How to Start Earning Money with YouTube as a Small Business Owner
Using YouTube to market your brand as a small business can be a lucrative move. After all, millions watch YouTube videos daily, accessible to anyone who surfs the net. Building a brand image using YouTube will be a breeze if you can get enough visibility. But can you say the same about earning money via your video posts on the platform?
YouTube has stringent requirements on how and when your videos can be monetized. It has led several content creators to speed up their marketing strategies with paid signals. They opt to buy YouTube views, saves, subscribers and comments. But this technique is geared only towards short-lived successes. For a sustained money-making long-term plan, you need to have an overall growth strategy ready. Let’s help you out with that, step by step.
What to Do to Make Money on YouTube the Basics
- Get into the YouTube Partner Program
It’s not a mandatory step, but it is highly recommended. If you are looking for regular money-making options, this program gives you access to several special platform features that allow you to do just that. Remember that each element has eligibility requirements and may not be available in all countries. Here is a quick preview of what all you can use on your channel if you do become a partner:
- YouTube premium add-ons like subscription fees: It is an automatic payment made via YouTube. You get a portion of the subscription services if your channel is on the premium member’s watch list.
- SuperChat: Available in select countries to only those 18 years or older, this feature lets your fans pay you to highlight their message on your live chat while you are streaming in real-time.
- Expanded analytics reports: When you get more details of who is watching your content, for how long, from which demographic, and where traffic generation is happening, you can plan your monetizing path better.
- Channel membership: You Tubers can pay to become your channel’s members if you have a minimum of 30,000 subscribers. They enjoy perks like emojis, special badges, and exclusives, including chats, while you want a recurring direct payment until the member cancels out.
- Shoppable shelf: You can sell products and services through your digital frame if you have at least 10,000 subscribers and are at least 18 years of age. As a small business, it’s the most lucrative feature for you as it allows you to put your products on display, be it digital counseling or t-shirts.
- AdSenserevenue controls: You can decide what to display, what duration to use the ad, and where.
Remember that only some are eligible to apply for the Partner Program. To qualify for application here, you must have a successful YouTube channel with at least 1,000 subscribers. You must also have a cumulative 4,000 watch hours in the 12 months leading up to the day of the membership application.
2. Maintain an Overall Growth Plan for Your Channel
It’s not just to ensure you are accepted into the Partner Program but also to give your brand a firm foothold on the platform. For it:
- Be consistent about planning and creating your posts.
- Pay attention to editing and publishing professionally.
- Have a schedule for your new posts.
- Be responsive to authentic audiences.
- Include CTAs, mentions, and shoutouts whenever and wherever applicable.
If your brand already has a line of products in place, your strategy must consider product placement and publicity of your ware in your content creation plans.
Be sure to:
- Organize your art around what you sell genuinely and uniquely.
- Give your website and landing page adequate limelight in CTAs, description space, and your profile bio to generate YouTube traffic that leads to significant ROI.
3. Activate AdSense
Whether or not you qualify for the Partner Program benefits, you can use AdSense to generate revenue on your channel anytime. Moreover, it is an officially allowed option by YouTube, and they even have a guide to help you get set up with an AdSense account.
As with most features, to earn ad revenue with AdSense, you must be 18 years old, and your content must have elements conducive to advertisers. For instance, if your content uses a washing machine, you may find AdSense auto-generating laundry detergent ads on various page segments and videos.
As a business house, you must be careful here as you would not want yours to auto-display ads that favor your competitors on your video!
Now, most YouTubers earn revenue mainly through AdSense. It begs the question – Is it possible to make a lot of money on YouTube through AdSense? Everything depends on what you consider “a lot .”If you are lucky and go viral, you could become a millionaire with your YouTube content. But such cases are rare and require luck, hard work, and persistence. In general, clicks on ads generate very little income. Moreover, the rates vary from country to country and even from industry to industry. An average of 1000 ad views in US dollars can bring about $3 through AdSense.
4. Explore the Domain of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is the rage in all digital marketing spaces these days. Trendsetters and influencers cater to all kinds of businesses and make all kinds of content and budget. When you are trying to grow your brand and earn money from your content, it may pay to work in the world of influencers. Use one or become one. You can go either way to make some money as well as:
- Build quality and trust in your brand name.
- Find profitable long-term partnerships to work with.
- Develop a signature brand pitch for yourself.
Research what works best for you. There are several marketing options in the influencer industry these days. The sky’s the limit to what you can earn and from what type of content. Remember that you have to factor in several options for brand growth and marketing rates should you desire to explore the world of influencers. Some important things to look out for include the following:
- Available and potential audience size.
- Engagement rate.
- Lead generation rate.
- Transparency of work ethic.
- Product placement choices.
