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HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

What is YouTube RPM?

YouTube provides many ways for you to track the success of your YouTube channel.

After all, your success is their success, so it is in their best interests to make sure you have everything you need. Among the things YouTube provides you with—indeed, probably the most important thing that YouTube provides you with in this regard—is a raft of metrics for keeping track of how your channel is doing in a range of different areas.

You can track things like what regions of the world are viewing your videos, what demographics those viewers fit into. You can even track what devices they are viewing your videos on. But, most importantly for this post, you can check how your channel is doing in terms of revenue.

The most common metric, and typically the best gauge of how well you are doing financially, is the CPM.

CPM stands for cost per mille and is a metric of how much money you are making per thousand views. It is an industry-standard metric from the larger advertising world and, as such, it is not quite perfect for determining how your channel is doing.

YouTube is an increasingly complex platform with a growing number of ways for you to generate revenue from your channel, whereas CPM is very advertising-focussed.

In fact if you want to know more about CPM I deep dive into what is CPM in my blog.

But now its time to understand the new comer, Enter RPM.

What is YouTube RPM?

RPM—revenue per mille—is a new metric that YouTube has introduced in an effort to give you a much more comprehensive snapshot of how your channel is performing financially. It represents the amount of revenue your channel has generated per thousand streams, but the revenue counted comes from multiple sources, not just advertisements.

Those revenue sources are;

  • Ads
  • Channel Memberships
  • YouTube Premium
  • Super Chat
  • Super Stickers
  • YouTube BrandConnect

There are generally a lot of questions regarding RPM, so we’re going to attempt to answer them all here.

What is the Difference Between CPM and RPM?

The differences between CPM and RPM can be whittled down to three main aspects:

  1. CPM only factors in ad views when totalling up revenue
  2. CPM does not factor in views on videos that aren’t monetised
  3. CPM does not factor in YouTube’s share of your revenue

Overall, RPM is intended to be a much more creator-focused metric than CPM, which is very much intended for advertiser use by its nature. It may take a little adjustment, but RPM should be considerably more useful for YouTubers going forward.

What is YouTube CPM?

Why is my RPM so Much Lower Than my CPM?

It is important to remember that CPM and RPM are units of measurement and, like any unit of measurement, there are two variables to factor in. For CPM and RPM, those variables are views and revenue, and that makes it a very fluid metric since both variables can change.

CPM only factors in the views from monetised videos, which for most channels means fewer views, since many channels will invariably have some not-monetised content on their channel. CPM also only factors in revenue from ads, which for some channels, means less revenue, as there are other sources of revenue available to you, such as memberships and super chat.

The exact numbers will depend on your channel, but it is entirely possible that you could see your RPM being much lower than your CPM. If your channel does not make use of non-ad-based revenue streams and has a good amount of not-monetised content, the CPM will be higher because your RPM will be factoring in additional views without any additional revenue.

On the other hand, if you make a lot of revenue from things like memberships and super chat and have hardly any views on not-monetised videos, your RPM will be higher than your CPM because the views are roughly the same, but a lot of additional revenue is being factored in.

Finally, RPM factors in YouTube’s cut of your revenue, which is a pretty hefty 45%. This aspect alone will probably be enough to make your RPM lower than your CPM in most cases. The important thing to remember is that RPM is a different way of looking at the existing metrics of your channel.

It does not change your earnings in any way; it just presents a more representative snapshot of what they are.

How Do YouTubers Receive Their Money? 3

Is RPM Important?

We believe it is very important because of the clear direction that YouTube is going. YouTubers have long since accepted that YouTube’s built-in monetisation is not a reliable—or even a good—way to make money from your channel. As a result, they have cast their nets wide and found membership platforms, brand deals, affiliate marketing, and more. The key thing here being that none of these things are through YouTube, meaning YouTube are not getting a share of those profits.

As much as some YouTubers believe that YouTube hates them, the truth is YouTube is a business, and everything they do is an attempt to ensure they make money. Being primarily advertisement-based has posed its problems for YouTube, as every adpocalypse has shown. Demonetising thousands of channels doesn’t just hurt the YouTubers; it takes money out of YouTube’s pocket as well.

The solution is pretty obvious, of course. YouTubers have found ways to monetise their content away from the YouTube platform, and in ways that are not beholden to advertisers. It makes total sense that YouTube would look to incorporate those methods into their own platform, where they can take a cut of the profits.

Memberships, YouTube Premium views, Super Chat, Super Stickers—these are all ways in which a YouTuber—and YouTube themselves—can earn revenue in ways that do not involve advertisers. It is essentially a direct transaction between the viewer and the YouTuber (facilitated by YouTube for a small fee, of course) and as such, there are no external forces involved that might want that revenue removed.

The external forces are, of course, advertisers. In an increasingly volatile and reactionary world, advertisers are increasingly picky about the kinds of content they will allow their ads to be shown on. For example, content that includes political commentary, any kind of violence, weapons, things of a sexual nature—all of these things are essentially monetisation suicide because advertisers don’t want their brand associated with that kind of content. Despite this, there are many channels that make the kinds of content that are deemed not suitable for monetisation that are, nonetheless, very popular.

YouTube wants those channels to be able to generate revenue, but they can’t tell advertisers to take it or leave because, frankly, they will probably leave it. So they are introducing other ways for the channels to monetise so that YouTube can still earn revenue from them. And it is entirely reasonable to believe that they will continue adding ways for YouTubers to monetise their channels through the platform itself as new viable ways emerge.

The more alternative monetisation methods to advertising that become available, the more important RPM will be as a metric. It is unlikely that advertising will stop being the primary source of revenue for YouTube as a whole any time soon, but the more you take advantages of non-advertising-based revenue sources, the more RPM will matter to you.

Do YouTubers Pay Tax? 3

How to Increase YouTube RPM?

To bring your RPM up, you need to adjust the ratio of revenue-to-views. Make sure that as many eligible videos as possible have monetisation turned on, and enable all types of eligible advertisements on those videos.

Next up, make use of the other monetisation methods on offer where you can. Granted, things like super chat and super stickers are not the kind of thing that every channel can make use of, but if you can, use them. The more money your channel is generating for the same views, the higher your RPM will be.

Another thing that will significantly affect your RPM is watch time, and it is a thing that most YouTube experts will tell you is one of the most important aspects to focus on. More watch time does not only mean more opportunity to show ads—though that is undoubtedly a big part of it—it also says very good things about your channel to the YouTube algorithm.

Channel’s that get a lot of watch time are given higher priority in the YouTube recommendation algorithm, which means there will be a greater chance that your content will be recommended to new people. Granted, adding new viewers is a slower way to improve your RPM, but remember the ultimate goal; revenue. Low RPM is not necessarily a bad thing.

A YouTuber with an RPM of $5 and 200,000 views per month is making around $1,000, whereas a YouTuber with an RPM of $2 and 1,000,000 views per month will be making around twice as much. Manipulating your RPM without improving your overall revenue is a pointless endeavour.

Do YouTubers Pay Tax? 5

My YouTube RPM is Going Down, Should I Worry?

The answer to this question is “it depends”. RPM provides a good snapshot of how your channel is doing, but it is still only a single datapoint. Without taking other factors into account, you cannot make an accurate judgement on the state of your channel. As the example above illustrates, it is entirely possible for a YouTuber to have less than half of the RPM of another YouTuber, and yet still make more than twice as much revenue.

If your RPM is dropping, but your revenue is staying the same—or even increasing—that is indicative of a surge in viewers. This could happen because of a video going viral, or a mention on a much larger YouTube channel. In this case, there’s nothing to worry about. If your RPM settles at this new lower level, you might want to look into ways to more effectively monetise your new views, but there is nothing to be concerned about from the RPM dropping.

On the other hand, if your RPM starts to go up, but your revenue isn’t increasing, that could be a sign that you are losing viewers, but not viewers that generate much in the way of revenue.

Is There Any Revenue RPM Doesn’t Factor?

First of all, it’s important to remember that any YouTube metric can only tell you what is going on through the platform itself. If you are earning money through a service like Patreon, Amazon Affiliates, or even if you are booking live shows or speaking gigs directly off of the back of your YouTube channel, this should all be counted as part of your revenue, but YouTube cannot factor these variables in.

YouTube also cannot factor in brand deals and sponsorships unless they are through YouTube’s BrandConnect service. Finally, RPM does not include revenue made from merchandise sales through the merch shelf service that YouTube provides. Given the direction that YouTube seems to be heading in this area, it would be reasonable to expect that this revenue will someday be incorporated into RPM, but that is not the case yet.

Final Thoughts

When judging any aspect of your channel, it is essential not to get too hung up on any single metric. RPM provides an excellent snapshot of your channel’s financial health, but it is essentially meaningless on its own due to the fact that changes in the number of views you are getting or revenue you are earning overall will change the RPM without it being inherently obvious why.

As a lone metric with no other input, your RPM is a good measure of how efficiently your revenue is being generated. The higher it is, the more value you are getting per view (or, more accurately, thousand views). Without knowing how many views you are getting, or how much revenue you are making, that is about as much as RPM can tell you.

However, in conjunction with the revenue and views metrics, RPM is a powerful datapoint that can tell you a lot about your channel.

Ultimately, the foundation of your approach should be to make the best possible content you can, with additional strategies being considered improvements upon that solid base. You could make use of every strategy known to YouTube and still fail if you don’t have good content, so start there, and your RPM should stay healthy.

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HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE YOUTUBE

Do YouTubers Get Paid More if I Watch the Whole Ad?

The specifics around how YouTubers earn money isn’t always the clearest cut of things to understand for YouTubers themselves, let alone people who are viewing those videos and aren’t a creator.

As consumers of content, we are more aware than ever of the need to support those creators whose content we enjoy, so it makes sense that you might want to ensure that you are supporting your favourite YouTubers as best you can. Not all of us are in a position to support YouTubers directly—through memberships and Patreon subscriptions and such—which leaves the only viable alternative of ensuring that you generate the maximum ad revenue possible when you watch their content.

Of course, you might just be here because you’re curious.

Do YouTubers get paid more if you watch the whole ad? – This depends on what TYPE of advert you are watching. Skippable ads are typically lower value while in the first 30 seconds. However, if its a long video ad the advertiser might not pay at all until you reach the 30% mark. In this case the longer you watch the more income the creator may make from the advertsing. 

Lets look into what ads pay and how.

The Different YouTube Ads and How They Pay

There are several different types of advertisements on YouTube, and each of them earns YouTubers money in different ways.

They are also worth different amounts of money depending on things like the ad, the niche the video is in, and the action taken—or not taken—by the viewer, but since this post is concerned with how much of an ad you need to watch to earn your favourite YouTuber the maximum from that your ad view, we’ll leave those details for another post.

So, let’s take a look at the different ad types and how they work.

Skippable In-Stream Video Ads

These ads are the most common type of advertisement you are likely to notice on YouTube and the only ones that are relevant in terms of watching the “whole” ad. These ads can be shown at the start and end of a video and, if the video is longer than ten minutes in length, during the course of the video as well.

For these kinds of ads, the YouTuber earns money when the viewer watches the whole ad, at least thirty seconds of the ad (assuming the ad is longer than thirty seconds), or interacts with the ad.

If the ad is thirty seconds or less, watching the whole ad will earn the YouTuber more money, but if the ad is longer than thirty seconds, you are not earning the YouTuber any additional revenue after that first thirty seconds.

Un-Skippable or “Bumper” Ads

As the name suggests, you can’t skip these ads, so there is no need to wonder if watching the whole thing earns more money for the YouTuber whose channel the ad is on.

What is interesting about these ads, though, is that they work on a CPM basis. Rather than being paid for a complete view, or for a click, the YouTubers are paid per thousand views of the ad.

These ads tend to be good for channels with a lot of traffic since the viewer doesn’t need to do anything (other than not click away) in order to count toward the YouTubers earnings. Bumper ads are typically between five and twelve seconds.

Overlay Ads

These ads are the small banner ads that pop up at the bottom of a video showing text or images. In this case, the YouTuber only gets paid if you click on the ad since there is no video to watch.

Display Ads

Display ads are the ads you see beside the video, rather than overlaid on it or interrupting it. These videos may have some simple animation to them, but for the most part, they will be static, and may even be text only. Like overlay ads, a viewer usually has to click on them on for the YouTuber to make any revenue, though the advertisers can choose pay per thousand impressions instead of clicks.

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Conclusions?

So now we know how the different ads work, we can say that the answer to “do YouTubers get paid more if you watch the whole ad?” is… it’s complicated.

For the most common type of advertisement you see on YouTube—the skippable in-stream ads—it does tend to be the case that watching the whole ad will earn more money for the YouTuber. But even then it is not so clear cut, as you only need to watch thirty seconds, and some ads are longer than that.

Should I Worry About This?

The answer to this question is different depending on what role you are playing in the transaction, so we’re going to answer it for each role separately.

As a Viewer

If you are a viewer and you are concerned about ensuring your favourite creators get the maximum value from your view, then yes, you might want to worry about this. We’re not sure you should go to the trouble of timing your ad watches to ensure you watch at least thirty seconds, nor are we suggesting you sit through a whole six-minute ad that is irrelevant to you or uninteresting. It is also worth remembering that unskippable ads still contribute to the YouTuber’s earnings, and non-video ads typically need you to click them before they generate revenue for the YouTuber.

