Everybody wants to make money on YouTube.
Talk about your get-rich-quick schemes! You make a couple of videos, pop them up on YouTube, and watch the money roll in, right?
Being a YouTube video creator is a fantastic way to get paid for doing what you love. But, like most things in life, success will be reliant on you putting in the time, effort and dedication to turn your YouTube channel into something special.
If you’re willing to work hard to make money on YouTube, then stick around. I’m about to give you a complete step-by-step guide to YouTube success. Let’s discover how you can build your audience, monetize your viewership, and make a substantial income on YouTube.
How to make money on YouTube: 7 expert-proven tips for 2018
Most people will tell you that money is not the most important thing in the world. You know what is most important? Love.
But if you happen to love money, then YouTube is the perfect place for you!
With a dynamic channel and an intelligent video strategy, you could stand to make millions from YouTube.
When you gather a viewership and start to become a YouTube star, great things can happen. Not only will you be able to reach people with that particular message that only you can share, but you will also able to take part in a system where money just naturally comes in.
I have personally built an income from the 41 million views I’ve gotten on my other channel, so I know a little something about earning money on YouTube.
I’m here to open the vault and show you exactly how it’s done. Here are my seven tips on how you can make money on YouTube in 2018:
Tip #1: Hone your craft
So you want to learn how to make money on YouTube? Then my first tip is… stop thinking about how to make money on YouTube.
When you first start your channel, you don’t want to focus too much on the money-making aspect. Because the reality is that there is no quick way to earn money from YouTube. You can’t simply upload a couple of videos and hope one of them goes viral.
First, you need to learn the foundations of being a YouTuber worth following. You must consistently upload high-quality content and grow your channel. It is only at this point that you will be able to monetize your channel. I mean that literally; YouTube doesn’t allow creators to turn on monetization until they’re proved their mettle.
My first tip to make money on YouTube is to hone your craft. There are three things you should do:
Set the stage
You don’t need to have the best or most expensive equipment to get started on YouTube. It’s not about the camera you own, but rather what you do with that camera to create your own personal brand of content. You could even use a smartphone if you’re short on other options.
But what you do need is a reliable setup that is capable of filming good quality videos. The two main cornerstones of quality will be:
- Image stabilization — No one wants to watch shaky, jerky video footage. Consider investing in a tripod. Or, if you prefer handheld footage, try using a wider lens or a lens with optical image stabilization.
- Audio — Never neglect audio. Your viewers want to be able to hear you clearly. Be mindful of sounds that could affect audio quality (such as wind or traffic). Try to minimize background noises, and if necessary, acquire a microphone to record crystal-clear audio.
You can always purchase new and better equipment over time. But if you want to commence a lucrative online career and make money on YouTube, you must ensure that you have what you need to provide an enjoyable watching experience.
Establish your process
I’m going to use that word again — consistency. Growing your YouTube channel will require a constant stream of video uploads and communication with your audience. Whether you choose to post videos every day, a couple of times a week, or once a fortnight, you should be trying to form a schedule that your viewers can rely on.
As time goes on, you will be able to perfect your creative process. But for now, take note of how you move from conception to completion of your videos.
Learn how much time you need to research, write a script, shoot the content, edit the video, optimize the video and share it with the world. Knowing each step will allow you to refine your video-making process.
Plus, you’ll be able to understand how many videos you’re capable of producing; don’t commit yourself to a once-a-day upload schedule if you’re going to burn out in a week. Remember, everything you’re doing should be about more than making money. It should still be enjoyable for you to do!
Know your brand
Consistency is a big deal on YouTube — not only with your upload schedule but with the content itself.
Every video you make should undoubtedly have a unique edge, but the overall style and tone should stay the same. Your brand should remain the same.
Having a deep understanding of your brand will help you to create more authentic, honest, passionate video content.
If you’re just starting out, defining and cultivating your brand is a crucial step. But sometimes even established businesses could do with a bit of clarification.
Sit down and ask yourself some questions about your brand identity. What do you do? What is your content about? Who are you trying to reach? What do you want your brand to achieve? If you don’t understand your own brand, you can’t expect your audience to rally behind it.
Tip #2: Create valuable content
It is essential — both for the growth of your YouTube channel and for the consequent income opportunities — that your content creates value for your audience.
But what exactly is “valuable” content?
Essentially, valuable content means videos that give the viewer an emotion to feel. Creating value on YouTube can come in many different forms.
Maybe you’re teaching your audience something; the value of your content is that people can gain a better understanding or learn how to do something.
Maybe you’re making the audience laugh; your channel becomes valuable in its ability to provide a sense of escapism and entertainment.
