If you’ve ever thought about using YouTube as a marketing channel and source of income, you’ve come to the right place.
In short, a “YouTuber” is a person who creates, uploads, and/or appears in videos on Youtube, the world’s biggest video-sharing website. A YouTuber might also be known as a vlogger, a portmanteau of “video” and “blogger”.
People become YouTubers for many reasons. For some, it’s simply a hobby. Others create Youtube content to make money, build a brand, promote their business, or all of the above.
Table of Contents
Do People Really Make Money on YouTube?
You’ve probably wondered whether you can really make money on YouTube. In short, yes.
Of course, I don’t want to imply that it’s easy. Creating a new YouTube channel that makes money can take anything from 6 months to two years (or even longer). YouTube content creators can monetize their videos with ads once they have at least 1,000 subscribers. YouTubes typically make between $0.01 and $0.03 per ad view, though this depends on various factors such as video length, clicks, and video quality.
In other words, becoming a successful YouTuber is not an overnight money-making strategy. But it absolutely is possible to make money from the platform. Here are a couple of examples of YouTubers who have made it work:
Adriene Mishler started the Yoga with Adriene channel in 2012. It now boasts over 8.4 million subscribers and is estimated to make around $7,000 per day (or $2.5 million per year) in ad revenue alone. Mishler’s YouTube fame has allowed her to bring in additional revenue through hosting live events and selling branded merchandise.
Linus Sebastian created Linus Tech Tips in 2008. As of 2020, his channel has over 12 million subscribers and his best video content on consumer technology racks up viewing figures in the millions. Sebastian is a full-time YouTuber and estimated to make over $10,000 per day from Youtube. His money comes from ad revenue as well as video sponsorship deals with companies.
These are just two examples of content creators who have made it big on YouTube. However, for every enormous success story, there are thousands of YouTubers with a small but respectable following who use the platform to build a modest side-income.
Have I convinced you about the potential of YouTube? Let’s get started.
How to Start a YouTube Channel
In a nutshell, if you’re looking to start a YouTube channel to build your personal brand as an individual (as opposed to a company), you’ll need to take these steps:
- Determine your niche and decide what to talk about. What do you know a lot about? What can you help people with?
- Choose a channel name that is creative and memorable.
- Choose some vlog or video content topics (search result rankings and trending content in your niche can help you choose topics that will be popular).
- Create your first video. Anyone with an iPhone can shoot a video, but the right equipment such as a good camera and video editing software will improve your video.
- Promote your channel. You can do this through social media platforms, your website, and your email marketing list. You should also focus on YouTube-specific SEO, and may wish to invest strategically in paid ads.
- Remember to create a great thumbnail and description for each video. You can hire a designer to create your channel art if you wish.
- Pay attention to your Youtube analytics to see how your channel is doing. Every bit of information can help you make your next video better.
Once you’ve launched your own channel and started to build up your follower base, you can begin thinking about monetizing it. In the next section, we’ll focus on how to do just that.
How to Monetize a Successful Youtube Channel
There are numerous ways to monetize a Youtube channel, and some will be more relevant to you than others. In general, though, you’ll need a significant audience to make real money on Youtube. In this section, we’ll look at how to make money from Youtube.
Don’t try to do all of these at once. Focus on just one or two, to begin with. You can always scale your efforts later. With that said, let’s take a closer look at some Youtube monetization strategies you might like to explore.
Become a Youtube Partner and Earn Money from Ads
As I mentioned in the previous section, this strategy relies on having a very large following. However, Youtube does not payout ad revenue based on the number of subscribers, but rather on video view figures.
Here’s how it works: if you choose to monetize your channel and join the Partner program, ads will appear on your Youtube videos. You will be paid on either a CPM (cost per thousand views) model or a CPC (cost per click) model.
Successful Youtuber Evan Edinger estimated that a video with 1 million views could earn anything from $1000 to $5000. Though Edinger did not disclose his exact earnings, he told the BBC that his channel, with its 600,000+ subscribers, makes him “enough to pay rent”.