As a YouTuber

The answer to this is a resounding “no”, which may not be what you expected. It is true that the ad-engagement of your audience directly affects how much you earn through your YouTube channel (at least, through the YouTube Partner Programme), but at the same time, there is nothing you can do to change that behaviour. That is, short of begging your viewers to watch the ads on your channel all the way through, which probably won’t be too well received.

Your best bet as a YouTuber is to focus on making the best possible content for your audience and letting the ads run their course. It is generally a good idea not to rely solely on YouTube’s built-in monetisation options anyway, and this is just one of the many reasons why that is the case.

As an Advertiser

Unlike the YouTuber, advertisers do have the power to affect ad engagement in a significant way. Remember, advertisers on YouTube are not just large corporations with huge marketing budgets.

In fact, the advertiser has perhaps the ability to make the largest difference in this equation. If you make your ads compelling, viewers are more likely to click or watch them. You get what you want from the transaction, the YouTuber makes a little extra revenue, YouTube makes a little extra revenue, and, presumably, the viewer finds something they wanted through your ad.

In short, as an advertiser on YouTube, you have the power to make everyone’s day a little better, and the kicker is you don’t have to do anything you weren’t already doing in order to make that happen.

Do YouTubers Pay Tax? 3

Do Ads Always Generate Revenue for the YouTuber?

In the past, if you saw an ad on a video, it meant that the YouTuber who posted the video was getting paid. Things got a little less clear as processes like Content ID came into play, allowing copyright holders—when unlicensed use of their property (often music) was detected—to choose to leave the offending video up and claim the revenue generated by it instead of having the video DMCA’d out of existence.

Still, even with Content ID in place, the majority of videos with ads being displayed earn their creators revenue. That’s about to change, however.

Changes to YouTube’s terms of service suggest that YouTube intend to (if they are not already) roll ads on channels that are not part of the YouTube Partner Programme, with YouTube keeping all of the revenue.

Naturally, in these cases, it doesn’t matter how much of an ad you watch, the YouTuber whose video that ad is on doesn’t make any money. If you are concerned about ensuring your favourite YouTubers get rewarded for their content and want to watch the full ad, but don’t want to waste your time if the money isn’t going to the video creator, there isn’t presently an obvious way to know where the money is going.

If you are very concerned about this, there are things you can check to better guess if the YouTuber is getting paid by the ads. For example, you need to have at least a thousand subscribers before you can become part of the YouTube Partner Programme, so if your YouTuber doesn’t have that, they almost certainly aren’t earning ad revenue from their channel.

There are other criteria, but they are considerably more challenging—if not outright impossible—to check from outside of YouTube Studio. One thing you could look at is the number of videos and the views they have.

Now, we’re not suggesting you start manually tallying up the potential watch time of your favourite YouTuber, but another one of the criteria for being part of the YouTube Partner Programme is having at least four thousand hours of watch time across your videos. So, if a channel has only uploaded ten videos and most of those videos have less than a thousand views, you can probably assume they are not part of the YouTube Partner Programme.

How to Make Money Online as a Singer or Musician

Supporting Your Favourite YouTubers in Other Ways

If you have got this far and are not convinced that ad views are a good way to support your favourite YouTubers, you wouldn’t be entirely without reason. Ads tend to make a relatively small amount of money for most YouTubers, with the exact amount that an ad view is worth varying wildly from video to video.

Some YouTubers are able to make a comfortable living from a channel with a hundred thousand subscribers, while others can have millions of subscribers and be barely much better off—if not actively worse off.

If you want to support a particular YouTuber and you have the means to sign up to their Patreon or other funding platforms or become a member on their YouTube channel, that is the best way you can support them financially. Beyond that, however, there is the share factor.

If you do everything you reasonably can to spread the word about the YouTuber you like—getting more eyeballs on their videos and, as a result, more ad views—that will do a lot of good for their channel. Never under-estimate the power of word of mouth when it comes to helping out YouTubers.

Finally, being sure to like, subscribe, and ring the bell is another way to help. Yes, it’s a cliche at this point, and many-a-YouTuber now signs off their videos asking you to do those things, but there is a reason for that. The more engaged viewers are with a video or channel, the more likely YouTube is to recommend that channel to other users. Watch time also plays a huge role in this respect.

Watching your YouTuber’s videos all the way through tells YouTube that this creator is making content that keeps viewers on the site for longer, and that will lead to more bias towards them in the YouTube recommendation algorithm.

Brand Deals

Unlike YouTube ads, brand deals and sponsored content is not meticulously monitored because YouTube does not provide those kinds of metrics to third parties. For a brand to know the kind of information YouTube knows, the YouTuber would have to give it to them manually.

From a practical sense, if you skipped over a sponsored bit in a video, it won’t have much of an effect in the short term because the company sponsoring the video will be looking at views, and you will have viewed the video. They will have no way of knowing that you skipped the sponsored content.

In the long term, however, the company sponsoring the video will be looking for a return on their investment, and if they don’t see an uptick in customers from their sponsored videos, they are far less likely to sponsor them again.

Granted, if the service or product that is sponsoring the video is something of no interest to you—perhaps it is for a service you already subscribe to, or a product you don’t need—then it will make no difference whether you watch the sponsored bit or not since you won’t be buying anything.

But, if you are not so certain, at least watch the sponsored content once to establish for certain that it is not something you are interested in. Many brands have a way for you to tell them where you heard of them when you purchase a product or service, and telling them a YouTuber sent them is good for the YouTuber.

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Top 5 Ways to Monetise Your YouTube Channel in 2021

“There are more ways than one to skin a cat.”

It’s a horrible old saying that dates to 1840, but there is another part to the saying that you don’t hear too often —

“so are there more ways than one of digging for money.”

This advice applies to YouTube monetisation too.

There are plenty of ways to make money from your YouTube channel apart from the obvious one of shared ad revenue from the YouTube Partner Program.

This post covers the latest rules for the YouTube Partner Program and offers a high-level overview of some alternative ways you can monetize a YouTube channel in 2021.

Here we go.

How Do I Make Money With the YouTube Partner Program?

The best way to approach making money on YouTube is to create a number of income streams. That way, if one bites the dust you still have others to fall back on.

But one method you should always aim to qualify for is the YouTube Partner Program itself. The YouTube Partner Program is where you earn a share of the advertising revenue YouTube makes from showing the short ads before, during, and at the end of videos.

There are five criteria to qualify, you must ―

  1. Have over 1000 channel subscribers.
  2. Have over 4000 hours of watch time in the last 12 months.
  3. Have registered for a Google AdSense account.
  4. Be in compliance with the content rules that YouTube sets.
  5. Be over 18 years of age (ideally).

Having 1000 channel subscribers is self-explanatory. It perhaps seems like a tough ask when you start, but once you begin to regularly put out good content, your sub-numbers can soon stack up.

4000 hours of watchtime relates to the videos that you’ve uploaded to your channel and had watched by others. Say you upload a 10-minute video and 100 people watch all of it, then you have 1000 minutes of watchtime. Don’t delete any of your videos when you start ― any video you remove also erases it’s watchtime from your account.

To register for a Google AdSense account you have to be at least 18 years old. Though if you are under 18 it may be technically possible to link the AdSense account of a parent to your YouTube channel.

Once you’ve met the criteria for the YouTube Partner Program, you still need to apply as It’s not something that happens automatically. Once you’ve applied you may need to wait as much as 30 days for a response as your account has to undergo a human review.

How much can you expect to earn?

According to Intuit, YouTubers, on average, earn $4 per 1000 video views. So to make $100 a day, you’d need to get around 25,000 video views a day.

YouTube doesn’t have to grant you monetisation, though, even if you meet all the criteria. It’s their platform and their rules. So if you do get rejected, or the YouTube Partner Program isn’t available in your country, there are still plenty of ways you can make money from the platform.

Let’s take a look at a few.

How Do I Make Money on YouTube With Endorsements?

Influencing is not a new thing. Businesses have paid prominent people money to promote their products for over a hundred years.

Once you’ve built up an audience for your channel in a niche that lends itself to promoting a product, you can register with an agency like Upfluence. Upfluence matches businesses with content creators to create influencing opportunities.

You don’t have to have a massive following to take advantage of influencing opportunities. But the amount you’re paid will depend on the size of your audience.

YouTube has launched an influencer hub too, called BrandConnect. Eligibility is restricted at the moment to creators located in the USA with over 25,000 channel subscribers.

It’s a fairly new venture for YouTube, so they may roll it out to new locations and relax entry conditions as time moves on.

Of course, you’re free to set up your own influencing opportunities by proactively approaching businesses yourself. Just make sure you have a large enough audience in a niche that plays well with your target company.

How much can you expect to earn?

Top earners can make thousands of dollars per video. But the cash you earn will depend on the size of your audience and the market niche you serve.

Starting with a small channel will likely mean that you only receive a free sample of the product you are endorsing, like a protein shake or an eyeliner for example.

How Do I Make Money on YouTube with Patreon?

You can make money with crowdfunding on YouTube, where you ask people to send you money directly. This is a method best left for those raising money for a good cause. And it could lead to a fraud claim if you aren’t transparent with what the requested money will be used for.

Much better, and a step away from crowdfunding, is using a service like Patreon.

Patreon allows you to create a page where you can distribute additional content not uploaded to your YouTube channel. You tap your fans for a small recurring monthly payment in exchange for access to exclusive content.

You can set several levels of subscription, and save you juiciest content for your top-level subscribers.

Patreon is like having your own pay-TV channel, and you have full control over the content and the schedule.

If you don’t want to commit to the extra workload that running a Patreon account brings on top of an already busy filming calendar for YouTube, consider using the Patreon pay per content model instead.

This lets you charge people to see bonus content as and when you make it.

How much can you expect to earn?

Patreon subscription prices charged by people are usually around the $4-$5 per month mark. This price is small enough for many people not to have to think too deeply about signing up.

And the recurring monthly payments are likely to continue, at least for a while, as many are too lazy to cancel them!

If you can get 1000 patrons paying you an average of $4 per month, then you have an income that most could live on.

Here’s an example from a small YouTuber with an associate Patreon account. Nate Maingard is a singer-songwriter with a little over 5K subscribers. Nate’s Patreon has three levels of subscription priced from around $5 up to about $100 for his biggest fans.

If you look at his Patreon page it says that he has 151 patrons, at the time of writing. You can’t see how that breaks down across the various levels, but he is making a minimum of $500 per month.

How Do I Make Money on YouTube with Merchandise?

You can sell products branded with your logo or channel identity and sell them on YouTube via a merch shelf.

YouTube says ‘The merch shelf allows eligible creators to showcase their official branded merchandise on YouTube. The shelf appears on the video page of eligible channels, but may not be shown on all video pages.’

To access the YouTube merch program, your channel needs 10,000 subscribers and not make content primarily aimed at kids. Your merch should also be visually appealing and desirable enough for your fans to want to buy it.

Some of the items that are best for branding and selling are everyday items that people are likely to make use of. Baseball caps, reusable water bottles, and mugs are all popular choices and cheap enough for an impulse buy.

Make sure that your designs are of good quality, so hire a designer from Fiverr or Upwork if need be.

You don’t need to buy and stock your merch products. You can sign up with a print-on-demand service that can sync with your YouTube merch shelf. When you get an order, it’s automatically sent to the print-on-demand provider who makes the product and ships it directly to the customer.

If you’re in the UK then Printful has a good service. For those elsewhere, YouTube has a page of recommended retailers.

How much can I expect to earn?

This is difficult to approximate. It all depends on your fans, the design, and how much you promote them in your videos. This Sellfy calculator tries to give you a rough idea. Sellfy reckons that 10,000 monthly video views could earn you between $340 and $1,740 from merch sales.

How Do I Make Money on YouTube with Affiliate Sales?

An excellent way to earn extra money from your YouTube channel is by seeking out affiliate sales.

This is where you act as a middle-man between a product seller and buyer. Basically, you are saying to your audience; ‘hey, I think [this product] is really good, you should go buy it’.

When someone buys a product that you recommended, and they followed a special link that identifies you as the referrer, then you earn a percentage commission on the deal.

The great thing about affiliate sales is that earnings are open-ended ― the sky’s the limit.

You can earn a few dollars when someone buys a cheap item on your recommendation. But you can earn hundreds of dollars per sale for more expensive things like premium training courses.

The easiest way to start making affiliate income on YouTube is by signing up with the Amazon Associate program.

You can pick a few products and highlight them in a video. Then, you link to the item using your affiliate link in the video details section underneath.

When a viewer follows the link and buys it you earn a commission. You also earn a commission if they buy something else too ―all sales are attributed to your referral link for that one shopping cart.

I include links to various products that I genuinely recommend in the video description for each one I upload.

How much can I expect to earn?

It’s impossible to say. How long is a piece of string? But you can easily make a living from affiliate sales only on YouTube, as long as you have enough video views.

Conclusion

Like the poor skinned cat I mentioned at the top of this post ― there are many ways to make money on YouTube.

But, your first focus should always be on growing your subscriber count and adding to your video stockpile. Like many things in life, there is a natural order to things on YouTube. One study from 2018 showed that 3% of YouTube channels had 90% of the total views.

To become a money-making powerhouse on YouTube, aim to be a 3-percenter. After that, you have as many ways as you want to earn money from YouTube in 2021 and beyond.

 

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DEEP DIVE ARTICLE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Do YouTubers Have Other Jobs?

YouTube has grown to the point that being a YouTuber is now a legitimate career path that one could aspire to, rather than an obscure Internet hobby, or something that only a select few lucky souls could ever succeed at.

