YouTube is home to millions of content creators who upload videos for entertainment or profit — but what happens when those vloggers reach out to businesses looking to advertise with them?
Monetizing a video channel means getting paid from brands and companies that want their product placement inside someone else's content. That can come in many forms, including brand sponsorships, branded merchandise, event appearances, and even direct-to-camera commercials (DCC). In short, monetization allows YouTubers to turn their hobby into a career while retaining total creative control over their work.
If you're considering joining the ranks of the most popular channels on YouTube, here are some important questions to ask yourself before signing up for the YouTube Partner Program.
The easiest way to start making money from your YouTube channel is through advertising programs like Google Adsense. If you already use this service to display advertisements throughout your videos, then adding an extra layer of income via the YouTube Partner Program shouldn’t be much trouble at all.
You'll need to apply first by going to My Channel " Partnership Status " Apply Now. Once accepted as a partner, the process will take about two weeks to complete. During that time, you'll receive an email stating whether or not you've been approved. A successful application typically results in a $1 million annual fee per channel—if you qualify.
While there are other ways to generate passive income on YouTube, such as affiliate marketing, merchandising products sold on Amazon, and selling digital downloads, these methods aren't accessible without being part of one of YouTube's monetization options. As we mentioned earlier, once you sign up for the program, you won't be able to access any of these services until after your approval period has passed.
Once you're ready to put your channel under the umbrella of the Partner Program, keep reading to learn about the next step toward becoming a top creator.
According to Pew Research Center data, nearly half of U.S. adults now own smartphones, meaning that almost everyone watches online videos regularly. The amount of content available to watch has never been greater, so why would anyone choose to create new media rather than consume existing ones instead? After all, people are drawn to quality above quantity when consuming content produced elsewhere. However, that doesn't mean that YouTube isn't also full of garbage. It just means that the best stuff tends to rise to the top thanks to its ease of production, discoverability, and overall popularity.
In terms of building a following, the same holds true for YouTube. Quality beats out brawn every time. Creating original content takes time and effort, which makes sense since no one likes spending hours watching reruns of Friends. But that same commitment is exactly what separates high-quality channels from others attempting to follow in their footsteps.
This concept may seem obvious, but only because most creators tend to focus solely on producing entertaining clips. They skip crucial steps like researching keywords and optimizing titles, descriptions, tags, and thumbnails. This approach limits the visibility of your content within search engines, causing viewers to miss opportunities to find your channel otherwise.
To avoid falling victim to this common pitfall, try using platforms like TikTok and Instagram to promote your upcoming uploads to friends and family members. These types of social networks allow users to easily share links with each other, increasing both engagement rates and organic traffic to your page. Since Facebook owns Instagram, you can also leverage tools like Stories and Live Videos to build excitement around your future projects.
Another reason to consider putting in the extra work required to produce great content lies in the fact that audiences today expect nothing less. By consistently delivering engaging videos with strong callouts to specific topics, you establish trust with viewers and give them reasons to return often and subscribe in order to see what comes next. When done correctly, this kind of strategy creates long-term fans eager to support your channel financially.
Yes! Though monetization certainly helps streamline the journey toward earning big bucks on YouTube, it's far from necessary. For example, the extremely well-known makeup guru Michelle Phan achieved success prior to entering the Partner Program on her blog, where she offered tips and tricks to applying cosmetics. She was later hired by Sephora as a consultant to help boost their presence on YouTube.
Similarly, YouTuber Trisha Paytas built her entire empire off of merchandising T-shirts featuring phrases like "I'm paying attention!" and "OMG" alongside images of herself. Her signature look consisted solely of oversized sunglasses, skinny jeans, black turtlenecks, and sneakers. While she didn't actively pursue partnerships with cosmetic companies or clothing stores, she did accept sponsored posts for free samples of various beauty items. These were placed strategically across multiple pages and sections of her website.
