The allure of calling yourself a YouTuber and TikToker in today’s hyper-stimulated generation is more than just a badge of honour — it’s a highly sought-after lifestyle and career that can pay up to millions of dollars.
The best part? You already have the tools to learn how to make money on YouTube or TikTok. With one click, you can gain access to hundreds of results on Google for the best possible strategies.
Look deeper and you’ll find initiatives that help aspiring YouTubers and TikTokers chart a path to success in the digital age. Some are even free.
Creator Camp, for example, is a summer programme that teaches children as young as six years old to kickstart their careers on YouTube.
It was founded two years ago by a group of young creators who met through the film programme at their high school.
In 2023, Creator Camp attracted as many as 1,300 campers to 11 locations across Texas in 2023.
This year, they expect to expand to 18 locations — a testament to the booming interest in the online creator industry.
But as time passes, especially with the drastic change in culture among audiences and creators, many renowned content creators on platforms like YouTube have publicly announced their retirement.
On Jan. 10 2023, Matthew “MatPat” Patrick from the wildly popular YouTube channel “The Game Theorists” (which currently has 18.4 million subscribers) announced in a teary video that he was quitting the Internet.
Just a week before, Tom Scott, who has 6.39 million subscribers, announced that after 10 years he was going to stop making his eduational videos.
The list goes on — and we can’t help but ask: why are they quitting YouTube when everyone else is scrambling to learn how to make money on YouTube?
Why are successful content creators quitting YouTube in 2024?
The short answer is that platforms like YouTube aren’t the same as before.
In his farewell video titled “Goodbye Internet,” which has over 16 million views at the time of writing, Patrick states that the Internet is changing.
YouTube was meant to be a hub for low-production value videos and an accessible alternative to television. It’s why silly yet massively entertaining videos like “How to be Ninja” or “Smosh – Food Battle 2006” accrued millions of views in the 2000s.
When YouTube Red (now YouTube Premium) launched in 2015, it promoted creators of highly produced content like Joey Graceffa’s “Escape the Night” series. Since then, YouTubers are more likely to promote vodcasts (podcasts in video formats) and long-form formats.
Plus, creating consistently on a platform for a long time can affect a creator’s mental health.
In Patrick’s case, he started YouTube in 2011 with “The Game Theorists,” a place where he and other content creators uploaded videos that mostly analysed video games from an educational perspective.
“Steph and I had known this video would be coming for the last three years. We weren’t sure it was necessarily going to be today; we didn’t know exactly when it would fall, but we knew it was going to happen eventually,” he says.
“That’s why over the last couple of years we’ve been staffing so much, that’s why we partnered with a larger company to help run the channels, that’s why we have been spending so much outside of this box training up the team to make the best possible videos that they can because we knew we couldn’t do this forever.”
Just like how we experienced many eras of television, the same is happening with YouTube.
“… much like every other entertainment medium like music, movies, or TV, there is going to be this generational swap that is going to happen because as much as everybody would like to stay in those entertainment industries from beginning to end, sometimes that’s just not how that works,” says Joey Bizinger, who is the face of his YouTube channel “The Anime Man“, which has acquired over three million subscribers.
He also mentioned how competitive YouTube is these days, given that anyone can become a YouTuber with the right equipment and personality. Audiences have plenty of options regarding which channel they would like to subscribe to.
Still, seeing your creation have a positive impact on the world can be an invaluable feeling you’ll have as a content creator. At the end of the day, it’s doing YouTube and TikTok for the right reason.
That said, if you’re planning on kickstarting your career on these platforms in 2024 and earning a good income as a creator, here’s everything you need to know about how to make money on YouTube:
How to make money on YouTube: 5 simple, effective strategies
1. Join the YouTube Partner Programme
The most standard and straightforward way to generate revenue on YouTube is through its Partner Programme.
