How To Make Money On YouTube

11 March 2016

YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world behind Google search and gets more than one billion unique users every month. With numbers like that you can see how people can make a decent amount of money every month from their own popular videos. There are lots of people on YouTube making a lot of money with the YouTube Partner Program, which boasts over one million video creators who have signed up. I will go through the processes of signing up and getting started with the partner program later in this guide.

Viral videos on YouTube make a lot of money through ads that appear either while the video is playing or before the video starts. But to create a truly viral video is a very rare thing to do. So before starting out with your YouTube channel, let’s be realistic about the amounts you could earn. A normal amount that you can expect to make is about $1.50 US per 1000 views. ( or about $2.20 NZ )

There are stories out there on the internet of regular people earning 5 figure sums through their videos on YouTube, which just isn’t true. Ok there’s a few that would have struck it lucky with an incredibly popular and viral video like the Charlie Bit My Finger video, but these are few and far between. While earning thousands of dollars a month probably isn’t realistic, you can certainly start earning a decent amount of money quickly if your video content is original, resourceful, topical or funny. This is even more so the case if you have a strong subscriber base.

Making money out of YouTube videos is still a really simple concept that anyone can do.

So to try and make it even more simple for you to do, and to help you earn some more cash for your wallet, we’ve have put together a step by step guide on how you can get started making money from YouTube.

If you follow this YouTube guide, you will then give your videos the best chance to be properly monetized and start earning revenue from YouTube ads.

Step 1: The Set Up Of Your YouTube Channel

Your YouTube channel is the place where your personal brand will live and hopefully grow. It’s your personal presence on YouTube that will show everyone what you’re about and the videos you have created, liked or shared.

If you have a Google Account then everything has just got that little bit easier for you, as Google will grant you access to a vast range of their products if you have signed up to a Google Account. Normally this is done when you set up a Gmail account. Either way, you can create your account by using your existing Google account or you can just create a new one.

If you already have a Google account, simply login via the “sign in” link that’s situated in the top right of the Google homepage. It’ll take you to the main login page (pictured below)

Youtube Account

Once you’re logged in, click on the multiple squares icon to review the various products you can access through your Google account. Select the YouTube icon.

Google account options

This will take you to the YouTube homepage. Click on the “My Channel” option to proceed.

YouTube Channel

You’ll then be given the option to change the name of your channel. You could simply just have it as your own name, or click on the “use a business or other name” link to change it to the name of your blog / business / personal brand name.

YouTube User

I always try to use a username that is short and easy to remember and most importantly, original. This way people will be able to easily remember your YouTube channel. If you are going to be using your existing account, you may as well just work with what you’ve got as changing accounts can be time consuming and quite frankly a pain in the neck!

Click on the cog in the right side of your channel to access the “Advanced” section of your channel settings. Here you’ll be able to add in keywords so that people can find your channel. Keywords have to be relevant to the type of videos you will be publishing. If your channel is about cooking, then you might want to put in keywords like “Baking”, “Making Cakes” “Cooking Tutorials”. Be quite specific and remember to separate the keywords with commas.

Also within the “Advanced” s

ection, you can link various accounts to your YouTube account such as Google Analytics and Adwords. This can be really useful as you’ll be able to get valuable insights and stats into the performance of your channel.

Step 2 – Creating and Adding Content to Your YouTube Channel

The best type of content on YouTube tends to be videos that are high quality and ones that aren’t too long in duration. The most successful channels are the ones that upload video content on a regular basis. These channels will get crawled by YouTube more often and assigned a high level of prominence as they will see that this user is producing high quality content more often than others.  By uploading videos regularly (2 to 6 times a month) you can help retain an audience. Your channel will more likely attract more subscribers if you add content on regular basis and maintain that level of creativity.

Making video content is a learning process, so don’t be downhearted if the first few aren’t that great. Practice will no doubt make perfect and more often than not, you will get better at it.

Improvements to your video content can be achieved in many ways. You could use better editing software, use better video / sound equipment or just spend longer researching the content that will be transmitted through your videos.

You can also look to improve the production of the filming and use equipment like tripods to help make your videos look more professional rather than a shaky hand and a mobile phone.  Friends and family could also chip in with either ideas for video content or have them help you with the actual filming process with light, sound and filming, so you can better your scenes. These little improvements can not only help you create a better end product, but it can also help you gain more of an audience, which will in turn improve your chances of making money through ad revenue.

Top Tip.

Tagging videos will make all the difference to your video content. This will allow your video to reach the right audience. Tag them with relevant keywords that correctly describe your video content. But it’s not just about being visible in search, it’s also about creating an eye-catching description to get people to click on your video. All this functionality you will find in the upload section of YouTube. Little things like this will drive people to your video from YouTube searches.

Step 3 – Your Audience is the key to your channel’s success. Build, build, build!

