How To Make Money On Youtube

Justin Legg

2 Aug 2019

Updated: 19 Nov 2023

It is fair to say that YouTube has been an absolute game-changer when it comes to video hosting and sharing on the internet. Founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, word has it the idea spawned from the difficulty they found sharing videos from a dinner party at Chen’s apartment. This, along with the difficulty they encountered when trying to access video clips of major events or news stories, led to the trio in launching YouTube in April 2005. The first video shared on YouTube was called “Me At The Zoo” and involved co-founder Jawed Karim at San Diego Zoo.

From these beginnings, YouTube has grown into the dominant video sharing site on the net, with Google purchasing it for $1.65 billion just over a year after it’s launch. Aided by the development of mobile technology making filming easy and accessible, YouTube is one of the most visited sites on the internet today and an estimated 400 hours of video content are uploaded every single minute!

With over five billion YouTube videos being viewed daily, it has become a must be place for advertisers. Which filters through for YouTube to serve as a platform for everyday members to make money online from and this is known as monetising your YouTube channel. Essentially you become an advertising platform where advertisers pay you to place their ads on your videos.

“Sounds great! Where do I sign up and when do I make my first million?” I hear you say! Well, the signing up is easy and we will look at that shortly. The making money bit is the tricky part, remember earlier when I said over five billion videos are watched daily?

Well, how will you make yours stand out and, more importantly, make people view them?

That is, after all, how you will make your money - through views.

Let’s look at how to monetise your account, followed by figures you could possibly make.

Joining The YouTube Partner Programme

In order to start making money, you first need to sign up to the YouTube Partner Programme, but you can’t just click apply and be done. There are certain requirements you need to reach before they will consider you as for partner status. In order to be considered you must be able to show your channel has had at least 4,000 watch hours and, and this is a big AND, 1,000 subscribers over the previous 12 months period. Without meeting these thresholds you will not be eligible and, therefore, your application will be unsuccessful. If, however, you do meet those requirements you will then need to:

  • Read and agree to the terms of the YouTube Partner Programme
  • Sign up for an AdSense account. AdSense is a Google product and enables EPC (earnings per click) and CPC (cost per click) on your videos.
  • Set monetisation preferences
  • Get reviewed! Once you have completed these steps YouTube will review your application and, if successful, you will become a YouTube partner

Once you are a YouTube you can then monetise your site through a number of means:


Utilising the EPC and CPC of AdSense, you can have adverts appear in a variety of ways on your videos. If people click them then you could be on your way to making money

Channel Membership

If your content is popular enough you can charge a membership fee for your videos.

Super Chats

This all takes place in live chats and allows payees to make their comments stand out from the crowd.

YouTube Premium Subscribers

If YouTube Premium Subscribers watch your content, you get a slice of the pie

How Much Money Can You Make?

Whilst it is very possible to make a living from YouTube views the stark reality is you need to get a lot of views to achieve this! The number of views and payments linked to this will vary from user to user and also from the type and pricing of ads present. Broadly speaking, and very much as a ballpark figure, channels can look to get around $1.50 per 1,000 views so just over £1 when converting to sterling. So to hit £100 you are going to need to hit 100,000 views and to get £1000 roughly 1 million views are required!

To achieve this you are going to need to make your videos stand out from the crowd, but how do you do this?

  1. Your videos need to be fairly well-produced, they don’t need to be Hollywood blockbusters but people need to be able to hear what you are saying and see what you are showing
  2. You need to be current, keep on top of social trends and reflect these in your videos
  3. Be unique, if you have a niche idea then exploit it
  4. People relate to people, so if you are doing vlogging be yourself and hopefully people will engage with you
  5. Be regular with your uploads. Build your following with regular fresh material, this doesn’t need to be daily but should be a few times a week

So whilst it is not impossible to successfully make money, indeed many people make lots on there, you will need to be realistic with your expectations and targets. You could also look at combining multiple YouTube revenue streams, for example, advertising and affiliate marketing.

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