YouTube stars are the self-made celebrities of today: People who have earned an audience by creating content geared toward teaching, entertaining, reviewing, and being awesome on the internet.
And most do it just to do it—to scratch the itch of creating things and being in front of an audience.
Making money from a YouTube channel probably isn’t the reason you’ll start one, but the opportunities to earn are a pleasant surprise once you realize how many of them there are.
Understanding Your Audience Demographics
Building your own audience puts you in a great position to monetize in a variety of ways. But you’ll only be able to take full advantage of the opportunities you have if you understand the makeup of your audience.
For many YouTubers looking to monetize, the more niche your channel is, the better a position you’ll be in to work with brands looking to target specific audiences (more on that later).
Take a look at your audience’s demographic information by clicking here.
You’ll want to pay especially close attention to:
- Gender for the distribution of male and female, and if your audience skews one way.
- Age for the ranges that most of your audience members fall into.
- Geographic location for the countries or cities where your viewers are watching your videos and some brands might want to focus on.
- Watch Time: The overall engagement of your audience wihen watching your videos.
- A combinations of the above to paint a more accurate picture of your audience by looking at things like the number of male viewers you have in a specific age range.
With this demographic information at hand, you’ll have a better understanding of your own audience and also be able to work better with brands. You can also use Social Blade to compare your own channel against others.
Now, with that out of the way, we can start talking about the different ways you can actually make money.
#1. Create Youtube Channel
You can start your youtube channel just by logging through your gmail account but that solely, will not give you any money. To make money, you must follow all the steps described under the heading how to earn money from youtube (below).
- To start, open youtube.com with your Gmail account.
- Click on the bar beside the Youtube logo on the left corner.
- Click on My Channels from the drop down menu (as shown in the image above)
- A box with heading ‘Set up your channel on YouTube’ will appear, with your name highlighted.
- Update channel with your personal information.
Create a custom YouTube URL instead of the default youtube URL to get organic search visibility.
By default, Youtube gives you a URL like this, www.youtube.com/user/abcdefd0h0d2r……. But you must create your channel’s brand name url like www.youtube.com/user/CashOverflow.Experts say this helps your channel to get visibility in search results. There are certain mandatory requirements for getting a custom URL though, but I believe you are highly dedicated to fulfill those requirements.
Youtube channel is created, now what?
Now, you must find a niche and start producing video content.
Your channel should resonate with your passion. That means you must choose a niche that is closer to your heart and you have always wanted to do something related to this niche.
Once you know your niche, half of your work is done (Will talk about niche in detail later in this post). The rest half is presentation and promotion of your content.
Here is how you can create a quality youtube channel (High quality means a channel which can shout out about your work).
Suppose I enjoy making designs on paper by cutting, pasting and crafting. Here is what I will do.
I will select a unique name for my channel. Let’s call it Paperpal. A name highly co-ordinating with my niche.
Your youtube channel name should tell your brand’s story.
I will add a description for my channel in My channel>About>Channel Description.
A description should concretely tell the ingredients of your youtube channel.
So that your audience can relate to your content and know who you are and what you are doing. Your description will keep on improving with your progress. So it is not a matter of concern if you are not coming up with a seductive description.
At this stage, I will write-
Paperpal is your friend. Through this channel, I will teach you the art of communicating with beautiful stories and paper cutting. Here you will get a beautiful design made by cutting and pasting the waste papers you through into your dustbin. The models here can be used to beautify your guest room.”
Research is the most important work for creating an awesome content. A thorough research will give you an idea about the current taste of audience and market trend. By doing research,
- You will know exactly what people are producing into your domain (by watching their videos, you can call them your competitors once you reach at their level).
- You can know the taste of your audience and what exactly they need (by reading all the comments and reviews of the famous channels into your domain).
- Your knowledge about your domain will be more polished and you will create the content with more value.
For my Paperpal channel, I will
- Google search for “Paper crafting Ideas” to know the latest trends.
- Then I will search for people (and YouTube channels) who are already sharing ideas around crafting designs by cutting paper.
- I will document my content strategy on an excel sheet. In my strategy, I will also cover those gaps which my competitors are missing to cover but there is a demand between my audience (Yeah! All that demand supply game). These ideas will be my shooting stars, because once a video around these ideas is created, it will become more sharable and hence viral.
Now that I have written everything I need to share with my audiences, this is the time when I should start making a video.
#2. Find a Niche for YouTube
Selecting your youtube channel niche for earning money is much related with your hobby or passion for a work.
