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While YouTube has certainly taken some heat recently for its alleged efforts to de-platform and de-monetize certain creators, the fact remains that operating a successful YouTube channel remains one of the easiest ways to make money online. YouTube says it has paid out a cumulative total of $50 billion to content creators and media companies over the past 3 years. That’s roughly $15 billion to $20 billion a year! Somebody is getting paid all that money, so why not you?
With that in mind, here are 4 ways to make money on YouTube beyond just running ads on your videos.
Super Chats and Super Thanks
In many ways, you can think about Super Chats and Super Thanks as a form of “tip” that viewers give you for a job well done. The most popular use of Super Chats is during live shows, when many viewers want their opinions or thoughts to get heard in front of a large audience. So get into the habit of interacting with viewers during a live stream and reading their opinions in real-time. If you watch the streams of popular YouTubers, you’ll immediately see how Super Chats can be used effectively to boost engagement.
One of the hottest trends these days is livestream shopping, and this is an area where YouTube clearly wants to expand its footprint. In fact, YouTube has even lowered the threshold for getting started here. Instead of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over the past 12 months, all you need is 500 subscribers and 3,000 watch hours. So if you have products to sell, consider getting involved with YouTube Shopping. This option works best for YouTube creators within certain niches, such as fashion or beauty, with products that can be promoted during live streams.
YouTube enables creators to charge paid monthly memberships to their channels, and this can be a very lucrative source of additional revenue. Even if you have just 1,000 subscribers to your channel (the minimum number to be included as part of the YouTube Partner Program), if you charge them just $1 per month, that’s still $1,000 per month. Of course, you’ll need to create some additional value here to encourage sign-ups, such as loyalty badges or special members-only videos, but that small up-front investment could have a big payoff later.
YouTube Brand Connect
YouTube partners with a number of top consumer-facing companies, all of whom are interested in starting branded content campaigns with popular creators. Via an online self-service platform, all you have to do is indicate your interest in the program, and YouTube will do its best to match you with a company willing to pay for branded content.
Of these options, the easiest to get started with is Super Chats. Ever since the program started in 2017, it has taken off in popularity. Many viewers really do want to form closer relationships with content creators, and giving a big “tip” during a live show is one way they can express their appreciation. As YouTube continually tells its creators, fans really do want to see you succeed.
As a result, YouTube is constantly working on new tools and content formats to help you grow your audience. So keep an eye on how other creators are finding unique ways to transform these tools into mini-profit engines. Some creators, for example, have hooked up elements of their smart home to their YouTube accounts, such that any new donation to the channel results in lights and sounds going off in the background. Creativity is the key here, and YouTube remains one of the most trusted partners for the top creators on the planet.