If you want to start a side hustle to earn money online through videos and are wondering how to make money on Youtube, then this article is for you.
Do you know, top youtubers make more than $100,000 per video and the total earnings in a year can exceed a million dollars?
With more than 2 billion monthly active users, the popularity of Youtube increasing by the day, and more and more consumption of video content online, the opportunities are only poised to grow.
But the competition is intense and a majority of Youtubers will not make money at all.
In fact, 96.5% of aspiring Youtubers won’t make enough money to crack the US poverty line.
So, if you want to be among 3.5% making a good amount of money and want to learn the various ways to get revenue on Youtube, read through.
How to Make Money on Youtube?
You may be thinking that you would need millions of subscribers in order to earn money from Youtube that would justify your effort.
But while the number of subscribers are important to earn money, you may be able to earn even without having such a large number of subscribers.
You just have to be smart enough to have the right monetization strategy to make the best of the content you create.
1. Market Your Online Courses to Your Youtube Audience
Today there are many ways to earn money online, but with the education sector set to be transformed in the coming years, selling online courses has become one of the most important ways.
In fact the global elearning market will be close to $325 billion by 2025.
Do you know, according to statista, education apps today are the most popular app category in Google Play Store?
With video being the preferred mode of online course delivery and Youtube being a leader in video content, you could really use Youtube to monetize your online courses.
Another great advantage that Youtube offers you is the sheer size of the audience. Today, Youtube has over 1.5-2 billion monthly active users and they spend a good amount of time on it.
In fact, it is one of the most popular apps across many age groups across the US and the UK.
In the UK, Youtube is the top app for 18 – 64 year olds and in the US it is the top app for 18-34 year old people and the second favorite app after Facebook for 45+ year old people.
But the real question is, how do you actually use Youtube to earn money with online courses?
While there are ways to directly earn money from Youtube, we would instead suggest you make it a part of your bigger strategy.
This is because if you are just starting out or if you haven’t yet built a massive number of subscribers on Youtube already it would be difficult to earn.
Primarily because, to earn money directly through Youtube you will need to have at least:
- 1,000+ subscribers
- 4,000 hours of content assisted in the last one year (that means on an average 11 hours a day)
On top of it, Youtube charges a massive 45% of ad revenue leaving the rest as your earning potential.
So, what’s a better way?
You can instead redirect traffic from your Youtube videos to a source that allows you to earn more.
Here is a quick 5 step process to help you earn money from online courses and leveraging Youtube in the process
- Choose a specific niche for your content, preferably something in which you are skilled and something is which is in demand
- Create a detailed online course that adds real value to your target audience
- Choose a delivery platform (Blog or one or more of online course platforms)
- Host content and set a price for your courses
- Focus on increasing traffic and interest in your course through Youtube
Let us look at each of these one by one.
Choose a Specific Niche for Your Online Course
The key requirement for a successful online course is that it is built for a specific target audience and aligns well with their goals.
So first divide your audience into segments or groups with specific characteristics and behavior.
You can do it based on demographic characteristics based on gender, age, average salary, employment characteristics etc. or you can use nuanced psychographics like personality, attitudes, opinions, mindset, religious outlook and political affiliation.
The target audience is the segment that you choose to target (specifically add value to). For an online course, here are the top goals that the students aim to achieve through online education.
You can use these goals in your content to add real value to your target audience and in your content to nudge them to purchase your course.
Another important part is that you need to command credibility in the niche of the course that you are trying to create. This means that your audience should see you as a figure of authority in your area.
This credibility can be showcased by highlighting…
- Any relevant achievements in the concerned field. For example, if you are planning to build a course on Data Science then you could highlight writing a machine learning library for an open source software or building a kickass application feature which is currently live. Or if you are writing on personal finance then your own achievement of building substantial wealth for yourself will help. You could also highlight the achievements of students who have taken your course already.
- Relevant experience or firms you may have worked with in the past. You may want to highlight your past jobs like if you are running a photography course then an experience as a photographer with Nat Geo is definitely a plus.
- Relevant education and certifications obtained in the field. This would include your college education or relevant industry certifications like for example a Google certification of an advanced level for building a course on digital marketing will help.
And you also need to have passion for your course. Passion will not only help you create great content but it is also visible to your audience in your course delivery.
Create a Detailed Online Course that Adds Real Value to Your Target Audience
Once you are sure of the niche, your target audience and their goals, you need to create a product, in our case an online course, that adds value to your customers and delivers the promise.
Be sure to use all kinds of content format to deliver wholesome learning.
Some of the things you could include are:
- Videos and animations
- Practical case studies
- Problem solving exercises
- Quizzes and tests
Now, you should also create some of this content or part of the content for Youtube. This is because you need to give the flavour of your course to your viewers and nudge them into visiting your desired page and buying your content.
So do remember to edit out some teasers and promo videos of your content. The idea will be to have enough content to arouse the curiosity of your customer and leave him/her wanting for more.
You can choose to have a couple of chapters or lessons published for free on your Youtube channel and put a link in the description for those you want to continue.
Choose a Delivery Platform
You can choose one of the online course platforms or create your own website from scratch.
