How to make money online with YouTube: a comprehensive guide

How to make money online with YouTube: a comprehensive guide

Summary: Are you interested in setting up a new residual income stream? While striking it rich with YouTube is very unlikely, it's extremely feasible to make an extra $50-$100 every month or two. Here's how I do just that!

TOPICS: E-Commerce, Google

<< Previous page

Ad performance: what's the deal?

On the previous page, I showed some stats from a few of my YouTube videos. The numbers were all over the place, proving that traffic numbers, in and of themselves, are not a good indicator of how much you can expect to earn. In other words, 1,000 visitors don't automatically equate to $1.00 in earnings (or some other figure, for that matter). The reason for that is due to the types of ads that are shown with your videos.

For example, let's assume you posted a video about how to bake cookies. Most likely, the title of your video will be something to the effect of "how to bake cookies." Then, in the description beneath your video, perhaps you list the recipe, including brand names for products you purchased to make the cookies with, etc. Lastly, you add tags to your video that are related to baking, cookies, brands, recipes, appliances, etc.

Now, when someone watches your video, they're most likely going to see ads related to exactly what you've specifed your video is about: cookies, baking, Maytag appliances (if you named that brand), etc. That essentially ensures that someone (hopefully many) will click on one of the ads that's shown to them. Now, I'm going to dive into a bit of my own personal theory here, so take the next paragraph in context.

The factors you can control for letting YouTube know what your video is about are video title, video description, tags, category, and the actual name of the video you upload; however, I think Google takes more factors into consideration with the ads they display in YouTube videos -- namely, voice transcriptions from videos (if a video has such data to extract), the location of the person viewing the video, and the cookies that exist on a viewer's computer. Now, Google may not use any of those, but their goal is to make money. And if they don't run the most relevant ads for every single person that watches a YouTube video, then they lessen their chances (and, thus, your chances) of making money.

So, all that to say that I think Google does more than just the factors under your control to run relevant ads, which ultimately works in your favor. But you should absolutely do your part to accurately explain the contents of your video. And with that, it's time to move on to the next section: keyword research. Though not a necessity, keyword research can greatly increase the odds of your video being discovered via YouTube searches.

Keyword research in YouTube

Before I delve into this section, let me preface keyword research as not being a guarantee of anything: traffic, earnings, exposure, or otherwise. Personally, I think of keyword research as being great for not only figuring out excellent terms to use in relation to videos I plan on posting, but also for researching video ideas to do in the first place. Accordingly, I'll take things one step farther for you and show you how to better validate some of the data you come up with during your research.

First, let's start with the YouTube keyword suggestion tool.

There are two primary ways for searching for keywords with this tool: by words that you're interested in, and by video. In the first method, you search for a term that you're interested in finding popular, related keywords for. Simple enough, let's say you type "baking cookies" into the search box, then the tool will return keywords related to "baking cookies," as well as how many searches that term draws in monthly (it's not an accurate number). The second method allows you to enter a URL for a YouTube video that you'd like to use to get keyword suggestions from. That's pretty awesome, and a great way to see what suggestions YouTube has for keywords related to videos you may be interested in doing.

Leveraging the first method, when I performed a keyword search for "baking cookies," the results showed "Not Enough Data," instead of showing an estimated number of monthly searches. Check it out:


Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that no one is searching for "baking cookies!" This is actually the perfect example to lead into the next keyword research section with, but before I do, I'd like to point out where it says "Match Type" in the upper right-hand corner of the image above. When you do your searches as per the intentions listed in this article, it's best to view your results either by "phrase" or "exact." If you view results by "broad," then you're looking at numbers that aren't truly representative of what you might realistically be able to expect in terms of traffic.

So, with that, I'm going to continue keyword research on the next page. Afterward, we'll get away from the technical stuff and I'll give you some ideas, best practices, and steps to hit the ground running with your new YouTube adventure!

Topics: E-Commerce, Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Nice!

    Thanks for the informative article, sounds like a very useful guide! I'll give this a try... and maybe post a video on how well it well :-p
    • Making Money YouTube Made EZ!

      It really is just an issue with the quality of the videos uploaded by the user. YouTube will also consider how much the number of viewers, but it is a step further.

      YouTube making money "
    • Making Money YouTube Made EZ!

      Easy Ways to Making Money Online From Youtube Videos
    • re win lot of money easily ,

      hello i know i way to win some money easyly , to you have just to look of video you tube or like some page facebook you can win some like also on your page facebook , and you will some , money the credit that you win , you can convert in money , you have just to click on out , its the link
      Jeremi Astriani
    • hey

      I am making over $5,000+ per month at You can make money on youtube and start working from home today as I am! Visit and check? it out! When does the gentle request entertain the education? The drunk teaching increases the knowledge. The fluttering blow localizes the family.
      Johnson Aimable
  • Making money online with video is a cinch, you're right...

    great job, Stephen. It's so true, that video is an enormous medium. two my fav things, most new tv's being sold can go online, meaning we are being watched in people's living rooms and the other fact that YT is the #3 search engine on the net. We use video marketing like to gain the eye of the buyer and person who wants to make money online. I agree that video is the easiest way to be everywhere on the net, making money online.
    Eric Etka
  • ssss

    I found a nice site, where can buy good products, buyincoins- a professional electronics online website, what let you buy from China directly without any shipping fee. There are Computer Accessories, iPod, iPhone Accessories, HDMI Video Cable, Laser Pointer, Card Reader, Headphone, Silicone Case and more Cool Gadgets.
    Buyincoins En
  • YouTube is the best!

