The YouTube Partner Program is one of the easiest and most lucrative ways for video creators to begin earning revenue. Google takes 45% of all advertising revenue which still leaves YouTuber’s with some of the most competitive advertising rates in the industry.
While YouTube has become more stringent on their acceptance policies, joining the YouTube Partner Program is relatively easy for those who upload good-quality videos frequently.
Here we’ll be taking you through a look at how to become a YouTube Partner. We’ll explain the basic quality guidelines, the approval process, and show you exactly how you can begin earning from a partnership with the largest video sharing site online.
Applying to the YouTube Partner Program
Before you can apply to join the YouTube Partner Program, you first need to fulfil certain minimum criteria. You need:
- Over 4,000 watch hours in the last year
- Over 1,000 subscribers
- Content in accordance with the YouTube Partner Program policies
- An AdSense account
If you are already an active AdSense account holder and are launching your YouTube channel as a subsidiary to your website or online business then feel free to link your existing account. New YouTubers should not, however, link a new account to their profile as this will likely result in monetization being disable.
Instead, visit your creator studio and enable monetization under the ‘Status and features’ of your channel and then follow the prompts. An AdSense account will be created automatically for your new YouTube Partner Program application.
As long as you fit the minimum approval criteria, your website will then be reviewed. You’ll be notified via email and once approved, you can begin monetizing your videos immediately.
YouTube Partner Program Policies
Videos need to comply with the YouTube Community Guidelines. Content needs to be suitable to all audiences. All of the following content is in violation of the guidelines and will be removed from YouTube. Here’s what is in violation:
- Videos containing sexual content or nudity
- Harmful and dangerous videos
- Videos exhibiting hate or promoting hateful content
- Violent content
- Videos which depict violence and other disturbing scenes graphically
- Videos posted for the intention of harassment and cyberbullying
- Spam videos including scams and other forms of misleading content
- Video threats
- Videos which infringe on copyright concerns
- Videos which pose to be an invasion of privacy, broadcasting another without their permission
- Content which impersonates another
- Content which violates child safety
If your content is in mild violation of any of the content guidelines, then your channel can receive a strike in addition to having the video removed. Repeated strikes will eventually result in suspension from the YouTube Partner Program and even total termination of the channel itself.
Commercial Use Rights
All videos uploaded to be used as a part of the YouTube Partner program need to comply with commercial use rights. You need to own the rights to the content including all audio and video elements used.
If you incorporate any third-party content then you need to ensure that you comply with the rights granted by your license. Certain third-party content is allowed with significant commentary provided showing that your video is of educational value or carries an editorialized statement.
Falling Below the Threshold
The watch hour/subscriber threshold for your channel needs to be maintained for monetization to stay active. YouTube retains the right to remove monetization for any channel which has fallen below the minimum threshold stipulated. Monetization is normally only disabled for YouTuber’s who have remained inactive for a full six months.
Making Sure Your Content is Suited to Advertisers
Even though certain types of content are allowed to be a part of the YouTube Partner Program, they do discourage advertisers. Content creators need to isolate which style of video will resonate best with the audience which they want to target while keeping videos mainstream enough to suit a broad range of advertisers.
It is best to avoid content which includes sensitive social issues, tragedy, and conflict, and sensational videos which creates ‘shock’ value due to crude, overdramatized or gross content.
Additionally, certain advertisers also avoid content featuring profanity and an excessive amount of slang. Sexually suggestive content is typically also avoided. If you must include profanity, keep it to a minimum or consider bleeping out the curse words.
You need to think about the mix of your content as an advertiser would in order to shape a video which appeals to the most lucrative specific demographic within your potential audience.
Pick the Right Thumbnails
A shocking graphic thumbnail is not something that many brands would be comfortable associating themselves with. Always select accurate thumbnails which depict the content to be expected in your video. You don’t want sexually suggestive, graphic or sensational/shocking thumbnails. Always try to pick an image which appeals to the broadest audience.
Don’t overlook the importance of metadata when uploading videos. Advertisers can only choose to target videos which have been titled, described and tagged properly. Don’t shove in irrelevant keywords and stay away from terms that are profane, controversial or sexual by nature.
Even if you are using these words and phrases in jest, you don’t want to deter an advertiser and have them exclude you from their campaign based one or two rude keywords you put in to try to be funny.
The Future for Dedicated YouTubers
Once you have reached the minimum threshold for the YouTube Partner Program, only then can you begin optimizing your videos according to their analytics.
Google supplies a rich selection of search data to help you determine what type of videos are needed by the advertisers you’ll be drawing. Every audience has a value and the quality of your content alongside the engagement and loyalty of your subscribers all affect how much you’ll earn.
Established YouTuber’s can even look forward to the prospect of exclusive partnerships with big brands, while all of us can find value in the earnings which regular uploading brings to dedicated YouTubers.