We all know that YouTubers can make serious money, and to do so, the most successful ones diversify their income streams.
In this article, I prepared a list of 8 proven ways to monetize your YouTube channel in 2023, and divided them into 2 categories:
- YouTube-Native Monetization methods, which can be done directly from YouTube with their own features.
- External Monetization methods, which require more effort, but can help you generate more significant amounts of money, even if you have a small audience.
<p class="tip"> YouTube-Native monetization methods
These methods are the best if you don’t want to add much complexity to your YouTube business; they’re a great way to make money from YouTube if you want to monetize your videos.
The issue with these methods is that you usually need to have a big audience (over 100k subscribers) to start making a livable income from YouTube-native monetization methods.
This is why a lot of YouTubers also use External Monetization methods to monetize their channel.
But native YouTube monetization methods are still a solid option to make money online, here is a list of them:</p>
1. YouTube Monetization with AdSense by joining the YouTube Partner Program
YouTube is the most popular video sharing platform in the world. It has over a billion users, and more than 400 hours of video are uploaded to it every minute.
YouTube monetizes its videos through Google AdSense, which is a part of Google's advertising network. AdSense pays content creators for their videos by running ads on them through the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).
What is unique about the YouTube Partner Program is that YouTube shares 55% of its ad revenue with creators, and it also provides other additional ways to earn money by creating videos, which I will cover later.
How much can YouTube creators earn for 1000 views?
There are 2 metrics that can help you understand this: CPM and RPM. CPM is the cost per 1000 ad impressions before YouTube revenue share, and RPM is your total revenue (after YouTube's revenue share) per 1000 views on YouTube. Some YouTube content niches have a higher CPM and RPM than others, which can improve your ability to monetize YouTube videos.
Which niches pay best?
A video's revenue depends on the number of views it gets, its target demographic, the age of your audience, how many ads play before or during it, as well as the video topic. Like on most social media platforms, each advertiser has to bid a certain amount of money in order to advertise, and the more profitable the profits in a specific niche, the higher the bid, and thus, the higher the payout for the content creator with ads on their videos.
Here are some examples of the more profitable topics if you want to earn money on YouTube:
- Online marketing
- Tech reviews
- Real estate
- Auto reviews
As you can see, these topics are not the most entertaining, but they target people with more money to spend to solve their problems, so if you plan to grow your YouTube channel, think of who you want to watch your videos.
AdSense monetization example
Stephan Graham is a great example of a channel that managed to make money on YouTube through AdSense, as well as other ways to monetize on YouTube efficiently by creating content in the finance and crypto space:
How to be eligible for monetization on YouTube
The minimum eligibility requirements to join the YouTube partner program and enable monetization features are to:
- Follow all the YouTube channel monetization policies.
- Live in a country/region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
- Have no active Community Guidelines strikes on your channel.
- Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
- Have at least 1,000 subscribers on your YouTube account.
- Have a linked AdSense account.
- Accept YouTube's terms of service and YouTube monetization policies.
- Verify your Google account.
You can check your progression monetization options on YouTube Studio:
Once you have done all of this, you can start earning money from videos on YouTube!
2. Monetize your YouTube channel with Memberships
YouTube channel memberships are a great way for your viewers to support your channel and get access to exclusive content. For a monthly fee, your subscribers can become members of your YouTube channel and get access to exclusive videos, YouTube live streams, and other benefits. Channel memberships are a great way for your subscribers to show their support and get access to your best content.
You can also give access to custom emojis to use in comments and live chat, and exclusive YouTube community posts.
Content creators receive 70% of membership revenue after applicable taxes and fees are deducted, and YouTube takes the rest. All transaction costs (including credit card fees) are currently covered by YouTube.
YouTube Membership monetization example
For example, the YouTube channel Hacksmith creates exclusive videos for members only:
And here is what their members get for $4.99 per month:
How to activate YouTube Memberships
Here is a video from the YouTube team helping you activate this monetization feature:
3. Earn money on YouTube with Live Streams
YouTube Live is an easy way for YouTubers to reach their community in real time. Whether streaming an event, teaching a class, or hosting a workshop, YouTube has tools that will help you manage live streams and interact with your viewers in real time.
Manage YouTube Super Chat & Super Stickers for Live Chat
Super Chat and Super Stickers are ways to monetize your channel through the YouTube Partner Program. These features let your viewers purchase live chat messages that stand out and sometimes pin them to the top of a live chat feed. You can learn how you can turn on this feature here.
What you can stream
All content in live streams must adhere to the YouTube Community Guidelines and Terms of Service. If you stream content that violates the YouTube Community Guidelines, the platform may age-restrict or remove your live stream. YouTube also reserves the right to restrict a creator's ability to live stream at its discretion.
Example of a YouTube Streamer: Ludwig
Ludwig creates gaming content and receives super chats or Super Stickers from his viewers, which are similar to the Twitch donation system.
He also reposts edited versions of his livestreams, which are also monetized through Adsense.
How to get started
Here is a video from the YouTube Team about monetizing Lives videos with Super Chats and Super Stickers:
4. Showcase products from your store on YouTube
YouTube Shopping allows you to showcase your products and official branded merchandise on YouTube if they consider you as an eligible creator. After you set up YouTube Shopping, viewers in these locations will be able to browse and buy your products across these surfaces on YouTube:
- Your channel’s store
- End screens
- Product section below your videos and live streams
- As a pinned product in live streams
In YouTube Studio, you can organize your products to display across these surfaces. With channel level and individual video arrangements, you can customize the order of your products to fit your needs.
