It is possible to live from Youtube. The number of people making money with YouTube has grown exponentially in the last decade. Do you want to be one of them?
How will youtubers make money?
Will they all follow the same model or will they have alternative strategies?
Let’s see those things and many more because the Youtube issue is a whole world within the new businesses of the digital world (worth the redundancy).
First of all, we are going to see how much can be earned on Youtube, so we can get an idea of the potential.
How much money can you make with Youtube?
The limit is much higher than you might think.
Let’s see it with what is probably the most famous youtuber in the world: PieDiePie.
If we go to the Socialblade.com site – a site to look at the traffic and possible earnings of all the influencers – we see that the estimated earnings per month are from 50 to 803,000 pounds (almost 1 million dollars).
This data from Socialblade is taken based on potential revenue from the Google Adsense advertising program (Google owns Youtube), which is the standard for Youtube videos.
With those figures, we would have that PewDiePie could earn about 12 million dollars a year, if we take the figure of the higher rank, or 700,000 if we take the lower rank. Let’s assume that it would stay in the middle, around $6 million. Not bad, right?
However, this is just an estimate and it doesn’t really have to be what happens in reality and that’s why I’m writing this article, in which you can see that Adsense advertising is not the only way to make money on Youtube.
If we go to a BusinessInsider article about Pew’s 2018 revenue we see that it made 15.5 million dollars, quite a bit more than the estimated Adsense advertising revenue. This means that Pew uses other methods to earn money.
Notice that we are moving into really high numbers for an individual, who hardly has to spend much on expensive business structures. You may have to rely on a technician to help you with your videos and little else, to tell the truth.
Adsense for Youtube
The calculation of the above website is based on the CPM, which is the profit obtained for every thousand visitors who see the ad. The average is estimated to be between 0.25 ( lower range) and 4 ( higher range). However, this is the case for Pew, which has many visitors from the United States, United Kingdom or Australia, with a large CPM. Another thing is if most visitors come from countries like Ecuador or Bolivia; there the CPM will be much lower and we will not earn the same for the exact number of visits. For example, the difference between the United States and Argentina for the same niche can go from 6 to 9 times. From the United States to Spain it can be around 2.5 times, but think that this can change in the future.
There are many people who do not recommend making money with Adsense for Youtube, or for any other website or blog. Although there are people who are doing great, the truth is that it is complicated to make money with this system. However, to start making money with Youtube is the most typical and simple.
The usual thing when someone has a channel is that they do it as a hobby. In most cases, these people do not start thinking that they will make money with Youtube, but over time and if they get visits, they see that this can work.
How to start a Youtube channel to make money?
If you haven’t already started a YouTube channel and you think you have the potential to create one that can make money in the future, it’s only logical that you invest some time in developing a small publishing strategy, instead of publishing videos without any purposes.
The first thing is to create the channel, of course, for which you would do well to try to choose a short and eye-catching name that has the potential to become a brand.
Then comes the time to start recording videos, but how many?
There are those who say that quality is better than quantity but it is also said that as time goes by it will be more necessary to be able to produce more than one video a week because if not it will be very difficult to grow fast. I’m not going to be the one to tell you what to do. I think this is something that has to come naturally. What you have to do is create videos about something you like, and the rest will come naturally.
The problem is if you start making videos about something you don’t like or don’t know about.
If you look at most of the big winners on Youtube, they’re into themes that they’re comfortable with, and that comes naturally: video games, fitness, food, fashion, and tech videos.
If you want to know what works in the niche you’re in, for example, fitness, try to watch what the other channels do, how they do it when they do it, and study it thoroughly. In fact, by doing that you will also see the sources of income that are being followed by the leaders in the industry and that is something important for you to choose and be able to maximize your income in the future (although we assume that at the beginning you don’t earn anything and you don’t have to obsess about money either).
Once your channel is growing then it’s time to get down to business and start analyzing the analytics little by little. Let me tell you though, I think you shouldn’t obsess about this at first and should concentrate all your energy on creating the best videos or streams (live videos) to keep your popularity going. Later on, when the traffic and revenues are already strong then it might be time to optimize with analytics studies.
Ways to make money with Youtube
Now let’s look at the different ways, forms, or strategies you can use to make money with Youtube.
As I mentioned before, we can see that the way that seems the easiest and is the one that more people start using at the beginning is Google Adsense. I used this way myself when I started; it was my first dollars.
But then you realize that there are other ways to earn money through Youtube. How? Well, as I said before, many times it is by watching what other people do, sometimes our favorite channels. We see those links in the description of their video or some references in the same video, among other things.
In the end what interests us is to adopt the way that generates the most income but without falling into the trick of making money for winning at all costs, which is something we should avoid. Unfortunately many fall into the temptation of business to deceive people, but there each with his conscience. Ideally, you can make money by offering value to your followers.
About the concept of offering value, there are many who have it very confused and believe that some of the ways to make money with Youtube are not legitimate but they are wrong because there are many people who watch the videos simply for fun, without expecting to earn anything in return, it is similar to watching a movie. The value there is in providing entertainment, and it is a very genuine value like the others.
