YouTube has up until now been a place to watch video content, whether for entertainment or education. What’s changed today is that it has now been transformed into a source of revenue for online businesses. The biggest success story is PewDiePie, the Swedish YouTube sensation who makes zany videos featuring himself. He YouTube’s highest subscribed artist, with more than 62 million subscribers worldwide and reportedly earned $12.9 million in 2018.
What’s It All About?
- Headquartered in San Bruno, California, YouTube was created by three ex-PayPal employees in 2005. The site was purchased by Google in the very next year for $1.65 billion and is currently one of its suite of prime offerings.
- Content can be accessed through a variety of platforms including PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
- It allows users to watch videos, search for choices, create personal YouTube channels and playlists, upload and download videos, like, comment and share video content, subscribe and follow other YouTubers, create vlogs.
- It is a free service but users must be above age 18 to set up an account.
- Currently, 1.9 billion viewers watch about 6 billion hours of video content in a month.
There are several interesting and creative options that can help you to earn a substantial income from YouTube. Before you consider the revenue earning aspect, it’s essential that you first create unique, original, interesting content.
This can help your YouTube offerings stand out from the crowd of an estimated 50 million YouTube content creators out there. Another thing that new YouTubers have to keep in mind is to grow a committed, interested and engaged community that will be sure to welcome all your new content.
Once you have these two aspects in place, you can explore various revenue earning models.
Partner Program: YouTube offers a partner program where video content creators can earn revenue through advertisements that are streamed along with their content, by setting up a Google AdSense account. You can explore other monetization channels such as
- Advertising revenue earning
- Premium member revenue
- Charging membership to viewers who watch your channels
- Retailing merchandise
- Live chat messages that must be paid for while your content is being streamed
To be eligible for the partner program, current regulations mandate that new channels need at least 4000 hours of view time, within a 12-month period and a minimum of 1000 subscribers. You need to submit to community guidelines and copyright laws.
To start earning a substantial, regular income, you need to have a consistent, regular volume of viewers because the actual earning potential is only about $2-3 per 1000 views.
A platform for Entrepreneurs: If you already have a successful product, you can use YouTube to sell your merchandise. Remember that the YouTube community as a whole doesn’t think much about advertising in general. So any ad campaign that you design for your products/services has to be entertaining first while creating brand awareness.
Open a Brand Account on Google, make a detailed study of your target audience, scope out the competitors and even skim ideas from the channels that you love to watch yourself. Remember to take professional marketing help to SEO optimize your videos so that they get watched by the right viewers. Marketing agencies can also help you to create interesting thumbnails, titles, add hashtags, watermarks, bumper ads, cards, etc. Dropshipping is another great monetization opportunity.
Promotional Videos: When you have gathered a large enough community that watches your videos, waits for the next one, talks about them on social media, you would be seen by many businesses as an “influencer.” You could soon find that businesses reach out to you and present attractive propositions where you promote their content for payment. This can be a great source of revenue, if you retain your original flavor that brought these businesses to your door, if you ensure that you promote only businesses that are in sync with the values professed in your content and you know for sure will keep your real viewers entertained, interested and loyal.
Make your videos at least ten minutes long. This enables longer viewer engagement and will appear higher up on YouTube search results.
Entertainment is a priority. Remember that viewers look for original, unique content that will add value in terms of pleasure/information.
Be consistent and regular. Viewers have millions of choices, so keep them engaged with a steady stream of top-quality content.
Stay in touch with fellow YouTubers who are in your creative/content space. Give your viewers varied tastes and you’ll find that they respect you more for giving them the freedom to explore.