For years, influencer Shayan Munshi used his platform primarily as a place to post pictures of himself eating food, offering commentary on meals he consumed along with recipes. He wasn't interested in attracting advertisers, though occasionally he'd participate in promotions related to his hobbies and interests. Today, however, Munshi runs two lifestyle blogs on Medium focused entirely on sharing healthy recipes. He says he's proud of the growth his site has seen during this transition.
So yes, you absolutely can continue posting videos for fun or profit without ever thinking twice about accepting sponsorship offers. And in certain cases, doing so might actually benefit your audience in the form of exposure, influence, and credibility. Just remember that if you decide to abandon monetized content altogether, you won't reap any benefits beyond boosting your subscriber count and keeping potential customers informed about your latest offerings.
Yup. There are plenty of examples of successful YouTubers who made a living exclusively off of unpaid promotional efforts. One popular example is fitness trainer Nicole Drespel, whose channel focuses on live workout classes held in locations like New York City's public parks. She started hosting these sessions in 2014, but it took another four years for her to begin charging admission fees to attend. Eventually, the demand became too overwhelming, forcing her to hire additional staff and open permanent studios. Last year alone, Drespel earned roughly $100k from ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, and donations.
Some other notable names include professional skateboarder Nyjah Huston, comedian Michael Ian Black, and YouTuber Sam Tsui. All three rely on self-financed campaigns to grow their fan bases and eventually earn enough cash flow to quit working strictly for themselves.
That said, none of these individuals got their starts by focusing solely on promoting products and services without receiving compensation. Instead, they leveraged their unique personalities and experiences to establish themselves as experts in their respective fields. From there, they gradually expanded their portfolio to serve as mentors for aspiring creatives hoping to break into similar careers.
YouTube is a global phenomenon with over 2 billion monthly users who are entertained by content creators producing everything from funny pranks videos to music playlists. There’s no other platform where anyone can create an account and become their own star so easily like there is on YouTube.
But what if we told you that it's possible for any YouTuber to start making money today—just look at some of the biggest stars on the app right now. From Logan Paul to Tana Mongeau, these influencers have made millions off of their channels alone. And they didn't even need 1k+ subscribers or 10 years experience as producers!
Luckily, starting out in this industry isn't difficult either. In fact, most people aren't aware that they're able to do this until after they've already reached success. So here's everything you need to know about when to begin monetizing your YouTube channel.
Yes! However, it depends on how successful you want your channel to be. If you just started uploading videos, then consider waiting another year or two (or maybe three) before you attempt to join the partner program. At least wait until you reach 500-1000 subs. You'll still come across plenty of brands looking to work with new talent without having thousands of fans under them yet.
Before joining the YouTube Partner Program, ask yourself whether you'd rather focus on growing your subscriber base first. This means doing things like creating great quality content and building up a loyal audience through consistent posting and engagement. Or would you prefer to grow your income while also focusing on growth? The latter requires learning all about the Partner Program and its requirements.
If you choose to go down the monetization route first, you won't necessarily miss out on opportunities later since you could always try again once you gain momentum. But if you don't meet the criteria within the next year, you will lose access to the Google Preferred advertising sales team which makes it harder to find advertisers interested in working with smaller channels.
So if you plan on staying on YouTube for awhile, keep in mind that you shouldn't expect big profits early on. On average, partners hit $0.0065 per hour sold after six months of being active on the service — but that varies wildly based on individual channels' popularity and performance.
In addition, you might not realize it, but YouTube has an algorithm that determines whether or not your video gets recommended in search results. As such, it may take time for viewers to discover your content organically. For example, one study found that the median number of views required for a clip to appear on user feeds was around 4,000. That means you could potentially see higher earnings than you think.
No matter what type of creator you are, it takes time to build up enough followers to get noticed by major companies seeking partnerships. While there are exceptions to every rule, larger channels tend to receive offers quicker because they usually have a bigger budget compared to small ones.
However, you will eventually learn that different types of brands respond better to certain approaches and personalities. Some industries value authenticity above anything else, whereas others care less about the personal touch. Before deciding how best to approach each opportunity, understand the goals behind why a specific company wants to target you specifically.