- You sing loud in the bathroom? Let the people know that you can sing.
- When you teach someone, they understand it better? Let’s teach the world on youtube.
- You have a beauty sense, or you know about the pros and cons of brands in the market, why are you hiding then? People are eagerly searching for someone who can tell them what they should wear.
- You love your dog or your cat. Let people know. Let them know how to love their pets. Or make them laugh with your pet’s videos.
- Do you sleep too much? People, out there are taking sleeping pills. Let them understand how you forget your daily struggle and fall asleep, teach them the way of keeping calm (Yes even this too can help you make money. No? search on youtube).
When I am saying that you can earn money on youtube by anything that you love to do, I am serious. There are a hell lot of other methods to earn money online and youtube is one of the most promising ways.
Here are few youtubers, as common human as you are, but they are becoming famous like some celebrity. Let’s take some inspiration from their work.
Earn money by storytelling on youtube
Do you have a passion in storytelling? Nilesh Mishra also has. He is now celebrity storyteller on youtube and leading radio stations of India are eagerly asking for his time on their shows.
If you too had a hidden story teller, if stories come to you from anywhere and you can accumulate a all the characters to make a beautiful story from within the mid of a chaos, then don’t wait for the right moment because this The Right Moment. Just show your talent to the world, let the people know what you are capable of.
Become a storyteller now!
Make money by mimicry & comedy on youtube
Sometimes we copy our favorite characters. My brother used to imitate Louie Duck of Ducktales. If you are creative with comedy and you can entertain people with your mimicry, or comedy, or singing or drama you have a great potential to make money out of your youtube channel.
There is a youtube channel BB ki Vines with a unique concept of playing different characters by a single person Bhuvan Bam. Bhuvan is doing comedy in his unique way. You can also do anything more creative than him.
Home makers can share recipes on youtube
Cooking videos are attracting loads of viewers on youtube. Who does not want to eat a delicious food? But most of us do not know how to cook. If you have a passion in cooking and you can guide people to make awesome food in simple steps, then you can make a high grossing youtube channel. Watch Mallika Badrinath is making a massive fan base with her creativity and passion in cooking. You can convert your gas stove into money machine with the help of youtube.
“Nisha Madhulika, a 57 year old housewife from NCR, with her passion for cooking, have a potential income of $502,819 through her youtube channel started in mid 2011.”
This report from Economics Time will help you find more such common Indian people who are becoming stars on youtube.
Earn extra cash by teaching on youtube
We are living in the knowledge era. Now no one waits for any confusion to be solved by a professional teacher. All you have to do is to google your inquiry. There are a lot of text, images and videos available to you within a second.
If you have a passion for teaching and you think you can add value to anyone’s life then you can become famous on youtube easily. You can do this part time as well to earn money online. Teach people about competitive exams like Board papers, Graduation exams, Bank exams, IIT, or any such professional or curriculum courses. Watch Banking Careers for reference.
If they can do, why cannot you?
Earn money on youtube by interviewing people
Do you love to meet famous people and ask questions about their life? Questions you put in front of your friends, bring the most curious things out of them? Or do you love interacting with famous people or people who are doing great in their lives?
Do you have a friend (or you can hire an employee) who can shoot your video when you are interviewing someone? If a yes is popping out of you, then making a youtube channel for interviewing is for you. You can earn a living through your channel as Lakshmi Rebecca is doing.
Update: Now she is not only doing interviews but she is traveling the world and sharing her awesome moments with her audience. Look how she has become a celebrity by herself.
Make your profession a youtube sensation
Dr. Vikram Yadav started his YouTube channel in 2009. The best thing he discovered was his profession ‘Medical and Surgical education’ to make videos on youtube. He started with great passion but initially he had very fewer views for months because this niche was completely out of track from the common YouTubers. But he continued his passion with persistence and now he has 264,596 subscribers.
Sing and make youtube audience fall in love
Shraddha Sharma, a 21 year old musical sensation now, has a subscriber base of 202,206. She started simply by singing with guitar strumming and uploading a self-recorded video on youtube. She was just a kid when she was becoming heartthrob on youtube during her initial days. Now she is a fame Youtuber.
Here is something more concrete from youtube’s creator academy…
What is that one thing that people around you never tired praising about you?
- Think, and come up with a niche for making video content.
- Do your initial research whether you can make money from this niche or not. Find people who are already doing something related to your niche. Ask them for guidance.
