Digital Marketing

How to Make Money on YouTube: A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

In 2011, Rosanna Pansino started a YouTube channel to document her nerdy-themed bakes. She loved baking and video games so for years, it remained a fun side project.

But everything changed in 2014.  Her “Nintendo Cartridge Cake” video went viral, with over 5 million views. 

She decided to take the plunge into full-time YouTube creation and enabled monetization on her channel. Brands soon came calling to sponsor her videos and her “Nerdy Nummies” series exploded in popularity.

Today, Rosanna has over 14 million subscribers and her main YouTube channel brings in an estimated $1 million per year from ads and sponsorships alone. 

We’re here to tell you that with the right strategies, enough patience and great content, you can do it too!

This guide will give you actionable insights into how to make money on Youtube and help you understand the intricacies of YouTube’s monetization framework.

Understanding YouTube’s monetization framework

Understanding how to make money on YouTube involves a deep dive into its monetization framework.

What you need to  focus on is ad revenue, the significance of views, subscribers, and engagement, and adhere to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) requirements.

The cornerstone of YouTube’s monetization is ad revenue. Advertisers pay YouTube to display ads on videos, and a portion of this income is shared with the creators.

This revenue sharing is pivotal, as it incentivizes creators to produce high-quality, engaging content that attracts viewers and, consequently, more advertisers.

Various ad formats exist, including display ads, overlay ads, skippable and non-skippable video ads, bumper ads, and sponsored cards.

The revenue from these ads varies based on factors like ad type, ad duration, and whether viewers watch or skip the ads.

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Two key metrics in YouTube’s revenue sharing are CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) and RPM (Revenue Per Thousand Views).

CPM reflects the amount advertisers pay per thousand ad impressions, while RPM represents the total revenue (from ads and other sources) earned per thousand views after YouTube’s cut.

Higher CPM and RPM values correlate with higher earnings.

The role of views, subscribers, and engagement in earning potential

More views generally mean more ad impressions and potential clicks, leading to higher earnings. However, not all views are monetizable (e.g., views with ad blockers do not contribute to ad revenue).

While subscribers themselves don’t directly influence earnings, a higher subscriber count often leads to more views and engagement. Subscribers are more likely to watch new content and engage with it, boosting its visibility and attractiveness to advertisers.

Engagement metrics like likes, comments, shares, and watch time are crucial. YouTube’s algorithm favors videos with high engagement, increasing their likelihood of appearing in recommendations and search results, thus leading to more views and potential earnings.

Overview of YouTube Partner Program (YPP) requirements

To be eligible for the YPP, creators must meet specific requirements:

  • At least 1,000 subscribers.
  • A minimum of 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months.
  • A minimum of 10 Million valid public shorts views
  • Adherence to all YouTube monetization policies.
  • A linked AdSense account for payment.

Once in the YPP, creators can earn money from ads, channel memberships, super chats in live streams, and a share of YouTube Premium revenue generated from their content being watched.

Being part of YPP also means maintaining compliance with YouTube’s policies. Failure to do so can result in demonetization or removal from the program.

After meeting the eligibility requirements, creators can apply for YPP. YouTube then reviews the channel to ensure it meets all guidelines and community standards.

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Calculating YouTube earnings: A closer look

For creators focused on learning how to make money on YouTube, understanding how YouTube earnings are calculated is key:

 Factors influencing earnings

1. CPM (Cost Per Mille): This is the amount advertisers pay per 1,000 ad impressions on a video. CPM rates vary widely based on factors like audience location, video topic, and time of year (e.g., CPM is often higher during the holiday season).

2. RPM (Revenue Per Mille): This metric represents the total revenue (from ads, memberships, super chats, etc.) earned per 1,000 video views, after YouTube’s standard 45% cut. RPM provides a more comprehensive picture of a channel’s earning potential than CPM alone.

3. Audience Demographics: Advertisers pay more for certain demographics. For instance, audiences in countries like the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom often have higher CPMs. Also, certain age groups or interests can attract more lucrative advertising.

4. Video Engagement: Videos with higher engagement (likes, comments, shares) tend to be promoted more by YouTube’s algorithm, leading to more views and potential earnings.

5. Content Type: Advertisers prefer family-friendly, non-controversial content. Videos with sensitive or controversial topics may have limited or no monetization.

6. Watch Time: Longer watch times can lead to more ads being shown, especially in longer videos, increasing potential earnings.

 Tools and formulas for estimating earnings

1. YouTube analytics: Creators can use YouTube Analytics within their channel dashboard to track real-time CPM and RPM rates, providing insight into current earning trends.

2. Earnings estimator tools: Online tools like Social Blade offer estimates of YouTube earnings based on public data like views and subscriber count.

3. Basic formula: A rough formula for estimating earnings is multiplying the total video views by the CPM rate and dividing by 1,000. Remember to deduct YouTube’s 45% share.

 Earnings examples based on views

How much can you earn for 100,000 views on YouTube?