If you want to make money from YouTube, then it is vital that you build an audience to your channel. This will not only build you authority within your niche but also increase the chances of your channel earning you a regular income. Monetization of your channel comes from your audience.

You will get paid more ad revenue if your audience watches or click on the ads. It’s all about the engagement your viewer has with the advert that counts. But this isn’t easy and there certainly isn’t a secret little trick that will help you get more subscribers to your channel. All you can do is stay true to yourself and create videos that you are passionate about and that interest you. Money should be a bi-product of your deep passion for a certain subject or hobby.

If you create the best content that you can, traffic, views and subscribers will come to you.

Cross Channel Promotion

Another way to build an audience is to cross channel promote. By this I mean to share your video on other channels that you are active on. Market your videos elsewhere. Don’t just limit this to YouTube. This can be Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and even email. Share it with as many people as you can, have your YouTube channel URL within your email signature, put it on your Linkedin profile, distribute it elsewhere on the internet. Start a blog, make a website or ask webmasters to post them on their sites, but only if it’s relevant to the content that’s on their own site. The more views it gets, the better. By sharing the link or embedding the video on the internet, you are increasing the chance of it getting noticed.


This is a great way to build subscribers. If you take an interest in someone’s views and interact with them in a positive manor, you will more than likely earn yourself a subscriber to you channel. Responding to comments and making occasional videos directly related to viewer comments and questions in like gold dust. Making a connection with your community will undoubtedly bring more members into that community and more subscribers to your channel.

Step 4 – Enabling Your YouTube Videos To Make You Money

This is a very important part to your channels ability to make you money. You literally need to turn on your videos money making potential by enabling the monetization option.  So basically you will be allowing YouTube to place ads in your video or at the beginning of your video. By doing this you will also acknowledge that there is no copyrighted material in your video. If there is, then you won’t be able to monetize your video.

How to active monetization on YouTube
When you upload a video to YouTube, they will give you the option to monetize a video by clicking the Monetization tab and checking the “Monetize with Ads” box.

If you miss this, then no worries. You can monetize a video after it has been uploaded. Simply open your Video Manager and click the “$” sign next to the video that you want to monetize. Check the “Monetize with Ads” box.

Types of Ads On YouTube

Its always a good idea to know the types of ads that will be the foundation for you to make money with. It will help you understand how everything works and how to create content that will get you the most money per click you receive.

So let’s run through the types of ads you will see on your YouTube videos.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

This is quite a common ad type that Google uses, not only on YouTube but on its search ad network and display ad networks. CPC means cost per click. The advertiser will pay Google money based on the amount of clicks their ad receives.  A certain keyword will have a CPC cost assigned to it, so for example if a certain keyword has a CPC of $2.86 and a user clicks on that ad, Google will then charge the owner of the ad $2.86. Currently these type of text ads will appear as ad pop ups in the bottom of your video screen and can show up as a square banner on the right side of your channel.

Cost Per View (CPV)

CPV is mainly for video adverts that appear before or during a video. The advertiser pays money based on views of their advert. The user can sometimes skip the ad after 5 seconds, which are called Pre-Roll ads, and other times they have to sit through the ad before their chosen video starts. A view is classed when someone watches the adverisers Ad for at least 30 seconds or half of the ad; whichever comes first. 

Things to know about Ad Revenue

Ad revenue from YouTube is all about the engagement between user and the advert, rather than the cost per thousand views. That’s why some channels can earn $4 for just 50 views. Advertisers will pay big money to have their advert in front of the right people. Your video could get a 5 million views and only make you $10. That’s because no one is interested in the ads being displayed, and that’s all down to the content. Advertisers only pay when someone clicks an ad or watches for 30 seconds.  If your content is useful to people and becomes popular, then companies who have products that fit in well with the content of your video, will pay you more to have ads appear within your video.

A YouTube Channels that provides valuable video content for a specific audience is more likely going to earn a lot of ad revenue. 

For example, if you have a channel that teaches people “how to make a blog” and how to improve their website load speeds, then a company who is trying to reach that demographic would love to place their ads on your channel because there is a common interest there and you will share the same demographic.  The people who watch your channel are the key to your video’s success..

Step 5 – Enable Your Earnings Through Google AdSense.

The way you make money through YouTube videos is through Google Advert clicks, and to do this is to sign up to Google Adsense. This is a great platform that allows you to monetise your YouTube videos or any website you own (that’s another blog post for another time!) Basically the way it works is that companies pay Google to advertise across their search, display or YouTube networks. From here Google will give you a share of the profits they make.

Set up a Google AdSense account.  It’s free to join and is the method by which you will be paid for all the views and clicks your video will generate for advertisers. You have to be 18 years or over to join, but if you are a young up and coming internet publisher, then you will need the help of an adult to get this set up for you.

