How to Monetize a YouTube Video (With Video Content Ideas)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated December 5, 2022

Published May 16, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

YouTube is the world's largest video-sharing platform, with users from nearly every part of the world. If you own a popular YouTube channel, the platform allows you to make money from the videos you upload if they meet their eligibility criteria. Learning about monetizing YouTube videos can help you turn your YouTube channel into a source of passive income. In this article, we explain how the monetization process works, highlight how to monetize a YouTube video, list other ways to make money on the platform, and give content ideas.

How YouTube monetization works

To benefit from the YouTube monetization program, ensure you have an AdSense account. AdSense is a platform where companies can buy advertising space, and YouTube then places those advertisements in videos. YouTube typically pays you 55% of the revenue share from the advertisements through AdSense on a cost-per-click or cost-per-view basis, depending on the advertiser's choice.

A view counts when a user watches for 30 seconds or halfway through, whichever comes first. The typical charge is 18 cents per view. That means if you have 1,000 views and 10% of the viewers watch the advertisement, you can make about 18 dollars. The amount of money you earn depends on how often ads show in your videos and how often your viewers interact with those ads while they're on.

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How to monetize a YouTube video

Here's a list of steps you can follow if you're interested in learning how to monetize a YouTube video:

1. Sign in to YouTube and create a channel

The first step to monetizing a YouTube video is signing in to YouTube and creating a channel. You may sign in to YouTube after creating an account with Google or directly on the YouTube app or website. A regular YouTube account allows you to watch and upload videos, subscribe to other channels, comment on videos, and create playlists. Once you create an account, sign in and create a YouTube channel.

2. Upload videos and meet the monetization criteria

Once you have access to your channel, dedicate time to creating quality video content to upload. Ensure you upload numerous videos to meet YouTube's criteria for monetization. These criteria include having at least 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months and 1,000 subscribers.

Watch hours or watch time is the total amount of time the audience spends watching your videos. The higher your watch time, the more likely it is for YouTube to promote your channel through their search function and show your content as recommended videos. YouTube typically excludes viewers' time for watching unlisted or private videos on your channel from your total public watch hours.

3. Join the YouTube Partner Program

It's also mandatory to join the YouTube Partner Program before monetizing any video on your channel. This program gives you access to the platform's resources and features, such as direct access to the support team. Some eligibility criteria are necessary to join the program, including following the YouTube community guidelines, following its monetization policies, and living in a country where the program is available. Exploring the platform or researching more about it can introduce you to the details of the program.

4. Create and link an AdSense account

You can create and link an AdSense account to your YouTube channel at this stage. Click on "YouTube Studio" and select the "Monetization" tab in the left menu. Click "START" on the "Sign up for Google AdSense" card. If the system prompts you to enter your YouTube account password, enter it to complete the re-authentication process.

You may now select the Google account for your YouTube channel for AdSense. You can also verify that the email address at the top of the page is correct. Complete the registration process by providing your contact information to submit your AdSense application. If you follow these steps accurately, the system returns you to YouTube studio, where a message verifying your AdSense account application appears.

5. Go to YouTube studio and select the desired video

Once you upload enough videos and meet the criteria, you can visit YouTube studio on the app or the website to begin the video monetization process. YouTube studio allows you to manage your channel effectively. Unlike the ordinary YouTube website or app where you interact with your channel as a viewer or visitor, YouTube studio enables you to manage your presence, grow your channel, interact with your audience, and monetize your videos.

You may visit the YouTube studio website to discover the various operations you can perform on your channel. Once in YouTube Studio, open the menu, then click on "Content." A window typically opens where you can see your uploaded videos. Click on the desired video, open the menu, and select "Monetization."

6. Choose the ads to publish and save

Consider your selected video carefully to be sure it's appealing and interesting. From there, you can choose the type of ad you prefer to run with your content, then click "Save." Next, YouTube reviews your video to see if it meets the guidelines. If this process is successful, advertisements typically begin to appear in your videos.

7. Read the YouTube monetization policies

Monetization policies include the community's guidelines, terms of service, copyright, and Google AdSense program policies. They guide your YouTube activities once you've applied to the YouTube Partner Program. Reviewers from YouTube regularly check your channel to see if it follows these policies. While they can check any part of your channel to ensure compliance, they typically focus on your channel's central theme and most viewed videos.

Reviewers also regularly check your newest videos, review videos with the most significant proportion of watch time, and assess video metadata, including titles, thumbnails, and descriptions. Performing actions contrary to the monetization policies can cause YouTube to turn off advertisements from your content. They may also suspend your participation in the Partner Program and suspend or even terminate your channel.

8. Become familiar with the advertiser-friendly content guidelines

Ensure to read the platform's advertiser-friendly content guidelines on the allowed content to post. Content that's not advertiser-friendly contains inappropriate language, portrays violence, or displays firearms-related content. It also includes content that discusses controversial issues and shows drug-related content. Consider visiting the advertiser-friendly content website to see all the allowed and prohibited content topics.

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Other ways to make money on YouTube

While sharing advertisements is the most common method of generating income on the video-sharing platform, there are other ways to make money, including:

  • Channel memberships: Subscribers can decide to pay a regular membership for your channel to receive exclusive content and special benefits. Ensure that you enable membership on your channel so subscribers can join easily.

  • Merchandise: You may also sell merchandise directly to subscribers. Besides goods, merchandise may also include promotional items that you distribute or share freely, such as drink bottles, calendars, and badges.

  • Super chat: Subscribers may pay to feature their comments on the content that you post on your channel.

Content ideas for YouTube monetization

Making money on YouTube generally requires creating appealing content, such as:

Educational and tutorial videos

Posting educational and tutorial videos may create awareness about you quickly due to their popularity. You can post do-it-yourself (DIY) videos if you love to do crafts or teach viewers how to complete a DIY project. If you're also passionate about a particular skill, you may record a tutorial on it. For example, if you love playing the guitar and have the skills, you can record a tutorial about how to play the guitar.

Tutorial-type videos are also popular with tech and beauty YouTube creators. That means if you have technical skills or can give beauty tips, you may generate sufficient income. Other educational video ideas include cooking or recipe tutorials, product tutorials, workout videos, and infographic videos.

Review videos

You can also post videos where you review products and items. Viewers often seek informational videos about products to determine whether to purchase them. Consider reviewing technology devices such as smartphones or beauty products. You can also share your opinions about movies you recently watched to start a friendly conversation with subscribers, or you can review a book that you just read. You may also review video games due to their vast popularity.

Entertainment videos

Entertainment channels are also highly popular on YouTube, accounting for a considerable percentage of the most-followed channels on the platform. If you're a musician, you can share your music or lyric videos to receive an increase in views and subscribers. You may also post comedy videos, pranks, parodies, or any video content that can make people laugh.

You may guide people through a video game where you're an expert or upload videos where you beat a game or solve a Rubik's cube quickly. You can also upload unboxing videos for new gadgets, post cute animals and babies videos, and share videos of you singing.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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