MyFinancialTimes is a reader-centric site. We may receive compensation from the products and services we mention or recommend in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Remuneration may impact where offers appear. We may not include all available products or offerings. To learn more you can visit our advertising policy and editorial policy.
Yes, there is money to be made on YouTube. YouTube has over two billion users: that’s four billion eyeballs you can hope to reach. They watch close to five billion videos a day.
There are two avenues. You can either use YouTube to build a brand and help drive profitable traffic elsewhere, like a blog. Or you can try to use YouTube as the end point, monetizing exclusive content.
First: Make Sure You Have Appealing Content
Sounds obvious. But it is critical. There is no one more pathetic than the hustler trying to sell something no one wants. “Stop trying to make ‘fetch’ happen.” You should have some reason to believe that there is a market for your bagpipe masterpiece before recording it, posting it, and awaiting stardom.
This market testing of content is built into the YouTube Partner Program. You are not eligible for YPP unless you have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours and more than 1,000 subscribers. Think of this as building your own stage.
Second: Enable Your Account for Monetization
In order to join YouTube Partners to make money, you begin by ticking the monetization option in your YouTube account. Sign in. In the top right of the screen, click your profile picture. This will bring you to YouTubeStudio. Then click Monetization. If you haven’t met the 4K/1K threshold yet, click “notify me when I’m eligible.” If you are eligible, click Start. You’ll now read the “review partner program terms:” card and sign.
Third: Set Up an AdSense Account
You can either attach your YouTube channel to an existing AdSense account or create a new one. AdSense is a program run by Google that creates and places banners and responsive ads.
A responsive ad is one that scales itself to device size, so that it can be absorbed while the viewer is using anything from a desktop to a smartphone.
Fourth: Be Mindful of Video Criteria
YouTube will only let you monetize what they consider advertiser-friendly content. So do not try to charge for videos showing violence or nudity, and do not break any copyright laws. That last one can be tricky. Of course, we’re assuming your bagpipe creations are your own. Even there, though, it is tempting to use some neat background music for interludes between your masterpieces. Make sure you only use what you have a right to use.
Here is information on how you can do that.
Fifth: Record Your First Video!