YouTube Monetization: 8 ways to monetize your YouTube channel

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We all know that YouTubers can make serious money, and to do so, the most successful ones diversify their income streams, so let's look at how to monetize your youtube channel.

In this article, I prepared a list of 8 proven ways to monetize your YouTube channel, and divided them into 2 categories:

  • YouTube-Native Monetization methods, which can be done directly from YouTube with their own features.
  • External Monetization methods, which require more effort, but can help you generate more significant amounts of money, even if you have a small audience.

<p class="tip"> YouTube-Native monetization methods
These methods are the best if you don’t want to add much complexity to your YouTube business; they’re a great way to make money from YouTube if you want to monetize your videos.

The issue with these methods is that you usually need to have a big audience (over 100k subscribers) to start making a livable income from YouTube-native monetization methods.

This is why a lot of YouTubers also use External Monetization methods to monetize their channel.

But native YouTube monetization methods are still a solid option to make money online, here is a list of them:</p>

1. YouTube Monetization with AdSense by joining the YouTube Partner Program

YouTube is the most popular video sharing platform in the world. It has over a billion users, and more than 400 hours of video are uploaded to it every minute.

YouTube monetizes its videos through Google AdSense, which is a part of Google's advertising network. AdSense pays content creators for their videos by running ads on them through the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).

What is unique about the YouTube Partner Program is that YouTube shares 55% of its ad revenue with creators, and it also provides other additional ways to earn money by creating videos, which I will cover later.

Pros of monetizing through YouTube AdSense Cons of monetizing through YouTube AdSense
  • You can configure YouTube ad frequency if you want to earn more from a video.
  • You don't have to do anything complicated after you join the YouTube partner program.
  • You can also get revenue from YouTube premium subscribers who watch your videos.
  • It can become a passive way of making money from content on YouTube without maintenance.
  • The monetization on your account can help you start making money online.
  • YouTube may demonetize some videos if they don't comply to the platform. And the monetization requirement for some videos can sometimes be vague.
  • Joining YouTube's monetization program can be complicated if your content is not the most family-friendly, or if you create content about a very niche topic.
  • To make a livable income from ads on your videos and a lot of revenue from your YouTube channel, you will need to get a lot of views on your videos.
  • Some subscribers can complain about ads on YouTube.

How much can YouTube creators earn for 1000 views?

There are 2 metrics that can help you understand this: CPM and RPM. CPM is the cost per 1000 ad impressions before YouTube revenue share, and RPM is your total revenue (after YouTube's revenue share) per 1000 views on YouTube. Some YouTube content niches have a higher CPM and RPM than others, which can improve your ability to monetize YouTube videos.

Which niches pay best?

A video's revenue depends on the number of views it gets, its target demographic, the age of your audience, how many ads play before or during it, as well as the video topic. Like on most social media platforms, each advertiser has to bid a certain amount of money in order to advertise, and the more profitable the profits in a specific niche, the higher the bid, and thus, the higher the payout for the content creator with ads on their videos.

Here are some examples of the more profitable topics if you want to earn money on YouTube:

  • Business
  • Investing
  • Health
  • Online marketing
  • Tech reviews
  • Coding
  • Real estate
  • Auto reviews

As you can see, these topics are not the most entertaining, but they target people with more money to spend to solve their problems, so if you plan to grow your YouTube channel, think of who you want to watch your videos.

AdSense monetization example

Stephan Graham is a great example of a channel that managed to make money on YouTube through AdSense, as well as other ways to monetize on YouTube efficiently by creating content in the finance and crypto space:

How to be eligible for monetization on YouTube

The minimum eligibility requirements to join the YouTube partner program and enable monetization features are to:

You can check your progression monetization options on YouTube Studio:

Once you have done all of this, you can start earning money from videos on YouTube!

2. Monetize your YouTube channel with Memberships

YouTube channel memberships are a great way for your viewers to support your channel and get access to exclusive content. For a monthly fee, your subscribers can become members of your YouTube channel and get access to exclusive videos, YouTube live streams, and other benefits. Channel memberships are a great way for your subscribers to show their support and get access to your best content.

You can also give access to custom emojis to use in comments and live chat, and exclusive YouTube community posts.

Content creators receive 70% of membership revenue after applicable taxes and fees are deducted, and YouTube takes the rest. All transaction costs (including credit card fees) are currently covered by YouTube.

Pros of YouTube Membership monetization Cons of YouTube Membership monetization
  • It's easy to set up.
  • Creators receive 70% of total membership revenue.
  • It can take a bit more time to set up than AdSense.
  • The monetization features with YouTube Memberships are not as advanced as tools like Patreon.
  • You can't sell products or services from memberships.

