How to Make Money With a YouTube Channel

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Oh man, where to begin. Making money with YouTube is such a huge topic. There are so many different variables that it can be extremely difficult to determine whether or not a channel has income earning potential or not.

Rather than dive into each and every way to monetize a channel, let’s cover the options that apply to 95% of channels. Methods like sponsors and prepaid promotion are mostly reserved for large channels that receive millions of views a month.


This is by far the most popular way of monetizing a channel, but it’s also the least profitable. I have over fifteen YouTube channels and only one of them is monetized via AdSense.

The best way to determine if your channel should be monetized via AdSense is by just testing it. Connect your AdWords account to your YouTube channel and let it run for a few days. If you’re generating a decent CPM (Cost per thousand views) then it might be worth focusing on creating content that drive higher number of views and monetizing this way.

Unfortunately, there are not many industries that command a high CPM rate. The lifetime value of a customer has to be high for there to be enough advertiser demand to drive a high CPM. That’s why you see high rates in industries like financial services, insurance and law. For most other channels, it’s not going to earn much unless you have millions of views.

Affiliate Products

So if AdWords doesn’t work, what next? Well, it’s a little harder but promoting affiliate products is probably the number one way for most channels to earn some extra income from their views. The majority of the channels that I run are monetized via affiliates.

Promoting affiliates is great for three reasons

  1. Higher income per view due to higher payouts with getting paid for actual sales rather than clicks.
  2. Some have recurring revenue, like software signups, where you get revenue for as long as any leads you generate pay the monthly fee.
  3. Don’t need millions of views. Even a small number of targeted views can yield a good income.

Only thing is that you have to be extremely careful with affiliates. Promoting products just for a payday is an easy way to lose trust with subscribers and have a negative impact on the growth of your channel. That’s why it’s always best to only recommend products that you have used and actually find useful.

In my opinion, those are the only two ways worth investing time into at the beginning. Once you have a following the oppurtunities to monetize open up a bit, but AdSense and affiliate marketing are how 95% of channels monetize their views.

If you want to learn more about making money with YouTube, check out my course Tube1k here. I walk you through my entire business model and show you exactly how you can replicate my success.

Cheers, Sam

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