If you want to make money online, you can do it in many different ways. For example, if you think you are lucky enough, you can play casino games online and try to win the jackpot. Setting up a YouTube channel is also a good idea: if you produce content that entertains people, you can increase your follower count and generate revenue with your videos. There are even people who earn millions of dollars every month doing this – PewDiePie, for example, is estimated to earn $3,400 per hour. However, it is a good idea to learn the monetization rules before setting up your YouTube channel, as many of these rules have changed, and monetizing your channel is no longer as easy as it used to be.
Joining the YouTube Partner Program
If you want to monetize YouTube, you have to join its Partner Program. Only after that can you start monetizing the ads on your channel. In the past, this was not a difficult task because anyone who reached 10,000 public views could automatically join the program. In 2018, the terms of the Partner Program were changed and became much more detailed: as of 2021, the same terms are still used. These are called “YouTube monetization requirements” for short, and they consist of a total of four items.
Get 1,000 Subscribers on Your Channel
This is the first condition: you must get a total of 1,000 subscribers. It doesn’t matter when you do
this – a day or a year after you started your channel. The important thing is that you reach 1,000 subscribers.
Get 4,000 Hours of Watch Time Over the Last 12 Months
This is a usually misunderstood condition, so let’s explain it in detail. For the Partner Program, it doesn’t matter how many videos you have on your channel. If you wish, you can even upload just one video. However, that video must have reached a watch time of 4,000 hours in the last 12 months. If you have multiple videos on your channel, you can reach this duration with any of them. In other words, you don’t need each of your videos to be watched for 4,000 hours. If the videos on your channel (no matter how many) have been watched for 4,000 hours in total, you have fulfilled this requirement.
There are two things you should pay attention to here. First of all, if there are live videos on your channel, they are also included in the watch time. Secondly and most importantly, if you delete a video from your channel, the watch time of the relevant video is also deleted. Therefore, do not delete any video from your channel until you reach 4,000 hours.
Comply With YouTube Policies
Although it seems like a simple requirement, this is where most mistakes happen. Actually, what you need to do is simple: follow YouTube policy and guidelines regularly. Unfortunately, most creators ignore this or simply read the relevant rules once. However, these policies are updated regularly and refer to the policies of other services such as AdSense too. This means that you should also review the guidelines of third-party companies. These are long texts and full of details – make sure you read them all and repeat this at least once a month.
Before applying for the Partner Program, check all videos on your channel and make sure they are not against YouTube policies. You need to be very careful here: even material added to your video without you noticing (for example, outside music, a video playing in the background, etc.) may result in your request being rejected. And that’s not all: YouTube policies strictly prohibit reused content. So, if you produce content that imitates popular videos, for example, even that may get you rejected.
Have an AdSense Account
That’s a pretty straightforward requirement: open an AdSense account and link your YouTube channel. You can do this easily from your profile page. Note that you can link multiple channels to a single AdSense account.
If you believe you meet all these monetization requirements, you can apply for the Partner Program. Be patient because it’s a manual process: a real person reviews the content on your channel and checks how well you meet the requirements. Depending on your number of videos, this may take a few days or a month. Most channels are approved within a maximum of one month, but if there is no approval after this period, there is a problem. If your application is neither approved nor rejected, the “further review” process has begun, and this can take up to 12 months. If your application is rejected, you will be informed of the reason. You can correct the problem in this justification (for example, change the copyrighted video) and submit a new application after 30 days.