You could be providing recipes, workout tips, DIY instructions, life coaching vlogs or any other form of content. The thing that matters most is this: your audience must be made to feel that watching your video will, in some way, make their life better.
If every time your audience watches your videos, they are bored out of their minds, told something they’ve heard a million times before, or made to feel bad about themselves — I can guarantee they won’t continue to watch.
Next time you are preparing to create some new content for your YouTube channel, ask yourself: if someone watches this video, will their life be better?
Create valuable content that gives your viewers something new that they haven’t experienced elsewhere. At the end of the day, only good videos stand to make a substantial income. If you really want to make money on YouTube, you cannot afford to be second-best.
Tip #3: Develop an audience
You can’t make money on YouTube if no one is watching your content. Successful YouTube channels are formed by a loyal, engaged community of viewers. So how do you get discovered and build a viewership on YouTube?
Find your niche
If you want to start a profitable YouTube channel, stick to your passions.
I’ve seen many creators who become obsessed with the idea of gaining hundreds of subscribers. They want to go viral, they want to make money on YouTube, and eventually, they lose sight of that individual message they wanted to share with the world.
YouTube success is most often achieved by creators who produce passionate content for a niche community. Figure out what your “thing” is — that special something that is unique to your content. Pour your heart out, be emotionally sharp, and make the videos you enjoy creating. Your authentic enthusiasm will be one of the most influential means of attracting and growing a loyal audience.
Check your analytics
YouTube offers some useful analytics in your Channel menu. Here you can identify your audience’s age, gender, geographic location and watch time. You can see the number of views on each video and your traffic source (how your viewers are finding your videos). After you’ve monetized your channel (more on that soon), you will also be able to view estimated earnings and ad performance.
These tools enable you to see which videos are resonating with your audience, and which ones aren’t. If you find that your content isn’t attracting the right viewers — or many viewers at all — you will be able to make changes and improve your channel.
Engage with your audience
If you want to become successful and make money on YouTube, you must connect with your audience on a personal level. That means building a community and generating higher levels of engagement.
In the words of YouTube megastar Lilly Singh, the connection between creator and audience on YouTube is “deeper than casual consumption: it is an active, engaged relationship” based on support and trust.
Engaging with your audience doesn’t have to be complicated or even particularly time-consuming. Try these simple steps:
- Interact — If you’re just starting out, you may choose to respond to every single comment you receive. But even something as simple as clicking the heart button on a viewer’s comment can start to establish a rapport.
- Ask questions — Invite conversations with your viewers. Encourage video replies by asking them what they liked about the video and what they want to see more of in the future.
- Be an active user — Embrace other YouTubers by watching, liking and commenting on their videos. This activity can get you noticed by potential subscribers, and help your audience gain a better understanding of who you are.
Importantly, engaging with your audience will provide a sense of community for your channel and promote long-term growth. Draw people in and convince them you are someone worth following.
Tip #4: Be patient
Creating content to make money on YouTube is a bit like an upfront investment. You’re going to have to invest a lot of time, energy and resources into making these videos, and at first, they’re probably not going to do that well.
In fact, YouTube typically won’t recognize your channel until it has around 20 videos. I have seen a lot of people fail because they don’t want to put in that upfront investment. They want an immediate return, and as soon as they realize the level of commitment required to make money on YouTube, they give up.
If you take only one thing away from this article, make it this:
You must be willing to invest in your channel
When I started Sexy Confidence, it took nearly 30 videos before I picked up steam with 500,000 to 1 million views per month.
Viewership, meanwhile, is a young channel with a lot of growing to do. But as my video list starts to increase, Viewership will grow with it. Start your training today, and we could take the journey to YouTube stardom together!
In the meantime, if you’re starting from scratch, try to release a video at least once a week.
You may not see any significant growth in your YouTube channel until your 30th video. That’s okay! The key is to be patient and upload a lot of videos.
On a once-a-week schedule, it will take approximately 6-8 months before your channel grows enough to be worth monetizing. This is a pretty standard time frame for any business, and a solid benchmark for YouTube success.
However, I don’t recommend uploading 20 videos all at once! That won’t actually achieve much.
Upload systematically and over a moderate period of time. With each video upload, analyze what works and what doesn’t. Interact with viewers and identify what they do and don’t like. Use this information to improve your next video, and then do it all over again.
By the time you upload your 30th video, you’ll be a pro. Your content will hit the nail on the head, and your channel will boast an audience connection that few of your competitors have.
Don’t expect that you’re going to make much money on YouTube within the first 6 to 12 months. But do expect that if you put in the time and effort, follow the tips in this article, and remain patient, you are going to be successful.
