Top Five YouTube Monetization Tips

So, YouTube has opened monetization up to everyone across 20 different countries. This can be a very profitable venture for so many content creators that have yet to receive the coveted partner or monetization invitation in their inbox.

Now, you can start making real money from your videos, regardless of whether or not they attract a particularly large audience. In fact, even a small audience can generate a healthy amount of revenue for the content creator.

There are some tricks to the trade that can help you make the most of this feature. Here they are.

Be Patient

Google AdSense has an interesting way of going about paying its content creators. If you haven’t generated $100 or more in ad revenue during a given month, your earnings roll over to the next month and no payment will be made. Often, you may not see a check for three or four months, depending on your viewer counts and click-through rate.

Earning money through ads can be a long-term investment of your time, but with every video comes another avenue of revenue. Simply put, the more good content you create — the better your chances of generating significant traffic.

After a few weeks of making 2-20 cents per day, things can look mighty bleak. Trust me, if you stick to your guns and strive to make the best videos you can, the profits will follow. You never know when one of your videos will suddenly catch on and become the next big thing.

Chris Crocker, famous for doing his “Leave Britney Alone” video, had been making content on YouTube for over a year prior to his one big hit that put his account over the top. The same could be said for just about any “YouTube celebrity” out there. Not everyone hits a grand slam on the first swing.

Practice Smart Pre-Roll Ad Placement

Pre-roll ads are described as TrueView in-stream ads by YouTube. These ads play before your videos. While they offer a great per-view payment, they may also be hindering your ability to attract new subscribers to your channel.

Simply put, no one likes sitting through a 30 second advertisement to watch a one-minute video. Use these ads on long videos that last fifteen minutes or more, or on content that is absolutely exclusive to your channel and can’t be found anywhere else.

For example, if you’re the only person with a video up about how to add a watermark to a video using Final Cut Pro X, then that video serves a needed purpose for the viewer and they may be more inclined to sit through the advertisement to get the information.

You still receive income from Overlay in-video ads, which appear as lower-third advertisements over your video for a brief time. I’ve personally had better luck sticking to just these ads than using both the Overlay and TrueView options.

If you wouldn’t want to sit through it, neither would your potential viewer.

Keep a Close Eye on Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions are important to YouTube Partners and anyone else that earns money from their channel. These terms set the standard for what you can (and can’t) get away with in your videos if you expect Google to send you an AdSense check at the end of the month.

Often, these changes are minor and don’t really impact you directly. Sometimes though, these changes can mean being able to display your own ads in your videos or not. Either way, you risk losing all of your revenue (and your videos) if you fail to read the fine print before posting.

Are you allowed to sell your own ads in addition to YouTube monetization? Can these ads be tied to the content, or do they have to be still images? How long can these images be on screen in a given video? All of these questions can be answered in the terms and conditions.

As an additional resource, you might want to download the official YouTube Playbook, a step-by-step guide of best practices and tips to help you build your audience without breaking terms and conditions to do so.

Be Honest

Every monetized video comes with a small survey that you’re asked to fill out. This helps Google determine if your video contains anything that may be subject to copyright. Music playing in the background, video game images, screenshots of programs and art that you didn’t make, and considerations need to be documented before you hit that monetize button. If you answer dishonestly, you could have your video removed from YouTube and risk losing your ability to monetize your channel entirely.

Also, if you do use someone else’s work as part of your video (even with permission) you should consider giving them a link in your video’s description or offering an annotation somewhere in your video that sends viewers to the other channel. This could pay off for you in a big way as that person returns the favor and sends their viewers your way. Karma has a strange way of making everyone’s life a little better in the tech world.

The First 10 Seconds are Critical

In many cases, your views don’t count unless your audience watches your video at least most of the way through. Ads don’t always appear at the exact beginning of your videos, either. In fact, many of the overlay ads happen at some point near the middle. In order to get credit for the impression, you’ll want to pay attention to how you tease your video at the very beginning.

Take a few seconds to tell viewers what they can expect later in the video. At the very least, start each video with a compelling pull that catches viewer’s attention and makes them want to keep watching.

The best examples of this I’ve seen can be found on professional podcasts. You’ll notice that they record a brief intro giving hints to the three or four biggest (or most interesting) points made throughout the remainder of the show. This is all done in the first 5-10 seconds, with no delay between the start and the tease.