As a YouTube Partner, you gain access to different revenue streams, such as:
- Advertising revenue: Earn ad revenue from overlay, display, and video ads that run on your channel
- YouTube Premium revenue: YouTube Premium (previously “YouTube Red”) is a way for paying members to watch videos ad-free. You receive a cut of the membership fee when they watch your videos.
- Channel memberships: With different tiers, you can offer exclusive perks, rewards, and benefits to viewers who choose to pay for a subscription and become paid members of your channel.
2. License your content to the media
By licensing your videos, other media platforms or organisations have the right to replay your content for a fee.
If you’re interested in licensing your videos, leave it to media outlets to contact you directly or try listing your video on marketplaces like Jukin Media.
3. Use crowdfunding
As explained, the YouTube Partners Programme makes it easy to encourage your viewers to support you financially in exchange for special perks or exclusive content.
But there are other ways to get your fans to pay you directly, such as crowdfunding.
Patreon is one of the more popular crowdfunding platforms.
Like the YouTube Partner Programme, you can offer membership perks such as exclusive or “early-access” videos, member-only live streams, or members-only merchandise.
4. Create sponsored content
Sponsorship deals can come in the form of brands approaching you to request help in terms of content. If they like what they see, they’ll provide you with a partnership, and you can start creating sponsored content.
Do pay attention to the advertising regulations on YouTube and how you weave the brands into your videos so you won’t come across as too salesy.
It’s best to create a compelling storyline that ties in with the product or services you are promoting.
5. Become an affiliate partner
Affiliate marketing means you earn a monetary commission by promoting a company’s product or service using an affiliate link. It is a great way to monetise your YouTube channel if you haven’t got a huge following.
It’s also low-risk for the brand involved since they’ll only pay you when and if your viewers buy one of their products or services.
How to make money on TikTok: 5 simple yet effective strategies
1. Join the TikTok Creativity Programme/ Creator Fund
Depending on where you are from, TikTok has different creator programmes to help you monetise content.
From Dec. 16, the Creative Programme is open to creators in the US, UK, Germany, and France.
TikTok says the new fund will enable creators in these countries to make more money for video uploads over a minute. To join, users must have at least 10,000 followers and 100,000 views in the last 30 days.
If you are a creator in Italy and Spain, you can monetise your profiles through the TikTok Creator Fund.
Creators need to hit some prerequisites to join the program and begin receiving money from the platform.
Creator Fund members earn money based on the number of engagements they get on their content.
2. Score sponsorships
Seven out of 1o TikTok users report that using e-commerce on the social media platform is easy, according to a 2022 TikTok Marketing Science Global Shopping Ad Products Study.
In the same report, 57% of Gen Z weekly TikTok users said ads on the platform lead them to discover new products and brands.
It’s proof that people are ready to spend money on TikTok and brands are often ready to pay content creators who can connect them to those customers.
Plus, with TikTok Shop, the platform is leaning more towards the e-commerce industry.
3. Run TikTok ads
TikTok ad formats vary by region, but all let you personalise your targeting by age, location, interest, and other factors.
The most popular types of TikTok ads include in-feed videos that appear on the “For You” page of TikTok users who meet your targeting parameters and brand takeover, which lets your ad expand to the whole screen’s width for a few seconds.
4. Try affiliate marketing
While TikTok doesn’t allow personal accounts to place clickable links within video descriptions, you can ask followers to copy and paste links into their browsers or enter special codes at checkout.
What’s more, sites like Beacons allow you to create a free webpage containing affiliate links and details. Plus, if you have a business account, you can add a link in your bio.
5. Collaborate with a creator
Partner with the right creators who can authentically position your brand to their audience, as creator-made branded content has 83% higher engagement rates.
To do so, head to TikTok’s Creator Marketplace. This is where you can connect with content creators on the network. Here, you can find influencers and run campaigns with them.
Locate creators based on business goals, budget and industry, and find comprehensive performance and audience metrics for data-driven decision-making.