YouTube has become a giant platform for online video streaming. According to Onmicore, there are more than 1.9 billion users who consume YouTube on a monthly basis with over 5 billion videos watched every day.
YouTube is an excellent platform for not only users to look for the desired content but also for the creators to showcase their talent to the diverse audience. Running advertisements on your videos is one of the most widely used methods through which creators gain earn money. However, ad revenue is not enough for the creators to survive in this highly competitive market. There are several challenges which creators face to earn money through YouTube.
Sometimes the creators have to unwillingly use copyrighted content which can’t be monetized for advertisements, sometimes the content focuses on niche audiences on which most advertisers avoid playing ads, and sometimes YouTube flags specific content for advertisements. YouTube demonetizes the video from earning revenue if it contains anything related to sexual content, nudity, drugs or any other sensitive topic. Hence, the creators often find it tough to earn money through advertisements only.
To tackle this problem, YouTubers rely on alternate means to earn money. Here’s the complete guide:
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to earn money on YouTube without relying on the AdSense. Making money through affiliate marketing means creators review certain products, and encourage users to buy the products. Creators need to share a special link of the website from where the users can buy the product in their description box. YouTubers can earn a certain percentage of the amount if the followers use the links provided to buy the product.
Here’s how Unbox Therapy shares the links of various products in the description box of the video.
Sponsorships and Brand Deals
Typically only offered to large YouTube Channels with huge audience base, sponsorship deals are one of the key ways through which big creators earn huge money. Getting sponsored by the brand means you need to promote the product or the brand in your videos so that a large audience can view them. Payment of the sponsored deals depends on the lump sum of cash paid by the sponsors or on the pay-per-view basis.
According to the YouTube policies, creators are required to disclose the nature of the video in their description box. In a recently hit web series – College Romance – Gulf sponsored The Timeliners which reached more than 10 Million viewers.
Crowdfunding (or fan funding) allows users and followers to donate money directly to the content creators through mediums like Patreon, Kickstarters & more. Content creators first need to build a loyal fan base who can support them in regularly creating quality videos. They can then shout out in their videos to ask their followers to donate money, in case they like the work.
Patreon is one such platform which is specifically designed to allow the fans to donate a specific amount of money within set intervals. It gives creative freedom to the content creators to produce the content which not many channels are willing to produce as it hardly earns them revenue.
Here’s how Dhruv Rathee, a famous Indian YouTuber & independent news anchor, earns the majority of his revenue through crowdfunding. He talks about the topics which not many big media houses are willing to produce and hence urges his viewers to donate money.
Another key way to earn money from YouTube is through merchandising. Many famous YouTubers like Roman Atwood, BB Ki Vines, Being Indian, etc. earn their significant revenue by selling merchandises. Once your channel has a strong fan-base and you have made a mark in the market, your followers will be willing to buy the t-shirts, mugs, or caps that you promote. Merchandising not only increases your exposure on the online world but also helps your brand in the offline arena. Make sure that merchandising relates to your brand.
Paid Content/Subscription Fees
One great way to earn money from your YouTube is to create content specifically designed for the viewers’ needs. By paying for your content, viewers get premium access to your services, be it in the form of ebooks, behind the scene access or anything else. The viewers will be more than willing to pay for the content if it caters to their needs. Though this medium requires a lot of efforts and hard work, it offers unlimited potential for the creators as they only need to work once but can perpetually earn money through such content.
Nowadays, OTTs are using YouTube to promote only the trailer while asking users to download their apps and then subscribing to it for premium content. Here’s the trailer of “Karenjit Kaur: The Untold Story of Sunny Leone” on Zee5. The channel only shows specific clips from the show, however, to watch the full premium content, viewers need to download the app and pay for the subscription charges.
Earning revenue through advertisements is not enough for many YouTubers to survive. Therefore, these other revenue sources cater to the needs of many YouTubers.
However, to start earning from all these methods, you first need to focus on creating a loyal fan base whom you can consistently entertain, educate, provide interesting content which lets allows you to stand out in the community and, at the same time, lets the viewers coming back to your channel.
Rahul is a culture based writer who left his engineering job to pursue a career in writing. Being a flaneur, he thinks that the ideas brewing up in his skull-sized kingdom can help transform the world. He wishes one day he could write a psychological bestseller.