Youtube stars, gamers, funny videos creators, and a host of others are all doing it. If you're on the internet at all, you've almost certainly come across these success stories of different people and how they've profited off of Youtube. What you may not realize is that they're doing it in a way not much different from the TV networks, and it's something anyone can do.
With that said, for Part 1 of our 4 part series on Making money on Youtube I'd like to start off explaining how TV networks profit from tv shows since the idea is very similar in how you'll want to use Youtube. It's a basic strategy on how to grow your channel by looking at it a bit more like those on the business side of television. As a creative person this isn't something I necessarily like, but it's also something we all have to be aware of if we hope to make income from our work. Being creative is great, but it's not as much fun when you aren't getting ahead doing it.
One of the best explanations I've read about Youtube and profiting from it likened it to television networks and the way the networks pay for their shows. Part of the explanation involved the 'why' for shows that did well in the ratings and yet got cancelled. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Women was their prime example, as it was a top rated show when it got the axe.
What happens with tv shows is that they are financed by advertisements, those annoying commercials we see while watching our favorite shows. The networks sell that ad space for commercials, make their money and use it to continue financing the tv shows.
If they have a kids show, they'll likely contact toy companies, foods targeted for kids, and other kid friendly items and sell those companies that commercial space. The advertisers know that a certain number of kids will be watching a show, because of the help of ratings systems, and it's the perfect place to put ads for a particular product. When the ratings drop the show gets cancelled as the advertisers don't want to pay as much for less viewers, and the networks require so much just to produce the show, on top of their profits.
For shows like Dr. Quinn there's another dilemma. While they had the viewers which could warrant the advertisers costs, what they show didn't have is a clear market for what those advertisers were paying for. A kid show's easy to find advertisers for as there's many people selling kid products. Other shows have different demographics, but for advertisers who track that information there's a clear audience that buys a particular type of product which makes it easy to sell them space. For Dr. Quinn, the advertisers couldn't figure out what those who watched the show would buy. It may have been a great show based on ratings, but as far as a specific market that watched it and what they'd be likely to purchase, it wasn't as clear. Without advertisers willing to pay for that risk, the show couldn't afford to stay on the air and eventually got the axe.
Youtube works in a similar manner, although instead of getting cancelled, you just won't get paid because the traffic (IE number of views which you could view as being similar to ratings) won't be there. The first step to making money on Youtube is to view your content in a way similar to how advertisers would view it. Google takes care of the ads for you based on the subject manner of your video so there's no need to do sales calls in order to sell space, although this presents another possible way to monetize your Youtube channel.
The first thing you should do when trying to make money on Youtube is to consider the audience. What type of videos do you want to create that might draw a particular audience that's willing to buy whatever products google decides to place as ads on your channel. If you've read any of the articles about Youtube success stories you'll likely see they fill a specific niche. There's Pewdiepie who does games reviews, game cheats, etc. and makes 6 figures a month and 7 figures yearly. Recently, there was a story of a couple doing videos consisting of the kids opening and playing with toys so parents could see how they work. Basically a toy review channel but instead of reviewing the toys, you could see how kids played with them. Their income was reported at over seven figures. There's political commentary, singers, funny videos, and a whole list of other options you could try to.
If these ideas intrigue you, and you think you have one that may do well, and is specific to an audience, then be sure to read Part 2 of our four part series on "How to make money on Youtube" for more details and ways to monetize a Youtube channel. If you don't have an idea for a Youtube channel, be sure to check out Part 4 of "How to Make Money on Youtube" where we talk about more specific ideas people have used to help them gain viewers.