If you ask anyone who takes their YouTube channel seriously they will tell you that making compelling content that people want to watch is hard work. And for most, they are producing videos weekly at the same frequency or interval as a publisher. Except they don’t get paid a salary to play the role of talent, make up artist, videographer, producer and editor. Now some people may view making YouTube videos as a hobby but for these individuals that choose to invest this much of their personal (free) time making videos  you will get a very different response. Many are paying their way through college or have been able to quit their day job to stay home with their kids as a result of a little hard work and dedication.

How do you ask?

Sponsorships
Partnering with a brand to create a video that integrated their brand, product or service natively into a piece of content is one way to monetize the videos published to a YouTube channel. For an average size channel – let’s say 20,000 subscribers – you’d have to have a pretty steady stream of opportunities to make ends meet.  For a bigger channel, where they can demand rates upwards of $5,000 – $10,000 (you read that right, this is not a typo!) perhaps you can get by with one paid product placement every month or so.

Advertising Fees
Many of the videos published under and influencers channel go unsponsored and as a result, they are looking for other revenue streams to offset the cost of making videos. YouTube allows for channels to turn on monetization at a video level, which enables in-stream and pre-roll ads to run against their content.  In this case the influencer received a share of the ad revenue.

Affiliate Fees
For the more sophisticated influencer, they are probably participating in one or many affiliate programs.  This allows them to generate links that are unique to them and provide them a referral fee when someone that watches their video performs a desired action.  Consider it a bounty. One of the most notable platforms to do this at scale is through the Amazon Associates Program.  The trick here, is that is is incredibly time consuming to go to Amazon, search for the product or products in the video, find the product page, make an affiliate link, shorten the affiliate link, copy it, go back to YouTube, paste it in the description… and to do this every single time there is a product featured in a video.  So many influencers don’t take the time and don’t reap the benefits.  gen.video actually automates this process for influencers and as a results provides both the influencer and the brand with tremendous value.

There are certainly other ways to make money by capitalizing on YouTube stardom if you are in the Diamond Club… you can become a movie star, start your own makeup line or even write a book!  But for everyone else, sometimes it’s all about the nickels and dimes.

Jessica Thorpe

Boston sports fan working in NYC. COO @gen_video. Passionate about the blending worlds of ecom, social media & video. Love food, wine, music.