YouTubers are pulling down big bucks and making tons of money...and you can to it, too! If you have a smartphone with a camera, you have all the kit you need to start earning good money on YouTube. Here's how you do it.
Get Paid for Having Fun on Video
Who said making money has to be boring? Forget flipping burgers...you can have a lot more fun and make a heck of a lot more money just by uploading videos to the world’s favorite video platform.
And yes, this is a proper job! There are thousands of people all around the world making good money from their YouTube videos, and you have every opportunity to join them. Right now, we are still at the start of the video revolution - get in on this gig now and you can ride it all the way to the moon.
There’s no doubt about it - video is exploding. YouTube is by far the most popular video platform in the world, and YouTubers are getting richer than ever. The top YouTube stars earn over $127 million between them, with the highest paid star (Daniel Middleton - DanTDM) making over $16.5 million in a single year. How’s that for a home-based income!
How Do YouTubers Make Money?
YouTubers get paid a percentage of the advertising revenues that YouTube earns on their videos. They may also make money by getting direct sponsorship, or by selling products and services through the channels. The most profitable channels will probably use a mix of all the above.
Because YouTube is still growing fast, new ways of making money are constantly emerging. As your audience grows, you are likely to be approached by advertisers who want to sponsor your channel, or businesses with other ideas on how you can work together.
Some YouTubers have gone on to publish books, or even make movies. The fame and celebrity that comes with a successful channel can open up all kinds of doors and opportunities.
How Much Money do YouTubers Make?
We have already seen that the most successful video creators are making serious money. But it’s not just the big stars who are making bank. The number of channels earning six figures per year is up by over 50% year on year, and advertiser expenditure is up by over 60 per cent. Of course, the more advertisers spend on ads, the more money there is for you to take home.
We can safely say that there are lots of YouTubers making thousands of dollars a year, quite a few making over $100,000 a year - and a small group making over a million bucks per annum.
In the future, we can expect these numbers to just get bigger and bigger. As video continues to explode in popularity on mobile devices, the market is becoming massively larger. That means much more spending on ads...and much more money going to successful channels.
How Many Views on YouTube are Needed to Make Money?
The honest truth is that you don’t get paid much for single video view - just a very small fraction of one percent. So to make good money as a YouTuber you need to get lots of eyeballs on your videos. And of course, the more videos you upload, the easier it is to hit the big numbers.
Once your total number of views is into the millions, you can start making a decent monthly income from YouTube. As a rough guide, you can expect to be paid around $2000 for ads per million views. So once you are into the tens of millions, you can probably quit your job and do this full time. That may seem like a high number of views to aim for, but the most popular channels get millions of views a day. So anything is possible on YouTube!
How to Increase Your YouTube Income
The most obvious way to increase your income on YouTube is to upload more videos. But common sense says that there is a limit to how many videos you can make per week. You need to have a life beyond YouTube, after all!
So you should look at other ways of increasing your income. One is to specialize in a market where brands will pay good money to reach your audience. A niche audience is generally much more valuable than a general one.
It might be a lot of fun to make gaming videos, but gamers don’t make very good buyers. Whereas if you had a channel that focused on personal finance matters, advertisers would be falling over themselves to advertise on your channel.
Also, you should remember that YouTube takes a 45% cut of the ad revenue generated when you use their partner program. So you can often do much better by looking for sponsors yourself. That way, you cut YouTube out of the deal, and can make a lot more money yourself.
Selling Products and Merchandise
Some of the most successful YouTube personalities make a lot of money by selling their own personal products and merchandise. So you need to work hard on ensuring that you and your channel are seen as a brand.
Then you have the opportunity to sell T-shirts, mugs, and other kinds of branded swag. There are many sites that will produce the merchandise for you at a reasonable cost, making it easy for you to sell the products and make a profit. Alternatively, you could set up a store on Shopify, and sell items direct from there.
Become an Influencer
As soon as your audience reaches a reasonable size, you can also promote yourself as a media personality. Many companies will pay good money to have you on board as a brand ambassador.
This is an easy way to add thousands of dollars a month to your income. If your channel is in the right niche, becoming an influencer is one of the most profitable ways to monetize your videos.
Once you have an audience of loyal fans, you can also use crowdfunding to raise additional money. Let’s say you need $10,000 to equip a professional-level studio. You could ask your audience to crowdfund the expense, in return for access to special private videos, or by offering them other exclusive deals.
Alternatively, you can use fan funding to finance your channel. Services such as Patreon allow people to chip in towards the cost of running the channel, in return for certain benefits - or just to help the channel keep going.
How to Get Started Making Money on YouTube
The good news is that you don’t need a lot of fancy or expensive gear to start a YouTube channel. You can use your regular Google account to set up your channel for free. Then all you need is some way to make videos.
If you have a smartphone, then you almost certainly have a camera with decent video facilities built in, and this is good enough to get you started. As with most things in life, the most important step towards success is just getting going.
So don’t wait until you can save up for all the gear needed to equip a studio. Start making videos right now, and upload them to YouTube. That way, you will start to learn how the platform works, and get a good idea of the potential.
As your experience grows, the quality of your videos will improve. If you find that you enjoy creating videos - and that people enjoy watching them - then it’s time to start getting serious.
Fortunately, the cost of creating professional-standard videos has come down dramatically in recent years. You can buy a complete green-screen studio kit on Amazon for around $100, and top-quality cameras, microphones and accessories are also very affordable.
If you want to be truly successful at making money on YouTube, you need to focus on becoming more and more professional as time goes on. Take time to learn your craft, from both the technical and creative points of view. Remember that this is a competitive business, and you can’t afford to take shortcuts.
Promoting Your Channel
There is more to making money on YouTube than just making videos and uploading them. Effective promotion is vital if you are to succeed.
You need to be focused on increasing the total number of views on your video, and the total watch time. These are the key factors that YouTube looks at when ranking videos, so you need to get good at this for your videos to be found.
Fortunately, there are many different ways to promote your video. You can collaborate with other YouTubers that have a related channel. That way, you each benefit by sharing your audiences. You can also pay to promote your own videos on YouTube, which will give them a boost in the all-important early stages.
You should also work hard on promoting your channel beyond YouTube. If you can generate interest through a blog, a Facebook page or Instagram account, that will help you to become much more successful. YouTube loves it when you bring new viewers into the YouTube ecosystem, rather than just recycling people who are already there.
The Age of the YouTubepreneur
YouTube is truly coming of age as a business medium, and thousands of people are successfully leveraging the platform to make money. If you are looking for a fun, create and profitable way to earn cash online, then creating a YouTube channel may be the way to go.
Remember, it doesn’t cost much to start - your biggest commitment is your time. But if you can make this work, you could be on the road to great success and prosperity.