Make Money on YouTube: A Guide to Success

Are you passionate about creating videos and want to turn your hobby into a lucrative income stream? Look no further than YouTube, the world’s most popular video-sharing platform. With over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube offers immense opportunities for content creators to make money and build a thriving online career. 

Making money on YouTube is an exciting and achievable goal for many aspiring content creators.

It takes dedication, creativity, and hard work to succeed on the platform, but it can be done with the right approach.

You’ll need to create a YouTube channel and upload high-quality content to get started.

Once your channel is established and getting attention, you can start making money from your videos by putting ads on them or joining a multi-channel network (MCN).

In this article, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to monetize your YouTube channel and share valuable tips to maximize your earning potential. So, let’s dive in and discover how you can make money on YouTube.

How to make money on Youtube

Before we delve into the details, let’s understand the fundamental aspects of starting a successful YouTube channel. Building a strong foundation is essential for long-term success and profitability. So, let’s begin by exploring how you can get started with YouTube.

Who makes the most money on YouTube?

According to MrBeat, $54 million (90.9 million subscribers).

These YouTube stars might leave you wondering how they made their fortunes. Please find out how they did it.

Getting Started with YouTube

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a. Creating a YouTube Channel

It would help if you created a YouTube channel to embark on your YouTube journey.

It’s a straightforward process involving signing up for a Google account, navigating to YouTube’s Creator Studio, and following simple steps.

Once your channel is set up, you can personalize it with an appealing profile picture, banner, and channel description.

b. Niche Selection

Choosing a niche is a crucial step in establishing your presence on YouTube. Selecting a niche that aligns with your passion, knowledge, and audience’s interests is essential.

Focusing on a specific niche can attract a targeted audience and build a loyal community around your content.

c. Content Planning and Production

Creating compelling and engaging content is the backbone of a successful YouTube channel. Before you start producing videos, planning your content strategy is vital.

Identify the topics you want to cover, brainstorm video ideas, and create a content calendar to ensure consistency.

Invest in quality equipment, such as cameras, microphones, and video editing software, to produce professional-looking videos.

Requirements for the YouTube Partner Program to make money on YouTube

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YouTube has some criteria for joining the partner program, and they must be completed in full, i.e., you must meet all programme requirements.

You can check it all out here. The following shows some of the main conditions:

  • For YouTube monetization to work, your account must be in good standing and not have been turned off in the past.
  • Your video must be unique, high-quality, and cause no inconvenience to the owner.
  • The content of your video should be within the Terms of Service and Community Guidelines.
  • You should upload videos regularly, and they must be popular.
  • You must be 18 years of age or have parental consent to be allowed to participate.

How do I create a YouTube channel and make money?

The YouTube Partner Program allows regular YouTubers to obtain access to exclusive YouTube features.

To make money on YouTube, you don’t need to be a partner (simply setting up an AdSense account and receiving views would be enough), but becoming a partner makes things a lot simpler.

  • YouTube makes $6 billion per year.
  • The average American spends about 7 hours a week watching YouTube.
  • The average person spends 15 minutes per day on YouTube.

YouTube Partners have access to a variety of revenue sources, including video ads, YouTube Premium subscription fees, and services like Super Chat, channel subscriptions, and the goods shelf that directly tap into your dedicated fans’ wallets (more on these later). Programs like YouTube Premium now exist to help you make money without ad clicks or consumption.

Step 1: Start a YouTube channel.

Here’s an easy-to-follow guide to get you started. You can find it at “How to Create a YouTube Channel.

Step 2: Meets the requirements of the YouTube Partner Program.

You must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months to join the program. These are some tips for getting more YouTube views.

According to YouTube’s community guidelines, you must have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours within the last 12 months to join YouTube’s Partner Program. Then you have to generate a lot of views and monitor your cost per view (CPV) to see how much money you make from advertisements.

Step 3: Set up an AdSense account.

To set up an Adsense account, you can follow the guidelines from Google. Here is YouTube’s official guide to AdSense accounts. Along with an AdSense account, you now need to be accepted into the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).

Step 4: Explore your new monetization features.

Each monetization channel has different eligibility requirements. For instance:

  • Ad revenue: You must be 18 years old and generate advertiser-friendly content to earn ad money. But the less contentious your videos are, the easier it is for YouTube marketers to place ads on them, and the more money you’ll make.
  • YouTube Premium revenue: You earn a portion of a YouTube Premium member’s membership fee if they watch your video. (It’s good that this one is automated.)
  • Channel memberships: For your subscribers to subscribe to your channel (i.e., pay you an additional fee), you must be at least 18 years old and have over 30,000 subscribers.
  • Merchandise shelf: YouTube’s merchandise shelf requires you to be at least 18 years old and have at least 10,000 subscribers to sell merchandise. 
  • Super Chat Payments: Live chats during your live streams will not be highlighted if you are under 18 or do not live in a country where the feature is available).

Step 5: Submit to ongoing reviews

Your YouTube channel is held to a higher standard as part of the YouTube Partner Program. The policies of the YouTube Partner Program, as well as the Community Guidelines, must be observed. Copyright laws must be followed as well.

