Learning how to make money on Youtube in 2020 is an extremely effective way to make some cash if you do it properly.
Video platforming is a powerful tool to use in our modern society since Youtube is also the second largest search engine on the web with over 3 billion searches a month.
Imagine how powerful (and how much money…) you could make with just a sliver of that portion.
That’s why today we are going over the 10 best ways on how you can optimize your Youtube revenue stream so you can start making money immediately.
1. Affiliate Marketing
You have probably seen this if you have ever watched any Youtube videos.
And the reason people like affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to have any product. You just need to have an audience and then place a link to a product so that people can buy.
It’s things like:
- “These are the camera gear I use, which you can find in the description below…”
- “It’s 15％ off for Skillshare for the first 15 people that sign up with the link below…”
- “Click the link below to enter the world of Raid: Shadow Legends (I have seen this link too many times now…)”
Nate O’Brien does a really superb job in putting affiliate links with incentives in his Youtube description below…
The idea of affiliate marketing is simple – You get a commission for every person who signs up and makes a purchase.
Now it always depends on the agreement and rules set up by the companies to get paid.
Some companies want you to sell the product while others want them to subscribe to their service. Then there are other companies who pay you for every lead that they get.
But one thing to keep in mind is the harder the conversions are, the more you get paid.
For example, selling someone a $300 Oura Ring is going to be a lot harder than getting a lead to join Skillshare for 30 days free.
And affiliate marketing can range anything from 5% to 25% depending on what the specific company has set (which you can always negotiate depending on your performance…)
But here are some tips so you can get affiliate marketing to work for you:
- Always make sure that whatever product you are promoting aligns with your specific niche. It wouldn’t make sense if you’re in the beauty niche and you are selling fishing rods.
- NEVER promote a product you don’t believe in. It may get your sales in the short run but you will lose trust in your audience, which will be detrimental for you in the long run… (I always advise people to try the product first before promoting it on their Youtube…)
- Make sure the link actually works (You’d be surprised at how many people still have broken links in their descriptions…)
There’s also a big misconception about affiliate marketing…
And that is people think you need a ton of subscribers to make sales, which is not true at all.
Sure, you get more eyeballs and more potential sales, but as long as you build a certain amount of trust, you can still make plenty of money with a small subscriber base.
Heck, you can even make more money depending on how much diehard loyal fan you have.
1,000 diehard loyal subscribers are a lot better than 100,00 average subscribers.
Just something to think about. 🙂
2. eCommerce Shop
Having an eCommerce shop is also another popular method on how to make money on Youtube.
And it’s super easy to set up.
All you have to do nowadays is just go to Shopify and set up a store selling merchandise within 30 minutes (that you don’t even need to have in your physical house…) and start selling T-shirts right away.
It’s a way many popular Youtubers do to create a revenue stream separate from Youtube that still builds their business brand.
It’s super common in gaming niches like PewDiePie and Ninja, but this applies to any niche where you have a loyal fanbase.
You can apply it to niches like:
- Anything your heart really wants…
And then you can start split testing to see which designs, clothing, and angle best resonate with your audience.
Here’s a powerful way to make people want to buy merchandise from you.
Next time in your video, give them a reason on why they should buy from you.
Mr. Beast does this cleverly by saying that you can help support in making videos and doing crazy things like giving away a house by buying merchandise.
The reason is that he needs money to make videos on giving money away.
Now, not everyone is like Mr. Beast, but you can use the same principles behind this marketing strategy like:
- Maybe you are giving 5% to a specific charity…
- You are running low on funds for rent but would love to keep making awesome Youtube videos…
- Maybe you will do a special event like signing T-shirts for anybody who buys within the next 24 hours… (Just like what Mr. Beast did with over 60,000 shirts…)
Make it something special and give them a reason to buy merch from you.
This is how you use your Youtube channel to get people to buy from your merch shop.
Sponsoring is another great way on how to make money with Youtube.
You have probably seen this with your favorite Youtube star where they sponsor a product.
Alpha M does an outstanding job putting his personality into selling products that he believes in like below…
What usually happens behind the scenes is that these popular Youtubers get bombarded with multiple offers on sponsoring their product because companies know that people will buy from influencers they trust.
So unsurprisingly there’s lots of competition for popular influencers and a lot less for less popular influencers (Shocking, I know…)
So how do you get to sponsor a product if sponsors don’t notice you and you don’t have a lot of subscribers?
I hate to say it to you, but there’s really only one way to do it – start reaching out to smaller companies.
The reason I say smaller companies is that there’s already a lot of competition for the bigger companies and less exposure for the smaller businesses.
