YouTube gets more than one billion unique users per month.
Even if you only get seen by a fraction of a fraction of that audience, you can build a very nice income in 7 different ways, like this:
1: Send traffic to your website.
If your website is built to create income, you can use YouTube to get traffic to your site. Repurpose your older content into videos, and create new videos, too. Place your website URL in the first line of your video descriptions and funnel your new traffic straight to your website.
Killer trick: Inside your video, offer a content upgrade found on your site. For example, if your video teaches how to get clients using LinkedIn, offer an email template on your website that professionals can use to get those clients.
2: Sell your own products.
If you’re creating your own products, such as ebooks, courses, apps, music and so forth, you can use YouTube to promote them.
Add your link to your product in your video’s description so viewers can check it out.
3: Make your Kickstarter campaign successful.
If you’ve got a great idea for a product or service but you need funding, create some videos and encourage viewers to comment.
You’ll find out what they like and what needs improving, or if your idea is even viable. Tweak your idea until you get it right, and then launch on Kickstarter.
4: Do affiliate marketing.
There are hundreds of thousands of companies that would love to pay you a commission for sending them, buyers.
Review the product you are promoting in a video or create a “how to” use the product tutorial.
Place your affiliate link in the YouTube description to get credit for the sales.
5: Join the YouTube partner program.
When you’re ready, you can make money simply by getting a lot of views by sharing in YouTube’s advertising revenue.
You might create your own YouTube series.
For example, you could do a talk show, drama, comedy or whatever you’re good at. Keep making new episodes and getting people to subscribe.
Or become a personality. If you’re passionate about your interests and love talking about them, why not? You could be the next YouTube star.
6: Create tutorials.
Are you good at teaching? Then show people how to do things, such as apply makeup, build birdhouses, baking cakes and so forth.
Monetize with affiliate links or AdSense or even by linking to your own products.
7: Build your brand and have fun.
Regardless of your niche, or even if you have a niche yet, it’s a great idea to build your brand. Make videos of whatever works to your strengths and interests, have fun and see what works for you.
You might even turn yourself, your pet or your child into a star simply by being yourselves and seeing what you can make happen.
And if you start getting tons of views, then you can choose how to monetize your newfound fame and audience.
7 Ways to Get More Views on Your YouTube
There’s no sense in creating videos if no one is ever going to see them, right? Well, unless of course you just like seeing yourself on the screen.
But we’re here to get our videos in front of real viewers, prospects and future customers.
Thus, rule #1 of getting views is simple – do not BUY views. No one will be impressed, including YouTube.
Here’s how you get real people watching and liking your videos:
1: Pay for Views using AdWords
“Pay? Oh no, I don’t want to PAY for viewers!”
I thought I would get this one out of the way first since many people don’t like to pay to get their content seen. And I understand that, too.
If you don’t know your numbers or your funnel isn’t even in the black yet, then maybe paying for traffic is something you should do later, once you know for a fact that the traffic will make you money.
But if you have a well-honed funnel system, then your goal is to get qualified prospects into that funnel at a price that is lower than what you will eventually earn.
In other words, if you can pay $1 to make $2, then paying to get your videos seen is a great idea.
And the only way Google and YouTube approves for a pay for view structure is through AdWords. Gee, I wonder why that is…
When you use AdWords, you can get your video to appear in the search results before competing videos. Your video will also appear more often in search results, as well as showing up in the sidebar of “related videos” section on YouTube.
The key is to target the people most likely to become customers. You don’t want to pay for just any viewing audience – you want the folks who will one day spend money with you (and hopefully one day SOON).
Once you determine how to target these exact people with your videos and your AdWords, you are sitting on a perpetual goldmine.
2: Use Social Media
Share your videos on each social platform where you are active.
I know, I know, this one is so obvious. But I see marketers forget to do this all the time.
Be sure to include a message that asks your audience to share the video.
And by the way, there is more to “like, comment and share” than just getting your video to go viral.
Search engines such as Google and YouTube pay attention to the “social signals” that tell them which content is important, engaging or worth sharing.
The social signals and backlinks pointing to your video content can help you rank higher in the search engines.
3: Use Video Tags and Keywords
Be sure to tag specific people or places in your description. If you’re targeting a local market, use your city name and state.