Assuming an average CPM of $2 (this can vary widely), and after YouTube’s cut, a video with 100,000 views might earn around $110. (100,000 / 1,000)  $2  55% = $110.

How much can you earn for 1 million views on YouTube?

With the same CPM, a video with 1 million views could earn about $1,100. (1,000,000 / 1,000)  $2  55% = $1,100.

How much can you earn for 10 million views on YouTube?

At this scale, the income becomes substantial. The same calculation yields around $11,000. (10,000,000 / 1,000)  $2  55% = $11,000.

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Strategies for maximizing YouTube revenue

Maximizing revenue on YouTube requires a multi-faceted approach, focusing on advertising revenue, leveraging new features like YouTube Shorts, and diversifying income streams. 

Here are a few tips to help you make the most from every upload:

  • Target high-value niches: Certain topics attract higher CPMs, like finance, technology, and health.
  • Create high-quality, engaging content: High viewer engagement and watch time can lead to better ad placements and rates.
  • Understand your audience: Tailor your content to the preferences of a demographic that is attractive to advertisers.
  • Regular upload schedule: Consistency in posting can lead to a steady growth in views and ad revenue.

 YouTube Shorts monetization

This is YouTube’s answer to the short-form video trend and offers monetization opportunities, though they differ from traditional videos. 

Strategies for leveraging shorts for revenue:

  • Drive Traffic to Regular Videos: Use Shorts to attract viewers to your channel and encourage them to watch your longer, monetized content.
  • Grow Your Subscriber Base: More subscribers can lead to more views on your monetizable content.
  • Engage with Your Audience: High engagement on Shorts can improve your channel’s overall visibility and attractiveness to potential advertisers.

 Diversifying income streams

Here are some more way to make money on YouTube:

  • Channel memberships: Offer paid memberships to your viewers in exchange for exclusive perks like badges, emojis, and access to members-only content.
  • Super Chat and Super Stickers: Enable these features during live streams to allow viewers to pay to highlight their messages.
  • Merchandise Shelf: Collaborate with merchandise platforms to sell your branded products directly through your YouTube channel.
  • Sponsored Content: Partner with brands to create content that features their products or services. This can be a significant revenue source, independent of YouTube’s ad system.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Promote products in your videos and include affiliate links in your video descriptions. You earn a commission for every sale made through these links.

Steps to start making money on YouTube

To effectively start making money on YouTube, one needs a strategic approach that aligns with YouTube’s policies, engages the audience effectively, and focuses on continuous growth and quality improvement. Here’s a breakdown of these steps:

Building a content strategy that aligns with Youtube’s monetization policies

Start by familiarizing yourself with YouTube’s guidelines. Your content must adhere to these policies to be eligible, if you’re trying to understand how to make money on Youtube. 

This includes avoiding copyrighted material, adhering to community guidelines, and steering clear of controversial or restricted topics.

Next, identify a niche that you are passionate about and that has a potential audience on YouTube. A clear, focused niche helps in creating targeted content that can attract a specific audience.

Now it’s time to create a content calendar. Consistency in posting new videos keeps your audience engaged and helps in maintaining a regular viewer base.

Finally, utilize keywords, compelling titles, descriptions, and tags to improve your content’s visibility in YouTube searches. Good SEO practices can significantly increase your reach on the platform.

 Engaging with your audience to increase viewership and loyalty

It’s important to encourage viewers to engage with your content by asking questions, inviting comments, and suggesting topics for future videos. This interaction boosts engagement rates, which are crucial for YouTube’s recommendation algorithm.

Actively responding to comments on your videos can build a community and foster a sense of connection between you and your viewers.

Once you have enough subscribers, use the Community tab and YouTube Stories to keep your audience engaged between video uploads.

Live streaming is also an effective way to interact with your audience in real-time, answer questions, and deepen viewer relationships.

 Tips for growing your subscriber base and enhancing video quality

1. Quality over quantity: Focus on creating high-quality content rather than just a high quantity of content. Better production quality (good lighting, clear audio, high-resolution video) can significantly improve viewer retention and attract more subscribers.

2. Consistent branding and presentation: Maintain a consistent brand and presentation style across all your videos. This includes a consistent opening, closing, and an overall look and feel that becomes recognizable to your viewers.

3. Collaborations: Collaborate with other YouTubers in your niche. This can expose your channel to a wider audience and help increase your subscriber count.

4. Promotions across platforms: Promote your YouTube content on other social media platforms to attract more viewers to your YouTube channel.

5. Analyze your performance: Regularly check your YouTube Analytics to understand what works and what doesn’t. This data can guide your content strategy, helping you create more of what your audience enjoys.

6. Call-to-action: Include a call-to-action in your videos, encouraging viewers to like, comment, share, and subscribe. This can boost your video in YouTube’s algorithm.

Realities of earning money on YouTube 

Earning money on YouTube is often surrounded by myths of rapid success and easy income. However, the real picture involves consistent effort, adaptability, and understanding the platform’s dynamics. 

