The question I get asked most often is how we actually make money on YouTube, its often very difficult for people to wrap their minds around how YouTube creators actually make a profit! Here are a few ways that allow you to profit from the YouTube platform
1. As a YouTube Partner with Ad Revenue
If you're familiar with watching YouTube videos, you know that often there is an advertisement that plays immediately before a video is played. There are also at times advertisements during the video, either commercial style ads or pop up links, and sometimes there are even ads at the end of a video. As these advertisements are watched the channel then makes a profit. Usually the profit per view is very low, we're talking pennies! This is why a high volume of views is crucial to making a profit on YouTube.
Also, similarly to traditional cable, YouTube familiarizes itself with the demographic of the people watching a specific channel and chooses ads geared towards that demographic. And YouTube tracks each viewers profile and demographic, as well as behaviour on YouTube (and internet over all as YouTube is owned by Google) and chooses to show not only ads but videos that YouTube feels will most likely be enjoyed by that particular profile.
The rates you are paid for the advertisements that run on your channel are also determined by demographic, as some locations and demographics are found to be more valuable than others. For example, ad rates would be higher for a female aged 30-40 in the United States than let's say a 70-80 year old in Nigeria. This is due to the purchasing power of the demographic, and how likely they are to purchase the items they view in the advertisement.
Ad a YouTube partner you do have to abide by the YouTube Community guidelines, if YouTube deems your content not suitable for advertisers there is little you can do to change that. So abiding by the platform guidelines will allow you to stay in good standing.
2. Work with Brands as an Influencer or Affiliate
YouTube can be a great avenue for Influencers or Affiliates, which is basically partnering with brands to promote their content. This has so many different variations, from getting paid per promotion to getting commissions for sales. This is also a great option for those who already have a following on other social media platforms.
Influencer marketing is on the rise, and considering most people are moving away from watching traditional cable it is a fantastic opportunity! You do have to stay away from turning your channel into shopping network as that will deter viewers. But becoming a trusted person in a specific niche, or providing value to your viewers will help drive your credibility.
3. Use YouTube to Sell Products or Merchandise
You can use YouTube to sell products or merchandise! If you already have a business YouTube can be the next avenue to interact with your audience. For example you can create videos of behind the scenes at your business, or create videos on how to use your products in a tutorial type fashion. The possibilities are endless, but remember, don't sell but instead focus on providing value and building relationships with potential customers.
When using this option, but may be best not to have these videos monetized as you wouldn't want to have a competitors or similar product to be features on the advertisement, especially since YouTube algorithms will place similar ads with what your demographic is currently interested in.
4. Crowdfund Your Next Endeavour
YouTube can be a great way to give your fans a sneak peek or trailer into an upcoming project as you are Crowdfunding. Sometimes Crowdfunding is used to save up for equipment or to cover production or actor costs. YouTube can help you reach a broader audience as you try and generate excitement for your upcoming endeavour.
5. Fan Funding Support Through Your Audience
We were living a pretty above average life, I was a stay at home mom to two amazing kids and my husband worked as a driller; which brought in a very good salary but at a pretty big sacrifice. Where we lived in Alberta, Canada it was pretty normal to have a spouse working up North on the oil rigs. It was a sacrifice many families made to be able to afford a nice lifestyle. But his being gone for weeks at a time was taking a significant toll on our kids, they started to get really upset that daddy was going away.
My educational and work background was Business and Marketing, and as much as I enjoyed being a stay at home mom, I had started to become a bit antsy. I wanted to do a bit more, to use my creativity and have a bit of cash to show for it. I did some major soul searching and after a ton of research and some trial and error I decided to start a YouTube channel around my sons interest in Thomas the train.
I started with a basic little camcorder we had at home and my 7 year old MacBook. I taught myself the basics of YouTube, iMovie editing, and designing thumbnails. Our first few videos were pretty bad! But I stuck with it even though everyone around me thought it was pretty ridiculous. And soon enough the money started to trickle in, and then about 6 months after I had started I had a $3,ooo month! But I was exhausted! Success always comes with a price tag, on top of being a stay at home mom, who was solo parenting for weeks at a time, I was staying up till 1-2am every day to get the editing done for our video. I was aggressively trying to post a video every single day, and it was a lot of work!
My husband was also suffering from pretty bad burnout from work, plus he was really struggling with being away from the kids. It had worn him down so much, he was somewhat of an emotional mess. Since our little YouTube channel was slowly bringing in a small income, we had agreed to make a real go at it. Just try and grow our channel as much as possible to see if we can actually make a living out of it. My husband took some video editing and film courses, and he slowly started to take over many of the tasks so that my workload was easier to manage. We started working together to make our channel grow.
It took months of ups and downs, of learning as we go and figuring out what works. Finally a few months later we had reached 20,000 subscribers and Fisher Price contacted us to offer us some free Thomas and Friends toys in exchange for a video review. We were ecstatic! This was a defining moment that made us feel like we were on the right track, it helped fuel our fire to keep going.
This is when we realized that yes this is a business we can do as a family, this is the solution we had been looking for to keep our family together. It was our first step to building the dream life we keep dreaming of! We still have a ton to learn, and a ton of growing to do but we are so excited to be on this amazing journey!
Have you started a journey that everyone seems to think is a little bit crazy? Or do you dream of a life that does not match up to the "American Dream?" I would love to hear from other dreamers and doers like us, who have decided to chase happiness over conventional living!
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