Smiling vlogger filming a live event featuring cosmetic products
You can earn money on YouTube through sponsorships, in-stream video ads, channel memberships and more. — Getty Images/ twinsterphoto

YouTube remains a go-to channel for audiences across many demographics. As such, you can monetize YouTube for standalone income or to complement your existing small business. There are several ways to earn money on YouTube, including sponsorships, in-stream video ads and channel memberships.

Start by building your subscriber base because, at a minimum, you need 1,000 subscribers to join the YouTube partner program and access additional monetization opportunities. In the meantime, consider promoting affiliates or vying for a Shorts bonus. Here are the best methods for generating revenue on YouTube.

Get your YouTube audience involved

Building relationships and engaging your audience is key to creating successful YouTube channels. One easy way to do this is by posting regularly so your followers know when to tune into your channel for new content. Another method is to ask viewers to like, comment and subscribe; however, it’s vital to target your niche audience and review your YouTube statistics often.

Top categories on YouTube include:

  • Product reviews.
  • Gaming.
  • Cooking.
  • How-to tutorials.
  • News.
  • Unboxing videos.
  • Life hacks.
  • Celebrity gossip.

[Read more: How to Create a New YouTube Channel for Free in 5 Easy Steps]

Make money with YouTube Premium revenue

This is one of the easiest ways to earn extra cash from YouTube. Simply turn on the feature and make money every time a Premium subscriber watches your content. The amount varies each month, depending on how many Premium users view your videos. The payment comes from subscriber fees.

Apply for the YouTube Partner program

The YouTube Partner program gives you access to several monetization methods. These include ads, channel memberships, merchandise shelf, YouTube Premium, Super Chat and Super Stickers. Before you can take advantage of these tactics, you need to meet the eligibility requirements. Plus, it can take a month or more to get your account reviewed.

Eligible applicants have:

  • More than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the previous 12 months.
  • Two-step verification turned on for their Google account.
  • No active strikes for violating YouTube’s community guidelines.
  • At least 1,000 YouTube subscribers.
  • An AdSense account linked to their YouTube channel.

Building relationships and engaging your audience is key to creating successful YouTube channels. One easy way to do this is by posting regularly so your followers know when to tune into your channel for new content.

Earn ad revenue from overlay, display and video ads

Another way to monetize is to turn on advertisements for individual or multiple videos in the YouTube Studio app. These ads play in the middle of your video content and give people a chance to skip them after a few seconds. You can earn a cost per thousand views (CPM) or cost per click (CPC). According to the Influencer Marketing Hub, “on average, the YouTube channel can receive $18 per 1,000 ad views. This equates to $3 to $5 per 1000 video views.”

Develop an affiliate marketing strategy

Monetize YouTube with product reviews, unboxing videos and “best of” content. You can mention the brand in your video and include an affiliate link to the product website. In some cases, affiliate partners may provide coupons or promo codes that you can share with your audience publicly or offer them to members only.

Monetize YouTube with channel memberships

You can charge $0.99 to $99.99 per subscriber to your YouTube channel, offer various membership levels and provide up to five perks. Membership benefits include content and chats, but you can also create a custom emoji or badge.

Members-only perks consist of:

  • Community posts: Share unique content with your subscribers to add value to your membership. Community posts can include text, polls, video and images.
  • Video: Create and promote members-only videos that provide insider tips or include outtakes or extra footage from public content.
  • Livestreams: Connect with your community by going live on YouTube. Select “all paid users'' to speak directly to subscribers.
  • Milestone chats: Recognize your loyal fans and the duration of their membership by highlighting one subscriber per month in a live chat.
  • Live chat: You can communicate with paid subscribers during public livestreams via live chat. These chats are private, so only members can view them.

Earn a bonus for short-form content

YouTube set aside $100 million to reward creators for original short-form content. The YouTube Shorts Fund hands out money to thousands of creators monthly, ranging from $100 to $10,000. Shorts can be up to 60 seconds long, and YouTube recommends using the hashtag #Shorts in your description or title.

[Read more: A Quick Guide to Marketing Your Business on YouTube]

Showcase merchandise on your watch pages

Promote your business on YouTube by selling company swag, such as bags, accessories, shirts or hats. YouTube users can view your products on your watch pages and purchase them without leaving the platform. This is an excellent way to increase brand awareness and get your logo in front of more people, on and off the screen.

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