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

Can You Make Money on YouTube if You Are Under 18?

With YouTube becoming more and more of a legitimate career path, and with the barrier to entry being so low that anyone can get started from the comfort of their own home or even bedroom, it makes sense that many young people would be eyeing YouTube success before they have even left school.

At the same time, increasing concern over the safety of children online has led to ever more restrictive guidelines regarding what you can monetise on YouTube, which complicates the matter for children looking to make money on the platform.

The only real restriction on children making content on YouTube is the minimum age of thirteen. You have to be at least that age to have a YouTube channel. There are ways to work around this that we’ll touch on later in the post, but that is the only real hard limit, but it is a limit on creation, not on monetisation.

When it comes to earning money on your channel, the content you produce is more relevant than the person making it. You could be fifty years old, but if your content is designed for children, it will be subject to the additional restrictions that apply there.

Similarly, if you are fifteen years old but making content that is primarily watched by adults, you would not be subject to those restrictions.

This may all sound a bit vague, but don’t worry, all will be explained. So, can you make money on YouTube if you are under 18? Let’s find out.

Can You Make Money on YouTube if You Are Under 18? 1

Videos With Underage Audiences

Thanks to COPPA regulations, there are now considerably stricter limitations on the information that can be collected from underage watchers. While this in and of itself is not an issue regarding monetising your content, it has an indirect effect that is an issue.

The fact that YouTube is not allowed to collect as much data on their underage viewers is a significant deterrent for advertisers since one of the most compelling factors of online advertising is the ability to target your ads at increasingly narrow demographics.

If YouTube isn’t allowed to collect the information that will allow them to identify what kind of demographic is watching, advertisers can’t be sure their ads are being shown to the right kind of viewer.

It is not just videos that are marked as “for children” that fall afoul of monetisation denial, however. YouTube’s can determine if a video is primarily made for children—if for no other reason than the audience will be predominately children.

Even if you do not mark your content as intended for children—even if you do not intend for your videos to be watched by children—YouTube will mark it as such if the audience turns out to be mostly youngsters.

Making Videos As An Underaged YouTuber

There are two ways to consider the term “underage” when talking about YouTube. The first is in the legal sense of you not being able to make certain decisions for yourself due to your age. Some kinds of decisions have different age limits (drinking alcohol vs living on your own, for example) and all of them differ from region to region.

The good news is YouTube does not make much distinction here. If you are over the age of the thirteen, you are free to make content and earn money on the platform.

If you are under thirteen, however, you are not allowed to have a YouTube channel under YouTube’s terms of service. That is not necessarily the end of the road as far as your YouTube dreams go, and we’re not just talking about waiting until you are old enough. You’re just going to need a little help.

Officially speaking, your channel won’t be your own, but you can enlist the help of an adult (typically a parent) who will be in charge of the channel, while you make the content. This is perfectly allowed under the terms of service, and many very successful channels have risen to prominence in this manner, both before and after YouTube clamped down on videos by and for underage people.

Being Responsible

Now, it is important to note that we are not trying to give you advice on how to circumvent YouTube’s terms of service here. There can be debate over whether YouTube’s approach is the best way, but few people would disagree with the intent behind it. The Internet can be a dangerous place for children, in both an emotional and physical wellbeing sense.

We are not advocating you get your parents to sign up for a YouTube account and just hand you the login details and leave you to it. And if you’re a parent, we strongly advise against doing this. The adult who officially runs the account should be overseeing the content that goes on it, even if it is just to cast a watchful eye over the final edit before it goes live. They should be moderating any contact the child has with people online, and they should be ensuring the child does not get taken advantage of.

There are always exceptions to the rule, but, for the most part, children need protection, so while we are giving you advice on how to make money on YouTube if you are under 18, it shouldn’t be taken as an encouragement to break YouTube terms of service.

Can You Make Money on YouTube if You Are Under 18? 2

How to Earn Money With an Underage Audience

As we mentioned above, there are restrictions on videos with underage audiences that all but rule out the conventional route of monetising your YouTube content through the YouTube Partner Programme, but that does not mean that you cannot monetise your videos at all.

Here are some ways you can make money with your videos even when your audience puts your channel below YouTube’s threshold for an underage audience.

Patreon

Patreon (and similar platforms) may be something a long shot if your audience is primarily underage since underage viewers are less likely to have money of their own to give. But, sites like Patreon have their own restrictions for who can use it. Patreon, for instance, has a minimum age restriction of thirteen years old to sign up, and eighteen years old before you can sign up as a creator or support another creator. They also allow under eighteens to be a creator or support one with written permission from a parent or guardian.

