Wondering how to make money from YouTube? You’ll learn some interesting stuff in this article.
As many of you reading this may already know, YouTube is the world’s largest and most popular video sharing website. More than 100 hours of video content are uploaded to the website every minute!
At the moment (August 2013), YouTube receives more than one billion unique visitors every month who end up watching over 6 million hours of videos ranging from movie clips, music videos, TV shows and all sorts of amateur and professional videos (funny, educational, political, religious… anything!).
YouTube’s slogan: “Broadcast Yourself” is exactly what millions of young and not-so-young people around the world do every single day!
And many of these people are making money while having fun on YouTube.
This article explains how more ordinary Africans can start making money from YouTube and several interesting success tips…
The ordinary 56-second video that earned over $150,000 on YouTube…
“Charlie bit my finger – again!” is a very short video of a one-year old boy (Charlie) playfully biting his three-year-old brother’s finger.
This is just one of those ordinary events that happen in many kitchens and gardens across the world everyday!
Of course, that’s what their father thought when he uploaded the video to YouTube just to share with his friends. More than 400 million views later, this less-than-one-minute clip has gone viral and became a worldwide sensation.
Before PSY’s Gagnam Style , this short clip was the most watched video on YouTube!
With more than 533 million views at the time of writing this article, this short video is estimated to have earned its owner (Charlie’s father) more than $150,000!
Riding the wave of this success, Charlie and his brother have been featured in several follow up clips that have been viewed millions of times on their dedicated YouTube Channel.
This is just one example of how ordinary people are achieving worldwide fame and making good money by sharing interesting (and funny) events in their everyday lives.
It would have been very easy to find excuses if this video was made by a popular artiste, comedian or actor. YouTube now gives ANYONE (with a camera) the power to share their creativity with the world from the ‘studios’ in their bedrooms, college dormitories, road trips, offices and everywhere!
The beautiful part is that you still get to earn some money while you’re having fun! We’ll get to the ‘how to make money’ part in quite a bit.
Before then, let’s take a look at one of Africa’s most successful YouTube entrepreneur.
The Nigerian Million-Dollar Media Business that started from YouTube…
NollywoodLove is a YouTube channel launched by Jason Njoku in 2011 and became the first major internet channel to share full-length African movies (or Nollywood movies as they’re popularly called). In less than a year, this channel attracted more than one million views from over 200 countries around the world.
With just a simple idea, a free YouTube platform, and a few hundred dollars (which Jason used to purchase online rights for the movies), NollywoodLove put original African video content on the global map.
Although he was already earning over $25,000 a month from this YouTube channel, Jason saw a much bigger potential for his highly sought after videos. He decided to move to his own website – IrokoTV – which now has over 5,000 movies in its catalogue.
In addition to advertising, IrokoTV also offers a paid subscription service (about $5 per month) for membership to view premium and ‘just released’ content. Today, IrokoTV brings in millions of dollars in revenue every year and has become exceedingly successful.
The business has gone ahead to add a music streaming service (iRoking.com) and a seed funding venture for tech startups (SPARK.ng) to its portfolio. And all of this started from one simple and free YouTube channel!
The full story of Jason Njoku’s inspiring feat and IrokoTV’s rise to worldwide fame is covered in a previous article.
One of Africa’s most successful ‘YouTubepreneurs’. Jason Njoku’s IrokoTV has been featured on Forbes, CNN, CNBC, BET and Techcrunch. In 2012, he was voted by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of London’s top black men of power.
Become a ‘YouTubepreneur’: How to make money from YouTube
I hate to burst your bubble but as easy as it may sound, making money on YouTube requires a lot of creativity, hardwork and patience like every other business.
However, for those people who are willing to put in the time and effort, the payoff can be huge!
The way most people make money on YouTube is simple – advertising! This is the same way Television has made money since it was invented.
However, unlike a conventional TV house that hires people to produce dramas, documentaries, news casts and all kinds of programs, YouTube provides the platform for you and I to produce any kind of content we want and broadcast to the world.
The income that your ‘programs’ or videos make from advertising is shared between you and YouTube! It’s a win-win deal – we create the video content, while YouTube gives us the platform and serves the adverts that make money.
Online video advertising, which is really how YouTube makes its money, is huge and growing. According to a recent report, advertisers spent nearly $2.5 billion on online video adverts in 2012. This spend is expected to reach $6 billion by 2017. The future couldn’t be brighter for creative and smart people who start to exploit this market now!
So, how can you start making money from videos you upload on YouTube?
It’s simple. You have to join the YouTube Partner Program which allows you to monetize (make money from) your videos. However, this is easier said than done.
