We can’t promise you’ll earn £100,000 like the dad who uploaded “Charlie bit my finger – again!”, the clip of two cheeky brothers that racked up 500m views. Yet even if your YouTube videos don’t become global phenomena, it’s possible to earn a little extra each month through the clip-sharing site.
Before we get started, here’s forumite sophie.christie‘s story for inspiration: “About two years ago I started a YouTube account. One of my videos started to do quite well and the site asked me to become a partner.
“I started to receive a very low income from this. However, over the last year I’ve been posting new videos on birthday party tips. I have now have 80, and a daily income of more than £20. It’s rising by about 10% each month.”
How YouTube’s partner programme works
YouTube’s Partner Programme lets users take a cut of the cash from the adverts that run alongside their videos. You must apply to become a partner, but YouTube says anyone who regularly uploads original clips which get a fair amount of views should be eligible.
Earnings vary dramatically, depending on how many views you rack up and how much revenue the ads generate.
10 tips to max YouTube earnings
Here are some top tips to help your vids go viral:
- 1. Make content you’d like to watch. Giggling toddlers, funny animals and crazy dancing are often winners. Start with your passions and hobbies – could you film hula hoop tutorials, hairdo how-tos or video game reviews?
- 2. You must own the content (or have permission to use it). This means all audio and video content featured. So if your cat dances to a song you don’t have permission to use, you won’t get paid. See YouTube’s copyright rules.
- 3. Write a memorable title. This helps people search for your content quickly. For example, “Evolution of Dance” beats “Dance sequence with dances from lots of different eras”.
- 4. Use popular keywords. Include top search terms in your title. Check out YouTube’s keyword tool and Trends Dashboard to see what’s hot.
- 5. Promote on social networks. To boost your chances of going viral, share links to your content with contacts on Facebook and Twitter.
- 6. Post on similar topics each time. If you specialise in maths explanations or nail art tutorials, people will click to see your other clips.
- 7. Remember, you give YouTube the rights. When you upload videos, you grant YouTube a licence to use and reproduce them (see full terms). So if you shoot some amazing footage that proves the Loch Ness Monster really exists, you may wish to consider your options.
- 8. Don’t ‘like’ your own videos. This will get your account cancelled. Same goes for clicking ads on your videos to try to boost your earnings.
- 9. Hook viewers from the start. Most users decide whether they are going to keep watching a video in the first few seconds. Use those to spark their curiosity and make it clear what the clip’s about.
- 10. Like other users’ clips. Like other people’s channels and videos on YouTube. They may like you back, helping to build your userbase.
How can I become a partner and earn money?
Here’s how to start earning, step-by-step:
- 1. Build your history. To be able to join the partnership scheme, you need a history of posting videos. So set up a YouTube account and get uploading.
- 2. Become a partner. Once you’ve uploaded a few videos, go to ‘Settings’ in your YouTube account and click the ‘Monetization’ tab.You should see an ‘Enable My Account’ button if you’re eligible to become a partner.
Unfortunately, YouTube won’t tell us exactly how many videos people need to post to become eligible. It just says accounts need to be in “good standing” and you need to “upload original, quality content”.
See YouTube’s Monetization guide for more.
- Step 3. Sign up to Google AdSense. YouTube pays via Google AdSense accounts. Sign up, then link it to your YouTube account. See full AdSense details.