This means that if you have an audience that is prepared to support you through Patreon, you don’t need to worry about their age because Patreon’s terms of service will have ensured they are old enough or have permissions to do so. And, if you are too young to become a creator on Patreon, assuming you are over thirteen, you can get written consent from a parent or guardian and get started!

Promote Other Ventures

YouTubers with a young audience often build their content on top of something that appeals to that audience, such as video games. If you are able to, there may be a way to translate that appeal into a monetisable thing.

To take one popular example, Roblox—a video game where anyone can create their own mini-games for others to play—is especially popular among young gamers. It also provides the ability for people who create content for it to earn money through in-game transactions. If you have built an audience around such a thing, you could promote the games you create and potentially earn money that way. Another example would be an arts and crafts channel which also promotes an Etsy store where your own arts and crafts can be purchased.

If you go down this route, it is important to remember that the thing you are promoting needs to be relevant to your audience. There is no sense in building a channel around Marvel comic book-related content and then trying to promote a SquareSpace affiliate code. Of course, this is true of any age of audience, but it is especially true of younger audiences.

Can You Make Money on YouTube if You Are Under 18? 3

Target Older Viewers

Not everyone can shift their content in such a way that it changes the average ages of their audience—at least, not without drastic changes to the channel—but for some, it is definitely possible, and it may be the answer to your monetisation problems.

By shifting your content in a more mature direction and ensuring that your videos are not marked as made for children, you should be able to qualify for the YouTube Partner Programme—assuming you have met all the other criteria.

Of course, if you are making content aimed at very young children—seven to ten-year-olds, for example—this kind of shift will not be a practical solution. But, if your audience is a little older—fourteen to seventeen, for example—it may be worth looking into.

Tips for Being an Under-18 YouTuber

Firstly, if you are a parent or guardian reading this, we would recommend familiarising yourself with YouTube’s child safety page as a bare minimum. If you are the child YouTuber, it won’t hurt to read through that page either.

For the success part of YouTubing as a minor, we have some tips.

Don’t Take Things to Heart

There are mean people on the Internet, and they often don’t have much to say in the way of being constructive. YouTube disables comments on videos that are intended for a young audience for this very reason, but if you find yourself in the comments of yours or another YouTuber’s video and people are being mean to you, do not let it affect you.

There is a way of delivering constructive criticism that you may take some time to learn recognise. As a rough example, someone telling you that your videos are too quiet is useful feedback that you should take on board. On the other hand, someone telling you that you are ugly is not useful, since being ugly is a subjective comment and even if it were true, you can’t change how you look.

Learning to separate the useful criticism from the just plain insulting is a skill that will take a lot of practice, but in the meantime, do not let any mean comments you might encounter ruin your day.

Hone Your Craft

If you have dreams of becoming a professional YouTuber, take this opportunity to get as good as you can at making content. There are two important factors for young people here;

  • Their developing brains learn things more readily than when they are older
  • You will likely not have as much free time later in life as you do as a child.

You may be currently trying to balance homework, a social life, and any extracurricular activities you have with YouTube and wondering how that second point could be true. But trust us, while there are always exceptions, most people will have far less free time when they get older, start working full time, have a family, etc. Take advantage of all the spare time you have now to improve your video-making abilities.

If In Doubt, Don’t!

If you are in any doubt that something you are planning might be a bad idea, don’t do it. Or at least get a more experienced opinion before deciding. This can include things sharing personal stories online, expressing controversial viewpoints, and more.

Many people who did not grow up with the Internet (and some who did) have said and done things online that have had a significant and negative impact on their lives. Don’t risk saying something you might regret for the rest of your life this early on.

Can You Make Money on YouTube if You Are Under 18? 4

Privacy Privacy Privacy

We can’t stress this enough, but privacy is crucial, especially for under-18 YouTubers. If for no other reason than the YouTuber will almost certainly be living with their parents or guardians at that age and any privacy violations will affect the people you live with as well.

Don’t share personal information in your videos, and make sure there is nothing in the video that someone might be able to use to work out your home address or phone number, or anything of that nature.

Final Thoughts

YouTubing when you are under-18 is something that can be a fun hobby or a solid foundation for a future career, but you have to be careful. And, if you are a parent, remember that there is a reason you are responsible for your children.

