December 3, 2016
How people make money on YouTube
YouTube has become an amazing place. Yes, there's a lot of garbage there, but there are also a lot of people who are making a real effort to produce quality stuff. And if you're wondering if there's money in it, rest assured there is. But it isn't the way that most people think.
I've often seen YouTube comments that seem to imply that maybe YouTube pays people based on numbers of subscribers. But YouTube doesn't pay anything, they're just the middleman between the creator and advertisers. And advertising is where the money is.
It works like this: YouTube has a service that allows anyone to post a video for free. If that was where it ended, it wouldn't amount to much. Sites like YouTube aren't providing a free service just for the heck of it, they want to attract advertisers. And the advertisers want to find an audience. YouTube brings the creators (that's you, the person who makes and uploads the video) together with the advertisers. And fortunately, neither creator or advertiser has to talk to each other - that's all handled by YouTube. Or rather Google, which owns YouTube. And Google has a program that's called Adsense. If you're a creator, you are asked if you would like to monetize your work when you upload your video. If you say yes, then ads appear before your video. By the way, Google provides me with this platform to write blog posts for free, and I allow them to place ads on the page. I get a percentage of the money that the advertisers pay Google. For small-time creators like me, it's called "watching the pennies drop", because although I get thousands of views, I don't get millions, so I don't get much. I'm not quitting my day job!
And of course, you can do more than just sign up for Adsense. You can add "visit my link" to your YouTube videos, or turn your video into an "infomercial". This has to be done with care, because most people hate that. Speaking for myself, I've always considered it more ethical to keep the content separate from the advertising, but I've seen instances where it works just fine.
You can also ask people to support you on Patreon. I get support for my History Adventuring (HistoryAdventuring.com) blog and videos there. It's not a "pay per view" or anything like that, it's just a way for people who like what you're creating to show support. I support SciShow, because I think it's great.
But don't listen to me about all of this. The only way that it will really make sense to you is to do it yourself. And it's ridiculously easy. Do a video, maybe of your dog, and post it toYouTube. Then allow YouTube to monetize your video, ads will appear on it, and if you get a lot of views, and people click on the ads, you'll make some bucks. Hey, maybe a major network will see your stuff and want to do a TV show based on it! Let me know how it goes for you!
Posted by Brad Hall