Monetizing Your YouTube Channel

Once you’ve established your YouTube channel and created valuable content, it’s time to explore the various monetization options available to content creators. Let’s explore some popular methods to make money on YouTube.

a. YouTube Partner Program

The YouTube Partner Program (YPP) is the primary monetization avenue for YouTube creators. To be eligible for YPP, your channel must fulfil certain requirements, including having at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months.

Once approved, you can monetize your videos through ads and access additional features and resources.

b. Ad Revenue

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One of the most common ways to generate income on YouTube is through ad revenue. YouTube displays ads on your videos and pays you a portion of the revenue generated from those ads.

The amount you earn can vary based on the number of views, engagement, and ad formats. Creating content that attracts a wide audience and encourages longer watch times to maximize your ad revenue potential is essential.

c. Sponsorships and Brand Deals

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As your channel grows in popularity, you may have opportunities to collaborate with brands and secure sponsorships or brand deals. Companies are often willing to pay content creators to promote their products or services in their videos.

These partnerships can be lucrative, but it’s crucial to maintain authenticity and choose brands that align with your content and audience’s interests.

d. Merchandise and Products

Another way to monetize your YouTube channel is by selling merchandise and products. You can create and promote branded merchandise, such as t-shirts, hats, or mugs, and leverage your audience’s support.

You can also develop digital products, such as e-books, online courses, or exclusive content, to provide additional value to your viewers and generate revenue.

Growing Your YouTube Channel

While monetization options are crucial, growing your YouTube channel’s audience is equally important.

The larger and more engaged your audience, the higher your earning potential. Here are some strategies to help you grow your YouTube channel:

a. Consistent Content Creation

Consistency is key when it comes to building a loyal audience. Regularly upload high-quality videos and establish a consistent posting schedule.

It keeps your existing subscribers engaged and attracts new viewers who appreciate your commitment to providing fresh content.

b. Engaging with the Audience

Interacting with your audience is vital for building a strong community and fostering loyalty. Respond to comments, engage in discussions, and ask for feedback. Show genuine interest in your viewers and make them feel valued.

This interaction strengthens your relationship with your audience and encourages them to share your videos and recommend your channel to others.

c. Collaboration and Cross-Promotion

Collaborating with other YouTubers or content creators in your niche can be mutually beneficial. By collaborating, you can tap into each other’s audiences, reach a wider demographic, and gain exposure to new viewers.

Additionally, cross-promote each other’s channels and videos to maximize visibility and growth potential.

d. SEO Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a significant role in making your videos discoverable on YouTube. Conduct keyword research to identify popular search terms related to your content and incorporate them strategically in your video titles, descriptions, tags, and captions.

Optimizing your videos for SEO can improve their visibility in search results and attract more viewers.

Building a Strong Personal Brand

In addition to growing your YouTube channel, it’s crucial to focus on building a strong personal brand.

A strong personal brand helps you stand out and establishes your authority in your niche. Here are some tips for building a strong personal brand on YouTube:

a. Authenticity and Consistency

Authenticity is key to connecting with your audience and building trust. Be yourself, and let your personality shine through your videos.

Consistency in your messaging and content style also helps establish a recognizable brand that viewers can relate to and trust.

b. Social Media Presence

Extend your reach beyond YouTube by establishing a presence on other social media platforms. Promote your videos, engage with your audience, and share behind-the-scenes content or sneak peeks.

Utilize platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to connect with your viewers more personally and strengthen your brand presence.

c. Community Engagement

Engage with your audience beyond the comments section of your videos. Create online communities, such as Facebook groups or Discord servers, where viewers can connect with you and fellow fans. Encourage discussions, provide exclusive content, and make your community feel integral to your brand.

d. Leveraging YouTube for Other Opportunities

As your YouTube channel grows, you’ll have opportunities to leverage your success for other opportunities. These include speaking engagements, hosting events, collaborations with other influencers or brands, or even landing media appearances. Explore these possibilities to diversify your income and expand your reach.

Maximizing Revenue Streams

In addition to ad revenue and sponsorships, there are several other ways to maximize your earning potential on YouTube. Here are some additional revenue streams to consider:

a. Affiliate Marketing

Promote products or services through affiliate marketing and earn a commission for each sale or referral generated through your unique affiliate links. Choose products that align with your content and audience’s interests to increase conversion rates.

b. Crowdfunding

Platforms like Patreon or Ko-fi allow your most dedicated fans to support you financially by pledging regular donations or one-time contributions. Offer exclusive perks or content to incentivize your audience to become patrons.

c. Online Courses and Coaching

If you have expertise in a particular area, consider creating and selling online courses or coaching services. Please share your knowledge and skills with your audience, helping them achieve their goals while generating income.

d. Speaking Engagements and Events

Leverage your YouTube success to secure speaking engagements or host live events. Share your insights and experiences with a live audience and monetize these opportunities through ticket sales or partnerships with event organizers.