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

How to Make Money on YouTube Without Showing Your Face

There is a fairly pervasive stereotype regarding YouTubers, and it evokes images of fresh-faced young people eagerly greeting the camera with an over the top introduction that would, eventually, be bookended with a gleeful plea to like and subscribe at the end of the video.

There is, of course, a reason that this has become a stereotype—YouTubers certainly did seem to be made up mostly of this breed for a long time—but that is far from all there is on the platform these days. Indeed, many YouTubers have found success on the platform without even showing their faces in their videos.

In this post, we are going to look at some of the ways you can succeed financially on YouTube without showing your face.

In the interests of balance, we’ll also talk about why showing your face is often considered a good thing when making YouTube videos – and if you prefer NOT to show your face I have a list of channel ideas for faceless channels on my blog.

How to Make Money on YouTube Without Showing Your Face

We’re going to split this topic into two main sections—how to make videos without showing your face and how to make money on YouTube.

The reason for this is there is nothing significantly different about how you go about making money on YouTube with faceless videos than with videos featuring your face.

So, that information is relevant regardless of which style of video you are making.

Content is Key

It sounds corny and cliche at this point, but it is a cliche for a reason. Regardless of how you dress your videos up—face or no face, effects or not—the content you produce is what will determine your success as a YouTuber.

There are many different ideas of what successful content looks like, but as long as you are delivering what your audience wants to see, you are on the right path. It is important to find the core of what that is and ensure that it is always there. For example, if the root of your content lies in videos about retro technology, there is a lot of wiggle room for what the videos can be about and how you can format them, but you will need to make sure that that root of retro-tech is always present. Similarly, if you are running a food channel and your viewers come for recipe ideas, it would not be advisable to move away from recipe ideas. At least, not abruptly.

Even if your root content is your own personality—if your viewers come to see what you have to say or what you are doing—the rule is the same. Videos where you are not present or where you are acting differently will put your regular viewers off.

This leads us nicely onto…

How to Make Money on YouTube Without Showing Your Face 1

Personality

Even if you aren’t putting your face on camera, you need to inject some personality into your videos. There is an audience for just about everything, but it is essential to remember that there are a lot of other YouTubers out there, and more than a few of them will be making similar content to you.

In short, the chances of you coming up with a niche that is completely unique are very slim, but that is okay because you do not need an entirely unique niche to succeed. By putting plenty of yourself into the videos—in your humour, opinions, and the way you speak—you give viewers a reason to come to you rather than someone else who is delivering the same kind of content.

Granted, you will invariably give some viewers a reason not to come to you over other people because they do not like your unique take on things, but you can’t please everybody, and you need to stand out to succeed.

YouTube Ideas That Don’t Involve Showing Your Face

Now that we’ve covered some generalised aspects of making videos without showing your face let’s look at some specific ideas for how you would go about making those videos.

  • The Hands-On Approach—If your video is of a tactile nature, such as product reviews, or cooking videos, you could always opt for the hands-only approach. In this kind of video, you would have the camera directed at the subject of the video, and the only part of you that would be on camera is your hands as they do whatever it is you are doing. You might be surprised at how expressive you can be with your hands, and you can inject plenty of personality into your video purely through the way you talk, and what you talk about.
  • Voice Over Content—Voice over content can cover a lot of ground. You might make a “Top 10 Sci-Fi Video Games” video where clips of the games you are talking about are on screen as you talk. It could be a pop culture video where the subject matters you are talking about is onscreen. There are even some successful YouTubers whose content is entirely audio-based, and the visuals they display has nothing to do with the actual content. If you have an existing platform, such as a popular podcast, or even a new podcast with little or no audience, you could just have a still image on your video. That being said, if you’re going to put a podcast on YouTube, it helps to give your listeners a reason to come to YouTube rather than some other audio-only platform.
  • Software Tutorials—There is an almost endless supply of niches within the software world, from simple office productivity to video game development, to music production. If you have expertise in a particular kind of software, you can make tutorials on that software without having to show your face on camera. Not only do you not need your face onscreen, but the software itself will be the focus anyway, and you could find your reluctant mug obscuring parts of the screen that your viewers need to see.

How to Make Money From Your Video Ideas

Fortunately, this section of the post is more or less universal, so you should find it useful even if you are happy to put your face on camera. We’ll go over some different ways to monetise your videos, but first, let’s cover some more fundamental truths about earning an income from your YouTube channel.

One crucial point to grasp when monetising your content is that numbers are rarely the be-all and end-all of success. More often than not, the quality of your audience outweighs the quantity, which is why some YouTuber’s with relatively small audiences are able to make a comfortable living from their channel while other YouTubers with enormous followings barely get by.