Get Funded by Your Audience
If you have a loyal audience that loves your content, one way to make money through your channel is via audience funding. There are two main ways to do this: one-off donations, and monthly subscriptions.
Patreon is by far the most popular channel for creators to make money from fan subscriptions. It allows you to create tiered membership levels at different price points, and offer special benefits for each membership tier. Patrons can sponsor you each month or for each piece of new content.
Even if every single patron joined at the entry-level $3 tier, the channel’s creators would be earning over $18,000 per month from Patreon alone. The actual figure is probably much higher.
Another way to generate audience funding is through one-off donations. Ko-fi and Buy Me a Coffee are two popular platforms. Vintage fashion and disability Youtuber Jessica Kellgren-Fozard has received over 3200 “coffees” (micro-donations of $3) on Ko-fi:
If your audience loves what you do, you might be surprised how many of them are willing to pay you to help you keep doing it.
License Your Content
This option is really only available to those with a large audience. It is a difficult strategy to make work for most creators, so we will not dwell on it in depth here. However, if you create great content, it is theoretically possible to license it to external businesses, agencies, and the media for a fee.
Work with Brands as an Influencer or Affiliate
Brands and marketers understand the power that influencers have to affect consumer behavior, including purchasing choices. For that reason, companies are willing to spend big money on Youtube advertising deals with prominent creators.
The more followers you have and the video views you receive, the higher the sponsorship fees you’ll be able to command. However, do not dismiss sponsorship if you only have a relatively small following. “Micro-influencers” with loyal followings can have more of an impact than those with large but disengaged audiences.
Another possibility is affiliate marketing, which is a form of revenue sharing. You promote products for a third party company and, when someone makes a purchase using your special link, you make a commission.
Affiliate schemes exist in almost any niche you can think of, from high-end to everyday products. Whatever industry you operate in, there is probably an affiliate marketing program you can join. I recommend you promote products or services that you actually use and love.
Once you’ve joined an affiliate program, you can include links in your video description and in any social media posts promoting your latest Youtube videos:
This description appears below a video by makeup tutorial channel The Makeup Chair. The links inside the red box are affiliate links and reference products demonstrated in the video.
Sell Branded Merchandise
If you want to sell branded merchandise but aren’t ready to start your own line of branded private label products, you can create and sell branded merchandise through print on demand services like Printful, Spreadshirt, and Redbubble.
The idea is simple: you create and upload your designs, and then customers can purchase products with those designs. You might sell t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, stationery, or a whole host of other items. Since the central POD site handles shipping and fulfillment, you don’t need to buy products upfront or have space to store them. The POD site takes a cut of each sale.
Printful (pictured) specializes in providing merchandise for Youtubers
How to create your designs? You can either do it yourself if you have an aptitude for design or hire a designer to do it for you. Think hard about what your audience might want, and don’t be afraid to ask for their input on merch ideas before you start selling.
Ready to get inspired? Check out some awesome examples of Youtube-star merch.
Sell Your Own Self-Branded Private Label Products
If you want to create and sell your own, self-branded, and private label products, your Youtube store can function as a shopfront. In other words, each of your new videos works as a form of content marketing to direct traffic to your store or website.
I’d like to delve into the process of creating private label products step-by-step, as I believe it’s a particularly lucrative revenue stream for creative entrepreneurs using Youtube. Let’s get started.
What is Private Label?
According to eCommerce giant Shopify, a private label product is “manufactured by a contract or third-party manufacturer and sold under a retailer’s brand name”. You are the retailer and get to make all decisions about the product, from what’s in it to what its packaging and labels look like.
You pay to have the items produced, and then sell the products to your customers. Private label products are in contrast with selling third party products under the manufacturer or another retailer’s name. It has numerous advantages, particularly in the amount of control it gives you on everything from branding to pricing.
Private label products exist in virtually every niche you can think of, from food to fitness to fashion, and much more. You might not know that some of the most famous beauty brands are actually private label. Even Amazon has its own private label skincare line BELEI!
Source: Amazon Press Material
Julian Zietlow is a German fitness Youtuber who provides German-language workout videos. He also runs a private label nutrition brand, pictured above.
