How To Make Money on YouTube

By Daniel Scocco

A couple of days ago I wrote a post talking about some British parents who published a 57-second video of their children on YouTube and ended up making over $150,000 from that video alone.

Most people who left a comment wanted to get more information on how to make money on YouTube, so I decided to write a follow-up post about it.

In a nutshell you make money on YouTube by becoming a YouTube partner, which allows you to display ads on your videos, and then you earn a percentage of the revenues generated by clicks on those ads, much like with AdSense. As for how much money you can actually make, I heard numbers anywhere from $3 up to $10 per 1,000 video views.

However, the process of becoming a YouTube partner is not as trivial as becoming an AdSense publisher. Below you’ll find the basic steps you need to go through:

1. Make Sure You Have an AdSense Account

While the process to be able to display ads on your YouTube videos is a separate one, your earnings and stats will go together with your AdSense account, so you need to have one.

In theory you could apply to become a YouTube partner before having an AdSense account, and in case you get accepted you would then follow up with an AdSense application. I believe the other way around is much simpler, though.

2. Grow Your Audience on YouTube

One of the most important criteria the YouTube guys will use to evaluate your application is the audience you reach on YouTube. They don’t reveal what are the requirements, but I’ve seen many people say these are the ballpark numbers you need to have before getting accepted:

  • at least 1,000 subscribers
  • at least 1,000 views on all your videos
  • at least 10,000 channel views

These are the very minimum though, if you want to make sure you’ll get accepted I would aim for 5,000 subscribers, 50,000 channel views and over 1,000,000 upload views total.

3. Get Videos Out There Regularly

If you only have one or two videos uploaded your chances of getting accepted are low, even if those videos went viral. That’s because YouTube is looking for people who are planning to work with them over the long term.

The more regularly and frequently you upload new videos, the better. For instance, someone who uploads a new video every day will have a better chance of getting accepted than someone who uploads one every couple of weeks.

You also want to make sure you have at least 100 uploaded videos before applying to become a partner (though some people say 50 will be enough).

4. Develop A Brand Around Your Videos

This step is not essential, but I think it helps a lot on getting approve. You need to remember that, once you meet the technical guidelines, it will be a person on the other site deciding on whether you are a good fit for becoming a YouTube Partner or not. In other words, the more professional you look the higher your chances.

Practical tips include:

  • Create a website to host your videos and give your audience more wayts to interact
  • Create a nice logo and use it everywhere
  • Use a watermark on your videos with your logo
  • Consider getting a professional intro made for your videos
  • Customize your YouTube channel to make it look professional

5. Make Sure Your Content Has Zero Copyrighted Material

If there’s one thing that will get your application rejected on the spot is copyright infringement, so make sure you have zero copyrighted material on your videos.

This includes images, graphics, logos, video clips and audio. For instance, even just using a music on the background which you don’t have permission to could get your application rejected.

6. Apply to Become a YouTube Partner

After you followed all the previous steps you are ready to apply. You can do that via the official YouTube Partner Program page. It might take a while to get your application considered due to the load of people applying, but once you get accepted you’ll be able to start displaying ads on your videos right away.

Good luck!



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11 Responses to “How To Make Money on YouTube”

  • prasad

    Well said Daniel,This information is more enough to get started with Youtube ads.Thanks lot.

  • Insurance Leads Guy

    I don’t see how these people are making so much money. I have one youtube account that gets tens of thousands of views per month. To date it has 3,207,993. All videos are quality, not junk with excellent ratings. But we make anywhere from $1.50 – $3 per day.

    Clickthroughs are ridiculously low compared to regular adsense ads on the regular website for this account.

    I still like youtube because many of my videos have a PR 3 linking back to my site.

    May it depends what niche you are in? Maybe you need to be in the entertainment area?

