How To Make Money on YouTube: 6 Effective Ways

Young male youtuber making another video for his audience.
MStudioImages / Getty Images

Being an online personality just might be the best career option ever. But is it possible to make a living as one? Even if you have a creative niche, how do you make money on YouTube? 

Fortunately, there are a few basic things you can do to start answering these questions and try to monetize your YouTube videos. With a little hard work, these tips might become the secret to reaching your goal to get rich in 2021.  

6 Ways to Make Money Online With YouTube

Making money with your video content can take studying and testing the waters. Focus on providing something unique, different or interesting for the viewer. Perhaps you have particular knowledge about a certain subject, along with a compelling way of presenting that knowledge. Maybe you can teach people how to do something at home, like cook or fix things. Or, maybe you just like pulling pranks on people – there are a lot of YouTube videos of pranksters.  

1. Intend To Monetize Your Content

Perhaps the most useful thing you can do is understand your purpose for creating and publishing content on YouTube. If you don’t make up your mind to earn money on the platform, you won’t be intentional about sticking with strategies and tactics that will help you earn money from YouTube. 

More From Your Money

To have a profitable presence on YouTube, you’ve got to be intentional about earning money and willing to do what it takes to make it happen. You can learn how to monetize YouTube content, but it could take a considerable amount of effort. 

2. Set Up Your Channel to Earn Money

How Do You Start Making Money on YouTube?

To make money on YouTube, you need to join the YouTube Partner Program. To do this, you need to: 

  • Follow the YouTube monetization policies
  • Live in a country where the program is available
  • Have over 1,000 subscribers 
  • Have over 4,000 valid public watch hours 
  • Have a linked AdSense account.

How Much Money Does 1 Million YouTube Views Make?

 YouTubers are making an average of $7.56 per 1,000 views in 2021, according to YouTuber Greg Preece. The amount varies by topic, according to Preece, ranging from $13.85 per 1,000 views for videos on “Making Money Online” to $1 per 1,000 views for videos on “Parenting.”

3. Turn on Display Ads

You can earn money on YouTube by permitting ads to appear before, during, and after your videos. To turn on ads for one of your videos: 

  • Sign in to YouTube. 
  • Go to YouTube Studio. 
  • Select Content from the left menu.  
  • Select a video.  
  • Select Monetization in the left menu.  
  • Choose the type of ad. 
  • Click Save.

Your content will be evaluated to make sure it’s appropriate for the kinds of ads you have selected.  

4. Grow Your Audience

The more subscribers you have, the more money you can make. YouTube’s Creator Academy provides some useful tips on growing your audience if you’re just starting your channel. Here are some simple tips that you can use to be found, seen, and followed on YouTube: 

More From Your Money
  • Craft content and wording that allows the search algorithm to rank your video appropriately for keywords and phrases.
  • Write smart descriptions so other users can find your content related to the searches they are performing.
  • Publish content regularly –preferably on a schedule– so users will come back to your channel regularly.
  • Create compelling thumbnails to draw people to your videos.
  • Add calls to action on end cards so your viewers will take action related to your content. 

5. Incorporate Affiliate or Product Marketing

Ad revenue isn’t the only source of income you can get from video marketing. You can also make money online simply by selling other’s people’s products on your YouTube channel. This is known as affiliate marketing, and here’s how it works: You put a link to someone else’s product in the description area below your video. Every time someone clicks on that link, you get paid by the owner of the link.  

Many affiliate marketing programs will help you get set up for this. Amazon Associates may be the most popular, simply because you can find nearly anything on Amazon, and everyone uses it. But there are others as well, and you can learn about them, and how to use them, on – you guessed it – YouTube.

6. Create Sponsored Content

Imagine that your views are climbing and you’re getting more subscribers. At this point, you might be prime time enough to start considering sponsored content. If you’ve got a sizeable audience with very specific demographics, your voice could be used to promote certain products and services. 

Brands will actually pay you to create sponsored videos that promote something they want you to sell to your viewers or find a way to naturally weave it into the content you’re already creating. For example, if you provide instruction videos on how to play guitar, you might consider getting sponsored by a company that makes speaker amps. 

Learn, test, and repeat what works for your YouTube channel. Learning how to make money online, especially as an online personality, is not an easy feat. But with a lot of determination and hard work, it’s certainly not impossible.

Who Is the Highest-Paid Youtuber?

According to Forbes, the highest-paid YouTube star from June 2019 through June 2020 is 9-year-old Ryan Kaji, who has 28.6 million subscribers, has had 45 billion views, and earned $29.3 million. His videos of toy reviews, family storytime, and science experiments are hugely popular with kids, but he also has licensing deals for over 5,000 products. 

Other people raking in the big bucks on YouTube include: 

  • Mr. Beast, aka Jimmy Donaldson – $24 million  
  • Dude Perfect – $23 million 
  • Rhett and Link – $20 million 
  • Markiplier – $19.5 million

Whatever you decide to showcase on your YouTube channel, make sure it’s unique to your audience. 

Making Money Guides

Karen Doyle contributed to the reporting for this article. 

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

About the Author

Aja McClanahan is a personal finance and entrepreneurship writer, and influencer among the millennial crowd when it comes to creating palatable, actionable content in the realm of finances. She writes on my own website, www.principlesofincrease.com, as well as for a number of other web publications, including Huffington Post, Quicken Loans and other web properties.

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