How many subscribers do you need to make money on YouTube in 2021?

By Ritvars Lauza read
How many subscribers do you need to make money on YouTube in 2021?

There are plenty of people without millions of subscribers that do good numbers on YouTube. Which makes many of us wonder how many subscribers do you really need to start earning an income.

In this post you’ll learn about YouTube’s partner program and their requirements and other means of monetisation that are far more lucrative.

YouTube Partner Program

The first step in monetizing your YouTube account is joining the YouTube Partner Program. The YouTube Partner Program is a monetization program that helps creators make money when people view their videos through advertisements.

Since Google owns YouTube, the program uses Google AdSense to display ads of your choosing. With the YouTube Partner Program, you are given the freedom to choose what kind of ads and videos you want and don’t want to use to monetize your content. Your options for ads include commercials that play before your video, a banner underneath your video, or an ad above suggested videos on the right.

When a viewer watches or clicks on a commercial or ad, you receive a small commission. This could be a few cents to a couple of dollars per view or click. The amount of money you receive depends on several factors including the advertiser’s bid, the type of content being shown, and the length of your video.

The YouTube Partner Program requires you to apply to monetize your YouTube channel. But once you are accepted, you will be able to start converting your viewers and subscribers into an income!

What are the requirements?

YouTube has recently announced several new eligibility requirements for joining their Partner Program in order to avoid spammers, impersonators, and others with bad intentions from detracting from channels with quality content.

To be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program, your channel must have:

    • Have at least 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months
  • Have at least 1,000 subscribers

Once your account meets these requirements, you can begin the application process which involves agreeing to their terms and conditions, signing up for Google AdSense, and setting your monetization preferences.

You’re a member of the YouTube Partner Program! Now what?

According to the YouTube Partner Program requirements, you need at least 1,000 subscribers to be eligible to monetize your account through their program. However, there are a lot of factors that contribute to receiving a substantial payout from AdSense.

As you already know, the amount of money you can make on YouTube varies due to the nature of ads and what kind of viewership you have. Some ads pay per view, but many ads pay per click. To get the most out of your ad revenue, you want to have a high viewer engagement rate. The more viewers you have interacting with your ads, the more money you will make. While you can’t control how enticing each displayed ad is to your viewers, you can control what kinds of ads appear with your videos.

The success of your ads depends on how well they match your audience’s interests, as well as the length of your video. Think about it. A 30-minute video gives a viewer 30 minutes to click on an ad as opposed to a video that’s only 5 minutes. It also gives Google AdSense more chances to display relevant ads, especially when considering the timed commercials that play throughout a video.

When you initially enter your monetization and ad preferences, make sure to only choose ads that will appeal to your target audience. This includes topics, colors, and formats that are guaranteed to get your viewers’ attention.

Metrics are just as important

The best way to determine how successful your videos are is by looking at your channel’s metrics and analytics. These not only tell you how well your videos are performing, but how likely you are to start increasing the money you make via ads and other monetization methods.

There are three main ratios that help you gauge how your channel is doing:

Likes to Views Ratio

The likes to views ratio show how popular your videos are. If a viewer really likes your video, if it provided them with unique content and they found high value in it, they will take the time to give it a like. Tubular Insights states that for every 100 views, you should get at least 4 comments.

Comments to Views Ratio

Comments to views will tell you about what kind of engagement your videos are getting. Just like with ads, high engagement is an important goal. The more people who interact with your video, the more likely they are to interact with your ads. A good comments to views ratio is 5% according to Tubular Insights, so 5 comments for every 100 views.

Subscriber to View Ratio

Your subscriber to view ratio tells you what percentage of your subscribers are watching your videos. Views per video will vary widely. You could have thousands of subscribers and only receive a few hundred views for one video but 100k on the next. When you average everything together, you want to shoot for a subscriber to view ratio of at least 14% according to Tubular Insights.

However, the more subscribers and views you start to receive, the harder it will be to keep this ratio high. If your subscriber to view ratio doesn’t reach 14%, it isn’t an indication of failure. Take the popular YouTuber PewDiePie. He has 55 million subscribers and receives about 4 million views per video. That’s a subscriber to view ratio of a little over 7% but he is still receiving millions of views per video and making $12 million a year. Metrics like these are great measurement tools but can be subjective to your content or audience.

Better ways to earn from your subscribers

The YouTube Partner Program is far from the only way of monetizing your YouTube channel. There are plenty of ways to make money on YouTube without ads. Below are a few.

5x your income selling digital products

One of the most profitable ways of earning money on YouTube is through selling your own digital products.

The best part?

You don’t need 100,000 subscribers for this. Heck, a 1000 subscribers can be enough to get you started. We actually have a guide on this. ( 4 Step system to earn 1000$ from 1000 followers ).

You could sell items such as:

    • E-books
    • Lightroom Presets
    • Stock Photography
    • Courses

And 100 more. Here’s a list of 101 great product ideas.

And so much more! The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating and selling digital products. And the profit could be incredible! Take Sorelle Amore who made $25k by selling her presets on Sellfy. All you have to do is create your own online shop and start adding links to your YouTube videos.

Talk about different products as an affiliate

Along with linking to your own merchandise on your YouTube videos, you can also add affiliate links to make money. Affiliate marketing is when a brand or product pays you a percentage of their sales when you refer a person and they buy their product. If you do affiliate videos just right, market them to the right people, and get high video views, you could easily make several thousand dollars a month through affiliate marketing on YouTube.

Great videos to encourage affiliate sales include:

    • Product Reviews
    • Product Tutorials
    • Product Round-Ups

If you are just starting out and don’t have a large subscriber base, this is a great way to work towards landing sponsored posts.

Sponsored videos are booming

Another popular way to earn money on YouTube is through publishing sponsored videos. Sponsored videos are a lot like affiliate marketing in that you are recommending products, except you work directly with a brand and they pay you upfront for the entire video. Your income does not rely on how many products you sell, but usually on how many people will see your message.

There is no set subscriber amount to get sponsored but, usually, the more subscribers and views you have, the better. Brands want to know that their product will be advertised to plenty of people who would be interested in it. If your account isn’t huge but you still want to work with brands, a great way to win them over is by having, and pitching them, a good engagement rate.

Another factor that would help brands want to partner with you is by having the verification badge next to your channel’s name. The verification badge means that you are an established creator, brand, or business. According to YouTube’s verification guidelines, you need a certain subscribers number to get verified and that number is 100,000.

Turn subscribers into money

Making money on YouTube is something that everyone can do! It’s not just something for those “famous” on YouTube. With hard work and the knowledge to turn subscribers into an income, you will be making money on YouTube in no time!

If you’re ready to turn your subscribers into money, download our guide on the 4 step system to make $1000 with 1000 followers without paid ads below.

Ritvars is the marketing lead at Sellfy. With over 6 years of experience in online marketing & eCommerce, Ritvars shares his knowledge in Sellfy blog. He is inspired by the success of Sellfy creators and is passionate about finding new ways how he can help them succeed.
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