Unlike a traditional job, however, there is no corporate ladder to climb when you become a YouTuber, no starting salary. That means that anyone starting out on the path of becoming a professional YouTuber has to lay their groundwork for success without the financial help that that eventual success might bring.

Not earning any money from your channel, in the beginning, isn’t always a problem. Many YouTubers start young, for example, when they are still living at home with their parents and have no bills to worry about. But YouTubers who have more financial responsibility when they get started, on the other hand, will need to cover those responsibilities somehow, and that means finding money elsewhere until YouTube can take over.

In this post, we’re going to be asking the question “do YouTubers have other jobs,” as well as covering a range of related topics.

Do YouTubers Have Other Jobs

Naturally, every YouTuber’s story is different. Some people come to YouTube after an incredibly successful career doing something else and do not need to worry about money in the immediate future. Some are not yet financially independent, like those YouTubers who start while they are still living with their parents that we mentioned above. Some might even take the risk of relying on their savings to tide them over until YouTube takes off.

Side note: YouTube is not the most predictable or reliable source of income, and we would strongly advise against relying on your savings to pay the bills in the hope that your YouTube channel will achieve success before you run out of money.

For some, there may even be an incredibly understanding and supportive partner who is willing to carry those financial burdens for a while while you get your channel up and running.

For many, however, the reality is that they will have to find a way to cover their bills themselves, and YouTube simply cannot do that in the beginning. Unless you come in with a huge following from somewhere else that can be translated to brand deals and sponsored content, you will probably be looking at at least a year before you could even consider quitting your day job. For many YouTubers, it is more like multiple years.

So, yes, YouTubers certainly do have other jobs a lot of the time, but things are not as clear cut as you might expect. Let’s explore a little further.

What Do We Mean by “Other Jobs”?

The lines between occupations have blurred considerably over the past couple of decades. In days gone by, it would often be the case that any given person could answer the question “what do you do for a living” clearly and unambiguously. For some who were particularly ambitious or who needed extra income, they may have a second job that would make the answer to that question a little more complicated, but these days it is becoming increasingly common for people to earn their living through a mish-mash of different ventures.

For example, if a YouTuber makes half of their income directly through their YouTube videos—the YouTube Partner Programme, sponsored content, brand deals, etc.—and the other half of their income from streaming on Twitch, would you consider them a streamer who YouTubes, or a YouTuber who streams? These days a person like that would refer to themselves as a “content creator,” but that kind of removes YouTube from the equation.

When we talk about YouTubers having “other jobs,” we typically mean more conventional jobs. A YouTuber might have a regular nine-to-five office job and make YouTube videos on an evening, or before work in the morning. In this respect, many YouTubers certainly do have other jobs.

So, the next question on your lips probably regards what is involved in going from a YouTuber who has other jobs to a YouTuber who doesn’t need other jobs to pay the bills.

How Do YouTubers Receive Their Money? 3

When Does YouTube Start Paying the Bills?

This is where things start to get a little messy. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how much success you need on YouTube to start earning enough money to live off of. Let’s tackle these different aspects individually.

The Value of Your Audience

For this section, we are referring specifically to money earned through the YouTube Partner Programme. We will get to things like brand deals in the next section. Not every video is worth the same in terms of monetary value, and because of this, you can’t be sure that a million views on your channel will earn the same as a million views on another channel.

The driving force between these differences is the value of your content to advertisers. The more advertisers are willing to pay to target their ads at your content; the more your videos will be worth.

Now, we emphasise “worth” because what your videos are worth and what they earn are two different things. The value of the ads being shown determines what your videos are worth, but the amount of engagement of your audience with those ads is what determines what you actually earn. You could make videos in the most expensive niche on YouTube, but if none of your viewers engages with those ads, your earnings will be severely limited. Similarly, if you could have one of the highest engagement rates on YouTube, but if your niche is saturated, you may that engagement won’t be worth much.

Now, you shouldn’t use this information as a reason to make significant changes to your content. Most YouTuber’s are guilty of at least the occasional video that is “for the views,” but you should not build an entire channel concept around what has the most earning potential.

Do YouTubers Still Get Paid for Old Videos? 1

Additional Earning Power

If you ask any successful YouTuber about earning through the platform, they will likely tell you that relying on the YouTube Partner Programme alone is a bad idea. Earnings from advertisements in this manner can be volatile, unreliable, and subject to the many different whims. Beyond that, YouTube themselves frequently make significant changes to their monetisation policies that have a tendency to drastically cut down the earning potential of many YouTubers, if not remove it entirely.

For this reason, many YouTubers rely on other means to monetise their channel. This includes brand deals and sponsored content, as well as things like affiliate programs. In the grand scheme of things, these methods are no more reliable than the YouTube Partner Programme, but they can offer a little job security in the short terms. For example, a brand deal might pay you an amount equivalent to what you would earn from the YouTube Partner Programme over the same period as the brand deal, but the Partner Programme can fluctuate and is generally inconsistent, whereas a brand deal is guaranteed income for the period it covers.

YouTube as a Promotional Tool

Many creators and entertainers have found YouTube to be an excellent platform for driving audiences to what they would consider their main work. There are many situations where this might be the case, but comedians are one of the most readily available examples of this. In this case, comedians make YouTube videos—often filmed podcasts or sketches—that may make a respectable income in their own right, but whose main purpose is to bring attention to the comedian in the hope that more people will go their shows and buy their comedy specials.

In these cases, the YouTuber has an “other job” in a very practical sense, though they will typically not be looking to make YouTube their primary source of income since their other job is what they want to do.

Advice for “Going Pro” on YouTube

This wouldn’t be much of a YouTube blog if we didn’t give you a little advice on taking your channel from that thing you do in your spare time to your main career, so let’s delve into that topic a little.

The first thing we will always say when talking about moving towards a career as a professional YouTuber is do not go all in too soon. We understand how exciting it can be the first time your YouTube earnings reach a point where you could realistically pay your way using that money, but it is important to remember that YouTube earnings can be volatile for the reasons we mentioned above.

In an ideal world, you would wait at least a year after hitting that remarkable milestone to ensure that your YouTube earnings are going to be consistent enough to rely on as your primary source of income. And, in advice that is more generally applicable outside of YouTube, it would be prudent to ensure that you have a backup plan, often in the form of savings that could cover your living expenses during times that your YouTube earnings aren’t quite enough.

This can also serve as a buffer in the event that you realise YouTube isn’t working out, giving you time to work out what your next move will be.

Advice for Building Your YouTube Channel While Employed

Whether you are working part-time or full-time, living alone or supporting a family, getting a YouTube channel off of the ground around a job can be difficult. Still, there are some bits of advice that transcend your specific situation.

Firstly, if you are not concerned with making YouTube your job, if you are making videos purely for fun, don’t let it become a chore. The only reason there would be pressure to achieve a certain level of quality or meet a particular upload schedule is if you were intending to grow your channel and succeed in the long run. If that is not your goal, don’t push yourself too hard. Just enjoy it.

For the rest of us, there is a balance to strike. On the one hand, if you don’t enjoy your YouTube venture, there is a far higher chance you will burn out and lose interest before you ever achieve success. But, on the other hand, if you don’t treat it with at least a modicum of seriousness, there is a higher chance you won’t succeed. Try to treat your YouTube channel like a job but within reason. If you find yourself neglecting essential parts of your life—work, family, etc.—you will need to reevaluate things and decide what is really important to you. But for YouTube success, consistent quality and uploads matter, and you should find ways to achieve that if you want to succeed.

On the subject of finding ways to achieve those things, you will probably have to accept that there will be some late nights and early mornings in your future—especially if you have a job and a family. There are only so many hours in the day, and you will already have quite a few of those hours spoken for. If the idea of getting up an hour or two early to get some YouTube work in before you head off to your day job is a deal-breaker, you may have to take a long, hard look at yourself and ask if you really want this as much as you thought.

But, hey, the good news is that if you manage to succeed in making your YouTube channel financially viable while also working a regular job, you will suddenly have more free time than you know what to do with when you do finally quit that job to do YouTube full-time. You will also be considerably better-placed to appreciate your new role in life.

Final Thoughts

Many successful YouTubers have tales of toiling away in the unsociable hours of the morning to get their latest video done before the kids wake up.

For the younger members of society, being a YouTuber is something they can aspire to, but there are plenty of people out there—people in their mid-twenties and up, right through to senior citizens—who never had the option when they were growing up, and now that it is an option they are already in a job and have financial responsibilities. For those people, YouTube is no less attainable than for the youngsters.

You just might have to work a little harder to get there.

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Does YouTube Have an Affiliate Program?

Affiliate programs are one of the most popular ways of earning money online; whether it is as a nice side-hustle for a little extra cash or the backbone of a five-figure a month income, they provide a way to earn revenue while doing the things you are already doing.

They can invisibly add additional revenue streams that, in some cases, can even add value for your viewers.

With all of this in mind, it is natural to wonder; does YouTube have an affiliate program of their own.

After all, being profitable is a serious concern for the platform, not to mention the added incentive it would give to content creators.

Does YouTube have an affiliate program? – No, YouTube does not have an affiliate program, but you can monetize your channel with the Partnership Program if/when you meet the 1K subscribers and 4K hours of watch time requirements. However you can still use external affiliate programs to make money on YouTube with click through traffic.

Through using YouTube marketing for your channel, you can grow awareness and drive traffic to your affiliate account.

We’re about to take an in-depth look at affiliate programs and how you can use them on YouTube, so let’s get comfortable.

How Many Views do you Need to Make Money on YouTube?

What is an Affiliate Program?

If you’ve made it this far into the post without knowing what an affiliate program is, don’t worry; we’ve got your back. An affiliate program is a system whereby you can earn a fee in exchange for actions taken by your viewers. With the most popular forms of affiliate programs, this fee often comes in the form a commission of a product or service sale. In some cases, it can be a fixed fee in exchange for a user signing up to something.

By far, the most popular affiliate program for individual YouTubers—and many other content creators—is the Amazon Affiliate program, which allows you to generate a unique link for any product on the Amazon marketplace. If one of your viewers clicks through your link and buys something, you earn a small percentage of the sale.

The other way in which affiliate programs are typically run is when a service that is looking for members will reward people who refer new users to them. Fiverr is an excellent example of this with its affiliate program explicitly designed to reward people for driving traffic to their service.

If you want a hugely in-depth deep dive into how to get started with affiliate marketing, best ways to leverage affiliate marketing and my 10+ years of experience in generating income with affiliate marketing – check out my Affiliate Marketing for Beginners blog post.

Do YouTubers Get Paid Monthly?

Why YouTube Doesn’t Have an Affiliate Program

Once you understand how affiliate programs work, it should be easy to understand why YouTube doesn’t have one.

First of all, they don’t sell any products, so they can’t offer a commission on the sale of those products. But secondly, there is no paid service to subsidise a traffic-driving affiliate program like the one Fiverr has. Granted, there is YouTube Premium, but that is a very narrowly focussed product that would not have much re-use value for any given YouTuber.

With a platform like Fiverr, there are dozens and dozens of different services available, so one person could theoretically want to keep going back, which in turn means there are far more ways in which an affiliate link can be worked into the content that is being created.

As for the non-YouTube Premium content, it doesn’t make much sense for YouTube to incentivise people to drive traffic to their platform, given the sheer number of people who are on that platform attempting to drive to traffic to their own videos already.

YouTube is all about retention—once a new person lands on their site, they aim to keep them there as long as possible, and they’ve gotten very good at that over the years.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a popular YouTube who drives millions of unique views a day to the site, or an unknown YouTuber who is just starting out who might bring three new sets of eyeballs to the platform, YouTube will work to keep those people on the site viewing videos, and that retention just as valuable—if not more so—than bringing in new viewers who might not be so interested in sticking around.

YouTube Tips for Teachers 4

Tips for Using Affiliate Marketing with your YouTube Channel

So, YouTube doesn’t have an affiliate marketing program, that much we’ve made clear.

But what we also made clear was the fact that this doesn’t stop you from running affiliate marketing programs through your YouTube channel in order to increase your revenue, so let’s talk about that.

The strength of affiliate marketing lies in invisibility—when you can provide a link to a service or product that fits seamlessly into your content and provides your viewers with something of value to them, you are on to a winner.

To help you achieve affiliate success, we’ve put together some of our top tips for using affiliate programs in your videos and on your channel.

Full Disclosure

We live in a cynical age, borne of many web services and content creators taking advantage of their audience, more and more people assume that anytime something is hidden from them, it is for negative reasons.

To that end, you should always be upfront about any affiliate links you use, even if all you do is put “(PAID)” next to the link in your description. YouTube viewers are generally accepting of the fact that their content creators need to make money somehow, and will not go out of their way to stop that from happening.

But including affiliate links without disclosing this fact can breed bad blood with your audience—especially if you are reviewing a product or service that you are linking out to through an affiliate program.

Keep it in Context

Google puts a lot of time and effort into figuring out the best ads to show a particular individual at any given time.

This is because merely showing the ad is only part of the battle—if nobody ever clicked those ads, advertisers would stop paying for them.

The same approach should be taken for affiliate links. There is no sense in making a video about guitar building and then including an affiliate link to an eBook on making money online.

Sure, some of the viewers of that video might be interested in the eBook, but it is such a shot in the dark, it would hardly be worth the effort of typing the link.

