Have you ever wondered how to start a YouTube channel for the purpose of making an income? Keep reading because we’re giving you the full scoop on how to get started!
It’s no secret that YouTube is an insanely popular website, with billions of hours of content watched every day. It’s also become a steady source of income for tens of thousands of YouTubers.
But while starting a YouTube channel is easy, making money with your videos takes work, time, and dedication. There are no shortcuts or magic hacks that will get you millions of views overnight.
That said, anyone can build a successful YouTube channel; you just need the idea, creativity, and drive to make it happen.
With time, persistence, and these strategies, your videos can garner thousands of views every day! To that end, here’s how to start a YouTube Channel and make money.
How to Start Your YouTube Channel
The first step is to decide on a niche for your YouTube videos.
Ask yourself what you’re passionate about and make sure the idea is unique enough that it would interest others as well. Topics that perform particularly well on YouTube are gaming, cooking, reviews, fitness, and travel – but don’t be afraid to get creative!
Next, decide on a name for your channel. Choose it carefully so that it reflects the quality of your content to potential viewers.
Optimize your channel by completing your profile. Upload images for the channel icon and channel art, the banner image visitors see when they visit your channel homepage.
The next step is to verify your YouTube account, enabling you to post longer videos and create official playlists. To verify your account, go to settings from your dashboard and click on “view additional features.” Next, click on the “verify” button and follow the instructions to verify your account with your phone.
Once you have your channel all set up, you’re ready to start uploading videos! (There are many valuable resources online to help with this step.)
How to Build a Following
Before you can get into monetization strategies, you need to start building an audience on YouTube.
The most important thing is to upload consistently and be patient; it takes time for people to find your channel!
Aside from that, there are several strategies you can try to grow your audience.
Create a Video Series
One good strategy is to focus on a series of videos instead of just one. This helps you build a following and keeps your audience interested in what you will post next.
You can also optimize your videos for YouTube by developing playlists. Playlists make it easy for viewers to find related content on your channel.
For example, if you start a cooking channel, you could upload all of your recipes to one playlist. This will allow people to find your videos easily by searching for specific keywords.
Use the playlist settings to mark the box that says “set as official series for this playlist.”
This option signals to YouTube that the videos are connected when they recommend what to watch next.
Collaborate with Other YouTubers
Another way to build your subscriber list is by creating playlists and collaborations with other YouTubers. Look at your favorite channels and see what they’re doing to gain a following.
For example, if you’re passionate about video games, look for an existing YouTube gamer with the same audience as you and contact them about collaborating.
Make sure that every video has a call-to-action to subscribe to your YouTube channel. When viewers subscribe, YouTube will recommend your content and notify them when you upload a new video.
Leverage Other Social Media Platforms
Finally, don’t forget about other platforms like Instagram and Twitter!
If you share your videos on all your other social media accounts, you can gain more exposure.
How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel
Once your YouTube channel has a steady following, the next step is to monetize!
There are several different ways that YouTube content creators can make money with their videos.
Here’s a breakdown of the most popular methods.
1. Sign Up for the YouTube Partner Program
To take advantage of most monetization methods on YouTube, you must first apply to the YouTube Partner Program.
To qualify to be a YouTube partner, you must have at least 1,000 subscribers to your channel and 4,000 hours of watch time on your content in 12 months.
To do this, go to the YouTube partner page and fill out the application. YouTube will review your application and then contact you about becoming a partner.
2. Run Ads on Your Videos
Once you become a YouTube partner, you can sign up for an AdSense account and insert Google ads into your videos. You’ll earn money from the ad revenue every time someone watches or clicks on one of those advertisements.
There are different kinds of ads you can choose from. Select advertisements that are a good fit for your content to keep your audience engaged with the videos. If it feels too promotional or doesn’t match your channel, people will skip the ads, and you’ll lose out on revenue.
3. Create a Merch Shelf
The merch shelf is for seasoned YouTubers with at least 10,000 subscribers. This feature allows you to bring in money through selling official merch, like t-shirts that bear the images of your brand or most popular video topics.
Merch can get people excited about sharing your brand, and the more exposure it gets, the more money you’ll make!
4. Sell Affiliate Products
If you create an informational YouTube video that is useful for people to watch, you can sell the products they need to buy.
You can make money on those recommendations by placing affiliate links in your description box below each video.
Amazon Associates is perhaps the most common affiliate program and is a great place to start; everyone knows and trusts Amazon! You can also find products and services to promote on sites like ShareASale and Impact.
One of the perks of this strategy is you can use affiliate links even before you’ve become a YouTube Partner. Just make sure to include the appropriate disclosures in compliance with FTC guidelines. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, here are some tips for getting started.
5. Promote a Patreon Account
You can solicit monthly or one-time donations from your YouTube audience through Patreon. This website is dedicated to helping content creators monetize their channels.
It’s the best place for your existing audience to support you in exchange for exclusive perks and content. For example, many YouTubers offer tiered memberships that give Patreon subscribers access to bonus, “behind-the-scenes” content.
6. Find Sponsorship Opportunities
As your channel grows, you can also begin to feature sponsored videos. Of course, you’ll need a decent following to get paid for these types of placements.
You can find sponsorship opportunities by looking at similar YouTube channels in your industry or reaching out to businesses directly. If you need help with landing sponsorships, this post has some good tips for landing sponsorships with a small following.
7. Offer Consulting or Freelance Services
You can use your YouTube channel to establish your expertise in a specific niche and sell your consulting or freelance services.
One way to get your viewer’s interest is to create a video that explains how to solve a problem or achieve a goal related to your niche. For example, if you’re a fitness coach, you could create a video discussing dieters’ top mistakes and then mention your coaching services at the end.
Then you can add a link in the video description box that leads to your website with a list of your services.
YouTube is an excellent way to make money while helping and entertaining people.
But building a successful YouTube channel takes time and patience; keep in mind, it may be many months before you achieve the following you need to start making serious money off of YouTube.
However, if you are dedicated to consistently producing quality content and are willing to learn new strategies along the way, YouTube can be a very lucrative and rewarding pursuit!