We are growing... LearnWorlds announces $32M in Growth Funding from Insight Partners! Read more...
13 MIN READ

How to Make Money on YouTube: 7 Ways to Monetize for 2021

Want to learn how to make money on YouTube? Then, you have come to the right place.

In this article we will present a list with the ways to achieve YouTube monetization. It’s no secret that in order to get paid on YouTube, you need to create amazing videos that will get you lots of subscribers.

Through those subscribers who are watching your videos, you receive views that allow you to grow your YouTube channel over time, pushing your monetization rates up.

However, to do this you first need to join the YouTube partner program (YPP), which by the way comes with a few requirements…

Still, there are more ways to make money on YouTube, we will explore a few of the most profitable here!

Create a beautiful online school without any technical skills.

Start free trial

Way #1: Become a YouTube Partner by Joining YouTube’s Partner Program

Becoming a YouTube partner comes with some minimum eligibility requirements and rules you need to comply with. As outlined by YouTube Support, these are the following:

The key to attracting subscribers and getting views – which usually takes time, is creating entertaining video content that provides real value.

Your videos need to be high-quality in order to meet the standards of today’s viewers who have become experts at distinguishing what’s good or bad, and won’t compromise with anything less that offers poor visual or audio quality. Also, the more videos you upload the more are your chances to reach the required hours of watch time. Consistency in releasing videos is also key to a healthy and growing channel.

Once you tick all of the requirements, you get access to YouTube monetization features – like getting ad payments (from ads inside your videos) and membership perks.

A green ‘$’ sign next to the videos in your Video Manager indicates that you are ready to start earning money.

As a YouTube creator, you will need to go to your profile and access YouTube Studio.

From there, click ‘Monetization’ to see your revenue options.

To turn on your monetization settings for your YouTube videos, click on a video you have uploaded, and then choose ‘monetization’ from the left menu. Go to the right part of the page and change the monetization option to ‘On’ for the specific video.

For more information on how to do this, watch this video:

While getting paid through YouTube ads is a viable option, it is best used in a combination with other monetization methods.

Way #2: Use Sponsorships

An excellent way to make money through YouTube is using sponsorships. But in order to get a sponsorship from a brand you first need to build an audience.

If you have a respectable following and you are after the big fish, you may approach popular brands within your niche who are willing to pay you, and create sponsored content for them. Such content may be sponsored product placements in your videos, where you sell short mentions or recommendations on brands that want more exposure.

In case your videos perform well, you can earn from $20 to $50 per few thousand views you get on your channel.

According to John Lincoln – digital marketing strategist and CEO of Ignite Visibility, mid-level YouTube influencers typically charge $20 per 1,000 subscribers, or $2,000 per 100,000 followers.

But whether you are counting views or subscribers, the revenue potential is huge.

priorities on influencer marketing
Study by Aqer

Sponsorships work mainly because of increasing popularity of influencer marketing and YouTube is the best platform for such campaigns. In contrast to other social media channels (see Instagram), on YouTube you are able to charge more for sponsored content simply because video is more expensive to produce.

If you are on the lookout for influencer marketplaces you can add your channel to any of the following platforms to increase your chances of getting found by brands:

Grapevine Logic: popular influencer marketing platform that you can join if you have at least 1,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel.

YouTube BrandConnect: formerly Famebit and it’s currently invite-only.

Channel Pages: offers the option to partner with other YouTubers and brands.

Izea: a network of online marketplaces that bring brands and content creators together.

As an YouTube influencer, your audience is more likely to trust you when it comes to buying decisions, and would take your product recommendations seriously. However, it is important to be transparent about it and explain your audience why you are partnering with a specific brand in the first place.

Finally, you will need to indicate when the content you are showing is paid/sponsored. View the disclosure policy here.

Way #3: Launch an Online Course

Have you ever thought about selling online courses?

Experts say that current and future trends in the e-learning industry prove that it is a field of continuous innovation. Besides, the e-learning market size is expected to grow beyond $375 billion by 2026.

Taking into account the recent developments caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, investing in elearning seems to be the most viable option that every content creator needs to consider.

Selling online courses offers a great opportunity to make money if you don’t want to use ads or solely rely on them as your main source of revenue.

Create a beautiful online school without any technical skills.

Start free trial

As a way of creating an additional money stream, online courses can work. If you have expertise in a particular subject, you can offer your knowledge to others without the need of any teaching experience.

All you need to know is creating high quality content that educates. The good news is that you are already doing this as a YouTuber. You can easily reuse your videos and add a few more to create your first online course.

To help you out, course platforms like LearnWorlds, can help you build your online school providing you with the best platform and tools that can host and deliver your learning content, manage your learners and communicate with your students.

Need proof?

Check out School of Calisthenics that uses the LearnWorlds platform, offering video tutorials and online courses to educate its students. The School of Calisthenics utilized their social media and YouTube followership to get more than 40.000 students in less than one year, without relying on YPP monetization or sponsorships:

Download the School of Calisthenics case study, and start your own free 30-day trial to sell online courses with LearnWorlds.
Apart from online courses, you can also sell other digital products like ebooks, PDFs, checklists or anything considered relevant to your subject, core product, or niche.

