One of the most frequently asked question is “how to make money from Youtube?” Eventually, every Youtubers wants to make some money at some point. Because creating videos and running your Youtube channel is lots of work. So why not get paid for work you are doing. Unfortunately, making money from Youtube channel isn’t easy, especially if you are just starting out or don’t have large number of subscribers. But it isn’t impossible.  Sometimes you have to be creative.

If you are just starting out, you should be focusing on growing your channel and start building your brand as a Youtuber, not making money from it.  But once you have some followers, it is time for you to start thinking about making some money from your channel. These are 7 popular ways to make money from Youtube.

1. Google Adsense (Youtube Red)

Google Adsense is the most easiest way to  make money from your videos.  All you have to do is just turn on monetization option and you can start making money.  But Adsense is most unpredictable and slow way to make money.  First of all, you have to make at least $100 a month to get paid.  For example, if you make $50 this month, your money is roller over to next month until you make at least $100.  So when you are just starting out, it would take a while for you to actually get paid.  If you have question about how to moneteize your video, check out this post.

If order to be successful, you don’t necessary have to have large subscribers. But you do have to have lots of views on your videos.  On average, in order to make around $3000 a month, you have to have over 1 millions views each month.  This is based on highest level of advertisiting value.  (Note that not every video has highest advertising value.)  Million views is a lot.  Not everyone can achive this level of views.

Youtube Red is subscription based service from Youtube.  Red subscribers can skip the advertising on each video.  But Youtube doesn’t want to loose revenu from that.  So Youtube can still pay you based on watch time of your view.  It is still slow and difficult way to make money, but it is another opti0on.

Big down side of the Adsense and Youtube Red is that you have no control over how much money you are making each month.  You are 100% depend on the advertisers and viewers.  But it is recommand that you monetize every video you upload.

2. Sponsorship

Sponsorship just means finding a company who will pay you for promoting their products or services in your video.  In order to be successful, you have to have lots of subscribers for your channel.  Companies will not sponsor you unless they feel confidence that you can promote and sell their products or services through your channel.

Sponsorship doesn’t always means the company is going to pay you.  Company can also sponsor you by giving you free products and services.  Some may even give you big discount for you to review their product or services. If you are just starting out, this is easier way to get started.

Finding a sponsorship is also very challening.  Unless you are a big Youtube channel, company is not going to come to you.  In the beginning, you have to go to the company.  Once you feel like you have a big enough audience to your channel, you have go to the companies and sell yourself.  You have to convince them that you can help promote their product or services.

One of the easiest way to find a sponsor is to use services such as Grapevine.  Grapevine is community of creators and sponsors who can help and promote each other.  It is great way to find a sponsors.  But you have to have at least 1000 subscribers to join.

Once you find a sponsor, you can always negate with them the terms, so that both of you can come out happy.

3. Affiliate marketing

One way to make money right away is using affiliate marketing programs.  Simplify put, affiliate marketing is selling other people’s products and getting small commission.  One of the biggest affiliate program is Amazon.  Anyone can sign up for free and when you sell a product from Amazon, you get about 4-8% commission.  4-8% isn’t much but it is easier to sell product from Amazon since everyone knows and trust Amazon.

The idea is creating a video promoting or reviewing a product and putting Amazon affiliate link in your video description. If the audiences click on the affiliate link and buys the product, you get a commission. If you want to learn more about Amazon affiliate program, check out this post called How to Make Money on Youtube Right Away.

Amazon isn’t the only affiliate program that’s out there.  Just do some research and you’ll discover many different types of affiliate programs. One popular affiliate program is called Clickbank.  They digital product market place.  What is attracting about Clickbank is that Clickbank pays over 50% commission. Some even pay up to 70-90% commission.  If you want to know more about Clickbank check out this post, Can you still make money using ClickBank without a website?

You don’t need big subscribers to be successful, but you do need lots of views on your videos.  Getting lots of views has many different factors.  First of all, you need to make videos that is helpful to the viewers.  At the same time, the video has to be about popular topic that many people are interested in. If you make video that no one cares about, it doesn’t matter if the video is the best video in the world, you’ll get no views.  At the same time, if your video is about very popular topic, but there are thousands of other videos just like it, you’ll have hard time getting views.  Trick is to make a video about popular topic that has minimal competition.  So before you make your video, be sure to some quick research.

4. Sell merchandise / Physical products

You can always sell merchandises that is relating to your channel.   Good example would be selling a T-shirt.  T-shirts are easy to make.  There are many services out there that can help you make your own T-shirt with affordable price. If you sell T-shirts, you can make $2-$5 per T-shirts depends on your margins are.

It doesn’t have to be just T-shirt.  It can be any physical products that is relating to your channel. There are many Youtubers who made tones of money selling their own products.  Great example is Jared Polin from Wong Fu Production created a product called Awkward Animal.  Michelle Phan is another successful Youtuber who sells her own beauty products called ipsy.

Unlike affiliate program, you own the products and you get 100% of the profit. But to be successful, you have to have lots of subscribers.

5. Sell course

For those who have How-To channel or do some kind of training, you might want to consider selling your own course.  Many of the fitness instructors are making virtual courses teaching people different physical trainings such as kickboxing or different workout training. And they are doing great.  The course also can be in many different formats.  It can be a video course, a membership website, or a ebook.

Writing a book is one of the popular way to teach and train people.  But you don’t have to write a book just to teach people.  You can write a book to go deeper with your audience and share things that are helpful to your audience.  Many popular Youtubers written great books that does well.  I, Justine is one of the Youtuber who wrote an ebook called I, Justine: An Analog Memoir and it is doing well.  Lindsey Stirling is another Youtuber who is doing well with her book. 

A book can be physical book or it can be even ebook.   Obviously ebook is cheaper and easy way to produce and sell. Tim Schmoyer from Videocreator has ebook called 30 DAYS TO A BETTER YOUTUBE CHANNEL that does well because it teaches people how to be better Youtuber.

So if you have special skills, you might want to create a course and use your Youtube channel to promote your course.  This is great way to bring in additional revenue.

6. Fan funding and Membership site

Simply, fan funding is asking your fans to support your channel.  There are many different ways to setup fan funding so your fans can easily send you money.  One way is using Youtube live chat. With  Youtube live super chat, fans can easily send you money. Some of the popular fan funding websites is Patreon.   You can even use GoFundMe to raise money from your fans.

Building a membership site is another way to make money from your fans.  You setup a secure website with where your fans can find exclusive and addition contents with small monthly fees.  One of the benefit of membership site is that you get constant stream of income.  But you do need to constantly put new contents for the members.

7. Start a business

You can use all the knowledge’s you learned from running Youtube channel to start a real business.  Especially when you have large number of subscribers, you can provide them the services or the products that will be helpful to them.  By using your subscribers as the customers, you are already step ahead of the process.  Many popular Youtubers have successfully started a real business such as Freddie Wong who started a production company called Rocketjump.

Obviously, starting a business isn’t something you can do over night.  But it is something you can think about as you continue to grow your Youtube channel, so when the opportunity present itself, you can take advantage of it.


These are some of the popular ways to make money from your Youtube channel.  Like anything else, there is no shortcut to success.  You need to take risks and be creative. So good luck!

Top 7 Ways to Make Money On YouTube

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