What Is YouTube Adsense And How To Make Money On YouTube

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YouTube AdSense is one way to monetize your YouTube channel. Google AdSense allows advertisers to publish their ads on websites, or YouTube channels. The advertiser pays for each click or impression. Google and the website or YouTube channel owner share the revenue earned from the ads.

YouTube AdSense is one way to monetize your YouTube channel, but is it the best way? Learn more about it before deciding whether or not it’s the right option for you.

What is YouTube monetization?

YouTube videos can do more than increase brand and product awareness. They can also generate revenue.

Although AdSense is often used for this purpose, there are other options available.

Some of these options include:

  • Paid Endorsements – Working with other companies by highlighting their products in your videos.
  • Famebit – Introduces video creators to digital marketers so that they can work together.
  • Crowdfunding – Allows your audience to support your channel.
  • Patreon – Gives viewers the opportunity to donate to your channel.
  • Sponsorship – Members can sponsor your channel in return for perks.

These are all great options, but perhaps the most simple money-making route is YouTube AdSense.

What is Google AdSense on Youtube?

Google AdSense allows advertisers to publish their ads on websites, or YouTube channels. The advertiser pays for each click or impression. Google and the website or YouTube channel owner share the revenue earned from the ads.

How to get AdSense on YouTube?

YouTubers who want to take advantage of this opportunity need to set up a free Google AdSense account. This account can be linked to your YouTube account.

The dashboard in your YouTube AdSense account gives you control over the types of ads that show up on your videos. The dashboard also lets you track income earned from the ads.

YouTube AdSense Requirements

  • Your content must be original;
  • The content you create must comply with the AdSense policies;
  • You must be at least 18 years of age.

YouTube Partner Program

In order to earn revenue from your YouTube channel, you must also be accepted into the YouTube Partner Program, which has its own requirements.

Those who are eligible for the program have:

  • Gained 1,000 subscribers;
  • Accumulated 4,000 watch hours during the past year;
  • Learned and agreed to the copyright rules.

You will not be able to monetize your channel until you are accepted into the YouTube Partner Program and have set up your Google AdSense account. Both steps are mandatory if you wish to generate revenue from your videos.

Manage your ad settings

After getting accepted by Google AdSense and the Youtube Partner Program, you can link your AdSense account to your YouTube channel. Then you will need to customize your ad and monetization settings.

Remain compliant

After getting everything set up it’s your responsibility to ensure your channel continues to meet all requirements for being included in the monetization program. You must also continue to follow the YouTube AdSense rules.

Should you use YouTube AdSense?

There are differing opinions about YouTube AdSense, so you may be wondering if you really should use it to monetize your channel.

Whether or not you should use it really depends on your audience. Get to know your target market better, and figure out how they would react to ads. Would the ads irritate them, or would they even care?

Also realize that you will only receive a portion of the revenue the ads produce, as Google must receive its fair share for being the middle man.

Often times you would make more money by focusing on your own products than you would with YouTube AdSense.

Since that’s the case it might be better for you to create videos that help solve the problems your audience struggles with. You can occasionally mention how your app could help them even more and direct them to your app download page.

It’s important to keep the big picture in mind when deciding whether or not to use YouTube AdSense.

Best ways to Make More Money on YouTube Adsense

Try out at least one of the following ways to make more money from YouTube and you’ll see a healthy jump in revenue.

1. YouTube Merchandise

Never forget that you have a brand that people follow and support. You’ll be very surprised at how many people will be willing to pay you for branded merchandise to show off as a fan. This is a route many YouTuber’s take that can generate high amounts of revenue depending on your subscriber base.

So, what exactly should you sell? Here are some ideas:

  • T-shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Hats
  • Bags

Luckily for you there are many companies like Printful that will print your designs on products like these and ship them around the world.

You can create graphics using Photoshop or Gimp (which are free) and upload them to their website. When you receive an order you simply plug in your customers information, choose the right product and design then it’s shipped away.

If you’d like to work more intimately with a design company, search for local ones and pitch them your idea. You can hold onto bulk orders of merchandise and ship it to subscribers yourself, which they’ll deeply appreciate.

We recommend that you use a storefront such as Shopify or Shoplo to start selling. Both require a monthly subscription but give you an online store capable of taking payments, creating blog posts, and much more. WordPress and Woocommerce, are free but will require you to pay for web hosting.

2. Affiliate Marketing on YouTube

One of the most effective ways to generate passive income through YouTube is by using affiliate marketing. This is a simple business model that involves you promoting another business’ products for commission.

You don’t have to worry about shipping, tracking numbers, inventory and all of the other responsibilities. Once you refer a customer, you get paid and don’t have to worry about anything else. It’s YouTube channel monetization made easy.