- Check whether your niche fall into this equation,
Your Interest + Your Knowledge + Audience Availability + Scope of scalability.
If your niche fits into this equation, start a youtube channel now.
In short, you can review videos, record your life and inspire others, record your thoughts and motivate people, record reaction/stimulation of human or animals, make instructional (teaching) videos, perform in one way or another (dance, speech, body language), make song cover videos, almost anything you can do to monetize your talent.
#3. Develop Content Strategy for youtube videos
Why is a video considered awesome?
Definition for an awesome video is changed now. If a video goes viral, it is awesome. This is the simplest ever definition one can suggest in this era of virality but if you have a plan to earn through Youtube, learn this definition by heart.
What? How a video goes ‘Viral’ then!
No expert says that Virality has a definition. And indeed it can’t have a constant definition because the definition is changing every day. But the vital fact is this,
Content is king of the viral kingdom. A good content always rules.
An awesome video can be made viral if it is sharable:
How to Create a sharable video?
With my content for Paperpal (Remeber?), I will make a good quality video either by hiring a professional cameraman or shooting with a person who has experience of recording awesome videos.
Although you can shoot your video without any professional help but you must consider these necessary ingredients of a good video.
- Triggers: Think, why you click to watch a video? Triggers are the hooks which convince you on the first hand to click to play a video. Your video must have triggers to inspire your audience to watch it. A better heading, an awesome meta description and a good thumbnail image can trigger the viewer.
- Emotion: Emotions are game changers. Yes, mind it! When I am angry with my girlfriend and I decide hard in my heart that I will break up with her, she makes her face in a way which I admire a lot. Her cuteness kills my anger and… you know the next step. A video having strong emotion like excitement, anger, love, etc. are highly shareable.
- Public Authority: Registration in gyms increased suddenly when Aamir Khan’s Ghajini was in the hall and who doesn’t remember the long queue at barber’s shop for the Ghajini hairstyle. When people watch any authority doing something in the video, they imitate it. This is a psychologically proven human nature. So if you are using Trigger and Emotion carefully, you may not need a celebrity to make your video awesome. We have a lot many examples of the ads that are immensely popular without a celebrity in it (AIB & TVF become popular first then they started involving celebrities into their videos).
- Story: We often forget a conversation or ‘who was telling me this’, but we do remember the stories told in the conversation. Stories are catchy. Stories are highly inspiring, so they are shareable. Create a connecting story into your video. Arvind Gupta, an IITK graduate from 1970s and a popular educationist, when started teaching science through toys made of scrap; he innovated a new idea to teach the kids. He created stories behind every toy he made. And it was a hit. We learn and get inspired by stories very quickly, and if you can motivate your audience to share your video, you always get a thumbs up.
Here is how marketers at Addidas develop their content strategy…
Once you have created a video keeping these points in mind, you have made a high value video. Here comes the second step where you will increase the pace of popularity of your content, we call it Promotion.
#4. Link your Youtube channel with Adsense
Until this point, I have given you all bows and arrows to conquer the youtube virality. I have also covered the methods through which Youtubers earn money. Here I will describe how you can link Adsense with your youtube channel.
- Login into YouTube.com and click on My Channel as described earlier.
- Click on Video Manager just below the search box on top, as shown in the figure.
- A navigation menu will appear on the left side. Click on CHANNEL.
- Click on the Enable in front of Monetization, as shown in the figure.
- Click in the boxes after reading their terms and condition as shown in the figure and click on I accept, then got it.
- Monetization will be added under Channel heading and your YouTube partnership program will be activated.
- Now click on this Monetisation option. When a window on right will appear with Monetisation as heading, click on ‘how will I be paid?’ as shown in the figure and click on ‘ associate an AdSense account’.
- Click on Next below (You can read about AdSense in right).
- A window as shown in the figure will appear. You can either sign in with your existing Gmail account or can create a new one (If you are a novice, click on sign in).
- Fill in all your information and click on Continue. (Sometimes it may ask for your password).
- Fill in the details in the specified boxes and click on Submit My Application.
- You will be asked to verify your mobile number. Choose option at your ease.
- Congratulation, Your AdSense Application has been submitted.
For approval waiting time and AdSense linking to the youtube account we have many options and google is not strictly stuck to any one single procedure, still they have a procedure which is improving continuously. Through the links in this paragraph, you will be updated with any change made by google.
In this world of versatility, we can earn even without being a partner with YouTube.