Use popular keywords that are appropriate to get your video to show up in the search results.
Use the names of popular YouTube channels that are related to your video’s content. This will help your video to show up in the ‘related videos’ section for those channels.
Also write a compelling description of your video. Google can’t “read” your video content in the traditional sense, but it can index and understand the text associated with your videos.
And don’t forget your keywords. While ranking for a short, super popular keyword can be difficult, ranking for a longer one is much easier.
Choose a popular keyword phrase (long tail keyword), and then create your video around that keyword. Place the keyword in your title, and your video will likely show up when anyone is searching for that keyword.
4: Add Closed Captioning
Search engines can and do index the closed captioning file you upload to YouTube along with your video. That’s why videos with captions rank higher.
When you upload the optional closed captioning file, the hearing impaired can watch your video, as well as people in noisy environments and those who speak a different language.
This gives an overall better user experience, makes Google happy and gives you better rankings.
5: Get Your Viewers to Subscribe
Every time you upload a new video, your subscribers will be notified, giving you more automatic views each time.
Just don’t use click farms or any of that nonsense. Fake subscribers will hurt your ranking or even get you banned.
6: Swap with Other Channels
Find YouTube channels that are related to what you’re doing and invite their experts or spokespeople to appear in your video.
In return, you appear in one of their videos and now you can cross-promote each other’s channel.
7: Use Attention Grabbing Thumbnails
YouTube lets you choose the image people will see that acts as a video preview in the YouTube search results.
You can either choose an image straight from your video or use something else entirely. It’s good if you can keep consistency from one video to the next, so they all have the same basic look.
For example, a cooking channel might always use a brightly colored graphic art border with the food front and center. A vlogger might use a split image, with a screen capture from the video on one side, and her name and/or the title of the video on the other side.
This way when someone finishes watching one video, it’s very easy for them to pick out more videos in the sidebar listings.
YouTube Q and A
Q. Can you really make money with YouTube?
A. Yes, but unless you’re already a well-known figure, don’t expect it to happen overnight. I’ve seen some estimates on what the biggest YouTube players make, and it’s huge. For example, here’s what the top 10 YouTubers for 2018 made, according to Forbes:
- Logan Paul – $14.5 million
- PewDiePie – $15.5 million
- Jacksepticeye – $16 million
- VanossGaming – $17 million
- Markiplier – $17.5 million
- Jeffree Star – $18 million
- DanTDM – $18.5 million
- Dude Perfect – $20 million
- Jake Paul – $21.5 million
- Ryan of ToysReview – $22 million
Ryan of ToysReview is a 7 year old who – you guessed it – reviews toys. And we’re guessing $22 million buys a LOT of toys.
Logan Paul made news and lost his elite status in the Google Preferred Ads program when he posted a controversial video. He filmed himself in a Japanese forest near what appears to be a human body hanging from a tree – a victim of suicide. Despite being banned for 3 months and losing massive ad revenue, he still made Forbes top 10 list.
And Jeffree Star used his YouTube platform to launch a $100 million dollar makeup line (Jeffree Star Cosmetics.)
Q. Are there requirements to be met before I can get paid for ads (AdSense) attached to my videos?
A. Yes, the requirements have gotten a lot tougher. You’ve got to have over 4,000 hours of watch time on your channel over the previous 12 months (an average of about 11 hrs per day), and you must also have at least 1,000 subscribers.
Q. Why are the requirements so high? It’s going to take me time to reach 4,000 hours during the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers.
A. The requirements weren’t always this stringent. But tighter ad rules followed a small number of high profile events. For example, certain major advertisers left the platform after their ads were displayed next to videos with predatory comments or hate speech.
YouTube is much more interested in keeping advertisers happy and on board than in worrying about the smaller video makers. Sadly, that’s just the way it is right now. But when you’re starting out, there are plenty of other ways to monetize your videos than with AdSense.
Q. How much can I expect to make through YouTube’s AdSense ads on my videos?
A. As a basic rule, figure you will earn $1,000 per one million views on YouTube. If your videos are getting that kind of viewership, then using the advertising program can make you good money.
