by Menka Dimitrovska, Money Columnist
Published in Money on 13th March, 2018
You've probably heard of many people talking about leaving their jobs and becoming full-time YouTubers. Their stories can be quite thrilling. And although becoming a professional YouTuber is the dream for some people, you do need to have a few things in mind before you quit your job and start making videos for a living.
You need to be aware that becoming a YouTube sensation doesn't happen overnight. You can't expect to post a few videos, have one go viral and bring you a lot of revenue and audience over a short period of time. That rarely happens. So if you are planning on using YouTube to make enough money for a nice living, then you'll need to consider the following:
As of the 20th of February 2018, YouTube has tightened its policy regarding the YouTube Partner Program and has made it more difficult for people to make money on the platform. This decision has been especially disheartening to new channels, since they are now required to have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and at least 4,000 hours of watchtime in a year. These changes will be tougher on hobbyist and new channels who want to make money on YouTube, as they won't be able to have ads if they don't fit the requirements.
The new changes to YouTube's Partner Program were implemented to better protect the community and its creators. These changes didn't come as much of a surprise, especially after a few incidents with high profile channels that YouTube had in 2017, which lead to many advertisers pulling their ads from YouTube and leaving the platform.
Among those advertisers that left the platform in 2017 were Lidl, Mars, Walmart and Pepsi. The main reason they left the platform was because of hate speech and predatory comments appearing in some videos next to their ads. A few of those incidents included the famous gaming vlogger PewDiePie, who showed Nazi memorabilia in some of his videos and uttered racial slurs, and the famous prank vlogger Logan Paul, who laughed while filming the body of a suicide victim in Japan's "suicide forest". The video is no longer available, because it got a lot of heat both from sponsors and viewers worldwide, who even petitioned for Logan to be completely banned from YouTube.
These incidents left advertisers worried regarding the type of content that's allowed on YouTube, and what kind of boundaries need to be established in order to protect viewers, sponsors, and original creators from bad actors and offensive and unacceptable content.
Now that you've gotten familiar with how YouTube's platform works and their eligibility rules it's time to discuss the many ways you can make money on the platform, as well as how much you can expect to make.
There are more than a billion new users that come to YouTube every month, which is a really huge audience. This article will help you learn how to use this number to your advantage, and start making money.
Now if you are wondering about the amount of money you can expect to get from ads the approximate return that you can expect from 1,000 viewers would be somewhere in between $2-$4. It might not seem a lot, but if you think about it, you'll be getting somewhere in between $1,000-$2000 for a 100 videos with 5,000 views each, which is good money.
Luckily, that's not the only way to make money on YouTube. You can both see YouTube as a monetizing platform and as a facilitator to make money. Both of those options are available to you, you just need to choose the one that works best for you and get started.
In order to use YouTube as a monetizing platform and as your primary source of income you will need to put in a lot of time, and post at least 2-3 videos per week. You need to be regular and engage with your audience so that you can constantly build more audience and steadily increase your views.
The first thing you'll need to do is connect your Google AdSense account to your YouTube channel, or you won't be able to get paid per view. The most common way to make money on YouTube is through AdSense. Even though it's common, it's not that profitable (as mentioned above), and you can't expect to make a lot of money this way, especially if you don't have millions of views on your channel.
Another very popular way to make money on YouTube is through affiliate marketing. For those of you who are not familiar with affiliate marketing, that's when you market and sell products, and get paid in commission every time someone buys a product through the URL that you've provided, and that's linked to your affiliate marketing account. One of the most popular marketplaces that has an affiliate program is Amazon, with commissions starting at 4%.
The way an affiliate program works is you need to register as an affiliate first. Once you do that, you can choose the products that you love, or that are related to your niche and tell your viewers to click on the link in the description if they are interested in the product you recommend.
The same goes for digital products as well. You can use your channel to sell e-tutorials, courses, e-books, iPhone apps and much more.
You can use YouTube not just to recommend your affiliate products, but your own products as well. If you have products or services that you offer, you can use YouTube as a platform to advertise them, or give a sneak peak of the training program or course that you're offering. Even if you manage to convince just 0.1% of a 1,000 viewers to buy your product or course, you'll still be able to make more money than you would have with AdSense.
Many people turn to YouTube to research or learn something, so if you are able to provide value of some sorts, you are on the fastest way to making money on YouTube. What you'll need to do first is provide videos for your audience on a regular basis, from which your audience can learn something, and get some value from them. You'll also need to be patient and work on growing your audience, and targeting the right kind of viewers that are interested in what you have to say. Soon enough you'll have built a strong fan base and regular viewers, and can start periodically pitching in your consulting services or courses. That way it will be a no-brainer for your audience to pay for your knowledge and expertise, once they've seen how much you can help them in the short videos that you have on your channel.
If you feel like you have interesting and quirky ideas you like to share with the world, or you're very passionate about your hobbies and interest you can create your own YouTube channel and maybe even become a YouTube sensation. Take PewDiePie for example, even though he lost a lot of major advertisers in 2017, he is still the highest paid YouTuber, with $15 million earned in 2016, and he made that money by playing and rating video games and engaging with his audience.
You can also use YouTube as a facilitator to make money, and see it as a catalyst to increase your income, not as a primary source of income. Here are some of the ways you can do that:
If you've got a blog or website that you want to bring traffic to and increase your income, then YouTube is one of the ways to do that. A lot of websites and blogs took a huge blow by Google's new algorithms and updates, and Facebook's restrictions and changes didn't help. That's why you may want to consider using YouTube to regain your traffic and drive more audience to your blog.
You can start by making some of your old content into videos, and provide your viewers with a link to your website in the description, so they can check it out and get more information on the subject.
If you love writing and telling stories, but you're struggling to make a career as a play or screen writer, then YouTube is the platform for you. You can upload up to 15 minutes of talk shows, dramas, or comedy series, and even collaborate with your friends to make interesting shows that people will want to watch. You might even get famous and build a career out of it, you can never know.
You can also use YouTube to do market research and see if the ideas you have can be profitable, or even look for funding in order to develop your product. You can track the views and comments that you'll have and see whether your idea is viable and can bring you profit.
What we can say for sure is that a lot more people are using YouTube to make money, grow their audience and business and promote their products. So if you're willing to put in the hours and the energy into making good quality content, and use your videos to help people in whichever way you can, then you too can be among those people.