While we’re not saying there is never a good time for an out of context affiliate link, the best use of these links is within the context of your video. If you are doing a video on the top five sports cameras, have affiliate links to each of the cameras on Amazon in your description. The people watching that video are far more likely to be in the market for a new sports camera than viewers on other videos, and your video might just be the thing that pushes them to pull the trigger.

By including a link to the product, you are saving them the effort of going off and searching for it themselves.

And, as affiliate programmes are almost never more expensive—if anything you can often get a better deal through affiliate links—you are not inconveniencing your viewers in any way.

As an additional note, being in context doesn’t necessarily mean the product or service relates to the subject matter of the video directly. A

s an example, a channel whose content is primarily about how to make better YouTube videos might list off the equipment they use in the description, along with affiliate links to where that gear can be bought. This is useful to that channel’s viewers since “what equipment do you use” is one of the most commonly asked questions that successful YouTubers get asked.

10 Best Tools to Grow Your YouTube Channel 3

Pick Something you Believe In

I am a huge fan of services like Rev – They help me add captions and foreign language subtitles to my youtube videos at a time fee per minute. I use them personally so I know they are good and that is why I promote them using an affiliate program. It is this personal edge that helps my audience understand that if I use it, its a god product and not just a huge list of products you could grab from Amazon in a blind blog post.

Not every channel creates videos of the top ten latest gadgets that can be easily linked to on Amazon, but that doesn’t mean those channels should miss out on the affiliate marketing train.

Firstly, remember that Amazon—and direct product sales in general—are not the only options when it comes to affiliate marketing. Many digital products and services have affiliate marketing options attached to them. Indeed, services like Clickbank specialise in finding digital products that can be marketed through affiliate linking. There are also services, such as Fiverr, as we mentioned earlier.

Ultimately, if there are no affiliate products or services that you can tie into your content directly, you could go on the hunt for a product or service that you truly believe will be beneficial for your viewers, and promote that instead. For example, for a programming channel, you could promote an ergonomic desk chair. For a yoga channel, you could promote a particular type of yoga mat.

It’s a little like being sponsored by that product, only the people behind the product are not involved. And on that note, you should be careful not imply that you are sponsored, as that can cause problems with the company behind the product or service.

The important thing here is that the product or service you are promoting has some usefulness to your audience, even if it doesn’t directly relate to the content of your video. Again, you might find some people in the audience of a fishing channel who are interested in a mechanical keyboard, but it would be blind luck, and that’s no way to run a business.

Do YouTubers Pay Tax? 1

Don’t go Overboard

Regardless of the exact method of incorporating affiliate links into your content you choose, it is a universal truth across all mediums that overdoing it will have negative results.

This can be because your affiliate content is overwhelming your actual content, or simply because your audience feels it’s a bit crass.

But, whatever the reason, if you stack your description full of affiliate links and hand out promo codes every two minutes in your video, you’ll almost certainly turn large portions of your audience off.

And affiliate programmes only work when you have an audience to click those links.

Will Affiliate Links Harm my Video?

To answer this question, we first need to understand a few things about the way YouTube works.

Firstly, affiliate links are very much allowed by YouTube, which is one of the main concerns YouTubers tend to have when first venturing into the world of affiliate marketing.

However, merely being allowed to do something does not mean it can’t have negative effects on your channel.

As we touched on above, YouTube is very concerned with viewer retention. Now, we’re not saying they have no interest in bringing new eyeballs to the platform, but they are more concerned with keeping those eyeballs on YouTube once they are there. This is why average watch time is one of the most crucial metrics of a video’s success in the eyes of YouTube because more watch time means that people are spending longer on the site because of that video.

With that in mind, there is no direct association that YouTube will admit to between external links—affiliate or not—and the YouTube algorithm deciding to recommend a video less often. But there may be an indirect association.

YouTube wants people to stay on the site as long as possible. The longer a viewer is on YouTube, the more chance there is to serve them ads, and the more money YouTube can make. But if a lot of users are coming to your video and then leaving the platform altogether and not coming back, that will reflect negatively in the eyes of the algorithm.

It’s something of a catch 22—you need plenty of viewers for your affiliate links to be useful, but if your affiliate links are too effective, YouTube might see that as users coming to your video and then leaving YouTube, which may lead them to recommend your video less, which means fewer viewers to click your affiliate links. Unfortunately, there is no way around this problem, and YouTube is typically quiet about the exact way that they handle things like this.

That being said, affiliate marketing is a game of percentages—you bank on a large enough percentage of your viewers clicking your affiliate links to make it worthwhile while accepting that the overwhelming majority of them won’t.

Many YouTubers have had a great deal of success through affiliate marketing on YouTube, so there’s no reason that you can’t, too. Just remember not to overdo it, and keep the subject of your affiliates in line with the content of your videos.

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Do YouTubers Get Paid Monthly?

YouTube can be—and often is—a labour of love.

Many people harbour a dream of paying the bills with the success of their channel, but only a small proportion of those people succeed in achieving that dream.

Still, success on YouTube—particularly modest success—is a very attainable goal, which has led to YouTube being seen as a legitimate career choice by many.

With any career choice comes a lot of, frankly, boring questions of a logistical nature. If you are just starting out and have no real financial goals, or, on the other end of the spectrum, if you are an enormously successful YouTuber who makes money faster than you can spend it, you don’t need to think about things like how often you get paid from your YouTubing ventures.

The reality of earning a living through YouTube is a little more grounded, however. There are far more people earning their living through YouTube who are just getting by or perhaps using YouTube to supplement other revenue sources. These people are rarely wealthy, and for them, YouTube is as much a job as any traditional employment you might care to reference.

Still, making an average salary through YouTube is often preferable to a lot of jobs out there.

Do YouTubers get paid monthly? – YouTubers who are eligible for the YouTube Partner Program will accrue income which is paid out a month in arrears. However, you must reach a total of £60 ($100) in the AdSense account to be paid for that month. YouTubers might also have external affiliate arrangements that pay on other terms.

In this post, we’re going to be looking at how often YouTubers get paid, which is a messy, sprawling topic that we can’t give a straightforward answer to since there isn’t one.

Keep reading, and we’ll go over all the ways a YouTuber typically gets paid, along with how often those payments come, and how much flexibility there is in this area. We’ll even through in a little financial advice for anyone just getting started.

How Many Views do you Need to Make Money on YouTube?

How Do YouTubers Get Paid?

To properly understand the messy and complex nature of YouTuber payment schedules, it helps to first understand how they get paid. It is not, as many people seem to think, a single revenue source coming directly from YouTube.

YouTube does offer a monetisation system for which they pay you directly, but the money earned through this method is not typically enough to quit the day job over. In fact, you would have to be getting tens of thousands of views a day to make anywhere near a decent living from this method alone.

That being said, there is more than one way to convert the success of a YouTube channel into earnings… which is also why the topic of how often YouTubers get paid is messy and complicated. Here are some of the most common ways YouTubers earn money;

  • YouTube Partner Programme
  • Memberships
  • Direct Donations
  • Brand Deals and Sponsorships
  • Merchandise Sales

YouTube has created opportunities to leverage memberships and merchandise directly through the platform for channels that meet certain criteria—10,000 subs for merch, 30,000 subs for memberships—but the main way that YouTube pays you is through their Partner Programme.

Outside of YouTube, sites like Patreon can provide you with a way to offer membership style functionality to your viewers, while there are more merchandise platforms than you can shake a branded stick at!

And, speaking of branding, brand deals and sponsorships are possibly the most lucrative option but are only a feasible option for channels with a significant audience.

How Often Do YouTubers Get Paid

Now that you have seen just a sample of the many different ways a YouTuber can get paid, you should be able to appreciate how difficult this question is to answer.

Fortunately, we do have a common theme among the most popular earning methods, so let’s take a look at that theme;

Google’s Adsense—the vehicle through which YouTube pays you—and Patreon, both utilise a monthly payout system whereby you can choose to be automatically paid every month.

There is a caveat, however. Both platforms have a minimum threshold you must reach before you can be paid. This amount comes to $100 in the United States, and a rough equivalent in other countries. If you work on the average CPM of a YouTube video, that means you would need to hit 50,000 views a month to reach the AdSense payment threshold every month.

Patreon is a different animal. The threshold for getting a payout there is a much more modest $10, and your earnings are not directly tied to your views or audience size. In both cases, you can opt to hold your payments until a later date. In the case of Patreon, this allows you to set payouts to manual and take care of the exact payout times yourself.

AdSense is less flexible, their system allows you to hold your payments for up to a year, but you are stuck with their monthly payouts and payment thresholds if you want to get your money out of your Patreon account and into your bank account.

It is worth noting that many merchandise companies work on a similar system to Patreon—where you have to reach a certain payment threshold, but you can withdraw your money anytime once you have reached that threshold.

Do YouTubers Still Get Paid for Old Videos? 1

Payment Processors

Things are a little different for money that finds its way into your payment processor.

This could happen because you are accepting direct donations from your subscribers, but more likely it will be because you have opted to have your membership or merchandise platforms pay into a payment processer (like PayPal) rather than send you a physical cheque.

With payment processors, there are usually no restrictions on when you can withdraw your money and how small an amount you can withdraw, but there may be charges associated with withdrawing your money.

This is especially the case if you reside in a different country to the company who sent the money. For example, at the time of writing, Patreon can payout in USD ($), GBP (£), and Euro (€).

If you live in a country—or, more accurately, your bank resides in a country—that does not use one of these currencies, there will likely be a conversion fee from your payment processor in order to get that money into your bank account.

Do YouTubers Get Paid Monthly?

Financial Advice

If you are asking questions like do YouTubers get paid monthly, you are probably looking at YouTube as a potential career move or at least one piece of your financial puzzle.

After all, there is no law that says you have to make your entire income from YouTube or not at all.

But if you are looking at YouTube as a potentially serious income source, it’s important to plan carefully and be smart.

We could fill an entire post with an in-depth look at this topic, but for now, here’s a quick rundown of the key points.

Build Up a Buffer

YouTube is not the most reliable source of income, particularly if the bulk or entirety of your YouTube revenue is coming directly from the YouTube Partner Programme.

If you choose to make YouTube a significant part of your financial situation, be prepared for the lows that come with those highs.

Never let yourself be in a situation where you are relying on a particular amount from YouTube to pay the bills or meet any other financial obligations you have. YouTube is notoriously unreliable when it comes to making a consistent income, and if you are living paycheck-to-paycheck with YouTube revenue, you could find yourself in serious trouble the next time an adpocalypse hits, or during a month when revenue drops for reasons beyond your control, such as seasonal behaviour.

You can’t necessarily avoid these things, but if you have a reserve of cash, you are at least protected from the immediate damage they can cause.

At the very least, you should have a few months worth of money stored up in the event your earnings dry up, though conventional wisdom states this figure should be closer to six months, if not a year.

Having this cash gives you a bit of breathing room should something happen to severely impact your earnings, and will allow you to figure things out without the axe of defaulted bills hanging over your head.

Diversify Your Income – How To Make More Money on YouTube

Another way to protect yourself against the unreliable nature of YouTube revenue is to not have all of your eggs in one basket.

If the entirety of your income is coming from the YouTube Partner Programme, you are completely at the mercy of the next significant changes YouTube make to their platform, and YouTube rarely make changes that boost everyone’s earning potential.

Making use of things like membership platforms, direct donations, merchandise sales, and any other ways of bringing the money in will protect you against your income being wiped out by one company making changes to their policy.

If at all possible, try to diversify further so that your income sources are not directly tied to your YouTube channel. For example, a Patreon page for your YouTube channel is a good way to diversify your income, but it is still built upon your channel. If your channel were to be taken down for some reason, your Patreon earnings would soon follow.

If, on the other hand, you had a blog running alongside your YouTube channel, earning revenue in its own right, you are further protected from the adverse effects of YouTube changes. Other examples include selling online teaching courses or running sponsored podcasts.

The critical factor being that, even though they may be linked to your YouTube channel by content or branding, these other ventures would be able to exist on their own, should anything happen to your channel.

Do YouTubers Get Paid Monthly? 1

Plan Plan Plan

We can’t understate the importance of proper planning when you first start out. The first year or being financially independent with YouTube as one of—or the main—income sources is especially critical.

We would recommend setting up a spreadsheet and putting in everything you have going out on a monthly basis.

We mean everything.

Make sure the entirety of your financial obligations are covered so that you can clearly see whether you are making enough money.

Hopefully, you will have taken our advice about having a buffer in place, so you’ll have a bit of a safety net to right the ship if you are not pulling in enough money, but you don’t want to get three months into your new career and find you’ve been losing money and didn’t know about it.

One particularly important aspect of this process is to account for everything. It sounds over the top, but it works. If you spend a dollar buying candy, make a note of it. If you buy a video game on sale for only a few bucks, make a note of it.

Small purchases can be the undoing of a move to become financially independent—they add up in the background while we mentally dismiss them as insignificant.

Don’t Rush Into It

The final piece of advice we’re going to impart here is to take your time with the decision to “go pro”.

Too many YouTubers rush to quit their day jobs when they have a good month or two, only to find those month’s earnings were a bit of an exceptional spike, and then they struggle to pay rent the following months.

When you first hit that magical moment where you are making enough money from your online activities to pay all the bills, wait. At least give it a few months.

Put the excess money you are earning into the backup buffer fund we mentioned above. Once you’re sure that level of income is sustainable, pull that trigger!

Do YouTubers Pay Tax? 3

Summing Up

Do YouTubers get paid monthly? Yes. Sometimes… if they want.