Use an Online Course Platform
The advantage with using one of the online course platforms for your courses is that these platforms have a lot of functionality inbuilt to help you host your course and facilitate other features that can help you provide optimum experience.
Do you know, an average instructor earns around $5,426 per course on Teachable?
That is great money to earn if you start publishing multiple courses. And as many of these courses continue to stay relevant over a long course of time your potential to earn keeps increasing.
Some of the advantage of Teachable are:
- Allows you to create a course easily with simple to use panels
- You can link Teachable to your custom domain for a more branded experience
- Easy to set up live sessions with your audience with inbuilt Zoom and Calendly support
- A sales dashboard with student reviews to help you improve your course and track sales progress
- Competitively priced with a $39 a month plan which can be reduced further with annual payment
- Integrated email marketing and support for a personalised sales page for better marketing
So, if these features appeal to you and you feel they will meet your needs for selling an online course, be sure to check out Teachable.
Another great platform to use is Thinkific.
One of the differentiating features of Thinkific is that, unlike some other online course platforms, it also offers a free plan. So if you are just trying out your online course and are a little risk averse as in you don’t want to put money upfront without testing out, then this platform is for you.
Reasons to choose Thinkific are:
- Free trial available, that reduces your risk
- Fully customizable domain with a host of features and templates to choose from
- Easy customization options with drag and drop usage and no need for coding
- Ability to change your payment plan anytime with easy upgrade or downgrade options
In fact, Thinkific users have earned a combined $200 million since the launch of the website. So if you want a part of this pie be sure to visit Thinkific.
Alternative: creating a stand alone course platform from scratch
If you are tech savvy and want a very differentiated experience for your users and the online course platforms don’t meet your needs, then this option is for you.
One caveat here is that this option will require a lot of resources both in terms of time and money. Building a website can be expensive and with all the involved processes time is also an issue.
Another reason to not choose this option is the marketing effort. The online course platforms (Teachable and Thinkific) we mentioned will have some traction and marketing already as they are established for online courses.
In case you are building your own website with customized features marketing the same will also be a task.
So, if these points are not a problem only then you should think about creating a full fledged online course delivery website from scratch.
Instead we would advise you to create a blog with a custom domain name.
There are a lot of good reasons to start a blog but if you are looking to sell an online course then a blog can become your personal way to showcase your skills and highlight your achievements to give a sense of confidence about your courses to your target audience.
The first thing you would need for this is a hosting service provider which will provide you a domain or the name of your website.
Once you have your domain hosted, the next step is to install wordpress with a one-click installation.
WordPress will offer you a variety of easily customizable templates that will enable you to create a blog that will help you brand yourself and your courses well. All you need to do after that is start publishing relevant content and that’s it.
Be sure to use the link to your blog everywhere in the relevant places to re-direct traffic. For instance, if it’s Youtube, you can put the link in the description or the associated websites in the advanced channel settings.
Focus on Increasing Traffic and Interest in Your Course Through Youtube
Now comes the role of Youtube in driving the audience to your course and nudging them to buy.
There are various kinds of content you can create in order to drive interest for your video course on Youtube.
You can create a teaser and promotional video of your online course and publish it on your channel. Or create some part of your online course and make it freely available on Youtube.
The idea is to leave your audience wanting for more, and when they do you should provide them the necessary links in your description and comments so they can then be directed to your website.
You can also think about creating ads on Youtube if your budget allows.
Do you know, the famous online education website Udemy.com, has most of its social media traffic directed from Youtube?
2. Become a YouTube Partner and Earn from Ads
YouTube ad revenues are one of the ways to monetize your content on YouTube.
With the online viewing time increasing year or year on YouTube, marketers are spending more than ever on YouTube ads.
In fact, in the US alone YouTube is expected to make around $5.5 billion in ad revenues. A part of this income goes to the content creator videos that become YouTube program partners for showing ads and are able to drive significant traction on these ads.
So, if you want a part of this pie, you can make money through ads on YouTube by joining the YouTube partners program.
The way it works is that YouTube charges the customers who want to show ads and if your content is relevant to the person viewing the ad then it is shown before your video.
You only get paid when viewers either click on these ads or watch them completely for 10, 15 or 30 seconds depending on the ad and the method (without skipping them).
To earn some meaningful revenue from ads from YouTube you need to have a substantial number of subscribers or viewers.
So, if you already have such a following or are confident of building it, then this method of monetization may work for you.
For being eligible for showing ads, you need to have at least:
- 1,000 subscribers for your channel
- 4,000 hours of content watched by audience in the last one year
In order to make your content eligible for ads follow these 7 steps:
Step 1: Sign in to your YouTube account (the one you want to monetize)
Step 2: In the top right corner, click the icon for your profile
Step 3: Select YouTube studio
Step 4: From the menu on the left, click on Other Features -> Monetization
Step 5: Go through the YouTubers partner program terms and click on agree
Step 6: You will need an AdSense account to get paid so create a new account or link your previous one
Step 7: Set your monetization preferences
You can track your predicted income in the YouTube analytics section on the dashboard.
Although it can vary depending on how much YouTube is charging the advertiser, you can expect to make somewhere between $1-$5 for 1,000 views on your videos.
However, even after enabling ads and getting views it is not certain that you will make money. This is because the viewer actually needs to watch the ads for a specified time (usually 30 seconds or click on them).
