How to make money on YouTube

Make money on YouTube

*Real talk klaxon* Youtube is not a quick way to make easy money. If you think you can just start a channel to make thousands of pounds without a lot of effort, you’ve got it very wrong. It simply isn’t the way YouTube works. You don’t get successful or rich by uploading a couple of videos on YouTube and hoping one of them goes viral.

To make money on YouTube (and you can), you have to consistently upload high quality content onto your channel and grow a fanbase. YouTube will then start to notice the number of subscribers you have and how many people click on your videos and will start to put you up higher in its search results. It’s only at this point will you start to make a decent amount of cash.

How to set up a YouTube channel

Your channel is your personal presence on YouTube, and each YouTube account has one channel attached to it.

Create an account - Unless you have an established Google account which you want to keep, consider making a new one, but this time add keywords which will help people find your channel. Go to the Advanced section of your channel settings to find them (just make sure they are relevant to your content - you can’t stick ‘One Direction’ in, if you don’t talk about them - that’s cheating!)

Your name - the name you choose can work for you, or against you. If it’s short, easy to remember and original, you have a winner. If it’s long, full of numbers and far from memorable, you aren’t going to get many views.

make money youtube

Add content

It’s all about adding a lot, and making sure the quality is good. Even if your videos are a bit rubbish at first, keep going - no-one is a pro straight away.

Make sure you practise editing. You can get free and easy to use software which will help you hide a multitude of YouTuber sins. In fact, you probably have software on your computer already.

The goal is to get subscribers. By uploading regularly, you can keep hold of your audience. In your videos, make sure you ask your audience to subscribe and make sure you tag your videos with keywords that describe the content as well as an eye-catching (or go full clickbait) description.

Remember, a hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute. There’s a hell of a lot of competition for attention, so you need to do everything to ensure your videos get found. To do that, you need to be aware of your videos’ ‘meta data’. Meta data is data which gives information about your videos. Don’t worry if you’re panicing about doing it, YouTube’s Creator Playbook, it tells you how to create your meta data.

youtube content


Making money on YouTube really only comes down to one thing - advertising. If you’re a really big channel, you can someone move onto crowdfunding, or sponsorship opportunities instead, but for 95% of YouTubers, their monthly pay packet comes from advertisers who want to promote their product online.

  • Auction display ads

There are two main types of adverts, the first are the auction display ad which you is the ad that pops up at the bottom of your screen, in a rectangular box, which you can click out of (the little cross on the top right corner) .

  • Auction in-stream ads

These ads tend to be played before your video starts and are about 30 seconds long. Most of the time you can skip these adverts after about five seconds.

If you do want to get into YouTube, you really need to understand one thing. You DON’T get paid every time someone watches one of your videos. You only get paid when your viewer interacts with an ad.

youtube advertising

How much money do you get per 1000 views on YouTube?

It varies from channel to channel, depending on how expensive the ads are that are showing up on your videos and how many people click on your ads. As a general rule, you can expect to earn between £1 - £5 per 1000 views (remember, this is extremely variable).

If you want to see more specific numbers on how much YouTubers make, go to the site SocialBlade where you can search for specific YouTubers and see what they earn/how many people interact with their ads.

So based on this, you can get about £100 per month based on 50,000 views in that time.

youtube money calculations

Should you join a YouTube network?

Joining a network can really boost your popularity and give you access to more content creation tools, as well as community support and tips. Although you should be very careful about what network you join. Some networks will take a large percentage of your income and won’t actually give you the help you need, so do your research.

You can apply for YouTube partnership at any time through the YouTube Partner page. In order to gain access to the most powerful Partner programs, you need to have 15,000 cumulative watch hours for your channel over the last 90 days.

Here’s how you get started.

youtube networks

How to boost your income with YouTube

  1. Use YouTube to get traffic to your website and blog - If you’ve got a blog which brings in income, you need traffic and YouTube can help you increase it. Make sure you link to your own site in the first line of your video descriptions, so you can funnel your YouTube traffic to where you want it to go.
  2. Create products and promote them on YouTube - If you plan on making/selling your own products (think apps, music, e-books, crafts), YouTube is the perfect place to promote your products and make sales. Again, ensure you add a link to your description so viewers know where to go to buy.
  3. Sell others’ products as an affiliate marketer - Affiliate marketing means selling products in exchange for a commission. Most big companies, including Amazon and eBay, Topshop etc have affiliate programmes. So let's say you are reviewing a new computer game or lipstick on YouTube, you can link to the same product on Amazon, with your own unique affiliate tracking code and if someone clicks through via your link and buys anything (not just the item you linked to), you’ll get a small percentage of that product.

income from youtube

How to boost your audience

If you want to make some serious cash, you’ll need a serious amount of viewers to click on your videos/adverts. Of course, constantly adding videos that are of a good quality with interesting content will get people interested, but remember, social media is your friend. Share your video everywhere possible - you want to get fans who share that content for you, and importantly, subscribe.

Make sure you interact with your viewers by responding to comments and if it fits, make occasional videos directly related to viewer comments and questions. You really need to connect to your community, and in return, they will become loyal and visit you a lot.

Check your analytics

Ignoring your stats is where people go wrong, it is worth making an effort to understand analytics so you can see what resonates with your audience and makes you money.

Click the Analytics option in your Channel menu, where you can view estimated earnings, ad performance, video views, demographics and more. If you see that 90% of your audience are women for example, you need to think about targeting your audience towards them.

For more money making ideas, check out our 99 ways to make money article