YouTube is the second most visited website, and approximately 1 billion hours of YouTube videos are viewed daily. With statistics like that, it’s no wonder you want to learn how to create a YouTube channel and make money.
Another massive draw is how much money the top YouTubers make — top earner Mr. Beast brought in a whopping $54 million in 2021!
Making money on YouTube is still a possibility for everyday people, not just celebrities or social media influencers branching out to a new platform.
It takes hard work, but you can do it with a strategic approach, and that’s exactly what I’m going to explain today. The 7 ways to make money on YouTube in 2022 and how to get started with each
1. Join the YouTube Partner Program
The first monetization route many YouTubers take is with ads. While joining the YouTube Partner Program to make money from ads is not necessary, it will give you access to special features that make monetization easier.
Here are the steps to become a YouTube Partner:
Step 1: Start a YouTube channel
We cover how to start a YouTube channel here, plus learn how much money you can make from YouTube. Spoiler, the top YouTuber earned $54 million in 2021!
Step 2: Grow your channel
There are two requirements to join the YouTube Partner Program: minimum of 1,000 subscribers and have 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months.
Here are some tips to build your content and following:
- Write engaging, must-see titles: Give viewers a reason to click on your video.
- Follow YouTube SEO best practices: Include target keywords in your titles and descriptions, and mention keywords in your video. Use categories and tags to help YouTube better understand your content.
- Figure out what your audience wants: Produce content that resonates with your audience. You can run a poll on your blog or social media accounts to get a better idea.
- Engage with your community: Like and comment on content other creators in your niche are producing, and engage with the comments on your videos.
- Create custom thumbnails: You can use Canva to create a thumbnail for your video that clearly displays the title and an image that captures what your video is about.
- Cross-promote videos: Share your videos on your blog, social media platforms, email list, etc.
- Increase engagement with calls to action: Sometimes you have to tell people exactly what to do, like “click on like button” or “click the subscribe button.”
Step 3: Set up an AdSense account
You need a Google AdSense account to get paid with ads, and you can create a new one or connect an existing one. This is a simple process, and you can use YouTube’s official AdSense guide to go through the steps.
Step 4: Learn about your monetization options
Like we said, if you want to learn how to create a YouTube channel and make money, ad revenue is one of the first places to start. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old and create content that is advertiser-friendly to earn ad revenue.
YouTube now automatically puts ads on certain videos, but you need an AdSense account to make money from them.
There are also several other ways to make money on YouTube as a partner besides ads:
- YouTube Premium revenue: When a member of YouTube Premium watches your content, you automatically get a portion of their subscription fee.
- Channel memberships: You’ll need to be at least 18 and have 30,000 subscribers to run memberships, but you can sell them to make more money on YouTube.
- Super Chat: You can turn on the Super Chat feature that allows fans to pay to have their messages highlighted in live chats during your live streams. You must also be 18 to use this method.
- Merchandise shelf: You can set up and sell merch on YouTube’s merchandise shelf if you are at least 18 and have at least 10,000 subscribers.
2. Create sponsored content
Sponcon, or sponsored content, is popular with YouTubers and influencers alike. It works by partnering with a brand and negotiating a deal where they pay you to create content that promotes their brand or products.
Brands are willing to pay YouTubers and influencers because of the trust you’ve built on your platform. So if there’s a company or product that relates to your target audience, you might want to reach out to them.
The #1 tip is to only work with brands that will actually help your followers.
For instance, I wouldn’t promote luxury clothing brands because that’s not what my audience would be interested in. This is a personal finance site that’s focused on making money, not spending it. Trust me; no one would take fashion advice from me anyway.
The point is, if you want to learn how to make money on YouTube with sponsored content, pay attention to the needs of your audience.
You’ve worked hard to build trust and get them to click that “subscribe” button, don’t lose them with content that doesn’t fit.
And, to keep that trust, you always need to disclose sponsored partners. This is a requirement by the FTC, and it will keep you in good standing with Google’s Ad policies. Transparency is a legal requirement, but it’s also imperative when building relationships with your followers.
It’s as easy as using the hashtag #ad or #sponsoredad in your content.
3. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a good stepping stone to sponsored partnerships and ad revenue because you don’t need nearly as many followers to get started.
The way affiliate marketing works is that you promote specific products, services, and brands on your channel and share personalized affiliate links. When a viewer clicks on that link, you make money when they make a purchase. It could be a percentage of a sale or a flat rate.
Just like sponsored content, you must keep your audience in mind and focus on what’s relevant to them. Affiliate marketing can come off as spammy when it’s not audience-focused, so keep that in mind.
You can find affiliates by reaching out to companies directly and asking if they have a program, or you can do what many YouTubers and bloggers do and sign up with an affiliate network.
Here are just a few of the networks you should check out if you want to learn how to create a YouTube channel and make money with affiliate marketing:
- Rakuten Marketing
- Amazon Associates
- CJ Affiliates
- Avangate Affiliate Network
4. Create your own merch
One of the downsides of making money on YouTube with ads, sponsored content, or affiliate marketing is that you’re not in control of that income stream. If there’s a slight change to an algorithm or terms of service, you may see a dip in income.