There’s no better affiliate marketing program to begin with than Amazon’s. You can sign up and start promoting any products you want through YouTube and your other social media profiles. If you have a website as well, add links to content but make sure that it’s relevant.

You don’t have just stick to Amazon though, there are endless affiliate programs that you can use to make money from your YouTube videos. To find some, visit Google and enter searches such as:

  • Keyword + affiliate program
  • Keyword + affiliate network
  • Keyword + become an affiliate

Enter any keywords that are related to the kinds of videos you make. Check out a few different programs and apply to them. They should display their commission rate and what products you’ll be promoting. Once you get accepted, add some affiliate links to your videos and you’ll have another avenue from which you can make money off of your YouTube videos!

3. Offer Video Editing Services

As a YouTube creator, the first lucrative skill with market demand is video editing — given you’ve been doing it for your own videos.

Numerous brands continue debuting their new channels, so offering them a concierge YouTube video editing service could make you a decent amount of money. I’ve personally paid over $500 hiring professionals to put together my raw footage into polished YouTube videos because editing seems tedious to learn.

But video editing requires specialized expertise, consumes time, and requires creativity to ensure the information flows well and keeps the viewer engaged. If you create video sketches regularly for your channel, they will improve your skills — while also elevating your portfolio.

To find clients, your network is a great place to start because they might already be aware of your YouTube channel and the quality of your videos.

Pitching to local businesses where you live is also a great bet. You can tell them how YouTube aids discoverability and can help them get more business — besides building their brand.

If you like offering video editing services, then consider the first few freelance jobs on these marketplaces as valuable professional experience. But walk away from them ASAP because gigs tend to pay less and the competition is fierce.

4. Sell Online Courses (And Other Informational Products…)

If you’re educating your YouTube audience through your videos, then you already have a lucrative opportunity to make money.

You can package your expertise and teach a skill relevant to your subscriber base through an online course. The subject for the same could be validated by what your viewers have shown interest in. Other digital products such as ebooks, templates, workshop events, printables, and downloadables are also great bets.

Graham Stephan, a 29-year-old YouTube millionaire, earned about $30,000 a month from his two online courses (as reported in November 2019).

One of his courses “The Real Estate Agent Academy” took about a year to make since he wanted to keep it as comprehensive as possible.

But the best part about such products is, an audience of a few thousand can generate a decent amount of revenue. A single course copy itself could generate upwards of $200. Generating this amount of revenue could otherwise take hundreds of thousands of YouTube views.

There’s no other raw material related cost for building such products — minimal maintenance and updates will probably ensure these products are good to sell for a few years.

Anastasia, a blogger who also runs a YouTube channel, in one of her monthly income reports, shared that online courses drove 80% of her revenue from $40,000.

Her YouTube videos helped more people find her tutorials on Pinterest marketing. It generated trust in her expertise on the subject — eventually leading to them buying her course and other digital products.

5. Start A Paid Membership Program

You can even turn around your loyal audience members into an exclusive community with special benefits — such as access to the digital products you created in the last step. People interested can pay a membership fee, bringing in recurring monthly revenue for you.

One of my favorite guitarists on YouTube, Rob Scallon, runs a Patreon membership with four levels. He lets his audience pay for specific videos giving priority access, additional commentary, an option to download — all the way to add their name in the credits!

Once you’ve built a repository of such “premium” content, your membership becomes an even more enticing purchase.

To compete with Patreon and keep viewers within its ecosystem, YouTube launched its own tiered channel memberships. It lets you offer special perks such as emojis, badges, and more to paying viewers. You get to keep 70% of the membership revenue.

Being a part of the YPP and having 1000 subscribers, are eligibility criteria — at the time of writing this post — for accessing this feature. But it’s only made accessible on a rolling basis to creators, so you might not have access to it yet.

The idea behind a paid community is to engage deeper with a few of your superfans — a few of whom might be your true fans — and provide them with exclusive content. If you have the bandwidth, adapting this strategy makes perfect sense.

6. Crowdfund Your Projects

With approved crowdfunding websites, you can add cards and raise “one-off” funds. Generally, creators use fan funding towards special projects such as books, movies, web series, apps, or developing other products, and bring attention to a cause they care about.

This monetization strategy could be easier to pull off than the recurring membership revenue model, as it involves only a one-time effort. But depending on your funding goals, it can become challenging.

Platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo are generally used for detailing your project idea, the budget required for its execution, and the act of fundraising.

The Veronica Mars Movie Project is a great example of an ambitious Kickstarter project that managed to successfully bring the movie to life. It got pledges crossing $5M with over 91k backers.

