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Make Money with a YouTube Channel

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Making money from YouTube used to be as simple as uploading great content, garnering millions of views, and earning a share of advertising revenue. Now, content creators have access to multiple ways to monetize their content. In addition to advertising, this can include corporate sponsorships from a major brand, fan funding or merchandise sales.

Recommended for: anyone – you don’t need to be a tech-savvy teenager or a charismatic gamer and so on in order to achieve success on YouTube

How much can you earn: it depends on how many views you can get – for every 1,000 views, you’ll make about $2-$3; plus, there’s another effective way to make money from YouTube – by promoting affiliate products (which means you can stand to make considerably more, especially as you grow a loyal audience that trusts you)

Start-up costs: depends on what you need to create your videos; you’ll likely need to get editing software for your videos and some recording equipment (a good quality camera, a microphone, a lighting kit and so on) and you can find these for pretty much any budget – from $100 or so to thousands, depending on how much you can and want to invest 

Usually, when people think about making money from YouTube, they think about huge YouTube influencers, such as gamers and entertainment influencers who get millions of views on each one of their videos. 

But they’re not the only ones making money from YouTube; in fact, anyone who has a good idea for a channel and can create quality videos consistently, can start earning from YouTube – either a little side money every month or even a full-time income, depending on how much you can grow your channel. 

Plus, you don’t even have to appear in the videos if you don’t want to – it depends though on what kind of videos you want to create. 

The thing is, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (after, of course, Google). Millions of people use it not just to find entertaining videos but also to learn how to do all kinds of stuff, from how to cook certain recipes, to how to build a bonfire and to how to use a certain software (for example, “how to use Zoom” is a super popular search as of April 2020, because so many people are stuck at home and looking for better ways to work and connect with their families and friends):

So as long as you can create videos about topics that there’s a big enough audience for, you’ve got a good chance to start making money from YouTube. 

What can your videos be about?

  • Entertainment videos: if you’re creatively-inclined (and especially if you have that comedic bone in your body), you can create sketches, shows and the like – however, you need to be truly talented to make it in this niche 
  • Educational content: this is perfect for everyone else – as long as you know how to do something, there’s most likely an audience for. Ideally though, you’ll want to build a unified channel, one that contains the same types of videos. The more videos you create, the more views you’ll get, the more subscribers and the more money. And don’t worry if there are already a bunch of videos available on the same topic you want to cover (you’ll be hard-pressed to find a topic that hasn’t already been covered at length on YouTube!) – as long as you can create an awesome video and know how to promote it, you can still generate impressive views. For example, I did a random search for “how to make hummus” and it resulted in a plethora of videos, many of which generate upwards of 500k and even 1 million views each:

Here are some tips to help you build a successful YouTube channel and start making money:

  • Invest in equipment: if you want your videos to be successful, then you need to ensure your videos look and sound great. If they don’t, most people will just close your video and pick the next best one (because there always are alternatives!); so, if you’re serious about this project and want to make good money from YouTube, this is a necessary investment: microphone, high-quality camera, lighting kit 
  • Do your research: YouTube is a search engine and because of that, SEO optimization is essential. You can use a tool like SEMrush to research keywords and find out what their search volume is like globally to give you a better idea of what people search for. Plus, YouTube videos often appear at the top of google search results as well, so a well-optimized video can get a lot of views 
  • Optimize your videos: targeting the right keyword is only the first step; you’ll also need to add relevant tags, add a description including your keywords and write a clear, concise headline that contains your keywords and clearly explains what the video is about
  • Create a consistent posting schedule: YouTubers who make a lot of money create and post videos constantly – and they usually follow a very consistent schedule. Their fans know exactly when a new video is coming up. This is also important because you need to create a lot of videos to start making good money – the more videos you create, the better the chances of boosting your views as well 
  • Create beautiful thumbnails for your videos: that’s the preview image that appears when you search for videos; a good one will attract more views – just take a look at the screenshot from earlier with the hummus search; all of them look beautiful and make you want to eat some hummus right now (if you love hummus as much as I do, of course!)
  • Promote your videos across channels: don’t rely on YouTube organic traffic alone; if you want to maximize your views (especially when you’re just starting out and your videos aren’t likely to appear at the top of search results just yet), you need to leverage various channels to promote your videos: social media, your blog or website.

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