How To Make Money On YouTube

26 January 2016, 16:09 | Updated: 17 July 2017, 12:13

We the Unicorns

By Charleyy Hodson

We teach you the secret tips and tricks!

Making money on YouTube isn't as easy as it looks. Posting a video online and hoping it goes viral is not a good way for you, as an aspiring YouTuber, to spend your time. So instead, we're here to help.

Back in the old days of YouTube, there used to only be one answer to the burning question of how to make a living on YouTube - put ads at the beginning of your videos (a.k.a monetisation) and sell as much merchandise as possible. Easy for some, but the playing field has totally changed in 2016, so you need to be smart.

Based on the cultural environment of YouTube, one cannot predict a steady stream of viewers and a dedicated audience base; unless of course you're freaking PewDiePie or something. If you're one of the top producers obviously you'll be treated with the greatest treasures and rewards, but this level of prestige needs to be earned.

So, as an editorial team made up of multiple YouTubers, we have created this 'How To' guide to help you figure out exactly what you need to do to make it in the YouTube world. Specifically, we're going to be looking at the secret ways of video monetisation and financial success!

There are three main ways to make money on YouTube, but each come with their own complications or restrictions.



The monetisation of YouTube videos has been happening for a looong time now. As long as you can remember that 'Skip Ad' button, that's as long as the site has been covered in ads. But as much as we all b***h and complain about their existence, it's literally the most prominent way for creators to make money. Mo' ads, mo' money!

Here's a stone cold fact for you; users typically only watch about 30 seconds of your videos unless you're a big time creator and your fans are feverish for more content. This short viewing time can earn you money under one condition - the user in question is NOT using an AdBlocker.

There are many ways around this problem, one of them being the idea that aiming your content at children will help side step the AdBlock concerns as they're less likely to have it installed. But for all other audiences, it can create a real problem.

Monetisation is one of the easiest and quickest ways to begin to earn money on your videos, but it's only for the semi-successful creators. Channels that demonstrate a steady audience and increasing viewership get enabled for monetisation, which in turns allows you as a YouTube creator into the inner circle.

Just one monetised video enters you into the YouTube Partnership scheme, meaning you get access to banner ads, ads at the beginning and sides of your videos as well as the ability to improve your skills and audience by being a part of YouTube itself.

The profit made from ad views or clicks is sent first to the bigwigs at YouTube which then split their ad revenue with you the creator. The basic payment plan works out like this:

  • 1000 views = $1.50
  • 1 million views therefore = $1500
  • For Brits, this converts to Ł880!

To set up monetisation for your YouTube channel, follow these simple steps:

  • Upload a video
  • Go to the 'Monetisation' tab and check the box 'Monetise with Ads' next to a video
  • Set up a Google AdSense account and link it up with your bank account/PayPal
  • Wait for the dollar to roll on in!



Sponsored content is usually reserved for the YouTube elite, especially those with a sizeable option, but it's certainly available to anyone who asks, persuades and sells their brand very well. It also makes the most amount of money fast.

The basic idea is that an advertiser pays you directly for making a video about or involving their product. It's your simple transaction of services, but this money making means is wrapped in a lot of really serious law.

The single most VITAL thing to remember is that if you're making sponsored content, you MUST declare it to your viewership.

Paid product promotions or endorsement deals are legally obliged to be presented to the audience in order to be upfront about it's involvement with the vlogger in question as well as demonstrate a level of fairness in accordance with YouTube guidelines.

Each sponsorship deal will be unique to the creator in question, so estimations of finances or contract agreements will vary.


  • Crowd-funding

Crowd-funding is a popular tool for YouTubers and frankly ANY creator to get the general public to back their projects if it goes back their own financial possibilities. It has allows multiple movies, games and series to become a reality and continues to be one of the easiest platforms to support innovation.

And then there's Patreon. The easiest way to describe Patreon to anybody not familiar with the platform, is that it exists purely as a digital tip jar. It's the gift that keeps on giving as fans pledge any amount of money they're charitable enough to give up towards a creators Patreon account - and this acts as a monthly payment.

Example: I donate Ł10 to Markiplier's Patreon account. I then essentially pay Mark Ł10 every single month to continue making amazing work. It's easily the best way to directly help your favourite creators.

In return, donators can get awards and exclusive content such as extended podcasts or blooper reels, but often it gets neglected when YouTube channels sit in a weird mid-success limbo.

You have enough subscribers to have an audience base, however they already deem you too successful for their monthly donation of Ł5. Therefore the creator has no money and no form of income, whilst simultaneously not ensuring their fanbase about their dying need for food and basic warmth.

It's a tough circle, but Patreon certainly becomes the most profitable when considering how unstable the viewing figures are from YouTube videos and monetisation. A monthly payment of X amount of donations is far more stable than relying on uploaded video content to work successfully.


If you want anymore advice on all things YouTube, pop a request in the comments below and we'll get around to making you a guide!