What separates the winners from the losers is a willingness to commit.
Tip #5: Leverage other marketing channels
Don’t rely on YouTube alone when it comes to marketing your videos. The more visibility your content has, the more views you will get and the more money you will stand to earn.
Two of the best ways to get your videos out there, apart from YouTube itself, is through emails and social media networks.
Build an email list
An email list is the easiest way to connect directly with your audience.
I’ve worked with some big YouTubers over the years who don’t have an email list — that’s crazy to me! Even if you have several million subscribers, email-direct marketing will provide you with the opportunity to directly and personally communicate with your audience.
Use your videos to promote a basic webpage where you can collect your audience’s email addresses for email marketing.
It can be a great idea to offer extra value to people who subscribe to your email list. You could have a fun quiz, provide a free e-book, post videos exclusively for email subscribers, and so on.
Once you have encouraged followers to join your email list, send an email each time you post a new video. You might be surprised by how many of your YouTube subscribers remain unaware when you release content, so building an email list can be a crucial step on your crusade to be able to make money on YouTube.
Promote with social media
Social media engagement is a big player for your brand. Create a profile for your business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or wherever it is your viewers are hanging out. Then work those platforms each time you release a video.
Share a link to the YouTube video directly. Embed the video into a blog post or landing page on your website, then share a link to that, too.
You could also promote your video through quality social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon or PearlTrees. Sites like these can be an excellent referral source. They provide extra social signals for your content, which Google and other search engines will often consider to be a positive ranking factor.
Tip #6: Do YouTube SEO
At the Viewership agency, we encounter many people who are trying to succeed on YouTube but don’t know much about organic search optimization.
Before you create a video, you must consider the keywords and phrases that summarize the content.
Take another look at that video up top. My keywords here were obviously “how to make money on YouTube”. And you’ll see that phrase in my heading, in the description, and in the tags.
YouTube SEO enables you to get views when you first release a video and ideally will keep it ranking highly in the future.
Optimize your videos
Optimizing your videos is all about making it easier for potential subscribers to find and watch your content. Make sure you’re ticking everything off your checklist:
- Write a compelling title — Your video titles should be concise (no more than 70 characters), creative and informative. Give insight into what your content is about; viewers who know what they’re about to see are more likely to watch till the end.
- Create eye-catching thumbnails — Making a customized thumbnail can give your content a polished, professional look. Keep in mind that over half of your audience is using a mobile device; make the image and information easy to see.
- Include video descriptions — YouTube’s search and discovery system relies heavily on the content you put in the video description. Prioritize the most important information and keywords in the first few sentences. Google Trends can help you identify the most searchable keywords to use.
- Add web links — Use the video description and annotations to link to your website, blog, social media channels or newsletter signup page. Linking is a useful way of maximizing traffic and improving audience engagement.
Invest in AdWords
There are so many businesses out there that produce videos for their brand, putting in the time and effort to create superb content, but don’t put any money into advertising.
If you want your business or brand to make money on YouTube, you have to be willing to invest in the right advertising platforms. An effective advertising strategy will help accelerate your channel’s growth and drive more subscribers to your content.
Google AdWords is one way you can promote your channel to YouTube viewers with PPC (pay-per-click) ads.
Simply link your YouTube channel to an AdWords account, create an ad, set your budget, and target your desired audience. You can create in-stream advertisements that appear before or after a video, or in-display ads that appear alongside a video or on the search results page. If you’d like to know more, I’ve got another article where you can learn everything you need to know about buying YouTube subscribers with AdWords.
Tip #7: Utilize more than one way to make money
Whether you’re looking to initiate a casual cashflow on the side, or you want YouTube to become your paid profession like it is for me, there are many different avenues you can take.
My first six tips were all about establishing your YouTube channel. If you want to succeed and make money on YouTube, you cannot overlook these steps.
But once you’ve started to grow your audience and are getting 100,000 to millions of views per month, you’re probably going to want to consider the means of earning money from your YouTube channel.
My seventh and final tip is all about the different ways you can actually use your channel to start bringing in money.
Become a YouTube Partner and earn with AdSense
How to enable monetization on YouTube:
- Sign in to your YouTube account.
- Select your account icon in the top right corner.
- Click Creator Studio.
- In the left menu, select Channel > Status and features
- Click Enable in the Monetization section.
- Follow the on-screen steps to accept YouTube’s Terms.
Alternatively, you can just click here to go there directly.
Once that’s done, you’ll need to create a Google AdSense account to opt into Google’s advertising network. All YouTube creators can apply for AdSense (if it is available in your country) once you hit 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours in the past year.
You can start to run ads on your videos — and Google will pay you every time people watch those advertisements.
