How to Make Money on YouTube

How to make money on YouTube?  There are quite a few factors at play.  First you have to decide what type of content you’re going to make.  Is it going to be your own original content that you make yourself or will it feature clips that you don’t own the rights to?  What are the legal implications? 

After you decide on a channel type, the first thing you’re going to want to do is make a custom channel banner and change your profile picture.  We also recommend using a custom youtube layout and making playlists to feature your content for a better browsing experience.  Playlists are counted as a separate search result which helps you get more organic growth through YouTube.  You’ll also want to fill out the playlist description for better Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short).  While you’ll want to actively promote your channel too, this type of passive growth is a nice boost that can help your channel gain even more exposure.   

Before you start making too much content, you’ll want to make social media accounts for your brand.  Participate in as many platforms as you can comfortably keep up with.  It’s an easy enough thing to put off until it starts actually hurting your bottom line.  What could be just minutes a day participating on social media can amount to much more in residual income. 

Try to focus on improving and making new types of video content when you’re just starting out.  Spend a decent amount of time really participating in the community.  Explore other channels in your niche or that you find interesting.  Commenting and becoming familiar with the platform will help you to research what types of videos are doing well and why.  You have to make an extra effort to be topical if you aren’t capable of generating a lot of viewership initially.

This is where NewTubers plays a big role in helping create successful content creators. (  Feedback is crucial to all YouTubers and anyone that is just starting out will have a greater need for it, hence the name NewTubers.  The community is growing larger every day and we’re heading toward a big milestone of 50,000 subscribers (currently at 36,000).  The experience you gain from putting yourself in the mindset to receive feedback will often help you more than the feedback itself.  Everyone is qualified to provide feedback to each other as a viewer so this kind of community first approach is really what helps drive originality.  Community members with over 5,000 Subscribers are given an Alumni flair and we frequently collaborate with them to help provide better resources every day.  In fact, we had so much content, a lot of our community members’ greatest content was being buried.  Our needs expanded over time to having a place where anyone can submit articles and tutorials:  

We mentioned earlier that using other people’s copyrighted content is a possible way to make money on Youtube, but what actually constitutes Fair Use?  “A fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and transformative purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work.  Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner.  In other words, fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement.” Source:  

How to protect the money that your videos generate?  Part of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) was drafted with specific language that says anyone looking to issue a DMCA takedown must observe Fair Use.  However, even though this protection exists, it doesn’t protect against frivolous lawsuits.  If you ever find yourself dealing with a dmca takedown, you should avoid filing a counterclaim as it forces the other party to release the claim, or file a lawsuit against you.  It’s always better to get permission if you have doubts about using someone else’s content in your video.  Plenty of YouTubers end up demonetized or have a lot of copyright claims on their videos due to lazy research.  If you make an effort to not abuse the system and take steps to protect yourself from the false positives that sometimes happen in a largely automated system, then you can avoid having your potential revenue taken away from you.  

If you’re going for maximum number of views, “top ten videos” such as the ones on’s youtube channel ( tend to do fairly well over time.  If you thought you’d have an easy time with gaming, it’s actually the most oversaturated category on the platform by far so you’ll have to be extremely entertaining, unique, or both to have a shot to grow here. 

Growing a following takes a lot of dedication and not everyone is going to be an instant success.  There are plenty of users that never end up hitting their goals because they fail to improve.

But just as much as you need to refine your process, you also have to own your decisions.  Your results may vary and the lack of success now, doesn’t exclude you from being successful in the future.  If you start a YouTube with any other intention than having fun, it has to be done with accountability.  If your recordings are high enough quality and rank properly in SEO, your videos will be recommended against similar videos and start to generate more organic exposure from within YouTube. 

The recommended videos tab depends highly on the Title and internal ranking that video has as it compares to the millions of other videos on YouTube.  In order to stand out, it’s important to have great Thumbnails.  Thumbnails are the primary method of exposure to new audiences that you’ll have and it’s free promotion.  YouTube wants people to stay on the platform for as long as possible.  If you can generate high session watch time and have good enough retention, you’ll have a snowball effect where you seem to get recommended more and more.  Some channels explode in popularity seemingly overnight.  Take every type of free promotion you can get early on, but NEVER agree to trade subscriptions with another channel AKA sub4sub.  This is a bit outside of the scope of how to make money on YouTube, but if you’re interested in why Sub4Sub is bad for your channel, you can read this article:

Bonus Tip: That tutorial has great SEO.  If you google search “why is sub4sub bad?” you would see that it’s in the first page of results.  So what did we do right here?  The subject is clearly explained and our keywords feature prominently.  Word order matters and the quality of what you’re saying matters more.  We can apply this lesson to the SEO of our own videos and playlists.  Make sure to write out captions for your videos for an extra SEO boost!