Q. Are there better ways to make money on YouTube than by allowing YouTube to place AdSense ads on my videos?
A. Yes, for many YouTubers there are ways to make additional income beyond AdSense or even instead of AdSense.
For example, if it’s appropriate, you might post an affiliate link in your description box. For example, if your videos are on home remodeling, an affiliate link to a Lowe’s or Home Depot kind of website would work well. If you do book reviews, then of course link to the book through your Amazon affiliate link.
Anytime someone clicks your affiliate links and then makes a purchase, you’ll earn small percentage of that purchase.
Q. How else can I monetize my YouTube videos?
A. You might sell digital products, such as ebooks, tutorials, courses and so forth. These might be your products, or you might be acting as an affiliate.
Be sure to read the article, ‘Top 7 Ways to Make Money with Your YouTube Channel’ in this issue.
Q. How do I get people to subscribe to my video channel?
A. Ask them. At the end of every video, ask them to hit the subscribe button so they don’t miss out on the great videos you’re currently creating for them.
If your videos are longer, you might also ask them in the middle of the video, too.
Q. What if a person has a face for radio and or doesn’t like being in videos?
A. Then use a screen capture, slideshow or some other means of creating videos. Do not let your fear or dislike of being in front of a camera stop you from profiting from videos.
And don’t think you have to be movie star beautiful or handsome to be in videos, either. Personality and great content are far more important and valuable than just a pretty face.
Q. I’m just starting on YouTube. How often should I post videos?
A. 2 to 3 times per week, even if you don’t have an audience yet.
Why? Because that is how you will get an audience and ensure you have a steady stream of views.
And it’s also how you get better at making videos. Guaranteed, your 20th video is going to be far better than your first one.
Copyright, YouTube, and What You Need to Know to Stay Legal
Infringing on a copyright — whether it’s someone doing it to you or you doing it to someone else — brings consequences. YouTube takes the breach seriously and will take down the infringing video if it’s found to be guilty of violating copyright.
Worse yet, it also penalizes the offender with a strike. And just like in baseball, if you take three strikes, you’re out.
YouTube gives both you and your channel the boot if it gets to this point.
To ensure that it doesn’t happen to you, follow this advice:
Remember Who Owns the Copyright
It’s fairly simple: If you created the video, the copyright belongs to you; if you upload content created by someone else, the copyright belongs to that person and you need permission to use it.
As soon as the work is created, so is the copyright. And since 1992, there’s no longer a renewal process. Copyright lives with the creator — and even lives on for a period after the death of the creator.
Attribution Does Not Absolve A Copyright Violation
Let’s say you repost someone else’s video as your own. You already know that’s stealing and blatant infringement.
But let’s say you repost someone else’s video, or a good portion of that video, and you add a line saying, “Created by ___” and insert their name.
Is it still a breach? Yes. And it can earn you a strike and get the video blocked.
Basically, the law says that if you use someone else’s work in your video without that person’s permission, it doesn’t make it less of an offense just because you give the person credit.
You’re still in violation because attributing the creator doesn’t absolve you if don’t get permission.
Of course, there is “fair use,” something that only applies in certain countries. We’ll talk a bit about that in a moment.
Two Methods of Discovery
The first method is if someone notices that you’ve posted their content on your channel, they can notify YouTube and ask them to take action. This is a takedown notice, and it is a legal process, so don’t lodge one of these yourself unless you are absolutely certain you’re in the right.
The second method is Content ID Match, a system YouTube uses to automatically match content that violates copyright against the millions of videos uploaded every month to the site.
For Content ID to work properly, copyright owners have to upload so‐called reference files — original versions of their work that prove they own the rights.
Normally, record labels, movie studios, or TV stations go through this process for all the work they publish, so individual artists don’t have to worry about it.
Every new video uploaded to YouTube is checked against this huge library of reference files, and if there is a match, YouTube automatically files a copyright claim for the owner of the work.
It doesn’t matter if your aim is to make money from the videos you post or not. The rules are still applied the same way.
How to Get Permission to Use Copyrighted Material
While fair use is complicated (more on this in a moment) permission is not.
It’s often entirely possible to get permission to use someone else’s copyrighted material.
A nicely written note explaining how you will use the content is often enough for a rights holder to grant permission.
Sometimes the permission comes with the restriction that you cannot monetize the material. If so, you’ll have to decide if you still want to use it or not.
