How To Make Money On YouTube


YouTube has become our go-to place for a long time. And it’s not only because of music videos or album covers of our all-time favorites. It also features educational videos on a varied number of topics. Starting from cooking to gaming to digital marketing or trading, it’s like your personal handbook for anything.

Interesting to note is that around 5 billion YouTube videos are watched daily around the globe. And this figure is 50% more than what it was last year. Seems like YouTube’s always on the rise!

An average viewer spends around 40 minutes on a YouTube session. Now consider if you could make money off a website like this. It’s not a dream. You can actually go for it. There are a few ways in which you can make money on YouTube. You just need to get your strategy straight.

YouTube is not only for film enthusiasts posting their short films or documentaries. Surely you’ll find those in abundance. But if you have worthy content to deliver on any topic, post it on a YouTube channel and get your word out there. Now if your content is really worthwhile it will attract viewers anyway. But there are ways to boost up your traffic to take your YouTube channel to a new level.

It is often that small entrepreneurs, digital education institutions, or even laymen with an amazing story to tell find themselves earning money from their YouTube channels.

In a world struck by the coronavirus pandemic and people forced to stay at home for so long, what’s better than seeking YouTube to learn the new thing you always wanted to. If your audience is increasing in number, then why not give your YouTube channel a chance. You never know when it’ll start compensating you with monetary benefit.

To open a YouTube channel, all you need is a Google+ account which is also free. So once you have your YouTube channel in place you can use it to advertise your brand to a newer audience. If it’s a local brand, there’s a lot a YouTube video can do for you to make your brand go places. There’s another way to go about your YouTube channel as well. If you build a broad subscriber base, then you can use it to your advantage. Other companies that use YouTube might also pay you to use your platform to advertise their products as well.

Let’s break it down to understand better. If you have amazing content and your YouTube channel becomes a hit among viewers, you can easily make money out of it. Others with products to advertise or channels to promote will come to you to showcase their products.

However, before you launch your YouTube channel to make money, be prepared to ask yourself two questions.

How much profit do you intend to make?

Do you want to use your YouTube channel to promote your brand of service of product or you want your videos to generate income directly from YouTube?

If you have your answers straight, then we can move on to tell you the two different ways you can make money on YouTube.

Ways To Earn Money On YouTube

To bring it straight to you, you can either be an advertiser or an ad platform. Care to know more? Read on.

If you choose to be an advertiser, you will pay for Bumpers, Preroll, or TrueView ads to showcase your product in front of a newer audience or potential consumers. But if you choose to act as an ad platform, you have to publish worthy content to reach a subscriber limit after which others will host their promotional content on your YouTube channel as your YouTube partner or paid affiliate.

The breakdown to both the techniques is coming right up.

1. Be An Advertiser

If you’ve chosen this strategy to make money on YouTube, you’ll be putting up promotional content on your YouTube channel. This can be for your own brand, your new business venture or any kind of service that you wish to promote. Your main revenue source will still be your business. However, YouTube will help promote your content in front of a target audience.

Now, how is this any different from TV advertising or newspaper advertising?

Well, you can always choose to publish your advertisement as a TV or newspaper commercial. But the added benefit you get on YouTube is that your content reaches your target audience and also to more engaged audience segments. While you’ll pay to promote your content in both cases, YouTube gives you the platform to reach your specified audience. As an advertiser, you can set your viewership targets. Your content will be shown on other high subscription channels so you can appeal to the audience you wish to target. These channels can be individual hits or big brands that will put up your advertising content.

But if you’re an advertiser, you’ll have to combat great risks. There’s always the chance that your ads don’t get featured in others’ slots. Being an advertiser is a long shot. You will bear the risk that the money you paid for the top slot in another highly subscribed video might go be for nothing. Paying money to feature in your ads doesn’t bear the guarantee that you’ll reach your ideal buyer. Sometimes you don’t get a click-through to your website which could result in long-term clientele.

Even though you need to keep these in mind, it doesn’t mean putting up an ad in YouTube is a definite loss. There are studies that show that YouTube ads do pay off. If you go for TrueView ads, the odds increase 10 times in your favor on an average. Viewers who see TrueView ads are an engaged audience who are more likely to take action.

TrueView Ads:

If you have great content to support your product, TrueView is the place to be. TrueView provides you a better platform to put up high-quality, creative videos to promote your product. It comes in two forms: Discovery and In-Stream.

make money on YouTube

Image by Brian Carter

What are these types?

Well, In-Stream videos are the ones that come right before your chosen video starts. It’s named so as it comes in the stream of the YouTuber’s selected video. These videos go on for 5 seconds after which you can skip them to jump to what you actually wanted to watch. The maximum length of TrueView YouTube ads ranges from 12 seconds to 6 minutes.

