In our first article about profiting on Youtube, "How to Make Money on Youtube", we went over how to view your Youtube channel like a television network. While it may not seem important, to be successful on Youtube you have to view your channel and it's content like those on the business side of the television networks. Not only do you have to monitor the number of views you get on your videos, but also which content is converting into actual dollars. A highly watched channel that no one ever clicks on ads for will do little for your wallet, just as a channel with few viewers will also not be profitable.
Most blogs that refer to making money on YouTube usually refer to the Youtube Partner Program. After joining the Partner Program, Google starts placing ads on your video. If you've watched Youtube at all you've likely seen these ads when they pop up on the bottom of the videos that are playing. You'll hear varying answers on how much per 1,000 views someone can make. Some claim it's as low as $1 per 1,000 views and others may claim as much as $7 per 1,000 views.
The reason for this is similar to the story of Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman we discussed in our first article. Remember, the show was canceled in spite of its high ratings and large viewership. In reality making money on Youtube isn't much different. It's not so much about views as it is about engagement. In other words, making sure those watching your video are likely to click the ad (also known as CPC or cost per click), or they watch an ad for 30 seconds or half the ad, whichever comes first (known as CPV or cost per view).
How much you're paid for a click or view depends on the popularity of the keywords someone using Google Adwords is bidding and the content of your channel. Adwords is a whole different discussion but here's a really quick rundown of how it works in relation to your Youtube channel. Someone signs up for Adwords. Let's say they're selling a weight loss product. They pick a keyword, or group of words and create an ad that they think people will type to find their product. Whenever someone types that word or group of words into Google search, the ads they created pop up. The more a person bids, the higher in the rankings the ad will be. When someone clicks on that ad, Google takes a portion for showing the ad, and if the ad was clicked on your Youtube channel, you'll also get a portion. Basically Google uses your content to determine the Adwords ads shown during your video, and you split the money that was bid on with Google when someone clicks or views it. Usually your split is a smaller portion than Googles.
While you may have very little control over who clicks an ad or how long they watch an ad for, Google does give you analytics to measure which type of videos are generating your profits and which are not. This can tell you which types of video you'll want to spend your time on. As an example, let's use product reviews. In this case you know those watching are likely to buy the product, or a similar product. You automatically have a higher chance to get a click as Google will match up your video to ads with those types of products.
In some cases your lesser viewed videos can actually generate more cash than the ones with greater views. For instance, consider one video where you review a product and another that might be a funny video people enjoy. While the funny video might get you more views, the product review is likely to get you more clicks and in return be more profitable. To help Google along, you'll want to use keywords when titling your video and when writing your description. By using words or phrases in the title and description that match your video content, Google will be able to place ads that more closely correspond to what you upload. The closer the ads match to your content the better chance of getting a click on an ad.
Even with Google's Partner Program, it can take a lot of views and clicks before your see a livable amount of cash coming in. It also requires you to do quite a bit of work to make sure you're uploading content consistently. Starting off and seeing the small checks compared to the time you put in creating the videos can be a bit discouraging. Like the saying goes though, "The best things in life come to those who wait." Over time as google adds your content to the search engines and more people see your videos and subscribe to your channel things become easier.
One way to help this along is to look at other options that can compliment your videos and bring in extra money. Chances are that these too will be small checks coming in when you're starting off, but getting small checks from several places can add up to a nice income. As your network grows those small checks can begin snowballing too, as new viewers start watching your older videos. If you properly plan ahead, you can have a large network where your Youtube videos and Google's Partner Program compliment these other sources for large checks that require very little work. Remember once the videos are done, as long as you don't delete them, they can continue to bring in income with little to no time involved.
Read Part 3 of our "How to make money on Youtube" series to find out about these alternate income streams that can compliment your Youtube videos, and how you can use them to make huge returns with little effort.