Take a Sniper Approach
Advertisers want targeted YouTube channels with a defined demographic. They’d much rather place their ads on a specific type of person than a random user. Think of this as a narrow sniper approach vs the wide spray of a shotgun.
Make your videos with a specific type of person in mind. This is basic advertising 101; identifying your target demographic. Don’t tell me that your demographics are 21 – 55 year old women. This is the shotgun approach that’s too general and vague. Do you talk to a 21 year old girl the same way you’d talk to a 55 year old lady? Of course not. Define your audience and create videos that’s catered to them.
Target KeyWords with a High CPC
Understand this, Certain KeyWords Pay More than Others. Advertisers will pay more for the keyword, “home mortgage” (CPC $17.63) than “cheap phone cases” (CPC $1.38) because the end return is a lot higher. If someone ends up closing on a home loan that could make them upwards of $5,000+, whereas the end return on a cheap phone case would only be $15. Would you rather get paid from a phone case video that gets a million views with a CTR of 0.01% or a home mortgage video that only gets 10,000 views with a CTR of 0.08% ? Consider the scenarios below with the given keywords and their cost per clicks.
Scenario 1 You make a video reviewing the new iPhone that gets 1,000,000 views, of which your ad Click Through Rate (CTR) is 0.1%. Meaning 1,000 people clicked the ad. If the CPC is $1.38 the total advertising dollars made would be $1,380. Google keeps around 45% making your payout $759. This gives you $1 per 1,317 views
Scenario 2 You make a video teaching people about home loans that gets 10,000 views, of which your ad Click Through Rate (CTR) is 0.8%. Meaning 80 people clicked the ad. If the CPC is $17.63 the total advertising dollars the total advertising made would be $1,410. Google keeps around 45% leaving your payout $776. This gives you about $1 per 13 views.
These scenarios are exaggerated to show the point. The money you make on YouTube has more to do with what advertisers pay for than how many views you get.
This knowledge is essential is to make the most amount of money per view. If you have a very targeted niche that contains high CPC keywords, you don’t need millions of views to make money. Getting a couple hundred views a day could bring in a couple hundred bucks a month!
#5. Use Best Tools for Videos
If I ask you, how will you make a video? The first name which will pop up in your mind will be Mobile. Mobile (means smartphone here) is indeed the best option during your initial days when you are not earning money and all you have is your savings.
There is no doubt that you can record a good video from your mobile phone, but if you want to record a good quality video, you must buy a webcam. And gradually you should hire a professional video maker.
There are free tools which every Youtuber must use.
Google Keyword Planner
A keyword planner helps you to choose those keywords as hook, which people who are searching for on search engine, will come to your video following their search. You must choose the keyword (most of the times title of your video) wisely to get organic audiences.
While recording your video, you have to speak a lot and anything spoken wrong will lead to further editing or if left, it can send a bad impression to your audiences. With evernote you can note all the main points you have to speak with a slight detail. And your data can be accessed from any device, at any place if you have an internet connection.
Text to Speech app
Sometimes only watching videos are not sufficient for your audiences to get what you speaking into it. In that case you will have to type your speech word by word. Or you have to invest some money to hire a person who will do this for you. But by TTS, all you have to do is play your video and put the microphone of your mobile near the speaker and putting on the TTS on your phone. This will convert all your voice into text (yes with some error but still a much large part will be covered). Just edit it once and your subtitles are ready.
Picture editing tool
(PicMonkey, Canva, Pablo of Buffer): Every video contains some images to make the people understand more clearly but every pic that you take is not necessarily perfect. With these few pic editing tools you can make your pic more engaging.
Social media campaign
(Buffer): Buffer is a social sharing and scheduling application. Once you are ready with your video, share it on and on, on every social media channel (as we have discussed initially). To do this, you are not always available. So you just schedule all your social media campaigns in one sitting on Buffer all for a whole week. Now if you do not get time, or you were busy somewhere, then also your campaign is running in full pace, uninterrupted.
Adding annotations or cards to your videos is made easy with this browser based tool. The thing that most attracts me towards this tool is, the search function. As we can Find and Replace a particular phrase on word processor, so can be done into a video with this tool.
(Socialblades- free, Vidooly- paid): Analysis is necessary for any campaign to be successful. These tools will help in optimizing the youtube traffic and to know exactly, where the campaign is hitting and where is it loosing . Yes it can tell you what time is best to tweet or do a facebook post or schedule a post on any other social platform which will tell people that you exist and they will come to your channel, following your that post back.
