By Christopher Bates
Easiest Way to Earn Money on the Interwebs?
A quick search on how to monetise your YouTube page is an exercise in futility it appears. It is put forward by numerous blogging YouTube “experts” as the easiest way to make money while lounging around in your sitting room with mountains of half empty take away boxes surrounding you. Presumably the take away is a result of all those dead presidents, hopefully with Benjamin Franklin’s face on and not George Washington, you’re making from all the ad revenue you’re earning. Why you haven’t cleaned any of it up is anybody’s guess. I’m sure this is the fantasy of many a gamer, comedy troupe, and person sick of their job but has a sweet comic book collection and encyclopaedic nerd knowledge.
What if you’re an aspiring musician or even a touring artist wanting to reach a bigger audience? YouTube is most definitely an awesome tool that may be able to get you far greater exposure but millions in ad revenue is probably a myth. On average you will earn two to three dollars U.S. per 1000 views, for those not wanting to do the arithmetic that would mean you would get roughly a couple of thousand dollars per million views. Unfortunately you are not a grumpy cat so getting a million views is a tad harder. Not all hope is lost there are ways to generate money from YouTube but it requires some creativity and effort. You playing a banjo badly upside down probably won’t cut it.
Signed Up and Ready to Film
As a struggling and starving artist hiring a film crew is not an option. All of the music gear you have has resulted in you eating only bake beans for two weeks, there is simply no money to now get a camera that will record in stunning 4K HD to show that new zit on your chin in glorious high definition. You could always con some film school students, but that is exhausting and probably illegal. Fortunately most cell phones can record in high definition and are fine for starting out. My advice would be to look at YouTube celebrities and read as much as you can on creating engaging content. It will take you a few tries and failures but like with music practise makes perfect. You will find out what works for you and what you’re comfortable doing. You might even find a new love for teaching your sick ukulele to the masses. Be assured YouTube does reach the masses, even the millions of trolls. Feel free to ignore them, they’re just angry that they can’t shred the ukulele like you can.
Now it’s Time to Stack Some Benjamins
I’ve already destroyed your dreams of ad revenue paying for the home studio of your dreams but YouTube can for part of your revenue stream, even if looked at solely as a cheap and horribly effective marketing tool. The most important aspect of having an effective YouTube channel is using your creativity to better present your music to the public and hopefully hordes of adoring fans. Here are a few other ways to generate income:
- Sell Your Music
By linking your Bandcamp page, or other similar music streaming services, within you videos you are providing people with the option to buy your music if they like what they are hearing. You are allowing them to discover more of your music by a simple click of a button. Even if you just link to your Soundcloud profile you are making the music you worked incredibly hard on far more accessible to others.
- Affiliate Marketing
This is always an option as it is a very popular online money making opportunity. You should however do your research into affiliate programmes that you feel will ultimately benefit you. People have recorded some amazing salary figures $20,000 yearly without having massive traffic figures. With content on the internet becoming video dominant rather than written word or static blog researching affiliate marketing now could be hugely beneficial particularly if you do it in an original way.
- Attract Sponsorship
This is an attractive option particularly if you have a well-developed YouTube channel with a large amount of subscribers and a constant stream of views. One of the advantages of this is that YouTube does not take a cut of the earnings, they are paid to you and negotiated with the sponsor by you. In general earnings via sponsorship are far greater than the ad revenue. This is probably your best bet in getting that dream home studio without enquiring what organs fetch on the black market.
The music industry has been a tad chaotic due to advancements in technology that enabled pirating of music on a titanic scale. In the past a few bootlegs could be done, now anybody has access to terabytes of music at with a few mouse clicks. This obviously had a huge impact on record labels. Very few record contracts are up for offer compared to the past. With that dreams owning a gold plated Boeing 747 filled models with exotic names got tossed onto the garbage heap. That doesn’t mean money cannot be made doing what you are passionate about, you can make it a viable career, it might be a bit harder now but with tools like YouTube and who knows what is around the corner there are far more options available to the enterprising.