It’s hard to believe that I posted my first YouTube video back in February 2007 and not having the foggiest idea that millionaires would be created in the years following. Since then, I’ve uploaded over 300 videos on gaming, travel, and more lately, motorcycle riding in the strange new world we’ve all come to know and love. At that time, any channel could monetise videos with Google advertising, but in 2016, YouTube changed the rules so that you needed a minimum of 1000 subscribers in order to make any money from your channel. This came as quite a blow to many of us, especially if we only had a handful of subscribers. On the other hand, it served as a catalyst for me to improve my content and this paid off in May this year when I finally crossed the 1000 subscribers barrier.
Content Is King
Regular and interesting content is vital to your YouTube channel and I put my hand up to not uploading nearly enough regular content, mainly due to other pressing commitments, but I promise to try harder. ‘Interesting’ is of course subjective, like writing and art– you might find your creation interesting to you, but will it capture the imagination of others and press all the right buttons? The 2007 video, Charlie Bit My Finger, went viral and as of today’s date has been seen by a staggering 870 million people. Just think about that for a second; with an average take of say $3 per 1000 views, that video, in theory, will have made around $2.5 million. What that tells us is that there’s something for everyone on YouTube and if you’re able to garner a decent following (subscribers), you should see your income begin to climb over time. As a point of interest, the YouTuber who uploaded the Charlie video continues to pull in the views, with his channel having attracted more than 1 billion views. There’s a lot of gold in them there hills, as they used to say in ye olden days.
Get Set Up With AdSense
Once you’ve reached 1000 subscribers you’ll need to set up your account with Google AdSense and in my case, this involved the simple process of adding a bank account and other personal details such as a physical address. A PIN was also sent through the post for security reasons, to verify that I exist as a person. There is a threshold for monthly payments which in my case is £60 and once that is reached you’ll receive the full amount. If not, it’s carried over to the next payment date. For the choice of ads, I went for the default scheme, which of course you can choose at the time of uploading your video.
Beware Of Copyright
Google takes copyright very seriously and if you receive three strikes you run the chance of having your account terminated and all your videos removed. I’ve had a few copyright claims which are less serious than strikes, but these were simply ignorance on my part. For example, a home video repairing a PC with the radio on in the background which is playing Hotel California will attract a YouTube claim so you won’t be able to monetise the video. Now when I edit a video and want to add music, I search for non-copyright music on YouTube or SoundCloud and try to make sure that any background noise doesn’t include other people’s copyrighted music.
Spread The Word!
Each time you upload a new video, tell your friends, post it on social media and get it seen. There’s no shame in wanting to make money from your YouTube channel and more views mean more income for you. Also, it’s a good idea to cross-pollinate by subscribing to similar channels and asking them to do the same for you. After all, we’re in this together and paying forward always brings benefits.
In the meantime, I’m rushing off for inspiration for a million-view viral video, so I may be some time.