The exact frequency of payments to YouTubers depends entirely on whether they are successful enough to meet the criteria for joining the YouTube Partner Programme or making money through other avenues that also require a good deal of success.

It also depends on whether that YouTuber is consistently making enough money to meet the various payment thresholds many companies have in place.

That being said, “monthly” is as close as we can get to a typical payment schedule for your average YouTuber.

Most companies work on a monthly basis and, while some YouTubers may get paid far less frequently, very few—if any—YouTubers will be getting paid more frequently on a consistent basis.

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HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How to Make Money on YouTube With Fitness

Thanks to the wealth of information we now know about our bodies—and probably in no small part because of the ubiquitous presence of attractive social media stars all over the Internet—the general public has never been more concerned with their health as they are today. You only need to look at the sheer number of fitness products, services, gyms, and, yes, YouTube channels.

There is clearly a healthy demand for fitness content, and where there is demand, there is an opportunity to make money. That being said, just because the demand is there doesn’t mean that making money serving that market is straightforward or intuitive.

But fear not, we have put together this bumper post on how to make money on YouTube with fitness content just for you.

We’re nice like that.

How to Write a YouTube Title

1. Standard YouTube Advice Applies

The first thing to note is that fitness videos on YouTube are no different from any other videos on YouTube, and all the same rules for success apply.

This post may be on how to make money on YouTube with fitness content, but you should absolutely check out other more general resources on succeeding on YouTube. There are plenty on this very site, not to mention the YouTube channel.

There is lots to cover in the realm of fitness videos specifically, so we’re not going to rehash anything we don’t need to here.

Just be aware that all those posts and videos about YouTube success that don’t mention fitness in the title are still well worth your time.

2. Practice What You Preach

When you are claiming to be an authority on something—which is precisely what you are doing when you give any kind of advice on YouTube—there is an element of trust involved. Specifically, the viewer’s trust that you know what you are talking about.

Unfortunately, no matter how many times our mother’s told us not to judge a book by its cover, we always do. In other words, even if you have a wall full of qualifications in a host of fitness-related fields, the viewers are going to be sceptical about coming to your for fitness content if you are overweight, or you are out of breath after relatively mild activity.

Whatever it is you are demonstrating (weight loss, bulking up, improved cardio, etc.), make sure you can back up your words with actions.

If you can’t, your viewers might see it as a sign that your methods don’t work, and go elsewhere.

There is an exception to this rule, however…

How to Make Money on YouTube With Fitness

3. Take Your Viewers on a Journey

The exception to the above rule is if you are creating journey videos. These are videos where you are going on your own fitness journey and taking your viewers along for the ride.

In these cases, it would make no sense if you were already in great shape at the start of the series.

For example, a journey series on you getting your weight down to 160 lbs won’t hold much interest if you are starting off at 171 lbs. If you are starting at 230 lbs, on the other hand, people will be interested in your success.

Success is another important factor here. If you start this series and, ultimately, fail in your goal, it can leave a sour taste in the mouths of your viewers and may put them off of coming back for other content.

If you have unflappable confidence in your own ability to stick it out and reach your goals, by all means, jump in. If you want to play it a little more cautiously, however, consider creating the whole series first, then uploading the videos when you are done.

If for some unfortunate reason, you don’t succeed in your goal, you don’t have to release the series.

4. Align Yourself With Suitable Partners

The fitness boom we are experiencing is not limited to YouTube, and there is plenty of opportunity in taking advantage of that fact.

Whether it’s a trendy new protein shake, an innovative piece of exercise equipment, or the latest in high-tech fitness gadgetry, there is seemingly no end to fitness products and services.

When looking at potential partners, whether it’s for affiliate linking, a full-on brand deal, or anything in between, be sure to go with a company or product that suits your channel.

Try to avoid some of the more common partners, like Squarespace, and opt for a product or service that will appeal to your audience.

Similarly, if you are preaching the benefits of an organic diet, don’t promote processed protein powder!

How to Make Money on YouTube With Fitness 1

5. Don’t Promote Dangerous Diets or Unsafe Techniques

As much as we like to think a disclaimer at the start of our videos carries a lot of legal weight, they’re not as reliable as many seem to believe.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t put disclaimers in your video, but they won’t necessarily protect you from legal action if you advocate an exercise or recipe that ends up seriously injuring someone or adversely affecting their health.

The unfortunate reality of the legal system is that it is possible for anyone to take anyone else to court, even when there are airtight legal documents in place.

Granted, having said documents makes it far less likely such a case would ever see a courtroom, and even less likely that the complainant would win any resulting case, but the risk is always there.

All of this is to say that you should be wary of what you advocate in your videos. If something is extremely risky or highly controversial, it may be worth just steering clear of it.

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6. Find a Niche Within a Niche

If you’re reading this post, you clearly already have a main niche—fitness. However, as we mentioned at the top, fitness is a big niche, and there is a lot of competition there.

If you want to succeed at making money with fitness content on YouTube, you will benefit from drilling down even further to find a more specific area within the fitness niche to focus on.

You could focus on vegan nutrition for athletes or deadlifting technique.

You could even focus your content on how to get the best workouts without going to the gym, or retrospectives of famous athletes.

And, of course, there are more obvious options, such as reviewing fitness gear or posting short workout routines.

Don’t feel as though you have to appeal to everybody.

By zeroing in on a smaller subsection of the fitness niche, you shrink your potential audience, sure, but you also increase your chances of capturing that audience in the process.

7. Be Interesting and Unique

Such is the interest in fitness right now that even with a more focussed niche, you will still be facing plenty of competition for views.

To combat this, try to make your videos as unique as possible. If you have a lot of personality, you could achieve this by simply being yourself on camera, assuming that all that personality you have is likeable.

You can also give your videos a unique flair by adding a twist to your content, such as showing unconventional ways to get a great workout, or even something as seemingly minor as shooting your workout videos in interesting locations.

These factors do not have to be significant. Every touch of uniqueness you add to your content sets you apart from other channels, making you more memorable.

Of course, some viewers may not like your unique touches and see them as a reason to go elsewhere, but that is part of being a YouTuber; you have to accept that not everyone will like you.

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8. Sell Your Own Products

If your channel starts to really take off, you could look to leverage that success by selling additional products.

You could go the whole hog, and work with manufacturers to develop and market your own unique products or services, of course, but if that is a little too deep for you, there is another way.

Many companies provide turnkey solutions for merchandise in much the same way that YouTube’s own merchandise solution works. These services allow you to modify products with your own logos and designs, selling things like T-shirts and mugs.

Of course, mugs and T-shirts aren’t very fitness-specific, so you will probably want to look a little further afield than YouTube’s own merchandising solution. One option is Total Merchandise, who offer an enormous range of customisable products, including things like sports flasks and outdoor gear. It should be noted that you would have to buy a large quantity from a service like Total Merchandise, whereas YouTube’s solution would sell directly to your customers.

9. Consider Partnering With Other Fitness Channels

If you have taken the advice we gave above about drilling down into the fitness niche to find an area where you can flourish, then you might want to consider teaming up with other YouTubers in the fitness niche.

Of course, you want to partner with people who are not offering exactly the same kind of content as you. For example, if you had a channel specialising in cardio workouts, you might partner with a channel that focuses on weight lifting or a channel that covers nutrition.

You wouldn’t partner with another cardio channel, however, because you would then be competing with each other.

The goal of this kind of partnership is to help each other grow and succeed. Someone may come to your channel for cardio but then go looking elsewhere for weight lifting videos. In this kind of partnership, you would be able to direct those viewers to your partner channel, and vice versa.

This way, you and your partners get to provide your combined viewers with a total fitness package, while at the same time helping each other to grow.

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10. Motivate

Most of us mere mortals have motivation problems when it comes to exercising, and it is those motivation-deprived people that will likely make up the bulk of your audience.

Showing your viewers amazing techniques for getting toned abs or shedding that excess weight won’t count for much if they can’t muster up the willpower and interest to use those techniques on a regular basis.

In short, don’t neglect the motivational aspect of your videos.

We’re not saying you should don bright lycra and turn the cheerfulness up to eleven while you bounce around to upbeat dance music… unless you want to, of course. But put some thought into ways to help your viewers muster up the energy to do your workouts, or follow your routines.

Remember, the more success stories your channel creates, the bigger your reputation will become, and the more successful you are likely to be.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, much of advice for how to make money on YouTube with fitness videos is the same as it is for any other video, and as such, hasn’t been included in this post.

Things like making eye-catching thumbnails and attention-grabbing titles, promoting your channel on social media, uploading regularly, all of these are crucial components to a typical successful channel, and it is worth taking some time to look over some of the other posts on this blog to learn more about that side of things.

For fitness specifically, the most significant piece of advice we can give you is to be good at what you do.

With other kinds of YouTube videos, the ultimate gatekeeper to success is the quality of the content. If the videos are poor, the channel won’t succeed. While this is just as true for fitness videos, there is the added dimension of the fitness content itself.

You could make the best videos in the world from a production and entertainment standpoint, but if they don’t help people lose weight or gain muscle or do whatever it is they are supposed to be getting help with, then the channel will ultimately fail.

And don’t be afraid to check out the competition. If you find a channel in your niche—or very close to your niche—that is incredibly successful, watch their videos, analyse their content, and see what they are doing that is leading to that success.

Please don’t steal from them, of course, but look for elements that you can incorporate into your videos.

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How To Make Money on YouTube Playing Games

Given the enormous growth of video games in recent years, it is not surprising that it now forms the basis for a diverse range of careers.

Being involved with the creation of video games is no longer the only way to get paid in the gaming industry, with millions of gamers checking gaming media outlets regularly, an eSports sector worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and no end of opportunities to make content around video games, there has never been a better time to be interested making a career around video games.

Of course, YouTube has enjoyed plenty of growth itself during this time, so it only makes sense that a lot of people would look to combine the success potential of YouTube with the demand for video game content.

Still, getting started in this world isn’t always intuitive, and there is a lot of competition, but if you’ve found yourself Googling how to make money on YouTube playing games, you’ve come to the right place.

Get yourself a beverage and make yourself comfortable while we take a deep dive on how to make money on YouTube playing games.

How To Make Money on YouTube Playing Games 1

A Brief Note on the Legalities of YouTube Gaming Content

The legalities of gaming on YouTube (or any other video platform for that matter) are deserving of a post of their own; however, it would be irresponsible to not at least cover the basics here.

The specifics will change depending on the publishers and developers in question. It can range from studios like Devolver Digital—who actively encourage people to make content using their games—to Nintendo—who only recently started allowing gamers to create content using their games at all!

For the most part, the rules around video game content can be boiled down to this; you have to add something to the footage.

This could be a running commentary, a review, humorous editing, or any number of options. In other words, you can’t just record a playthrough with no commentary and expect to make money. For one thing, it is against YouTube’s policies to do that, but also it may result in the publisher or developer getting your channel struck.

This is because many larger studios have a similar policy to YouTube, stating that any content made using their games must be transformative. It’s also worth noting that there is a much smaller audience for videos that are essentially just watching someone else play a game with no additional input.

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Ideas for Gaming Videos on YouTube

Now that that’s out of the way let’s look at how you can make money playing games on YouTube. Before we get into specific video ideas, it’s worth taking a moment to say that, whatever you do, you should enjoy it on some level.

There is entertainment value in seeing someone who dislikes a particular kind of game playing that game, but if you don’t enjoy any part of the process, you will soon get burned out and not want to continue making videos.

And if there’s one thing that can guarantee you won’t make money on YouTube, it’s not making videos on YouTube.

For most kinds of gaming videos, on the other hand, you should enjoy the game you are playing. If you are forcing yourself to play something you have no interest in, that will come through in your video, and there is a very strong chance your viewers will join you in not being interested.

Now, let’s take a look at some ideas for gaming videos on YouTube!

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Let’s Play Videos

Probably the most popular kind of gaming video you will find on YouTube are Let’s Play videos, though the term “let’s play” is rarely used anymore since this is kind of the default state for gaming content on YouTube.

These kinds of videos involve the YouTuber playing a game while commentating on what is happening, often with a live feed of their face in a corner of the screen, large enough to see how they are reacting but not too large that it gets in the way of the game.

For the viewers, a large part of why they will tune in is for the YouTuber themselves rather than the game.

The most successful Let’s Play YouTubers have an entertaining persona, and the viewers are typically there more to see that persona than they are to see the game that is being played in the video.

This is how YouTubers like PewDiePie are able to transition from these kinds of videos into other types of content because their subscribers want to see them, not the game.

That being said, it pays to keep your finger on the pulse of what is popular in the YouTube gaming scene, even if you are trading on your screen presence.

It doesn’t hurt to have a go-to game or genre that you cover, but sometimes certain games become incredibly popular, and it can be an excellent opportunity for your channel to grow by capitalising on this kind of trend. The recent explosion of interest in Minecraft, a decade after it first came onto the scene, is an excellent example of this kind of thing happening.

On the subject of having a go-to game or genre, many YouTubers are incredibly successful in making videos playing a specific game. An excellent example of this is Glock9, a YouTuber who almost exclusively makes videos playing the popular survival game, 7 Days to Die, and has seen his subscriber count explode in the last year, gaining nearly 200k subscribers.

If you opt to focus on one game in this manner, don’t be afraid to try something new every once in a while.

You don’t want people to lose interest in your channel before you have had a chance to work through potentially new directions your channel can take. But that could very well happen if you stubbornly stick to the same content even when it is clear people are getting weary of it.