And in your cold email (or whatever way you reach out to them) explain to them the benefits on why they should sponsor you.
You should talk about things like:
- Average video view duration
- How many comments and likes you get on your videos
- People signing up to buy your products on your own website (This is a huge indicator to them that your subscribers are actively buying…)
Show them with data that people are watching your videos and are buyers.
If you can cleverly show that to their businesses and show how you can let them make a profit, then they will happily agree to sponsor you.
That’s all there is to it for sponsoring a product. Just choose a business and a product you believe in and start promoting it on your channel.
4. Youtube Ads
This is probably the first idea people think of when you are thinking on how to make money on Youtube.
The way you do this is by joining the Youtube Partner Program by having 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours within the last year.
And basically you just have to be over 18 and make your videos ad-friendly like:
- Not having sexually suggestive content…
- Not having violence…
- Not having Vulgar language…
- Promoting drugs…
- And having any controversial or sensitive subjects (even if graphic imagery isn’t shown…)
The goal of Youtube is to keep people on Youtube watching videos while giving them an exceptional experience (The science on how they do that is pretty interesting in my humble opinion…)
Which makes sense.
The more videos you watch, the more ads you watch, and the more money they make.
Now they don’t want to have videos which give people a poor experience, so what they would do is just ban the video or hide it really well with their Youtube algorithm.
Here’s the best on how to make money with Youtube with ads.
I like to tell people to put one at the very beginning and one at the very end of the video.
Then you should create videos with at least 10 minutes minimum (Youtube’s sweet spot is between 10-20 minutes on average) and then create a pre-roll ad in the middle of the video.
This is what many Youtubers who are trying to make money don’t know about this secret.
You get paid the most with these types of ads because compared to the beginning or end people who half watched half the video means that they are engaged.
When they are engaged that means they are more likely to buy or at least influenced by that ad. And THAT’S why you get paid more with these ads.
Honestly, if you just take this advice and ignore everything in this blog post, you will at least 2x your revenue.
How many ads should I put on my Youtube Videos?
Honestly, it doesn’t matter as long as your content is good.
There are some vloggers who have ads every 3 minutes throughout their 40 minute videos and the audience just got used to it.
Then there are other people who don’t want to keep disrupting their experience and opt for 1 or 2.
I like the sweet spot of 3 where you generate revenue, but you don’t ruin their experience.
See what your subscribers and audience best responds to because that’s the best answer I can give.
Whatever you do though, keep it consistent.
You don’t want to have 2 ads on one video and then 20 on the next because it will be incredibly jarring for your audience and will make them unsubscribe.
So don’t do that.
How To Make Money With Youtube Premium
This is like people paying with Youtube ads but with a subscription to YouTube Red instead.
What this means is that you will still get paid based on your watch time rather than people watching ads on your videos.
So this means that you should still focus on the quality of your watch time, where viewers can watch your videos with no distractions.
Another way on how to make money on YouTube is through donations.
This is like affiliate marketing, but without the product.
Usually, this is for small time Youtubers who are doing this part time or people looking to create a side hustle.
What people usually do with Patreon is that they put a link in their Youtube description and typically give them some sort of benefits depending on how much they donate monthly.
So if you are a photographer you can they can create a tier list of:
- $5/month gives you exclusive behind the scenes…
- $10/month will give you behind the scenes AND exclusive photos they can use on their websites…
- $20/month everything above + more…
You get the idea.
Create incentives and a goal for why people should donate to you.
Plus, be likeable.
People are more likely to donate to you if you are a likable person.
If you aren’t a fan of Patreon, you can use Tippee (non-affiliate) instead.
Then there are also things like the Super Chat and channel memberships where people can donate and they can have exclusive emojis they can use in the chat and watch only for your channel.
This is exactly what Chilled Cow does with his amazing chill music below…
6. Create An Email Youtube Funnel For Your Own Product
This is another viable way on how to make money on Youtube.
Technically, everything above is a funnel of some sort, but this is for people signing up for an email to join your newsletter.
Look, email has a 4,300% ROI and is a pretty intimate channel if you can reach into their customer’s inbox.
The reason emails are powerful is that it gives you a chance to communicate to them and build a relationship.
You can use an email funnel to:
- Have announcements on upcoming blog posts or events…
- Any tidbits you want to share that provides value (or something interesting…)
- Or even have product launches…
It’s also another way to interact and diversify your business so that your income is not just Youtube.
It’s always important to diversify because you can get the Youtube ban hammer out of nowhere and if you put all your eggs in one basket, well, you’re out of luck.
