How to make money on YouTube
Remember that viral YouTube video you chuckled at over breakfast this morning? That video could have earned the creator more than £100,000. Here's how!We're not kidding when we say you can earn serious money from YouTube videos. And it might just be the most enjoyable money-making trick out there.
Sadly, it isn't as easy as clapping your fingers and the money appearing in your bank account like magic, but making money out of YouTube videos is still a relatively simple concept.
In an effort to help you earn some dollar, we've put together this step-by-step guide. You can thank us later by sending us some of your earnings, maybe? Worth a try!
How to earn money from YouTube videos
Straight in there with the killer question, eh – you shrewd lot. Well, the answer is a bit of a mixed bag, if we're honest.
While you might get lucky in waking up to find your video has gone viral, this is very unlikely. That said, if you have managed to catch something funny on film, by all means give it a shot.
You're much more likely to build up revenue by getting an audience through regular content publishing, whether you're making vlogs, cat videos or just talking about custard creams.You might remember the tale of 17 year old Fred Pye – he hit the news a few years ago when he revealed he'd earned £24,000 a year by making walk-throughs for Grand Theft Auto.
But as we said, it isn't all a fruitful walk in the park. Livie Rose, a beauty blogger from Brighton says her pay fluctuates from thousands one month to £50 the next, and some people only report earning a few pounds here and there.
How much can you realistically expect to make?
As a benchmark, you can expect to make around $1.50/1000 views. This means that one million views = $1500… or around £880 to us British folk.
However, keep in mind that a lot of the channels/vloggers sign advertising contracts with certain companies or even promote their own merchandise, which can earn them even more on top of their views alone.
It's hard to put a total on this but the possibilities are endless depending on what your videos are about – much like making cash as a blogger, it really counts on you having an interesting niche!
Your first port of call when it comes to cashing out on this stuff is Google AdSense – a nifty little programme that allows you to monetise (we love that word) your website or videos with adverts.
After you've signed up with the beast that is YouTube and built a decent amount of followers/views, you'll receive an email asking if you want to monetise your videos (yes please!). You'll then be able to select your best videos to make money from.
The basic gist of this is that companies pay Google to advertise on your videos, and you'll get a cut of the profit.
Just to be clear, you can't monetise any videos with copyrighted material in them. So no nicking other people's stuff y'hear?
Depending on what you're planning to capture on film, you'll need to get the right set-up sorted from the beginning.
There's no point recording the most hilarious videos ever seen on your iPhone – a decent set-up goes a long way towards showing that you're serious and having people respect your videos.
- A decent camera – Quality is important and you'll need to record your videos in full 1080p HD.
- Video editing software – Both PCs and Macs have pretty decent video editing software (Movie maker & iMovie) but Adobe Premier is a decent option for advanced users (or grab a free alternative).
- Sound recording equipment – Most cameras come with a microphone, but if you're looking for top sound quality you might need to purchase a decent microphone.
- Lighting – Splashing out on lighting isn't essential, but some top YouTubers swear by it. Time to get creative with every lamp in the house!
- A decent backdrop – If you're filming a vlog, you might want to set up a decent backdrop. You can stick with a plain colour or jazz it up a bit with a collection of posters for example (although plain normally works a bit better).
To put it simply – the way this works is you get popular then you get paid. You can't sign up to monetise videos that no one has watched yet.
Annoying as this is, it makes sense really – who wants to pay to advertise on a billboard down a back alley that no one walks past? Yet while building up a decent audience might seem daunting, there are some easy tips that might help you get there sooner:
- Choose your niche: Take some time to think about what you can do well and whether you think people would be interested in it. One of the most popular genres on Youtube is gaming walk-throughs, but it's pretty competitive. Other genres that work well are: product reviews, comedy, beauty vlogs, and general ‘how to' guides.
- Choose a good username: Sounds trivial, but trust us, it isn't. You need to make your username memorable and steer clear from numbers and random characters. Yes, that means Xxx_ponysrock92_xxX is a no go. Sorry.
- Catchy, relevant titles: Make your title both catchy and relevant. That way people will remember it, and more people will stumble across it if they're searching for something similar.
- Upload content regularly: You won't build an audience if you not posting stuff for people to watch! Remember, the longer you keep that audience locked in, the more monies you get.
- Be original: There's nothing wrong with tried-and-tested formats such as reviews or cat videos, but you have to make sure you stand out from the crowd. This is where finding your niche comes in handy – go forth and be different, kids!
- Show you love your content: You need to be creating videos about something you love. Having a passion for your videos will make an affect on how they're received – if you seem interested, chances are your viewers will be too. If you don't love what you're doing you'll soon get bored and the videos will start to reflect that. Passion comes first, and the money comes second!
Always make sure to follow the rules too; no inappropriate content, copyright or spamming. Play nice and you'll be (earning) gold.
If you've built up a pretty sizeable vid collection and have a dedicated audience, there's one other avenue to explore aside from Google Adsense and YouTube itself.
Patreon is a great little web tool that allows your fans to sign up and donate money directly each time you post something new.
The key to this is building up an audience that really appreciates what you post – if they like what you do, the chances are they can be persuaded to spare a few bob each time you upload.
Also, as mentioned above, you can approach companies to talk about advertising or at the very least free samples and products for you to review/talk about.
You might even want to branch out into creating your own merchandise if/once you make a name for yourself.
Some of the big shots on here are earning about three thousand dollars every time they post a new video. Yes, you read that right.
Have you decided to give YouTube video-ing a crack? We'd love to see your efforts and hear how it went! Make sure to hit us up in the comments below.
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