience decides to buy the product using your affiliate link, you will make a commission on the sale.
Another way to earn money on YouTube is by selling products. You can sell physical products, digital products, or even services through your channel.
The types of products you sell will depend on your channel niche. You may even be able to sell courses, coaching sessions or even access to information.
This YouTube money making method is different from the previous strategies because it requires real action from the viewer, rather than just passively consuming your content.
You will still have to make entertaining and engaging videos for your viewers, but at the same time work on moving viewers through your marketing funnel and make a purchase.
How To Sell Physical Products on YouTube
To sell physical products on YouTube, you will need to convince your viewers that buying your physical products will benefit them.
Selling from your own site rather than through YouTube’s Merch Shelf will result in higher profits per sale but more work, as you have to create and maintain your E-Commerce store.
Items sold through YouTube’s Merch Shelf will also result in higher exposure to your audience and may attract more clicks. It could even convert better.
If you choose to sell physical products on YouTube, determine what you will sell, make sure it aligns with your audience and experiment with products to find out what works.
How to Sell Digital Products on YouTube
Selling digital products on YouTube is a high leverage activity because there is a very low cost of reproduction, just like YouTube videos.
This means you put in the work once and you are able to sell the product for a long time with very low additional effort.
Digital products come in the form of Media, Code or a combination of the two.
A few examples of Media products you can sell on YouTube are instructional video courses, eBooks and audio files.
Some examples of Code products you can sell on YouTube are SaaS subscriptions, games and apps.
Making money selling digital products on YouTube comes down to having a good Product Market Fit and how well you are able to sell and market your digital products.
How to Sell Services on YouTube
An overlooked method of making money on YouTube is to sell your services.
This is especially potent if you run an agency or are a professional in some area.
To sell services on YouTube, the most important thing to do is create valuable content to keep an engaged audience.
A high quality, high volume, engaged audience will provide you with a high amount of authority in your domain.
When others perceive you to have high authority, you will have no trouble selling services on YouTube.
Influencer Product Placement
If you are an influencer with a large following, you can make money by doing product placement in your videos.
This is where companies pay you to promote their products in your videos. If you are interested in product placement, you can contact companies directly and ask if they are interested in working with you.
Typically you would only make money on YouTube with influencer product placement when considered an “Influencer”. The size of your audience will depend on your brand and marketing efforts up to this point.
This method’s requirements and payout potential will depend on the products and companies you are advertising for.
Crowdfunding from Fans
Another way to make money on YouTube is by crowdfunding from fans.
With this method, you set up a page on a crowdfunding site like Patreon or GoFundMe and ask your fans to contribute money to your channel.
Some YouTubers even ask for donations through WeFunder to avoid platform commissions.
Crowdfunding is a fantastic way to make money on YouTube, and it works even if you have a small (but dedicated) audience.
Usually, you provide your crowdfunding fans with exclusive content that is not available to your free audience.
You can use the crowdfunded money you raise to help support your channel and make more videos, to generate even more true fans who are willing to crowdfund you!
If you have unique and valuable content, you can make money by licensing it to companies.
This is where companies pay you for the right to use your content in their own products or marketing materials. Typically you have created a popular video, viral video or your content is relevant to current events.
Companies will reach out to you to license your content and play it on syndications in legacy media or through the internet.
If you are interested in licensing your content, you can contact companies directly and ask if they are interested in working with you.
YouTube Channel Memberships
If you have a large and engaged following, you can make money by offering channel memberships.
With this method, viewers can pay a monthly fee to become a member of your channel and get access to exclusive content.
YouTube Memberships have Tiers available at different prices, so you are able to charge members according to the level of benefit they receive. Lachlan offers members paying A$14.99/month the 1st priority of joining in on games and videos with him.
If you are interested in offering channel memberships, you can set up a membership tier on your channel and start charging!
Super Chat & Super Stickers
If you have a live stream on your channel, you can make money by using Super Chat & Super Stickers.
With Super Chat, viewers can pay to have their message highlighted in the chat. With Super Stickers, viewers can pay to display their sticker prominently in the chat.
The amount of money that viewers donate to you during your live streams will determine the number of characters they can use in their super chat message, and how long the message will stay at the top of the chat feed.