To get paid by Google for ad revenue you will need a PayPal account or a bank account, as well as a valid mailing address. There’s a bit more info needed as well, but it’s all on there for you to see and figure out.

Also an important thing to note is that you will only get paid if your video content is original and that the copyright belongs to you. So you can’t upload a Jay-Z video and think that you’ll get paid loads of money for the ad-clicks.

Link YouTube up with your Google Analytics.
Doing this will give you the data you need to see the performance of your videos when it comes to ad revenue. Once you have a few videos online and correctly monetized, and attracting views, you can login and check out the analytics on them to see how they are performing.

Go to your channel menu and click on the Analytics option. The data you’ll get here is pretty damn good. You’ll be able to see estimated earnings, ad performance, video views, demographics and much much more.

These tools will give you valuable insights into how your video is performing and resonating with your audience. It will give you the ability to see problems with your content and enable you to make changes if it shows that you are attracting the wring type of audience.

Step 6 – The Holy Grail – Becoming a YouTube Partner

This is like a private members club. You can only join if you are awesome!
YouTube Partners are YouTube members who have channels with many monetized videos. These videos will have a large number of viewers and subscribers. They are basically driving a lot of ad-revenue to Google and for themselves.

By becoming a YouTube Partner, you are given access to a secret resource that is only available to those with very popular video channels. Within this suite of resources are more content creation tools and most importantly, community support and advanced tips. YouTube Partners can also win prizes for the number of viewers they have.

But here’s the catch…
You can only get in to this exclusive membership by having 15,000 cumulative watch hours for your video content on your channel over the past 90 days. So you can see that this program is for people who are the most authorative in their niches. But it’s good to aim high as by getting into the YouTube Partnership, you gain access to the most powerful Partner programs, which will no doubt help you to make more cash from your videos. You can apply to be a YouTube Partner at any time after you meet the strict criteria.

What do you need to get started making videos?

With modern technology advancing faster than you can keep up with, you will probably already have at least 2 devices that you can record video on, so you don’t nessesaryly need to have all of the latest equipment to create awesome videos.

But if you want to create high quality videos (which does tend to perform much better on YouTube) then you will need the following.

A decent camera so you can record in HD quality. When it comes to YouTube videos, especially for tutorials, then creating video in HD is a must.
A camera 1080 HD quality will do. If you don’t have access to this, then most modern smartphones and laptop webcams have very good cameras built into them.

Video editing software  so you can edit your videos. Both Mac and PCs have decent video editing software already installed on them, but if you’re feeling brave and want to take it to the next level, then Adobe Premier is what all the big guns use to edit their videos. It’s a bit of a steep learning curve, but well worth the effort.

Lighting. It’s always good to put yourself in a good light when it comes to creating video, but to be honest it’s probably more important to have a good camera over everything else. A lot of YouTubers, especially the Vloggers out there, will use lighting to make themselves and the video look more professional.

Sound. Again, this is good to have, but not essential as most decent cameras come with good microphones. But if you’re looking for top quality sound recording then you might want to get yourself a decent microphone.

Think about what’s behind you. A good backdrop makes so much difference when it comes to video production. You don’t want to look like you’re filming in a dirty basement or a messy bedroom with your washing basket in the background. Plain white is always a good option, or invest in some trendy wallpaper.

How To Make Even More Money From YouTube

Let’s say you have a successful YouTube channel with thousands of loyal subscribers and a series of excellent videos that have been shared all over the web, you might want to consider looking at other revenue streams that do not involve Google.

There are a few options that you could look into. One is the possibility of getting companies to sponsor each new video you publish. If your videos are getting a large amount of views each month, then this is potentially a channel that would be attractive to companies wishing to get in front of their target market.

Another option is to maybe create your very own products, but this is way down the line when you have a successful YouTube channel. I know a lot of YouTubers that utilise the power of their videos to funnel traffic away from YouTube and onto their own websites. This is where you could potentially make even more money from your authoritivness on YouTube.

6 Ways you can make your videos awesome and stand out from the crowd.

  1. Your brand is everything! As I mentioned earlier in this post, your username is pretty damn important. Make your username memorable and try not to use random characters and numbers like TTT_BigBarry_9654 or XXX_bunnyfacy_123. You want people to know and remember you. They will find it hard to do that with an obscure name.
  2. Choose your niche.Take some time to think about what niche you want to make videos in. The videos that do really well on YouTube are the ones that are resourceful and tell people how to do something. Have a look what’s out there and see if you can make a better video. You might want to look into doing some videos in successful subject matter like product reviews, comedy, how to’s, sports and films.

  3. Make your titles sticky!When it comes to the titles of your videos and the descriptions, try to get creative in order to stand out from the rest of your competitors. Keep it catchy and keep it relevant to the video content and you’ll be onto a winner!

