How to Make Money with a YouTube Channel

How to Make Money with a YouTube Channel
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YouTube has revolutionized the way we watch and consume video content, shifting the focus away from big media broadcast corporations. User-generated content has produced some of today’s new celebrity stars, in categories that would never have been considered by network television executives.

It has given anybody the opportunity to create and promote themselves to the wider world, mainly focusing on targeted niche interests and unique personalities. But, how do you make money with a YouTube channel? This article will look at some top tips to help you focus your YouTube channel towards profitability.

The Majority of YouTube Mega-Earners Didn’t Start With the Goal of Making Money

They had a creative idea that they wanted to share with the world. This is the fundamental idea you need to understand before learning how to make money with a YouTube channel. Successful YouTubers have a clear and specific content strategy that they are broadcasting through their channel. The content that they generate accurately represents the channel identity and is a bullseye hit to the audience demographics.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the number of subscribers that your channel has and the amount of revenue that you earn. However, content is king, and you only get subscribers to your channel if your content is worth consuming on a consistent and regular basis.

The more you understand what your audience likes, the more you can focus your future content to engage this audience and build your market share. Having a large subscriber base is not the only thing that you need to consider making money on YouTube, but it is a big help.

If you look at some of the top earners on YouTube, they certainly do all have large subscriber bases, for example, PewDiePie averages around 60 million subscribers with annual revenue around $15million, whereas RyansToyReview generates $11 million form only 10 million subscribers. This is where user engagement plays a key role and again this is determined by content quality.

Obviously, this is the top of the scale, and it is still possible for starter channels and smaller YouTube channels to make money from YouTube, so let’s look at some of the critical things you need to consider maximizing you’re earning potential.

Understanding Your Audience and Demographics

This is the key to maximizing everything you do with regards to your YouTube channel. It will help you focus on how you generate your channel content, ensuring a high engagement rate, and it will enable you to Formulate a commercial strategy when targeting other revenue sources, such as advertising sponsorship and product placement.  The key things you will need to understand using YouTube Analytics are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Geographic location
  • Average viewing time
  • Detailed segmentation of the data

Understanding the granular detail of your subscribers’ viewing habits will allow you to effectively target the correct advertisers and sponsors, as well as undertake a variety of other commercially generating tasks. The key to making money on YouTube is having multiple revenue opportunities. Once you understand who your audience is and how they behave, there are many ways which you can make money on YouTube.

Monetize Your Channel Content With AdSense

Your first port of call will be to look at monetizing your video content. We have already written some detailed explanation on how to do this in a previous article, but primarily to monetize your channel’s ad revenue you need to be accepted by the YouTube Partner Program, which is activated in the creator studio section of your YouTube account.

There are some criteria minimums in place here, which are 4,000 hours of video view and 1,000 subscribers. You also need to set up an AdSense account to manage the type of adverts that you allow to be broadcast around your content, and this will determine the amount of revenue you can make.  Setting up ad revenue is simple and can create a significant passive income for your channel content.

Create a YouTube Store and Sell Product

Using YouTube to sell product seems like a simple idea, but critically it allows you to engage directly with your channel subscribers and uses their existing loyalty and engagement to leverage revenue via a product sale. It’s effectively advertising to your own captive audience, where you can explain and promote products that you believe in and that follow with your set of channel values.

If you have a channel that is dedicated to vegan cookery, and people like the style and tone of your niche channel, it follows that they would also buy into vegan-related products that are sold by you. Setting up your transactional store is now really simple to do with platforms such as Shopify and Squarespace and these can be powered using video from your YouTube channel.

Use Fan Funding and Donation Websites

Fan funding is a growth area for content creators to get paid and works on the simple premise that viewers consuming your content will leave a donation or sign up for a subscription model. This is a transparent method of payment; if people like what you do they will pay for it, if they don’t, then they won’t. Although YouTube fan funding functionality has morphed into a new “super chat” functionality where channel subscribers pay a microtransaction to have their message featured. Other platforms such as Patreon and Tippee can be linked to your YouTube channel, providing your YouTube channel qualifies for the partner program.


Get sponsorship by working with brands as an affiliate. When starting out, your channel can earn revenue by featuring affiliate links and affiliate codes within your content.  These give your users special discounts on products and services which you will also receive a commission on from the sale. This is an excellent way to get started when your channel is small, and you’re looking to get some income before being accepted to the YouTube Partner Program.

Become a Product Influencer

Once your channel has started to grow and develop, and you have a more substantial subscriber base that consumes your content on a regular basis, a significant way to earn an income is through influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a growth area as brands are looking to piggyback onto channels that have a dedicated audience and high engagement. Understanding who your audience is, will allow you to strike a deal with a symbiotic brand partner and charge them for committing channel time to advertise or make endorsements.

The key to success in this area is authenticity. You need to select products that you genuinely believe in, have a passion for and that fit the audience demographic of your channel.  There are many different influencer platforms that you can use to kick-start this area of revenue such as Famebit, Grapevine and Crowdtap.

These are some great strategies to help get you to make money on YouTube. Remember, generating quality content is the key to success, so focusing on creating engaging and original videos should be your focus to grow your channel and turn increasing your revenue.

Good Luck!

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