Here are some email tips if you aren’t sure on how to get started.
7. License Your Content on Youtube
Another effective way on how to make money on Youtube is to license your content.
This is especially true for people who have videos that went viral like the Chewbacca mask lady who hit 114 million views on the internet.
What you could do in these certain scenarios is that marketers realize that eyeballs mean money.
So you can allow them to use your content for either a specific amount of money or a specific percentage.
It’s like stock photos where people put up their photos and videos online and people pay them to use in their content.
The difference is that you already know that this content is popular and therefore you can jack up the prices.
You mainly use this type of situation to make money when one of your videos goes viral.
It’s still possible to do it without going viral, but it’s a lot harder to show the value and the price is going to drop.
8. Be an Advertiser
Now this is a fresh perspective on how to make money on Youtube but is incredibly powerful if you know how to create Youtube ads.
Most people think of making money through Youtube videos, but if your goal is to make money through Youtube, then video ads to your products is another powerful way to make money.
Google continues to dominate the search engine market with over 70% desktop searches on the whole internet!
And… Google owns Youtube.
Of course, mastering Google Ads can take a while, but it really boils down to one principle:
Show a quality product to the right customers in a way that makes them want to buy it.
And the three things you need to focus on are:
- The right audience
- The right product
- And the right message…
That’s it. Even if your ad sucks as long as you put the right product in front of the right audience, you will still make sales.
This is like Patreon on how to make money with Youtube but is slightly different.
Patreon is meant for the solo creator, whereas crowdfunding is for a collective funding for a business idea.
Of course, they have the same perks depending on how much you donate.
But there are some crowdfunding scenarios where they don’t give you the money if you don’t reach the minimum like Kickstarter, whereas there are other crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo that give you the starting funds even if you don’t reach your goal.
This is also another great way to build awareness for a type of product and test its market viability before actually making the product.
You can make trial products and showcase it on Youtube to see what type of product is going to be created…
And then link it in your Youtube description if people are interested in having a product of their own.
10. Meet up With Real Fans
Last but not least, meeting up with your genuine fans in actual life will help you exponentially on making money with YouTube in the long run.
Subscribers are people too.
And when you can build a connection, one that’s off screen and personal, it just makes your subscribers much more loyal to you (and a lot more fun as well!)
Think of scenarios like:
- Pop stars shaking hands with their fans…
- Meeting up with superstars in conferences…
- Accidentally meeting someone on the street and having a small talk with them…
It’s powerful because there’s a human element in that moment.
And it’s through these small moments that make your fanbase much stronger.
You can do this with a small subscriber base or a large subscriber base since it’s all about creating that connection.
And even if you can’t do that all the time, what you can do is respond to them in the comments.
It becomes impossible to respond to all of them at a certain point, but I recommend you still make time to respond to the people for maybe like 30 – 60 minutes.
It truly makes a difference to your fans.
How much money can you make on youtube
As corny as this sounds, you can make as much as you dream of!
Okay… realistically you can make upwards to at least $10 million (I have found no one that reached a billion dollars through Youtube alone…)
But what ends up happening is they leverage their influence to build their own business, which skyrockets their total net worth.
Jeffree Star has a net worth of $50 million dollars while I know small business owners making thousands of dollars with less than 10,000 subscribers.
It really depends on how you position yourself and what you do with your subscribers.
Who’s going to watch your videos?
When you are starting out with 0 subscribers, it’s going to be your friends and family.
And over time, you will build a small tribe for people who accidentally land on your videos.
That’s why it is of the utmost importance to make your videos’ quality content so that people will continue to watch you.
How To Do Youtube SEO
Here’s a trick for people who want to make videos with a higher chance of being watched.
You know that little suggestion bar that comes up below when you search on Youtube?
What that is telling you is that people are searching for those topics.
You can also find it on Google like this with searching “how to be awesome…”
Now if you’re starting at 0, you want to create quality videos for phrases that aren’t competitive.
And if you are at a higher level, well, you can start ranking for the competitive keywords.
That’s basically YouTube SEO in a nutshell.
Of course, you can start looking at things like:
- Trending videos…
- Popular videos from your competitors…
- Optimizing video tags…
But if you make quality videos with low ranking competitive keywords, you will grow.
This is a legit gold mine if you are serious on how to make money on Youtube if you took the time to read this blog post.
Some of it may be things you already know but I’m willing to bet that there was at least one new thing you learned in this post whether it’s how many ads you should put in your video or the best way I think to make money on Youtube. If you enjoyed it please leave a comment below on what your favorite method was.