The Definitive Guide to Earning Money from YouTube


YouTube, an online video-sharing platform is one of the most popular systems to upload, view, rate, share, add to playlists, report, comment on videos, and subscribe to other users. It offers a wide variety of videos and most of this content is uploaded by individuals.

We are living at a time where the video blogging culture and starting a YouTube channel is a hot trend now. Not only is it easy, but it is also fun and interactive with the prospective to earn plenty of money. 

YouTube is the second most favored channel after Facebook for businesses to share video content.   

Which platform does your business post video content on

Busting Myths and Actual Facts on YouTube

There is a lot of information out there on the Internet with information and tips related to how to start a YouTube channel and how to monetize it. Here are some of the common myths and actual facts on YouTube.

A big myth is that starting a channel is technical and requires a lot of skill. But the truth is that all you need is a Google account, video recording tools like a camera or a smartphone, and you can create content and upload videos on the go.

Another myth is that it is easy to get people to subscribe but the hard reality is that finding a few new subscribers may be easy but keeping them interested and increasing the subscriber base is very tricky.

A lot of people assume that YouTube is a money minting machine and that it is easy to make money but it is hard to monetize a channel. The YouTube monetization policy makes it hard to earn unless you have an engaged audience with significant views.

4 rules to making money on YouTube, and they are:

  1. You need to have 1,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel
  2. Your videos have generated 4,000 Watch Time hours over the last 12 months
  3. You comply with all YouTube’s policies and guidelines
  4. You have an AdSense account set up

Who makes most of the money from YouTube?

Making good quality content can earn good money.  This can be seen from many flourishing channels and YouTubers who are earning millions of dollars.

Top five YouTubers in the world

  1. Vlad and Nikita — $312,312
  2. Dude Perfect — $301,262
  3. Like Nastya Vlog — $258,493
  4. TheOdd1sOut — $168,022
  5. Lele Pons — $157,746

Great content is the reason why these channels are earning high incomes and a massive success among viewers. Some of the most popular types of content on successful channels are:

  •         Tech review or gadgets review
  •         Motivational and inspirational stories
  •         Music, comedy, and gaming dedicated channels pertaining to the entertainment industry
  •         Showcasing Skills and how-to videos such as DIYs

Hence monetizing will primarily depend on your content creation on YouTube channel.

During the beginning stages, it should not be about getting subscribers or earning money but actually try and enjoy being in front of the camera and getting comfortable with the process.

You should pay a particular concentration to your content delivery using a variety of combinations of background, locations, lighting, posture, movements, even speech delivery speed, and tone. 

Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from your existing blog visitors and subscribers and keep on changing it up. 

Take your time to get comfortable creating content so as to make it more interesting.  With some consistency and hard work, you will have your own fan base and subscribers. 

How to Start a YouTube Channel for Beginners in 2020

You can create a YouTube channel by following these easy steps.

There are four very simple steps that you need for a channel. Start off by creating a YouTube Login if you don’t already have one. Create your YouTube Channel and set up your Studio and finally start uploading videos.

  1. Creating YouTube Login 

A google account is required for creating a YouTube channel so if you do not already have a Google account then create one at

If you by now have a Google account, you can straight away go to YouTube and click on the “sign-in” button on the top right corner of the webpage.

Login using the Google account that you want to use for your channel. Once you are done, signing up you will be redirected to a home page. 

  1. Creating a YouTube Channel

There is an option to click on “Your Channel” from the dropdown to create a channel. The following page will open up and hit the “Create Channel” button.

Creating Youtube Channel

Step #3. Create Studio

After you are done with creating your channel, you have to create a studio. The ‘Create Studio is in the dropdown from the sign-in menu as shown in the image below. 

Creating Youtube Channel

Hit the create studio option for starting your channel.

Step #4. Upload Video

Now your YouTube channel is all set and ready to use. You can start uploading your videos by clicking the upload video option.

Upload a video

What is your target audience for your YouTube channel?

Securing your own audience is the best way to monetize content in a variety of ways as their engagement is, in the long run, going to make you money. But you will only be able to take full benefit of the prospects you have if you recognise the makeup of your audience.

For many YouTubers looking to monetize, the more unique your channel content is, the more subscribers and viewers you will attain. You can also work with brands looking to target particular audiences.

You must focus on the gender of your audience, to see if it tends towards one specific group, the age range of your audience, geographic location that is from where your videos are being watched, and finally your audience’s overall engagement, or “watch time.”

With this useful information, you can develop a better understanding of your own viewers and be able to work better with brands. YouTube analytics provides you with all this information and more, but if you want to compare your own channel against other channels, you can also try a tool like Social Blade.

Once you get the hang of this, you can start identifying the different ways your YouTube channel can make money.

How to make money on YouTube?