You can also consider occasional fan funding for engaging more with your subscribers through live streams and giving exclusive content. Features like “Super chat” and “Super stickers” are available to bring in some nice revenue.

Rick Beato, one of my favorite creators, runs a dedicated channel for his live streams. The viewers often drop in with monetary contributions with their messages. In exchange, the names and messages by the donors are pinned in the live chat for a specific period, and they receive a shout out from Beato.

7. License Your Videos To Media Houses

A funny YouTube video of an Indian guy paragliding and requesting a quick descent after being outrageously scared went super viral. It quickly became a subject of memes, earned mentions from major media, and made the guy an overnight sensation.

But Vipin Sahu, the guy who uploaded this video, didn’t have enough subscribers on his channel to get the YPP berth. So he was losing out on potential advertising revenue.

All the attention he was earning though, could be put to great use by licensing it to media houses. They might be interested in limited streaming rights so that they can broadcast the video. They were talking about it on their platforms already as they had to satiate their content-hungry audience.

If you have any such cute and funny videos of your dog, babies, cat, or any other adorable creatures, you can probably license them.

Even your non-viral videos could earn a place in marketplaces such as Jukin Media, ViralHog, Video Elephant, Newsflare, and SellNews. User-generated content — especially that which is entertaining and fun to watch — tends to be in demand. Getting picked up by licensing partners and syndication networks can earn you some nice income from your YouTube videos.

Pay close attention to the rights you disburse by signing up on such platforms. With Jukin, you remain the owner, but they buy the rights to represent and manage your video. It’s also an exclusive agreement — so you can’t hire another manager for your video.

Sidenote: If you’re present in the video you want to sell, then remaining anonymous (which you might want because you’re doing something embarrassing) might not be possible.

Eddi, a digital marketer, sold one of his viral videos in which he was swearing — and major media publications misrepresented him as a taxi driver. He shares his story in the video below, highlighting how your privacy might get compromised.

8. Build A Portfolio You’re Proud Of And Earn A Big Screen Debut

Are you an actor/musician/entertainer who started a YouTube channel to build your online presence? Great choice, given it’s now the most widely used digital video websites across the world.

Indeed the platform’s fastest growing market is the big TV screen, so working on building your YouTube audience can make you a household name.

As an actor, your YouTube sketches also serve as your work portfolio. You no longer need to audition and persuade gatekeepers — like record labels and movie studios — to beg for a role in their movies.

Directly write a short script, prepare your act, get a cinematographer on board (or record yourself through your mobile camera), and upload the sketch on YouTube. For instance, I create fictional YouTube sketches on my channel Drama Expresso from the comfort of my home.

While you can potentially reach a global audience overnight, don’t keep your hopes too high initially. You won’t get immediate returns — going viral is a rarity with the intense competition on the video platform.

There’s another major tradeoff: You’ll need to transform into a legit creative entrepreneur instead of being a pure artist. You might need to upload videos consistently and compromise on creative perfectionism. Heck, you can’t even upload videos longer than 15 minutes without getting verified. You might also make losses in the production of your videos.

But all of it might seem worth it if your goal is creating a body of work you’re proud of — while putting efforts towards promoting your channel and getting more YouTube views. A casting director (or a gatekeeper for your performing art) could stumble upon one of your videos and recognize you as a fit for an acting role they want to fill.

As a professional filmmaker, Christopher McQuarrie, advocates, “the secret to making movies is making movies – starting with the little movies no one will ever see.” Read his complete Twitter thread that advises against trying to ‘break-in.’ And hey, it’s valid for most kinds of performing arts.

So get busy building creative assets for your career and invite better professional opportunities your way.

9. Learn How To Make Money From AdSense On YouTube…

This is the first income stream that most YouTube creators consider because it appears straightforward. But you need to get accepted into the YPP for taking a cut of the revenue generated from showing ads on your videos.

The YPP requires you to fill an application once you meet the threshold of 4000 hours of watch time in a year and 1000 subscribers on your channel. You also need to create advertiser-friendly content, obey the community guidelines, adhere to the YouTube Partner Program Policies, and get an Adsense account.

I’ve talked in more detail about YouTube monetization which you can read when you consider applying for the YPP.

Once you’re accepted into the program, enable monetization of your video uploads, leaving out the ones on sensitive and controversial subjects. Because if YouTube finds a video inappropriate, it will demonetize them through an automated process anyway — also hurting your repo in front of the video hosting platform.

Most successful YouTube creators think of AdSense income as supplementary “passive income” because of its unreliability. They focus on other strategies I shared above — as should you. Let’s wrap up the article on making money by revisiting a few common questions regarding making an income on YouTube.

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