And marketers here’s a big bonus: If you ask a fellow marketer (regardless of your niche) if you can use his or her material in your own video because you love it, because it’s spot on, because it’s the greatest thing you’ve seen all month, etc…
…it’s entirely possible you might make a new ally / friend / partner in your niche.
It’s flattering to be told that something you created is so wonderful, someone else wants to incorporate it into their own project. Many a friendship and even business relationship has started this way.
Fair Use Is Complicated
Many misconceptions exist surrounding fair use. One of the most popular is that you can use anything you want as long as you don’t go beyond a certain time constraint or amount.
But it’s much more complicated than that.
In certain editorial situations, you can use copyrighted material without permission. And to avoid trouble, it’s best to fully understand these situations before proceeding.
Here a few generally acceptable uses to consider:
- Criticism and reviews: Reviewing a movie or some form of music makes it perfectly acceptable to use copyrighted material without permission. For example, you might use a short clip of the work you critique.
- Parody: If you’re poking fun at something, it can be acceptable to use content without first gaining permission.
- Commentary: This one is broader and more general and depends on how you use the material. If it’s used just enough (and no more) to illustrate your point, it’s generally acceptable. For example, gamers on YouTube often record themselves playing a new video game and offer funny observations. This is, within limits, fair use.
These are general guidelines and most definitely NOT legal advice.
3 Strikes = A Lifetime YouTube Ban
You don’t want this on your record, nor do you want to lose your videos, all of your video views, comments and so forth.
Obviously, it’s best to avoid strikes altogether.
There are Two Types of YouTube Strikes:
- Community Guideline Strikes: These can result from a variety of reasons, ranging from uploading objectionable content to having a misleading thumbnail or caption.
- Copyright Strike: If someone lodges a complaint that you stole their material, or you get a Content ID claim lodged against you, either can be turned into a strike if you don’t appeal and win that appeal. Or another option is to remove the video, to prevent the strike from occurring.
Things You Should Know:
- Every strike means you go back to school. With every strike, YouTube requires that you take an online course in ‘copyright school’ and then take a quiz to be sure you understand copyright regulations.
- Strikes don’t last forever. As long as you don’t have three strikes, the strikes you do have will eventually disappear – usually after six months.
- If found guilty, your fate rests with the lawful copyright holder. That person can decide if your video should be removed, flagged in certain regions or even monetized. Yes, that’s right: Even though your video may contain only a small portion of the person’s material, that person is entitled to all monetization proceeds. S/he can even put ads on your video if you haven’t already added monetization.
To Appeal, or Not to Appeal
If you get a copyright strike from YouTube, but you’re certain you’re in the right, then go ahead and appeal the strike.
But, if you’re not sure whether you can win (You know you did something you should not have done) then it might be better to wait it out until the strike expires.
Once you appeal a strike, your personal information goes to the person who claims to own the copyright. They can then possibly (highly unlikely, but possibly) sue you for copyright infringement.
If the situation gets to this level, try to work out an agreement directly with the copyright holder, and ask them to file an appeal with YouTube on your behalf. You’ve got nothing to lose by apologizing and asking for their help.
Don’t use other people’s stuff on YouTube unless you’re certain it’s safe to do so. YouTube is amazing at detecting content that has already been posted to the site.
When in doubt, ask for permission.
If you are certain you are in the right, then appeal and get the matter properly cleared up.
Busted! What to Do When YOU Get Hit with a YouTube Copyright Claim
You post a review of a movie on your YouTube channel, and next thing you know, you’re hearing from the studio’s lawyers about how you’ve infringed on their copyright and you’re about to get sued if you don’t take the video down.
What can you do?
More than you think.
One experienced YouTuber offers his advice on how to handle YouTube copyright disputes.
How long have you been on YouTube and how many copyright claims have been filed against you?
I’ve been on for 10 years full time, and I’ve been hit with over 1,000 copyright claims. Most people are shocked by this and think this many claims would put me out of business.
But here’s the thing – I’ve successfully beaten every single claim that I disputed.
Notice I said I won everyone that I disputed. When I was just getting started, I made some stupid mistakes, using copyrighted songs. Instead of disputing those, I simply deleted the videos.
Why have there been so many copyright claims against you?
I do movie reviews – a LOT of movie reviews, and sometimes I like to use movie clips inside my reviews.
