Humans are visual creatures. That’s why it’s no surprise that we’re drawn to video content more than any other media format. YouTube's a testament to that—just ask anyone who’s ever been on the internet, and they’ll swear by the power of this video-sharing leviathan.
Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has come a long way, with billions and billions of views to boast. No matter your interest—be it politics, celebrity gossip, education, or video games—you’ll surely find something to your liking on the platform. That’s how humongous YouTube has become.
With the influx of traffic it gets by the second, it’s only natural that YouTube has grown into a money-making machine for its content creators. If you’re looking for a side gig or a new career that will let you jumpstart a cozy post-pandemic life, check out this guide on how to earn money on YouTube.
How to Earn Money on YouTube: The Minimum Requirements
Simply uploading a video on YouTube won’t earn you a dime. Also, you won’t be monetized by default just because you’ve set up your own channel and have a handful of followers.
There’s a minimum threshold for subscriber and view count that you must meet for you to start getting that coveted YouTube payout.
Want to know how to earn money on YouTube? Generally, to be eligible for monetization, your channel needs:
- at least 1,000 subscribers
- at least 4,000 watch hours over the last 12 months
That means you have to either stay on the platform long enough to rack up those numbers, or you need to create something that goes immediately viral to be qualified for monetization. Either way, you can’t go wrong with a strategy centered around making great content.
Read on to get a few pointers on how to be a vlogger and get paid on YouTube by producing videos that rock.
How to Create YouTube Content That Sells
YouTube has made pop culture icons out of its homegrown talents. Just look at global influencers like PewDiePie, Liza Koshy, and Troye Sivan. Even in our own backyard, we have the likes of Mimiyuuuh, Raiza Contawi, and the Ongsee/Guerrero siblings bearing the local flag—and making good money out of it!
While it’s true that YouTube as a platform has greatly contributed to these content creators’ success, the content creators themselves are still fundamentally responsible for everything they’ve achieved. They’ve amassed a solid following for a reason—and it all boils down to their unique yet relatable content.
If you want to know how to earn money on YouTube, follow these content creation basics. They can also double as your stepping stones on how to monetize your YouTube channel:
Understand Your Brand Essentials
Before you fully commit to becoming a YouTuber, you need to sit down with yourself first and figure out a few things:
What do you want to do?
It must be something you’re knowledgeable about or skilled at—and, of course, something you truly enjoy. That way, you can find your own niche and draw in an audience.
How are you different from other YouTubers within your own niche?
Figure out why your target audience must give you a chance. What is it about you that can draw them in? Depending on the type of content you make, you can either inject your true personality into your work or create a screen persona that offers something new and refreshing.
Just be careful not to come off as a poser or a try-hard. Genuine trumps disingenuous every time, regardless of the platform.
What content format or vlog type do your target viewers typically respond to?
Look at what other content creators or vloggers are doing and find inspiration from that. If you want a share of their followers, understand what type of content flies best with their audience.
Are lists, how-to guides, or tutorials the most popular? Or maybe raw footage, streaming, or day-in-the-life videos? What about reviews, challenge skits, and unboxings? You can stick to one format or use many or all of them if that’s what your brand needs.
Finding your own voice and style is crucial if you’re planning to become a content creator. If you come in without a plan in a saturated place like YouTube, you’ll immediately find yourself lost in the crowd.
Reflecting on the points above will lead you to important realizations that will ultimately shape your brand. This will give you the starting point you need to launch your YouTube career.
Invest in Tools, Technologies, and Techniques
In your early days as a vlogger, it’s understandable if you don’t have all the glamorous equipment that a pro has. There are YouTubers who are able to earn money online with just a smartphone.
As a skeptic, you may ask, “But how do you earn from YouTube with nothing but a mobile device?” Sure, it’s not the most ideal, but it’s certainly doable!
You just need to look up filming techniques and install free editing tools to start making great videos. After all, it’s not your equipment that will push you to the top; it’s the quality of your content.
However, as your audience expands and your YouTube income grows, it’s only natural to invest in more advanced tools, technologies, and techniques to help you produce even better videos. Make sure to make room for this investment.
Optimize Every Upload
Don’t miss an opportunity to optimize your content and to make sure that every upload reaches its potential. Some tips you can try:
- Have a standard call to action at the end of every video. Invite your viewers to hit the like button and subscribe to your channel.