You can learn more about YouTube shopping here.
5. Monetize your content with Shorts
Note: Since February 1, 2023, monetizing YouTube partners can earn money from ads that are viewed between videos in the Shorts Feed. This new revenue sharing model replaces the YouTube Shorts Fund.
To learn more about this new system, click here.
How to be eligible for the YouTube Shorts Fund (Discontinued)
To be eligible for a bonus from the YouTube Shorts Fund:
- Channels need to have uploaded at least one eligible Short in the last 180 days.
- Channels need to abide by YouTube’s Community Guidelines, copyright rules, and monetization policies.
- Channels must upload original content. Ineligible videos include but are not limited to:
- Non-original videos, like unedited clips from movies or TV shows.
- Videos reuploaded from other creator’s channels or other platforms, including compilations.
- Videos featuring watermarks and logos from third-party social media platforms.
- Videos with titles, hashtags, or metadata that references third-party social media platforms may also not be eligible. Note: Links to your other social media profiles do not affect eligibility.
- Creators must be 13 or older in the United States, or the age of majority in their country/region.
- Creators 13–18 years old must have a parent or guardian accept terms and set up an AdSense account for payment when one isn’t already linked to their channel.
- Creators must be in one of these countries/regions:
Example - Marketing Mania
The founder of the website you're on, Stan Leloup, has a channel called Marketing Mania, on which he created dozens of shorts to try out this new format, and... His results were amazing!
Stan got millions of views on multiple videos, but the actual financial results were not that good...
This is why he also monetizes by selling valuable online courses to his audience, which is an external way of generating money with YouTube videos.
<p class="tip"> External monetization methods
These methods allow you to maximize how much money you can earn from your YouTube business, they are a bit more time-consuming to set up.
The big advantage of this kind of method is that you don't need a huge audience to make it work, some people can start making a livable income from only 10k subscribers and an email list of around 1000 people.
Here is a list of external monetization strategies:</p>
6. Sell online courses to your YouTube community
Selling online courses to your subscribers is a great way to bring more value to your followers as well as build a new stream of income for your content creation business. Creating an online course can take you from a few hours to a few months depending on how much time you put into it, and you probably already have all the gear you need to get started!
This is what we did ourselves, I used to work with Stan Leloup on Marketing Mania, one of the biggest YouTube channels in the marketing and business space in France. And the main source of revenue of this channel is creating and selling premium online courses.
Stan started creating his first courses by taping up together many no-code solutions like Zapier and WordPress plugins, but this isn't an idea solution at all, especially in 2023 when WordPress plugins are far from being the best solution for making courses.
This is why Stan decided to launch SchoolMaker, an advanced course platform that makes it easy for YouTubers to build and scale an online course business.
If you need help with the creation of your course, we created an entirely free guide to help you go from idea to pre-launch of your course in a few weeks.
7. Monetize on YouTube with Affiliation
Affiliation is a commission-based marketing strategy where you earn a percentage of a sale or transaction. There are many YouTube affiliates who make money by uploading videos to YouTube and then linking to products they are affiliated with in the description section of their videos. This form of making money online can make individual videos even more valuable, as you can get a commission.
Affiliate programs are popular among many companies because they are relatively easy to set up, and they can generate significant revenue. The most popular example of an affiliate program is Amazon’s affiliate program. Affiliates earn 8% per sale on any product sold through their link, plus 5% in commission on any other products purchased during the same session.
Example of a YouTuber who does affiliation
Marques Brownlee is a YouTuber who does tech reviews, and makes money by adding affiliate links to the descriptions of his videos.
How to get started with affiliation
The simplest way is to start by signing up to Amazon's affiliate program, which will allow you to create affiliate links that you can copy-paste into your video descriptions.
8. Make money through YouTube videos with sponsorships
YouTube video sponsorships are a form of advertising in which companies pay YouTubers to make videos that promote their products or services.
The company will usually provide all the content like images and videos for the advertisement and will get access to any analytics data that is generated by the video.
YouTube video sponsorships can be combined with affiliate marketing by promoting products online and earn commissions from sales they generate. They can be paid per click (CPC) or per sale (CPS) for example.
Examples - How Pewdiepie and Ryan George make money with Sponsorships
Pewdiepie is one of the most popular YouTubers of all time, with more than 100 million subscribers and billions of views. He has multiple income streams like YouTube Memberships, a few mobile games, live streams where he plays games and interacts with his fans, and of course, sponshorships.
He has a long-term sponsor deal with GFuel, which he promotes in almost every video he makes with ironic Ad sections like the one at the beginning of this video:
Another example of sponsored sections are Ryan George's, I like his a lot because the concept of the "Ad-stronaut" is pretty clever:
So what is the best way to monetize on YouTube?
At Marketing Mania, we tried all of these techniques, and the monetization technique that helped us the most grow our content creation business was online course creation.
With courses, Marketing mania now makes 7 figures every year, but as we grew, we ran into a lot of problems like that made it harder for us to run the business while providing a lot of value to our customers.
This is why we created SchoolMaker, the course creation tool that focuses on your student's results, so you can get better testimonials, and make more money!
If you're interested in the tool, you can check it out here.
And if you have an audience but don't have a course yet, you can check out our course creation guide by clicking on the book below.👇
(can change CTA here to "start free trial")