How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel

Last Updated: December 07, 2020 5 min read

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Chelsea has spent most of her life studying and implementing new ways to earn, save, and invest money. She is an entrepreneur at heart and loves to research new money topics and share that information with others. To learn more about Chelsea, visit the About Page.

Making Money as a Youtuber: How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel

There are many ways that you can earn some side income with YouTube videos. While these videos can take a lot of work to create, these videos can sit on your channel for years and continue to bring money to your pocket. How cool is that? Let’s go over what I see as the top five best ways to monetize your YouTube channel.

Ad Revenue

One of the most common ways that YouTubers make money is through ad revenue. This is when YouTube places ads on your video and you get a portion of the earnings from these ads. You get paid more if the ad is clicked on and the ad must not be skipped. YouTube requires you to be a partner in order to place ads on your videos.

What You Need in Order to Be a YouTube Partner

  • 1,000 subscribers on your channel
  • 4,000 watched video hours in the past twelve months.

Affiliate Income

Affiliate income has become a very popular way that influencers earn money, and this doesn't stop with blogs and Instagram. Many YouTubers use affiliate income to bring in most of their video earnings.

What is Affiliate Income?

This is when a product or service is reviewed, recommended, or promoted and then linked with a unique link. This unique link is associated with you and once this link is clicked on and a product is purchased, you get a portion of the sales.

It is important to keep in mind that affiliate links need to be done honestly in order for you to see success from it. A viewer must trust you and your judgment in order to want to make a purchase. Overusing links, not having enough knowledge of the product, and recommending a product way off-brand can cause distrust and confusion from the viewers’ side.

Cool Facts About Affiliate Income

  • There are many different affiliate programs you can be a part of. The most common one by far is Amazon.
  • Most programs require a few thousand subscribers
  • If a subscriber clicks on your link and buys other products that you didn’t recommend, you still get a portion of that sale


Sponsorships are content that’s produced around specific products or services that are paid for by a brand or company. You will be given guidelines to follow with each sponsorship. This includes the length of time you spend talking about the product/service, a date when that content needs to be published, and specific features or words to use.

Success with sponsorships is found when the product or service is relevant to your specific brand. Your subscribers trust you and want to know that you are being honest with them. By spacing out your sponsorships throughout your content you will show your Subscribers that you care about your channel and aren’t just producing commercials for them to watch.

How to Get Sponsorships?

At the beginning of your YouTube journey when your channel is small it will be hard to get sponsorships. You will need to reach out to companies yourself and do a lot of research to find what companies best relate to your channel that your viewers would like to see sponsor you. As you grow, brands will start reaching out to you.


Once you have grown your own audience and following, you can venture into selling merchandise for added income. This is when you create your own products and sell them. Here are some things that I’ve seen people successfully create and sell on YouTube:

  • Clothing
  • Small gadgets
  • Digital courses
  • Book/Ebooks
  • Consulting/Coaching
  • Toys
  • Cosmetics

There are an endless amount of possibilities for what you could create and sell. These products however still need to be on brand and be something you are passionate about in order to sell well with your subscribers.


Another great way to earn money after you have gained a following, is through donations. Donations are when subscribers donate money to your channel to support you and help you continue to create content for them. Patreon is a popular platform that YouTubers use for collecting donations. The average amount that subscribers donate is $7 dollars a month and Patreon keeps 5% of that. A way that you can encourage donations is to offer exclusive content or perks to those that contribute.

And there you have it! Those were my top five ways to monetize your YouTube channel. I hope you found this article helpful and that it motivates you to either finally start your own channel or to put some extra work into monetizing your channel. If you are curious about who earns the most on YouTube or how much YouTubers really make, check out my other article.

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