YouTube monetization rates have been a topic of fierce debate over the past few years. When the giant video platform began issuing ads at the beginning of videos, many users became excited about the revenue potential. And why not? In 2013, YouTube advertising revenue clocked in at several billion. That was an increase of 51% over the previous year.

So YouTube monetization rates should be sky-high, right?

YouTube Monetization Rates

YouTube came under heavy fire for keeping a big chunk of the content creators’ advertising revenues: the company keeps 45%. Critics claimed that this prevents YouTube from reinvesting in better video material, which is necessary for creating and sustaining a long term business. The counterargument holds that YouTube’s hosting and costs warrant this high cut.

The highest YouTube earners – such as Shayne Dawson, PrankvsPrank, FreddieW, and others – earn in excess of $1 million per year from YouTube advertising revenue. But these stories are atypical and such high earnings are few and far between. These YouTube celebrities often gross views in the hundreds of millions or even over a billion views…not a likely scenario for the typical YouTuber.

While the top 1000 YouTube partners receive an average of $23,000 per month in advertising revenue, what about the other million-plus partners? According to an article by The Verge, $2.50 per 1000 views isn’t uncommon.

At that rate, in order to make $1000 per month, a content creator would need 400,000 views per month. Some make more money per 1000 views, and some make less, but anyone interested in earning money from this platform can put together some rough figures to figure out what it would take to generate certain income levels.

Is it Possible to Earn Decent YouTube Income?

There are definitely some online celebrities who have hit it big, and for the right content creators, YouTube monetization rates can work wonders. So how do you do it? First you need to become a partner, and then you’ll need to engage some marketing tactics.

To make good income from YouTube you’ll also want to think outside the box: YouTube isn’t just a place to make money from advertising, it’s also a place to advertise your own products and services.

Become a YouTube Partner

When you become a YouTube partner, you’re signing up to split ad revenue with the company. You split all ad revenue, including the video ads that play at the start of your video and banner ads that appear at the bottom during playback. This is a convenient way to earn income, but, as mentioned, you’ll need to generate a high number of views in order to make it work.

Sign Up with Other Sponsors

This leaves out YouTube as the advertising middleman. When you sign up your own sponsors, you get to set your own rates. If you can negotiate decent rates and find the right sponsors, this can be a much more lucrative method for making decent money from your videos.  

Find Affiliate Offers to Promote

Advertising revenue isn’t the only way to make money from YouTube. What doesn’t show up in the numbers above is the number of people who are using YouTube to generate revenue from affiliate marketing. Promoting products with your content, both in the video and in the video’s description, can earn you commissions from the video’s revenue.

Integrate Your Videos with Your Products

Promoting products on YouTube is common, and so is integrating YouTube content with freemium products. In other words, if you have an information product, you can present part of that product for free on YouTube, and require payment for the other part of the product. You can also use a YouTube series as content marketing to promote your products.

Find an Outside Source of Income

Artists, musicians, writers, and others are using sites such as Patreon to generate revenue for their products. If you have an information or entertainment product that you’re distributing for free on YouTube, for instance, encourage your followers to contribute on Patreon. This site allows loyal fans to contribute a set amount of money for each video you post. Many people use Patreon – which comes from the word patron – as their sole source of income.

Viddler is a site that allows you to sell access to your channel. This is useful if you’re offering premium content or information, such as tutorials. This can also work well as a freemium model: provide one YouTube channel for free, and point users to the restricted access channel through Viddler.

Finally, use the video description to your advantage. Engage your viewers and direct them off-site to your social media accounts, website, and other monetization solutions. While YouTube itself can become a decent revenue stream, it’s also ideal as a launching pad for your other products and services.