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Become a Streamer

In the not-too-distant past, taking this path to make money with gaming would have seen you heading away from YouTube and over to Twitch.

Fortunately, YouTube has started to make serious moves into the streaming arena, and they have seen lots of gamers choosing their platform for streaming as a result. Perhaps the most significant sign of changing times was the arrival of DrDisRespect—an immensely popular Twitch streamer who, after being banned from Twitch for unknown reasons, chose YouTube as the place to continue entertaining his millions of fans.

In a way, streaming content is a lot like Let’s Play content at first glance. The main difference is that streaming is live, so there is no editing of your videos before they go out. This also means you can interact with your subscribers in real-time, as they will be in the chat while you game.

Features like membership and super chat will allow your subscribers to support you in other ways besides the ad revenue that your streams generate, and, should you choose to enable it, your streams can continue living on your channel like regular videos when you are done, creating more potential for earnings with future watches.

One thing to note when starting a career as a streamer is that you will need to have complete control of yourself and your feed.

There are countless stories of people letting an incredibly offensive word slip out of their mouth onstream, or absently engaging in a bit of casual animal abuse.

Incidents like this might not be enough to take down some of the biggest streamers in the world, but they could easily stop your channel from growing.

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Reviews and Commentary

Though it’s not strictly playing video games on YouTube, creating reviews and commentary of games will require you to play those games, even though it isn’t necessarily on camera. That being said, you will probably want to use footage of you playing the game for visuals under your commentary.

The thing to remember about this kind of video is that people are not coming to watch you play the game, they are coming to learn about it.

With that in mind, you should tailor the gameplay footage to show the particular aspects of the game that are being talked about at any given moment in the video. And, as far as the talking goes, be sure to cover everything that might be important.

If people are going to come to you to get a sense of whether a game is worth buying, they’ll want to be sure they have a full picture by the time they have finished watching.

You might have noticed that this section is called “reviews and commentary“. True, reviews are a kind of commentary, but there other ways to approach this kind of video.

For example, retrospective videos on important games throughout gaming history, or breakdowns of why a particular game had the impact on the industry that it did. This type of video is incredibly popular in the retro computers community, as talking about games from the 1980s and 90s is right in that wheelhouse.

General Advice

Choosing the style of YouTube gamer you want to be is essential, of course, but there are some factors that are applicable regardless of what kind of video you intend to make.

Find a Niche

If you’ve spent any time reading advice on succeeding on YouTube, you will already know this one. Finding your niche might be the most significant key to success on YouTube (after making great content, of course). If you are one of a very small number of people serving a particular niche, you stand to gain a lot more views from that niche by virtue of there not being many other options.

In short, you reduce your competition.

Now, you may be supremely confident in your ability to bring in the subscribers, and perhaps you don’t worry about competition for that reason.

Unfortunately, given the sheer volume of YouTubers out there, it can be very difficult to get noticed, even for an extremely talented and entertaining YouTuber. But if that talented and entertaining YouTuber chooses a niche, they are more likely to be seen by the people with that interest, and from there the talent will take over.

Once that YouTuber is established, they can branch out into other areas.

In terms of gaming, your niche could be very specific—such as videos on one particular game—or a little broader in scope—such as a particular genre or style of game—but you should try to narrow it down to something. Just playing video games will likely get lost in the algorithm shuffle.

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Offer Something Unique

As important as finding your niche is, there will still be more work to do.

The chances of you finding a niche that is both dramatically underserved but also popular enough to attract the kind of numbers you would need to make money is very slim. In other words, you’re still going to have to get noticed in a crowded field of competition, even in a focussed niche.

Granted, a much less crowded field, but crowded nonetheless.

The way you get noticed is by offering your viewers something that other YouTubers aren’t. For personality-based YouTubers, they are the unique component. For other kinds of YouTuber, consider offering a unique perspective.

As an example of how the same niche can be approached in different ways, consider these three channels on computer keyboards.

  • TaeKeyboards is a channel that covers both reviews and modding of mechanical keyboards and is very analytical in approach. Keyboards are explored in-depth, and all the details are laid out for the viewer.
  • :3ildcat is similar in that it does reviews of a sort, as well as modding videos. However, this channel is considerably more aesthetic and does not feature any spoken word. Instead, the content of the video takes place over pleasant music with annotations.
  • Chyrosran22 focuses on keyboard reviews (often older keyboards) and often uses more… colourful language.

Granted, they are not gaming channels, but all three of these channels take a very different approach to what is essentially the same topic.

Conclusions

Gaming is a huge industry, and there is a healthy demand for gaming content on YouTube.

If you can get over the initial hurdle of attracting viewers, and you have something unique to offer them, you will struggle to find an audience with as much earning potential as gaming.

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Do YouTubers Pay Tax?

The question of do YouTubers pay tax is perhaps not the right question—we can’t speak for every YouTuber out there. Should YouTubers pay tax is a much better question, and, in many cases, yes, if you earn enough money through your YouTubing exploits, you should probably be paying tax on those earnings.

The exact rules surrounding whether you should pay tax or not will be entirely dependent on how much money you make, the laws in your country of residence, not to mention your personal employment situation.

For example, two of the biggest countries in terms of YouTube usage—the United States and the United Kingdom—allow a certain amount of untaxed income. For the United States, it is called deductions and is around $12,200 a year. For the United Kingdom, it is called Personal Allowance and is around £12,500 a year.

In practical terms is that if someone in the United Kingdom made £10,000 from their YouTube channel in one year and didn’t earn any other income, they would not be required to pay tax on that money.

On the other hand, if they earned £13,000, they would have to pay tax on the £500 over the allowance. None of the above factors in other sources of income, such as a regular job.

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Disclaimer

Now would be a perfect time to make it clear that nothing in this post should be considered financial advice.

We are only covering basic premises here, and the realities of accounting are far from simple.

The only financial advice you should take away from this post is that if you are not sure about anything regarding your taxable income, hire an accountant to take care of it for you.

Will YouTube/My MCN/Advertising Partners Pay the Tax?

No on all accounts. Unless you have a very unique agreement with your multi-channel network or advertising partners, you will be classed as a contractor, and responsible for your own taxes.

Also, though a relatively small detail in terms of practical importance, it’s worth noting that YouTube are not actually the ones paying you. YouTube is a video publishing platform, and nothing more, the money comes from Google AdSense.

Depending on your region, Google may be required to collect some tax-related data from you when you sign up for an AdSense account, but this is essentially to make it easier for your government to catch you not disclosing your income. You will have to record, disclose, and pay tax on your earnings yourself.

You can hire an accountant to do this for you, of course. And in many cases, that is probably the best thing to do. But an accountant acts on behalf of you and has no dealings with a company like AdSense or YouTube.

Can I Get Away With Not Paying Taxes on YouTube Earnings?

Again, this is a question of should, rather than could. You certainly can get away with not paying taxes on your YouTube earnings, but you really shouldn’t.

There is an ethical position to argue in that you are responsible for contributing to the society you live in. However, the more compelling argument for some would be the consequences if and when you get caught.

For the vast majority of YouTubers, it wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, since most YouTubers earn very little money from their channel.

This not to say there couldn’t be consequences, and again, we must stress this is not financial or legal advice, but governments aren’t usually in the habit of immediately putting people in prison over a few hundred dollars. In the case of the UK, there are very few tax evasion prosecutions for amounts less than £50,000.

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Given that the tax you pay is a percentage of your overall earnings, not to mention any allowances and deductions you are entitled to, you don’t have to do the exact maths to see you would have to have been earning a significant chunk of change to find yourself in prison.

That being said, it’s worth noting that if you get caught, even over a matter of a few dollars, you can still end up in a courtroom if you don’t cooperate. In other words, we’re not saying your government will turn a blind eye if the amount you owe is small; we’re just saying they probably won’t lock you up.

In general, though, various tax offices are happy to give you a slap on the wrist and let you just pay the amount you owe, rather than take you to court and put you in prison for it.

Where things can get dicier is if you repeatedly do not declare your income and pay your taxes. As an example, if you failed to report YouTube income that would have amounted to an extra £200 on your tax return, under UK law, the worst-case scenario would see you paying somewhere in the region of £500 after interest and penalties.

Granted, £500 is no small amount of money, but it’s not the end of the world, and it’s certainly better than going to jail. However, if you let that slide for a few years, it can quickly get into the thousands. And if your channel is enjoying growth over that period, which would imply your earnings are also growing, then things can really spiral out of control.

If you’ve ever wondered how these celebrities you see in the news manage to find themselves owing hundreds of thousands—even millions—in taxes, this is how.

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Keeping Records

The key to avoiding this kind of situation is to keep precise records about your earnings.

Granted, there will always be a record somewhere in today’s connected age, but if you want to avoid having to trawl through all your AdSense payments for the past year on tax return day, it helps to keep your own records. Anytime you get an AdSense payment, make a note of it. If you get a brand deal or a company sponsor one of your videos, record it.

You don’t have to spend money on expensive accounting software; a simple Google Sheets spreadsheet will do the trick. In it’s simplest form, such a spreadsheet might look like this;

Date Description Amount
21/4/2021 Adsense Payout $112.43
24/4/2021 Sponsored Video $250.00
2/5/2021 Patreon Payout $132.00

And that’s all there is to it. If you want to get fancy, you can tweak the spreadsheet to show you things like your projected earnings, the amount of tax you’re likely to owe, and more.

Now, you’ll have noticed that our sample spreadsheet doesn’t have any outgoings. You will need to check your region’s laws on tax deductions, but it is usually the case that “work” expenses can be deducted from your taxable income. How this works specifically in your country is something we won’t even attempt to describe, due to the many different rules from country to country, but regardless of how the deductions are calculated, you need to have a record of them if you want to take advantage of deductions.

It’s important to note that business expenses need to be justifiable as, well, business expenses. If you spend eight hundred dollars on a new camera for your YouTube channel, that can be justified as a business expense, even if you occasionally use it for personal things.

On the other hand, if you spend twenty thousand dollars on a car and your YouTube recording setup is in the spare room, you will have a hard time convincing anyone that you need the car for business reasons.

You may be able to deduct things like fuel if you used the vehicle to drive to a location to shoot a video, but the car’s primary use would have to be work-related if you wanted to class the car as a business expense.

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Mixing Incomes

When you are classed as a freelancer, or self-employed, or a contractor, or whichever term you feel best fits what you do, it doesn’t necessarily matter what you are doing.

The government wants you to declare your income and pay your taxes, and as long as you are earning your money legally, they don’t care if you are making YouTube videos, selling mop heads door-to-door, or any of the other seemingly endless ways of making a living that is available to you these days.

It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that people are increasingly diversifying their income streams.

While being a full-time YouTuber is a dream for many, the reality of that dream for an increasing number of people is that YouTube forms just one spoke in a whole wheel of income sources. Perhaps YouTube is only making a quarter of what you need to cover your living expenses, but you also do a little Uber driving on occasion and write for a blog from time to time.

All of this income flows into the same pot as far as tax collectors are concerned. From your perspective, you would simply be adding an “Uber” line to that spreadsheet we talked about (and you might finally be able to class your car as a business expense!) if Uber was one of your income sources. As mentioned above, the important thing is that you keep clear records of it all.

As a slight side note, we mentioned above about YouTube being one spoke in a wheel of income sources—this is a good plan for any YouTuber, whether you are making a few dollars a month or a few thousand dollars a month.

The old saying about not putting all your eggs in one basket is particularly apt for YouTube, as anyone who has fallen afoul of one of the many “Adpocalypses” will tell you. Even if your YouTube success is paying all the bills, it’s a good idea to spread your wings a little and make your money in other places. And definitely don’t rely on AdSense payouts alone.

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Always Factor Tax into Your Decision to “Go Pro”

If you do decide to go full time with your YouTube channel, or you are planning to quit your day job in favour of being your own boss and YouTube will form a significant portion of where you expect your income to come from, be sure to take taxes into account when you are running the numbers.

Tax can be a little tricky to work out. For example, UK tax only applies after your personal allowance deduction has been applied. Getting £12,500 tax-free is great, but it can make working out your projected earnings a little trickier. For example, if you make £17,500 in one year, you are only paying tax on £5,000. The tax rate for that amount of money (currently) is 20%, which equates to £1,000.

It gets even more complicated if you make a lot of money. There are different tax bands in the UK, and each one only applies to money within that band. So;

  • £0 – £12,500 has a tax rate of 0%
  • £12,501 – £50,000 has a tax rate of 20%
  • £50,001 – £150,000 has a tax rate of 40%
  • £150,001 and above has a tax rate of 45%

This means that if you earned £150,400 in one year, you would get £12,500 tax-free. You would pay 20% on the next £37,500 (£7,500). You would pay 40% on the following £100,000 (£40,000). And, finally, you would pay 45% on the last £400 (£180). So your total tax on £150,400 would be £47,680.

Please note that these numbers assume a standard tax code, and were only accurate at the time of writing since they change every year.

All this number soup is to say that the amount of tax you will be paying is rarely intuitive, but you should make an effort to accurately calculate these figures before you hand in your notice at your day job. You don’t want to quit your job thinking YouTube can support you, only to find yourself struggling to pay a tax bill you weren’t expecting to get.

Remember, every nation is slightly different—and some are very different.

We’re using the UK tax system as an example because that’s what we’re familiar with, but be sure to check the specifics of your own region.

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How to Make Money on YouTube as a Gamer

Of all the niches that video streaming platforms like YouTube have either created or allowed to flourish, few can boast as much unprecedented growth as gaming.

