You may well have started your YouTube channel for a bit of fun or to showcase your unique talents. But, if your passion turns into other people’s pleasure, earning revenue from your YouTube channel can be a lucrative as well as an enjoyable exercise.
As the popularity of YouTube has grown, the ability for people to earn money has increased exponentially. Some of today’s YouTube stars are the new wave of celebrities with advertising revenue paid in the millions of dollars.
Not everybody can be a million-dollar YouTuber, but once you have set up your YouTube channel, created a bank of content and started to build your subscriptions and views, monetizing your channel is relatively easy. So let’s look closer on how to put ads on your YouTube channel to earn revenue.
In January 2018, YouTube changed the guidelines on what channels can earn revenue from advertising
To combat swathes a fake and spam accounts, YouTube decided to set some minimum parameters for the size and scale of your YouTube channel before they will pay advertising revenue. As of January 2018, your channel will need to have had a minimum of 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and have more than 1,000 subscribers.
Although this may seem frustrating for people just starting out, YouTube argues that it brings more credibility to the platform and ensures the quality of channel content, which encourages people to improve their channel offering. It also sets the bar high enough for YouTube to remove spam, but not too high that it would discourage genuine channel creators to launch their idea on the platform.
How to put ads on your YouTube channel is a simple process that starts with applying for the YouTube Partner Program and monetizing the content that you have created.
There are two stages to monetizing your YouTube channel: applying for the YouTube Partner Program and creating a Google AdSense account
To do this you login to your YouTube channel and in the top corner under the creator studio icon select “monetization,” click “enable” and then follow the instructions to the partner program. The partner program has a simple application process as long as your channel content complies to the YouTube Partner Program community guidelines.
Community guidelines are there to protect the millions of YouTube users from offensive and inappropriate content. It is essential that your channel complies with all of the guidelines (details you can find on the YouTube creator section of the website).
Mostly it looks to restrict things like offensive content, violent or graphic content, nudity, sexual exploitation and it controls other people’s copyright and spam metadata. YouTube want to be sure that your channel content is original and of good quality before it allows you to have advertising placed against it. It’s also important to ensure you have the rights, on a global basis, to upload all components of your video, and this includes any audio you may have added from third-party sources. Assuming everything is in order and your channel complies with the partner program threshold, then being accepted into the partner program is usually authorized in just a few days.
Applying for a Google AdSense account is also fairly straightforward; you will need to have imported your details and verified your address to withdraw any funds. Once you have been approved, you need to link your Google AdSense account to your YouTube channel, and you are ready to set monetization preferences.
Setting monetization preferences allows you to choose what type of adverts you want to run on your YouTube channel.
AdSense allows you to see all the available types of adverts you can run on your channel and the amount of money you will receive for them. Once you’ve selected the kind of adverts, you want to run for each piece of content, you will start to earn money immediately.
It’s important to spend time deciding which content will be monetized by which type of ad available. This gives you control over how the ads appear to your subscribers, while balancing the amount of revenue you can expect to make. For example, skippable ads do not pay the same monetization rate as a non-skippable ad but are more acceptable to the viewer experience.
There are essentially five different formats of advertising available on YouTube
Display ads work similar to any of the standard banner advertising that you would typically see on Google.
Overlay ads will be displayed actually over the video viewing area of your content which makes them more viewable but will interrupt the viewer’s experience.
Sponsored cards operate almost like a picture in picture; just like overlays they interrupt the viewer’s experience but are more engaging for an advertiser.
Skippable video ads
Skippable video ads will play before your content can be watched by the viewer. Usually you have to watch it for 5 seconds or more before you can skip to the content. These are more inconvenient for the viewer but pay a higher fee in ad revenue.
Non-skippable advertisements must be viewed in full before viewers can watch the content. These pay the highest but are the most annoying for your viewer. Each one has its pros and cons for a consumer and a revenue model to match. It is important to get the correct balance between viewer experience and revenue generation otherwise you will limit your subscriber growth.
The YouTube algorithm for determining how a viewer consumes adverts is very complicated but takes into consideration things such as the amount of time the viewer last served an advert, which should be roughly every 7 minutes; the viewer’s tolerance of watching an ad without closing the window; and the relevancy of the content to the advert to name a few. Once you have worked out the correct mix of adverts for your channel, everything happens automatically, leaving you free to focus on generating more quality content.
Remember, advertising works by serving it to as many people as possible, so the most important role you can undertake to maximize your ad revenue is to increase your subscriptions and in turn content views. It’s worth bearing in mind that the majority of people earning considerable sums of money from YouTube advertising did not start out thinking they were going to make a ton of money from advertising. They started with a content strategy for their channel and focused on doing whatever it is that they do, as best as they can.
We hope this brief synopsis will help you get started on monetizing your YouTube channel, and the revenue starts flowing in.