Avocadu is a health, fitness, and yoga blog. The company (pictured above) has since started its own highly successful line of supplements. These are just two examples among many.
Choosing the Right Manufacturer
If you decide to go down the private label route, you’ll need to choose a manufacturer to work with. I can’t make specific recommendations here, as the company you choose will depend entirely upon your niche.
Here are a few pointers to bear in mind when choosing your private label manufacturer:
- Choose a manufacturer based in your country or with whom you share a common language.
- Pay attention to the minimum order quantity. If you’re just trying out private labeling, you don’t want to be stuck with thousands of units you can’t sell.
- Pay attention to shipping and delivery times.
- Compare prices and choose a company that is competitive.
- Read reviews and speak to others in your niche to get their input.
Many private label manufacturers will allow you to order sample products before committing to an order. I highly recommend you take them up on this. You can only see whether a product is high-quality by viewing and handling it yourself.
High-Profit Margin Private Label Product Ideas
The products that make sense for you will depend entirely on the niche you operate in and the theme of your successful Youtube channel. With that said, here are a few ideas for high-profit margin private label products you might wish to consider:
These are just a few suggestions. Whatever you choose, ensure you do your market research thoroughly before you get started.
All successful retailers know that design is everything when it comes to selling products. You cannot afford to ignore the design element if you decide to start selling private label products.
Unless you are a professional graphic designer, I recommend hiring a designer or agency to work with you on your products. The additional cost will be more than worth it in the long run. If your products or their packaging are poorly designed, people simply will not buy them.
How to Ship Your Products
You’ve designed your products and had them made. Congratulations! You’re ready to start selling. If you started early, you might even have some pre-orders lined up. But once you’ve sold your products, what about shipping?
First, remember to factor shipping costs into what you charge for your products. You may charge your customers for shipping separately, or roll the cost into your overall price and offer free shipping. You’ll also need to figure out different shipping costs if you are going to send products outside your own country. And don’t forget about the warehousing costs if you are going to store the products yourself.
There are three main ways to ship your private label products: do it yourself, hire an employee to manage it, or use third-party fulfillment. Amazon FBA is a program where you can have your merchandise shipped to an Amazon warehouse. The retail giant will then show your products as available on the site, and ship directly to your customers when they buy.
Whichever option you choose, remember to factor the cost into your business plan.
More Resources to Help You
Here are a few more useful resources to help you as you start your YouTube and private labeling business journey:
Grow Your Audience and Business
Once you’ve got your Youtube channel up and running, you’ll need to promote it well if you want to achieve your goals. Therefore, you’ll need a robust marketing strategy.
If you’re trying to sell products, you will need to build and grow a successful eCommerce brand and follow the best tactics in eCommerce marketing. Most likely, this will mean focusing on a mixture of paid and organic traffic.
You’ll need to put serious effort into your search engine optimization (SEO), both on and off Youtube. If you want to drive as many sales as possible, you’ll need to understand the search engine algorithm and ensure your content ranks on the first page of Google results for relevant keywords. Don’t forget social media, too. Woobox can help you bring your Youtube videos into your Facebook page.
Paid advertising is also essential. You might choose to use Google pay-per-click (PPC) ads to bring your products to the top of the results pages for relevant search terms. You may also choose to use social media advertising, to get your products and channel in front of new audiences on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
You may also wish to take advantage of the incredible potential of influencer marketing. There are many great reasons to work with influencers. They have real power to affect their audience’s behavior, so why not make the most of that? Make sure you partner with the right influencer whose core target audience reflects the demographic you’re trying to reach. Check out this marketplace to find top influencers.
Finally, consider including a shoppable video on your website. This is video content that allows users to click or touch the video to learn more about featured products and go straight to your website, where they can buy.
What Are You Waiting For?
If you want to start a business on Youtube, there are many ways to do so. It is a fantastic platform with amazing potential for savvy entrepreneurs who are willing to put the time and hard work in.
So what are you waiting for? I can’t wait to see what you come up with!