Most of us at this point probably subscribe to a YouTube channel whose owners make a great deal from their channel, and we have heard of how some celebrities can make hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. And while you may not necessarily want to run a channel full-time, the idea of making some videos and earning a little cash on the side is appealing to anyone.
But making money through YouTube is not as simple as opening a popular channel and watching the ad revenue roll in. There are ways to maximize the amount of money you get from each viewer, and other ways to earn money through YouTube beyond advertising. Here are a few things that you can do to maximize your revenue from YouTube.
1. Understand how YouTube advertising works
Many people assume that YouTube views equal cash, but that is not quite the case. Remember that YouTube channels often make money through advertising. If a million people watch a YouTube channel in a week, but all of them either skip the ads or use ad-blocking software, then the channel may not make money.
If you are running a YouTube channel, you have a level of control over what kind of advertisements are allowed on your channel. YouTube has a list of what kind of advertisements it uses, and you should think carefully about which kind of ads you want to allow.
For example, non-skippable, 30-second advertisements will make you more money per viewer than the advertisements that can be skipped after five seconds. But if your channel is filled with many short videos, then placing a 30-second advertisement before each one will turn off viewers.
2. Find your niche
If you are starting a YouTube channel in order to make money, go do something else. Making money should be an incidental goal, while the real goal should be to disseminate information or to talk about something that you really care about.
This is not some poetic “follow your passions” malarkey, but practical advice. Running a YouTube channel that will get viewership is hard and you will not see results for a while. You have to regularly post videos to make sure that people visit your channel and getting those first few hundred visitors is harder than it seems. As Hickok45, a highly popular YouTube star observed, “I need to have fun with the videos or I’m in jeopardy of really getting burned out.”
View your YouTube channel as a hobby which you enjoy, not as a job. And that means your channel should be about something you like to talk about.
3. Link YouTube with your blogs or websites
You don’t have to create money with just your YouTube channel. Think about how businesses use YouTube to advertise and link to their website or e-commerce store. Even if you do not own a small business, you may have a store on Shopify or a blog where you earn money through hits.
If you have another website, do not hesitate to mention it and post a link both at the end of the videos as well as on your channel. If you can create interesting content on YouTube, people will assume that you can do it elsewhere and will easily gravitate towards it if you let them know it exists.
4. Look into affiliate marketing
One of the biggest problems with trying to advertise on YouTube is that Google takes a substantial cut, so you may want to look into other forms of marketing. Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing where you talk about a product in your video itself instead of in an advertisement beforehand. This is a good way to generate a video income method. For example, NBA highlight channel, Free Dawkins often devotes the beginning segment of their videos towards advertising various athletic programs before showing the highlights.
The catch with affiliate marketing is that it will only really work if you have a reliable fan base that will sit and listen when you talk about some company’s products. Once your channel is big enough, then look into it and also make sure that you link to the advertiser’s website in the video description.
5. Consider fan funding
If the money you make from a YouTube channel comes from viewership engagement, then why not just directly ask the viewers for money? You can set up an account on YouTube’s Fan Funding or Patreon, which essentially serves as a donation box where viewers can show how much they appreciate your work.
Patreon users often offer additional content such as sneak video previews or behind-the-scenes photage to encourage fans to donate, but you want to make it clear that you are asking for a donation instead of charging for payment. Remember that your YouTube channel will often compete with other channels that offer somewhat similar content. If viewers start to think that you are essentially charging them for your videos, they will flock to a competitor unless you can produce extremely compelling content.
Featured photo credit: Juliette Leufke via unsplash.com
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