If you pay attention to famous YouTubers, you'll likely see them take lavish vacations and attend exclusive events. For successful YouTube influencers, it becomes their job. YouTube can make regular people famous. While not everyone can make it on YouTube, the influencers with the most views and subscribers can easily earn a six-figure income.
Do you love creating videos, but aren't sure how to monetize them or make money on the popular video platform? Here's how you can make money as a YouTube celebrity.
What is a YouTube influencer?
Social media influencers may seem like everyday people, but they have a large following online. People care about what they say and are likely to take their recommendations. Since people trust what they say, brands are willing to pay a lot of money for influencers to promote their products.
"A YouTube influencer is anyone who creates content on the YouTube platform, has a significant following and influences a group of people," said Beca Alexander, founder and president of influencer casting agency, Socialyte.
How to make money as a YouTube influencer
There are a couple ways to make money as a YouTube influencer. If you have a big enough following, you can money through sponsorships, affiliate links and advertisements.
In the past, anyone could sign up to make money on the platform, but YouTube announced new requirements for its YouTube Partner Program in January 2018. According to Google Support, when a channel reaches 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers, it will be considered for the partner program.
The YouTube Partner Program allows creators to monetize their videos on the platform. YouTubers make money from advertisements played during their content and when YouTube Premium subscribers watch their videos.
"Making money through ads is still one of the primary ways of monetizing your channel, with YouTube providing … different options for generating ad revenue on your videos," said David Ambrogio, SEO and content strategist at Online Optimism.
Sponsorships and affiliate links
The most effective way to make money on YouTube is through partnerships with brands. If you have an engaged following that trusts you, brands will pay you to endorse their products or services.
"Most YouTube celebrities make money from brand endorsement deals," Alexander said. "This is usually done through the creation of content, which will be published and promoted to their [the influencer's] following or audience."
You can create entire videos focused on the sponsored brand or incorporate the products within your video. For example, beauty YouTubers create videos about how to apply makeup using specific sponsored products.
"Sponsorships get you paid by signing you up as a spokesperson for their brand, putting you on their own YouTube videos and paying you to plug in their products to your own content," said Ambrogio.
When you're partnering with a brand, you can also make money through affiliate links, which is when you receive a commission when a viewer clicks on a link and makes a purchase. Just include the link in the video's caption and encourage viewers to click on it after the video.
How to build a following
While posting a video every week may seem simple enough, becoming an influencer takes much more work. You must be willing to put in the time and work to build your audience's trust.
"To gain a following on YouTube, or any digital platform, the content created should be organic and authentic," said Alexander. "Storytelling that connects the creator to the audience and makes them care about what the creator has to say is how influence is built."
Read this Business News Daily guide to learn about how to become a social media influencer.