Another reason you may not be able to earn money is when you show copyrighted content. So, be aware of not using anything like that.
Youtube also has a strict policy when it comes to showing ads.
Youtube may choose to exclude your content from ad revenue if it has:
- Content that is sexually suggestive or has partial nudity or sexual humor
- Violent content, displaying serious injury or events related to violent extremism
- Harassment, profanity, vulgar language or anything that might be deemed inappropriate language
- Promotion of drugs in any way (selling, using or abusing)
- Controversial subjects like tragedies, political events, etc (even if graphic imagery is not shown)
So make sure that you keep your content clean and useful.
YouTube takes around 45% of the revenue for the ads and the rest is paid to you.
With the start of YouTube premium, you are also paid whenever premium users view your content. You can treat this as a secondary income in addition to ad money.
3. Youtube Monetization: Recommend Affiliate Links in Your Youtube Videos
Affiliate marketing is when you promote or sell someone else’s products through your content.
In fact, the US affiliate marketing industry is expected to reach $6.8 billion by the end of 2020.
While there are many channels that affiliates target in order to get their products promoted,
YouTube ranks in the top channels considered by marketers for affiliate/influencer programs.
According to Aqer, it is the top priority influencer marketing app for marketers.
This presents a great opportunity for you to try out this method for monetizing your YouTube videos.
Some brands may pay you on commission basis, that is, you will get a percentage of revenue from the sales that you influence. You may also be paid for just including the brand in your reviews or unboxing and describing the features.
Your earning potential will usually differ depending on the audience and followers you have but if you are a mid level influencer, you can expect to make $20 for 1,000 subscribers.
In terms of percentage commission, rates could vary anywhere between 5%-30% of sales influenced by you. The percentage commissions are usually higher for digital products (like apps, or SaaS products) than physical products.
How can you get brands to partner with you or use you as an affiliate?
This may happen organically if you already have a lot of traction in your niche (or if you are lucky).
However, one great way is through Affiliate programs that you can join. Many different companies have programs that will give you a link that you can place in your content descriptions and they pay you if you influence a purchase on their website.
There are two very important metrics you need to understand before we dive deeper into various affiliate programs available:
- Commission Percentage: Commission percentage is the percentage of sale commission that you will get if you influence a purchase. Make sure that you understand what this percentage is calculated on. For instance, is it the price of the product or the amount that platform gets from the sale of a product?
- Cookie Lifetime: Cookie lifetime refers to the time between the click that leads to product and the actual purchase of the item. For example, if the click happened a week ago and the purchase happens today and the cookie lifetime is only 3 days then you will not get paid. So, basically higher the cookie lifetime the better it is.
Let us now look at some of the top affiliate programs and which one to choose.
With around 12 million offers, it is one of the largest affiliate programs on the planet. The issue is that it has a short cookie lifetime of only one day.
You can choose this program for:
- The number of offers and range of products makes it possible to find a product that suits your niche.
- A decent commission rate of upto 10%.
- Since Amazon is a trusted platform by buyers the chances of sales and conversion are high.
If cookie lifetime is what you are bothered about then choosing CJ Affiliates would make sense.
It claims to have an average cookie lifetime of 400 days, however, be careful because it may differ from product to product.
Choose CJ Affiliates for:
- Long cookie lifetime of 400 days (differs by brand to brand)
- Great analytics tools to analyze your earnings and optimize them
- Partner network with top brands and large number of opportunities
Ebay Partner Network
Ebay partner network is yet another affiliate program and in terms of number of offers it may beat Amazon.
But since ebay mostly works on an auction model, the cookie lifetime is ridiculously short as it is dependent on the auction.
Hence, we would recommend the other two affiliate programs higher than this.
You can choose ebay for:
- Big brand name, hence lots of sales happen through the ebay.
- Large number of offers.
If you are specifically looking out for programs for digital products then ClickBank is the affiliate network for you.
One great thing here is that the commission is almost about 40% and is calculated on the actual sale price of the product and not what clickbank gets per sale.
You can choose ClickBank for:
- High percentage of commission
- Great affiliate program for digital products
You can choose any of these programs in order to maximize your monetization.
However, be careful about marketing products to your audience and make sure to tell them if anything is a paid partnership.
Your audience follows you because they feel you are an expert and will not misguide them, hence always be very clear and honest with them.
4. Make Money on Youtube with Crowdfunding from Your Fans
If you are looking to create something meaningful, or something that will really impress or be useful to your audience and money stands in the way, crowdfunding could be a great way to ensure you achieve what you want.
While there are many great platforms that can help you crowdfund, YouTube is a great way to showcase an initial video for the project you are trying to create.
You can then use this video to nudge your audience into supporting your project.
A great video that explains what you are trying to do not only helps you narrate the goal and objective to your audience, but also gives a glimpse of the end product that will be created.
For instance, check out this kickstarter campaign that managed to raise more than $2 million.
The main reason that it sold so much is also because the video was well designed and clearly highlighted what and why they were trying to do.
Through youtube you can get more and more people to your campaign and raise more money.
Check out how videos with links have been updated in Youtube for the same product.
