What, you thought there was only one way to make money from YouTube? Au contraire! Read on and take these 12 hacks for YouTube and start building an income stream.

1) Monetize Your Channel

It takes a minute to set up, but once you do you can set all your videos to be monetized. YouTube selects ads to be shown against your videos, you get a portion of the revenue. It’s that simple.

2) Make More Videos… Any Videos

What, you think just by setting the monetization up that the millions flow quickly? No, they need videos to do that. The good news is that it can be ANY video. Don’t wait to finish that song. Make fun quick videos (at least a minute long) talking about anything. Sure, some of them may make you just a couple of pennies. But over time the volume could start collecting into something meaningful.

3) Get People to Watch More Videos

OK, so someone comes in to watch one video. Might they want to watch two so you can make more money? Maybe, but make it easy for them. Make a playlist of your videos and direct people into watching a playlist instead of an individual video. Every view counts.

4) Set Annotations to Link to iTunes

Once you have a monetized account that has no copyright dings against it, you can enable your annotations to have live links to iTunes, Google Play and more. Just set Enable on annotations and add one to your video. Voila. Instant traffic to sell your downloads.

5) YouTube Content ID Fingerprinting

Make sure your music is put into a database that allows YouTube to match anytime your song is used. That means every time your music is added to a random skateboarding or fashion video, you’ll get a slice of the revenue. If your distributor doesn’t offer it, use a service like Audiam or INDmusic.

6) Join a Network

Have a great audience to work from? You can join a YouTube network such as Fullscreen or Maker Studios who leverage your audience for higher ad rates. They may also bring other monetizing opportunities for your videos, not to mention cross promotional opportunities to drive up views.

7) Put Your Video on VEVO

If your music videos are high quality and can attract a large audience, consider placing your video on VEVO. You get the advantage of both the YouTube and the VEVO network for visibility, they may promote your video to other viewers to get more views, and they pay at a rate significantly higher than YouTube.

8) Patreon

How about a guaranteed payment from your fans for each video you put up no matter how many views it gets? Patreon is a unique model where your fans pledge small monetary figures for Kickstarter-style rewards. The results is knowing how much money you might make from a video before you even make it!

9) (Nearly) Free Banner Ads

Little known fact. If you spend just $1 on YouTube ads to your video, you can put up a free banner ad at the beginning of the video that can go anywhere you want. Sell merch, concert tickets…anything. After you place an ad, a “Call-To-Action Overlay” tab will appear on your Info/Settings tab in Video Manager. Voila, free promotion to sell your wares.

10) Trailers

YouTube is encouraging channel owners to make a 30 second commercial promoting your channel and placing it on the front page of your Channel page. Great. You can also sign up on Fan Finder and they’ll run the ad in front of other videos for free. Bringing in fans and revenue. Genius!

11) Description Links

After you include the basic information on your video in the description, make sure you add outbound links to everything that you’d like to sell to prospective fans. Merch stores, iTunes, Spotify…all great places to draw your fans to for further revenue.

12) Licensing Companies

Don’t wait for someone to randomly find your song to put behind them on YouTube. Have people who are actively looking for songs to license. Companies like Audiosocket and CueSongs allow artists to have YouTubers legally license songs for their videos for low rates. Exposure + Revenue = Awesome!


12 Days of Monetization is a 12-part series designed to help you make more money in 2014. Ariel and team Cyber PR asked 12 of their favorite colleagues to contribute and we hope you enjoy this series.


This article was contributed by Jay Frank (@FutureHitDNA), author of FutureHit.DNA & Hack Your Hit, and is the owner & CEO of DigSin (@DigSin).