Want to know how to monetize your channel and start making money on YouTube? Take a look at our beginner’s guide!

There are four golden rules to making money on YouTube, and they are:

  1. You need to have 1,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel
  2. Your videos have generated 4,000 Watch Time hours over the last 12 months
  3. You comply with all YouTube’s policies and guidelines
  4. You have an AdSense account set up

#1 The YouTube Partner Program Requirements

Commonly known as the YouTube Partner Program, or YPP for short, you’ll need to hit all four requirements before your channel will be accepted.

Let’s start with the 1,000 subscribers. This one is pretty straightforward, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get to 1,000 subscribers, once you hit that milestone, you’ve reached that requirement.

As well as 1,000 subscribers, you also need 4,000 hours of Watch Time on your videos over the last 12 months it’s nothing about 1 year. There is some confusion with this one, so let me try and clarify that. First of all, this is not about how much video content you, the YouTube creator watch. This is all about how much video content is watched on your channel from people all across the world. It’s all those hours of video that people have watched on your channel in the last 12 months (from any given date). You could well have well 4,000 hours of Watch Time over the lifetime of your channel, but it’s only the last 12 months that count for YouTube Partner Program requirements.

Another couple of things to tell you about Watch Time. Live streams do count towards that total. Unlisted videos also count towards that total. But if you delete any videos, that Watch Time will be removed from your channel Watch Time hours.

#2 Following YouTube Rules for Monetization

If you want to monetize your content, you need to make sure you stick to it, as YouTube state:

When you apply for the YouTube Partner Program, you’ll go through a standard review process to see whether your channel meets YouTube’s policy and guidelines. Only channels that meet them will be accepted into the program.

YouTube also constantly check channels in the program to see whether they continue to meet YouTube’s policies and guidelines. These policies and guidelines that are very comprehensive, given all of the growing pains YouTube have had of finding the right balance between creators, viewers, and advertisers. I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with these policies and guidelines if you want to monetize your content in the future.

#3 Copyright and Monetization Policies on YouTube

Among YouTube’s policies and guidelines is the huge topic of the copyrighted material. Essentially, if you use other people’s work, then you could be using copyrighted material without their permission, and YouTube does not want you to do that. It will almost certainly get you demonetized or prevent you from entering the YouTube Partner Program. Let’s look at this in a little more detail.

For most of you, this is the most important monetization policy. You have to make sure that you’re adding value to any third party content you monetize, and that your content has significant original commentary, educational value, or editorialized statement. This does not give you a license to use other people’s content in your videos all the time, because if you do, YouTube may use this as an argument not to monetize your content.

YouTube confirms that if all or most of your channel is dedicated to reused content, and you’re not transforming the original work by adding your own unique value, then your channel is not eligible for the YouTube Partner Program.

Admittedly, reused, duplicate content and copyright content is a broad grey area on YouTube, and they don’t always get it right. And you may look at some channels on YouTube and see that they’re clearly flaunting these rules.

#4 Linking a Google Adsense Account with a YouTube Channel

If you are going to earn money from your videos, YouTube needs a way to pay you, and at least to begin with, this will be done through an AdSense account. A few things you need to know about this, if you already have an AdSense account, you can use that. You can connect multiple channels to one AdSense account, and if you haven’t got an AdSense account, you can set one up during the YouTube Partner Program application process. Get started with AdSense – Google Sign Up

#5 Applying to the YouTube Partner Program

Let’s remind ourselves of those requirements one more time: You need:

  1. 1,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel
  2. 4,000 Watch Time hours on your videos over the last 12 months
  3. To comply with all YouTube’s policies and guidelines
  4. Have an AdSense account set up

When you’ve applied for the YouTube Partner Program, it may take up to a month for the platform to make a decision. That’s because actual humans will review your channel so it’s a manual process. Some channels have been approved in days, so it could be quicker. However, if it does take longer than a month, then your channel will usually be placed in further review. When this happens, unfortunately, the wait times can get very long. Three, six, possibly even 12 months. In some unfortunate cases, YouTube never seems to come to a decision, leaving the creator in monetization limbo.

#6 Being Rejected from the YouTube Partner Program: Next Steps

Now let’s say that you’ve applied for the YouTube Partner Program, but you’ve been rejected. What can you do?

When you are rejected from the YouTube Partner Program, YouTube will give you a general reason why. Unfortunately, they won’t tell you specifically what video or content is causing the issue, so you may be left blindly adjusting your channel. However, the good news is you can reapply for the program in 30 days’ time.

Again, this is where you will have to use your common sense. If you think there are videos that are walking the community guideline and policies tightrope, then they most likely are and you need to adjust them. If there are videos that have copyright content on them then those are probably causing a problem with YouTube as well, so you will need to delete them.

Common issues why YouTube rejected Partner Program:

  1. Copyright music used or not used licensed music
  2. Using a lot of images taken from google or any social media
  3. Reused content in multiple videos
  4. Using videos content without permission from other creators

Now, your turn…

If you find any of the listed tips useful, share them with your YouTuber friends! And don’t forget to join me on YouTube!

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