YouTube channels can be monetized if you are able to bring in more views and clicks with the help of your audience. You can unlock your YouTube channel’s earning potential in several ways. But when you create numerous revenue ways, through your brand or side businesses, it is much simpler to monetize.

There are multiple ways to do this. You can start by becoming a YouTube Partner and earn money from ads. Another popular way is to sell your own products or merchandise. You can also Crowdfund your next creative project or find other ways for your audience to support your work. There is an option to license your content to the media or even work with brands as an influencer or affiliate.

1. YouTube Partner Program to make money from ads

This is the most commonly used method to generate a revenue stream for your channel. If you want to earn money on YouTube as a content creator, joining the YouTube Partners Program is a pretty important step. You can apply for monetizing your channel once you have hit 1,000 subscribers and over 4,000 watch hours over the past year.

So how do you join this program? First sign in to the YouTube account you want to monetize and click the icon for your account in the top right corner. Then go to YouTube Studio AND select Other Features and you will see “Monetization”. Once you read and agree to the YouTube Partner Program terms you will have to make a new AdSense account or connect an existing one to your channel.

Then you can set your monetization preferences. Once all of this is done, you can go to the dashboard and click the Analytics tab. Choose Revenue from the tabs at the top, then scroll down to the chart Monthly Estimated Revenue to get an insight of your expected income.

How many views do you need to make money?

The number of views is not per sec going to impact your revenue earned as much as you think. Because your video gets thousands of views but if no one watches or clicks the ad, then you have no revenue. You only make money when a viewer clicks an ad or watches the ad in full (10, 15, or 30 seconds).

With that being said, you no longer need to rely on advertisers to create engaging or enticing ads to earn revenue due to the release of YouTube Premium.

It is a paid membership program that was recently started by YouTube where it allows fans to watch and support their preferred content creators without ads. This does not affect you as a creator in a way because you will get paid for content either way. 

Based on how many members watch their content, creators are paid for YouTube Premium. It can be considered as a secondary source of revenue when you make money from YouTube Premium. This is in addition to what you are already earning through ads.

It is not that difficult to set up, but earning money through advertising as a YouTube Partner is not the most profitable income stream that you can generate for yourself.

There are so many ways to earn beyond ads for revenue.

YouTube lately received has also made it more important to be transparent about advertising on the platform and wants to ensure “advertiser friendly” content. Basically, many creators worried that the type of content they put out might cause them to lose out on ad revenue which helps to sustain their channel.

According to YouTube, your content could get excluded from ad revenue if it includes:

  •         Sexually suggestive content, Violence, and Inappropriate language
  •         Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use, and abuse of such items
  •         Contentious or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters, and tragedies.

Thankfully now, the creators are made aware when their content is flagged and can contest the demonization if they feel a video was incorrectly disqualified from YouTube’s advertising network.

Advertising might be a general means of making a passive income for creators, but the truth is that YouTube gets to keep around a 45% share of ad revenue.

Therefore, it is important that YouTubers discover other income streams to support their creative hobby.

2. Sell products or merchandise

This is a fun and interesting method of making some extra cash. There are plenty of products to sell that can help you make money through your YouTube channel. Selling merchandise such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, snapbacks, or even books or even a membership has excellent revenue potential.

The added benefit is that merchandise increases your publicity by putting your online brand and personality out into the offline world and helps to build a relationship between you and your fans as they would want to be a part of what you are doing.

You can use sites like Fiverr to help find people to design your products. This way you can get affordable designs customized for particular products.

For you to help handle your orders, you can incorporate your store with services such as Oberlo or there are plenty of on-demand providers that take care of shipping, fulfillment, and customer support, letting you garner all of the perks of a dropshipping business that practically requires no effort from you.

Selling your own unique products from scratch can also be an interesting approach. You can produce and sell your own unique products and power your business through your YouTube channel like Nykaa did to sell makeup products with make-up -related how-to video tutorials.

Being a YouTuber with a good audience provides you with some major advantages that you want to take benefit from. One is that you have a space where there is consistent traffic to your store. You also have a relationship with your audience, which you have managed by frequently providing them your own brand of content for free.

3. Crowdfund your next creative project

When you need the money to make an idea into reality, Crowdfunding is an excellent way to find the means to do it.

Whatever your requirements are for your project ideas, put it out there for people to know and help you with it. You can ask for help from your own viewers and the crowdfunding society to contribute if your idea is convincing enough.

Many victorious crowdfunded ingenious projects are inclined to present a sneak peek or “trailer” that gets people eager to help, so you can make a video explaining your project or offering a taste of what your idea is about. Some of the most popular crowdfunding sites with a good history of making amazing campaigns from YouTubers are Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

4. Let your audience support your work through “fan funding”

This very similar to crowdfunding a project, but you can also set up “fan funding” streams to obtain assistance from your audience.

As a vlogger, you are providing your opinions to the internet without forcing your viewers to shell out money for admission. So, if you are contributing high-quality content, your viewers might be disposed to sustain you on an ongoing basis.