This way you can leverage the power of your audience to help you crowdfund your project and drive even more traction.
In case you are looking for a better engagement with your loyal audience and crowdfund your projects, one place we recommend in Patreon.
The great thing about Patreon is that it lets you build a community of loyal audience who can reach your content directly without any hassles of Youtube algorithms.
How does Patreon work?
Your patrons, or loyal audience, pay you either a monthly fee or a fixed money per post. So for example, if the patron agrees to pay $2 per post and you publish 3 posts in a month, the patron is charged $6.
In order to be successful here you need to have subscribers who really value your content and feel for you. By giving them early access or access to exclusive content you create a reason for them to pay.
For instance, see how this musician charges for the content.
Patreon will keep around 5% of the fee as its commission, the rest is usually paid out to you as a creator.
5. Attract High-End Clients to Your Consulting or Freelancing Offer
Have you heard of Mckinsey & Co, Boston Consulting Group or Bain & Company?
Do you know, these firms combined make more than $20 billion dollars in revenue through consulting?
And even after being the top firms in the business, this revenue is only a small part of the massive $300 billion plus consulting industry.
You may think that how can you independently earn money in a market where so many firms exist?
The good news is, you definitely can!
In fact, 5-6% of this industry is served by independent consultants and freelancers.
That yields close to a $10 billion dollar industry that you can be a part of.
However, with great market potential comes great competition.
Do you know, in the US itself there are 64.8 million freelancers and almost half of the working population of the US will move to doing freelance work over the next 5 years?
To thrive in such an environment, you not only need to have a solid value proposition, but also need to differentiate yourself from the crowd.
The question is, how do you build a great consulting offering and then leverage other tools and Youtube to make it even more successful?
There are two things that you need to do to create a great consulting or freelance offer:
- Creating a great value proposition
- Generating leads and making them paying customers
Let us look at both of these one by one in detail and how to go about them.
Create a Consulting Offer with a Convincing Value Proposition
Broadly speaking if you are really skilled at something and the market has a need for it, you should be able to make money.
So, the first thing is to determine what it is that you are really skilled in.
To determine your skills or what you are really good at, ask yourself the following questions.
What is it that I believe I am naturally good at?
You may have observed sometimes that there are things that you do very easily while some others around you struggle.
For example, you may be naturally good at understanding numbers and doing data analysis that others aren’t really able to do unless they put in a lot of effort.
Or you may be able to naturally understand the true motivations of customers with your empathy while others may not.
Such pointers indicate things that you may be naturally good at. So, make a list of such things and then see if you can monetize any of this by offering this service to others.
But you need to have some sort of credibility or a reason for your prospective customers to believe that you are good at something.
For which look at the other three questions you should answer.
What are some of my greatest achievements?
Highlighting your achievements in the related fields is one of the best ways to show that you are good at something.
The customer would believe that if you were able to drive certain results in the past, you should be able to replicate them for him/her.
So, if you increased sales for a customer by means of digital marketing, or, if you helped a customer create a seamless IT process, or any other achievement you can think of, you stand a chance to bag assignments related to these fields.
Does my previous experience make me skilled at a service I can offer?
Consider that you offer a consulting service to improve manufacturing operations for automobile companies.
Now, say you have worked in the past with giants like Ford, Toyota, BMW or Mercedes. It certainly gives you an edge over someone who does not have such credentials.
It also gives confidence to your customers about something concrete that makes you stand out.
Hence, your previous experience is always worth highlighting especially if it is related to what you are trying to offer.
Do I have education or certifications in the required field?
Formal education or certifications are one of the ways in which you can build credibility regarding your skill.
Even if you currently don’t have these things, you can always work on getting them.
Look for certifications or exams you can take which are relevant to your consulting or freelancing offer.
For example, say you are an expert in database design. You can always take certifications on offer from known brands like Oracle to further bolster your claims of being good at it.
These questions will only help you tell what you are good at. In order to make it monetizable there should be a substantial market need for your service.
How do you determine if there is a market need for something?
One great way to understand this is to visit forums related to your niche and see what questions people are asking.
The answers that you see there will tell you if there is still a gap or confusion that you can bridge.
Remember, there are two parts that determine success here. Demand and Supply!
For simplicity, demand is the number of people asking these questions and supply is the number of people answering.
You are more likely to succeed in a space where the demand is more and the supply is less.
You can run online surveys, interview prospective customers or float questionnaires in order to further understand how important the problem you are trying to solve is for them. This will give you an idea of whether you can charge them for your service, if yes, then how much.
It is important to select a specific niche and target and then cater to this specific target.
At the end of this exercise, you should be able to come up with your freelancing/consulting value proposition.
Use this template,
I am a [your niche] consultant who helps [your target audience] to achieve [your results] through [your offer].
For example, I am your digital marketing consultant who helps ecommerce companies increase sales through targeted and personalized marketing.
Now that your targeted offer is ready, the next important thing you need is to generate leads and then convert them into paying customers.
Generate Leads and Make Them Paying Customers
Follow these three steps to differentiate yourself from the crowd and generate leads that can generate revenue for you.
- Launch a blog to showcase your skills and create your personal brand
- Generate traffic for your blog through organic and inorganic ways
- Have strong call to action to make them paying customers
Launch a Blog to Showcase Your Skills and Create Your Personal Brand
It is extremely important to have a platform where you can showcase your skills in a wonderful manner.