 Debunking myths with numbers

The YouTube landscape is competitive, with over 500 hours of video uploaded every minute. Building a significant viewership usually takes time. For example, many channels don’t see substantial income until they reach tens of thousands of subscribers and consistent high viewership.

While a successful video can continue generating revenue, YouTube’s algorithm favors new and regularly updated content. Channels that stop uploading often see a significant decrease in earnings and viewership.

 Insights into effort and consistency

The top 3% of most-viewed channels on YouTube get an average of 1.4 million views per month. Reaching this level typically involves creating high-quality content and maintaining a consistent upload schedule.

Channels that actively engage with their audience, such as responding to comments or involving viewers in content creation, tend to see better audience retention. This engagement can translate into higher viewership and ad revenue.

YouTube’s algorithm changes regularly. Channels that adapt to these changes and update their content strategy accordingly can sustain their viewership and revenue.

 Success stories

1. PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg)

PewDiePie’s channel started in 2010 and took several years to gain momentum.

As of 2024, he has 111 million subscribers. His journey shows the potential of long-term, consistent content creation and audience engagement.

2. Marques Brownlee (MKBHD)

Since 2008, MKBHD has grown to over 18 million subscribers. His meticulous approach to tech reviewing and high production quality are key factors in his channel’s success.

Marques took several years to build his channel to a point where it could be monetized effectively.

3. Lilly Singh (Superwoman)

Lilly’s channel, which started in 2010, now has over 14 million subscribers. Her growth trajectory highlights the importance of relatable content and adapting to audience preferences.

She didn’t reach the 1 million subscriber mark until 2013, indicating a steady, gradual growth.

Final thoughts

Success on YouTube often doesn’t come overnight. It’s the result of consistent effort in content creation, audience engagement, and adaptation to the platform’s changing algorithms and policies. 

For new creators, this might mean spending considerable time developing their style and voice, building their audience, and understanding what resonates with their viewers.

Additionally, YouTube’s revenue streams are varied – from traditional ad revenue to newer avenues like channel memberships and super chats.

Navigating this requires not just an understanding of the platform but also an innovative approach to integrating these revenue streams into your content strategy without compromising the authenticity and quality of the content.

But the good news is: The diversity of YouTube’s audience means that there’s almost always a viewer for every type of content, making it a fertile ground for those who are willing to explore and experiment.

The key lies in approaching YouTube monetization not just as a goal but as a process – one that is marked by learning, evolving, and persistently striving towards creating content that resonates with and enriches the audience.

FAQs

1. How many views do you need to get paid on YouTube?

 To start earning money directly from YouTube, you need to be part of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). For this, you require 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months. There’s no specific number of views needed to start earning, but more views can lead to higher potential earnings.

2. How much money can you make on YouTube for 1000 views?

Earnings for 1,000 views (also known as CPM – Cost Per Mille) vary greatly depending on factors like the quality of the audience, the video’s niche, and the region. On average, creators can earn anywhere from $0.50 to $6.00 per 1,000 views, but this can be higher or lower.

3. How to make $10,000 per month on YouTube without making videos?

Generating this level of income without creating original content is challenging and typically not sustainable. Some methods like curating and licensing content, or leveraging YouTube for affiliate marketing or as a sales platform for other products/services, might work. However, these methods have limitations and are often less successful than creating original content.

4. Can you make money on youtube as a beginner?

As a beginner, focus first on creating consistent, high-quality content and growing your audience to meet the YPP criteria (1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours). Once in the YPP, you can start earning through ads, memberships, super chats, and potentially affiliate marketing and sponsorships.

5. How many YouTube views do I need to make $5000 per month?

This depends heavily on your CPM. Assuming an average CPM of $2, you would need approximately 2.5 million views per month (after YouTube’s cut) to earn around $5,000.

6. How many views on YouTube does it take to make $1,500 a month?

With an average CPM of $2, you’d need around 750,000 views per month to earn approximately $1,500.

7. How much YouTube pays for 1 billion views?

This is highly variable. If we take an average CPM of $2, 1 billion views might generate around $2,000,000 before YouTube’s cut. After YouTube takes its share (45%), the amount would be around $1,100,000.

8. What is the salary of a YouTuber?

YouTube doesn’t pay a salary. Earnings are based on ad revenue, sponsorships, and other monetization strategies. These can vary greatly from a few dollars to millions per year, depending on the channel’s popularity and niche.

9. How much does a YouTuber with 1 million subscribers make?

There’s no set amount, as earnings depend on factors like engagement, views, and niche. Some might earn $5,000 per month, others $30,000 or more. Sponsorships and merchandise can also significantly boost earnings.

10. Can you live off YouTube money?

Yes, many YouTubers sustain themselves through their YouTube earnings, but this generally requires a substantial and engaged subscriber base, consistent content creation, and diversification of income streams.

11. Who is the richest YouTuber?

The current richest YouTuber is MrBeast with a $500 million net worth.

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