But in order to explain how recommended videos work a bit better, let’s get back to the subject of Top Ten videos again.  In this instance there is a lot of crossover in the keywords for other top ten videos.  You may rank highly against seemingly unrelated videos, but because you share the common phrase “top ten” you’re going to see it a lot.  In order to get a video to properly rank for you, you’ll want to give your video and channel every advantage you can take for free.  For example: Let’s say you were making a top ten video about the spiciest hot sauces.  You’ll want to use words in your description, title and tags that explain what your video is about.  Just think about what someone would be searching for on youtube if they wanted to see one of those kinds of videos.  They may search for “hot sauce,” “spicy hot sauces,” or something like “best hot sauces.”  These would all feature nicely in your tags, title and description, but as we noted earlier, word order (and spelling) matters.  In order to stay in line with youtube’s guidelines, your description can’t just be full of tags.  What you should do is use that space to explain what your video is about and possibly name some of the things in it.  For your title you want to have your keywords featuring prominently so a weak title like “My best hot sauces” becomes “Top Ten Spiciest Hot Sauces.” The first words in your description could also be your title or some variation of that.  For your tags, you’ll also want to include individual words like  “hot,” and “spicy,” & also compound tags like “Spiciest hot sauces.”  The description should explain in paragraph format what the video is about and link to your social media accounts.

So that just about covers the basics for what you should be focusing on for long term growth and proper monetization on YouTube, but that’s only one way to make money on YouTube.  Having a massive following can be very beneficial the more you are capable of monetizing that following.  Patreon is a great way for creators to supplement their income when they’re starting out and making that commitment to producing full-time content means that you’ll want to diversify your income as much as possible.  With a Patreon, your viewers will have the opportunity to support you.  The most successful Patreon accounts with the most Patrons typically use some kind of a reward tier system based on how much you donate per month.  Needless to say, this is a great fit for YouTubers big and small.

You can also negotiate sponsorships and network with other YouTubers for extra income opportunities.  You don’t want to be relying on YouTube ad revenue primarily if you intend for YouTube to be your main source of income.  Many YouTubers have their own merchandise and employ the use of affiliate links to supplement their income.  Just make sure to disclose business relationships properly according to the FTC guidelines (

You absolutely have to have quality content to succeed on YouTube, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect.  As quoted by Voltaire: “Perfect is the Enemy of the Good.”  (

As much as we hate to say it, YouTube is not without drama.  There is even a popular series by YouTuber Keemstar (@KEEMSTAR on Twitter), called “Drama Alert.”  Since a downvote is counted as the same engagement as an upvote (they’re both equally good), being controversial can actually be exceedingly profitable.  Having dedicated engagement ticks the right boxes for internal promotion and it is widely accepted that having some haters is a good thing.  It’s an indication that you’re doing something right because you do a disservice to everyone by not specializing your content.  Not everyone SHOULD like your content and if you think they can, then there’s a good chance you’re not specializing enough.

Short videos are rumored to have better promotion rates, but longer form content also has a place on YouTube.  There’s a place for everyone on this platform and that’s part of what makes it so special.  Whether you’re a meme channel with 10 second videos or do hour long gaming sessions with intense commentary, you can find success.  It just takes patience and dedication (and a little bit of luck).


We’ve got many more opportunities for growth and making money on YouTube ahead, but the amount of services we can provide to YouTubers would also be severely limited by being on a single platform.  We also have a Discord Server with a lot of unique features: (  Between community activities, regular content on our social medias and youtube, and the free programs and discounts we offer, there has never been a better way to get started on YouTube.  We really wanted to create a community where no matter the size, a content creator can ask for help and be heard.  Part of that is providing exceptional value.  If you want to make money on YouTube, you’ll need to have a passable setup and a working knowledge of some high quality programs.  (

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