How to make money from YouTube videos

Here are 6 tips that show you how to make money from YouTube videos:

  1. Understand that YouTube is a search engine just like Google, so you need to approach it in the same way.
  2. Keywords and SEO are important tools in your efforts to make money from YouTube videos.
  3. There are some popular types of video you should make – how to’s, top 10’s and more.
  4. The structure of your video is important – an intro, opening graphic, an early call to action and an outro.
  5. You need good video production software to record and edit your video.
  6. The secret to success with your YouTube channel is consistency, adding value for your viewers and practice.

How to make money from YouTube videos

Right now, successful YouTubers are making an absolute killing with their videos. I did some research and discovered that the current top earner, a YouTube team by the name of Dude Perfect, is on $20 million a year.

how to make money from youtube videos
The Dude Perfect team courtesy of YouTube

Now, that’s an insane amount of money in anyone’s books and a fraction of that kind of earnings would do most of us very nicely indeed.

But, what’s the secret to success on YouTube? What does it take to get to (let’s say) a job-replacing income on YouTube? Are there tools that can help us be more efficient and get there more quickly?

The good news is it’s not that hard to start making an income on YouTube.

But first, something you may not have realized…

What is YouTube – actually

YouTube is not Netflix. Yes, it contains visual content for consumption by its users, but that’s not what YouTube is about.

YouTube is a search engine in the same way that Google is a search engine.

In fact, after Google search, YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, and it’s important to understand what that means before you dive in and start trying to make money with YouTube videos.

But, what kind of searches are people performing on YouTube?

Here’s an extract from Ahrefs top 100 searches on YouTube that shows pop stars clearly dominating YouTube search.

how to make money from YouTube videos

Now, don’t get hung up about the fact that you’re not a pop celebrity, you don’t have to be to make money from YouTube videos.

Think of it this way.

If you’re a celebrity and build a website, people will come just because of your fame and who you are. That’s when the “build it and the will come” saying actually makes sense.

But for the rest of us non-celebrity types, we build a website and then work out ways of attracting readers to our website, to our blog for example.

YouTube is no different.

You build out your channel (video blog) and figure out ways to attract viewers rather than readers.

And, if YouTube is a search engine, just like Google search is, we can approach the process in much the same way.

At this stage you should be thinking about keywords, SEO and all that good stuff that we use to rank blog posts in Google search, the process is not that different.

Okay, just in case you’re unfamiliar with keywords and SEO, here’s my quick, back of a napkin explanation:

A keyword is a typical search term that someone would type into Google. For example, “the best toaster”, “the most popular holiday resort in Florida” and “who is Donald Trump’s hairdresser” are all keywords.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of getting your content to rank higher than your competition in Google search for your target keyword.

What kind of video content should you make for YouTube?

We’ve already established that no one will go to YouTube looking for us because we’re A-list celebs, so what kind of content can you produce that will help you make money from YouTube videos?

Other than looking for the latest pop video on YouTube, what are people searching for?

The topics people search for on YouTube are pretty much the same as they do on Google search – at least from our money-making perspective they are.

Here are some ideas for you to think about:

How To’s

People are consistently searching YouTube to find out how to do something – change the sparkplug on a car, re-program their remote control or even make concrete rabbits, it’s all there on YouTube.

People use YouTube all the time to find out how to do things.

You can tap into this search term, provide a solution to a problem or question that a viewer has and provide a link in the description to a product or service you recommend helping them achieve the outcome they want.

Of course, the link will be your affiliate link and if they take your advice and make a purchase, you’ll earn a commission.

Top 10’s

Just as with blogging, top ten lists are popular on YouTube, as are top 6, top 7 and so on. It could be the top ten best 17-inch laptops, top 10 movies of all-time top 10 worst mistakes ever made by a politician.

People love lists, and this is something you can tap into, again making some kind of offer that ties in with your video.

More ideas for YouTube videos

There are literally hundreds of ideas for videos you can produce to make money on YouTube. Here’s a list to inspire you further, but also browse around on the platform yourself, you’ll pick up lots of ideas there too:

  • Opinion videos – political opinion, over-rated film, sports team performance
  • Favorite songs, sports, movies, films, actors, singers, etc.
  • Review a product
  • Unbox a product (very popular)
  • Challenge videos
  • Comedy/funny videos
  • Parody another YouTube video or a song
  • A tour of where you live
  • Videos about your dog and how to care for dogs, cats, rabbits, etc.
  • Gaming videos
  • DIY videos
  • Hobby videos – how to paint, knit, crochet, do woodworking

That’s a list of a dozen ideas for you. Spend a few minutes on YouTube and you’ll soon have at least a dozen more.