A blog is just the thing for it. It not only helps you highlight the important things but also bolsters your personal brand.
To create a blog, first choose a niche, in our case this will align with the consulting or freelancing service we are providing.
Then you need to choose a hosting service like Bluehost which will host your website and give you a domain name.
You can then install WordPress with a single click, choose one of the templates and begin curating your content.
Generate Traffic for Your Blog Through Organic and Inorganic Ways
Organic ways naturally increase your traffic using SEO (Search engine optimization) or directing traffic from other channels without paying for it (through backlinks).
SEO and creating backlinks usually take time to build, but are important for long term success.
Inorganic ways on the other hand are paid services like ads that yield quick results, but you will need to shell out some money for them.
One important aspect that you can use here is using the power of other platforms (social media/webinars/podcasts) to drive traffic to your blog and hence generate more leads.
Here is how you can do that.
Direct traffic from social media like Youtube/Instagram/LinkedIn/Facebook
You can use the audience you already have on social media like Youtube and then direct them to your blog.
In fact, social networks are the top online media that people use for purchase inspiration.
To accomplish this remember to place the link to your blogs or your email id in the description links. You can also have them pop up at the right time in your videos.
Alternatively, you can choose to advertise to get traffic.
For deciding what works best for you, start with advertising in multiple places and then put more money in the ones that are actually yielding results.
For example, if you have $100 and say you want to advertise on Youtube and LinkedIn first. Put $50 each in each of them.
Say you generated 20 leads from LinkedIn and 10 leads from Youtube.
Of the 20 leads generated from LinkedIn 2 became paying customers giving you $200 each (so total $400).
And of the 10 leads from Youtube 5 became paying customers yielding $1,000.
Clearly, $50 invested in Youtube gave you better results, therefore, it makes sense to push in more dollars for your business.
Another tool we recommend to generate leads and push traffic is WebinarJam. You can host webinars in order to not only show how much you know about the topic, or share interesting stories but also build email lists that you can then use to target.
The great thing is that you can also host paid webinars if you believe your webinar adds substantial value and will not only generate leads but solve some part of the problem for the customers.
It is a paid tool but you can cancel your membership without any charge in the first 30 days to control risk.
In fact, you can get a 14 day trial at just $1.
Have strong call to action to make them paying customers
One important thing to remember is always have a strong call to action for your prospects and make sure to highlight it appropriately.
A call to action may be anything depending on your objective. For example, filling out a small form with details, or submitting feedback or visiting your landing page and taking some action.
It is imperative that relevant links for action are dropped at the right places like the description of your video, or if it’s an ad then a link in the ad along with the relevant text.
One great thing to use are pop – ups. Pop-ups can be triggered depending on what action the user takes.
For example, if you see your user leaving your website after spending some time on it, ask for their email with a pop up window.
Or if you see them abandoning their cart, display a coupon code to give them a discount so they are tempted to buy.
If you follow these three steps well you can be assured that your consulting or freelancing business will see much more traction online and you can earn more money than you otherwise would have.
6. Sell Physical Products to Your Engaged Youtube Subscribers in Your Online Store
If you already have a Youtube channel serving a particular niche and have built a good traction for it in terms of number of subscribers or viewers, it would be a great idea to monetize the same by selling physical products.
The Covid pandemic has also brought about a push to the whole online buying category.
It is therefore a good idea to follow this approach in order to make money. With Youtube videos and other content you can nudge your buyers into purchasing these goods.
Follow these three steps to set up a shop online and start selling:
- Choose your products
- Choose a platform to sell your products
- Nudge your customers into purchase
Choose the products that you want to sell online
The range of products that you choose to sell online will depend on your objective, strategy and budget.
Number of Products
If you are just starting out and don’t really have a lot of cash to put in we would advise you to start with limited products.
This is because in order to put an item up for sale you will need to have inventory and inventory costs increase with your assortment.
Hence, it is important to select out a few products in the beginning. Anywhere between 1-10.
Also, keep track of the SKUs you will require.
SKU refers to a stock keeping unit. It is the most granular level to identify a product in your system.
For example, say you decide to sell t-shirts. One of the products you have is a striped red t-shirt of a particular design.
Then each of the sizes of this item will become your SKU. SKUs can increase a lot with products especially for certain industries. This will also require demand forecasting on your side to optimize sales and prevent stock outs.
Therefore, start with a limited number of products to minimize risks and overheads.
In case you are preparing to take on giants like Amazon and have substantial budget or funds then you may choose more products.
Type of Products
It is good to stick to a niche in the beginning. This will ensure that your products are best suited to a particular target audience.
It will also be easier to influence purchase if you are already creating content related to that particular niche, for which your customers consider you an expert.
The next thing to consider is the gross margin.
Gross Margin = Revenue – Cost of Goods Sold
Do you know, the cost of goods sold is the biggest cost head for physical products (ecommerce)?
“Cost of goods sold is the direct cost of producing/procuring your products.”
It is important to keep this margin optimum depending on your scale.
Since some of the costs in your business will be fixed, you need to set product margins according to scale.