For instance, if you upload vlogs about makeup tutorials, you probably wouldn't benefit much from partnering with fast fashion retailers or snack giants. These kinds of products typically appeal to younger audiences, and it's unlikely that they'd ever feature your content prominently in their marketing efforts. Instead, aim to attract brands with budgets ranging between $100-$5 million looking for established figures who can help promote their goods online.
On top of that, remember that YouTube doesn't charge creators royalty fees unless they directly profit from the ads running on their videos. Because of this perk, many creatives opt to stay away from the Partner Program altogether simply due to the extra costs involved.
To avoid getting stuck in this situation, it helps to think creatively. Ask yourself what kind of niche market fits well with whatever product or services you offer. Then figure out how to package those offerings into something that resonates with consumers — meaning, you should tailor your content accordingly.
This strategy allows you to maintain control over your creative vision while also ensuring your channel stays relevant throughout the process.
The answer to this question largely depends on you and your overall plans. Once you decide to pursue monetization, the only thing left to do is set clear goals for your content creation. Whether you intend to post consistently or increase your output significantly, make sure you stick to your schedule and keep up with production milestones.
It's worth noting that the amount of posts necessary to qualify for royalties differs depending on which country you live in. In general, however, according to YouTube, you must publish at least eight original clips featuring unique footage or audio in order to participate in the Partner Program.
As mentioned earlier, the exact rules differ slightly depending on your region. It also goes without saying that you must follow local laws regarding copyright infringement, privacy, etc., especially if you plan on incorporating external links.
Once you have met the minimum requirement, you will likely receive an email notification explaining what steps you need to take next. According to YouTube, eligible Partnerships require a 30 day period during which you can accept or decline the deal. Afterward, you cannot change your decision.
After completing the aforementioned tasks, you will hopefully be notified that your application has been approved. Now, all that remains is to sit back, relax, and watch the cash roll in!
While there's no concrete timeline to guarantee success, there are several factors that influence the speed at which your channel grows. One factor is how often you produce content. Another important consideration is the diversity of topics covered on your channel. Lastly, your overall dedication level plays a role too.
Regardless of what category your content falls into, it will take time to establish a presence and generate buzz. Achieving viral status among your peers is challenging, but it certainly beats failing miserably. Building your channel gradually over time ensures that visitors get accustomed to seeing your name whenever they open up YouTube.
And let's face it: Your goal with YouTube is to bring joy to everyone watching your videos, not just yourself. If you feel passionate about sharing your knowledge with others, you'll enjoy taking part in the journey long term. Plus, you never really know who could end up liking what you share, and sometimes good ideas spread faster than anticipated.
So you've got a great video series or two under your belt, but maybe you're not getting enough views to match those efforts. Maybe you want to add some extra income streams with your videos instead of just relying on that $15/hour job.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to start monetizing your content, there are plenty of ways to go about doing so in order to maximize profits. Whether you decide to sign up as an individual creator through Google AdSense (which we'll talk about later) or opt to become part of the YouTube Partner program, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to take advantage of these tools to increase your earnings potential.
The only thing standing between you and any additional funds is knowing when to do it right. So here's our guide to help you find out what steps to take once you've decided to try making money off your original content.
If you already have over 1,000 subscribers before launching your first video, chances are good that YouTube will automatically suggest adding advertising to your account. This process begins by having one of your viewers send YouTube a request to include ads alongside their viewing experience whenever they watch your videos. The company then reviews this request and sends back either a "no" or a "yes." If you choose yes, you begin working with advertisers who wish to advertise alongside your content.
However, while this may seem like an easy way to generate passive income, there are actually quite a few obstacles that come along with trying to work with brands. One hurdle is finding the right advertiser for your niche audience. For example, let's say you create tutorials pertaining to makeup application — which could appeal to women ages 18-34. However, since most major beauty companies target consumers age 35+, you won't likely see many advertisements from them unless you specifically market yourself to people in that demographic. In addition, even though there are thousands of brands looking to partner with creators such as yours, the competition can also prove daunting. It takes time to build relationships with different companies, especially ones whose products aren't relevant to your niche audience.
