Creator Economy is Here! Start Making Money on YouTube

A new economic system is on the rise, generating many jobs, contributing to the economy, and making content creators on YouTube rich – the Creator Economy. It is making everyone wonder how to make money on YouTube!

As many as 394,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs were supported just in the US in 2020 by the Creator Economy, according to ‘The State of the Creator Economy’ report by Oxford Economics and YouTube.

The State of the Creator Economy report by Oxford Economics and YouTube.

Earning money from YouTube needs a lot of effort, creativity, and patience, but once you cross the break-even point, the sky is your limit. 

According to YouTube’s creative economy– small businesses, big impact, Chris Bossio, a Florida-based barber who has achieved global fame on YouTube, posted his first video in December 2014. Now he is on his way to earning a five-figure income. 

Leah Bolden, an Ohio-based certified building trades instructor who publishes DIY Home Improvement videos, posted her first video on YouTube in June 2013. Now, Leah gets 65 percent of her revenue from YouTube, and it has become a full-time career.

Millennial Farmer, a YouTube channel by Zach Johnson, a young farmer in Minnesota, has more than 800,000 subscribers. His YouTube channel brings in up to five times the revenue he earns from farming. 

These are just three examples of the 394,000 people in the US who benefit economically by becoming creators on YouTube. The number would be much larger if content creators economically benefiting from YouTube worldwide are considered. 

According to the Oxford Economics report, as of December 2020, more than 38,000 US channels had at least 100,000 subscribers, and more than 5,000 US channels had at least 1 million subscribers. 

Now that you know that earning money from YouTube is a serious business, let’s dive into how YouTube creators can make money from YouTube. 

There are nine ways sure shot ways of earning money on YouTube. 

1) YouTube Ads 

Ads are the core source of revenue for YouTube creators. 

You must have seen ads on YouTube that appear before or during a video. These ads are paid for by brands that post them, and in turn, YouTube shares a part of the money with creators of videos that host the ads. According to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, YouTube paid more than $30 billion to creators, artists, and media companies over the last three years.

To get a slice of the vast ad revenue pie, a YouTube creator must first become a member of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) and create an AdSense account. 

YouTube Partner Program 

To earn money from ads on YouTube, creators have to become a member of the YPP. Apart from enabling revenue-sharing from ads, YPP membership provides access to creators to YouTube resources like the Creator Support team and makes creators eligible to monetize their videos in many other ways. 

Eligibility criteria of YPP:

To qualify for the YPP, a creator must have 

– At least 4,000 hours of watch time in the past 12 months

– At least 1,000 subscribers

– Residence in a country where the program is available 

Creating an AdSense Account 

Creating an AdSense account is essential for two reasons – the ads on YouTube appear after brands bid for them on the AdSense auction, and you will receive your payments from ads through the AdSense platform.

You can click here to create an AdSense account right now and click here to know more details about the YouTube partner earnings overview, including how you will earn revenue and your share of income, how you would be paid. 

You can check if your YouTube channel is eligible for YPP by going to the YouTube Studio and clicking on ‘Monetization’ on the left-hand side panel. Once you are eligible to earn money from ads, you can Turn on ads to start earning.

The payment on the AdSense account will begin once you have made enough money through ads to cross the payment threshold. The payment threshold varies depending upon the currency the creator chooses to get paid. There are different types of Ads that you can choose from to boost your ad revenue from videos. 

2) YouTube Premium 

Image of YouTube Premium from

YouTube Premium is a paid subscription service that enables subscribers to enjoy ad-free content, background playback, downloads, and premium access to the YouTube Music app. 

While content creators earn money through ads in the free version of YouTube, in the paid version, YouTube pays the content creators a part of the subscription fees that it receives from the YouTube Premium users. According to YouTube, a majority of the subscription revenue from YouTube Premium goes to content creators. In fact, YouTube Premium acts as a second source of steady income for content creators. 

How does YouTube figure out the revenue sharing in YouTube Premium? According to YouTube, “Currently, new revenue from YouTube Premium membership fees is distributed to video creators based on how much members watch your content. As with our advertising business, most of the revenue will go to creators.” 

For more details on how content creators will benefit from YouTube Premium and various FAQs, click here

To start earning money from YouTube Premium, you don’t have to do anything more than Turn on Ads in the YouTube Studio, which you would have already done to earn money from the Ads. To check out how much money you made from YouTube Premium, click on Revenue in YouTube Studio, and you will see the ad revenue earned from YouTube Premium and Ads. The money made from YouTube Premium will be transferred to your AdSense account. 

3) Channel Memberships 

With the Channel Memberships feature, YouTube content creators can make their biggest fans feel exclusive! 

Fans who can’t get enough of a YouTube Channel can pay a monthly fee and get access to unique badges, custom emoji, perks, videos, live chats, and other content. 

