YouTube Monetization Explained (How To Make Money From YouTube!)

You’ve done the hard yards and finally reached 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours watchtime on your YouTube channel. Well done! Now you can make money from YouTube in a bunch of new & exciting ways.

That’s right – it’s not just YouTube ad revenue that you unlock once you join the YouTube Partner Program. There are lots of different ways you can make money online once you meet the YouTube monetization requirements.

Important: When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!

In this guide, we’ll take you through exactly how to make money with YouTube once you’re part of the Partner Program. We’ll include ALL of the monetization features so you can reap the rewards of monetization on YouTube to its full extent! 

Here’s what we’ll cover: 

Not monetized yet? Don’t worry. There are still plenty of ways you can make money on YouTube with a small channel. Plus, make sure you hang around for my number one tip to help you get monetized sooner. 

Before we get started, to get paid from YouTube there are a few conditions: 

  • You need to be a part of the YouTube Partner Program (as mentioned above)
  • Your account needs to be in good standing (no copyright claims against your content)
  • You need to be living in an area where the YouTube Partner Program is rolled out 
YouTube Partner Program graphic
To earn money on YouTube with these features, you’ll need to be apart of the Partner Program

Once you’re in the Partner Program, you can head over to your YouTube Studio dashboard. Go to Monetization and this is where you’ll see all the features you currently have access to. 

Now let’s dive in. 

YouTube ads is probably the most common way that people make money from YouTube. 

This is where companies, businesses or people pay to run ads on your videos. There’s a revenue split with YouTube which means you will receive 55% while YouTube receives 45%. 

The amount of money you can make from ads depends on your specific channel and how much companies are willing to pay to run ads on your videos. 

A YouTube video with 2.4 million views
The more YouTube views your videos have, the more ad revenue you’ll earn

If you release a video that becomes really popular and a lot of companies want to run ads on it, it essentially becomes a bidding war as to who’s willing to pay the highest amount. 

The more that companies are willing to pay, the more money you make. 

But this doesn’t mean you need your videos to go viral. If you’re consistently uploading videos, over time you will build up a library of videos that all work together to will bring in ad revenue. 

For each of your YouTube videos, you can: 

  • Enable or disable monetization 
  • Select the different types of ads that can be run on that video 
  • Specify when ads can be displayed during the video (before, during and/or after)

So there’s a fair bit that you can customize when it comes to the viewer experience. 

Try not to swear too much in YouTube videos
The more PG friendly your videos are, the more likely companies will want to run ads on them

PRO TIP: When you’re creating videos, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re advertiser friendly. This means there isn’t anything illegal or lots of swearing in them. If you keep your videos family friendly, more companies are likely to want to run ads on them.  

YouTube Memberships

This is like your own monthly membership subscription that’s run and managed through your YouTube channel. You could also think of it as YouTube’s version of Patreon. 

Your viewers pay a monthly fee in return for what YouTube calls ‘perks’. As the channel owner, you have control over different tiers and what perks are enabled at each of the tiers. 

The different levels of YouTube memberships unlock different perks
You get to decide which perks your subscribers will have access to 

Some of the ‘perks’ or exclusive content you can give members access to include: 

  • Videos
  • Livestreams 
  • Community posts
  • Badges
  • Emojis

Just like YouTube ads there is a revenue split. You will receive 70% and YouTube will receive 30%. 

To set this up, go to your YouTube Studio. Select Monetization and then Memberships. Under Set up your membership offer select Start

Then you can specify the different tiers, what amount your members will be paying each month for each of the tiers, and what each of those tiers will unlock. 

Inside the Memberships tab of YouTube Studio
Go to Monetization and then Memberships to set up YouTube Memberships 

The tiers range from $1.49 to $799.99 per month (that’s in Australian dollars – the amount will show up in your local currency). 

Once you’ve set this up, a Join button will appear below your videos that viewers can click to sign up for your membership. 

Merch Shelf

This is a carousel that appears under your YouTube videos. It displays official merchandise that your viewers can scroll through and purchase. 

The merch shelf under a YouTube video
Once enabled, the merchandise shelf will appear below your YouTube videos 

Currently you can only display 30 products in the carousel but there’s also a link that will take people to your online store so they can view all of your products. 

To set up the merch shelf you will need to have an online store, but don’t worry! YouTube steps you through the process and has even partnered with several companies to make it a really seamless experience. 