Using Super Chat & Super Stickers is a great way for a content creator to earn money on YouTube if they are doing live streams often and interacting with the YouTube community.
Doing live streams is different from making videos; you have to be entertaining for long periods of time and interact with your live chat stream.
Keep in mind that Google currently takes a 30% commission on Super Chat donations, so you probably don’t want to rely on this as your only method to earn money on YouTube.
If you are interested in using Super Chat & Super Stickers, you can enable them in your live stream settings.
How to Make Money on YouTube – Merch Shelf
If you have a YouTube channel with a large following, you can make money by setting up a Merch Shelf on your channel.
With a Merch Shelf, you can sell up to merchandise products directly to your viewers through your channel.
There are some additional requirements to selling on Merch Shelf, such as having 10,000 subscribers and not having a “Made for Kids” audience.
The way your merchandise is displayed will be determined by an algorithm and based on factors such as price, popularity, and availability, but you can change the ordering if you want to manually.
If you are interested in setting up a Merch Shelf, you can set up a Merch Shelf in YouTube Studio under “Monetization”.
Select the “Merchandise” tab. If you are eligible for the Merch Shelf you will see it available.
How to Make Money on YouTube – Shorts Fund
If you create short videos on YouTube, you may be eligible for the YouTube Shorts Fund.
The YouTube Shorts Fund is a USD $100,000,000 fund that rewards YouTube content creators for making videos that are short, creative and original.
YouTube Shorts are vertical videos that are 60 seconds or less in length. They have a maximum resolution of 1080 x 1080 pixels.
With the YouTube Shorts Fund, you can earn money for your videos. To qualify for the YouTube Shorts Fund, Google will send you an email and YouTube notification saying that you qualify for a bonus payment based on your Shorts performance.
If you qualify for the Shorts Fund, you have until the 25th of each month to claim the bonus before it disappears forever.
How to Make Money on YouTube – Partner Program Checklist
Here is a detailed checklist to help guide you through setting up the YouTube Partner Program for your YouTube account:
- Enable 2-step verification for your YouTube account (enabled via Google Account).
- Ensure your YouTube channel follows YouTube’s policies and guidelines, and there are no Community Guidelines strikes on your YouTube account.
- Have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 public watch hours.
- Sign the YouTube Partner Program terms.
- Sign up for Google AdSense. Ensure you have only 1 AdSense account.
- Get your YouTube account reviewed by Google.
- Get accepted (or rejected) for the YouTube Partner Program.
Enable 2-Step Verification
Ensure you have an authenticator app (such as Google Authenticator) installed on your smartphone.
Navigate to https://myaccount.google.com and sign in.
Sign in to your Google account and follow the instructions on the main page to enable 2-Step Verification on your Google account.
Your YouTube Channel Follows All Community Policies and Guidelines
Google has stringent Community Guidelines to ensure that YouTube is a safe and family friendly platform.
Make sure you understand the Community Guidelines thoroughly. They are available to read here.
You need to make sure that your YouTube channel follows all of these guidelines, as well as YouTube’s Terms of Service.
If you do not follow these policies, your YouTube account could be suspended or even shut down permanently.
Some of the more important policies to note are:
- No spam, misleading metadata, or scams
- No nudity or sexually suggestive content
- No hate speech or harassment
- No violent or gory content
- No dangerous or illegal activities
- No tolerance for misinformation
Meet Minimum YouTube Audience Requirements
Have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 valid public watch hours.
This will be the hardest requirement for many YouTube content creators to meet.
To have a successful YouTube channel, you have to create videos that people love to watch.
Ultimately this comes down to being an excellent video creator that makes engaging YouTube videos.
Study the titles, video descriptions, thumbnails, video content, and video length of successful YouTube channels in your niche. Try to become a YouTube marketing expert and apply the most successful tactics to your own YouTube videos.
A watch hour is a metric that YouTube uses to track how much time people spend watching your videos.
You can check your public watch hours in YouTube Analytics.
The way YouTube calculates public watch hours is by finding how many YouTube views your video had and multiplying each view by the amount of time spent on the video.
