Lydia Sweatt is a writer who loves balancing her article/blog time indoors with a healthy dose of nature. She bikes, hikes, and identifies edible plants along the way.
Just Got Monetized on YouTube? 4 Tips to Boost Your AdSense Revenue
So, you’ve just joined the YouTube Partner Program, and your goal is to earn the highest payout on each video. It’s possible, but you’ll need to know two things first: which videos get monetized and which ones don’t!
The truth is that going viral doesn’t always mean getting paid. Some videos are partially monetized on YouTube, while others get demonetized for various reasons, such as violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines. So, the first step in boosting your revenue (and becoming a full-time creator) is knowing the ins and outs of YouTube monetization.
Monetization Basics: What Is YouTube AdSense?
All monetized creators get paid through something called Google AdSense (some simply call it YouTube AdSense).
When you monetize your videos through Google AdSense, you can earn money from the ads displayed on your content. Advertisers pay a specific rate each time an ad is shown on your video or someone clicks on an ad.
Those payment rates are called YouTube CPMs (cost per mille). The CPM rate is what you, the creator, gets paid per 1,000 video views.
The exact rate you’re paid depends on a few things, like the topic of your YouTube channel, audience demographics, seasonality, and more. However, the average CPM on YouTube is $1-5 for smaller channels and $5-20 for the top creators.
When your channel is monetized, you’ll also opt in to revenue sharing. This means the ad revenue you earn through the YouTube Partner Program is split between you and YouTube.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Long-form videos: You get 55%, YouTube gets 45%.
- Short-form videos: You get 45% of the collective ad revenue generated by all Shorts creators, based on the views you get.
- Fan-funding: You get 70% of the revenue from Super Chats, Super Thanks, and YouTube Channel Memberships.
And now that you know how AdSense works, here’s how to maximize your earnings!
1. Follow the Money (Using YouTube Analytics)
Have you noticed that some videos earn more money than others? This usually means the CPM rate was much higher for those lucky videos. Fortunately, you can see the CPM rate on each individual video in the YouTube Studio.
1. First, open the YouTube Studio and click Earn in the left navigation bar.
2. Then, click Watch Page Ads near the top of the next screen.
3. Click See My Analytics.
4. Find the “How much advertisers pay” panel, and click See More.
5. Scroll down and look at the list of videos you’ve published and their CPMs.
Notably, CPM rates on the vidIQ channel are all over the place. One video earned a whopping $31.28 per 1,000 views. Another earned just $15.11!
If we wanted to boost our revenue, we would make more content like the $31 video. Try doing the same investigative process on your own channel!
2. Make Content for All Ages
When seeking the highest revenue, it helps to know the rules for monetizing content on YouTube. The biggest rule is pretty straightforward: Make content for all ages, or in other words, make content that doesn’t scare advertisers away.
So, what does an advertiser-friendly channel look like? Well, a little swearing won’t get you demonetized anymore. But you should avoid heavy swearing, hate speech, adult content, controversial issues, drugs, violence, and more. Videos with these elements aren't suitable for ads, so you might receive partial revenue or no revenue at all.
Source: YouTube Help
Remember, the more videos you’re able to place ads on, the more money you’ll make on YouTube!
3. Use Content You Own (Or Already Licensed)
Being original is the best way to make money on YouTube, because that shields you from unintentionally stealing another creator’s work. And if you do a little content-lifting, you can probably guess the consequence for such an act. YouTube may decide to partially monetize your video (and pay a percentage to the original asset owner) or completely demonetize your video.
So, overall, make sure you aren’t using copyrighted material, which is any creative work that belongs to someone else or is protected by copyright laws. That includes music, stock photos, sound effects, movie clips, and essentially, anything you didn’t create yourself. You should either have permission to use the material or have a license to use it through a third party, such as Soundstripe or Storyblocks. You can also download royalty-free music and sound effects from the YouTube Audio library, which will keep you in the clear.
If you use someone else’s work, the copyright holder might file a complaint. This leads to a copyright strike, and YouTube may terminate your channel if you collect three of those.
4. Choose Evergreen Video Topics (Not Just Trends)
Before we dig into this tip, know that following a hot, trendy topic is how many creators get more views. In fact, we encourage it. It’s a great way to put your channel on the map, but sadly, trendy videos aren’t the highest drivers of revenue.
Why? Because trends come and go!
This is where it pays to think like an advertiser (no pun intended). Advertisers may pay a lower CPM for trend-focused content versus an evergreen video that keeps getting views over time. So, think about what your viewers want to watch year-round. That could be job-related content, finance, family topics, relationships, health, and more.
And Finally, Don’t Rely on YouTube AdSense
No matter what you do, the amount of money you make will always change if it’s coming from ad revenue. That might look like your CPM decreasing during a slow season. Or, it might be a global pandemic (looking at you, Covid-19), that makes advertisers shy away from spending on YouTube ads.
In that case, it’s time to diversify your income. There’s the wonderful option of fan-funding, which you need 500 subscribers and 3,000 watch hours to unlock. There’s also affiliate marketing, selling your own products, and many other paths to a stable income!