Are there certain types of clips that tend to be flagged more often than others?
YouTube uses a program called Content ID Match to help users discover if their content is being used by someone else. I’ve found that audio triggers Content ID match claims 4 times more often than video segments.
And interestingly, footage from trailers always gets tagged. Which is why I’ve been hit so many times.
If you want to show copyrighted work in a fair use context – avoid pulling the source material from YouTube itself, like using a movie trailer clip.
Are some studios more aggressive than others? Which ones have been the hardest to deal with?
MGM rejects every dispute of mine automatically, without reviewing. This forces me to risk an actual copyright strike by appealing it. But at that point, they’ve always backed down.
There’s another company in Europe, GRUPA BB MEDIA Ltd, that handles international licenses for some American movies. They don’t understand fair-use law, so I’ve had to call them out on it and basically give them an education.
It’s important to realize that you can still defend trailer footage as fair use. I’ve done it probably a thousand times. But it will almost always trigger Content ID match claims, which forces you to go through the dispute and appeal process to defend your content.
How do you successfully contest these claims? What’s the basis upon which you contest them?
When you get the copyright notice from YouTube, the next step is to file a dispute – it only takes about a minute and it’s really simple and easy.
But here’s the thing – when you do this, you have to check a box that’s next to bold, intimidating, scary looking letters that say,” I understand that filing fraudulent disputes may result in a termination of my YouTube account.”
This is the point where a lot of YouTubers get scared and back down without defending themselves against what I think of as the content bullies. If you’re in the right and you know you’re in the right, you need to file your dispute. Don’t let these big companies steal your money or your hard work.
The weird part is, movie reviews – at least positive ones – HELP the studios to sell movie tickets. Yet their automatic systems are continually telling us to stop, and so we have to continually tell YouTube that what we’re doing is 100% legal.
So, when you get to that scary, bold sentence about fraudulent disputes, and you know you’re in the right, just click the box that says, “I am sure that my video meets the legal requirements for fair use and I want to dispute the claim.”
What do you do after you tick that box?
Next, you click “continue,” and on the next page I copy and paste my “fair use defense,” sometimes slightly modified for the particular case.
I can’t tell you what to write here, because what you fill in will depend on what’s in question – a song? A video? Something you have a license to? Or simply a short video clip?
You can find plenty of examples online on how to defend your particular case. Tailor your defense to what’s appropriate for the claim. And save that defense, because you will likely be able to use almost the exact defense the next time one of your videos is disputed.
After you do that, type in your digital signature and click “continue.”
Now you’re on a confirmation page. Click “Submit” and “Ok” and you’re done.
It’s that simple.
Can claims lead to termination of my channel?
Absolutely not. I’ve routinely carried dozens at a time. You might stand accused, but according to YouTube, you are still innocent until proven guilty, and if you’re not guilty, then you have nothing to worry about.
How much time does it take for each dispute?
About 1 minute for each. That takes care of about 60-70% of them. The rest get denied at the dispute level, necessitating an appeal, which takes another minute or two.
Over the course of 10 years, I’ve probably spent 24 hours total on these things. Generally, I just set aside a half-hour each week to stay on top of them, and that’s plenty.
Is there a lot of misinformation about YouTube’s copyright laws?
Yes, I think so, because blaming YouTube for a “broken system” is easier than admitting it works remarkably consistently on millions of videos every day.
Also, a lot of people confuse “receiving a match claim” with something far more serious, like an actual strike – which would require losing both the dispute and appeal.
Any last words of advice?
If you’re using something like a song for your background video music, make sure you’ve got permission. And keep good records of that permission, too.
If you’re using just a few seconds – basically sampling someone else’s video and giving attribution to the original creator, you should be fine. Mind you, I’m not a lawyer. But ten years on YouTube does show that the system – however scary to a newcomer – works.
Never be intimidated by a big company. They send out those notices automatically because the computer program flagged something in your video. You just have to respond appropriately, and you’ll be fine.
Study up on YouTube’s Content ID Match so you know how it works. It’s best to be informed, so when you get your first dispute, it doesn’t scare you into deleting your video.
I knew one guy who was so terrified to receive a dispute, he deleted his entire channel. Don’t be that guy.
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