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Making an Income on YouTube (How it Works)

YouTube content monetization is a real thing that people can use to earn some extra cash while doing something they enjoy. Sound too good to be true? Well, believe it or not, there is a way that you, just like anybody else, can use YouTube as a source of income, and here’s how to do that!

Ads are the primary way most YouTube creators make their money. This happens through the YouTube Partnership Program (YPP). A creator must become eligible for this program by having enough views and over 1,000 subscribers. Creators can also make income through sponsorships and subscriptions.

It will take some work and effort on your part to arrive at the point where you can make a steady stream of income just by cranking out YouTube content. But it’s not impossible! Here are a few tips on getting started with ads as well as a few other ways you can earn money through YouTube.

Requirements for YPP

Becoming eligible for the YouTube Partnership Program (YPP) is generally how people begin to earn an income from YouTube. However, before that can even be a possibility, you have to meet a couple of requirements with your channel. Here’s what you need to do.

First, you have to have a minimum of 4,000 public watch hours. These watch hours must all be within the last 12 months or else they won’t be considered valid. The thing about making money from ads is that views are kind of a big deal. Advertisers choose certain videos because they know a lot of people are going to see the advertising for their products. If you don’t have enough views, you won’t be eligible for a YPP partnership.

Next, you need to have over 1,000 subscribers for the same reason as above. It’s fine if you have a few videos that have gotten a lot of views, but YouTube wants to make sure that your channel is going to get a lot of traffic consistently. Otherwise, it’s not going to be worth it for any of the advertisers out there.

You also need to be a strict follower of all YouTube’s monetization policies. If you act out against these policies or fail to comply with them in any way, it is not likely that you will become eligible for YPP. You could even get yourself in trouble for any kind of serious infractions.

Similarly, following the YouTube community guidelines is important. This means carefully posting non-offensive content to your channel, behaving appropriately in your videos, etc. If you have any “strikes” on your channel for not following the community guidelines, the likelihood of you being able to sign up for YPP is going to go down pretty fast.

As long as you can meet each of these guidelines, there is nothing that should stop you from being eligible to apply for YPP. However, the application process is certainly a process in and of itself. Let’s take a look at what you’ll have to do here. It’ll be worth it if you’re thorough!

If you apply and are accepted, that’s when your videos will start making money. According to the One Hour Professor, YouTubers make:

-The actual rates paid by advertisers vary, but they typically range between $0.10 and $0.30 per view and average out at about $0.18 per view.

-YouTube pays out 68% of AdSense revenue to its content creators.

-The average YouTube channel receives around $18 for every 1000 ad views. This works out to about 3 to 5 dollars per 1000 video views.


In the end, on average, YouTube pays content creators about $0.003-$0.005 per view. That may not seem like much, but it will certainly add up over time if your channel really takes off!

Applying for YPP

To be able to apply for YPP, you will have to have had a channel all set up and ready to go. The application process will essentially take you through the steps and guidelines discussed above. Your account will be taken under review to check and see if you have any sort of community guideline strikes or any kind of action against the monetization policies.

Likewise, your account will be reviewed to determine whether you have garnered enough viewing hours and subscribers. As long as you have paid close attention to what was listed earlier, you won’t have any problems. Make sure your channel gets a lot of activity and those viewing hours won’t be hard to build up.

On that note, you should also be careful not to let your own activity on the channel slow down. If you expect to get enough views and enough subscribers, you’re going to have to be constantly cranking out new videos as often as possible. This will ensure that people continue to watch and that YouTube will deem your channel worthy of partnership.

In addition to the reviews, you will also need to turn on 2-step verification for your Google accounts as well as set up your AdSense account. 2-step verification is just a security measure to protect your account from data breaches and hackers. AdSense is simply an account that will allow ads to be displayed on your channel/account.

Once your account has met all the guidelines outlined earlier, you will be ready to apply! To apply, you’ll need to go to YouTube and make sure that you’re signed in. Click on your profile picture. This will drop down a list of options, one of which is the YouTube Studio. Click on and enter the YouTube Studio.

Here, you’ll be able to see your channel analysis which is what will tell you whether or not your account has met the requirements. If you’ll look at the sidebar and scroll down to the bottom, there will be a monetization button. Click into that and then click on the button at the bottom that says “Notify Me When I’m Eligible”.

As soon as that email comes in, you’ll see an option that says “Start” for signing the terms card. Once you have done that, it will be marked with a green checkmark. Now your application is complete! It’ll take a little while for your application to be completely reviewed and approved, but you can check your status anytime in the YouTube Studio.

If you get accepted, the website will help you know how to proceed. If you are rejected from the YPP, it will be because they found a few discrepancies on your account. But don’t lose hope! Following 30 days of your official rejection, you will have the opportunity to apply for YPP again. Don’t give up. Keep on applying and improving your channel and its content until you meet your goal.

Different Ways to Make Money on YouTube

Now you know the basic process for getting ready to make an income on YouTube. However, believe it or not, ads are not the only way you can create income on YouTube. It’s certainly not a bad starting place, but if you’d prefer to try something else, there are options out there for you. Here are a few that you should consider trying:


Yes, we’ve already talked about ads, but let’s quickly address a couple of things that not everybody knows. This is where most people start, and that’s okay because pretty much anyone can be eligible. However, those who have channels that don’t get frequent traffic might have a more difficult time creating income off ads.

Advertisers are going to be looking for channels and videos that are constantly getting views and plenty of traffic. If you have a smaller channel that still generates views but not enough to satisfy them, ads may not be the best way to earn income anyway. So, here are a few alternatives you can try.

Sponsorships and Memberships

So, what’s the difference between a sponsorship and a membership? Memberships are when people use Patreon or another site that allows fans/subscribers the opportunity to sign up and pay a few dollars per month to support the influencers they like and follow. It may take some time to build the fanbase quite how you like it, but if you have one that is large enough, your income from Patreon could be pretty large.

The membership option is a pretty popular one among influencers and anybody who is working on projects constantly. If you consistently have new content to crank out and can show off new projects, new ideas, and even behind-the-scenes content, Patreon is a wonderful way to showcase that and gain support.

Now let’s talk about sponsorships. Sponsorships are different from memberships in that both parties are giving something to the other. In a membership, you’re providing content and your fans are essentially paying you for it. If you can find a company to sponsor you, you’ll have to showcase their product in return.

If you are an influencer, showcasing products is not hard at all. People like you and your content enough that they will be willing to try pretty much anything you recommend. If you have a smaller channel, you might consider getting sponsors that have products similar or relevant to the type of content you’re putting out. For example, if you have a channel where you make videos about running, you might showcase a pair of running shoes or a good water bottle.


Finally, we come to products and merch! Again, this is popular and easier mostly for influencers, but you can give things away like discount codes as well. Selling physical products is a good way to bond with your audience and keep them interested in your content. You can sell stickers, keychains, t-shirts, and more. You can always be creative when it comes to merch!

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