How to monetize your YouTube Channel in 2018

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Jawed Karim posted a video of himself standing in front of a San Diego Zoo thirteen years ago on a new platform, a video-sharing website. Today, out of the 7.6 billion people in the world, more than 1.57 billion use this platform- YouTube. It is also the world’s second largest search engine apart from being the third-most visited website in the world after Google and Facebook. The number of YouTube channels that earn 6-figures (in dollars) has increased by 50% y-o-y. This article deals with how a content creator can monetize on YouTube (YT).

Here are some of the most popular video types on YouTube that make a lot of money:

Unboxing videos:

Who would have thought that people would be interested to watch complete strangers opening a box and give a running commentary of the same? There are lots of genres under the unboxing videos, but unboxing tech gadgets are the most popular ones in this. 

How-to videos:

It is pretty normal for anyone to look for videos on YouTube that will help them accomplish a task, let it be cooking a meal, crafts, in fact, anything under the sun. It could even be something as simple as how to update an app.

Product Reviews:

This is also an easy type of video to make since all you need to do is take notes in advance before you create the video. A decent knowledge of the product is a must too as users want expert insights over amateurish content no matter how glossy and stylish the video is. Content over style, any day!

Reaction videos:

You might see a video creator from Serbia watching a clipping from a Malayalam movie, with the video panning back to the creator every time to show their reaction, a genre that a lot of people are interested to watch these days. All you need to do is find videos that are already popular and get yourself in front of the camera to leave your audience in splits based on your reaction.

With that said, there are many other type of videos that make a lot of money for its creators, but it is important that you concentrate on a niche and not just try to create videos of all genres. The secret sauce is finding the right niche which not only piques your interest but also has huge followers in similar competitor channels. There are certain videos like pranks and mashups that take up a lot of time to create content.

YouTube has tightened its ship:

It would be impossible to have missed the controversy that Logan Paul’s ‘brain fade’ and the subsequent controversy did. This meant that YouTube would make it difficult for its partners to make money with its rigid rules.

For creators to make money from YouTube,

  1. A channel should have clocked at least 4,000 hours of watch time on the channel within the past 12 months.
  2. Channels should have at least 1,000 subscribers.


Create a backlog of videos:

Before you get all excited to create a barrage of videos, make sure you have a content strategy first. Get your video production in order, after you are done with your initial few videos, talk to your peers and associates, get their feedback about the quality of the videos that you make. Do get to know what your initial audience thinks about the tone and tenor that you use in your videos. It is important because you want to maintain the same style throughout.

When you have new subscribers, it is important that you give them the opportunity to watch more of your videos so that they are hooked to your content. Even when it comes to associating with brands, it is imperative that you look appealing, having a lot of videos is an indicator of your consistency and seriousness towards your channel.

Invest in producing high-quality content:

If you want to make heads turn and gather the interest of your viewers, invest in creating good videos that are of good quality in terms of content and presentation. In fact, not knowing how to take high quality videos should not stop you as it is best to start preparing content and you can improve your presentation and video quality during the journey. Even when sponsors come beckoning, they would look for good content even if the quality is a bit tacky if you are a new content creator. The only aim as a channel owner is that you should consistently produce content to be on top of their minds.

YouTube Monetization with AdSense:

Earning money through AdSense using your YouTube account is one of the most popular methods. Once you set up your YouTube channel with an AdSense account, you need to pass YouTube’s requirements to be able to monetize with AdSense. Remember that you can’t earn money from ads using AdSense till you reach 10,000 views.

Associate your YouTube account with AdSense:

After you ‘Sign in’ to your YouTube account, click on your profile picture on the top right corner which opens a menu, click on YouTube account settings from there.

Under the menu titled ‘Overview’, click on ‘View Additional features’ which will display all the features that your YouTube account is associated with. If you scroll down, you will find an option called ‘Monetization’, now click on the ‘Enable Monetization’ link. It will direct you to the Monetization page in your Settings.

Click on ‘Enable my Account’ button after which you will be redirected to the YouTube Partner Program Terms where you need to click the ‘I accept’ button at the bottom of the page.

Once your Account is approved, go to your ‘Account Monetization’ page where you will be able to see your account status. In the ‘Guidelines and Information’ section on the page, expand the “How will I get paid” FAQ by clicking on it. Click the “Associate an AdSense Account” link and press “Next”.

Select the Google Account that you would like to link with AdSense. In the next step, verify your YT channel link and see if the correct language is given, then click on the “Continue” button.

After following these steps, you will get redirected to the page where you need to fill the application form for AdSense. Once you have submitted all the details, click on the “Submit my application” button when you are done. Your application will be reviewed and it will take less than 24 hours.

Type of Video formats for YT Monetization:

YouTube allows you to earn money through advertisements, these are the types of video formats that you can display on your videos and channel.

TruView Ads or Skippable Video Ads:

These drive a lot of engagement for Brands, this type of ad can be skipped after 5 seconds. So it is important for a brand to make the maximum impact in this time. It becomes a safe bet for brands because they need to pay only if the user watches the ad for more than 30 seconds. Your audience chooses the type of ads they want to see, that is, if someone watches the video for more than 30 seconds, it means they are interested in what the brand wants to say. TruView ads allow advertisers to use how-to videos, product demos, testimonials and much more. 

