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How to make money on YouTube (a 2020 beginner’s guide)

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Just like so many YouTubers who make money on a daily basis, you too can make money on YouTube. What you need is to know how to get started with your own channel and how to make money on YouTube.

Chances are that you have come across ads while watching videos on YouTube. Ads are one of the ways YouTubers make money online.


  1. How much can you make on YouTube?
  2. Choose a profitable niche
  3. Create your YouTube channel
  4. Publish YouTube videos
  5. Promote your YouTube channel/videos
  6. Monetize your videos
  7. Final tips

1. How much can you make on YouTube?

It depends on the number of views your videos get, those watching your videos and the monetization channel you use.

Google ads

A rough estimate puts it that a YouTube channel monetized with Google Ads gets around $1.50 to $7 per 1,000 views. This may look small but ads up if you have a couple of videos getting thousands of views.

Also, this is somewhat close to what most bloggers make per 1,000 pageviews, yet there are bloggers making more than what most jobs pay per month. See how to start earning with Google AdSense on your blog.

So, don’t see $1.50 to $7 per 1,000 views as small because they add up.

YouTube Premium subscribers

Another way to monetize a YouTube channel is to have Premium subscribers watching your content. How much you can make using this strategy depends on the subscription plans you set and how many people that subscribe to the premium content.

Similar to premium subscribers is channel memberships where paid subscribers get exclusive content.

Other monetization strategies

There are other techniques as well. For example, if you have a product or service you sell, YouTube videos can also a great channel to promote your products and get potentials customers.

But for this post, let’s focus on making money on YouTube with Google ads.

2. Choose a profitable niche

Although there is no rule that says you must choose a niche for your YouTube channel but having a niche will help you get more subscribers and build a community for your channel.

For example, if you publish makeup tutorial videos then viewers will know that your channel is a go-to resource for makeup tips and those interested in the topic will subscribe.

But a channel that has makeup tips, football matches and comedy is confusing and it will be difficult for it to get many subscribers because viewers don’t really know what they are subscribing to.

How to pick a niche for your YouTube channel

The idea is a simple one: pick a topic that people are interested in. That is a channel that has the potential to attract many viewers.

You are making YouTube videos for viewers, not for yourself. So it would make sense to give people what they want.

Type of videos that get most views on YouTube

  • Entertainment
  • Game
  • Fitness and health, Yoga, Exercise & Training
  • Sports, Soccer
  • TV programs, films, serials, clips, albums, etc.
  • Vlogs
  • Tech, Tech Reviews
  • Comedy, Animals, Humor
  • Conspiracy theory
  • Business, Entrepreneurship, Digital Marketing, Finance
  • Makeup, Beauty and Fashion
  • Recipes, Food and Cooking
  • Cars
  • Product Reviews, Unboxing Products
  • Travel
  • Music
  • Etc.

Of course, this does not mean that your topic must fall under the ones listed above. The list is just to give you some ideas. You can pick anything you believe people would like and make great videos on them.

3. Create your YouTube channel

A YouTube channel is where you upload your youtube videos. Viewers can subscribe to your channel and the more active subscribers you get the more potential for your channel to make much money.

So the first step after picking a niche is to create a YouTube channel. This is free and easy to do.

How to create a YouTube channel

If you already have a Google account then you already have all you need to create a YouTube channel. All you need to do now is set up your channel.

But if you need more help, here is a video to guide you:

4. Publish YouTube videos

Now that you have your YouTube channel setup it is time to start creating and uploading videos to the channel.

The success secret is to make videos people would love. There is no fixed rule here, you just have to come up with that idea of an interesting video, be it one that educates, entertains, etc., just create something that viewers would love.

Other things you need to take into consideration when making YouTube videos are:

Video quality

Make sure your video quality is OK. No one likes a blurred video or one that has poor quality.

YouTube prefers high-definition videos and, in general, you should provide videos in the highest resolution available…


Have good sound quality

The sound should be clear. Make sure there are no unwanted noise or some background noise. Viewers don’t want such a noise, plus it will make you appear unprofessional.

Upload the proper format

YouTube has recommended video format YouTubers are encouraged to use.

Here is a complete guideline for video and audio formatting for YouTube videos: answer/4603579

5. Promote your YouTube channel/videos

So far so good: you have created a YouTube channel and have some videos published. But then, you need viewers and subscribers before you can monetize your channel.

You need to make conscious efforts in promoting your YouTube videos and getting more subscribers.

How to get YouTube subscribers

Do proper SEO for YouTube videos

The first steps to getting viewers to your channel are through proper SEO. YouTube SEO helps your video get found. Here are important YouTube SEO you need to implement:

Use keywords in the title: For example, if your video is about the fastest cars in the world, make sure to include “fastest cars” in the title.

Also, make sure that the keywords appear at the beginning of the title else it might get cut off if the title is long. This way even if some parts of the title get cut off the keywords will still appear.

Optimize your video description: Your description should properly tell what the video is all about. In addition to that, make sure to include your main keywords and keywords related to it in the video description. Don’t focus only on the primary keywords. Consider other related keywords and long-tail keywords.

Learn more from this comprehensive SEO tips for beginners.

Ask your viewers to subscribe

One thing you should not forget is asking people to subscribe to your channel. So when making the videos remember to ask people that will be watching to hit the subscription button.

This is an effective way to get subscribers because those who like your videos would like to see your future videos. Explicitly ask them to subscribe so they take action immediately.

Learn from successful YouTubers

Perhaps the most effective way to become a successful YouTuber is to learn from those who are already successful on Youtube. There are many things experience has taught them, many mistakes they have made which you can learn and avoid them.

Find successful YouTubers you can reach out to via email, their website, or whatever means and ask them for tips that will help you succeed.

Share your videos

This is an obvious one but still worth mentioning. Share your videos on social media, embed your videos on your blog posts (if you have a blog), find every opportunity to share the links to your videos and get viewers. Also, always ask them to subscribe to your channel.

Learn how to grow your channel from this video:

6. Monetize your channel

Finally, it is time to make money from your videos. A popular way to get started is Google AdSense.

This is simply how it works: Google shows ads on your videos, you get paid.

What you need to do is sign up with Google AdSense for YouTube. But before that Google requires that your channel and videos meet certain conditions:

  • Have more than 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months.
  • Have more than 1,000 subscribers.
  • Have a linked AdSense account.
  • Meets other criteria here

Once you meet other requirements listed above, head over to Google AdSense to fill in your details and Google will start showing ads on your videos.

How to apply for YouTube monetization with AdSense

1. Create a new AdSense account or connect an existing one to your channel. Get started.

2. Select the types of ads to run on your channel when it is approved.

3. Google will email you to let you know if your application was approved or not. Once approved, you are all set to start earning on YouTube.

7. Final tips

Finally, you need to understand that making money from YouTube may take some time and of course effort. But the most important thing is to get started. When you get started you can learn along the way.

But if you feel publishing YouTube videos doesn’t sound like your thing, then see how to make money with Google and a blog.

Don’t wait until you have it all figured out. There are many things that only your personal experience will teach you.

Here is one last tutorial to help you get started:

Get started, make money!

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