YouTube Membership monetization example

For example, the YouTube channel Hacksmith creates exclusive videos for members only:

And here is what their members get for $4.99 per month:

How to activate YouTube Memberships

Here is a video from the YouTube team helping you activate this monetization feature:

3. Earn money on YouTube with Live Streams

YouTube Live is an easy way for YouTubers to reach their community in real time. Whether streaming an event, teaching a class, or hosting a workshop, YouTube has tools that will help you manage live streams and interact with your viewers in real time.

Pros of YouTube Live Stream monetization Cons of YouTube Live Stream monetization
  • It's easy to set up.
  • It's a great way to make money while engaging with your community.
  • You need a lot of viewers to make a significant amount from livestreams.
  • The streaming features of YouTube are not as advanced as Twich (but they get the job done!).

Manage YouTube Super Chat & Super Stickers for Live Chat

Super Chat and Super Stickers are ways to monetize your channel through the YouTube Partner Program. These features let your viewers purchase live chat messages that stand out and sometimes pin them to the top of a live chat feed. You can learn how you can turn on this feature here.

What you can stream

All content in live streams must adhere to the YouTube Community Guidelines and Terms of Service. If you stream content that violates the YouTube Community Guidelines, the platform may age-restrict or remove your live stream. YouTube also reserves the right to restrict a creator's ability to live stream at its discretion.

Example of a YouTube Streamer: Ludwig

Ludwig creates gaming content and receives super chats or Super Stickers from his viewers, which are similar to the Twitch donation system.

He also reposts edited versions of his livestreams, which are also monetized through Adsense.

How to get started

Here is a video from the YouTube Team about monetizing Lives videos with Super Chats and Super Stickers:

4. Showcase products from your store on YouTube

YouTube Shopping allows you to showcase your products and official branded merchandise on YouTube if they consider you as an eligible creator. After you set up YouTube Shopping, viewers in these locations will be able to browse and buy your products across these surfaces on YouTube:

  • Your channel’s store
  • End screens
  • Product section below your videos and live streams
  • As a pinned product in live streams

In YouTube Studio, you can organize your products to display across these surfaces. With channel level and individual video arrangements, you can customize the order of your products to fit your needs.

You can learn more about YouTube shopping here.

Pros of Youtube Shopping Cons of Youtube Shopping
  • YouTube simplifies a lot your sales funnel by displaying your products directly on the platform.
  • It's more complicated to set up.
  • You need more than 10k subscribers

5. Monetize your content with Shorts

Note: Since February 1, 2023, monetizing YouTube partners can earn money from ads that are viewed between videos in the Shorts Feed. This new revenue sharing model replaces the YouTube Shorts Fund.

To learn more about this new system, click here.

Pros of the Youtube Shorts Fund Cons of the Youtube Shorts Fund
  • It's an interesting way of getting new viewers on your channel as it's easier to have a good watch time on shorts than on longer videos.
  • Shorts are easy to make compared to full-length videos.
  • You shouldn't expect to make a lot of money from Shorts as the payouts from the Shorts Fund are very low.
  • Shorts are not as memorable as long-form videos, and they don't build a deep connection with your audience.

How to be eligible for the YouTube Shorts Fund (Discontinued)

To be eligible for a bonus from the YouTube Shorts Fund:

  • Channels need to have uploaded at least one eligible Short in the last 180 days.
  • Channels need to abide by YouTube’s Community Guidelines, copyright rules, and monetization policies.
  • Channels must upload original content. Ineligible videos include but are not limited to:
  • Non-original videos, like unedited clips from movies or TV shows.
  • Videos reuploaded from other creator’s channels or other platforms, including compilations.
  • Videos featuring watermarks and logos from third-party social media platforms.
  • Videos with titles, hashtags, or metadata that references third-party social media platforms may also not be eligible. Note: Links to your other social media profiles do not affect eligibility.
  • Creators must be 13 or older in the United States, or the age of majority in their country/region.
  • Creators 13–18 years old must have a parent or guardian accept terms and set up an AdSense account for payment when one isn’t already linked to their channel.
  • Creators must be in one of these countries/regions:

Example - Marketing Mania

The founder of the website you're on, Stan Leloup, has a channel called Marketing Mania, on which he created dozens of shorts to try out this new format, and... His results were amazing!

Stan got millions of views on multiple videos, but the actual financial results were not that good...

This is why he also monetizes by selling valuable online courses to his audience, which is an external way of generating money with YouTube videos.

<p class="tip"> External monetization methods

These methods allow you to maximize how much money you can earn from your YouTube business, they are a bit more time-consuming to set up.

