Google AdSense is the most popular online advertising network, allowing content publishers to serve and earn revenue from adverts that are targeted towards their audience. This enables YouTubers to earn money off their published videos or any other connected website.
You receive a cut of the money that the advertiser spends. Depending on your audience demographic and content of your videos, advertisers may be willing to spend more to reach your viewer base.
Smaller YouTubers may feel disheartened to realise that they haven’t yet reached the payment threshold. You can work around this by treating your channel as a business and working towards SMART goals for your channel.
It is important to remember that everyone who is now making money online had to go through the initial pains of working hard without earning much from their videos. Even the largest YouTubers had to start somewhere, so it is important to persevere.
What videos are eligible for adverts?
Google has very strict principles relating to what content they allow their adverts to appear next to. Advertisers can also set their own guidelines that define what they see as content suitable for their adverts to appear next to.
To ensure your content is appropriate for inclusion in the Google AdSense program you need to create videos that are appropriate for all audiences and comply with the YouTube Terms of Service & Community Guidelines. In addition to this you need to own the commercial rights to your video.
To enable advertising on your video:
It must abide by YouTube's Community Guidelines
You must own worldwide commercial usage rights to everything in the video
Videos that use copyrighted sound recordings (including live performances and background music) or copyrighted visuals (including images, logos or videos) may be automatically flagged by YouTube’s Content ID system. This will require you to provide proof of written permission, allowing worldwide commercial use, before you can allow adverts on your content.
Gaming channels can run into some trouble as certain game publishers allow you to monetise their content whilst others don’t. We will be creating a tool to help you easily see which games you can monetise. For the time being, there is a large list available here
Some content falls under Fair Use which allows content creators to re-use copyright-protected material without getting permission from the copyright owner. Different countries rely on different rules to determine when something falls under the Fair Use banner, however on their own website, YouTube discusses how Fair use works in the United States. We will discuss Fair use in a much larger article to be linked here later on.
There are many resources that you can use in your video, such as royalty free music or public domain images. You still need to ensure that you have a license to use this content in your video productions.
How to link an AdSense account with a YouTube channel
Many people who are starting their journey with YouTube may not have an approved AdSense account. It is easy to create a new AdSense account through YouTube, but there are a few additional rules that you must follow. Before continuing with the steps below, you need to make sure that you are aware of the following:
- You must be 18 years or older to create an AdSense account. - If you are not yet 18, you can get a parent or guardian to submit an application, however all payments will be made to the adult responsible for the account.
- You cannot have the same payee name on multiple AdSense accounts. - You can have a personal one and a business one, but you cannot personally have multiple accounts. If your account gets terminated, you cannot create a new one so you must protect it.
- It is against AdSense terms of service to click on the adverts yourself or request that others click them. - Doing this may result in termination of your account. Google has advanced mechanics to automatically flag anything suspicious.
Now you are aware of what you can’t do with the AdSense platform, you can start earning money with adverts alongside your videos. Simply follow these steps:
- Sign into YouTube and head to the monetization page - (if you have multiple accounts, you must sign in to the one you wish to monetise)
- Click Enable My Account
- Read through the terms fully and then agree to the three statements below. - If you are below 18 years of age, you must get a parent / guardian to accept these terms and create your AdSense account.
- Click the blue banner at the top of the page (specifically “Link my account”) - If this banner doesn't appear, go directly
- Follow the on-screen instructions to finish creating your AdSense account
Note: If you already have an AdSense account, you can link your YouTube channel with your existing account. It is also possible to link multiple channels to one AdSense account.
Now you can add adverts to your videos by clicking the $ icon in the video manager.
When the $ icon turns green it indicates that adverts have been approved to run on your video. You may need to produce proof that you have a license to use all the content in your videos, this can be done by clicking on the video title in the video manager and providing the information in the box provided at the bottom of that page.