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How to Make Money on YouTube

Updated on May 11, 2015
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Stuart has spent three years trying to convince his boyfriend he is not hiding books under their bed and they are certainly not multiplying.


When Steven Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawid Karim founded YouTube they tapped into humanities fundamental need to connect. Within a single year of the sites launch, it was reported an estimate, 65,000 new videos were being uploaded each day. YouTube has since become the internets third most visited website, behind Google and, the social juggernaut, Facebook, respectively. While there are plenty of ways to make extra money online but many young people have found success on YouTube, as video bloggers (or, by the portmanteau, vlogger).

There is something indescribable about the ability to navigate your way into somebody else's life and learn from their experiences, find common-ground when it comes to important issues and gain information you would not necessarily have known. Some of the most famous vloggers have found considerable fame on YouTube and have been able to make a career out of their brand; whether they are straight vloggers (talking about their lives, experiences or career paths), video artists (creating interesting and innovative videos, such as special effects tutorials or music videos) or pop culture commentators. These uniquely talented people have been able to stay relevant and continue to find an audience, as the internet grows and expands with societies dependance on the internet (and multimedia) increases, exponentially.

A simple instrument to connect to the rest of the world.
A simple instrument to connect to the rest of the world. | Source

Example of a Seasoned Vlogger

Further Reading about YouTube Marketing

Connecting with the Public through Vlogging

Over the last five years, I have followed a total of 56 vloggers on YouTube and have been completely transfixed by their stories. There is something so interesting about being able to relate to someone you may never meet and do not personally know but are still able to find common ground, find inspiration from or gain understanding through. Within my own life I found acceptance of my own homosexuality by watching the collaborative channel, 5AG (or Five Awesome Gays) and better understand transsexuality (something I have not experienced in my own life or understood fully) through vloggers, such as, dominoayjae and Minorqback. There is nothing worse in your life than feeling alone, especially in places where you feel you are not accepted. Whether you feel secluded because of your sexual orientation or social status or dependant on your self-esteem issues, these voices can be accessed through YouTube and knowing you are not alone- that there is an entire community of people just like you and going through the same experiences, is invaluable.

What are the ways you can find succes on YouTube? Here are some starter tips:

  1. Know what you want to achieve (are you just in it for views or do you need the video you are uploading to fulfill a specific purpose, ie sending viewers to your website)
  2. Interact with seasoned YouTubers, you do not want to spam (continually post the same thing) their comment sections or timelines (if they have a Facebook page) but include a link to your video within your comment on their videos. The YouTube community has been toted as very welcoming but do not abuse this practice or you may be flagged as a spammer (and, subsequently, ignored by the high profile users)
  3. Use the YouTube keyword function, this will allow you to view the top searched keywords in your specific country, this is an invaluable asset to a fledgling YouTube vlogger.
  4. Create worthwhile content, the video you create must be something you would watch yourself and pass to your friends. Do not fall into the trap of creating content just for the purposes of going viral, this may get you views in the short but may lose you some credibility (and return viewers) in the longrun.
  5. Insert links within your video. The YouTube annotation feature allows the viewer to click through on certain embedded links within your video to other content, this could help to drive traffic to your other videos. Though, make sure you do not excessively add these and it does impede the viewing of your video, because viewers will lose interest with the wait time.
  6. Use social media, whether it be your personal facebook, google+ or twitter account. The average person has over one hundred friends on their facebook, so why not start with them? You have on average, at the minimum, 100,000 potential viewers using the same 100 friend, minimum, per person mentality.
  7. Be relatable, there is nothing more irritating than watching someone try to be more than they are or seem like they think they are better than everyone else. Talk about what you know, create content using your strengths and do not be afraid to look mildly stupid sometimes, it's going to be a bit weird talking to a camera for a bit. Go with it.

Do You Spend Time On YouTube?

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Have You Had Some Prior Experience with Vlogging?

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How Exactly Will I Earn Money?

The YouTube Partnership Program was launched to help new, and existing, YouTubers the ability to tailor their content, improve their skills, build a larger audience and monetize more content. The program works similarly to HubPages Earning Program through, instead of hubs, you would be creating videos. Once you have been accepted into the YouTube Partnership Program, which requires a certain amount of followers, views and content rich portfolio of videos, you make money off relevant ads embedded into your videos.

In order to be paid, you will need to open an associate AdSense account, but YouTube will remind you when it is the right time for you to open an account; usually when you have surpassed the necessary threshold.

To become a Youtube Partner, you must ensure the following:

  1. The program has been launched in your respective country
  2. You are uploading original and quality content and are monetizing on, at least, one video
  3. Your videos are inline with YouTube Terms of Service and are within the Community Guidelines

It is important to remain professional, even on the internet, especially if you are planning on turning it into your job.

Philip DeFranco at the YouTube Partner Meet-Up in 2010
Philip DeFranco at the YouTube Partner Meet-Up in 2010 | Source

The Future of YouTube

There has been some talk about the future of YouTube and the relevance of the vlogger, in their current capacity. With the many changes to YouTube, as of late, and the introduction of several full length television shows, movies and web-based series, many vloggers and bloggers, alike, have wondered where vloggers will find their footing. Over the years, many highly successful YouTube originals have abandoned their accounts and walked away from their audiences due to the continual shift in priorities from their platform-server, feeling, as if, the content they provide is no longer relavent to the new generation of Youtubers.

You need to be constantly evolving with your audience, if you can continue to remain fresh and new, you should be able to build upon your viewership. Like most things in business it has to be about supply and demand, if you want to make money on YouTube then you will need to continue with creating content which engages your audience. There are several celebrities today who have found fame on YouTube, ie; Justin Bieber, Greyson Chance, Bo Burnham, Liam Sullivan, Michael Buckley and Philip DeFranco.


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    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is interesting information. I always think about having my own vlog on YouTube, but haven't had the nerve to do it yet.

    • hisandhers profile image

      hisandhers 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Great information for the fledgling vlogger! I'm sure many people think it's just a matter of uploading a video to a ready audience when in fact it's a lot more work.

      Great job!

    • vimier profile image

      vimier 5 years ago from Chicago, IL, United States

      This is a great idea for those people who are comfortable infront of the camera. Could be a lot easier and profitable than writing if done correctly!

    • Bhavin Panara profile image

      Bhavin Panara 5 years ago from India

      Very nice hub..

      Thanks for it..

    • bearinminds profile image

      bearinminds 5 years ago from Seoul, South Korea

      Nice hub! Thank you for sharing your ideas.