5. Be Open to Running Sponsored Content
It’s fast emerging as a favorite method of earning money, and why not? It seems to give you maximum benefits for your earnings. Typically, you negotiate with brands independently and outside the platform to determine what you will create and earn. You then make and upload your content like any regular content with a brand mention. Business negotiations happen outside YouTube, so the channel is not responsible for what you earn. Conversely, you do not need to give YouTube any percentage of your earnings either.
Running sponsored content is a great way to build long-term business alliances with other companies in your niche. You can even get more prominent companies to raise your brand of products if your merchandise complements each other. The more audience you have active on your platform, the more likely you are to strike such sponsored content deals with other brands. However, the only con here is you will need to manage your income and tax work, as you will receive no records from YouTube.
6. Consider the Options of Using Crowdfunding Accounts
Finding patrons for your brand can be challenging, especially if you are still trying to make your presence felt. Fortunately, YouTube also has a list of approved crowdfunding sites that you could turn to build up your brand while making some money. Be specific when you apply for crowdfunding regarding where the funds raised would be used. For instance, you can turn to approved sites like GoFundMe when raising profits for a social cause. It is now easy to find small one-time or recurrent donations, and YouTube will let you add a donate button for your channel. Using crowdfunding sites, you can also find long-term supporters like Patreon for making your videos or expanding the scope of your ongoing projects.
Crowdfunding is an excellent means for making money as several YouTube-approved sites like Patreon allow you to go above and beyond merely asking for a donation. You can cultivate organic interest and traffic generation for your business by giving your supporters and sponsors:
- Early access to content.
- Sneak peeks behind the scenes.
- Exclusive access to content.
- Merchandise and Live stream collaboration offer.
- Shoutouts and mentions.
7. Try Out Affiliate Partnership Options
Consider the affiliate marketing world if the influencer industry is too overwhelming for you. Like influencers, this, too, requires the ability to retain audience loyalty and generate traffic leads. Companies who want affiliates will provide you with specific links to which they need the traffic. Usually, it is a link to a product on their online store. You get paid when you can get audience members to buy the product using the link posted by you. You earn a percentage of the sales it usually falls in the range from 2% to 7% but is company dependent) and the logistics of setting up the payment route depend on you and the company you have tied up with.
Affiliate marketing is an affordable option when you know you do not want to:
- Keep additional inventories of products that aren’t yours.
- Worry about shipment services or customer services.
- Risk your scalability options.
It is also straightforward to get started on. All you have to do is:
- Find and join an affiliate marketing program of interest to you.
- Make your content and post it on YouTube like any other post.
- Include your affiliate links in the video description.
That’s it. You can easily combine this video production as an add-on to your small business to earn extra cash.
8. Believe in Product Licensing
With millions of content being made and produced online every day, protecting what is creatively yours is very important for building the success of your business. It means creating copyrighted content – both physical and digital. License your videos and your products as applicable to prevent misuse of the same by others. You do not want what is originally yours to go viral and make money for someone else!
You can choose from various licensing options to protect your physical and intellectual property. Some options include:
- Using watermarks and artfully placed logos.
- Getting a creative commons license.
- Using attributions license (no-derivatives or noncommercial).
- Setting the royalty fee.
9. Expand Your Promotion to Other Social Media Sites
The best way to get your brand known and rope in interested clients is to spread the good word. To do it, use all possible digital and physical spaces available to you:
- Make mentions of mentors, customers, and guides with tags and links-to show gratitude and expand your audience base.
- Cross-post links in discussion boards, other social media accounts, and emails.
- Think of product placement in creative ways and sponsor events that can bring you more footage.
- Get into community work and work for social causes that can bring you business and brand reputation.
10. Always Remain on the Right Side of the Law
When making money is the motive, it is easy to give in to temptations that promise quick and easy returns. As a content creator, always keep your small business on the right side of legalities. It means:
- Passing all periodic reviews run by YouTube.
- Staying true to the community guidelines (it may vary from country to country, so you must read the fine print).
- Following all copyright laws and regulations while creating content.
- Being transparent about your content and making all disclosures as and when necessary.
- Licensing your content to avoid being a victim of fraud.
To Sum Up
Making money with YouTube videos is not a one-day affair. It requires dynamic thinking and the ability to stay up-to-date with day-to-day trends and keep up with all the new features being rolled in by the platform time-to-time. In addition, you must develop a promotion strategy that builds brand visibility and gets more people to watch your videos, subscribe to your content, and become channel members. After all, you eventually want your videos to make money, so aiming for pod viewership is pivotal to your SMM strategy. Promote using features like Super Chat among your fans and be honest in detailing your goals when applying for crowdfunding. As a content creator, you can occasionally give away perks and incentives to attract more audiences and clients. What you earn initially may amount to a little. Keep working on your strategy; soon, you will see the money you deserve.