The idea of making millions off of videos the way YouTubers like PewDiePie famously have certainly seems like a pseudo-new-American Dream. And while not all of us will reach internet stardom with our videos, it might be worth looking into how you could make a few dimes from the popular platform. So, how do you make money from YouTube, and what will you need?
Have you ever watched a YouTube star’s video and thought, I could’ve done that? Me neither. Out of all the influencer platforms, YouTube strikes me as the most intimidating. But it can also be the most lucrative, with top YouTubers earning well into the six figures from advertising revenue alone. And this pie is only getting expanding: YouTube recently reported that the number of users earning over $100,000 on the platform has increased by more than 40 percent annually; currently, 75 percent more channels have surpassed a million subscribers versus last year.
“But don’t be fooled into thinking that improving your watch time is as simple as creating longer videos. A 30-second video that people watch from beginning to end will rank better than a 10-minute video that only gets watched for a couple of minutes. In the end, the best way to boost watch time is to produce videos you audience wants to watch.” – Ric Mazereeuw, How Does the youTube Algorithm Work? A Guide to Getting More Views, Hootsuite; Twitter: @hootsuite
Facebook and Twitter could pose new challenges to YouTube, because those social networks are creating their own video services. “If YouTube wants to move towards strong profitability, or to be profitable, they are gong to have to take that advertising and make it part of any actual programming,” Bajarin said. “And one way to have control over all that is to create their own content.”
For other YouTube creators, ad dollars only go so far, and a significant portion of revenue comes from sponsorships and “affiliate marketing” (when brands offer a commission on any sales or traffic that the creator’s content drives). Affiliates function pretty seamlessly through YouTube; anyone can include links to featured products in their video’s caption, and when audience members click through and buy them, that YouTube channel gets a small kickback. Many YouTubers prefer Amazon’s affiliate program, “Amazon associates,” although there are plenty more to choose from.
After you upload your channel icon and art, add a channel description, a company email, and links to your company website and other social platforms in the About section. Your description should provide more information on your company and explain what type of video content you plan on sharing. Search engines look at your description when determining how to rank your profile so incorporate relevant keywords in your overview. We’ll talk more about how to optimize your YouTube channel description below.