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Beginner's Guide to Making Money on YouTube

Updated on February 25, 2019
Erudite Scholar profile image

Jeff Zod is an Information Technology expert.He enjoys developing software, surfing the web, hacking, and securing computer systems.

Youtube App on Desktop

Youtube App on Desktop
Youtube App on Desktop | Source

At first glance, making money on YouTube seems to be a camera and a hashtag away for the booming online stars. Well, we found out that it’s not as easy as many of us assume. Consider this,


Of all the influencer platforms in existence right now, YouTube often seems like the most challenging for beginners. However, it is also the most intriguing and lucrative platform with star YouTubers earning six figures annually from advertising income alone. The top 10 YouTube influencers earned $180.5 million in 2018

Making Money on Youtube

Do you know how to make money on Youtube?

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Youtube App on Tablet

Youtube App on Tablet
Youtube App on Tablet | Source

Do the numbers go any higher?

Furthermore, this pie is only getting bigger year on year, YouTube recently stated that the number of users grossing over $100,000 annually has grown by over 40%. Also, 75% more channels have exceeded a million YouTube subscribers compared to last year.

Your next dollar just might be a hashtag away after reading what we found. We will, therefore, discuss the alternative ways of making money on YouTube and even suggest the best and easiest way for new YouTubers to get started and earning.

Where to start with making money on YouTube


Disclaimer: You must start with an easy investment in producing quality content for your viewers. Here is a credible toolkit:

How to produce & edit your YouTube content:

* https://backlinko.com/hub/youtube/shooting

*https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY_LMaDAoa6hwHKBE4Dx56w

*https://filmora.wondershare.com/youtube-video-editing/best-video-editing-software-for-youtube.html

YouTube Ad Incomes

YouTube does not directly pay users for their content. Instead, users get paid through linking their YouTube with an AdSense account. AdSense is one of Google’s most profitable and valuable income sources. When a user enables AdSense on their YouTube channel, Google starts generating advertisements on their videos and the user then stands to get paid. These YouTubers leverage YouTube for their gain.List of Youtubers

Youtube App on Smartphone

Youtube App on Smartphone
Youtube App on Smartphone | Source

How do YouTubers get paid via AdSense?

CPM (Cost Per Mille/Impression)

How much you get paid depends on the CPM formula used by Google. The abbreviation CPM means (Cost Per Impression), this means YouTubers get paid a specific amount for every 1000 advert impressions that originate from their videos.

For instance, let’s assume you earn at the rate of 1$ CPM. This will amount to 1$ per every 1000 times that your video is viewed with a promotion appearing on it. So, if you got a million views, which would be equal to $1000 in ad revenue. Ultimately, one’s CPM depends on the niche of their videos and their audience. For example, gaming videos and parenting videos have different CPM.

Geographic location of traffic

Also, if a majority of your viewers are from the US your CPA will be much higher compared to YouTubers with predominantly African or Asian viewers. Although AdSense is one of the most profitable ways of making money on YouTube it’s not a viable option for beginners. This is due to Google’s policy of only allowing people with over 10,000 views to participate.

YouTube Endorsements

Are Paid Promotions profitable?

Influencer marketing is a booming industry that YouTubers can, and do cash in on, Paid sponsorships are highly profitable. Some of the biggest brands in the world are

working with famous YouTubers after recognizing the economic value of leveraging the massive followings on their channels. What’s more, paid sponsorships mean viewers get to enjoy their best content while being sold on the brand's relevant products and services at the same time. Here is a guide on how to be effective at marketing a brand (3)


Game developers and company’s selling gaming accessories are the most proactive in this arena. These businesses sponsor gaming YouTubers since they know there is a ready and immediate audience for their products. Take a look at the top 20 gaming influencers on YouTube (4)


What rules should you follow for Paid Promotions?

1.5 billion users are active on YouTube on a monthly basis. This makes it a well of opportunity for people pursuing profit. Especially advertisers. YouTubers have gained so much from this in the past it became a market saturated by irrelevant content and uncertainty that prompted YouTube to make YouTuber’s transparency with users mandatory.

YouTubers have to disclose that their channels or content are sponsored. Before this, users were oblivious to YouTubers promoting products and services for monetary gain. This policy change requires audiences to be made aware whenever the YouTuber is sponsored. YouTubers should use disclosure of Paid Promotion in their video

Affiliate Marketing

In addition to paid promos, YouTubers promote products and services with a special code that suggests viewers buy the product or service at a discounted price. The YouTuber, in this case, is paid for the ad beforehand, and they could potentially earn more in the form of sales commissions.