Way #4: Use Google AdSense

As a YouTube partner, you need to use Google AdSense to receive payments for advertising on your videos.

Google AdSense is a platform that allows businesses to buy ad space and then YouTube places their ads on videos like yours as they see fit – most probably through algorithms.

The money collected through the ads placed via AdSense, is generated on a cost-per-click or cost-per-view basis, depending on which one the advertiser prefers.

A view counts as an ad watched for 30 seconds or halfway through (whichever comes first). And a typical charge is 18 cents per view. This means that if you have 1,000 views and 10% of the viewers watched the ad, you could make about $18.

What is important to understand here is that your earning potential depends on how often the ads play on videos that offer advertiser-friendly content and how often your viewers interact with it. As you would expect, this is directly relevant to how many viewers you get.
But it also depends on the popularity of your chosen niche or subject.

A YouTube channel that talks about the following topics is easier to be monetized this way:

Choosing any of these subjects to build content for can boost your ad revenue, which is currently the most common form of revenue on YouTube.

However, you should know that the ad revenue you get from using Google Adsense is split between you – the content creator and YouTube, and falls to 55% and 45% respectively.

Receiving payments through ads is the default option, but not the only one and using it along with other methods as mentioned in this list, will help to increase your revenue at large.

Way #5: Sell Memberships

When it comes to selling memberships, one thing is for certain: they are effective.

As a YouTube partner, you can sell Patreon-like channel memberships to your subscribers, but you have to be at least 18 years of age, and have more than 30,000 subscribers.

With a channel membership, your viewers pay a monthly recurring fee – anything between $0.99 to $100, to get access to members-only incentives*, special emojis, badges, extra videos, shoutouts and other features like Super Chat which is used during live streams.

Super Chat allows viewers to add highlighted comments in your live stream pinning them there for a specific amount of time depending on how much they pay.

GIF Source: The Verge

The ‘Join’ button on a channel indicates that it is offering a membership subscription which provides exclusive content to those who choose to opt-in.

A screenshot showing a part of Mikefalzone's YouTube channel.
Mikefalzone’s YouTube channel

YouTube comes with multi-level (up to 5) memberships allowing you to organize the perks you offer and who gets them.

For example, level 1 members could win badges when they leave comments; level 2 members get to participate in live streams while level 3 members have exclusive access to more videos on your channel.

Travel vloggers Simon and Martina are offering tier-pricing memberships on three levels:

When clicking on ‘Join’ you get a message that shows the different level pricing. Navigate through all three to find out what each type of membership offers.

By offering channel memberships, you can earn a lot of money. However, you need to be aware that you get 70% of the earnings and the remaining 30% goes to YouTube.

There are more ways to offer a membership to your audience, using:

Patreon (memberships, private videos, polls etc)

IndieGoGo or Kickstarter (for one-off projects)

LearnWorlds (your own membership website)

Learn more about how to earn money through channel memberships here.

*Creator perks offered to members need to comply with YouTube’s community guidelines.

Way #6: Sell Branded Merchandise

Selling branded merchandise is another way to monetize your YouTube channel.
Any type of product can be used for merch purposes so if you are an entrepreneur with a product already in place, you are one step ahead. Most YouTubers choose to sell t-shirts that have the logo of their brand on them – which is a good choice, but there are many other product ideas you can try out.

Marques Brownlee, an American YouTuber known for his technology-focused videos, sells merchandise through his channel. Going by the ‘MKBHD’ nickname, Marques creates content on tech products and shares reviews on his channel.

In the following video, MKBHD talks about the Apple Watch S6 and Apple Watch SE, giving a description on these two products provided by Apple.

What’s great about creating videos like these is that they give Marques the opportunity to feature his own merch in the video description below and encourage people to check it out.

A screenshot showing the video description of Marques Brownlee YouTube video.
MKBHD’s video description

For this video, Marques shares the link to his Amazon page that tells people what equipment he is using and adds another one directing them to his merchandise page.

On there, you can see Marques selling a large variety of products ranging from branded t-shirts, pins, pillows, notebooks, hoodies, stickers, to wristbands, beanies, hats and airpods.

A screenshot showing Marque's merch on his online store.
Merch on the MKBHD store

As you can see opportunities here are endless since you can sell anything you consider relevant to your content or niche.

Having a separate website to allow buyers to browse and purchase your products is a must. To be able to link your product page from your videos, bear in mind that you first need to ensure that your merchandise site is in the list of merchandise sites approved by YouTube.

In terms of product manufacture, supply and delivery, you will need an ecommerce platform like Shopify, which can be easily connected to your YouTube channel.

Finally, through YouTube’s merchandise shelf, you are also allowed to sell merchandise but you need to be over 18 years old and have more than 10,000 subscribers.

Need some inspiration on how to start selling merchandise? Check out these 10 successful merchandise stores by YouTubers who are killing it.

Way #7: Earn from Affiliate Commissions

When it comes to monetizing YouTube, affiliate marketing is your best friend. The earning potential through affiliate marketing is unlimited and YouTube is the most suitable platform for it.