    I failed for a couple years and spent countless hours researching and trying to find out how to make it on YouTube.

    I bought every eBook and guide and nothing helped.

    I was about to give up, but I found a new guide that is written by someone who is actually famous on YouTube (The only guide out there that's legit).

    All the other books were written by scammers who were just trying to make a buck and had no YouTube success themselves.

    After I read it the 1st week I got almost 200,000 views and 300 new subscribers. You really can't find the info he has in there anywhere else on the web and it actually works.

    If you are serious about doing it big on YouTube you should check it out at

    It's fun getting all these new subscribers and having fans, it's an awesome feeling! I also got partnered by MakersStudio and am making good money. Once you learn the tricks you are going to have the time of your life making videos! Good Luck!
    Josh Modica
    • Link wrong - please provide title and author of book, if it reallly exists.

      I clicked on that link and all they had were links to making $25 - $75 for completing on line surveys. What's up with that?
  • Don't forget the chances for supplementary income outside of YouTube

    One thing I've seen successful YouTubers doing is creating a website outside of YouTube. This is a fantastic way to engage with your customers and sell them supplementary goods or services (for example, merchandise relating to your channel). Phil DeFranco and Toby Turner do this really well and promote it without seeming too pushy. has an app that instantly creates a website based on your YouTube channel and also comes with a web store and many other apps to create a successful online business. I'd recommended checking it out if you're producing high quality YouTube content but can't seem to turn it into a steady cash flow.

    Good luck!
    Peter Sharkey
  • Great Info

    Really great information. I will recommend this to my network!
    • Earn money with

      Start to earn extra income with
      Visit below link;
      Shym Goda
  • Making money with youtube adds the ability to also be creative!

    Interesting post thanks! I think although new internet entrepreneurs are starting out each day, interest in making money online through video still forms a minority right now but of course it is becoming known to new individuals daily. Just wanted to add, that I've launched a new affiliate program that's FREE to join and is focused on a product that's in HIGH demand check out this link: if you're interested in finding ways to make money online.
  • Great info!

    Hey, I'm looking to be a video game commentator. I've made my first video and you could check it out at my channel "TheFragsP."

    I just had a question regarding copyright infingement.

    If I include images from google and an artist's song, even after stating that they're not mine in the description, will I get paid with monetization or not?
  • Need to be creative, if you want earn good money...

    Hi, thx for good poust, lot of thing alredy l know, but its not so easy how it sounds for earnings...So l want sugest if there is anyone who dont want make videos and is luking for biger earnings, watch my blog and contact me if interests...
  • Great info ....but?

    Many people start a business on the Internet and wait a long time before they start to earn money online.
    The struggle to rank for their keywords, they struggle to get traffic and struggle to convert the few visitors they get.
    This is heartbreaking because so many people desperately need to earn extra money, particularly in this tough economic times.
    Invariably, these people fold their business, losing thousands of dollars they spent on their credit cards and some of their self respect.
    We’ve all struggled to make money online fast, it’s what we are here to do, but sometimes it is difficult.
    You know the routine … find a profitable niche, find some low competition high traffic keywords, create a website, write content, promote it … it’s a headache to say the least and takes a lot of time.
    Then what do you get at the end of it?
    Five cents from an Adsense click.
    That’s great huh?
    What if there was a way whereby you didn’t need to do any of this?
    What if there was a way for you to literally earn money within 24 hours?
    And we’re not talking a few cents, we’re talking potentially hundreds or even several thousand dollars?
    Do you think you’d be interested in generating rapid cash like this?
  • Making money with youtube

    Making income by using internet, there are lots of ways to make money through internet. You have to work a little hard to earn money online. But once you start your work you will learn so many things while working. For this should be more active. If you work on internet 3-4 hours a day, then you can earn a good amount of money. But for this you need to increase your skills and experience . Many people all over the world are making money using their computer. There is no need to invest anything to start the work because if you will search through internet then you will get lots of opportunity to earn money.
  • What if your rejected by AdSense?

    Thanks for the informative article, but I do have a question. I've had a YouTube channel for awhile. I only have 8 or 9 videos uploaded, most of them are travel videos and animal footage shot at various zoos. I followed your steps to monetize my videos and then applied for an AdSense account. Just a few minutes ago I received an email from them stating: "Thank you for your interest in Google AdSense. After reviewing your application, our specialists have found that it does not meet our program criteria. Therefore, we are unable to accept you into our program."

    Does that mean that there is no way for me to earn revenue on my now monetized videos? I checked one of my videos and it now has an ad attached to it. So how do I earn money if Google AdSense has rejected my application? It seems that unless I go back and undo the monetization on my videos, they will be getting free advertising off of my content.

    Thanks for any help you can give me.
  • Focus on GETTING PAID

    Fantastic article,
    also consider that you should do take in account to ensure that you get paid on time.
    5 steps what google says that you should have to get your earnings to your pocket:

    1. check your address
    2. Provide tax information, if you have one
    3. payment method, including checks, Electronic Funds Transfer, and Western Union Quick Cash.
    4. verify phone and address, if you dont this, your account will be suspended until you verify and no ads will appear.
    5. Earn enough to reach a limit, so google will sent out the payment as requested

    Google also says, that it has full rights to verify your earnings. You can track your earnings if you are familiar with adsense account page. You have to wait for google to update the finalised earnings.
  • making money online!

    Check this out, there is a company in panama which is offering 1.6% interest on your money daily, compounding as well. doesn't sound good? check their calculator to see how much you can earn. this beats scotia bank by a mile, check it out.....