“Mom, I want to be a YouTuber.” If you grew up before the 2000s, chances are you never even dreamed of making a career on the internet, let alone on a website like YouTube. But today the reality is so different that YouTube has become a real full-time career for many people around the world. In fact, it’s gotten so big that, according to a 2019 survey, kids in the US aspire to be YouTube stars more than an astronaut. Oh how things have changed!
What is it that makes this race so special? Of course, there is the fame aspect, but there are also many people who have made millions by posting videos online. And many others who generate constant income through YouTube, even if it is just a hobby. Although it is listed as one of the worst jobs for mental health (due to exposure and constant criticism), there are currently more than 31 million channels on YouTube and the number is growing by the minute. In other words, 15 million creators upload 80 million videos every month. It’s no wonder that YouTube is the second most visited website and the number one source for people who want to post videos online.
While being a YouTuber seems to be something of a dream, it takes a lot of work. And when we say a lot, we mean a LOT. Do not think that starting a channel will immediately flood your bank account with money. It takes time to succeed on YouTube.
Youtube Partner Program
To start earning revenue from ads, you must first be accepted into the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). And entering the club is not so easy. To do so, you must first live in a country where the program is available. The most important thing is that you need to reach a certain number of views and subscribers. So how many views do you need on YouTube to make money? In the last 12 months, your channel must have reached 4,000 valid public watch hours and have at least 1,000 subscribers. This includes users from all over the world and all the hours of video that people have watched on your channel in the last 12 months (regardless of date). You’ll also need to sign and agree to the terms and conditions, have an AdSense account (for which you must be over 18), and of course, be reviewed and approved by YouTube. On the latter, surprisingly, all reviews are done manually, which means it’s done by a real human and not a machine, so it can take a while (usually around a month). It is not an easy task and this is something that people often criticize about YouTube, as it favors those who give more income to the site.
A few more things to note regarding the number of views is that live streams count towards that total, as do unlisted videos. But if you delete any videos, that watch time will be removed from your channel’s watch time hours. Keep an eye on YouTube’s stats, which you can find in Creator Studio, to see if you qualify for the requirements and to see how your numbers are doing.
However, joining the YPP means that you will have to abide by its rules. And YouTube definitely makes sure that you follow their guidelines as they constantly review the channels that are part of the program. So make sure you read their terms and conditions to see if you’re really willing to abide by them. You should primarily add value to any third-party content you monetize and make sure your content has an educational value or editorialized statement. YouTube keeps an eye on channels that reuse content from others, so no matter how many subscribers or followers you have, if your videos don’t check those boxes, you won’t be eligible for the program.
Unfortunately, sometimes, even if you meet all the requirements, YouTube does an additional review, which means that the process can take longer, even up to a year, to get a response. Some do not even get one or, on the contrary, are rejected from the program. If this is the case, you will usually receive a reason, although they will not specify if it is due to a specific video or content. However, the good news is that you will be able to reapply to the program in 30 days. Keep in mind that if you reapply after being rejected, you should do some research to see if you need to change anything, to avoid being denied again.
So once you’ve been accepted into the YouTube partner program, there are several ways to earn money. These are some of them:
You can earn ad revenue for display, overlay, and video ads. Image ads appear to the right of a video and above the suggestion list that appears to the right, while overlay ads appear in a kind of transparent banner in the bottom 20% of the video. Video ads are probably the most well-known (and controversial) form, as they appear before or during videos and can be, let’s face it, a bit annoying for viewers. There are two forms of video ads: skippable and non-skippable. Skippable video ads allow viewers to skip ads after 5 seconds if they choose. They are inserted before, during or after the main video, while non-skippable video ads must be viewed before the video. With these ad placements, the YouTuber gets a percentage based on views, clicks, and more.
Channel memberships allow viewers to join your channel through recurring monthly payments and in exchange for exclusive member benefits like badges, emojis, and other goodies.
YouTube allows you to sell official branded merchandise, something YouTubers actually earn money from. The Product Library will display up to 12 products to your viewers, who can change the order in which they are viewed by opting out of the default, or you (the YouTuber) can select up to 12 specific items to display and sort to your liking.
Super Chat And Super Stickers
These features allow viewers to pay to feature your messages and sometimes pin them to the top of a chat feed. Basically, fans pay to stand out in chat streams.
Youtube Premium Revenue
Get part of the subscription fee from YouTube Premium members when they watch your content. Revenue from YouTube Premium membership fees is distributed to video creators based on the number of members who view their content.
Each of these features has its own set of eligibility requirements in addition to subscriber and view count requirements. For example, for YouTube Premium earnings, you have to create content that is viewed by a viewer who is a YouTube Premium subscriber, while for Super Chat earnings you have to live in a country/region where Super Chat is available.
In conclusion, there is a lot of fine print when it comes to making money on YouTube, especially those related to the YouTube Partner Program, which, at the end of the day, is one of the main sources that YouTubers make a living creating content. . Of course, having other social media channels driving traffic to YouTube makes a huge difference, and most importantly, having brand-sponsored content helps prevent YouTube from cutting money. In general, it all comes down to creating quality content that generates views and interactions that attract both brands and YouTube advertising. No one said being a YouTuber was an easy job!