  4. Keep your viewers locked in.The best way to do this is to publish regular content to your video channel. Keep them engaged and you’ll be able to get more clicks and ultimately more money from your videos.

  5. Show your passion for the subject you’re filming about.  A lot of people make videos for the sake of making money. Making money should really be the bi-product of your passion for a subject. Be enthusiastic about what you’re talking about on your video, otherwise people will not engage with you or your content.

  6. Be different.This is quite important because you don’t want to just create something that has already been done to death. Ok, there’s no problem with conforming to an already successful niche, but if you are going to enter the world of product reviews or funny cat videos, try to do it differently to everyone else.


Need some more ideas on how to make money on YouTube? Check out these Innovative and Creative Ways To Make Money On YouTube

So we’ve gone through the basics of making money from YouTube videos, setting up your YouTube channel, setting up monetetization of your videos, content creation and building an audience. But what about ideas on actionable ways you can make money from the content on YouTube videos? Ok, there’s ad revenue, but there’s so much more to YouTube than just that. Need inspiration? Here you go. I have come up with 10 innovative ways to make money on YouTube that doesn’t involve YouTube ads.

1. Utilise your YouTube traffic to get more traffic to your own website or blog.

As I mentioned before, YouTube is a great source of traffic for your own site, if you know how to properly funnel it away from the beast. You can use your successful YouTube channel to increase views on key pages of your own site and to target your audience with whatever you want to push to them. This could be a guide, ebook or even a product offer that you are affiliated with. The best way to filter traffic away from your YouTube videos is to place a link to your own website in the first line of your video descriptions, so you can funnel your YouTube traffic to where you want it to go.

2. Push your own products via YouTube.

Let’s say you have an ebook about creating websites, but you’re not getting much in the way of traffic to your own site. Well you could cross promote on YouTube to spark life into your ebook subscribers or sales. YouTube offers unlimited ways for you to promote your products and make sales. Products you can create include ebooks, apps, art, and music. Create your products, and add them to a shopping cart. Then use YouTube to promote them. As we mentioned above, add a link to your product in your video’s description, so that viewers can buy.

3. Review popular products on Amazon. Earn affiliate income from it.

When I talk about “Affiliate marketing” I mean selling or promoting products in exchange for a commission. The biggest and easiest affiliate scheme to make money from is Amazon.  Sign up to Amazon’s affiliate program and you’ll be able to create videos that promote products that are sold on their. For example, you could review a popular brand of electric razor and maybe do a guide on “How To Create The Perfect Goatee Beard with (X) product”. This way you are providing a valuable and resourceful guide that also has the ability to earn you affiliate income from Amazon. Remember you need to put a generated affiliate link in the video description in order to get credit for any sales you send to Amazon.

Another thing to point out is, if you send a person to Amazon from one of your affiliate links, you will receive affiliate income from anything they buy and not just the product you reviewed.

4. Knowledge is power. Why not teach people through YouTube.

One of the most popular types of videos on YouTube are tutorials. They are massive! Even the most obscure of subjects like plumbing can get millions of views!

So if you’re one of these people that know how to do something, then why not do it on video so you can teach others. This is a really simple way of making some extra cash. Also you can link this up to any affiliate offers you may sign up to, so people can buy the stuff that you use in the video. Here’s some examples of people that have made a living from “How to” videos and that make money away from Google Adsense.

This guy teaches people how to tie a tie. A really simple idea and simple video series. He links this up with other affiliate offers around the ties and other men’s accessories. His most popular video is “How to Tie A Windsor Knot” which has over 9 million views.

TieHole YouTube Videos

Karl Taylor
Photography tips is another hot subject on YouTube and one that carries a lot of traffic. If you’re a keen photographer and have something awesome to share then why not create a tutorial video and link it up to other affiliate offers within the photography niche.


5. Build your brand using YouTube and build leads.

If you have a strong brand, then you also have power. The great thing about YouTube is that it helps you to amplify your brand or business in order to create more leads and business away from YouTube. Let’s say you’re a carpenter and you create a video where you teach people how to build a shelving unit or some other useful wooden structure that they wish they could do themselves. You then could potentially build leads to your own carpentry business through linking out to your own site and capturing emails / messages from people that have seen your work and want to commission you to build something for them. YouTube can help you to become known for your strengths, and make money. Even if you have no clear idea on how you could make money on YouTube, get started creating videos about your interests.

6. Turn your Cat, Dog or Fish into a YouTube Star (and make money).

It’s no surprise that the biggest search query on YouTube is cats. Two cats, Lil Bub and Grumpy Cat, all started out on YouTube, and have become massively famous the world over!

Keep your camera handy and film the silly stuff your pets do, because they will do something mildly entertaining and that normally is enough for the cat / dog loving youtube audience to go wild for.