Part 2: How Does YouTube Monetisation Work? A Comprehensive Guide for Creators

We previously covered the basics on how YouTube’s YPP works, and now we will get into the more complex parts, including the algorithm, and how you can use the platform to maximise your reach and acheive your content creation goals.

Understanding the Algorithm for Video Visibility

YouTube uses an algorithm to decide how often your videos show up in search results, suggested video lists, and other places on the platform. When you upload a new video, several factors play a part in its visibility.

YouTube Analytics’ Reach

YouTube Analytics’ Reach tab provides valuable information such as impressions, click-through rates, views, and unique viewers. These metrics help you gauge how effectively your video is grabbing the attention of your audience. This information can also offer insights into how changes in your video titles, thumbnails, and descriptions could increase your visibility.

Making the Most of Traffic Sources

YouTube Analytics also provides details on various traffic sources that lead viewers to your videos. For instance, you’ll find out whether viewers found your content through YouTube search, suggested videos, or even external websites.

The Traffic Source Types report shows if your traffic is coming from within YouTube or external sources. Knowing where your audience comes from can help you tailor your content to better fit the viewing habits of your audience, thereby increasing both views and watch time.

Monetisation and Policy

Monetising your videos involves more than just turning on ads; the video content must adhere to YouTube’s advertiser-friendly guidelines. These guidelines encompass various elements including the video title, thumbnail, and description.

YouTube systems also check viewer engagement levels like comments, likes, and view duration to reassess the monetisation status of your videos. If you don’t meet the guidelines or produce content that doesn’t engage viewers, you could lose your ability to earn from ads. On the flip side, high engagement and adherence to guidelines can make you more attractive to advertisers, boosting your earnings.

Community Guidelines and Monetisation

Understanding YouTube’s community guidelines is essential for creators who aim to monetise their content. Violating these guidelines can result in several repercussions, including disabling monetisation on your channel.

YouTube’s community guidelines cover a range of issues, such as hate speech, harassment, and harmful or dangerous content. If you breach these rules, your content can be removed, and your channel might receive a strike.

The Strike System

YouTube operates on a strike system when it comes to community guidelines. A single strike won’t disable your monetisation, but it will put limitations on your channel. For example, you won’t be able to upload videos, live streams, or stories for one week if you receive your first strike.

Accumulating three strikes within a 90-day period will result in the termination of your channel.

Copyright Guidelines and Monetisation

Copyright is another critical area where you need to exercise caution. Unauthorised use of copyrighted material in your videos could result in a copyright strike. This type of strike can also disable monetisation and may require you to complete a copyright course to better understand the rules.

Earning Loss from Strikes

A single copyright strike or community guidelines violation can result in your video being taken down, which means you will lose all earnings associated with that video. Multiple strikes can compound the loss of revenue and may even result in YouTube terminating your channel, forfeiting all your earnings in the process.

How You Will Be Notified

You will be informed through email or directly within the YouTube platform if any action is taken against your channel due to violations. YouTube will outline the specific reasons and offer suggestions for remedial steps. You can also reach out to Creator Support for clarification and guidance.

Getting Help for Policy Issues

For those in the YouTube Partner Program, Creator Support is available to assist with understanding policy and copyright guidelines, among other issues. They can help you navigate the maze of rules to ensure your channel remains in good standing.

To find out how to contact Creator Support and receive assistance as a YouTube creator, follow the detailed instructions provided on the platform.

Steps to Reinstate Monetisation

If your channel gets demonetised, don’t panic. There’s a procedure to follow to get your monetisation back. First, go to the Earn section in YouTube Studio to read about the policies your channel violated.

Review your videos carefully against YouTube’s channel monetisation policies, advertiser-friendly guidelines, and community guidelines. The next move is to edit or delete videos that breach these policies.

The Copyright Issues

Having a copyright strike against your channel is a serious matter. To reinstate monetisation, try to resolve the copyright issue. Deleting the video won’t help; you need to appeal the strike or resolve it by using YouTube’s built-in copyright tools.

If you’re unsure about what constitutes fair use or how to legally use copyrighted material, now would be a good time to learn. Only once you’ve resolved existing copyright issues can you look towards reinstating monetisation.

Community Guidelines and AdSense Rules

Community Guidelines strikes can also lead to demonetisation. Again, simply deleting the offending video won’t resolve the issue. You’ll need to appeal the strikes if you believe they were issued in error.

Make sure to link an active, approved AdSense account to your channel. If you don’t verify your AdSense account, you risk losing monetisation. To see if verification or a PIN is necessary, sign in to your AdSense account.