I’ve experienced this as a blogger, which is why I think creating your products or merch is something you should 100% consider.
There are plenty of products that can help you make money off YouTube. Think of the possibilities— t-shirts, stickers, mugs, books, courses, tote bags, socks, anything!
One of the cool things about merchandise is that it brings your brand offline and deepens your relationship with your fans.
Not sure how to get started? Below are some print-on-demand companies to check out. They make it easy to design and sell your own YouTube channel branded merch.
Those options above give you a solid starting point without the big investment of sourcing your own products. Eventually, you can go that route to take even more control of your income stream.
Make sure you’re directing viewers to your online store, and that just takes a simple call-to-action and link in your videos.
5. Get paid directly by your fans
Joining the YouTube Partner Program gives you access to features that will help you learn how to make money on YouTube, specifically Super Chat and channel memberships. Here’s how they work:
Super Chat is a monetization method that’s only available to YouTube Partners while they live stream.
Viewers can make their comments even more visible during your live streams by paying to have their comments highlighted with Super Chat. The comment stays pinned for a period of time that depends on how much they pay.
YouTube now gives you the ability to let your viewers pay to become members of your channel. They’ll get custom badges, emojis, and access to members-only exclusives.
You’ll have to first produce content that is worthy of a paid membership. Give your viewers a reason to hand over their money, but also explain why you’re taking this approach to make money on YouTube.
Explaining that supporting your channel with a paid membership helps you create this content and try new things can go a long way.
A few years ago it may have felt awkward to solicit donations online, but platforms like Patreon, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe have made it incredibly commonplace.
Patreon is an incredibly popular option if you want to know how to create a YouTube channel and make money. You can create recurring and tiered funding levels that will help you grow and sustain your channel.
If you decide to crowdfund your channel, be sure to clearly state your goals and what they can expect when you realize your project. Adding perks like swag or bonus content entices fans to support you at different levels.
Promote the heck out of your crowdfunding campaign on your social media accounts, email list, blog, and anywhere else you’ve worked to build a following. Those are the kind of people who may be ready to support you from the beginning.
7. License your content
This may sound like a far-off way to make money on YouTube, but it’s worth planning for now. See, when content goes viral, it happens in a flash. Every media outlet there will want to replay it for their audience, and you should be paid for its use.
The simplest approach is to just make sure your contact information is easy to find. That means filling out your About page and adding a generic email to it. Companies can easily contact you to discuss business inquiries.
There are also video rights marketplaces you can contribute to. Companies may search for newsworthy content and purchase a license.
How much money can you make on YouTube?
I know you’re looking for a clear-cut, definitive answer, but it’s not that simple.
Learning how to make money on YouTube takes time and energy, and your ability to earn money heavily depends on what you put into your channel.
There are some channels that skyrocket to success — like Ryan Kaji, the 10-year-old with a meteoric rise to YouTube fame. He now has over 50 billion (that is a billion, with a B) views on the channel his parents started when he was only 3.
Ryan Kaji was one of the highest-paid YouTubers for 3 years in a row, and Forbes estimates he made $27 million in 2021, and that’s down from previous years.
Not everyone will have the success of a preschooler, so the better question is, “What does the average person make on YouTube?”
Most YouTuber’s income relies heavily on ads, and you essentially get paid for each ad view on your channel. To put it simply: the more views, the more money.
The average YouTuber makes between $3-$5 per 1,000 video views through Google Adsense.
A channel with 10,000 views would make around $30-$50, which isn’t a ton when you think about it. But as more people start to watch and share your videos, they can start to trend. That’s where the ball starts rolling towards bigger paychecks.
And as long as you keep producing the best content possible, you stand to gain even more.
However, long-term success depends on your ability to diversify your income. Once you learn how to create a YouTube channel and make money, move on to blogging, social media, leverage your email list, create your own merch, etc.
Making money on YouTube — the final word
It’s still possible in 2022 to learn how to create a YouTube channel and make money. I truly believe the potential is still there if you’re willing to put in the work.
Starting with Adsense is a simple way to start, but affiliate marketing is another great route if you don’t have a ton of followers.
And for true, long-term success, I want to leave you with these two tips:
- Focus on your audience and build a community of loyal fans
- Diversify your income over time
No one is an overnight success on YouTube, so while you’re building your channel, check out other great ways to make money online.
The average YouTuber makes around $3-$5 for every 1,000 followers. But you need to earn $100 before you’re paid out, which means you need around 20,000 views to make money off the platform.
Industry standards say that your video will need approximately half a million views to earn $1,000 in AdSense income.
The majority of YouTubers are paid from ad income. YouTube shows ads before and during your video (based on length), and you get paid for those views. YouTube creators also make money from brand sponsorships, affiliate income, merchandise, and crowdfunding platforms.
You need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year to earn money directly from YouTube. Once you reach that threshold, you can apply for YouTube’s Partner Program and begin to monetize through ads, subscriptions, and channel memberships.