This is the method that we use Adsense in and that I described in part in the introduction section.
But not only do we have Adsense but we can also choose from other alternatives to try to make money from advertising. Among these alternatives we have:
It works the same way as always with advertising:
>>>>>More traffic and visits → more money
So here we are talking about a volume issue. We are interested in having as many visitors as possible, and better if they are from countries with good advertising payers, like the United States, United Kingdom or Australia.
Normally these programs will ask you for a minimum number of visits in order to start using them. For example, Adsense requires 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of views each year to participate.
The best way to see how to activate an account with Adsense is by watching a short Youtube video from the same Adsense channel explaining it:
This does not end here, because in order to publish these videos on Youtube we have to make sure that we comply with the “community principles”, and that is that we will have to be careful not to publish plagiarized or controversial content. In case you have a video that might be more controversial you can choose to deactivate it and not monetize it.
2.- Sell your own merchandise
It’s not the most popular way but it’s grown considerably over the last few years and it’s a great way for those channels that have a highly recognized brand.
The most typical to sell as a brand are T-shirts, gloves, hats, or bags, but ideally, it is niche related.
You can design sites like Teespring, Shopify, or Fiverr to create T-shirts, prints and any product for sale.
Once we have 10,000 subscribers on Youtube the platform will let us include the Teespring product section in the video description, which is a perfect way to reach the potential customer directly.
3.- Sell your own products (or info products)
This may sound the same as selling the merchandise but I wanted to differentiate in this case with the key concept of info product, the fashion figure in the online business world.
If you think about the product that best suits the online business is one that you can deliver as fast as we click, so any product that we can digitize we can offer through the network, and as Youtube is an essential part of it what better channel to sell our digital products (info products).
Youtube is an excellent channel to sell this kind of product, why?
Because the best way to sell something to someone is through trust and there is nothing like a video where they see your face to generate the trust that a corporation or a business group that uses salespeople automatically can not offer. In a Youtube channel, you can interact with your potential customers even live and this has been shown to be a formidable marketing tool to achieve great product sales. Think about the success that webinars have always had in attracting customers, because now Youtube offers that possibility with its streamings and, everyone can start interacting with their fans in a cheap and simple way, thanks to Youtube Live.
Which products are the most used to make money as an info product?
I think that the one that takes the lead is the online course because it is a product that has almost no limits in terms of the possibilities of generating enormous income on a recurring basis. Think that a course can go from cheap to very expensive with 5 figures sometimes.
Now think that those courses can be automated in an online platform or through some membership in which we will have the training content perfectly ordered to be digested by our customers.
An example of an info product:
Imagine you have a course to become an expert on Facebook Ads that you sell for $500.
If you have a large following and your niche is very focused on the digital business world around Facebook, then it shouldn’t be hard to sell a good amount of courses per month. Suppose you sell 20 courses. That’s $10,000 a month.
As you see the potential to earn this way is huge, and we could well earn only 500 dollars a month or if we happen to have many more visitors (and a good sales marketing campaign, let’s not forget) we could also go for 30, 50 thousand a month or even more.
Best of all, once you’ve designed the course and the delivery methods for it, the rest is a “piece of cake”, so it comes on its own.
Of course, this does not mean that we can leave the process entirely without thinking about offering support to customers who have doubts and problems, and in fact, what many experts do is offer course and training info products that also include continuing to receive “live” training with news during the week or month.
However, I think that the main idea has become clear: that by designing the info product and its marketing then we can have a flow of money that can be automated and have almost no limit if things go well.
4.- Make money with Youtube by selling services
This is a very popular way to earn money with this platform and is used by many experts in different fields.
I think it’s one of the best ways to get a full-time salary, and even a great salary, if you are an expert in a subject that requires one-on-one consultations.
For example, think of a psychologist who can offer an online service of service delivery so that a client can just ask you for a consultation and simply put in the time and price.
This method is fine, yes, but if we compare it with the previous one it falls short of the potential to make a lot of money.
Be careful, don’t get me wrong because there are people who are capable of charging astronomical amounts in certain sectors, but they are still going to be limited in the amount of money they can make.
Suppose for example an online poker expert is recognized in his niche as a crack player for whom people are in need of training to become professional poker players. In such a case the expert can charge 500 or 1,000 euros an hour. Yes, it’s a good hourly wage, but the first thing you have to take into account is that it’s difficult to sell more than certain hours a month. Even assuming that he does, imagine that he can sell 30 hours at 700 euros. We are talking about 21,000 euros, which is an impressive amount of money. But it is complicated to go much further than that. However, anyone who generates a professional poker course in an automated way by putting 200 euros into it has a much greater potential to make money. In reality, the potential is almost unlimited because if it becomes a mass phenomenon it is easy to have thousands of customers a month. Multiply 1,500 by 200 euros and you have 300,000 euros a month. There we start talking about important figures.
Despite what has been said, I want to make it clear that this is a very good method and that you can earn a very good salary with it as long as we have the necessary authority.
