Ultimate Guide to YouTube Monetisation

There has been a ton of hype on making money through YouTube and over time it has evolved and matured like every other platform. So has it’s most sought after feature: Monetisation!

YouTube Monetisation Image Source: wikihow.com

The concept behind the YouTube Partner Program simple: you create worthwhile content that gets views and in turn for every ad that is viewed on your content – YouTube shares 55% of the revenue.

The good news is that previously you had to go through a bunch of hoops to become a partner (and you could be rejected several times) but now, YouTube has made it very easy.

Learn YouTube Monetisation

The following steps will enable channel monetization:

1. Go the Monetisation tab in the Account Settings
2. Click on “Enable My Account” (as shown in the screenshot)

Activate YouTube Monetisation

If you don’t see the page, there could be a multitude of reasons – Google addresses the criteria for eligibility here. But for the bare basics, here are four criteria that surmise:

1. The partner program should have been launched in your country

2. You don’t click on your own ads/ have tried to game the system (as an Adsense, account holder)

3. You don’t infringe any copyright(s) – TV shows, movies, musical composition (royalty free is ok), paintings, posters, software (unless given rights) – all of these are ok if they are:

a. In the public domain
b. Licensed for commercial use or
c. Licensed as Creative Commons on YouTube
d. Qualify for Fair Use

If you’re concerned where the hell you’re going to find music for your videos, YouTube has you covered. It’s available for free in the Audio Library

4. Your content is Advertiser friendly. Yes. You heard that right. If you’re rolling your eyes and wondering why you’d want to please the advertising overlords well, that’s because they pay YouTube for ads and by extension, you.

Here’s a quick test: would you be ok with your Mom watching the video you uploaded? If yes, the chances are that your content would be approved!

Next, you need to enable monetization for the videos. You can do it one by one or for multiple videos at once. And finally, you need to link your Adsense account to your YouTube account.

Now that you have the account set up, you have a few videos that are eligible for being monetised and have linked your Adsense and YouTube accounts, it’s time to bust a few common myths about YouTube Monetisation.

Myth #1: More Subscribers = More Money

Errm. Not true. There is absolutely no relation between the number of subscribers and the amount of revenue you generate on YouTube. Well, not absolutely but YouTube does not pay you per subscriber. You could have 1000s of subscribers but still make a pittance while someone with a handful of subscribers could really crush it!

Myth #2: More views = More Money

Almost there! You see that PSY made over $5.9 million for his 2.52 billion+ view racking Gangnam Style and there seems a strong correlation to views and money. And that’s right! There is a correlation but YouTube DOES NOT pay you per view!

To resolve both of these myths, we need to understand the YouTube Revenue Model. You see, as a YouTube Partner – you earn via Adsense.

Here’s what YouTube says on the Support page:

“Earnings are generated based on a share of advertising revenue generated when people view your video – so more views may lead to more revenue.”

It’s easier to understand how this is done once you approach it from an advertiser’s perspective. Don’t believe me? Take it from Google itself:

“The Adsense ads displayed on your video are determined automatically by our system based on a number of contextual factors relating to your video. These factors include but are not limited to your video metadata and whether the content is advertiser-friendly.”

Why do you think the contextual factors are in place? So that the advertisers can define their targeting! They can target according to Demographic, Category, Topic, Contextual or even specific pages (Managed Placements).

To ensure that you fall on an advertiser’s radar, you must fill in as much meta-data as you can!

youtube video disruption

Make sure that your title states exactly what the video is about (it’s great if you can make it captivating – but make sure that at the very least, it is not misleading). Use the YouTube Keyword Suggestion Tool (the official tool is now dead).

YouTube Keyword Tool

Next, write a description. And a very useful one, if possible. You see, even though people put in the time and effort to create outstanding content, they drop the ball on the Description. That is a failure of the last mile. It’s great that you have awesome content, but you need to have a great description as this is what Google uses to understand the context of your video. And for earning money through Adsense (YouTube), context is key.

Pro Tip: Since the first 120 characters are what will show up in the search results, use it to maximize your search click-through rate (CTR) – number of people who clicked on your video/number of searchers

Finally, use tags to enter keywords that your video is relevant for (Use the YouTube Search Keyword Tool) shown above.

YouTube Video TagImage Source

Finally, in the advanced settings – do not enable 3D video (they are NOT ad-supported). Also, if relevant – add a location and date. Date is great for Newsworthy content! And the last advantage that will help you provide context – Captions! Definitely, definitely put up captions – as Google says, Context is KEY!

Advertisers then select the kind of advertising that they would like to do – Display ads and Video ads. Display ads may be standard banner ads or overlay ads – and these are usually pay-per-click. So, a key component of your revenue would be the click-through rate of the ad.

Video Ads can be in-stream, in-slate, in-search, and in-display. Of these, the ones that you would be paid for are in-stream video ads and in-slate video ads.

In-stream is the most popular video ad format (you might have grimaced at them yourself!) – These are the ads that start playing before or during another video. The first 5 seconds are mandatory after which users decide if they want to keep watching or skip. Advertisers pay only when users watch the ad for 30 seconds!

Here’s some food for thought on the Ad-Formats by Google:

“In-stream ads are sold on a CPM basis, and may generate higher CPMs than other ad formats on YouTube. Please note that while non-skippable in-stream ads may generate higher revenue than other ad formats, they also have a higher abandonment rate. Enabling this ad format across your videos can lead to lower video views and watch time.”

So, what would work best? A combination of multiple ads formats. Don’t enable only in-stream ads. Wait for the results to come in! And finally – with the right perspective, you can ask:

How much money can I really make?

It depends on an LOT of factors. BUT, there’s a reframe to this – ask yourself,
How much will an advertiser pay for reaching to my viewers.”

Banner adverts can earn you $0.8 to $1 for every 1000 views. Pre-Roll adverts (adverts which play before the video starts) can make you $5 – $8 for every 1000 views.

Do these numbers vary? Of course! There’s a high probability that you will earn for a user from India as compared to a user from the US? Why? Because advertisers (in general) would be willing to pay higher!

The following Monetisation Process Flowchart from moneysupermarket.com sums it up!
(Note that you no longer need to achieve 1000+ subscribers/views to apply to the YouTube Partner Program)

YouTube Video Monetisation Process

That wraps up the Ultimate Guide to YouTube Monetisation. If there’s something that you would like us to focus on next, let us know in the comments!

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