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How to Monetize YouTube Videos in 2023: 10 Tips for Early Success

Published August 10, 2023

To call YouTube a lucrative platform would be an understatement. On average, a YouTuber makes around $18 per 1,000 views. In other words, if you own a channel that has around 10,000 subs and your average video pulls in 20,000 views, you can earn a decent amount of money by simply having a consistent upload schedule. Large channels with 100,000+ subs are raking in even more than that. And if you’re lucky enough to hit 1 million subscribers and get just as many views, each new video will potentially bring you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Of course, most popular YouTubers don’t simply rely on the established monetization system on the platform. In fact, they often employ different tactics that help them increase their revenue and add even more reach. With that in mind, if you aim to upgrade your channel and turn a profit, you’ll need the right kind of approach. In this article, we have compiled 10 proven ways to maximize your earnings on YouTube and monetize your videos in 2023.

Tip #1: Ads

If you join the YouTube Partner Program, you will be eligible to run ads on your videos. Of course, you would first have to comply with the platform’s content guidelines for advertisers. After you’ve done that, you can employ one of several different video ad formats.

Nearly every creator starts their monetization through YouTube ads, as it is the most basic option. However, there is a lot of ad-blocking software out there that prevents these short videos from playing. As a viewer, you might appreciate this bit of software, as it allows you to play a video uninterrupted. But as a content creator, you will lose money every time someone has this type of software active on their browsers. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should stop monetizing your ads, but if you want to cover all of your bases, you’ll have to apply the additional steps listed in this article.

Tip #2: Channel Membership

As a viewer, and even more so as a content creator, you should view YouTube Channel Memberships as a type of VIP section of a club. In other words, the channel members are still subscribers. But they will give you a set amount of money on a monthly basis in exchange for certain privileges.

By clicking on that little Join button (right next to the Subscribe button), users can choose how much they’re willing to pay per month to their YouTuber of choice. In exchange, they get perks like loyalty badges, channel-exclusive emojis, and members-only community posts. Certain creators will even offer 1:1 live chats or exclusive, member-oriented videos. 

Tip #3: Affiliate Programs

Oftentimes, YouTubers will promote and sell products from various companies in exchange for a commission from each successful sale. This is called affiliate marketing, and YouTube has programs specifically related to this practice.

By joining an affiliate program, you will provide your subscribers with a landing page or a direct link to a particular product or service. This link will be unique to your channel. Since it differs from other similar links sent to other content creators, the brand you’ve partnered with will track how many sales came from your channel. Based on that, you’ll get compensated the agreed-upon amount.

YouTube is, of course, not the only platform to employ these tactics. Both Instagram and TikTok also allow content creators to join affiliate programs and advertise products for profit.

And speaking of profit…

Tip #4: Paid Sponsorships

If affiliate programs are your first step towards getting revenue through product advertising, then paid sponsorships are the very next level, as they will definitely earn you more money than affiliate marketing. However, they are also much harder to obtain.

Usually, you have to have a bit of popularity and clout on YouTube before you can land a sponsorship. So, if you manage to grow your channel and even go viral l a few times, offer your services to brands specific to your niche. For instance, if you’re a gamer, show your YouTube Analytics and your engagement rates to a gaming hardware manufacturer. Your job is to convince them that your presence online will get them clicks, purchases, and future loyal customers. In return, their job is to finance your endeavors and even provide you with exclusive products from their stock.

More often than not, when content creators do paid sponsorships, they make videos where they test out a particular product or describe it in full detail. Physical engagement and direct action show the viewer that the creator enjoys the item in question. And if the creators genuinely support a brand, their followers are highly likely to purchase it.

Tip #5: BrandConnect

When doing paid sponsorships, you want to connect to some of the best brands. Fortunately, YouTube has a method of helping you do just that.

Currently only available in the US, the UK, and Canada, BrandConnect is a program that connects you to different companies for content campaigns. It’s a more direct, streamlined method of reaching a brand willing to work with you for cross-promotion. 

Tip #6: Crowdfunding

Patreon, SubscribeStar, GoFundMe, IndieGoGo, CrowdCube, Kickstarter — there are plenty of options out there for people to directly support your channel financially. The key behind most of these services is to provide you with either regular or project-specific funds that come straight from your supporters. You also get to adjust tier levels, perks and rewards, and different community posts with updates. Another option is to create a PayPal.me link and share it with your followers.

Crowdfunding websites have become incredibly popular with YouTubers. Considering that particular types of content cannot be monetized on the platform (ex. discussing heavy subjects like violence, death, etc.) through ads, creators require an outside source of income, and these websites are perfect for achieving that.

Tip #7: Live Streams and Super Features

If you want to make content but don’t have time for complex video editing, you can always give live-streaming a go. Not only is it a great time saver in terms of making content, but it also allows you to interact directly with your subscribers.

Of course, there’s also a lucrative side to live streams, mainly in the form of so-called Super Features. Those include Super Chats, Super Stickers, and Super Thanks.

Super Chats are distinct from other types of messages in the live chat. They are usually highlighted in a specific color, and subscribers can pay any amount to have their chat up there. 

Similarly to the previous option, Super Stickers also require the subscriber to pay a specific sum of money. But instead of sending a text, they post an interesting little image.

Finally, Super Thanks is a combination of the previous two, with some added perks. For a fee, subscribers can post a highlighted comment, followed by a unique animation, as a token of gratitude for your work. In addition, their comment will be highlighted in the comment section, standing out from the rest.

Tip #8: Shorts

YouTube Shorts are a fairly recent feature, and many of the short-form videos that the content creators uploaded have reached viral status. Seeing this surge in popularity, YouTube decided to award these creators by introducing the $100 million YouTube Shorts Fund.

If you create high-quality Shorts that meet YouTube’s standards and adhere to the community guidelines, you can become eligible for the fund. In fact, you don’t even have to be part of the YouTube Partner Program in order to participate.

Tip #9: Merch

Fans love having something tangible from their favorite creators. Anything will work, from a small badge to a large sweatshirt. That’s why so many YouTubers have stores that sell apparel and accessories with their channel motifs.

The cool thing about this tip is that you can be as creative as you want with the type of merchandise you want to sell, depending on your niche and audience type. For instance, if you own a channel that reviews chili sauce, you can sell your own brand of chili. Alternatively, you can stick with the classics and sell branded apparel like hats, shirts, and scarves with logos or taglines printed on them. 

Tip #10: Content Licensing

Finally, there’s always the possibility of licensing your content to others for money. If you make a viral video, companies will pay a lot to have it appear in their advertising campaigns. And since you own the content, you get to decide how much you’re willing to license it for. It’s a good idea to leave all relevant contact details in video descriptions or on the About page. That way, interested parties can reach you directly, and you can arrange the licensing on the spot.

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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