Ad revenue can be an easy way to start earning money. But if you follow the rest of the concepts in this article, it will actually be a pretty small percentage of your potential income.
Sell branded products
As your channel grows larger and more popular, you may find people are willing to spend money on information products and merchandise related to your brand.
I have been a dating and relationship coach for many years. Starting my YouTube channel for Sexy Confidence was all about improving my online visibility and conversion rates. Through my channel, I can virtually offer free advice, which appeals to my audience but can also leave them wanting more.
Moving over to the Sexy Confidence website, my viewers can find numerous products available for purchase, including online training, downloadable content, and courses. Courses can be an incredibly lucrative revenue stream; in fact, they are the primary way my business makes money.
YouTube is a fantastic way to drive these types of sales. For instance, I have a video that tells viewers three texts they could send to spark fun conversations with their boyfriend. I thoroughly cover those three text messages in the free video — but I also provide a link to my ebook, which contains over 100 texts.
By doing this, I am drawing my audience in with free info, then selling them an upgrade of that information with my website.
And of course, you can sell much more than written content and courses. Opportunities are plentiful for savvy YouTubepreneurs. Merchandise like stickers, clothing, toys, stationery, coffee mugs or other branded products can improve your brand awareness and help you make money on YouTube.
If you aren’t sure how to get started, I recommend Shopify, which is an eCommerce platform that can help you create an online store.
Self-publish a book
Another fantastic way to make money on YouTube is to write and promote your own book.
People who subscribe to your YouTube channel have already shown they have an interest in what you do. There is a good chance they will also be interested in finding out more about who you are and what you know.
If you use YouTube to entertain (perhaps with funny vlogs or opinion pieces) or provide information (like instructional videos, industry-specific advice, recipes or useful life tips), you could be in the perfect position to sell a book that your audience is interested in.
Sometimes all it takes is providing your content in a different medium, whether it’s a physical book or a downloadable ebook.
And you don’t need to have a high-end, fancy smancy publisher. You can self-publish your book through platforms like CreateSpace. This Amazon company has the tools and services to help you create your book and distribute it to millions of potential readers.
I would encourage anyone who has a following to consider writing a book about something they are passionate about. You will make money on every single copy sold, and it will continue to grow your brand.
Create sponsored content
For the past four years, I have been receiving emails from organizations that want to sponsor my videos on Sexy Confidence. I have just recently decided to take up one of those sponsorship deals.
I was cautious about doing this, as I have my own unique brand. But sponsorship is undeniably a great way to support your channel and make money on YouTube. And as an added bonus: with sponsorship deals, you won’t have to give YouTube a cut of the profits.
As your channel grows, you may find yourself being approached with possible sponsorship deals. But if you don’t have anyone reaching out to you yet, you could try using influencer marketing sites like Famebit. Platforms like these are ideal for smaller channels. You can search for and collaborate with companies that want somebody to create branded content endorsements on YouTube, Instagram, and other platforms.
Try affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a fantastically easy way to make money on YouTube. But what is affiliate marketing?
Let’s say you’re watching a cooking channel on YouTube. They’re showing a great recipe for chicken soup. They put the ingredients into a crockpot. Then they casually mention, “This crockpot is amazing. I bought it on Amazon a couple of days ago; it’s perfect for this recipe. I’ve put a link in the description, so click that if you want to check it out or get one for yourself. Trust me; you won’t regret it.”
What they’ve done there is called affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing can be a wildly profitable tactic for YouTube. In fact, recent video marketing research has shown that 64 percent of people make a purchase after watching branded video content. You promote a product, and you provide a link in the description and/or as a video overlay. Now you will receive a small percentage of every sale made through that affiliate link.
Once your channel grows big enough, you can even turn the concept of affiliate marketing on its head and use it for advertising instead of for income. I have an affiliate program with Sexy Confidence; people promote my channel, and I pay them in return.
If you’re already creating how-to videos, best-of videos, product reviews, or content that shows a particular item, sign up for an affiliate program. Affiliate marketing is a near-effortless way to make that little extra income — or even thousands of dollars per month.
More and more people are using YouTube to promote their brands and grow their audience. And if you pour your heart and soul (and time and energy) into making your content, of course you’re going to want to be able to use your videos to make money on YouTube.
YouTube is my paid profession. I wanted to give you a complete guide so that you can get out there and start making money on YouTube in 2018. But if you’d like to learn more, you can check out this FREE training. I’m here to help you grow your viewership and monetize your YouTube channel.
I can’t wait to make this journey alongside you as I build the Viewership channel. Do you have any money-making tips of your own? Let me hear them in the comments!