Applying Again for Monetisation

If you’ve corrected your channel and content after facing demonetisation, you have the option to contest the decision within 21 days. Alternatively, you can submit a fresh application to the YouTube Partner Program after waiting 90 days from the initial suspension. After careful review of your channel’s content, the review team will notify you via email about the result. For updates on your application status, visit the Earn section of YouTube Studio.

Identifying Suspicious Activity

Regularly monitor your account details. Should you spot unexpected modifications in your profile picture, video uploads, or email settings, take this as a warning that someone might have accessed your account without permission. In such instances, act quickly to safeguard your Google Account.

This is especially important for those in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) as it can affect your monetisation features.

Recover and Secure

If you can’t access your Google Account, don’t panic. Start the account recovery process by answering a series of questions to confirm your identity. Reset your password and make it a strong one that you haven’t used before with this account.

Once you’ve regained access, head over to the Security section in your Google Account settings to further secure your account.

Enable 2-Step Verification

If you’re a part of the YPP, you must enable 2-Step Verification (2SV) by November 1st. But even if you’re not in the YPP, activating 2SV adds an extra layer of security.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a mobile phone; you can still set up 2SV using a security key or verification code apps. You can also request a verification code through a voice call to a landline if needed.

Maintaining Security

Once 2SV is set up, you don’t have to verify your identity every time you log in from the same computer. The system will remember your preferences for that specific machine. But remember, if you or someone else tries to log in from a different computer, 2SV will kick in to protect your account.

Keep an eye on your email filters and forwarding settings in Gmail to ensure your mail isn’t being sent to an email address you didn’t approve.

Keeping your account secure is one of the more controllable solutions for uninterrupted access to YouTube’s monetisation features.

Understanding Your Monetisation Tools

One of the most effective ways to improve your earnings on YouTube is through a thorough understanding of YouTube Analytics. The Overview tab gives you essential information such as views, watch time, subscribers, and estimated revenue.

The data provided here can help you pinpoint what is working well on your channel and what needs improvement. Personalised overview reports can even offer insights into the performance fluctuations of your channel.

Keeping Tabs on Top Videos

Top videos are crucial for generating income, and YouTube Analytics presents this data by default, sorted by watch time. This information allows you to focus on the content your audience loves, ensuring that you produce more of what keeps viewers hooked, thereby increasing your revenue over time.

Real-Time Insights and Latest Content

Immediate information on newly published videos can be a lifesaver. Real-time reports offer a sneak peek into the performance of your new content, while the Latest Content report extends that by including impressions and click-through rates. These metrics can help you tailor your content in real-time to meet your audience’s needs, helping you to secure a steady income.

Get Creative with Cards and End Screens

Cards and end screens serve as interactive elements that can boost viewer engagement. Cards can suggest other videos, polls, or external links right within the video. End screens appear in the last 5-20 seconds of your video, offering the viewer several options to keep watching your content. Use these features to keep your audience engaged longer, which translates into more revenue.

Use Playlists to Keep Viewers Watching

Playlists can be a useful tool in keeping your audience engaged for an extended period. By organising your content into thematic or sequential playlists, you offer a more cohesive viewing experience. More time spent on your channel equates to more opportunities for monetisation.

Off-Platform Promotion for YouTube Content

One practical way to increase both viewership and earnings is to take advantage of other platforms for promotion. Don’t limit your exposure to just YouTube. Broadcast your content on radio, TV, websites, forums, newsletters, and various social networking platforms.

Share links to your YouTube channel wherever possible, from blog posts to magazine articles. Embedding your videos on different websites is another smart move; you can easily do this by using the embed URL that comes with each YouTube video. If you’re reviewing products, don’t forget to include specific tags like UPC, EAN, and brand names to make your content more searchable.

Engage with Your Community Across Platforms

Audience interaction significantly contributes to a channel’s success. Use various methods to connect with your viewers, both on YouTube and other platforms. For instance, you can encourage subscriptions and likes through eye-catching banners and detailed video descriptions.

Enable comments on your videos to foster community engagement, and don’t hesitate to give shoutouts or respond to comments. Create themed playlists to make video discovery easier and even organise contests to keep your audience interested.

Ads and Optimisation Tools

Don’t underestimate the power of paid promotion. Google Ads for Video offers a range of tools to set up simple or complex ad campaigns, depending on your needs. If you’re new to this, start with the Promotions tab in YouTube Studio for basic campaigns.

As for video optimisation, concentrate initially on thumbnails, titles, and descriptions to make your content easily discoverable. Consistency in branding helps reinforce viewer recognition and can contribute to better monetisation over time.

Every platform has its ins and outs, and YouTube is no different. With the right use of its available tools, creators can focus more on their content and art full time. We are entering a period where artists (whether popular or not) can finally use their passions as a main source of income.