how to monetize youtube videos by Ramit Sethi

How to Monetize Youtube Videos (turning views into revenue)

It’s not easy to navigate the YouTube world and turn your channel into a source of income. With nearly half a million subscribers tuning into my content, I’ve learned that success on YouTube isn’t just about uploading videos; it’s about strategically monetizing your passion and connecting with your viewers in a way that turns those views into a steady stream of revenue.

It’s not about chasing viral fame either; you have to create consistent value that resonates with your audience to build a sustainable income.

If you’re ready to move beyond just being popular on YouTube to becoming profitable, stick around. I’m here to share real, actionable insights on monetizing your YouTube videos effectively. Let’s get started!

how to monetize youtube videos by Ramit Sethi

New to IWT?

And join over 800,000 readers getting our Rich Life Insiders newsletter:

Table of Contents

9 Ways to Monetize Your YouTube Videos

1. Join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP)

YPP is your ticket to making money off the ads running on your videos. Think of it as setting up a little shop within YouTube’s ecosystem. You’ll need a Google AdSense account because, surprise, YouTube is under Google’s umbrella. If you’ve ever made a dime online through ads, AdSense might already be your familiar friend.


Here's a rundown of the eligibility criteria for the YouTube Partner Program:

  • You’ve got to be 18 or have a guardian who is, to handle AdSense payments.
  • Live where YPP is a thing. Not every country is on the list.
  • Rack up at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over the last year for videos, or 1,000 subscribers with 10 million Shorts views within the last 90 days.

Heads up: Not every channel’s a fit for YPP. If your content’s edgy, think twice. Advertisers are picky, and YouTube’s got standards, especially regarding adult content, violence, and anything that’s generally advertiser-repellent.

2. Channel memberships

Channel Memberships are like your YouTube fan club’s VIP section. If you’ve built up a solid subscriber base, this is your next move. Here, subscribers throw in a monthly fee to get their hands on content that the average Joe can’t see. Your pocket gets a slice of that membership pie.


Here's a rundown of the eligibility criteria for the Channel Memberships:

  • Age 18 or bust.
  • Again, you’ve got to be in a YouTube-friendly zone.
  • Channels marked as “made for kids” need not apply. 
  • Subscriber Milestone: 30,000 fans cheering for you (but if you’re in the gaming world, you’re in luck with just 1,000+).
  • YPP Badge: Yep, you need to be in the club—the YouTube Partner Program.
  • Clean Content: Watch out for no-gos like claimed music tracks.

Hit these marks, and the Membership option pops up on your admin dashboard. The key here? Deliver killer content that makes your members feel like they’re part of something exclusive.

3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is all about shouting out products you believe in and getting a cut when your viewers bite. Forget the old-school ad game; this is about earning cash through actions, like when someone grabs a product because you said it’s the deal.


How to do Affiliate Marketing on YouTube:

  • Use affiliate links in your video descriptions or casually weave them into your chat. 
  • Align with affiliate programs that match what you’re all about. Into e-commerce tips? Shopify’s affiliate program could be your jam.
  • Get the lowdown on how each program pays out. Some might throw cash at you for sign-ups, others for actual purchases.
  • Your recommendations are gold. Be upfront, be real, and your audience will trust your picks—and that’s when you’ll see the real payoff.

It’s not just about the extra dough. It’s about upping your game by offering your audience the goods that can genuinely make a difference. Do it right, and affiliate marketing won’t just boost your bank account – it’ll boost your credibility too.

4. Sell Products or Services

You’ve seen creators pushing their merch, right? This is a lucrative revenue stream but it does require careful planning. One of the advantages here is that even though you are using YouTube videos to sell the products or services, you’re making bank not from YouTube, but from every hoodie, course, or whatever magic you’re selling.


Here's Your Game Plan for Selling Merch on YouTube:

  • Whip up videos that do more than just talk about your products or services. Think tutorials that solve problems, demos that dazzle, testimonials that tug at hearts, or sneak peeks that build buzz.
  • Get your viewers over to your site or shop with clear calls to action. Drop those links in your descriptions, or if you’re in the YouTube Shopping club, flaunt your goods right under your videos.
  • Engage with your viewers as if they’re already your customers. Answer their questions, chew over their feedback, and make them feel like part of your brand’s journey.

With millions browsing YouTube daily, it’s your ticket to getting seen. Use it to spread the word and draw eyes – and wallets – to your brand.

5. Licensed Content

Ever wonder how your YouTube creations can show up in viral videos, TV spots, or other projects? Enter the world of content licensing. This is where you play the game on your terms: letting others use your videos, but for a price.