Non-skippable Video ads:

One disadvantage with this type of ad is that the users might get annoyed as they might not fancy your brand and might not want to watch an ad with a run-time of 2-3 minutes. Brands pay on a CPM basis for this type of ad, meaning that they pay for each 1,000 views. Longer ads are useful when you want to tell a story, but therein lies the double-edged sword because time is an overkill here. This will exhaust a lot of data for mobile users too and they are generally frowned upon.

Overlay Ads:

You can set up overlay ads in both textual or an image-based format on partner videos. These are generally banner advertisements that is visible on the bottom of the video.

Display Ads:

You will find this type of ads on top of the suggestions list. Display Ads can be managed within your AdWords account. These are 300*250 type ad banners.

Bumper Ads:

This is non-skippable and has a run-time of only 6 seconds. This is also paid on a CPM basis, the short length is ideal for mobile but you need to have a strong concept if you need to retain the interest of the viewer. A smart way to work around the short time length of the video is to make the bumper ads complementing your non-skippable ads.

Cards & Sponsored Cards:

These are small card type ads that come with a CTA when you click on it. An advantage about the card ad is that it doesn’t affect the experience of the viewer. Only when clicked does it enlarge to show the entire ad. Sponsored cards appear as a small icon on the top right of the videos that you are watching.

YouTube Monetizing with Sponsorships:

The same way brands look to sponsor/pay bloggers to get space in their articles, they are also looking for good YouTubers who can spread the word about their brand in their videos. Pitch companies that are in the same niche as your channel for tie-ups. Make sure that you don’t say ‘Yes’ to anyone who is willing to pay you money, only the ones who fit your brand of audience should be given the opportunity to tie up with you. Not only will it dilute your brand, but people will not be able to trust you completely.

If your channel has a huge following with a lot of engagement, you can even create merchandise based on what you do- you can sell T-shirts, mugs, caps, bags and many more. Before you even catch the eyes of brands and more people, you need to make sure that you are good at SEO and produce content regularly.   

Let us see the type of sponsorships that a YouTube channel can make:

Affiliate Sponsorship:

This is easily one of the easiest type of sponsorship to get as there is no promise of money for you unless you make a sale for the brand. The company that makes you an affiliate will give you an affiliate link and if someone who visits your channel clicks on the affiliate link and buys the product, then you receive a portion from the sale.

Product Sponsorships:

If you run a channel where you review products, there are high chances that you would start receiving products for free from brands because they want to be on top of their customer’s minds by engaging with YouTube Content Creators like you. YouTubers who make How-to videos and tutorials will also be at the ‘receiving end’ of a lot of brands. As long as the product fits what your channel stands for, there is nothing wrong reviewing such products.

Paid Sponsorships:

In this type, brands pay you directly to sponsor their products or services in your channel. You have a lot of creative freedom when it comes to this type of sponsorships. It could be a simple shout out, or you can do a video review of the products or create something unique for them. These are usually the most lucrative type of sponsorships as brands will only pay a channel if they have good standing in their niche.

Understanding your audience before you sign up with brands:

You have to know your audience deeply to gauge what kind of ads they will like. Some of the things that you need to know to make sure you have the following information- 1. Their expectations from you, 2. Their shopping patterns, 3. Their interests, 4. Demographic data and more. The higher the amount of information you have about them, the better you can serve your customers by tying up with the right brands.

Send a quality proposal that is uniquely worded to each of the brands that you pitch to. Introduce yourself properly, give the relevant numbers, describe how you are planning to take the partnership forward and give them an outlay for the kind of effect a tie up with you will make to their brand.

You can get sponsors for your YT channel in the following ways:

Create a list of brands that you want to pitch to:

Find around 100 companies in the niche that you operate in. These should be companies that would be happy to work with you too. You might want to find out people in these companies whose designations are ‘Marketing Head’, ‘Head of Partnerships’ and similar titles which clearly indicate they are responsible for Marketing or creating partnerships. Send them an email with your proposal.

Attend events in your niche:

Attend events that revolves around your niche so that you will meet people who are in the management level of their company and are the ones who can make decisions on behalf of the company. These are the people you need to meet up with as it is a brilliant way to get a lot of contacts.

Get yourself on third-party influencer sites:

Apart from using the traditional methods mentioned, there are a lot of sites that have sprouted recently which connects brands with content creators. Some of the platforms that help you with this are Famebit, Grapevine, Activate, Adly, and many more.

Many of these influencer marketplaces come with many features that make it easy for brands to find the influencers they want, while also giving them an option where brands can see the kind of people they want to target and it will subsequently connect them with the appropriate influencers. Some of these platforms also work with the world’s’ most powerful brands like Coca-Cola, GE, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft- to name a few.

Some of these platforms gives the influencers a portfolio page where they can give details about themselves including their reach, content and more. This will give the brands a better idea and they can see if it would be a good fit.


While there is a huge opportunity for you to make truckloads of money on YouTube, including popularity and adoration, you also carry a huge responsibility towards your followers.

You can make good with YouTube as a content creator if you can produce content consistently and hold the interest of your viewers by developing different kinds of valuable videos. It is important that you keep reviving yourself so that people do not get bored of your style.

Getting sponsorships from brands can be a huge boost for a creator (both financially and as a vindication) but they need to be careful about how customers perceive their brand endorsements. The more they see that you put up only sponsorships and have reduced giving out valuable content, you would lose your following gradually. A biased product review can do a world of damage for your brand.

What are the ways in which you have built a following for yourself on YouTube and how did you make a living out of it?

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