In addition to being the world’s leading video-sharing platform with more than 1.3 billion monthly users, YouTube is also a source of revenue for many content creators. According to Google, tens of thousands of publishers earn a six-figure annual income on the platform. Whether you’re looking to quit your day job or pad your bank account with some extra spending cash, though, you should consider participating in YouTube’s Partner Program.
What Is the Partner Program?
Launched initially May 2007, the YouTube Partner Program is a revenue-sharing program that allows publishers to monetize their YouTube videos with ads. After joining the YPP program, publishers can display ads within or alongside their YouTube videos for which they receive financial compensation.
The YouTube Partner Program (YPP) works in conjunction with Google AdSense and AdWords, though only the former is required to make money on YouTube.
AdWords allows advertisers to purchase ads, which appear on Google Search, Google Shopping, Google Maps, Gmail, Blogger, YouTube and millions of smaller third-party websites. AdSense, on the other hand, allows webmasters and video publishers to monetize their content by displaying AdWords ads.
YouTube Partner Program Requirements
To make money using the YouTube Partner Program, you’ll need an AdSense account, which you can create for free at Google.com/AdSense.
You’ll also need to sign up for the Partner Program. Currently, only YouTube publishers who’ve attracted at least 4,000 watch hours in the past year and 1,000 subscribers are eligible.
Google has these guidelines in place to prevent spammers and other nefarious publishers from joining the program and diluting YouTube with low-quality content.
While 4,000 watch hours in a year may seem out of reach for first-time YouTube publishers, it’s relatively easy to achieve if you’re willing to invest the necessary time and energy — and we’re going to reveal how to attract views and subscribers to your YouTube channel.
You can apply for the YouTube Partner Program by logging in to your account and accessing your Channel > Status and Features > Monetization > Enable. In the next two weeks, the YouTube team will review your account to ensure it meets the eligibility requirements.
After joining both AdSense and the Partner Program, you must link your two accounts together by accessing Channel > Status and Features > Monetization > AdSense Association. YouTube will ask you to sign in to your AdSense account, after which your two accounts will be linked.
How Much Can I Earn?
Depending on the type of AdWords ad purchased by the advertiser, you’ll get compensated in one of the two ways: cost per click (CPC) or cost per mile (CPM).
With CPC ads, you’ll generate revenue when a viewer clicks the ad. With CPM ads, you’ll create income when a viewer watches the ad. You’ll usually earn more from CPC ads because they are more expensive than CPM ads for AdWords advertisers.
With the YouTube Partner Program, you’ll earn 55 percent of what the AdWords advertiser paid for the ad, with Google pocketing the remaining 45 percent. If the advertiser paid $2 for an ad click, for example, you’d earn $1.10, with Google keeping 90 cents.
On average, you can expect to receive anywhere from 5 cents to $5 for CPC ad clicks and 1 cent to $10 for every 1,000 views of CPM ads.
The type of videos you publish heavily influences earnings potential on the YouTube Partner Program. YouTube will automatically display ads that are relevant to your videos.
If you post a video on home mortgages, you’ll probably discover ads related to home mortgages, refinancing and credit services. And if you publish a video on weightlifting, you may find ads for gyms, weightlifting equipment, and fitness apps.
To maximize your earnings, you should publish videos based on high-cost AdWords keywords. For example, you’ll earn more money in ad clicks and impressions if your videos are about home mortgages than knitting.
There’s little demand for knitting ads, resulting in cheap ads. The home mortgage niche, however, has substantial demand by advertisers, resulting in more expensive ads. And when advertisers pay more for an ad, you’ll earn more money from it.
How to View Your Partner Program Earnings
You can view your earnings either by logging in to your AdSense account or by running a revenue report from your YouTube account. Only YouTube, however, reveals your estimated profits from the Partner Program.
You can use the AdSense portal to view your finalized earnings from a previous month, but you can’t use it to see your estimated earnings for the current month.
