How to Make Money on YouTube

By Eric Hammer

Yes, it really is possible to make on YouTube, both directly and indirectly. However, before you start sitting down in front of your webcam to fire off a simple video thinking that the truck with piles of cash will start backing into your driveway any day now, you need to understand that while you can make money on YouTube, it's not easy and it will take a great deal of time, effort and talent on your part to make it happen.

First, you need to realize that YouTube videos are first and foremost entertainment. While you can put up videos about almost anything you like on the site (as long as it is legal), if you are really boring in your delivery and can't keep people interested in what you have to say, then you are highly unlikely to make money on YouTube.

Second, you have to remember that to make money on YouTube means creating completely original videos. This means that your lip synching of the Numa Numa song is not going to make you a penny on YouTube, even though you have a unique style. Not only has it been done to death, but it also isn't going to be eligible for revenue sharing from YouTube since the song is copyrighted. Ditto from taking clips from other movies or TV shows and adding them to your own videos - in fact, in some cases, that's a good way to lose money on YouTube, since you could get sued for copyright violation.

How Much Can You Make?

The best YouTube video producers are now earning in the low to mid six figures as YouTube stars. However, it's important to remember that most people don't make money on YouTube videos and those that do often make precious little for their efforts. It takes a great deal of work to make it to the point where is even a viable side business, never mind a full time job.

Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities | Tips

Remember that there is more than one way to make money on YouTube. While the two resources below will suggest the partnership route (i.e. allowing YouTube to partner with you on video creation, thus allowing you to share in the revenue), there are other ways to make money on YouTube as well. You can for example create a website which sells actual products and then create YouTube videos which promote the website. If they become popular, your videos can propel sales at your website.

You can also make money on YouTube by creating videos for others. There are also any number of gigs of which involve creating videos to be posted on YouTube. This includes work as a voice over artist, creating video testimonials and creating funny or graphically stunning videos for your clients. All of these things should be considered as well in your efforts to make money on YouTube.

Remember as well that in order to make money on YouTube, you'll need to do more than just upload raw video. You also need to do some video editing. For basic work, you can use either iMovie on the Mac or Windows Movie Maker on Windows. For more advanced work, consider investing in something like Adobe Premier Elements or even Adobe Premier.

Qualifications / Requirements

The great thing about YouTube is that literally anyone can post videos to the site. While you need to be over 13 to do so officially, you can usually post videos even if you are under 13 just by asking your parents to help you do it.

First Steps

As for equipment, you'll want a decent video camera and enough lighting to make sure that you can be seen clearly in your video. While professional lighting is available from a number of specialty stores, a powerful overhead light (around 200 watts) is often enough to provide good lighting for your videos. Those who wish to take it to the next level may consider purchasing work lights and a piece of fabric to use as a background for their video creation efforts.


Check out these helpful resources to learn more about how to make money on YouTube:

Business Insider: How to Make Money on YouTube - This is a good basic introduction to the concept of making money on YouTube from the standpoint of becoming a YouTube partner.

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