It can be a long, slow process but there are millions to be made. And we’ve got insider tips on how to make a business from YouTube and how to start earning money from YouTube videos.

Firstly, building a YouTube channel from the ground up and turning it into a profit-making business never happens overnight.

Steven Oh from The Young Turks (3 million+ subscribers) says most YouTubers in the beginning really shouldn’t even consider or think about monetisation.

He says: “First, hone your craft. Build an audience. Show your passion. YouTube is a social engagement tool”, so you need to spend time building a loyal audience which supports you and keeps coming back for more.

Likewise, Business Insider advises that monetising a YouTube channel takes a combination of time, patience and luck.

But it’s not all bad news, people have done it and continue to do it. There are thousands of YouTubers across the world earning revenue in a number of different streams, here’s a couple of key ways to make money from YouTube.

Partners get paid

Once you have grown a successful YouTube channel and have a good audience to show for it, you can apply to join the YouTube partner program.

Offering longer videos, more editing tools and deeper analytics, the main benefit is the ability to earn when coupled with an AdSense account.

You can monetize and allow ads for specific videos after you’re accepted and turn on ‘revenue sharing’. But, a word of warning, read up on the rules of what you can and cannot earn from, content-wise.

Find freelance work

With a successful YouTube channel comes the kudos that you’re a good video producer, can create a brand, market its content and draw in an engaged audience.

Businesses may then approach you (or you could pitch to them) offering you work based on your skills.

This may be freelance work produced for them or in conjunction with them. Either way, you now have a portfolio to show potential clients or brands what you can do. Turn your talent into coins in the bank.

Make money from merchandise

Your YouTube channel can turn into a business based on its very own content.

You’ve developed funny characters, coined catchphrases, or you’ve seen a gap in the market for products that you know your audience would love. Make these a reality with branded products, which you can sell via a web store.

There’s really no limits to what you can brand, package and sell these days, think up some ideas, crunch the numbers and ask your audience what they think – you may have an incredible entrepreneurial spirit inside you that you never knew existed!

Spread the love to social media

Most influencers will attest to making their money via social media, which is more fast-paced and to-the-moment.

Lots of YouTubers have active, engaged profiles on several social media sites as an enhanced offering to their popular YouTube channel. Brands could be lining up to work with you on sponsored content, brand endorsements and product, service or experience reviews.

Just be wary of stats and analytics, businesses will want to see a return on investment by tapping into your audience. Brands look for a mixture of audience reach and engagement when choosing influencers, bloggers and creators to work with.

Speak, attend, be seen

Personal appearances, speaking engagements, panel discussions, presentations, each and every one of these activities could earn a handsome figure.

People and businesses will be interested to see you in person, hear you speak and demonstrate your expertise. Make sure you’re confident in what you can offer and don’t undersell yourself.


If you have a longer-term goal or a dream that you wanted to explore, your YouTube audience might want you to take them along on the ride and offer to sponsor you.

You could have a dream to publish a cookbook, produce a short film, record a music demo or spend a year travelling the world – your loyal audience could help to get you there.

There are lots of crowdfunding platforms, showing that people power is a real thing. Just remember to offer your ‘backers’ worthwhile rewards and lots of incredible content to make up for their sponsorship of what could just be a wacky or wild idea.

Don’t take their trust for granted. Read more about our creating a killer crowdfunding pitch blog post.

For more information on earning YouTube Revenue, the Creator Academy has some helpful insights.

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