Twitch may be the first name that comes to mind when you think about making gaming video content, but it is only very recently that YouTube began to compete with Twitch in the live streaming arena directly.

Even before that, YouTube acted as an excellent complementary platform for Twitch streamers to put highlight videos out on. Now, of course, YouTube is making moves of their own in the streaming world, which only increases the number of ways you can make money with gaming content on the platform.

The truth is, there are many ways to make money as a gaming YouTuber. Sponsorship, affiliate marketing, live stream super chats, superstickers, YouTube premieres, donations and directly selling services like direct gaming advice or multiplayer games where you join their fireteam in a co-op game –  and even a few ways to make money on YouTube with gaming content if you aren’t a gamer.

This post will cover more than just video ideas for gaming content. There are some interesting legal question marks over this niche that deserve mention.

So keep reading as we explore how to make money on YouTube as a gamer.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most powerful tools for any budding YouTuber or Twitch gamer looking to make money online but it an be full of jargon. That is why I wrote a deep dive into affiliate marketing for beginners to help you wade through all the confusing words and get you on the path to making money online fast – without any need to buy silly expensive courses.

How to Make Money on YouTube as a Gamer

Gaming Content and Monetisation

If you intend to make Let’s Play style videos, there is a question of rights ownership that may affect your ability to make money from your content. YouTube has its own policy on software and video game content, which essentially boil down to it being fine to monetise as long as there is commentary and instructional value that is associate with the video.

All of that is a wordy way of saying you can’t just have an hour of video game footage playing while you talk about something unrelated to the game, or don’t talk at all.

You won’t be prevented from making this kind of content, of course, but YouTube may demonetise it, which will put a major roadblock in your efforts to make money as a YouTube gamer.

The other thing to note in the legal realm of YouTube gaming is the policies of the companies behind the games themselves. Though they have since eased up on their draconian approach to gaming content, Nintendo has been an example of this for some time.

This is because they would routinely claim videos of their games through YouTube’s Content ID system, claiming the revenue those videos made.

Since then, Nintendo has adopted a more fan-friendly approach, instead issuing a set of guidelines that state more or less what YouTube’s own policies state—that you have to add commentary or creative input to the content. If you want to just upload straight video of Nintendo games, you have to do it using Nintendo’s own tools.

That being said, it is worth noting that Nintendo chose to soften their stance on this after negative feedback, but there is no legal impetus for them to do so, and nothing to stop them from going back to a more hostile approach in the future.

Of course, there are more than just the Nintendos, Sonys, and Microsofts of the world.

The Internet has fostered a vibrant independent game development scene, and many of the developers and publishers in that scene are more than happy to let YouTubers make content using their games as it brings more exposure to their product.

An excellent example of this can be found at Devolver Digital, a small game development studio who actively encourage people to make content using their games, and even have a page on their site where you can enter your channel name to get written permission.

How to Make Money on YouTube as a Gamer 1

Choosing Which Games to Make Content Around

Once you’ve made peace with the various legal hurdles surrounding intellectual property, there is the small matter of what kind of content you intend to make.

There are plenty of different types of gaming video you can make, and we’re going to list a lot of them shortly, including examples of each.

As with any attempt to create regular content—especially if you intend to make money from it, one of the best things you can do is play to your strengths. It will not only produce better content, but it will also make your life more comfortable since it is always less work to do something you are good at than it is to do something you struggle with.

As an example, let’s consider a personality-based YouTube gaming channel. This is a channel where the YouTuber themself is what draws the views because the subscribers like to watch that person specifically. With a channel like this, the YouTuber could theoretically play anything they wanted, and the views would still roll in.

But by playing to their strengths, they can make better content and attract more views than just those diehard fans who will tune in for anything.

Two examples we have picked out are PewDiePie and DrDisRespect. Both of these YouTubers are incredibly popular, and could probably make a video of them eating a sandwich and still get millions of views. Despite this, they have clear strengths in the video game niche.

For PewDiePie’s part, he greatly enhanced his popularity by playing horror games. It was his comical reactions to jump scares and tense moments that pushed his channel into the upper echelons of YouTube during his early days of making videos, something that he would not have been able to reproduce with a different genre of game.

This stage of PewDiePie’s YouTube career is an excellent example of playing to your strengths, as PewDiePie started out making video game commentaries, but it wasn’t until he started making horror game videos that his channel really took off.

In the case of DrDisRespect, as his name suggests, his gimmick is being disrespectful. Now, while he could be disrespectful while playing a casual, friendly game like Animal Crossing, it wouldn’t have quite the same impact as it does while playing competitive multiplayer shooters. DrDisRespect, for all his gimmicks, is a very good gamer and has plenty of opportunities to boast during his playthroughs.

There may be a bit of trial and error in finding your strengths, but it is a worthy goal to achieve, especially when you are just starting out.

Who knows, maybe PewDiePie would have just been another successful YouTuber with a few million followers had he not started making horror game videos, rather than the most successful individual YouTuber in the history of the platform.

Different Types of Gaming Content

Before you can play to your strengths, you need to know what kind of content there is a market for. Of course, it’s worth noting that there will always be rewards for those who can think outside of the box and be successful because of it.

What we are about to list are established types of gaming content with proven popularity. We are not saying these are the only options if you want to make gaming content.

Unfortunately, if you want to blaze new trails, you will be on your own on that journey. After all, it wouldn’t be trailblazing if there was a post like this one telling you how to do it!

Straight Playthroughs

These are the kinds of videos that companies like Nintendo won’t allow you to monetise, so you will have to think carefully about what games you intend to make your videos around if you choose this path.

With a platform as big as YouTube, there is an audience for just about everything, including watching games being played. Sometimes it is merely a desire to watch the narrative in some of the more cinematic games, other times it is a gamer wanting to see parts of the game they missed but are not prepared to play the game again. With enormous open-world games like Fallout 4 and Grand Theft Auto V, it is easy to miss a lot of the content available to you. It can even be people who can’t play a particular game for one reason or another but still want to see it.

If you choose this style of gaming video, you will want to make sure you are offering something to the viewer. If you are showing the cinematics, don’t have 3 hours of regular gameplay in between.

Gameplay With Commentary

You may have seen these videos labelled as Let’s Play videos in the past. These videos involve the YouTuber playing through a game while talking about it. Videos like this will often have the YouTuber’s face in the video so the viewers can see their reactions.

This is by far the most popular kind of gaming content on YouTube, and both of the above examples of PewDiePie and DrDisRespect fall into this category.

Speedruns

If you are a particularly talented gamer, there is a whole niche around the ability to complete video games as quickly as possible. There is no limitation in terms of the game, with everything from retro platformers to huge open-world role-playing games being completed in ludicrously short spaces of time.

One example of this kind of channel can be found in GarishGoblin, who may not have that many subscribers, but has been able to amass millions of views with various speedruns in the Halo franchise.

Comedy Videos

Comedy gaming videos can come in several forms. One of the more famous examples is Red Vs Blue, a series on the Rooster Teeth Animation channel that features comedy sketches acted out using the Halo video game franchise.

Another example is SovietWomble, who creates highlight videos from his streams, often with humorous edits and effects to enhance the final product.

These types of videos are considerably more work in terms of editing when compared to something like a commentary video. On the other hand, they require less skill at actual gaming, which makes them an excellent option for people who enjoy gaming but aren’t necessarily that good at it.

Update Videos

Update videos could take the form of a general roundup of gaming news; however, that would be a competitive niche to enter, and one that would contain several media outlets. Success may be more attainable with a model like that employed by the YouTuber, ShadowFrax.

ShadowFrax makes videos detailing the latest updates surrounding the game, Rust, an open-world multiplayer survival game that is continually getting new content and updates from the developers. T

here are hundreds of popular games in active development, and finding one that you like and focusing your content on that could be an excellent way to create gaming content.

How to Make Games

This option is a little less attainable for your average YouTuber, but if you have the ability, making videos on how to make certain popular games may be a good option, as demonstrated by small YouTuber, b3agz, whose videos on how to make Minecraft and 7 Days to Die have amassed hundreds of thousands of views despite only having a few thousand subscribers.

Of course, you don’t necessarily need to create full step-by-step tutorials in the way that b3agz does; you could make videos analysing game mechanics, or talking about the methods behind certain aspects of the game. There has never been a better time to be providing resources for game developers, with game development being more popular now than at any point in its history.

How to Make Money on YouTube as a Gamer Conclusions

Ultimately, the key to making money on YouTube as a gamer—or as anything else, for that matter—is to make good content that people want to watch.

Granted, you must navigate the hurdles we mentioned above regarding intellectual property rights, but once you have done that, the first thing you should be focussing on is your content.

If you make good content, your chances of succeeding on YouTube—and making money as a result of that success—will be significantly improved. And, while we can’t guarantee a good video will make you money, we can say with confidence that a lousy video won’t make you money.

Or, perhaps more accurately, it could make you money, but it will be a short term thing that could damage your earning potential in the long run, as your channel will get a reputation for poor content, both in the eyes of the viewers and of YouTube itself.

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How to Make Money on YouTube Using Other People’s Videos

Making money on YouTube with other people’s content is certainly possible, though, as you might expect, there are ethical considerations depending on how you go about it.

If you just re-upload someone else’s content wholesale, without any kind of modification, and pass it off as your own, there is no question that it is wrong in every sense of the word, including YouTube’s rules and guidelines.

So, not only would you be doing something generally unpleasant, but you would also likely fall afoul of YouTube’s policies, and lose any monetary gain you might have had.

That being said, there are ways to make money using other people’s content on YouTube that are entirely within YouTube’s terms, and you can do it in ways that won’t have the YouTubers whose content you are using wishing ill fortune on you.

So let’s dive into how to make money on YouTube using other people’s videos!

How to Make Money on YouTube Using Other People's Videos

Stealing Content

There isn’t much more to say about this that we didn’t cover in the intro, but just to reiterate; taking another YouTuber’s content and re-uploading without their permission has very little going for it as a money-making tactic.

It will not make you many friends, you will be competing with the original video for views, and it will almost certainly be a short term thing as YouTube will eventually shut you down when they find out you are stealing content.

It’s best to steer clear of this method entirely.

Getting Permission

We’re going to discuss some methods here that, strictly speaking, could be done without permission from the YouTuber whose content you are using, but it’s always worth getting permission if you can, regardless of whether you need it.

If you can somehow get permission for it, even the above method of just taking someone else’s content and re-uploading it would be fine. We can’t think of many situations where the original creator would be okay with that, but it would be perfectly fine if they did.

But, as a general courtesy, it is nice to ask YouTuber’s if you can use their content, even if it’s only a small clip. And, who knows? They may even share your video.

Getting the permissions itself can be tricky, especially if the YouTuber doesn’t check their spam folder too often.

You should be able to find a contact email address for them in their channel’s “About” page (you may have to prove you’re not a bot in order to see it), though the existence of an email address doesn’t mean anyone is looking at the inbox.

You can also try pinging them on social media. What you want to avoid, however, is spamming them with a barrage of messages across different platforms.

Try to leave a little bit of breathing space between attempts to contact them, as waking up to dozens of notifications in different apps all from the same person may be a bit off-putting.

In your messages, be polite, and it can’t hurt to throw in a compliment about their content. After all; you are wanting to use it. Y

ou should also let them know what you are planning to do with the content you are seeking permission to use, and be honest. Nothing can burn bridges like getting permission to use someone’s content for one thing and then using it for something else, especially if the thing you end up using it for is something the original creator would object to.

How to Make Money on YouTube Using Other People's Videos 1

Reused Content

As this post is talking about making money specifically, we need to address YouTube’s stance on reused content.

There is a lot of content on YouTube (and other parts of the web) that are fair game for you to use on your channel from a legal standpoint. Creative Commons content and content in the public domain being the main examples of this.

However, being legally allowed to use content does not mean YouTube will let you monetise it. Their monetisation policies specifically call out “reused content” as something that cannot be monetised.

What this means in practical terms is that even though you are allowed—both legally and under YouTube’s terms—to take a video that is licensed under Creative Commons (as long as you give full attribution) and post it on your channel in full, YouTube will not allow you to monetise it unless you have made sufficient modification to it. How these modifications might look is a significant part of the rest of this post, so keep reading.

What About Fair Use?

Fair use is a convention through which copyrighted material can be used without the express permission of the copyright holder or a licensing agreement to use the content in some circumstances.

The content you produce must be “transformative”, which can include commentary and parody, as well as some other kinds of content.

Fair use is often misunderstood to be some kind of shield to protect you against copyright strikes, but that is not how it works. Fair use is a defence—not a black and white policy—and it is determined on a case-by-case basis. That means that, even if you were entirely within the spirit of fair use, you would still have to go to court and make your case if you faced a copyright owner who is aggressive enough with their legal team to take it that far.

One of the problems with fair use on YouTube is their automated content recognition system, which has no concept of fair use and will flag your videos regardless if it recognises copyrighted material.

As sad a state of affairs as it may seem, it would generally make your life much easier if you steered clear of copyrighted content altogether.

How to Make Money on YouTube Using Other People’s Videos

Now that we’ve told you what you can’t do, let’s get into what you can do.

Here we are going to outline some different ways you can make money on YouTube using other people’s videos, as well as how you would go about it and any other relevant information.

Reaction Videos

Reaction videos are more popular than ever and are not limited to movie trailers. Just about any viral video can be good fodder for a reaction video, though it can help to stick within a particular genre or type of video.