YouTube creators can set up to five membership levels with customized membership fees and perks for each level. Content creators receive 70 percent of the membership fees paid by their fans after the deduction of applicable taxes and fees. 

Channel memberships are available to eligible creators with at least 1,000 subscribers in 80 countries around the world. Get details on Channel memberships, eligibility, policies, and guidelines here, and regarding Managing channel memberships here

According to YouTube, “In 2020, YouTube creators earned over 4x as much revenue from channel memberships compared to 2019.”

4) Super Chat and Super Stickers

Super Chat and Super Stickers present content creators with a way to make extra bucks while simultaneously interacting with their biggest fans during a live stream session. 

Fans watching a YouTube live stream of their favorite content creators can pay a small amount for a Super Chat or a Super Sticker and get their message/sticker highlighted in the chat stream. 

The message/sticker by fans who paid for Super Chat stays highlighted on the top of the chat stream for up to 5 hours, depending on the money paid. The Super Chat comments are highlighted in vibrant colors, display the fan’s name and how much money the fan spent. This way, their message stands out from the crowd grabbing the attention of the favorite creator.

Can we chat? Hello Super Chat! points out, “For creators, this means Super Chat does double duty: keeping their conversations and connections with (super) fans meaningful and lively while also giving creators a new way to make money.”

Find more details on the eligibility criteria, policies, and availability of Super Chat and Super Stickers here

5) Super Thanks

Super Thanks is another way for fans to connect with their favorite content creators and facilitates extra earnings for the content creators. 

Representation image of Super Thanks on YouTube.

Super Thanks allows fans to pay tips to their favorite content creators on videos of their choice by clicking on a heart emoji with the dollar sign in it, available below the video title.

Fans who pay tips to their favorite creators using Super Fan will see an animated GIF and get a distinct, colorful comment to highlight their purchase, to which the creators can respond.

Super Thanks is currently available at four price points between $2 and $50 (or local currency equivalent). 

Find out more details on how to Turn on and manage Super Thanks and Super Thanks eligibility, availability, and policies

6) Merchandise 

YouTube offers YPP member channels the opportunity to showcase and sell their branded merchandise through a dedicated merch shelf, right on their watch page on YouTube. The creators can choose from 30 different global retailers to sell their merch. 

The chance to sell merchandise like customized t-shirts, coffee mugs, and hoodies adds another revenue stream for content creators and helps the creator expand the channel’s presence outside the virtual space.  

Find more details on how to get started with merch on YouTube here and how to manage your merch shelf here

7) Partner with Brands

Influencer Marketing is a game-changer in the digital marketing and video advertising space and is here for the long run. With YouTube creators turning into celebrities in their own right, they offer brands a powerful platform to reach audiences with higher precision and effectiveness than paid advertisements on YouTube or TVCs. 

There are various platforms where YouTube creators can get discovered by brands looking for influencers. YouTube provides the BrandConnect service through which brands can find creators who publish videos relevant to their businesses, offers remarketing lists, innovative features like Shopping Shelf and Google measurement tools. 

If you are a content creator who makes videos that mention brands, including product review videos, unboxings, and how-to videos, you should sign up with Review Marketplace by VideoAmigo in a simple three-step process and start making money from your already published YouTube videos!

Review Marketplace by VideoAmigo.

At Review Marketplace, some of the world’s largest brands are scouting for YouTube creators who can increase their share of voice on the world’s second-largest search engine, and that creator could be you. Review Marketplace helps you with various details of dealing with brands, including how much fees you must charge, rights management, and contracts. 

8) Affiliate Marketing 

While YouTube provides various means of earning income, Affiliate Marketing is a way of making money from your videos without sharing a percentage of your revenue with YouTube. As part of Affiliate Marketing, a content creator can share the link to buy a particular product, and when a viewer goes to the link and buys the product, the creator earns a commission from the sale. 

Usually, as part of Affiliate Marketing, when a content creator decides to sell a company’s product, the creator is given a custom link by the company. The creator posts the unique link in the video description, and the viewer is informed about it in the video. Whenever a purchase is made through the link, the creator earns a commission.  

9) YouTube Shorts Fund

YouTube Shorts Icon.

Earlier this year, YouTube dropped the $100 Million YouTube Shorts Fund to beat TikTok and other short video platforms. The $100 Million is to be distributed over the 2021-2022 period. 

YouTube announced that it would reach out to thousands of eligible creators each month to pay them money from the YouTube Shorts Fund, and creators can make anywhere from $100 to $10,000 based on viewership and engagement on their Shorts.

The Shorts Fund is not limited to just the YPP members, but any creator that meets the eligibility criteria can participate. 

Ready to earn some big bucks from YouTube? Use the various Creator Tools by VideoAmigo to analyze the performance of your YouTube channel and boost the number of views and subscribers.