This is also the reason why “cheating” by buying subscribers and views rarely pays off since those numbers do not represent engaged viewers who are interested in your content, and so do not translate to financial success. The reason it doesn’t pay off is because the advertisers who pay to promote their products and services are doing so because your audience has been marked as consisting of the kind of people who would be interested in those products and services. If you have stuffed your subscriber-base with viewers who aren’t interested, it will not translate to ad engagement.

But what about the different ways you can make money from a YouTube channel? There are a few common methods (and even more less common methods) that can be used to monetise your channel, and many of them can be used simultaneously. It should be noted that, unless you are coming to YouTube with a following in place already, none of these methods are likely to yield immediate success. You will need to be patient.

YouTube Partner Programme

The most common way to earn money from your YouTube channel is through the YouTube Partner Programme, which is the built-in system that YouTube offers for YouTubers who have met specific criteria. The bullet points of those criteria are;

  • Not be in breach of any YouTube monetisation policies
  • Live in a country where the YouTube Partner Programme operates
  • Have at least 4,000 valid public watch hours over the last twelve months
  • Have at least 1,000 subscribers
  • Have a linked AdSense account.

If you meet these criteria and are accepted into the program, you will have the option to monetise eligible videos. YouTube will then show ads on those videos, and you will earn a cut of the revenue generated from those ads. You have quite a lot of control over when and what style of ads are shown on your videos, though you cannot control what ads are shown. In many cases, you can run YouTube ads alongside other means of monetising your content, though it is not always the case.

It’s worth bearing in mind that YouTube regularly changes their monetisation policies in ways that reduce—or even remove entirely—many YouTubers’ earnings.

Brand Deals and Sponsored Content

Essentially this is cutting out the YouTube middleman. Instead of relying on YouTube to serve ads, you deal with the advertiser directly and deliver the promotional content in your videos. For larger YouTubers, this type of monetisation represents a significant portion of their income. There is also a potential bonus in that brands are smart enough to know that numbers are not everything. While they will obviously want to reach a large audience, marketing reps today understand that a quality audience—one that is already interested in what you have to offer—is more valuable than a large audience. This means you may be able to strike a lucrative brand deal much sooner in your YouTube career than you would be able to make an equivalent amount of money through the YouTube Partner Programme.

Crowd Funding and Subscription Models

One of the most popular ways for YouTubers to monetise their work is through sites like Patreon, which allow viewers to opt into giving their favourite creators a regular payment in order to support them. This is popular with YouTubers because it tends to be far more reliable than ad-click-based revenue, and is not subject to the whims of YouTube policy change. It also shows real engagement from an audience, since they have gone out of their way to support you directly.

Affiliate Marketing

If your videos often involve products or services that are associated with affiliate programs, you could supplement your revenue—even form the bulk of your revenue—with affiliate marketing.

With affiliate marketing, you would have a link to a product or service and, should your viewers buy said product or service; you would get a cut.

A popular version of this for review channels involves using the Amazon Affiliates program to link out to products that have been reviewed in the video.

Need help in getting started with affiliate marketing? I have a deep dive article on my blog all about affiliate marketing for beginners and how to really make it work for you in the future.

Why Avoid Showing Your Face?

The concept of starting a YouTube video and not wanting to show your face may seem strange to some, but there are a few reasons someone might want to do this.

  • Shyness—The most obvious reason is shyness. Someone people simply don’t want their face on camera, but that doesn’t mean they can’t succeed on YouTube.
  • Safety—Though it still sometimes struggles with a certain stigma of being a weird thing people do on the Internet, YouTubers can get as famous as any conventional celebrity, and there are inherent safety risks with that fame. For some, those risks may be too much to risk putting their face on screen.
  • Freedom—The world of late has been less than kind to controversial figures online, with more than a few people losing their jobs because of things they might have said on social media or in YouTube videos. If you are planning to make videos on controversial topics, you may want to keep your face out of the video to protect your livelihood, should you upset a large enough group of people.
  • Aesthetic—Sometimes, there doesn’t need to be a significant underlying reason for this decision. Perhaps the YouTuber just prefers to craft their videos in a way that doesn’t involve their face being onscreen. There is no objectively right or wrong way to format a YouTube video, and any reason that makes the creator more comfortable with their work should be considered a good thing. Even if the reason they are more comfortable is just that they prefer the look of the video.