In short, if you are selling fewer products to a very selected audience you would want to keep your margins high in order to make the desired money.
On the other hand, if you want to sell to a large number of people you can choose to keep the margins a little less as you will be able to make money due to your scale.
Once you zero down on the products to sell, the next thing is choosing a platform where you will sell your products.
Choose an Ecommerce Platform for Your Physical Products
You can choose to build an ecommerce website from scratch or use one of the tools available to set up shop quickly.
The issue with setting up your own website from scratch is that it will require money and time. Since, success is not guaranteed always, this also increases your risk.
We would recommend Shopify as it is easy to use and is used worldwide successfully by a large number of entrepreneurs.
Making a choice between Shopify or one of the online marketplaces can be based on how much budget you have for your marketing spend and how much you can control user experience.
For instance, you may have to spend your own dollars to get traffic or leads to your website. On the other hand, most people search for products on Amazon themselves.
The flip side is if your prospects see your products on Amazon they will see other related products with it, which may sometimes not be too great for your products.
So, if you already have a great audience built from where you can generate sales, set up your shopify account and give that link to your audience in the appropriate places/descriptions.
Nudge Your Customers to Purchase with Youtube
Do you know, around 55% users on Youtube watch branded content daily?
This presents a great opportunity for you to create content that can help products selling under ‘your’ brand.
For instance, if you are telling your customers how to decorate their houses and one of the things is a rug that you sell, they will be much more likely to buy them.
Again, it is important to put the links to relevant items in descriptions or as a pop up in the video.
Do remember to keep the products relevant to the video and the niche for results. Another important thing to be aware of is the usefulness of your video or content is why the audience follows you.
Here are the kind of videos you can create to sell video products:
- Unboxing videos
- Showing different use cases
- DIY videos using the product
- “How to” videos
- Problem Solving videos with the products
In a quest to sell your products do not miss out on creating content that is useful. In short, your video shouldn’t feel like an advertisement.
Content should add real value to your audience.
7. Become a Youtube Influencer and Start Earning Money From Big Brands
Have you ever heard of the Youtube channel, Pewdipie? Do you know, it has more than 105 million subscribers?
In fact, the estimated net worth of the person who runs the channel is $30-50 million dollars and he earns more than $13 million a year, mostly from the influencer business.
There are several such examples of successful Youtubers who have now carved an empire for themselves.
In fact, the main source of income for many successful Youtube channels is influencer marketing.
But, what is influencer marketing?
The Oxford Reference defines influencer marketing as:
“The strategy of promoting brands, products, or services with selected individuals who are judged most likely to exercise a significant influence on purchase decisions within a particular target market.”
This basically means if you are an influencer, that is, if in your niche, you have some influence over your audience, then promoting such brands or products that cater to your niche will be called influencer marketing.
This works better than regular advertisements because of two main reasons:
- Since the products/brands are presented to a niche to which they are relevant the chances of purchase dramatically increase.
- Since the person talking about the product is seen as an expert in the field the audience trusts the authenticity or usefulness of the product much more.
In fact, 89% of the marketers feel that ROI from Influencer marketing is comparable or better than other channels.
If you have built significant traction in your niche already, then brands might contact you themselves.
These partnerships may either be for a fixed amount of money, percentage commission on sales or free products depending on your subscribers.
Your earning potential will usually differ depending on the audience and followers you have but if you are a mid level influencer, you can expect to make $20 for 1,000 subscribers.
If you are new and have built some traction, you can join one of the influencer networks to get partnerships.
- Famebit: It has a wide range of brands but you will need at least 5,000 followers to join.
- Channel Pages: This platform gives you a chance to collaborate with other Youtubers as well as brands.
- Grapevine Logic: You will need at least a 1,000 followers/subscribers to join. (Popular network)
If there is a lot of demand for your niche and very few influencers then your chances of monetization increase a lot with this kind of method.
8. Master Youtube SEO to Attract Millions of Video Views and Grow Your Audience
Do you know, almost 500 hours of content gets uploaded to Youtube every minute?
In fact, almost 1 billion hours of Youtube videos are watched every day (more than Netflix and Facebook videos combined).
But along with this kind of viewership, there are also more than 31 million channels on Youtube.
To stand out among such competition and make sure that your content is viewed by your desired audience, you need to do Youtube SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and understand Youtube SEO ranking factors.
Youtube SEO involves optimizing your content and metadata descriptions in order to rank higher in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
But before you can actually accomplish this optimization you need to understand how the Youtube search algorithm works and what the criteria for ranking are.
How does the Youtube search algorithm work?
Youtube has the following two goals when it comes to videos:
- “To help the viewers find the videos they want to watch”
- “To maximize long term viewer engagement and satisfaction”
Basically, Youtube wants users to spend more and more time on their website/app. And thus the algorithm for search is also well aligned to these goals.
This is because more the time spent per user on Youtube, more is the number of videos watched and hence more chances that the ads will be shown.
And more advertisements for Youtube means more revenue and profit. Hence, the users are satisfied because they get relevant and great content and Youtube gets more money.
Therefore, a win win scenario for everyone.
The algorithm uses two basic things to rank pages.
The first is how well your videos match the criteria of search, that is, whether your video descriptions, title and meta data match what the user is searching.