Your watch hours will only be valid if your content is publicly available and viewable by everyone.
Private and unlisted videos will not contribute to your public watch hours.
If you do not have enough subscribers or watch hours, you can still apply to the program, but your application will be put on hold until you reach the minimum requirements.
Click YouTube Studio
Click on Start on the “Review Partner Program terms” card.
When you have signed the YouTube Partner Program terms, YouTube will mark this step as done with a green “Done” sign on the “Review Partner Program terms” card.
It will usually take Google about a month to review your YouTube partner Program application.
Sign Up For Google AdSense
Within the Monetization tab, click Start on the “Sign up for Google AdSense” card.
Choose your Google account that you want to use for AdSense.
If you already have Google AdSense set up on another account, choose that account as each person is only permitted one AdSense account.
If you are not sure, select “I don’t know”.
Don’t attempt to create a new AdSense account if you already have one as this may cause delays in the sign up process.
You will need to provide your correct payment address to Google during this process. Google may mail you crucial documents which you will have to verify online.
Select submit when all details are entered, and you have verified the information is correct. Your browser will navigate back to YouTube studio.
Get Your YouTube Account Reviewed By Google
In YouTube Studio within the “Sign up for Google AdSense” card, a badge saying “In progress” will be displayed.
Now you have to wait for Google to review your AdSense application.
If your application is approved, the badge will display “Done” and display that you have successfully linked your AdSense account.
Get Accepted (or Rejected) For the YouTube Partner Program
When your application is accepted, there are still a few things you need to do before you can make money on YouTube. They are:
- Provide your tax information
- Confirm your personal information
- Select & set up your form of payment
- Meet the minimum payment threshold
Provide Your Tax Information
Sign into AdSense using the Google account you signed up with.
Navigate to the “Payments” tab, then click “Manage settings”.
Scroll down to “Payments profile” then click the edit icon next to “tax info”.
Then click “Manage tax info”.
All monetized creators need to provide Google with their tax information.
You will be prompted to fill out some tax forms that apply to you. If you are unsure which tax forms need to be completed, you should consult a tax professional.
Confirm Your Personal Information
Here are two main pieces of information that may be required by Google:
1. Verifying Your Payment Address (Required For Everyone)
Verifying your address will only occur once, and it will be when you reach the address verification threshold.
The threshold is USD $10 or the equivalent amount in your local currency.
Google will mail you a 6-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) when you reach the threshold.
It usually takes 2-4 weeks for the PIN to arrive at your address, but it could take longer depending on your address.
When it arrives, enter the pin in your AdSense profile under “Payments”, then click “Verification check”.
Enter your PIN within the text box and click “Submit”.
You have up to 4 months to enter your PIN. If you wait longer than this, monetization will be paused on your account.
If your PIN has not arrived after 4 weeks, you can request it to be resent within “Payments”, then “Verification check”.
2. Verifying Your Identity (Only Required In Some Instances)
This step is only required in some countries.
If you are required to complete this step, you will have to do so before verifying your address.
You will be asked for information such as your Name, Address and Date of Birth.
Detailed instructions on doing this are within the Payments section of your AdSense login.
If you don’t provide this information within 45 days, your account will pause monetization.
Select & Set Up Your Form of Payment
To set up your payment form, you must first meet the minimum payment threshold.
This is USD $10 or the equivalent of your currency.
Depending on your payment address, you can select options such as “Check”, “Electronic Funds Transfer”, or “Wire Transfer”.
If you want to be paid directly into a bank account, select “Electronic Funds Transfer”.
You can select these options within “Payments”, then “Payments info”, then click “Add payment method” in AdSense.
Meet the Minimum Payment Threshold
To make money and get paid, you have to meet the minimum payment threshold.
Currently, this is USD $100 if you are in the United States, but other countries will have different payment thresholds.
Here is a guide by Google that shows the payment thresholds in different countries
There are many ways to make money on YouTube. If you have a large and engaged following, you can monetize your channel in a number of ways, such as through Youtube’s Partner Program, product placement, crowdfunding, licensing content, YouTube Premium Subscribers Super Chat & Super Stickers or offering channel memberships.
So what are you waiting for? Start creating videos and start making money!