Plan Your Video Content
So, what type of videos should you create for your YouTube channel? The possibilities are endless, but it’s a good idea to choose a niche that interests you personally.
You won’t make many videos — or take the time to optimize them — if it’s a dull topic. Besides, you want to project yourself as a leading authority, and that’s difficult to accomplish if you don’t enjoy researching and learning about your content niche.
You should also choose a content niche with high-cost AdWords inventory, which as previously mentioned promotes higher earnings. You can find the average cost of ad inventory using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.
Enter a keyword associated with your niche, and it will reveal how much AdWords advertisers pay for those ads. Choose a niche with keyword ad costs higher than 50 cents.
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Keep in mind that YouTube has content guidelines to which publishers must adhere. If your videos feature violence, profanity, nudity, drug use or controversial subjects, YouTube may not display ads on them, in which case you won’t make money.
And repeated violations could result in you getting kicked out of the Partner Program, so familiarize yourself with the program’s terms and conditions.
Creating Your Videos
Once you’ve chosen a content niche, you should start making videos. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need professional-grade video recording equipment to make high-quality YouTube videos.
Many smartphones today are equipped with powerful cameras that can record high-resolution video. You can even invest in a smartphone stabilizer to hold your handset in place while you record.
Using your smartphone is just one way to create YouTube videos. You can use your computer’s webcam to record yourself talking about a subject.
Another idea is to use screen recording software to record everything displayed on your computer monitor, which is great for creating computer-related tutorial videos.
Regardless of which production method you use, try to make your videos at least nine minutes.
One study found that the average length of YouTube’s 10 most popular videos was 9 minutes and 15 seconds, but the average range of all YouTube videos was 4 minutes and 20 seconds.
And most creators that monetize their channel through the Youtube Partner Program claim that videos over 10 minutes can earn more.
Optimize Your Videos
To attract the most views, you should optimize your YouTube videos. For starters, this means using a relevant, click-worthy title. YouTube and Google headline the listings by using video titles.
When someone searches for content related to your video, either on Google or YouTube, they’ll see the title. Therefore, you should create an engaging title that accurately describes what your video is about, preferably in fewer than 60 characters for maximum visibility.
You should also include a description of your videos.
Here, you’ll have more space to describe your videos, and you can even add a URL to your website or social media profile.
When uploading videos to YouTube, you’ll have the option to include tags; you should provide at least 10 per video. If you want your videos to rank high in the search results for a specific keyword, include that keyword and variations thereof as tags.
Finally, use custom thumbnails that attract users’ attention and encourages them to watch your videos. Once your YouTube account gets verification, you can upload a custom thumbnail by clicking the “Custom thumbnail” option under the “Video thumbnails” menu in the upload interface.
Using custom thumbnails with a contrasting color can attract more views and boost your Partner Program earnings.
Explore Other YouTube Monetization Strategies
The Partner Program is just one way to make money on YouTube. You can also promote products or services on your channel.
After attracting a decent number of subscribers, consider pitching an affiliate product or service. That involves joining an affiliate program like CJ.com, choosing a product or service to promote, and sharing the unique link to your videos.
When a viewer clicks the link and buys the product or service, you’ll earn a commission.
Companies and brands will often offer sponsorships for some Youtube Creators. When you qualify, you can also sell Youtube Memberships and merchandise. You can also promote your own products and services, sell coaching or consulting, and your own courses built on a platform like Thinkific or Teachable.
With video is expected to account for 82 percent of internet traffic by 2021, there’s no better time than the present to join the YouTube Partner Program. It’s become a source of revenue for more than 1 million publishers, some of whom earn a full-time income from it.
By following the tips listed here, you can create a favorite YouTube channel that generates passive income.
Once you have 4000 hours of watch time on your Youtube Channel as well as 1000 subscribers, you can apply for the Youtube Partner Program. Once you are approved, you’ll get paid through the Google Adsense program around the 20th of the month.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.