This means that you may end up spending hours crafting pitches and reaching out to potential partners, all in hopes of receiving offers. And even after accepting one, you might wait weeks or months before seeing any returns at all. Some channels never receive any financial compensation whatsoever. You may feel discouraged and wonder whether this was really worth the hassle when you could simply keep creating new content.
But fear not! There are other options available for someone who wants to continue producing high-quality content for the long haul. We'll discuss them below.
Yes, you absolutely can! While building up your subscriber base prior to monetization isn't always necessary, it does provide some benefits down the road. Chief among them being the ability to reach out to influencers within your community, ask them to feature your content in exchange for free promotion, or sell your own merchandise directly via social media platforms.
These perks are typically reserved for individuals who boast larger followings than the average YouTuber, however. To qualify for them, you must have been active on the platform for at least six months and amass around 10,000 followers across your various accounts. Plus, you need to display a track record of consistent engagement and growth.
In short, becoming popular enough to attract industry leaders to promote your content doesn't guarantee success. But having lots of fans certainly helps.
It depends on how you look at things. As mentioned earlier, while earning extra cash can sometimes mean less time spent on creative projects, it definitely gives you more freedom to pursue whatever passions you deem worthy of pursuing. That said, there are several factors to consider before diving into this kind of venture, including:
Your budget: How much extra money would you require each month to cover basic expenses? A higher salary wouldn't necessarily translate to greater savings unless you were planning on using that extra cash toward investments and bills rather than putting it straight into your bank account. Remember, too, that any additional income needs to factor in taxes, inflation, and overhead costs associated with running a business.
Time commitment: Are you willing to devote additional resources towards growing your channel? Will you need to spend more time marketing, responding to comments, managing sponsorships, etc.? Or will you focus primarily on recording new material?
Longevity: Do you intend to stick with this endeavor indefinitely? Can you sustain a career as a full-time vlogger? Would you prefer to use this as a stepping stone to something bigger or turn it into a hobby until you land another gig?
Earning potential: What's the estimated amount you think your channel is capable of generating annually? Is this number realistic given your current viewership numbers? Chances are, your true earning power lies somewhere between these figures. Take note of the projected ROI for each step outlined above, as well as your overall goals for your channel. Then determine whether its profitability aligns with your personal values.
While earning potential varies from person to person based on numerous factors, you should expect to pull in anywhere from $1 per view to upwards of $100 per thousand views depending on your popularity. More established channels tend to have better rates than newer ones, but there's nothing wrong with starting low to learn the ropes. Keep in mind that these amounts represent net profit margins after deductions for YouTube's cut taken during every transaction.
For instance, let's assume you hit 100,000 total views for three consecutive videos. With standard payout percentages ranging from 15 percent to 30 percent depending on where you live, you'd generally walk away with anywhere from $150-$300 per video. Of course, some creators report pulling in hundreds of dollars per day from single uploads alone.
Of course, there are more variables to take into consideration beyond just your viewer count. These include your location, genre, level of education, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, profession, political affiliation, health status, marital status, family situation, household income, internet speed, interest levels, personality traits, and dozens of others. The point remains, however, that there's no universal formula for determining how much money you'll earn from streaming online. Once again, trial and error play a big role.
That being said, you shouldn't rely solely on your channel for survival. Consider supplementing your income with side gigs, freelancing, selling crafts, or perhaps picking up an unrelated second job. Even if you plan to stream exclusively, remember to diversify your sources of funding so that none of your eggs are dependent upon a single source of income.
Here are a couple of general tips to ensure that your next project is successful:
Keep your pipeline filled with fresh ideas. Make sure you're not repeating past failures.
Focus on improving existing content rather than constantly churning out new stuff.
Don't rush milestones. Be patient and allow ample room for mistakes and learning experiences.
Become CEO of your own lead generation software company, just follow our battle-tested guidelines and rake in the profits.