How Do I Become a YouTube Partner and Make Money on My Videos? 2012

Here's you as a YouTube Partner. Hmmm.

I’ve had a few requests from readers/viewers to clarify YouTube’s evolving Partnership program, and help “up and coming” YouTube creators understand how to make money via video. As always, I’d caution YouTube video creators to keep realistic expectations on earnings– right now there are hundreds of YouTubers earning six-figure income from YouTube. But the majority are earning small amounts, and the driver is daily/monthly views.

Below is some information about the evolving YouTube Partnership, and 9 additional ways to make money via video.

A YouTuber can expect to make anywhere from 50 cents to $5 on every 1,000 views. So a channel getting 1,000 views per month can maybe cover a cup of coffee. The bigger YouTubers like RayWilliamJohnson are making anywhere from $500K to $4 million a year (SocialBlade), and I’d guess it’s around $2 million. It’s a steep pyramid, folks.

So here are the ways to become a YouTube Partner, where you’re eligible for “revenue sharing” on your videos. Ads appear before and around your videos, and Google shares a percent (roughly 40% of what advertisers pay for those ads).

  1. Sign up to become a Partner on YouTube. Unlike previous years, most are granted Partnership (including my dog, FreddieNalts). In truth, this isn’t a full Partnership as we previously knew it. You’ll make a smaller amount of money because the ads are not exactly premium. YouTube has effectively changed the name of “monetize your videos” to Partner.
  2. If you’re getting tens of thousands of views per month, you could approach an Online Video Studio (OVS) to come a full-fledged Partner with advanced branding. You’ll need to share a percent of your earnings with the studio, but you’ll get some help resolving issues, and potentially some help building an audience. This type of Partnership also allows creators to customize their channel page and put a small icon over the videos that appear on “watch page.” This used to be available directly via YouTube, but YouTube is increasingly encouraging intermediaries to handle this process… remember Google doesn’t like to deal with people. It’s a technology firm, and isn’t resourced to provide personal attention to millions of YouTube creators. So becoming a full Partner can be accomplished broadly in two ways. First, you can sign with an “Online Video Studio” (OVS). In that post about web studios, I neglected to mention The Collective, which has helped a couple YouTubers (Fred, Annoying Orange) cross over to television.
  3. Finally for smaller YouTubers, there’s another option I discovered via Jason Urgo last night. Urgo/SocialBlade is helping smaller YouTubers (maybe 1,000 views per month) you can apply to become a Partner via Maker’s RPM Networks. The result is similar to option #2 but the bar is lower.

Don’t think of YouTube ad revenue as your only source of income for video creation. Here are 9 other options for making money via online video:

  1. Create Commercials. If you’re talented and have high production capabilities (but don’t have an audience), you might join Poptent and create videos and commercials for brands… you’re not guaranteed to be compensated, but if a brand selects your video, you can make $5 or $10K.
  2. BYOS. If you have a large audience, you can pursue your own sponsor (bring your own sponsor- BYOS). Just call a company and see if they’ll pay for a custom video or some product placement. These are easier to get if you’re in a web studio/OVS.
  3. Get Free Loot. Call a company and see if they’ll send you free loot in exchange for your mentioning them. It’s not easy to find the right person, but I’ve been surprised how receptive companies are. They often have programs to reach online influencers, and if you have a decent audience… that includes you.
  4. Sell Your Stuff. This DailyFinance reminds us that artists can sell their stuff via video. Got something on eBay? You could mention it in a video, and see if you can get the video SEO-optimized so it might appear via a Google search.
  5. Sell your videos if you think there’s a market for them. Learn more here. I believe you need a Partners account to do this, and I wouldn’t count on this tool. Most people don’t purchase amateur video content, unless you count porn or Louis CK. I suppose there’s some “how to” video that’s worth buying, but I don’t see this as being lucrative.
  6. Drive to Website: you can try driving traffic off YouTube onto a website that allows you to sell loads of additional advertisements/sponsorships. It’s difficult to get people to follow a link of YouTube, and I’d estimate low single-digit numbers (depending on the reason). But Smosh’s “Smosh Pit” is a nice example of how YouTubers have created adjunct websites where additional monetization is possible.
  7. Affiliate Links: If you’re really cheesy, you can try making videos an inserting affiliate links into the description. I’ve never seemed to make anything notable via affiliate links on my blog and in a few links from a video.
  8. Merchandise: CafePress and other sites allow you to create your own branded merchandise and sell it to viewers. I think I’ve sold max. a dozen things on CafePress, but I haven’t put much effort into it.
  9. Get Rich Quick: Try one of the bullshit “get rich quick” schemes. Good luck.

 

Author: Nalts

Hi. I'm Nalts.

14 thoughts on “How Do I Become a YouTube Partner and Make Money on My Videos? 2012”

  1. Regarding #1, new accounts are automatically offered monetization now. And all you have to do to remove the 15 minute limit is verify your account by having them send a confirmation code to your cell phone via text message… all thanks to the improvements of the Content ID system.

  2. Lots of ways to monetize your YouTube videos outside of just Adsense! Important for people to realize that… and that even with all of the above combined, you still won’t make much money if you don’t most importantly focus on building a large, loyal audience – that’s the key because otherwise it’s all going to result in less than you’d make a McDonalds. lol

  3. My feelings about crowd source creative ( Poptent) is that the pathetic sums you get paid for a global brand campaign ($5-10K) just about sums up the contempt held for the creative community. Hey guys, go out and make us something, you might not get paid but it will be good for your reel ( a reel I assume you would want to eventually get paid from someone for producing) but hey – you might get paid ( if we like it) and what you will get paid is a fraction of what you would have got paid if we had hired you in the old model ( top directors can earn $20,000+ a day let it be known) So my advice to all those crowd source creatives – your creative energy is being exploited, your fee is low and you will probably get nothing back because the model has no loyalty built in. It is the ultimate form of capitalism – the lowest price from labour which is totally divided against itself. I really don’t think you guys should be promoting a race to the bottom. But I’m old school, I still like to get paid for my work upfront so I can pay the bills, feed a family and live a reasonable life. It looks like I’m going to be in the minority in the future?

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