  • ES

    I think the requirements to get into Youtube partner program are not so stringent. I just have my Youtube account in the same google account as my adsense and I was approved for the partner program inspite of having only 35 videos or so. Youtube has an excellent online video manager/editor and they even have some copyright free songs that we can use in the background. I guess their video processing algorithms are too good. They can turn an average video (on my harddisk) into a decent video (online) after uploading. The only issue here is bandwidth. I find it difficult to upload HD videos.

    I have not yet joined in the partner program because I feel my channel needs more videos. And I am not very convinced about how many people might click on the video, while watching it? Some videos play an ad before someone is allowed to watch the video. I feel that is better. I guess they’ll optimize the ad platform for video soon. They are good at it!

    Destination Infinity

  • ES

    I think the requirements to get into Youtube partner program are not so stringent. I just have my Youtube account in the same google account as my adsense and I was approved for the partner program inspite of having only 35 videos or so. Youtube has an excellent online video manager/editor and they even have some copyright free songs that we can use in the background. I guess their video processing algorithms are too good. They can turn an average video (on my harddisk) into a decent video (online) after uploading. The only issue here is bandwidth. I find it difficult to upload HD videos.

    I have not yet joined in the partner program because I feel my channel needs more videos. And I am not very convinced about how many people might click on the video, while watching it? Some videos play an ad before someone is allowed to watch the video. I feel that is better. I guess they’ll optimize the ad platform for video soon. They are good at it!

  • Nancy D. Brown

    I am a travel writer based in San Francisco specializing in “Things to See and Do” discovered during my travels. I have uploaded 143 videos that I post on YouTube and eventually embed in blog posts on my “What a Trip” blog.

    It’s usually my obscure videos like “Things to Do in Graham, Texas” or “Jurassic Park Helicopter Tour Kauai, Hawaii” that get big views.

    I’m still waiting for the “big” paycheck. Thank you for the tips.

  • Daniel

    One issue I am very curious about is the “Copyright infringement” side of it.

    I mean how do Google(Or whoever) monitor this? As there seems to be so many you tube videos loaded with material(audio–visual) that would have to be copyrighted.

    Is the practice of throwing in some attributions at the end of the video sufficient to avoid legal ramifications?

  • Ruth Barringham

    This article was very helpful. I always wondered how people make money on YouTube and who gets the money from the ads.

    $150,000 is not to be sneezed at (if it’s true) but your commenter, Insurance Leads Guy, says he gets over 3 million views and yet only makes $3/day. But still that adds up to over $1,000/year in residual income which isn’t bad if it’s just a bonus amount from videos you uploaded anyway. But not much if you are trying to earn a decent income from it.

    But still this is all good information. Too many articles I read online talk about how much money you can earn from doing something, but don’t actually give you the nuts and bolts of how to do it.

    So thanks.

  • jorge jacobo

    My experience with videos is not of a partner but of individual videos approved for monetization.

    So far (this is my experience) I have about 99 videos all in Spanish many of them monetized they give me about 5 dollars a month. Which I don’t mind.

    The problem with my videos is that I don’t get views.
    I also have about 45 subscribers, but I am working on it.

    And the things about Copyright it’s all true. Youtube doesn’t like them.

    For example,
    If You put a song in the background (copyrighted) best case, it will display ads for the artist instead of your ads.

  • kalyan

    Great info Daniel. This will help us understand how it works. Though it’s a bit tougher than getting approved for an adsense account but worth a try. Who knows anyway can make good money from a video. New type of earning money on Internet. Thanks for sharing. Bookmarked the page.

  • Jim Collier

    Thanks for the post. You laid out in concise fashion just exactly what is required to make money on Youtube.

    As a side note, Es said: “YouTube has an excellent online video manager/editor and they even have some copyright free songs that we can use in the background.”

    Just a word of caution, using their music may restrict earnings. I would advise careful study of the TOS.

  • David

    Like Jorge Jacobo said, you canalso become a partner for video only, not channel.
    I believe it’s a good way to start, but people should keep in mind to NEVER, ever upload copyrighted stuff.

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