5.- Winning with Youtube with affiliates
This is another of the classic ways to make money on the internet, and one of the most profitable without a doubt, especially in the world of articles and reviews on the web.
What is this about?
Well, recommending a product in the video and then having people buy it through the link you provide in the video description.
If we have a specific niche in which we are experts and have authority it will not be difficult to make money in this way.
The most common method of making money with these affiliate links is to review products that we use. These products can be physical or digital. The one that best suits your niche will be marked by the market, and as always a good way to see which ones work best in the market is to look at what the competition does, especially the leaders.
One of the best-known affiliate programs is Amazon’s, which serves to get sales commissions for every product someone buys from that website after arriving with our link. This works quite well for those who specialize in niche products in the Amazon market.
Other channels more related to online businesses have more digital affiliates. Think for example of an SEO or WordPress channel. Here it will be easy to find affiliates for virtually any service we can recommend; from hosting to SEO analytics tools to link shorteners.
One way to find affiliates is by doing a search for the service or company we have in mind plus the term “affiliate” and you will see that many of the online companies (especially in the technology sector) have an affiliate system.
6.- Earn money with promoted videos
This is a method that has always been there since the beginning of the internet but has taken on the special force in recent years, particularly on Instagram, but also on platforms like Youtube.
Normally, videos with sponsored content warn us about it, either in the description or in the video content itself.
Depending on the niche of the channel and the number of subscribers and their engagement, quite large numbers can be achieved with this method. Obviously, if we are a small channel with a non-commercial niche, we cannot expect to make a lot of money with a promotion like this.
This method is not bad but I see it more as a way to supplement an income that ideally should come from one of the other methods already explained. However, there may be specific channels that due to their style and theme can create many such videos and make good money each month.
7.- Licensing video for mass media
Imagine you’ve got a viral video. Then other major media outlets may be interested in buying the right to use it on their own channels, which can range from Facebook pages to the television itself on a channel owned by the group.
The agency offers a percentage to the creator of the video of the return they will get from it. This percentage will vary depending on the agency and the video itself. Sometimes you can get good business from this.
Anyway, here it is important to see in what terms we give the right to reproduce our video: “read the fine print” if you do not want to find surprises.
What are the risks of having your business on Youtube?
Everything has its risk, and YouTube was not going to be less.
On the one hand, it gives you impressive advantages, since being able to upload and save your videos in its database is a brutal service that would cost you dearly if you wanted to do it on your own. But the most important thing is that Youtube acts as an aggregator and search engine for videos, being the second most used search engine in the world after Google.
The market potential is incredible and hence its popularity, but the problem remains in the fact that being the Youtube platform we will be subject to your house rules. That is to say that it is as if we had the business in a “Youtube rental”, and that it can decide when we have to leave the premises if it feels like it. The bad thing is that there are no other viable places to compete with it, so you can be out of business overnight.
But why would they close or remove the channel?
Well, for several reasons, since as you well know apart from the controversial content there is also the old trick of using forbidden content or copying that of others, and all those things will be harshly punished by Youtube.
Sometimes, you may be blocked from the channel for reasons that you feel are not fair, but we are in a rather complex model when it comes to determining whether the channel is using illegal tactics.
My advice is that if you’re going to create a channel, try it:
-Do not use other people’s content without permission or at least mention and link in the description
-Don’t use premium music without permission
-Do not copy to monetize
-Not to use controversial content that affects racial, gender, and sensitive issues. I know, I wish there was total freedom of expression, but the rules of the Youtube game are what they are.
-In general, trying to stay away from politics.
Normally, for most channels, there will be no problems, whether it be technology, learning, fitness, games, or whatever comes to mind.
Tips for making money on Youtube
I’m going to end with a series of interesting tips to try to make money on this platform that is used by over 2 billion users and over 30 million channels, not being far from Facebook as the place where people spend more time online.
1.-Creating original content: I don’t think I need to explain it too much, but as with any other creative activity, don’t expect to get very far if your videos are just another one of the bunch without contributing anything original.
2.-Use the kind of video that works very well to get valuable organic visits, like tutorials, reviews, or courses. People are always looking for ways to solve problems and the modern technological world is full of them.
3.-Publish frequently. Just like blogging, if you don’t publish often or consistently, people lose interest much faster. It’s not a question of publishing every day but regularly. The best way to do this is to have a calendar or a discipline of your own.
4.-Relate to your target audience. Another star tip of the online world, especially if we want to build authority and the possibility of selling our product or services in the future. Answer as much as you can the questions and doubts of your followers.
5.-Kindly ask people to subscribe to your channel. You may have seen these hundreds of times on other youtubers who always ask you to subscribe to the channel when the video ends (or before) if you liked what you saw. This is for one reason: because it works to get people to subscribe more, and the more subscribers, the more important our channel becomes.
6.-Collaborate with other youtubers. This has always been a strategy that worked well in the world of blogging and on Youtube it is no different. With these collaborations, you can open unexpected doors.