Overcoming Challenges

Building a successful YouTube channel and making money on the platform comes with its fair share of challenges. It’s important to be aware of these challenges and develop strategies to overcome them. Here are some common challenges you may face:

a. Competition

YouTube is a highly competitive platform, and standing out can be challenging. Focus on creating unique and high-quality content that provides value to your viewers. Find your niche and offer something different from what’s already available.

b. Algorithm Changes

YouTube’s algorithm constantly evolves, and changes can impact your channel’s visibility and reach. Stay up-to-date with the latest algorithm changes and adapt your content strategy accordingly. Monitor analytics and adjust your approach based on viewer preferences and trends.

c. Burnout and Fatigue

Consistently creating content and managing a YouTube channel can be exhausting. Avoid burnout by setting realistic expectations, taking breaks when needed, and delegating tasks if possible. Prioritize self-care and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

d. Copyright and Legal Issues

Ensure you can use any copyrighted material in your videos, such as music, images, or clips. Familiarize yourself with YouTube’s copyright policies to avoid any potential legal issues impacting your channel’s monetization.

How many subscribers do you need to get paid on YouTube?

To get paid on YouTube, you must meet certain requirements set by the YouTube Partner Program. The eligibility criteria include having at least 1,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel and needing 4000 hours of watch time. However, please note that YouTube’s policies and requirements may change. 

It’s always a good idea to refer to YouTube’s official guidelines and updates for the most accurate and up-to-date information on monetization eligibility.

How does YouTube make money?

YouTube generates revenue through various sources. Here are the primary ways YouTube makes money:

a. Advertising

Advertising is the main revenue stream for YouTube. Advertisers pay to display their ads on YouTube videos. YouTube provides different ad formats, including skippable, non-skippable, display, and overlay ads. Content creators who participate in the YouTube Partner Program can earn a share of the revenue generated from these ads, known as ad revenue.

b. YouTube Premium

YouTube offers a subscription service called YouTube Premium. Subscribers pay a monthly fee to access ad-free content, offline viewing, and exclusive content produced by YouTube Originals. Content producers who have their videos watched by Premium subscribers receive a share of the subscription revenue from YouTube.

c. Channel Memberships

Content creators who meet certain eligibility criteria can offer channel memberships to their viewers. Viewers can become channel members by paying a monthly fee to support their favourite creators. In return, members receive exclusive content, badges, emojis, and access to members-only live chats. YouTube shares a portion of the membership fees with the creators.

d. Super Chat and Super Stickers

During live streams and Premieres, viewers can purchase Super Chats and Super Stickers to highlight their messages and support the creators. Creators receive a portion of the revenue generated from these purchases.

e. YouTube Premium Revenue Share

YouTube shares a portion of its subscription revenue with content creators based on the watch time of their videos, engagement, and popularity.

It’s worth noting that the specific revenue-sharing percentages and terms may vary depending on the agreements between YouTube, advertisers, and content creators.

YouTube also offers additional monetization options, such as merchandise shelf, YouTube Shorts Fund, and YouTube Music’s Content ID system.

YouTube’s revenue primarily comes from advertising, premium subscriptions, channel memberships, and viewer purchases of Super Chat and Super Stickers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to make money on YouTube? 

The time it takes to monetize your YouTube channel varies. It depends on factors such as the quality of your content, consistency, audience engagement, and niche competition. Some creators start generating income within a few months, while others may take longer.

Do I need a large subscriber base to make money on YouTube? 

While having a large subscriber base can certainly increase your earning potential, it’s not the only factor determining your ability to make money on YouTube. Engagement, watch time, and the quality of your content are equally important.

Can I use copyrighted music in my videos and still make money? 

Using copyrighted music in your videos can lead to copyright claims or content ID matches, which may restrict monetization. Using royalty-free or properly licensed music is best to avoid potential issues.

Are there any specific qualifications to join the YouTube Partner Program? 

To join the YouTube Partner Program, your channel must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months. Additionally, you need to comply with YouTube’s policies and guidelines.

Can I monetize my YouTube channel if it’s focused on controversial topics? 

YouTube allows monetization for channels focused on controversial topics as long as the content complies with its policies. However, it’s important to be mindful of advertiser preferences and potential limitations when monetizing such content.


Making money on YouTube requires dedication, creativity, and perseverance. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can set yourself up for success and build a profitable YouTube channel. 

YouTubers have become some of the biggest stars on social media. They’ve even created their brands by licencing their merchandise and selling it through online stores.

Some YouTube influencers earn as much as $10 million annually from advertising alone!

Creators use their brands as inspiration for their video creation processes. Many creators also believe that there’s more to YouTube than money to be made.

Most creators do well by creating content using channels or platforms that allow them to reach a wide audience.

Remember to create valuable content, engage with your audience, and explore various monetization options to maximize your earning potential.

Embrace the challenges and continue to learn and adapt to the ever-evolving YouTube landscape.

Satish Ithamsetty
Satish Ithamsetty

Satish Ithamsetty is a versatile professional with expertise in blogging, teaching, and digital marketing. He is also a tech enthusiast who keeps himself updated with the latest trends and advancements in the field. With a passion for sharing knowledge and insights, Satish is committed to helping others succeed in the online world.