For example, Stevie Knight is a popular reaction YouTuber who reacts to rap songs specifically. For the super famous YouTubers, reaction videos can be about anything because the audience is there to see them, whatever they are doing. But for us mere mortals, it’s probably best to find a niche and stick to it.

One of the critical aspects of reaction videos, as obvious as it sounds, is reacting. If you sit and watch a nine-minute video, pulling the occasional face and barely saying anything, you’re not going to make much of an impression.

And you may fall afoul of YouTube’s reuse policy, as they could deem it not to be sufficiently different from the original video.

Needless to say, this type of video is more suited to YouTubers with a lot of personality.

You are banking on people wanting to see you. They can go and watch the original video easily enough, or check out one of the other reaction YouTubers covering this video, and if you are bland and unentertaining, they may do just that.

Be yourself, as well.

Being a reaction, YouTuber will quickly fall apart if you are putting on a persona. Try not to worry about pleasing everyone; it’s an impossible task.

Just be yourself and be consistent with your videos.

Breakdown Videos

Breakdown videos are very similar to reaction videos but a little more technical in nature.

Where a reaction video is all about the… well… reaction, breakdown videos go into detail about the content itself. In fact, the YouTuber we mentioned above, Stevie Knight, would be a good example for this kind of video as well, as he doesn’t just react to rap music, he breaks down the lyrics.

Breakdown videos are also common for political and social commentary, as well as movie trailers and speeches. The aim of a breakdown is either to respond to things in the video or to give your unique insight to the viewers.

If you decide to go down this path, you make sure you have something to offer.

Unlike reaction videos, where a lively personality and a bit of comedy can be enough, a breakdown video needs to add something to the conversation. If you are breaking down the latest Marvel movie trailer, make sure you are well-versed in Marvel lore, so that you can spot things that regular viewers may miss.

Clip Videos

Clip videos can be on a range of topics, such as “Top 10” videos, or “This Week In…”. An example of this can be found on GameDevHQ’s channel, where they have a weekly series that lists off some of the most interesting projects being developed in the Unity game engine.

This kind of video is very appealing to those more camera-shy YouTubers out there, as it doesn’t require you to be on-camera to make content. It would typically take the form of a series of clips with voice-over narration saying something about each clip.

In these cases, as long as the clips are not too long, you can usually claim fair use with regards to your use of the clip, however, as we stated above, fair use, even when used correctly, is no guarantee that you will be free to use the content.

It would be best to get permission from the content owners first, but if you keep the clips short, you should be okay.

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube 6

Become a Music Content Aggregator/Promoter

This one is a little less conventional, but you could become a channel for promoting unknown musicians.

The idea here would be that you are putting the music videos out on a channel that has more exposure—benefitting the artist—while you run advertisements on those videos.

Whether or not you cut the artists in on the revenue would be up to you, although it will undoubtedly be easier to get artists on board if you are going to pay them.

The main problem with this kind of channel is that it is challenging to get off of the ground, as you need a significant number of subscribers to draw in more popular artists.

One trick could be to use Creative Commons music in the beginning. You would not be able to monetise these videos due to YouTube’s reuse policy, but you wouldn’t be able to monetise in the beginning anyway due to the requirements for joining YouTube’s Partner Programme.

The goal would be to build the channel’s reputation and following up to the point that you can entice up and coming artists to release music through your channel, and hopefully reach a point where all of the content you publish is original.

You can even use cover songs to get your foot in the door and leverage attention. If you need help in making money from cover songs then check out my deep dive blog where I break down the legal points, the fast traffic tips and some great tweaks you can use to get the maximum impact for minimal impact on your pocket.

Mashup Videos

This one requires quite a bit of ability with audio editing software, but you could make mashups of existing music videos.

These tend to be popular when the original videos are from contrasting genres, making the final result something of a novelty that will interest fans of both genres.

One of the most well-known examples of this kind of video is an interesting mashup between Justin Beiber and Slipknot. The less similar to the original songs, the better, or you may get hit with YouTube’s Content ID.

It should be noted that there are legal obligations when using copyrighted music, even if it is only small samples.

You probably won’t end up in a courtroom if you get caught—it is far more likely you’ll get a copyright strike or your ad revenue diverted to the copyright holder—but the possibility is always there when you break copyright law.

What we’re saying here is, strictly speaking, you should get the proper licensing sorted with any copyright holders before creating mashups video. This blog does not endorse doing anything that breaks the law.

You could always license a song from a music supplier such as LickD where you can make cover-songs or mashups and not have to worry about revenue share or copyright clam for the audio. They have a wide selection of popular tracks and you even get your first track for free when you sign up.

Conclusions

You may have noticed that there is still quite a bit of work involved in these various methods.

Unfortunately, there is no way of making money on YouTube with other people’s videos that is simultaneously allowed by YouTube, legal, and does not require some effort on your part.

However you could always try stock video content (for example I use storyblocks for all my b-roll) to pad out your creations and all you have to do is talk over the clips – you wouldn’t even need to show your face.

If that sounds perfect I have 12 Channel Ideas Without Showing Your Face just for you!

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How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube

Covering popular songs is an excellent way for musicians to gain exposure through YouTube.

The popularity of the song can draw people into your channel where you can show off your talent, skill, and, hopefully, your unique style.

Unfortunately, copyright is a serious roadblock to monetising this kind of content.

The music industry has been and still is one of the most aggressive industries when it comes to protecting their intellectual property, which has led to some less-than-fair policies being put in place by YouTube in order to mollify record labels. Policies such as granting copyright owners the ability to claim ad revenue from your video, even if the video contains more than just their music.

YouTube also has automatic Content ID in place, that can recognise copyrighted content without the need for a human to flag it.

This may save YouTube a great deal of expense compared to paying people to hunt through an absurd amount of video, but it can lead to problems for cover artists, such as Seth Everman’s cover of Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy. As Seth’s pinned comment states, the cover was instantly flagged for copyright despite being made using household items such as couch cushions and pots and pans.

So how, then, do you go about monetising this kind of content? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways, so read to discover how to make money doing covers on YouTube.

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube 1

The Basics

Before getting into how you can make money doing covers on YouTube, it is important to have a basic grasp of the legalities of cover songs. We say “basic” because we’re not going to attempt to explain actual law to you—this is a YouTube blog, and there are no lawyers here.

The long and short of it is that in order to legally make money from a cover song, you would have to have agreements in place with the songwriters and publishers, and the licenses you would gain from this would almost certainly require you to pay royalty fees.

This may be fine for an established musician who is going to release a cover song through traditional channels, but it is not exactly practical for a small YouTube musician who is just looking for a little added exposure, or merely wants to cover their favourite song.

YouTube have mechanisms in place to remove the need for every YouTube cover to have an individual licensing agreement in place in the form their Content ID system, but this doesn’t help with monetisation and, depending on the rights holder, can result in your video being blocked in certain countries—or blocked altogether.

So, now we’ve told you why you can’t make money from covers on YouTube, let’s get into how you can make money from covers on YouTube.

YouTube Partner Programme

Here’s the good news; the YouTube Partner Programme has provisions for cover songs that allow you to share revenue easily between you and the relevant entities with little more than a few clicks.

The bad news? This only applies to songs that are part of an agreement with rights holders to enable this kind of thing.

Now, granted, there are a lot of songs included in these deals, with plenty of popular songs and current hits among them. But it is not everything, and you may find yourself wanting to cover something that is not part of YouTube’s deal and thus cannot be monetised in this way.

For the songs that are part of the deal, you will be able to share the revenue with the rights holders, and you will get be paid on a pro-rata basis.

This is one example of how to make money doing covers on YouTube, but it is not exactly a reliable method, and even when it works, you are getting a reduced percentage of YouTube revenue, which has already gained a reputation as a less-than-stellar way to get paid for your time.

The actual rate you get paid may vary, but you shouldn’t expect to see more than 40% of the revenue your videos generate. So let’s look at other ways you can earn money from your cover songs.

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube

Promote Original Music

It will likely seem obvious to many YouTube cover artists since a lot of you will have gotten into cover songs as a means to bring attention to your channel and promote your own songs. This very method is one of the best ways you can parlay your cover song success into YouTube revenue.

Be sure to put your own spin on the covers you perform, however.

The goal is to draw people in with your unique style and take on the song, and then providing your viewers with a call to action like, “If you like this, why not check out my original song…”, and it will be considerably less effective if your original songs are entirely different in tone and style to your cover songs.

There is no barrier to monetising original content, so you are free to monetise an original song through YouTube’s Partner Programme, get sponsors, or do anything else you would be free to do with your own intellectual property.

Promote Live Performances

In much the same way your cover songs can be used to promote your original music, they can also be used as a means of getting eyeballs on any upcoming shows you are playing.

It is common for established musicians to make a substantial portion of their income from live performances, so it will likely be something a serious musician will want to get into regardless—especially since live performances can make up almost all of your income as a musician just getting started.

And if you’re doing it anyway, why not leverage YouTube to get more interest in those live shows?

If you go down this route, make sure you have easy to find links and information regarding your live shows.

You want your viewers to have to put in as little effort as possible if they decide to come out to see you live, so don’t force them to hunt around for the right links and dates.

If you need help in promoting your content FOR FREE, I have a great list of all the best places to share your content in my blog.

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube 4

Sell Your Cover Songs Elsewhere

If you go to the trouble of creating a cover song for YouTube, don’t feel like you have to limit it to just that platform. There are many outlets to sell music digitally these days, without the need for recording deals or record labels. If you make a popular cover, giving viewers the option to buy the song or listen to it on other revenue-generating platforms like Spotify and iTunes is a great way to earn some extra money.

Of course, the issues with licensing and ownership are still there, and we would not recommend you just putting a song out there without ensuring you go through the proper channels. Fortunately, there are plenty of music distribution services out there for small artists, and many of them have provisions set up for cover songs, meaning you can release them entirely legally.

Every platform is different, and this is a YouTube blog, so rather than explaining the process, here are a few of the top music distribution platforms that allow you to release cover songs to services like Spotify.

Crowd Funding and Donations

This is an excellent method of earning money through YouTube regardless of what the actual content is because it serves not only as a revenue source but also as an endorsement of your channel.

Since people who contribute are actively choosing to do so, you will benefit from a dedicated fanbase who are more likely to want to support financially.

There are several ways to go about setting this up, with Patreon being the most prominent and popular example. There are also platforms like Ko-Fi, as well as simply accepting donations directly through a payment processor like PayPal.

If you decide to try this method of earning money from covers, consider giving incentives to your supporters. Such incentives can be as little as a thank you at the end of a video, or they can be as much as tickets to a live show, or merchandise included as a thank you.

It could also be early access to videos or exclusive content.

The point is that by providing supporters with something extra, you not only make them feel appreciated, but you incentivise others to support you as well.

Making Your Cover Videos

Knowing how to monetise your covers is a relatively small part of the battle. Before you worry about that, you should be working on giving your videos the best chance of success you possibly can.

Now, as far as the music goes, that’s all on you.

Music is a very subjective medium, and you will no doubt have your own style and genre preferences when you perform.

All you can do there is make the technically best version of whatever it is that you want to make.

But regarding the video itself, there are things you incorporate that will help you succeed as a YouTube cover artist.

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube 5

Create Engaging Videos

While it is generally true that the content speaks for itself, it is not that simple with cover songs. It is not merely a matter of making great music and hoping that the quality will shine through because there are so many talented musicians making music on YouTube.

You need to do something to make your videos stand out from the crowd, and you will struggle to do that in the audio alone – take a look at my resources page for some eye catching graphics, backing tracks, and design tools.

Consider including the lyrics in your video, possibly in a fun animated way, and at the very least shoot something with you playing the song.

You want viewers to connect with you, and they are unlikely to do that if they never see you.

Be Creative

There are only so many ways you can cover a song in a way that is still appealing to a large enough number of people. And, with the amount of YouTube musicians out there doing cover songs, the number of unique takes there are left for popular songs are starting to become a little scarce.

Of course, you can always cover less popular songs, but the problem there is that less popular music means less interest in your cover song.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your cover.

We mentioned Seth Everman’s Bad Guy video earlier on. Even though that particular cover was a comedic video, rather than a straight music video, it nevertheless generated a lot of interest for the unconventional way he played the song.

We’re not saying you should cover a song using furniture exclusively as your instrument, but looking for new and creative ways to make your cover videos is an excellent way to get noticed.

Another great example of this is Postmodern Jukebox, a channel that exclusively creates covers of contemporary songs in the style of classic genres from as far back as the early 1900s. Their videos feature a full band accompaniment with everyone dressed in the style of the era they are emulating and make for a fascinating watch.

Another example is mashups, where more than one song or style is brought together to create something new. A very popular example of this is 10 Second Songs, where the talented Anthony Vincent performs songs in the style of a variety of different artists.

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube 3

Keep An Eye Out For Trends

Trend-chasing can feel a little “dirty” to some, but cover videos are an extremely competitive space, and it will take a lot of effort—and not a small amount of luck—to get established in this niche. By putting out your own take on a popular trend, you can bring new viewers to your channel.

And the good thing about this kind of viewer is they will have subscribed because they liked your take on the song, which means they are more likely to stick around.

Trends can come in many forms, such as old songs that inexplicably get a second life (see: Rick Rolling) or new viral hits that take the world by storm.

Whatever the trend, be sure to stay true to your unique style because ultimately, you want people to come to your channel for you, not a version of you that you put on once.