The way affiliate marketing works is simple.

As a content creator, you become an affiliate to a company that wants to promote their product or services. You start talking about their product inside your videos, and you use discount codes or trackable links directing people to the product page. If those people you referred buy the product, you get a percentage of the sale.

This is all possible through the affiliate link which helps brands see where the buyers came from. The affiliate link is added in the description of every video you upload that promotes the product.

To become an affiliate marketer, usually you reach out to interested companies or they come to you.

Sites like ShareASale, ClickBank and CJ Affiliate, can help you find suitable brands to partner with. When browsing their products, you need to make sure that the brands you choose to work with, have a product that is related to the content you create.

Once you join an affiliate program and you agree on the commission rates, you are ready to start advertising.

YouTuber Dusty Porter who creates high-quality videos is talking about technology, gadgets and video games, and works as an affiliate marketer.

On his channel, Dusty shares tutorials, guides, and online reviews on many products talking about the tech side of things including software and hardware. Under his videos, you will see affiliate links directing to company sites that he has partnered with.
In this video tutorial on Nintendo Switch, he gives out discounts to people who are clicking on his affiliate links to buy from Bluehost and Doordash.

A screenshot showing Dusty Porter's video description on a YouTube video.
Affiliate links in a Dusty Porter’s video description

While Dusty is encouraging his viewers and subscribers to buy from certain companies, he is giving them the incentive to get the product or service they need at a discounted price, and at the same time he is getting a percentage from the profits. It’s a win-win.

Also, he makes sures to let his audience know about it, saying that this video description contains affiliate links:

Dusty Porter’s disclaimer statement on affiliate links
Dusty Porter’s disclaimer statement on affiliate links

Affiliate marketing can work regardless having only a small number of subscribers, because quality here is more important than quantity. All you need is an audience that trusts you enough to buy these products, which you have preferably previously
tried and tested.

Need more information about affiliate marketing? Download our ebook guide here.

You can also join LearnWorlds Partners’ Club and review LearnWorlds’ top course platform to your channel if you have a relevant audience!

Ready to Launch Your Online Course?

While it’s possible to earn money through YouTube as a content creator, it won’t be as easy because there is intense competition.

Applying these monetization methods can give you the tools you need to start earning money without the need to have a million subscribers on YouTube. One of the things you can start doing right away is creating an online course that will open up the revenue stream for YouTube monetization.

So, are you ready to start earning money? Get your free 30-day trial with LearnWorlds today!

Create a beautiful online school without any technical skills.

Start free trial

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How much money do YouTubers make?

As a YouTuber you can earn anything between $0.01 to $0.03 per view on a video. Per 1K views you can make $3 to $5, and for a million views your revenue can be as high as $5,000.

Q2. How many views do you need on YouTube to make money?

Considering that you get $5 per 1K views, you will need to have 20K to make money on YouTube. That’s because you will need to reach a balance of $100 before you can start receiving payments from the platform.

Q3. How many subscribers do you need on YouTube to make money?

Once you have hit 1,000 subscribers on your channel and 4,000 watch hours over the last 12 months, you can become a YouTube partner and start monetizing your content.

Q4. How much would a YouTuber with 100K subscribers make?

A YouTuber with 100K subscribers can make up to $12,500 for a sponsored post.

Q5. Is it worth starting a YouTube channel in 2020?

Making money on YouTube is competitive, but if you have a passion for creating video content, you can start a YouTube channel to teach online or simply offer your knowledge back to the world.

Q6. How do you promote your YouTube channel?

Promote your YouTube channel by using keywords that are optimized for SEO. Use them in your video titles, descriptions and across your profile. Also, create custom thumbnails for your videos and share the channel link across your other social media platforms.

Q7. How can you get 4,000 hours on your watch?

The best to get those 4,000 watch hours on your channel is to ensure that you are creating high-quality content on topics that are popular and relevant to your audience. Once you create and SEO-optimize your content, you will need some effective marketing strategies to promote it across the web.

Q8. Who’s the #1 YouTuber?

PewDiePie is the most famous YouTuber in the world and one of the most high-earners on the platform. The person behind PewDiePie, is Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg – a Swedish comedian and gamer, known from his comedy shows and Let’s Play videos.

Q9. How much is 1,000 views worth on YouTube?

1K views is worth $5 on YouTube.

Q10. How can I make money on YouTube without ads?

To make money on YouTube without the use of ads, you will need to sell your own merchandise or digital products like online courses. Also, you may become a sponsor or an affiliate marketer for a company, promoting their products or services in your videos.

Q11. Who is the highest-paid YouTuber?

In 2019, Ryan Kaji was the highest paid YouTuber earning up to 26 million. Ryan’s channel Ryan’s World, offers educational video content that focuses on school challenges and learning in fun ways.

(Visited 502 times, 1 visits today)

Nick Malekos is a Senior Digital Marketer in LearnWorlds. He is a results based and well-rounded Digital Marketer with years of experience in the education industry, writer and digital literacy trainer.