Here’s the Playbook:

  • By default, you own everything you upload to YouTube, unless you’ve signed away those rights. That means you’ve got the power to license out your content.
  • Toss a business email into your video descriptions and channel info. This is like putting up a “for rent” sign on your content, making it easy for interested parties to slide into your DMs.
  •  When someone wants to borrow your masterpiece, it’s deal-making time. Discuss usage, duration, compensation, and the fine print. Seal it with a contract that makes both parties happy.
  • Payments can swing wildly based on how and where your content is used. Don’t sell yourself short!
  • Any licensing deal should shield your rights. Be clear on how your content is used, insist on credit, and keep a tight leash—you should be able to pull the plug if things go south.

Licensing is all about strategically leveraging your content to open new revenue streams while maintaining control over your digital assets. Equipped with a clear strategy and a keen eye for protection, you will watch your YouTube channel not only grow in viewers but also in value.

6. Brand Sponsorship

Brand sponsorships on YouTube are essentially strategic partnerships with companies. You feature their products or services in your videos and get compensated for it. It’s a straightforward way to earn by integrating brand content into your own, ensuring it aligns with your audience’s interests and your channel’s theme, of course.


Explaining Brand Sponsorships:

  • Start by scouting brands that vibe with your content and audience. This could mean hitting up brands yourself or using platforms designed to matchmake creators with companies.
  • Once you’ve teamed up, it’s showtime. Feature their products or services in your YouTube world. This could be through shoutouts, demos, or even a full-on sponsored episode.
  • Compensation comes in different flavors—direct payments, commissions, or maybe even a haul of freebies.

Remember, this isn’t about selling out; it’s about smart alignments that bring value to your audience while padding your pocket. Choose partnerships that resonate with your brand and contribute to your narrative, ensuring authenticity remains king!

The world wants you to be vanilla...

…but you don’t have to take the same path as everyone else. How would it look if you designed a Rich Life on your own terms? Take our quiz and find out:

7. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding turns your fanbase into your funding source, making it a game-changer for creators. It’s about rallying your community—those folks who can’t get enough of your videos, tunes, or art—and giving them a direct way to support your next big thing.


Crowdfunding Broken Down:

  • Launch a Campaign: Platforms like Kickstarter become your stage. Here, you’ll spell out your vision, the nitty-gritty of what you’re creating, and how much cash you need to make it happen.
  • Reward Your Supporters: Show some love back by offering cool perks or exclusive merch. It’s a thank-you gesture that scales with their generosity.
  • Spread the Word: Use every tool in your arsenal—your YouTube channel, Instagram, X, even old-school email—to shout about your campaign from the digital rooftops.

Crowdfunding allows you to build a deeper connection with your audience. They’re not just viewers anymore; they’re patrons of your art. By funding your projects, they’re buying a ticket to be part of your creative journey. This is your chance to turn your passion projects into reality, backed by the very people who believe in your work the most. Isn’t that lovely?


8. Youtube Premium

YouTube Premium is like the VIP lounge of YouTube, minus the ads, plus a bunch of cool perks like background play and offline viewing. But here’s the kicker for creators: it’s another avenue to stack up your earnings.

Diving Into Premium Payouts:

  • When Premium subscribers dive into your content, you get a slice of their subscription fee. The more they watch, the bigger your piece of the pie!
  • Payouts hinge on how much these subscribers watch your videos. It’s all about keeping them hooked.
  • You’ve got to be in the YouTube Partner Program. It’s the gateway to earning from Premium, ads, and more.

Think of YouTube Premium as your audience supporting your content without sitting through ads. It’s smooth sailing for them and a sweet deal for you. Meeting the YPP criteria opens the door to this extra revenue stream, padding your earnings while your fans enjoy your content uninterrupted. It’s a win-win.

9. Superchat and Super Stickers

Super Chat and Super Stickers are where live streaming gets lucrative. Think of these as your viewers’ way of throwing you a high-five—with cash attached. They buy standout messages or fun stickers that pop in the chat, giving your live sessions an extra layer of interaction and excitement.


Here's the Deal:

  • The more your fans spend on Super Chats or Stickers, the more spotlight their messages get—and the more you pocket.
  • You’ve got to hit a few benchmarks to get in on this action: Be 18 or over, have your channel monetized, boast at least 1,000 subscribers, and be in a place where YouTube rolls out the red carpet for these features.

Super Chats and Stickers give your viewers a direct line to show their support, making your live streams not just more interactive, but also more profitable. Fire up your live game, and let’s turn those chats into cash.

Seizing Your YouTube Potential

Monetizing your YouTube channel boils down to this: provide value, stay authentic, and leverage the tools at your disposal. Whether it’s through engaging content that attracts premium subscribers or crafting videos that make brands want to partner with you, success comes from understanding your audience and delivering what they love.

Remember, like most things in life – YouTube is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep your content genuine, your strategies smart, and your community engaged.

Like this blog post? Learn how to create amazing content like this that attracts and engages your target buyers with our FREE Ultimate Guide To Remarkable Content.

It’s one of the best things I’ve published, and totally free – just tell me where to send it:

When you sign up, I'm also going to send you my newsletter full of my best advice for free.