Apart from these tool, there are many tools in competition with them and few other types of tools which can help you in improving your channel content and viewership. I read a medium post on 28 tools for youtubers and it is worth reading.
Promotion of a video starts with your content idea itself. People have a tendency to share their innovation with their loved ones and the loved ones to their loved ones. Saying that when you start making a video, people around you become curious about the completion of your project.
These people are your initial viewers. Start promotion with expanding this thought to your marketing strategy and thus it will be your first step:
- Social Currency: It’s an old African saying that “It takes a whole village to raise a child”. To make your video go famous, it must be liked and shared by your social circle. This is your Social Currency, which will multiply at the latter stage. To earn social currency, share, what you have created, with all the people you know. Engage them by sending e-mails, tweets, Facebook shares, LinkedIn and every source you are using now.
- Time to expand: Use as much video platforms as you can. Go find your audience on Dailymotion, Vimeo and Flicker. Use these platforms too, to get shared. This will strengthen your channel’s popularity, and if you drop your channel link with your video, people will come tied with that link to your youtube channel. (It has one more benefit. If you will put your youtube channel’s link on other platforms, it will be a Dofollow link. This Dofollow link will increase your channel’s PA and it will rank better in search result).
- Social Appearance: Let people on the internet know that you are doing something. Increase your social presence. Explore your idea everywhere into the social platforms, and expand your presence to different platforms you are not using like Google+, Reddit, Myspace and Quora.
- SEO: Focus on SEO strategies and let your channel get listed on top of every search related to your niche. Although nowadays people have different opinions for SEO, but this is a thing that does not deserve to be get ignored. If you can afford time and strategies, you must go for SEO optimization of Youtube Channel.
Here is what Brian Dean (The SEO guru on planet) has to say about Youtube SEO.
- Mutual Collaboration: ‘You refer my content, and I will do the same for you’. Once you have few viewership, from the above steps, ask channel within your niche (but not your direct competitor) to advertise for your channel, or you collaborate with them to get visibility to their audience. This way you will accumulate their audience, and you can also do this for them (or you can support them in some other way. Do not worry, they will ask your support when they will need it. It is completely a “Give and Take” relation).
- Paid Advertisement: You can use the paid promotion system of Facebook, Twitter or youtube to promote your channel on social media. You can also opt for paid youtube promotions, called Youtube Ad Campaign. But it is not advisable to go for paid services into your initial days. Once your incoming viewership gets saturated through all the previous steps, then you must go for paid campaign.
#7. Monetizing Youtube Videos
The famous way to make money from youtube is through advertising. Advertising has been present since youtube was born and is still playing a major role for youtubers to make money. Here is a quick overview.
You can read this quora thread to know more about how much does youtube pay per view.
But earning from youtube is not limited to CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impression), you can make money on youtube by many more methods.
Ideally, there are five ways which have proven, with time, to be the best methods to earn money on youtube.
- Advertising: (Obviously CPM, I have included it here to show you all at one place) Youtube ad revenue sharing is the highest opt method for earning money on youtube. You can link your youtube channel with Adsense (Detail below) and enable Adsense ads on your videos. Now for every view on your channel, you will get 55% of the ad revenue. Youtube keeps the other 45%. On an average you make $1 to $2 for 1000 views on your video.
- Affiliate Marketing: Giant marketing agencies are not completely dependent on their own channel of content distribution. They pay a good amount to the channels who already have a fan base. This can be done in simple steps. Approach any affiliate marketing agency in your niche, show them your audience and when they agree, link one of their products into your video description. The marketing agency will pay you a decent cut from every conversion. This amount can be anything from Rs. 100 to Rs. 1000 for every conversion through your link.
- Direct Promotion: Widely used as sponsorship. The advertising company pays you a fixed amount for their collaboration with your youtube channel. You can call it another form of affiliate marketing with a slight difference. Here you will have to show a description of their products into your video. In exchange , they will pay you certain amount which can vary from Rs.5,000 to any amount you are able to charge depending on your popularity.
- Paid Videos: Paid youtube videos are emerging as a unique and high gross source of income. Here you give highly valuable information to your audience by charging them with a price tag on the video. This way, you do not have to share any revenue with anyone i.e. all that you make is yours.
- Crowdsourcing: Like Wikipedia, there are many non-profit websites which give every information for free and they do not put any ad to earn revenue. But to keep the website working, they need money. So they ask their audiences to donate money for their expenses. Like that, you can also give free information to anyone and ask them for a favor. Believe me, people donate a huge amount to these channels.