How To Make Money On YouTube

Back when I was a kid, there was this epic movie called Wayne’s World. The movie focused on these guys who had a television station in their basement.

Like a lot of filmmakers, I thought the idea of having my own television station was amazing! But at that time, VHS was all the rage, which says a little about the technological shortcomings of my youth.

YouTube has changed everything. Not only can you create your own mini-movie channel, but you can also make money from your content. This means that your short film or web series finally has a home.

Make Money on YouTube


How To Make Money On YouTube

If you’re wondering how to make money on YouTube, getting started is easier than you think. Here are five tips to outline the process.

1. Join YouTube: As a filmmaker, I assume you already have a YouTube account. If you do not, what the heck are you waiting for? All filmmakers should have a YouTube account. Sign up here.

2. Sign Up For YouTube Partner Program: Once you have your YouTube profile, your next step is to apply for the YouTube partner program. With the program, your goal is to build an audience and make money. Membership to this service is free.

3. Post Videos To Your Filmmaking Website: I am always amazed by filmmakers who do not have a website. To get a website, you need two things – a domain name and hosting. To use a real estate analogy, your hosting is your land and your domain name is your address. When you’re ready, start posting your YouTube videos right on your website.

4. Get An Adsense Account: While knowing how to make money on YouTube is importIn addition to the the partner program, your next goal is to sign up for a Google Adsense. Adsense allows you to place advertisements on your website. When someone clicks these ads, you get paid.

5. Drive Traffic To Your Site: In the Indie Producer’s Guide to Distribution, I talk a lot about the many ways to drive traffic to your site. In short, there are both online and offline tactics. Some are free. Some are not. My suggestion is to employ as many free tactics as you can. Examples of this would be writing relative and useful blog articles and including a title card at the end of each video with a back link to your website.

While there are no guarantees in the movie business, one thing is for sure. If your short movies are collecting dust in your closet, they will never make money. Upload those shorts so you can make money on YouTube. After that, make more and more movies!


  1. A.c.ceenno says

    Great information sir I’ve been trying to get my film distributed and I want to make money off my YouTube videos for rental purchase

  2. says

    Thank you for this excellent post, Jason

    The main thrill for me being a filmmaker in the 21st Century is the direct contact with the audience. Yesterday’s audience was unknown, faceless and silent. There is a scene in Hitchcock where he goes to a real cinema to see an audience’s reaction to a film which was all he could do in this time. Today, I can talk with the members of my audience individually and see what impact my work had on them.

    For this reason, most of the stuff you do on distribution is of no interest to me. That’s not to say that it’s not useful and relevant – it is for those people who just want to make movies and then leave the hard work of getting them to an audience to someone else. It’s just not what I want to do. I want to connect to my audience. Actually, if the truth be told, I want them to become participants in a shared experience. So this post is just what I’m looking for.

    Thank you again.

  3. R says

    Okay I all ready have all four, website, youtube account, Adsense and a partner. However how do you get people to watch? Facebook, twitter of which I’ve tried but nothing happens.

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