How to Make Money on YouTube? (The Ultimate Guide)

Susan Kelly

Jun 11, 2022

If you have ever dreamed of becoming a famous YouTube star, there are a few things that you need to know before taking the plunge. First and foremost, it takes time and hard work to get a Youtube channel off the ground. It turns out that there's no shortcut to becoming one of the most-watched YouTubers in history… but that doesn't mean it's impossible!

There are many different ways for YouTubers to make money from their videos, their website, and sponsorship deals with brands. Let's look at some of the most popular ways YouTubers make money.

YouTube views

It is still possible to profit from YouTube's advertising program without having many subscribers or views. Although you may not get sponsorships and other big-money opportunities, there are many ways to monetize your videos. For example, some companies want to advertise on your videos. All you have to do is let them know that you would like to be an affiliate, and they will let you know how much you will earn per 1 000 views or per 1000 daily impressions (eCPM). Usually, these companies offer between $0.30-0.35 per 1000 daily impressions and between $0.50-1.00 per 1 000 views.

YouTube channel monetization

Another way to make money on YouTube is by turning on the channel monetization option. This will enable you to earn money from ads served next to your videos, and you'll get paid each time someone clicks on the ad. It's not a huge amount of money (think $0.10- $1 per 1,000 views), but it's still something. However, having your channel monetized can also cause problems because some advertisers are against their ads being placed next to certain kinds of content or against specific kinds of channels.

YouTube channel sponsorship

If you aim to become the next PewDiePie, then becoming a sponsored YouTuber may be the way to go. This is where a company will pay YouTubers to promote their brand and generate more (advertiser) views on videos that discuss this brand. These videos are usually called branded videos. However, it's not exactly as easy as it sounds because YouTubers usually don't get paid for each view or click on an advertisement. Instead, they get paid per thousand views or per 1 000 impressions. One site that offers paid sponsored videos is Gatorade.

YouTube affiliate programs

Some of the biggest brands have their own affiliate programs where YouTubers can promote the brand to the people (who are also YouTube users) by using video content. The benefits for YouTubers who wish to join these affiliate programs are usually higher payouts and sometimes even some free stuff and gifts. However, it is important to know that most companies don't pay affiliates unless they convert. For example, the company may choose to pay only 30% of the earnings earned from any affiliate who doesn't make a purchase in a certain amount of time after viewing their videos.

YouTube donations

Connecting with your audience is one of the best ways for YouTubers to earn money. Many YouTubers are turning to YouTube donations, where viewers can donate $1-5 to their favorite YouTuber. It's a great way for them to build up their fanbase and make some money simultaneously.


Branding your channel with a big name like Starbucks is easy for YouTubers to make money. Although the typical sponsorship payout is between 20-30% (depending on how many views and subscribers your channel has), setting up sponsorships takes time and money. However, some bigger companies, such as Coca-Cola, will give YouTubers money even if they don't have a million subscribers.

Selling your own products

The YouTube channel of Tim Parks, a British writer, and journalist who's been working on his own channel for about many years, has earned more than $1 000 000 in royalties which contributed to his new book release.


When creators make money off their merchandise and start selling it to their fans, they typically earn more than just revenue through advertisements or sponsorships. It's important, however, to note that some of the products may not generate revenue from the sale alone. For example, some products sold on iTunes are only available for a month or so before they are taken off. Some of the YouTubers who have strong merchandise (KSI, for example) claim that this is one of the ways they make money when some people would like to buy their videos without purchasing anything else.

YouTube Red

This is a paid subscription service that YouTube introduced back in 2016. Although it's worth about $10 per month, it works almost like a TV channel with exclusive content. YouTubers who are part of the program get ad-free videos and other benefits. Most of them use the money from the subscriptions to produce more exclusive content for their fans. However, there are not only YouTubers who produce exclusive content. Markiplier has his own show on Red called 'Escape The Night,' which was also a featured film at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017.

Promote yourself

Social media is the bread and butter of many influencers today, but it wasn't always that way. In fact, even four or five years ago, many celebrity influencers were creating promotional videos for companies for a fee and using their accounts to promote other content creators. Promoting yourself on social media is a great way to make money from YouTube videos because so many people out there want to learn from you.

You might want to sell ad space on your videos or create sponsored video reviews in this model. Essentially, the idea is that you will form a kind of partnership with a company and produce promotional content in exchange for money. The amount will vary depending on how popular your channel is and how the deal is structured.

As an influencer, you can charge a lot of money for a few promotional videos. Popular creators such as PewDiePie make millions from YouTube video promotions (and their subscriber base is well over 111 million people).

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