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How to Earn Money from YouTube


YouTube stars are today’s self-made celebrities—people who have earned an audience by creating content geared toward teaching, entertaining, reviewing, and being awesome on the internet.

Most of these small-screen celebs do what they do just to do it, to scratch an itch for creating things and being in front of an audience.

Making money might not be your reason for starting a YouTube channel, but the opportunities to earn are a pleasant surprise once you realize how many of them there are.

Become a YouTube Partner

The YouTube Partner Program is how regular YouTubers get access to special features on the platform.

You don’t need to be a partner to make money on YouTube (just setting up an AdSense account and getting views is enough to handle that), but being a Partner makes it a lot easier.

YouTube Partners have access to multiple income streams: not just ads, but YouTube Premium subscription fees, and features that tap your fans’ wallets directly like Super Chat, channel memberships and the merchandise shelf (more on these later.)

Step 1. Start a channel

Don’t worry, we have a handy guide for this. It’s called ‘How to create a YouTube channel.’

Step 2. Make your channel successful enough that it meets the YouTube Partner Program requirements

To join the program, you need a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months.

Step 3. Set up an AdSense account

This is simple. Just follow YouTube’s official guide to AdSense accounts.

Step 4. Explore your new monetization features

Each monetization channel has different eligibility requirements. For instance:

  • Ad revenue: to earn ad revenue, you must be at least 18 years old, and you must create content that is advertiser-friendly. Basically, the less controversial your videos, the more YouTube advertisers will be comfortable running ads on them, and the more money you make.
  • YouTube Premium revenue: if a YouTube Premium member watches your video, you get a portion of their subscription fee. (This one is automatic, which is nice.)
  • Channel memberships: in order to sell channel memberships to your subscribers (i.e., your fans opt in to pay you an extra amount), you need to be at least 18 and have more than 30,000 subscribers.
  • Merchandise shelf: in order to sell merch from YouTube’s merchandise shelf, you must be at least 18 years old, and have at least 10,000 subscribers.
  • Super Chat payments: if you want your fans to have the ability to pay to have their messages highlighted in your live chats during your live streams, you must be at least 18 (and live in a country where the feature is offered).

Step 5. Submit to ongoing reviews

As a YouTube Partner, your channel will be held to a higher standard, according to YouTube. You have to follow not just the YouTube Partner Program policies, but the Community Guidelines. Not to mention staying on the right side of copyright law.