Video structure for your next blockbuster

how to make money from YouTube videos

It’s a good idea to make your videos with a consistent structure that leads the viewer logically through the piece. This isn’t complicated, but there are a few things you should include.

An Introduction

Start off by telling people who you are, what you do and why you made the video.

An opening graphic

It’s a good idea to build a brand that people will come to recognize on YouTube and one thing that helps with this is a short introductory graphic. Don’t spend a fortune on a graphic, you can get one done on Fiverr for a few dollars. Again, scout around YouTube for ideas and see what other successful YouTubers are doing.

An early call to action

One of your objectives with YouTube should be to build your channel and get as many followers and views as you can. If you have over 1,000 followers, you can apply to have YouTube place ads on your videos and this additional source of income can soon mount up.

So, once you’ve made your introduction you should say something like “If this is the first time you’re watching one of my videos, please don’t forget to hit the like and subscribe buttons so I can keep you updated with more great content as I release it”.

The video content itself

Next, you’ll want to present the video content.

In terms of length, that’s really up to you but Wista reports that for a 4-5-minute video less than 60% of your viewers will make it to the end, whereas for a 1-2-minute video 75% will watch it through.

Naturally, content and length will really depend on what you have to say and the type of video you make. Just try to make it as interesting as possible so you retain viewers for as long as you can.

An outro

Once you’ve presented your video, thank your viewers for watching and remind them to like and subscribe, something like “I hope you enjoyed and got value from this video about (your topic), please don’t forget to like and subscribe so I can automatically update you with new content as soon as it’s available”

So, that’s a basic structure you can follow, and I hope it helps you get started making amazing vids.

Video production software

Once you have all the pieces of your video puzzle in place, you’ll want something to stitch them together into the finished article and that’s where video production software comes into play.

Don’t worry, you’re not Steven Spielberg and the process doesn’t have to be all that difficult.

With the help of a good piece of video production software, this task becomes straightforward and actually fun.

The software I suggest you take a look at is called Movavi Screen Capture.

Why MovAvi?

Here are some of the features that make Movavi a good choice for your video production software:

  • It has all the screen capture, editing and production tools you need plus quite a few more.
  • It consistently claims the top spot in YouTube software reviews.
  • You can use Movavi to capture your entire desktop, an application or a window (or just a section of it).
  • Movavi is excellent for streaming video, video games, and VOIP.
  • You can capture the screens of mobile devices – your smartphone or tablet.
  • It’s easy to learn when compared to other software.

You can check out Movavi HERE

Success with YouTube videos is no different than success with a blog

You now have some basic ideas of how to make money with YouTube videos both by recommending a product and through YouTube advertising once you have 1,000 subscribers.

Building your audience on YouTube is really no different than building an audience for a blog on your website, here are some key things to pay attention to:


The single most important factor for success with YouTube videos is being consistent and producing content on a regular basis. Get into a routine of spending a certain amount of time every day researching ideas, producing content and practicing your skills.


As with writing blog posts, the process becomes easier the more you practice.

You don’t have to show your face on camera, you could just talk over a presentation, for example. It might all seem a bit awkward at first, but the more you do it the more natural it feels. If you stick at it, you’ll soon get comfortable with the process and be recording videos like a pro.

Add value

Just as with a blog post, make sure the viewer feels they have learned something by the time they get to the end. Make sure to answer the question they came to your video to discover the solution for.

Remember to encourage your viewers to subscribe for more content in the future.

If you genuinely add value to your viewers’ lives, they’ll naturally want you to help them again.

That’s it, now over to you

So, there you go.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what YouTube actually is, a search engine, and how to make money from YouTube videos. I’ve given you quite a few ideas for content for your video but a few minutes browsing will give you plenty more.

The basic video structure I’ve given you will help you get started, you may want to vary it a little as you become more experienced with making videos, but it’s a good starting point.

Take a look at my recommended video production software Movavi, it will save you a lot of time and false starts when it comes to putting your content together.

An remember, keep practicing with your YouTube videos and producing content consistently – that’s the key to massive success and earning a substantial income from your YouTube channel.

This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click on one of these links I’ll receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you and, in many cases, I’ll get you exclusive discounts. Your support helps me to make more content like this to help you – thanks.

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