How to Make Money with YouTube

How to Make Money with YouTube

In the last few years, multiple methods to monetizing your YouTube content have opened up to everyone, and content creators all over the world are looking for new ways on how to make money with YouTube. A lot of content creators are starting to move away from the traditional method of YouTube advertisements, and many of them are resorting to new methods that provide more sustainable income for their channel, including affiliate sales and merchandise. Let’s break down some of the methods you can use to make money with YouTube.

Make Money with YouTube

1. Advertisements

YouTube ads, as mentioned above, have traditionally been one of the most popular methods of monetizing content on YouTube, as it has typically been the easiest way of doing so. Advertisements on your channel can actually be an effective way of starting out with YouTube monetization; however, it doesn’t come without some downside, obviously. One of the biggest downfalls with advertisement-based monetization methods on a channel is the huge swings in the rates from month to month. For example, in the summer, it is common to see ad rates double sometimes. While that sounds great, you also have to realize that with that, you will see ad rates cut in half in the middle of winter sometimes.

There are many ways to make money with YouTube from ads. You can partner your channel with YouTube directly, which allows you to retain 100% of the earnings. Another method to make money with YouTube ads is to partner your channel with a network, which also has many positive and negative aspects. When you partner your channel with a network, you often give up a percentage of revenue, which can range from 10% (for larger channels) all the way up to 50% (for small channels on certain networks). With that, though, you can often gain access to exclusive music deals and sponsorships that you would not be able to access with YouTube alone.

Keep in mind, though, that networks have changed a lot in the last few years. Before you jump into a network, make sure you know what you are getting into. A two year contract lasts a lot longer than what it might feel like now. A low revenue share may seem appealing for all of the perks at first, but that feeling can quickly change. Weigh out all of your options before jumping into a network.

2. Sponsorships

One of my personal favorite ways to make money with YouTube is to take advantage of sponsorships that you can receive. Sponsorships are a fantastic way of monetizing your channel, but you have to be willing to put the time and effort into everything in order to get to a place where sponsors will start working with you. One of the hardest parts of landing partnership deals with companies is getting them to take you seriously at first, which is why we highly recommend having a large variety of high quality content on your channel before you even start to consider contacting sponsors.

To make the process of contacting sponsors easier, we built a template that you get for free after purchasing our eBook guide, How to Grow on YouTube.

One of the downsides to using sponsorships as a way to make money with YouTube is the limited opportunities that currently exist. It can be extremely difficult to find brands that fit into your channel, and odds are, you are going to be rejected by a lot of companies before you begin to start finding success with sponsorships. While it is a great way to make money with YouTube, it isn’t necessarily the most effective way to get started. We recommend waiting a while before you jump into sponsorship deals.

If your channel is large enough, consider hiring an agent to take care of sponsorships. Otherwise, the best way of getting these deals is to simply contact a large number of companies that you are interested in or that would fit well on your channel. You have a much higher chance at finding them than they do of finding you.

3. Affiliate Sales

Out of all of the ways to make money with YouTube, affiliate sales and commissions are probably the most effective way. A lot of online companies have affiliate or referral programs for people to sign up for, and with that, you are able to create content based around the product or service. For example, if you have an affiliate link with a Minecraft server hosting provider, you could create videos on how to setup a multiplayer server on Minecraft. If you have an affiliate link with a service such as BlueHost, you can create content based around setting up a website for a brand.

The great thing about affiliate sales and referral commissions the vast amount of opportunities that are available. Because it helps these companies so much, a large amount of online businesses actually have programs like this setup, even if you have never heard of them. Find some of them, and create tutorials or video based around these services. When people buy through your link, you will get a commission.

Another fantastic aspect of using affiliate sales to make money with YouTube is that you are able to provide extra value for your audience with great content while also providing a service to a company and yourself! It’s truly a win-win-win, especially when you take into consideration that affiliate sales are a much more stable way of making money with YouTube.

4. Merchandise

This method is one that we would typically reserve for larger channels, as it requires a large amount of people to be purchasing your merchandise before it can seem like it is worth your time and effort. With that said, though, it can still be a great way to make money with YouTube. People are usually willing to support their favorite content creators with merchandise, and that is mainly due to the fact that they get something in return for giving you money. Selling merchandise is easy to do these day, as multiple sites offer services for you to setup an entire store. Most of the time, they take a percentage of the sale, which is usually just looked at as a service fee.

Dedicated viewers are often willing to purchase fun shirts, mugs, mousepads, hats, etc. from their favorite content creators. It can never hurt to setup a merchandise shop for your channel, so give it a shot and see if your viewers go for it!

5. Donations

The first thing that you need to understand about donations is that they are very unstable. One month you may be able to pull in $4,000 from donations, and the next month you may not be able to even pull in half of that. This is because most of the time, when someone donates, they see it as a one-time thing. From that point, they consider that they are good to go and don’t have to donate for content again. In truth, they’re correct. When you buy a product at the store, you buy it and move on. Yes, you can setup ways to have them “subscribe” on a monthly basis by paying; however, results with that are typically not great for even large channels sometimes. Can you find success with donations? Yes, of course. Many people have done  just that. With that, though, we recommend trying other methods to make money with YouTube before you try donations.

The best way to go about donations is to mix it in with another method of monetization on your channel. For example, a great way to make money with YouTube is to setup advertisements on your channel through YouTube, start doing some affiliate content and also accept donation. Allowing viewers to donate if they wish is perfect, as you will not have to worry about pushing your viewers to donate.


There are plenty of ways to make money with YouTube, and what we listed above is just a few of the methods that channels use. If you have any suggestions, leave them down below. We would love to hear what you have to add to this!

About The Author

Patrick Fassler

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