How to Make Money from Your YouTube Videos - dummies

How to Make Money from Your YouTube Videos

By Janine Warner, David LaFontaine

Producing a decent YouTube video can be hard work. You need a video camera or webcam, editing tools, and access to a fast Internet connection to upload your video. And after you go to all that trouble (not to mention all the time you spend bragging about your creation across all the other social media platforms), it’s natural to want to get a little something back from YouTube.

The ways to make money on YouTube are limited only to the terms of service and your own imagination. Here are three ways to make money from your video:

  • Use video to promote your own product or promote a product for which you are a sales affiliate.

  • Create sponsored content for clients.

  • Become a YouTube Partner and receive ad revenue based on your video’s views.

Of these three, only the first one is now frowned upon by YouTube. If your video is nothing more than a blatant commercial for something you’re trying to sell, YouTube is likely to remove it for violating its terms of service.

Without this policy, YouTube would quickly be clogged up with millions of spammy infomercials. Want to promote a product on your YouTube channel? Find a way to create compelling content that happens to also feature that product. Find out more about the YouTube terms of service and brand guidelines.

Until quite recently, you couldn’t charge people to watch your videos on YouTube, whose entire business model was grounded in Google’s philosophy that “content wants to be free.” In May 2013, Google announced that it was rolling out more than 50 channels that were subscription-only (“paid” channels).

The channels, which range from $0.99 to $9.99 per month, feature premium content, such as videos that show you how to fix your Harley-Davidson motorcycle, or full-HD video of classic rock concerts. Keep in mind that it may be a challenge to draw an audience to a fee-based YouTube channel when there’s a wealth of free content available to viewers.

YouTube restricts paid premium channels to its trusted Partners. To achieve Partner status, you must apply through the Partner Creator Hub. Currently, most subscription channels seem aimed at the family market (such as the Sesame Street or the National Geographic for Kids channels), but YouTube has invested more than $200 million with dozens of celebrity and high-profile Hollywood figures to start producing original content.

But the most common way of monetizing your videos is the same as what is done with traditional TV: advertising. To take advantage of all the various kinds of advertising available for online video (overlays, frames, pre-rolls, and so on), you need to enable ads on your videos. You will also need a Google AdSense account for the money to be deposited into.

Check here for more on how to enable ads on your videos, see the YouTube instructions.