How Does YouTube Work?

YouTube has strict content guidelines and takes its responsibility to provide quality, unique content seriously. Its original goal was to create an online community where people share their knowledge and passion for a subject and are entertained.

YouTube rewards and incentivizes those who create channels and content to grow the online community. The content must add value, be significantly original, have educational value, provide commentary or be an editorialized statement. Plagiarized content is not tolerated and violators’ content is removed.

YouTube looks for people who show a passion for their topic and are consistent with content. Being an expert in the field builds credibility and grows viewers. Content is subject to automated oversight and, if necessary, viewed secondarily by a person.

There are a few ways to earn revenue on a channel, all of which are described in numerous YouTube videos:

  1. Become a Member in the Partnership Program
    a. Accumulate 1,000 subscribers
    b. Accumulate 4,000 hours of annual viewing on your channel
    c. Adhere to policies, guidelines and terms of service
    d. Apply to join and set up an AdSense account
    e. YouTube employees, a real person, will view your content and if deemed appropriate, Google will put ads on your channel
    f. The potential to earn considerable revenue begins at 10,000 views – since Google pays “per impression;” that means when a viewer actually watches the entire ad
  2. Affiliate Marketing Program
    a. Earn a commission by promoting another person’s or company’s products
    b. Use a product in your videos – whether it’s a bicycle, a tool, a piece of equipment, a kind of makeup or hair care product
    c. Become part of the Affiliates program that links your channel to Amazon or eBay or Home Depot – almost any website on the net and earn a commission when one of your viewers purchases that product
    d. Create a video tutorial and put a link to where viewers can purchase the item. Earn between 4% and 10% commission on that item or any other product from that supplier for the next 24 hours. This is a great way to accumulate real revenue
    e. Be authentic and informative, not just all about sales
  3. Sell Branded Merchandise
    a. Develop your own t-shirts, caps, mugs or hoodies and sell it to viewers who love you and follow your channel

It takes time and commitment to create compelling videos that have structure, a story and a hook. Pay attention to analytics and click-through rates. The biggest channels are now earning up to $12 million annually.