A list of different merch platforms and merch retailers
Check out each of the approved companies to see which one suits your needs best 

The requirements for a merch shelf are a little higher than other monetization options. You’ll need at least 10,000 subscribers to be eligible. 

To set up merch on your channel, go to YouTube Studio and under Monetization select Merchandise. Then follow the on-screen instructions to enable the merch shelf and link to your official merch store.


There are three separate features under this one: Super Stickers, Super Chat and Super Thanks. 

All of these allow your viewers to donate to you for the content you’ve created. 

YouTube Super Stickers and YouTube Super Chats will only work when you’re live. They allow viewers to send you money in real time while you’re doing a livestream on your channel. 

Sending a Super Chat on YouTube
YouTube Super Chat allows viewers to make donations to you while you’re live 

YouTube Super Thanks works on videos uploaded to your channel. Once enabled, a Thanks button will appear below your videos that allows viewers to donate a certain amount of money to you. 

All three of these Supers give your viewers the ability not just to tip you but also to send you a featured message/comment. These will appear in the chat if you’re live or in the comments if it’s a regular video. 

If you’re already monetized, you’ve likely already got access to this feature. But it isn’t enabled by default. 

A Super Thanks on a YouTube video
All of the Supers are designed to stand out from regular comments and messages 

To enable it, go to YouTube Studio and select Monetization. Click on Supers and if you’re eligible, you’ll have the ability to switch on Chat, Stickers and Thanks. 

YouTube Premium Revenue

YouTube has a paid option that gives you access to exclusive content and removes all ads from YouTube. Ad-less YouTube is amazing. Once you’ve tried it, it’s very hard to go back to the free version with ads! 

YouTube Premium details
YouTube Premium is a monthly subscription that allows for ad-free watching

But ad-free YouTube poses a problem for creators. Any YouTube Premium subscribers who watch your videos won’t see any ads which means you won’t receive any ad revenue from those viewers. 

To solve this problem, YouTube pays monetized channels YouTube Premium revenue. This is based on the number of views your channel receives from YouTube Premium subscribers. 

So the amount of money you can make from this depends on how many views your videos get from Premium subscribers. 

Primal Video's revenue sources on YouTube
Our ad revenue is much higher than our YouTube Premium revenue 

For the Primal Video YouTube channel, there’s a huge difference between YouTube Premium revenue and YouTube ad revenue. Our ad revenue is MUCH higher. But this will be different for every channel. 

YouTube Creator Fund 

YouTube has allocated $100 million dollars across 2021 and 2022 for the YouTube Shorts Creator Fund. A percentage of that money is given to creators every month based on the performance of their Shorts. 

How to make money with YouTube Shorts
YouTube allocated $100 million to the Shorts Fund for 2021 and 2022 

PRO TIP: If you’re not sure what YouTube Shorts are, check out this complete guide

To be eligible to receive money from the Shorts fund, you need to: 

  • Have uploaded a Short in the last 180 days 
  • Be at least 13 years old 
  • The Short must be original content (you can’t just upload your Tik Tok video with the Tik Tok watermark) 

If you qualify for the Shorts fund on any given month, you will receive an email and a notification in the YouTube app. 

Coins piled up next to a piggy bank
The better your Shorts perform, the more money you’ll receive from the fund 

YouTube has said qualifying channels can receive anywhere from $100 to $10,000 depending on the performance of the Shorts they’re creating. 

How to Get Monetized Faster

As promised, here’s my number one tip on how to monetize YouTube videos faster. 

This tip is actually something that will help you GROW your channel which in turn will help you get monetized quicker.

So my number one tip is… Be strategic with the content you’re creating. 

A hand waving at a camera
My best advice on how to monetize YouTube channel is be strategic with your content 

Don’t just create random videos or upload videos for the sake of uploading. Make sure you research your topic and plan the structure of your video.

You don’t need to upload daily videos or even three videos a week. You only need to release one strategic video per week. That’s exactly what we do and it’s allowed us to grow our YouTube channel AND build a business off the back of that channel. 

For more info on growing your channel so you can get monetized on YouTube sooner, check out our 9 Tips to Grow from 0 to 1000 Subscribers Fast


When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!

Recommended Gear & Resources

Check out an up-to-date list of all the gear, software & tools we use and recommend right now at Primal Video on our resources page here!

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