The second is how good are the engagement metrics for the application. Engagement metrics mean how well the users liked your video in the past.
This is measured by the average time spent per user on the video, the number of likes and dislikes, the number of comments, views, click through rate, average retention time, screen clicks and card clicks.
What it tells Youtube is that once the user landed or clicked on a particular video, was he/she satisfied or not.
For instance, say you wrote a wonderful description and someone searched for the relevant keywords and landed on your video.
If the user watches your video through, likes it and comments on it, then the chance that the video is ranked higher the next time a person searches for something similar rises.
On the other hand, if after landing the user does not go through with the video and abandons it in just a few seconds, then your score goes down and so does your video ranking in the next search.
Make sure you are editing your YouTube videos for the highest quality.
So you understand what the algorithm is trying to do, hence, you have to align your content and descriptions to the goals of the algorithm to get the maximum out of the Youtube.
Here is a quick video of how the search on Youtube works.
Sounds complicated? Don’t worry we are here to help you.
Let’s dive into how you can optimize SEO for Youtube.
How to optimize Youtube SEO to rank higher in the search results?
The first thing you need to do is match your descriptions and meta data to the relevant keywords that the user is searching for.
Research the right keywords and then include them wherever relevant
For example, say you want to find a video about making pasta.
Searching for “how to make pasta” in Google gives the following results:
As you can see the top results here are video results. And you need to rank high enough to make it to this spot.
Now, keywords that give video results are different from other keywords that do not give video results.
For instance, if you search ‘pasta origin’ you may not see any video results in the page that opens.
So, you need to plan the keywords to include in your content carefully.
One tool we recommend for all your keyword planning needs is SEMrush.
It will not only give you the volume of search for a particular keyword (which you can use to estimate popularity and demand), but also the relevant questions that people are asking related to it.
You will also be able to see variations to the keyword that can be included.
One important thing to see here is to see the score on ‘keyword difficulty’. This metric tells you how difficult it is to rank on top for a keyword.
So for example, while the keyword difficulty score for ‘pasta’ is 91% while that for ‘how to make pasta’ is 86% and ‘how to make white pasta’ is 82%. Hence, the more narrow your keyword, the easier it would rank well.
Your sweet spot is a keyword for which the search volumes are high and the keyword difficulty score is low.
Another tool you can use is the Google Chrome extension – vidiq.com
This extension will suggest relevant keywords to use that will help you rank higher specifically for video results.
It thus helps you optimize as you create your Youtube video content.
The great thing about this platform is that it will give you the competition statistics for both paid as well as organic search.
Once you are sure of the keywords to use, include the focus keyword in the title of your video.
The description should also be full of relevant keywords and should be 1-2 paragraphs long.
Two other things you can make use of are ‘Tags’ and ‘Closed Captions’.
Both these things are crawlable by search engine algorithms and will help you rank higher.
While Youtube can generate automatic captions for your video we suggest you upload them if possible. This way you can avoid the gibberish that is sometimes generated.
How to make the content more engaging?
Your engagement is driven by the quality of the content and how well you deliver on the promised content.
It is measured by metrics such as average view duration, number of views, likes/dislikes, comments and cards.
Do you know, around 20% of people who start the video leave after 10 seconds?
You can check the retention rate for your videos on Youtube.
This is the most important part of SEO, that is make your content engaging.
Here is a quick checklist of Dos and Don’ts:
- Do not have a very long introduction
- Come straight to the point
- In the beginning of your video summarize quickly what you are going to cover
- Always match your content to the description
- Do not make your videos very long (4-10 minutes is a good duration)
- Make sure that the content flows well like a story and you keep telling your audience what’s next
- Ask for likes, comments and subscribes at the end of the video or wherever you deem relevant
- Don’t use copyrighted content like someone else’s videos/music
Following these tips and tricks will ensure that your video is relevant to search algorithms and shows up when people search for it.
However, remember since the competition landscape is always changing the statistics of your channel may keep fluctuating.
To always stay relevant, publish content regularly and try a lot of things till you know what works. Once you have it, create more of that content to get your metrics high.
How Much Money Do Youtubers Make?
You will be surprised to know that top Youtubers make millions of dollars every year.
Take a look at the top Youtube earners from 2019:
- Ryan Kaji – $26 million
- Dude Perfect – $20 million
- Anastasia Radzinskaya – $18 million
- Rhett and Link – $17.5 million
- Jeffree Star – $17 million
- Preston Arsement – $14 million
- PewDiePie – $13 million
- Markiplier – $13 million
- DanTDM – $12 million
- Vanoss Gaming – $11.5 million
One may think that the earnings will always be proportional to the number of subscribers and the total views. This may not always be the case.
Hence, it is possible that someone who has say a million subscribers is earning less than someone who has 10,000 subscribers.
It all depends on the niche, market for the niche and the number of content creators for it. Also, your monetization method will determine how much you earn per 1,000 views or subscribers.
Here are various monetization strategies for videos.
Let us now see the earning potential according to the method of monetization and number of subscribers.
Earning through Adsense (or enabling advertisements) on Youtube
As a method, adsense is highly dependent on the number of views that a video garners and how many users actually see the ad for say 30 seconds or click on it.