Prime examples of Brand partnerships with YouTubers include, Epic Meal Time cooperation with Netflix, MysteryGuitarMan partnership with Coca-Cola and Rhet & Link featured ad campaigns with McDonald's.

Man with camera

Man with camera
Man with camera | Source

Additional Earnings

Besides the ad revenues and endorsements, YouTubers are now starting to venture beyond the confines of the internet. For instance;


*Alfie Deyes released a book titled The Pointless Book which was extremely popular after its release selling over 500,000 copies. Similarly, Zoe Sugg also known as Zoella has released books with her first two books alone selling over a million copies. She went on to break the record for book sales in the first week and her first book titled Girl Online is now available in over 25 different languages.



*Apart from books, other famous YouTubers such as Caper Lee and KSI have appeared in their own movies. Popular YouTubers are now touring as a result of their vast following on YouTube. This has made put them in the same elite as actors and singers. They make stage performances or adaptations of their YouTube channels during these tours.

There is still untapped earning potential in YouTube

While it may seem like YouTube has been with us forever, we are only in the initial stages in regard to earning and career potential. YouTube kids are work in progress. There is a vast potential for growth. It remains to be seen what the YouTube platform will become in the future. A huge number of people are becoming YouTube subscribers and work at attempting to create a niche for themselves, it’s getting harder and harder to get noticed without the proper know-how.

Nevertheless, from the information we have provided above, the huge earning potential from YouTube can work for you. This will really blow up and boost your finances. You can earn thousands if not millions of dollars annually.


Most successful YouTubers will admit that YouTube is one of their passive income generation streams. However, they will also tell you that it takes a lot of hard work to make money on YouTube. They often spend thousands of hours creating their video content. If you have decided to venture into creating video content, you should be passionate about creating videos. Persistence is another virtue that most beginners lack.

The odds of becoming a YouTube sensation overnight

Granted, it is possible to become an overnight success. Take your time and create high-quality video content for your channel subscribers. A YouTuber should strive to purchase high-quality equipment. This will enable them to produce excellent video content.


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Jeff Zod

How to make money on Youtube

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    • Erudite Scholar profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Zod 

      11 months ago from Nairobi

      Thanks Ziyena,I really appreciate the support.

    • ziyena profile image

      Ziyena Brazos 

      11 months ago from Somewhere in Time ...

      I know a musician who might like to read this article. Will share :)

    • Erudite Scholar profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Zod 

      12 months ago from Nairobi

      @hardly moving,

      Thanks for the statistics. I ought to write an article about the earnings requirements.

    • hardlymoving profile image

      hardlymoving 

      12 months ago from Memphis, TN

      The qualifying requirements to apply for ad revenue in youtube is: 1. 4,000 hours of views ... all articles combined. 2. 1,000 subscribers. After around 4 months, my partner and I produced 80 videos to date. A lot of work on his part with the video taking and editing. We recently passed 2,500 view hours and have 175 subscribers. We're averaging around 2 new subscribers per day. I'm guessing when we get to 100 videos, we may hit 3 + subscribers per day. Seems like there's no problem getting to 4,000 views. It's getting to 1,000 subscribers that appears difficult. Believe we can get to 1,000 by next Summer at the current rate producing videos. Someone told me that most people take around a year and a half to get to 100 subscribers. Also you want to average a "thumbs up" of 90% or better with all your videos. The more people visit your video, the better the chance that your video will appear on page 1 of a google search.

      Also told that videos may become the new standard for teaching in lieu of books, lectures and people with advance degrees or certifications. Just because you're book smart and good at taking tests doesn't mean you can "walk-the-walk".

    • Erudite Scholar profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Zod 

      12 months ago from Nairobi

      Yeah, I agree with you Uddin.Making money online is no walk in the park as many people are led to believe.

    • aziza786 profile image

      Zia Uddin 

      12 months ago from UK

      Thanks for the extra information. As well as requiring 10,000 views per video to qualify, Youtube also requires you have a hundred subscribers to your channel sheesh! Its gonna take a long time. It's still very hard no matter how much effort you put in. Hubpages is no different as well.

    • Erudite Scholar profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Zod 

      13 months ago from Nairobi

      Hi hardlymoving,

      Thanks for the enlightening insights.I will definitely create my own videos and incorporate the m into my articles.Wow your friend is certainly a video whizz.I have edited videos before and I agree with you that it is a lot of hard work.The payoff is certainly worth it though.