For Example:

“Hey there YouTube, I’m Matt Ryan AKA the Frugal Geek and I can’t wait until Friday. Friday is when I get to switch on my new solar panel array.”

Could be changed to…

“Hey there YouTube, I’m Matt Ryan and today I’m going to show you how to save money on electricity.”

The hook has to be there at the very beginning, and it needs to instantly relay what the viewer will get out of the rest of the video. Even if you do a silly vlog, make the first 5-10 seconds as interesting and informative as possible.

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.


  1. Good tips. I’ve been thinking about doing a bunch of Windows video tutorials to add more value to my site, and monetizing them seems like a great idea. I’ll definitely take these tips to heart when working on my videos! Thanks, Matt.

  2. Really valuable info. I do some light freelance web design on the side I usually do 1 or 2 adsense banners per page as part of my compensation (obviously they’re linked to my account). 

  3. I do need to beef up my youtube channel though

  4. peggyduncan says:

    Great article, Matt. I appreciate that you gave us enough information to actually use, including the first 10 seconds example.

  5. EmmaGeraln says:

    Thanks for the tips.

  6. CaboKevin says:

    I’m definitely gonna use some of these tips in my YouTube videos.

  7. thank u matt and chris, very helpful

  8. chris is right about finding sponsors in conjunction with adsense model, i truly believe that.

  9. Anthony says:

    Good Stuff!

  10. cool, thanks

  11. tanks for the tip

  12. Bentzysu says:

    Thanks Matt. Great tips. Question: How do I get invited to start YouTube monetization?

  13. Devon Shendleman says:

    Thanks Matt Very helpful 

  14. Letjusticeroll says:

    So I have to wait to meet the ad threshold before I register to get paid through adsense? 

  15. Yea Its Me Again says:

     You need to have a lot of views on your videos, have a lot of videos, videos with good content, and content that abides by copyright laws, basically to have your account in “good standing” on your videos and youtube will have a message for you when you go to upload a video suggesting that you join the monetization program.

  16. Bentzysu says:


  17. Hi, I received this email from Youtube today and dont really know what to do, some ppl say its a good thing, other not so…. HELP!

    Dear Bekie Simons,

    We noticed that one of your videos is becoming popular on YouTube. We love seeing our creators be successful, and we’d like to invite you to monetize your video.

  18. Thanks very much, Ryan – I recently read a ReelSEO article on clickable call-to-action overlay ads for your own website, which is a related issue. The goal is to drive traffic from the YT video directly to your website via the in-video overlay using YT’s Promotion Program. This would seem to be acceptable under the YT terms and conditions, but I want to be certain before we consider it for our comedy series. Do you know about this method of essentially placing your own overlay ad on your own YT videos?

  19. ccpfh says:

    Because I work for an organisation I want to be sure that ads do not oppose our purpose, does this system allow you to select the type of ads that appear?

  20. Curious says:

    So after youtube has asked you to monetize your video, it takes them time to review it to make sure you own copyright before they start putting ads and paying you? If you don’t own copyrights on the video you monetized, you not only wont get paid but they will remove your video? Can there be any bigger danger such as being sued as a result??

  21. joonamato says:

    they don’t ask you to monetize your videos..

  22. OK, so I have a sponsor that is interested in sponsoring my page. How do I add links to their website on my videos?

  23. albert says:

    How do you get paid for videos that have already had zillions of plays? Anyone?

  24. Bas ter Beek says:

    You don’t 😉

  25. pat says:

    do you get paid if you include google images and an artists song even after stating they’re not owned by you?

  26. Dean says:

    Just want to say thanks. I have looked at about half a dozen different pages now and yours is by far the most informative

  27. Rhapsodie McClintick says:

    Watched your video, I’m not sure how to spell your email link, so you’re not contacted with the question, how do you get Sp . . .s?

  28. BertVisscher says:
  29. BertVisscher says:
  30. raf says:

    i get about 1000 views a month on this vid watch?v=DC4ze2Ji0JA and ive activated monetization but still no revenue at all what am i doing wrong?

  31. Platon White says:

    There is a website that really will simplify monetizing of any content. It’s mgcash(.)com. REgister and start get your money

  32. Brian McGrath says:

    Make money
    on youtube’s content with mgcash(.)com. Guarantee, you’ll like conditions of
    partner programs and monetization strategies.

  33. WhightFang says:

    How do you add monetisation using an iPad?

  34. syed ehtesham ahmed says:

    we can tag anything before monitizing