While the actual earnings can vary, you can expect to earn anywhere between $3-$5 per 1,000 views.
Hence, in order to make good income you will need a substantial number of views.
So, if your video reaches a million views every month, you will make somewhere around $5,000 a month which makes it a very lucrative job especially as a side hustle.
Subscribers help increase your engagement score which is important for the number of views. Hence, having more subscribers will help you get more views and hence more money through ads.
Earnings through Influencer Marketing
This method is slightly better than ads as you can expect to earn more amount per thousand subscribers.
A mid level influencer earns anywhere around $20 per 1000 subscribers (or around $100 per 5,000 subscribers).
However, this is just the average figure. If your niche is in a lot of demand and you are one of the few influencers in the space, you can expect to earn more out of this.
Influencer marketing is gaining popularity on Youtube and a lot of brands see value in it.
According to a study conducted by Forbes, a Youtube channel that has more than 7 million subscribers can make $300,000 per post.
This makes influencer marketing the top way to make money on Youtube.
Earnings through Affiliate programs
Your earnings though an Affiliate program vary by commission percentage and type of products.
For physical products the commission paid out varies between 5-10%, while for digital products (apps, ecourses, SaaS subscriptions) this could be anywhere between 20-50%.
You can take a conservative estimate of 2-5% as the conversion rate.
So for a $100 product, which pays 5% commission, every purchase gets you $5.
If for every 1,000 views your conversion rate is 2%. Then you get around 20 paying customers per 1,000 views, which makes your income $5 * 20 or $100.
For a digital product priced at this price, your income (considering 20% commission) would be $400 per 1,000 views.
Do you know, around 0.67% of videos on Youtube contain at least one affiliate link?
Earnings through Physical Products
Just like affiliate programs, here too the earnings will differ depending on what kind of product you are selling.
The difference is here you stand to make the entire amount as revenue as you don’t really have to give somebody a cut.
At a 2% conversion rate for a $100 item, you make $2,000 dollars per 1,000 views as revenue.
Your actual income will differ depending on what percent of this is your net margin.
Other Ways to Earn From Your Youtube Channel
Consulting/Freelancing: Typical earnings in this space will range between $100-$400 per 1,000 visitors.
Online Courses: If you are selling a course on Teachable, you can expect to make more than $5,000 (this is what the average earning per course is on Teachable) per course if it becomes a hit.
Therefore, how much you earn will totally depend on how you are able to monetize your content. However, always remember the key is adding value to the customer.
So, no matter what your monetization method, if your customers have money and feel that you are answering some pressing questions for them, you stand to make an income.
How to Make Money on Youtube FAQ
While top Youtubers earn upwards of $10 million annually, your revenue potential will differ depending on the niche you operate in, the demand for the niche, number of influencers operating and your strategy of monetization.
In case you opt for any other method apart from ads, your revenue potential increases.
For instance, if you earn money through influencer marketing, then for every 1,000 subscribers you earn $20 per post. So, a million subscribers and a sponsored post a month will roughly translate to $20,000.
According to Forbes, as per 2019, Ryan Kaji with almost $26 million in earnings is the highest paid Youtuber.
The number of subscribers you need to make money will differ by your method of monetization.
Typically, if you are earning money through adsense, then to make a decent amount you need to have a substantial number of subscribers.
For instance, to earn around $5,000, you will need a million views. While the number of subscribers doesn’t necessarily translate to the number of views it surely helps.
On the other hand if you are trying to make money through an influencer program, you need to have at least a 1,000 subscribers to be a part of most influencer networks. And every 1,000 subscribers give you somewhere around $20 per post.
In terms of advertising money 1,000 views are worth only $3-$5. However, this may differ a lot by which domain you are operating in and how you are using these 1,000 views.
For a sponsored post, it might mean $20 and for an affiliate program this could mean $100.
It is not hard to earn money on Youtube, if you strategize well. This would include choosing the right niche, creating quality content and building a loyal audience and then monetizing it the right way.
All you need to do is choose one of the strategies like selling online courses, advertisements, affiliate/influencer programs, consulting/freelancing, crowdfunding or selling physical products.
Once done, estimate your traffic requirements and build content and SEO to reach the required number.
If you follow the steps and tricks in the article, you will not feel that it is hard to make on Youtube.
It is important to understand why your audience views your content and to add real value to your audience through your content.
While asking your audience to buy something may be annoying, the fact of the matter is, if you don’t ask you will never get it.
So, in order to not make it annoying, make sure that your value proposition is strong enough to demand money. It is also important to call something as sponsored, if that’s the case, so as not to break the trust of your audience.
Ready to Earn More Money From Your Youtube Channel?
Having read the article you must feel confident of making money from Youtube.
You can be one of the few people who make a great amount of money and can easily earn upwards of $5,000 a month with carefully laid out strategies.
This can be done as a side hustle with limited hours devoted everyday consistently.
Remember, success will not come overnight and it could take a while before you build the base to start earning substantially.
The important thing is to follow all the tricks mentioned in the article and then apply it for your gains.
There is nothing that can stop you, the only thing you need is to take that first step. Learnings will come along the way.
So start making money on Youtube channel today and begin your journey to financial independence.