Wait But Why is an example of such a platform where it creates more long-form written content than YouTube videos. Some of the other popular fan funding options include YouTube’s Super Chat, Patreon, and Tipeee.

When you choose this method, make sure that you are transparent around how the money will be handled as this will get your viewers’ trust and interest to invest in your story or mission, and they will pay for the value of your content. Make sure to have attractive rewards for better pledges as you make your donors feel like they are getting something selective for being a faithful fan.

5. License your content to the media

When you make a viral video that gains massive popularity, you can license your content in trade for money. TV news outlets, morning shows, online news sites, and other content creators might get in touch with you about the rights to use your videos if they happen to go viral.

Juken Media is one such marketplace where your content will be accessible for the right people to find and purchase. 

6. Work with brands as an influencer or affiliate

Influencer marketing is the hottest way for YouTubers to make money. With more and more brands investing in influencer marketing, where a large part of the expenditure of their usually large advertising budgets is on influencers who have already earned the trust of their viewers.

This is a major prospect for you as a creator if you can bargain with the right deals. On the basis of your audience demographics, content quality, and how exclusive and lucrative your niche is, you might be able to discuss a better deal if the brand is a match for your work.

The best way to go about brand-sponsored content is to be clear about it, not supporting something you don’t actually like or use, and being frank with your viewers about why this brand deal is a viable option.

Some of the many influencer marketplaces you can add your channel to and get exposed to brands of all kinds are Grapevine Logic, Famebit, Channel Pages, and Crowdtap. Find opportunities that best suit your needs, but list yourself wherever you can to ensure the utmost visibility for your channel.

Another option is affiliate marketing. It is one of the most profitable methods of monetizing your channel. It is slightly advanced but once you get the hang of it, it won’t be any trouble. Affiliate advertisements are one of the most excellent ways to make cash because, with one sale, you earn a lot more money than a single click on an ad. It is one of the most commonly used methods and a very profitable avenue to make money. 

Some of the most popular Affiliate marketing programs that you could join are Amazon Affiliate program, ShareASale, PartnerStack, ImpactRadius, Awin and Commission Junction 

It is as simple as sharing your exclusive affiliate link of the merchandise you are suggesting and when someone buys the product, you will receive a commission of the sale amount. Affiliate marketing is the way, how a lot of YouTubers are earning high incomes every year. When you become an affiliate marketer for brands and make residual passive income through commissions from every sale you generate through your channel. You can review products as part of your YouTube channel and it is easy to get started.

How to “sell” without annoying your audience

Monetizing involves promoting products or campaigns to your audience but you have to ensure that your promotions don’t damage the reliability of your content.

There are many ways to promote products or campaigns. When you record a video, include a call to action in your videos by requesting your viewers to hit the Like button and subscribe if they enjoyed the video. By doing so, the intended action you want your audience to take is more likely to happen.

You can also add timely YouTube cards to your videos. This is an easy fun way of making sure of promoting products, whether it is part of your deal with a brand or even if you are promoting your own products.

You can put them to pop up however that suits your fancy, but if placed at just the right moment in such a way that they are the most significant and least distracting, you can increase their impact. Don’t forget to add links in your video descriptions. Also, make sure to promote your offer on additional platforms

Even if your content is hosted on YouTube, it does not mean you shouldn’t be taking benefit of all the other potential distribution channels that will bring you more views. Use social media to spread the word about new campaigns or discounts.

Now, are you prepared to monetize your YouTube channel?

Money is rarely a compelling factor for creators when they start their channel as it the thought of as making something for the world to enjoy. But that doesn’t mean it is sustainable long term. So it is actually better to make money and provide better content.

In physical businesses, the hard part is getting and keeping the people’s attention, but YouTubers have already figured that bit out.

Now, all that is there to do is to get creative, explore your ideas and options, and finally choose how to monetize your passion.

Frequently asked questions 

How do I get started on YouTube?

It is as simple as using your Google account, to sign in to YouTube, and set up a channel. You can start posting videos from there by going to your studio.

How do you become a Youtuber for beginners?

Once, you have your account set up, all you need to do is to focus on identifying your niche area of videos you want to create, and record and upload those videos. Try and identify the kind of content you want to create and how many videos do you want to upload during a given period.

What your first YouTube video should be?

There are plenty of options, it could be a channel introduction or an interesting topic of your area of interest or even about yourself.

Is it too late to start a YouTube channel?

It is never too late to start a YouTube channel. It is a thriving platform with billions of views and you can easily start up your own channel.

 Is becoming a YouTuber worth it?

It can be a very rewarding profession and it can definitely help you be creative and speak on topics you are passionate about. It is also a well-paid arena and you stand to make money through various avenues.

Who is the YouTuber that makes the most money?

Vlad and Nikita Review is said to earn approximately $312,312 according to Forbes.