- Add links in your video descriptions. Do you have a website, an online shop, or other social media accounts to promote? Are you also an affiliate marketer who can earn commissions through sponsored links? Do you have a crowdfunding campaign that you would like your viewers to know about? Include all relevant links in the description box.
- Cross-promote to other platforms. You can share each upload or a snippet of it on other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to maximize your reach.
Ways to Monetize Your Content Through the YouTube Partner Program
Let’s say you’re already creating great content on YouTube and have obtained a solid following and a decent viewership. You’re now ready to unlock your earning potential on the platform. It’s time to apply for the YouTube Partner Program.
The YouTube Partner Program (YPP) is what sustains the creator economy on YouTube. The program has a revenue-sharing business model that makes it a true partnership between the platform and creators.
To be eligible to join the program, you must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over the last 12 months. Apart from that, you must also have a linked Google AdSense account and must reside in a country or region where the program is available. Don’t worry—the Philippines is one of the countries where the YPP is active.
Your channel will be reviewed when you apply to make sure that you truly qualify. Even after joining, YouTube will periodically review your channel to make sure that you’re not violating any policy or guideline. As a YPP member, you're expected to constantly remain in good standing with YouTube.
In short, this is how you can earn money on YouTube. YPP is your gateway to multiple revenue streams on the platform, including:
If you ask any YouTuber about how to make money from YouTube videos, the most common answer you’ll probably get is through “ads.” Advertising revenue's the primary means of generating passive income on the platform.
But make no mistake—ad revenue doesn’t correlate to your view count per video. The key is for your viewers to click on the ads and actually watch them. Also, to be monetized, your videos must meet YouTube’s advertiser-friendly content guidelines.
YouTube Premium is a paid membership program that allows viewers to enjoy ad-free content. For you as a vlogger or content creator, it’s a secondary income stream on top of your ad revenue. It's another thing you can explore on how to earn money on YouTube.
You don’t need to do anything extra to be eligible for YouTube Premium monetization. You automatically get YouTube earnings per view when YouTube Premium subscribers watch your content. The more popular your videos are among YouTube Premium subscribers, the bigger your earning potential.
Members of your channel can pay monthly fees in exchange for special perks and content made available only to them. You can also offer exclusive benefits like custom loyalty badges and emojis to anyone who joins your channel. The beauty of this revenue stream is that you set the rewards as well as the membership fee.
Once you’ve gained at least 10,000 subscribers, you can unlock the Merch Shelf feature of YouTube. With Merch Shelf, you can sell products directly to fans by showcasing your own line of merchandise on your watch page.
If you’ve managed to become a local celebrity within your niche and have a name with great value, you can even sell old clothes and other personal items that you’re ready to let go of through the Merch Shelf.
What’s good about selling your own merch is that it also increases your brand exposure as your items get used by your followers offline. Merch won’t only bring in more cash but also potentially more viewers and subscribers, creating a ripple effect of more revenue.
Super Chat and Super Stickers
Another tip on how to get money on YouTube is to use the Super Chat and Super Stickers features.
Super Chat, which is enabled when you go live on YouTube, allows your viewers to connect with you by getting their chats highlighted in the chat stream. The more Super Chat purchases you get from viewers, the greater your added income.
Similarly, Super Stickers can be purchased by viewers to show you their support more visibly during a livestream. It also works the same way as Super Chat—special stickers pop up to catch your attention during your livestream or premiere.
Related reading: A Quick and Easy Guide on How to Sell on Facebook Marketplace
YouTube’s popularity isn’t likely to wane anytime soon. The platform remains the undefeated champion of video-sharing apps, so this is the best time to explore how to earn money on YouTube.
If you’re both a creative and an entrepreneur, you’ll find yourself a perfect space on the platform to nurture your passion while also earning something on the side. Get started as a content creator today, and see YouTube’s power unfold with your own eyes.
-  YouTube Partner Program Overview and Eligibility
-  Monetization for Creators
-  Advertiser-Friendly Content Guidelines
-  Your Content and YouTube Premium Monetization Basics
-  YouTube Channel Membership Eligibility, Policies, and Guidelines
-  Getting Started with Merch Shelf on YouTube
-  Managing YouTube Super Chat and Super Stickers