    • hardlymoving profile image

      hardlymoving 

      13 months ago from Memphis, TN

      Create your own videos and learn from the process. Cameras, lighting conditions, audio conditions ... just look at one of my articles with video and you'll get the drift. Then there's the video editing tool. Splicing, cutting, dubbing ... my partner can take 6 hours or more of video and condense it down to 20 minutes. But he may have to put 8 or more hours of effort to get it down to 20 minutes. Then I take the video and create my hubpages text and pictures article where the text follows the video. And that process takes hours and hours as well. The end result is people are amazed at the finished product. The critiques have all been positive. That's just one video and hubpages article! So if you want to make a financial dent with youtube, I'm guessing you'll need to publish 100 plus videos to get a following of subscribers. Lots and lots of work.

      To get commission revenue from Amazon, you'll have apply with them to become an associate. You'll have to show what site you have your articles and they'll determine if you have enough traffic to justify granting you associate membership. Then you link to associate ID with hubpages and share your commission with products the reader buys.

      Here's an example of a tough video I incorporated in my hub article I recently revised and published:

      https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Toyota-1MZFE-Ti...

    • Erudite Scholar profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Zod 

      13 months ago from Nairobi

      Hi hardlymoving,

      I really appreciate that you have taken the time to read my hubs.Thanks for the useful insights.I will certainly include videos in my future hubs.What do you think is better? Creating your own videos or sourcing them form creative commons and other free and shareware sites?I am amazed that what took 8 years can take only a few months through the use of high quality videos.Can you elucidate further about the Amazon commissions revenue going up.Did the videos you included in your articles result in more organic traffic?

    • hardlymoving profile image

      hardlymoving 

      13 months ago from Memphis, TN

      Good article but I believe you need 10,000 views AND 1,000 subscribers to start earning ad revenue. I've already reached 23,000 + views but only 111 subscribers in a little over 3 months with 68 videos. I believe once I get to 100 videos, the new subscriber rate should start moving up significantly. With respect to hubpages, I was making good ad revenue with 40 published articles over the last 8 years; however, by revisiting the existing articles and augmenting them with video inserts, both my ad revenue and Amazon commission sales went up close to 100%. So what took me 8 years to get too was doubled in over 3 months incorporating youtube videos with hubpages articles. Making videos is extremely hard work which is why I partnered with a friend of mine who makes and edits all my videos. Without him, it would be impossible to be where I'm now at. I needed an extra pair of hands to be video recording while I'm demonstrating the work I'm performing for the audience.

    • Erudite Scholar profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Zod 

      13 months ago from Nairobi

      Hi Liz,

      It is always a pleasure having you here *wink* Youtube requires a lot of dedication and passion in-order to succeed.Technical knowledge is not enough.You need to be interested in your subject matter and then promote it well.

    • Erudite Scholar profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Zod 

      13 months ago from Nairobi

      Hi Fiberesima,

      I will surely write an article on how to start a Youtube channel, monetize it and create passive income from it.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      13 months ago from UK

      For a while I have looked on as YouTubers make increasingly large incomes. Much as I ponder and scratch my head I'm struggling to come up with an idea to help me join their ranks.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      13 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi, Jeff. that's a good point. Many will like and welcomed it.

    • Erudite Scholar profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Zod 

      13 months ago from Nairobi

      Hi Fiberesima,

      I will certainly update the article or even create a new one for those interested in creating their own Youtube channels.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      13 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi, Jeff, thanks for all the information. I think you will later update your syory with all these. i am making a notepad at the moment. Thanks again.

    • Erudite Scholar profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Zod 

      13 months ago from Nairobi

      Hi Fiberesima,

      Thanks for taking time and appreciating my work.Making money on Youtube is a viable venture.You need to be passionate about creating unique,original and captivating video content.You need to have good equipment such as cameras, video-cameras, video editing software and high speed internet.You will need to create a channel using your Gmail or other Google account.You will then create videos and upload them.You have to update the content and upload regularly.You can monetize your content after reaching 10,000 views.You can also apply to become a Youtube Partner.Be patient and you are on your way to making passive income from Youtube.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      13 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi, Erudite Scholar, I like to read your articles. I was thinking of making videos on YouTube, two days ago, but here you are talkng about the challenges. Could you tell us how someone can start making videos on youtube from scratch? Thank you.

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