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YouTube is one of the most popular websites on the Internet, and easily the most-watched video-sharing platform in the world.
Because YouTube ads have become so commonplace, it’s natural to wonder—how exactly someone gets in on the site’s advertising and monetizes their channel?
The process is surprisingly simple, although there are several requirements your channel needs to meet before it’ll be eligible for monetization.
Once you’re approved, advertising and other features can provide much-needed revenue for YouTubers in need of funds.
So whether you’re a content creator trying to monetize your channel, or you’re just a curious reader, here are five tips on how to monetize your YouTube channel.
1. Meet YouTube’s Official Requirements
Monetizing your YouTube channel is one of the many perks of joining the YouTube Partner Program (or YPP).
In addition to resources like a dedicated Creator Support team and the Copyright Match Tool (see video above), members of the program also receive access to monetization features, such as ad revenue, premium subscriptions, and merchandising.
So to make money on YouTube, you’ll have to be approved to join the YPP—something you can only do if your page meets several criteria. The requirements are as follows:
- You must live in a country or region where the YouTube Partner Program is available. For more details, click here.
- You must enable 2-Step Verification on your Google Account.
- Your channel must have a minimum of 1000 subscribers.
- Your videos must have garnered 4000 public watch time hours in the last 12 months. You can get ideas on how to get more YouTube views here.
- Your channel must comply with YouTube’s policies and guidelines. These mostly require that you only post appropriate content, but for a more detailed overview, click here.
These criteria are fairly simple, though some can only be achieved with sufficient channel growth.
Now with nearly 5 billion videos viewed on YouTube every day, standing out amongst the competition and establishing a dedicated audience may seem easier said than done—especially to a content creator just starting.
However, keep in mind that over 5 million channels have hit the 1000 subscriber milestone, and there are plenty of strategies out there to help your page build a following.
Do some research, utilize the YouTube Creator Studio’s analytics tools, and see what works best for growing your audience. Before long, you’ll meet the YPP’s requirements and be on your way to monetization!
Once you’ve met the criteria to join the YouTube Partner Program (or while you’re still pursuing them, if you’re impatient!), you can create an account with Google AdSense.
This platform will allow you to receive payments from YouTube once you’re monetized and provides you with a suite of tools to optimize the ads that appear during your videos.
In case you operate more than one YouTube page, AdSense also has a useful feature that allows you to connect your account to multiple channels—so you can manage all your ad revenue in one place.
3. Join the Program
If you’ve met all the requirements and created an AdSense account, there’s no longer anything stopping you from applying to the YouTube Partner Program.
Head to the YouTube Studio section of your profile, and under the Monetization menu, you’ll find an option to “Review Partner Program terms.”
Agree to the terms, and link your AdSense account to the channel if you haven’t already.
Once you’ve completed these steps, your channel will be placed in a queue to await manual review by a member of YouTube’s staff.
This process takes time (typically a month or more from the day you apply), so there’s no need to worry if several weeks have passed without a response. While you wait, you can check your application status here.
4. Make Corrections (if Necessary!)
Eventually, you’ll receive a response from YouTube’s staff, either accepting or rejecting your application to join the YPP. If you’re approved, then congratulations!
It’s no easy task to build a successful YouTube channel. Still, you’ve managed to establish a brand, cultivate an audience, and you’ll now be rewarded with the ability to enable ads and monetization on your videos.
If you get the dreaded rejection notice, though, don’t worry!
Although you won’t receive an explanation for why you were denied, common issues like copyright infringement or inappropriate content are typically the source of the problem.
Take some time to review your channel, ensuring that it complies with all of the YPP’s terms and conditions.
If you address any issues you find, you’re free to apply to the program again once 30 days have passed since receiving your initial response.
5. Keep Growing and Keep Earning
Once you’ve been accepted to the YouTube Partner Program, the tools you gain will allow you to better control your content, generate revenue, and engage with your audience.
Reaching this milestone is truly a major turning point for any YouTube creator, not only because of the significance of the accomplishment but because it means your channel can essentially only grow from here.
As long as your account stays active and you remain compliant with the site’s terms, you will never lose your benefits or need to re-apply to the program.
So even if, for example, your channel dips below one of the YPP’s requirements—like maintaining 4000 public watch hours in the past 12 months—your membership will not need to be reevaluated.
Because of this, the resources, exposure, and privileges that you’ll gain from becoming a partner virtually guarantee the continued success of your channel. And as your audience continues to grow, so will the amount of ad revenue generated by your videos.
Remember, not every monetized channel on YouTube will be the next Logan Paul or PewDiePie—and they don’t need to be.
There are a lot of successful YouTubers who make a living with fewer views. You can meet some of them in 26 Successful YouTubers Speak Out: “What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My YouTube Channel.” where they share some invaluable knowledge.
The majority of YouTubers don’t live exclusively on the money they’ve earned from the site, but monetization can, at the very least, add a financial benefit to operating your channel.
So your passion for content creation can not only be fun but profitable too!
About the author:
Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He’s the owner of filmdaft.com and of the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.