Mindful Money Making

How to Make Money Online with YouTube: A Comprehensive Guide

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YouTube has become a powerful platform for content creators and entrepreneurs looking to expand their online presence and generate income. With over 2 billion monthly active users.

YouTube offers a vast audience, making it an ideal place to promote your brand, engage with potential customers, and monetize your content. This comprehensive guide will explore the various strategies and techniques you can employ to make money online with YouTube.

1. Join the YouTube Partner Program

The first and most common method to make money on YouTube is by joining the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/72851?hl=en. This program allows you to monetize your content through advertisements, channel memberships, and access to YouTube Premium revenue.

1.1 Eligibility and Application Process

To be eligible for the YPP, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Live in a country or region where the YPP is available
  • Have at least 1,000 subscribers
  • Have at least 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months or 1,000 subscribers with 10 million valid public Shorts views within the past 90 days
  • Comply with YouTube’s monetization policies and guidelines

To apply for the YPP, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account
  2. Click the icon for your account in the top right corner
  3. Click YouTube Studio
  4. In the left menu, select Other Features > Monetization
  5. Read and agree to the YouTube Partner Program terms and eligibility requirements
  6. Create a new Google AdSense account or connect an existing one to your channel (You need an AdSense account to get paid)
  7. Set your monetization preferences

Once your application is approved, you can start monetizing your content through advertisements, channel memberships, and YouTube Premium revenue sharing.

2. Utilize Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another popular method to make money on YouTube. As an affiliate, you promote products or services from other brands and earn a commission for each sale generated through your unique referral link.

2.1 Selecting the Right Affiliate Programs

To succeed with affiliate marketing, it’s essential to choose the right products and services to promote. Here are some tips for selecting the best affiliate programs:

  • Focus on your niche: Promote products or services relevant to your audience and content
  • Research the market: Look for products with high demand and low competition
  • Consider commission rates: Choose programs with attractive commission rates and payment terms
  • Check for support and resources: Partner with companies that offer marketing materials, training, and support to affiliates

2.2 Promoting Affiliate Products on YouTube

Once you’ve chosen the right affiliate programs, follow these tips to effectively promote affiliate products on your YouTube channel:

  • Create dedicated product review videos: Share your honest opinion, demonstrate the product’s features, and discuss its benefits
  • Include affiliate links in your video descriptions: Make it easy for viewers to find and purchase the products you’re promoting
  • Add a call-to-action (CTA) in your videos: Encourage viewers to check out the product using your affiliate link
  • Use YouTube cards and end screens: These interactive elements can direct viewers to relevant affiliate product pages

Remember to disclose your affiliate relationships in accordance with the FTC guidelines https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking and YouTube’s advertising policies.

3. Sell Products or Merchandise

Selling your own products or merchandise is another effective way to make money on YouTube. This strategy allows you to create a unique brand identity, engage with your audience, and diversify your income streams.

3.1 Choosing the Right Products

When deciding on what products to sell, consider the following factors:

  • Audience preferences: Offer products that appeal to your target audience and complement your content
  • Product quality: Ensure the products you sell meet your audience’s expectations in terms of quality, design, and functionality
  • Profit margin: Assess the potential profitability of the products, taking into account production costs, shipping fees, and other expenses

3.2 Setting up an Online Store

Here’s how to set up an online store to sell your products:

  • Choose an e-commerce platform like Shopify https://www.shopify.com/ to create and manage your online store
  • Design your store’s layout, theme, and branding elements
  • Add product listings with detailed descriptions, images, and pricing information
  • Set up payment processing options, shipping methods, and tax settings
  • Promote your store on your YouTube channel, social media profiles, and other online platforms

3.3 Utilizing Print-on-Demand Services

To simplify the process of selling merchandise, consider using print-on-demand (POD) services like Printful https://www.printful.com/ or Printify https://printify.com/. These services handle product creation, fulfillment, and shipping, allowing you to focus on creating content and promoting your brand.

4. Offer Channel Memberships

Channel memberships are an excellent way to generate recurring revenue from your most loyal YouTube subscribers. By offering exclusive perks and benefits, you can encourage viewers to support your channel through monthly payments.

4.1 Eligibility and Setup

To offer channel memberships, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be part of the YouTube Partner Program
  • Have at least 30,000 subscribers
  • Be in compliance with YouTube’s policies and guidelines

To set up channel memberships, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account
  2. Click the icon for your account in the top right corner
  3. Click YouTube Studio
  4. In the left menu, select Monetization > Memberships
  5. Customize your membership offer by setting up pricing tiers, perks, and benefits

4.2 Creating Exclusive Perks and Benefits

To encourage viewers to become channel members, offer exclusive perks and benefits, such as:

  • Early access to new videos
  • Behind-the-scenes content
  • Members-only live streams
  • Custom badges and emojis
  • Access to a private community or group

Make sure to regularly update and improve your membership offer to keep your audience engaged and maintain a steady stream of revenue.

5. Seek Sponsorships and Brand Partnerships

Working with brands as an influencer or content creators can be a lucrative way to make money on YouTube. By partnering with brands, you can promote their products or services in your videos and receive compensation in return.

