How do people make money with their channels on YouTube?

Updated April 17, 2017

According to YouTube, its users upload a staggering 72 hours' worth of video per minute. Over 800 million unique visitors watch over 4 billion hours of video every month. So it's no surprise that users want a slice of this very lucrative pie. The YouTube Partner Program is open to anyone who wants to make money from the video clips they upload to the site. It's a simple registration process, and is completely free.


The first step is to set up a YouTube account, if you don't already have one. Navigate to YouTube and click "Sign In." If you have a Google account you can use your name and password to log in, if you want to link the two. Otherwise, click "Create an Account." Choose your YouTube username carefully, as it is, effectively, your brand name on the site. Try to come up with something catchy and relevant. As soon as you have set up your account, you are assigned your own YouTube channel. To find your channel url, click on your name in the top right of your homepage. Select "My channel" to view your channel page. Make a note of the URL in order to pass it onto family, friends, colleagues or clients.

Partner Program

From your YouTube homepage, click "Creators and Partners" at the bottom of the page. Click on "Become a Partner" then "Get Started." You have to enable your account for monetisation by clicking "Enable My Account" and accepting the terms of service.

Uploading videos

To upload a video, click "Upload" to the right of the search bar at the top of your homepage. Click on the large arrow in the centre of the screen to open the files on your computer. Double click on the file you want to upload and it will start automatically. Alternatively, you can drag files from your desktop or any folder on your computer to begin the process. Make sure the Privacy level is set at Public to make sure other users can find your video. If nobody can find it, you have no chance of making any money!


During the uploading process, click the Monetisation tab to opt into monetisation. Your video needs to be approved by YouTube for monetisation. To be eligible, "you must own all the necessary rights to commercially use all visuals and audio, whether they belong to you or a third party." When your video has been approved, YouTube will insert adverts inside or near the video. Linking your YouTube account to an AdSense account will increase your monetisation opportunities. If you already have an AdSense account, navigate to the Monetisation page in your YouTube settings. Go to the AdSense Association page, which will take you to AdSense. At the bottom of the page, select the Google account you want to use for AdSense. Enter your Google password and accept the association. You will then be directed back to YouTube. If you don't already have an approved AdSense account, follow the same steps. After you entrer your Google password, you will be prompted to confirm the association then provide your billing information. After submitting, you will be directed back to YouTube.


If you want to make money from your YouTube channel, you need to upload original content on a regular basis to attract subscribers. Think about what your interests are: what are you passionate about? Don't force yourself to make videos about something that doesn't interest you, as you'll soon get bored. Focus on being creative, reliable and professional, and you should notice your audience growing. The more subscribers you have, the more clicks the adverts will get, and the more money you will make.


Nowadays it's not enough to upload videos and sit back and wait for an audience. Take the time to promote your YouTube channel across all other social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. Build relationships with your friends, followers and connections on these sites, to find out what they like to watch on YouTube; you can use this feedback to adapt your YouTube channel accordingly.

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About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."