Although YouTube doesn’t disclose this, it’s a general belief that to be approved as a partner, you should have at least one of the following:
• over 1,000 subscribers to your YouTube channel,
• over 1,000 views on all your videos; and
• over 10,000 channel views.
You’ll see more of this in the interesting infographic at the end of this article. There are also a number of strict requirements for joining the Partner program which you can find here.
Make sure you read and understand the terms very well before you apply.
If you want to succeed with YouTube, you need these 3 Tips…
There are three unique things we noticed in most of the successful YouTube channels that exist today. Why reinvent the wheel when we can learn and apply these ingredients of success to our own YouTube videos?
Let’s take a quick look at these three tips…
Tip #1 – Consistently upload original and creative videos
If you will ever be successful with YouTube videos and make any money from them, the three key words you must never forget are: Consistency, Originality and Creativity.
Consistency means that you need to upload videos regularly and not just once in a long time. A major thrust of YouTube’s strategy is to build channels that have regular and updated video content.
Again, because you don’t know which of your videos may go viral, uploading more content on a consistent basis allows you to increase your chances.
And when one of your videos does go viral, lots of people are likely to subscribe to your channel so they can follow your future uploads. Uploading videos consistency is one of the key ways of keeping your subscribers hooked.
Originality means your videos should be something nobody else has done before. It’s either something that’s totally new or a fresh perspective to something that already exists. Not many people will be interested in copied work.
Originality gives your videos a unique voice and makes you stand out in the crowd of videos that are uploaded to YouTube everyday. In fact, the YouTube Partner Program does not permit any copyrighted content in videos. This includes music, pictures or videos created by somebody else.
Be creative – look for a different way to grab your audience’s interest and attention. Check out the most viewed and subscribed videos on YouTube and try to figure out what makes them so successful. Why do you think people like them? What can you learn from their success? Is there something you can apply to your videos?
To ensure your content is always of the highest quality, it’s usually a good idea to invest in a High Quality Camera and other video making equipment. You definitely need great tools to create crisp high definition videos that’ll make you stand out!
Tip #2 – Promote your videos…
The biggest mistake many ‘YouTubers’ make is that they upload their videos and wait for them to become popular. Remember, the number of videos uploaded on YouTube every minute is so huge that your videos may never be viewed by anyone else except you!
So, how do you make sure that your videos stand a fighting chance of success? Promote them! Share them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+… everywhere!
Sharing your video content on these social platforms can significantly increase the number of views and subscribers you get. The message here is clear – use social media to your advantage and promote your YouTube stuff! It’s a very useful way of spreading your content.
Tip #3 – Engage with your audience…
The only way to assure long term success as a ‘YouTubepreneur’ is by getting constant feedback from the people who watch your videos. No one expects you to be perfect when you first start out.
But as you understand what your viewers want and incorporate this feedback into your future videos, you will definitely improve and attract more viewers and subscribers.
Comments are a great way of getting feedback from your audience. YouTube has a Comments section at the bottom of every video which allows viewers to react to your videos. You must understand that you will get both positive and negative comments.
Apart from comments made by trolls (trouble makers), good and bad comments are good for you and will help to improve your future videos and give your audience a sense of worth that you’re listening to them (which, of course, will make them more loyal to your channel!)
Tip #4 – Manage your expectations…
I know we promised three tips but we just had to squeeze this one in!:)
There’s absolutely no guarantee that you’ll make money on YouTube. I must admit that sometimes, it may require quite a bit of luck.
Available estimates suggest that you can earn anything between $10 and $100 for every one million views of your video. What makes you earn more or less is really up to a lot of factors (such as the advert types and several others).
While hundreds of ‘YouTubepreneurs’ around the world now earn a full living online, we advise that you don’t totally bet on YouTube until you strike gold. Understanding what’s at stake and managing your income expectations from YouTube will help to keep you focused and determined until you get lucky.
Just hang on there!
An interesting infographic…
During the research for this article, I found this interesting infographic on MoneySupermarket.com.
Consider it a graphic (and visual) summary of almost everything we’ve shared with you in this entire article. We enjoyed it and hope you enjoy it too…
Now you know how make money from YouTube. Ready to start?
In the coming years, we’ll definitely see more successful video content sharing channels by African YouTubepreneurs. Anyone who’s creative and determined enough can achieve both financial success and fame on the world’s largest video sharing platform.
The likes of IrokoTV are proof of what’s possible with YouTube! You can start as soon as possible… like today!
If you’d like to explore other amazing ways of making money online, you’ll find them here. You could also choose from many more interesting business ideas in the Business ideas section of this website.
We would love to hear from you about your successes, challenges, advice and questions. Do not forget to leave a comment in the section below and share this opportunity with your friends.
To your success!