Discovery ads appear right below the “Up Next” video on YouTube. It’s present on the sidebar where your suggested playlist appears. Check out this photo to identify discovery ads. webp to jpg 2

The key is to go for brand development and viewership goals and not flying clicks to your website. TrueView ads will only come to your ad if you have a story/content that people will not want to skip. It has to be engaging in style and capture your viewers’ attention within the first 5 seconds. Flying clicks to the website do not result in revenue but if you create your brand image and insert an awareness regarding your brand to the minds of the people watching it, it might just do the trick for you.

Both these types function on a pay-per-view basis. The amount that you pay to YouTube is a fixed rate per view of your ad. Each view is tallied and measured and the ROI (Return on Investment) is calculated in Google AdWords.


Well, this type of ad is very similar to In-Stream Ads. It pops up right before your selected video plays. But the only difference is that you can’t skip this one. So the viewer has to sit through the entire time the ad gets played and can’t jump to the chosen stream right after 5 seconds.

The maximum length a preroll can continue is for 30 seconds. Recent reports however, suggest that the maximum length can be cut short to 15 or 20 seconds from this year.

Be sure to make your ad as enticing as possible because if you’re paying for a preroll, the viewer has to watch your entire ad. If it draws attention, it may be an enormous lead for you to make money on YouTube.

You can also gain added leverage if you use YouTube remarketing options. These enable you to send in new, engaging videos to channels you’re already engaged with. You can even use HubSpot to build smart forms as a remarketing strategy. These extra efforts can be a serious push to your marketing.


Well, these are the shortest of all. Just as the name suggests, bumpers are 6 second ad videos which stream right before your choice of video begins.

These work like bumpers in long videos as well and are best for uplifting brand awareness. It is natural that you tend to remember the brand that pops up in your video streaming a number of times. These ad videos might be short but they are very effective. Studies show that viewers tend to remember bumper ads more than any other type of ads.

If you’re an advertiser, you pay for bumpers on a cost-per-minute basis. In other words, you pay for every 1000 plays of your YouTube ad.

If you’re looking for an effective marketing strategy, we recommend you go for a TrueView ad supplemented with a bumper ad.

2. Be An Advertising Platform

While being an advertiser is beneficiary to you in the long run or indirectly, if you’re an advertising platform, it’s the direct way to earn money on YouTube because it’s you who is getting paid.

While this may be alluring, it’s not as smooth as it sounds. To make your YouTube channel a space that lifts up other people’s ads, you have to make sure your channel’s up for such heavy-lifting. The least you have to do is to showcase interesting content. Once you have that as a foundation, you can focus on increasing your subscriber figures.

There are some programs that you can opt for to make yourself a decent channel.

YouTube Partner Program (YPP):

This program allows the most successful YouTube channels to monetize their channel content by serving them with ads paid and made by other people using YouTube.

However, there’s a criteria for that. As per the recently updated guidelines, a channel has to reach a milestone of 4000 watch hours and 1000 subscriptions made in the past 12 months. Once you’ve crossed these milestones, you can apply for the YouTube Partner Program.

Account icon > Channel > Status and features > Monetization > Enable > Agree to terms and conditions > AdSense Account.

You’ll receive your payments using AdSense for your YouTube channel.

A little tidbit: once you’ve enabled hosting other people’s ads on your channel, remember to post prolifically and not cut down on your content quality.

Affiliate Links:

If you’re opting to be an affiliate, there’s no particular eligibility required for you to take part. But if you’re an affiliate you’re taking things in your own hands.

Being an affiliate is great for those whose content consists of reviews or how-to videos because it’s often that they refer to other products and recommend them to viewers.

The catch is that you turn those suggestions payable. How to do it?

Once you’ve recommended a product, mention the product in the description box of the video as a paid product placement.

If you’re doing this for various brands, you can make a lot of money. The pay you get from this is obviously lower than being a YouTube Partner.

You can check out sites like Click Bank or the Affiliate program launched by Amazon.

One thing to bear in mind: although these programs give your channel a boost, they also take up a percentage of your sales as commission. The ultimate success of your channel still depends heavily on your content.

Fan-Fund Your YouTube Channel

This is another interesting way to get your viewers donate money for you to continue with your channel. Interesting, isn’t it?

This works best for gamers. In this case, you encourage your viewers to contribute so that you can keep publishing enticing content on YouTube.

You can sign up for fan-funding on YouTube to allow your audience to tip you for your content in a live stream through a chat window.

However, don’t take it for a short cut to earn money. Fan-funding only works if you have enough viewership and exciting content. So keep your channel as exciting as possible.

Let us know if you found this useful.