The big advantage of this kind of method is that you don't need a huge audience to make it work, some people can start making a livable income from only 10k subscribers and an email list of around 1000 people.

Here is a list of external monetization strategies:</p>

6. Sell online courses to your YouTube community

Selling online courses to your subscribers is a great way to bring more value to your followers as well as build a new stream of income for your content creation business. Creating an online course can take you from a few hours to a few months depending on how much time you put into it, and you probably already have all the gear you need to get started!

This is what we did ourselves, I used to work with Stan Leloup on Marketing Mania, one of the biggest YouTube channels in the marketing and business space in France. And the main source of revenue of this channel is creating and selling premium online courses.

Stan started creating his first courses by taping up together many no-code solutions like Zapier and WordPress plugins, but this isn't an idea solution at all, especially when WordPress plugins are far from being the best solution for making courses.

This is why Stan decided to launch SchoolMaker, an advanced course platform that makes it easy for YouTubers to build and scale an online course business.

If you need help with the creation of your course, we created an entirely free guide to help you go from idea to pre-launch of your course in a few weeks.

Pros of online courses Cons of online courses
  • A course can be created in as little as a few days!
  • You can charge a lot of money for more complex courses.
  • Courses can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field, and get interesting business opportunities out of it.
  • Complex courses can take up to a few months to create.
  • You need to to marketing a bit more often to sell courses (it's less passive).

7. Monetize on YouTube with Affiliation

Affiliation is a commission-based marketing strategy where you earn a percentage of a sale or transaction. There are many YouTube affiliates who make money by uploading videos to YouTube and then linking to products they are affiliated with in the description section of their videos. This form of making money online can make individual videos even more valuable, as you can get a commission.

Affiliate programs are popular among many companies because they are relatively easy to set up, and they can generate significant revenue. The most popular example of an affiliate program is Amazon’s affiliate program. Affiliates earn 8% per sale on any product sold through their link, plus 5% in commission on any other products purchased during the same session.

Pros of YouTube Affiliation Cons of YouTube Affiliation
  • Once the ball starts rolling, affiliation can be a great source of semi-passive income.
  • If you want to see each video like a little piece of real estate, Affiliation can be for you.
  • You don't own anything, so you can't really do any quality control on the products and services you promote.
  • You usually need a lot of viewers to make a significant income from affiliation.

Example of a YouTuber who does affiliation

Marques Brownlee is a YouTuber who does tech reviews, and makes money by adding affiliate links to the descriptions of his videos.

How to get started with affiliation

The simplest way is to start by signing up to Amazon's affiliate program, which will allow you to create affiliate links that you can copy-paste into your video descriptions.

8. Make money through YouTube videos with sponsorships

YouTube video sponsorships are a form of advertising in which companies pay YouTubers to make videos that promote their products or services.

The company will usually provide all the content like images and videos for the advertisement and will get access to any analytics data that is generated by the video.

YouTube video sponsorships can be combined with affiliate marketing by promoting products online and earn commissions from sales they generate. They can be paid per click (CPC) or per sale (CPS) for example.

Pros of video sponsorships Cons of video sponsorships
  • Sponsorships are quick to create usually.
  • If your niche is valuable to advertisers, sponsorships can pay a lot.
  • Some of your viewers may find sponsored sections annoying to watch, which can decrease your watch time.
  • As you grow, you will receive more and more sponsorship inquiries, which can become overwhelming.
  • As Not all sponsors are honest and pay you fully.

Examples - How Pewdiepie and Ryan George make money with Sponsorships

Pewdiepie is one of the most popular YouTubers of all time, with more than 100 million subscribers and billions of views. He has multiple income streams like YouTube Memberships, a few mobile games, live streams where he plays games and interacts with his fans, and of course, sponshorships.

He has a long-term sponsor deal with GFuel, which he promotes in almost every video he makes with ironic Ad sections like the one at the beginning of this video:

Another example of sponsored sections are Ryan George's, I like his a lot because the concept of the "Ad-stronaut" is pretty clever:

So what is the best way to monetize on YouTube?

At Marketing Mania, we tried all of these techniques, and the monetization technique that helped us the most grow our content creation business was online course creation.

With courses, Marketing mania now makes 7 figures every year, but as we grew, we ran into a lot of problems like that made it harder for us to run the business while providing a lot of value to our customers.

This is why we created SchoolMaker, the course creation tool that focuses on your student's results, so you can get better testimonials, and make more money!

If you're interested in the tool, you can check it out here.

And if you have an audience but don't have a course yet, you can check out our course creation guide by clicking on the book below.👇

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