5.1 Finding the Right Brand Partners

To find suitable brand partners, consider the following factors:

  • Relevance to your audience: Look for brands that offer products or services that align with your niche and audience interests
  • Brand reputation: Partner with reputable brands that share your values and maintain a positive image
  • Compensation and terms: Evaluate the financial compensation, contract terms, and creative freedom offered by potential brand partners

5.2 Types of Brand Partnerships

There are several types of brand partnerships you can pursue on YouTube, including:

  • Sponsored videos: Create dedicated videos promoting a brand’s products or services in exchange for payment
  • Product placements: Feature a brand’s products within your regular content, such as reviews, tutorials, or vlogs
  • Affiliate partnerships: Promote a brand’s products using unique referral links and earn a commission for each sale generated

Ensure transparency with your audience by disclosing sponsored content in accordance with FTC guidelines and YouTube’s advertising policies.

6. Crowdfund Your Projects

Crowdfunding is an excellent way to raise funds for your creative projects and engage your audience in the process. By setting up a crowdfunding campaign, you can pitch your project ideas to your viewers and ask for their financial support.

6.1 Choosing the Right Crowdfunding Platform

Several popular crowdfunding platforms cater to content creators and their unique needs:

  • Kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/: A well-known platform for funding creative projects, such as films, games, and technology products
  • Indiegogo https://www.indiegogo.com/: A flexible crowdfunding platform that offers both fixed and flexible funding options
  • Patreon https://www.patreon.com/: A membership platform that allows creators to receive ongoing financial support from their fans

6.2 Creating a Compelling Crowdfunding Campaign

To create a successful crowdfunding campaign, follow these tips:

  • Clearly articulate your project idea, goals, and budget
  • Offer attractive rewards or incentives for different funding levels
  • Create a compelling video that showcases your project and appeals to your audience
  • Promote your campaign on your YouTube channel, social media profiles, and other online platforms

7. Utilize YouTube’s Super Chat and Super Stickers

Super Chat and Super Stickers are YouTube features that allow viewers to support their favorite creators during live streams. By enabling these features, you can receive one-time donations from your audience and enhance engagement during your live broadcasts.

7.1 Eligibility and Activation

To enable Super Chat and Super Stickers on your channel, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be part of the YouTube Partner Program
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Live in a country where Super Chat and Super Stickers are available

To activate these features, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account
  2. Click the icon for your account in the top right corner
  3. Click YouTube Studio
  4. In the left menu, select Monetization > Supers
  5. Enable Super Chat and Super Stickers

7.2 Engaging with Your Audience

To make the most out of Super Chat and Super Stickers, interact with your audience during live streams by:

  • Acknowledging and thanking viewers for their donations
  • Responding to questions and comments from Super Chat and Super Sticker users
  • Offering exclusive perks or shoutouts for top contributors

8. License Your Content to Media Outlets

If your YouTube videos gain significant popularity or go viral, you can potentially license your content to media outlets, such as TV networks, news websites, and other content creators. By licensing your content, you can receive payment in exchange for granting others the right to use and distribute your videos.

8.1 How to License Your Content

To license your content, consider the following options:

  • List your videos on content marketplaces, such as Jukin Media https://www.jukinmedia.com/licensing or Storyful https://storyful.com/
  • Work with a media licensing agency that specializes in negotiating deals and managing licensing agreements
  • Reach out to media outlets and content creators directly to explore licensing opportunities

8.2 Protecting Your Intellectual Property

Before licensing your content, ensure that you own the necessary copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights. Consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and obligations in relation to content licensing.

9. Offer Online Courses and Educational Content

If you possess expertise in a particular subject or skill, you can create and sell online courses or educational content on YouTube. This approach allows you to share your knowledge, establish yourself as an authority in your field, and generate income from your content.

9.1 Creating Engaging Educational Content

To create successful online courses or educational content, follow these tips:

  • Identify your target audience and their learning needs
  • Develop a well-structured curriculum or content plan
  • Use a combination of video lectures, demonstrations, and interactive activities to engage your audience
  • Offer quizzes, assignments, and assessments to help learners retain knowledge and track their progress

9.2 Selling Your Online Courses

To sell your online courses or educational content, consider the following options:

  • Host your courses on your own website or online store
  • Utilize online course platforms, such as Teachable https://teachable.com/ or Thinkific https://www.thinkific.com/
  • Promote your courses on your YouTube channel, social media profiles, and other online platforms

10. Diversify Your Revenue Streams

To maximize your income potential on YouTube, it’s crucial to diversify your revenue streams and explore multiple monetization strategies. By combining various income sources, you can create a more stable and sustainable business model for your YouTube channel.

10.1 Analyzing Your Income Sources

Regularly review your income sources and analyze their performance to identify the most effective monetization strategies for your channel. Consider factors such as audience engagement, conversion rates, and revenue growth when evaluating your income sources.

10.2 Adapting and Experimenting

Stay informed about the latest trends, tools, and opportunities in the YouTube ecosystem, and be open to experimenting with new monetization strategies. Regularly test and refine your approaches to find the best combination of revenue streams that work for your channel.


Making money online with YouTube requires dedication, creativity, and a willingness to adapt to an ever-evolving digital landscape. By exploring various monetization strategies, engaging with your audience, and offering valuable content, you can transform your passion for video creation into a thriving business. Keep learning, experimenting, and refining your approach, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving success on YouTube.

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