How to Make Money on YouTube in 2023: 5 Ways to Get Paid

Ads aren’t the only way to make money on YouTube. Affiliate marketing and merch sales may be the quicker path to earning.
Tommy Tindall
Devon Delfino
By Devon Delfino and  Tommy Tindall 
Edited by Courtney Neidel

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

The growing creator economy has turned up some diverse ways to make money on YouTube. And while some methods offer a lower barrier to entry than earning through ads, there’s no substitute for quality content and an engaged audience.

If you can tap into your creative side, and are willing to put in a lot of effort, you might be able to make money on YouTube, too. Here are a few monetization methods to explore.

How to get paid on YouTube

1. Earn with ads as a YouTube Partner Program member

Let’s get this one out of the way first. You must join the YouTube Partner Program to earn money from advertisements. And you can’t become a YouTube partner until your channel surpasses the 1,000-subscriber threshold. You’ll also need a collective 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months. Check those big boxes and it opens the door to ad revenue.

A few additional requirements apply before you can become a partner:

Click the “monetization” section in YouTube Studio to monitor your subscriber and watch hours progress. YouTube will let you know when you’re eligible to apply. 

As a YouTube partner, you can earn money through ads, chat features and from YouTube Premium subscribers who watch your content. Notably, YouTube will begin to allow YouTube partners to also earn ad revenue on Shorts in 2023. Shorts are YouTube’s version of short-form TikTok-like videos.

How many views on YouTube does it take to make money?

You don’t get paid per video view. Rather, you’re paid for the times when someone watches or clicks on an ad shown on your video.

Influencer Marketing Hub says that while payment varies, the average YouTube channel can expect to make about $18 per 1,000 ad views. That translates to $3 to $5 per 1,000 video views when you factor in the rate of ads actually viewed.

So when do you start making money on YouTube?

You'll be paid once your balance reaches $100. Say it takes approximately 1,000 video views to earn $4 from those viewers who saw ads. You would need 25,000 video views to make $100 through those ads.

If you have a small channel, you might get paid only every few months. You'll also want to be familiar with how Google, which issues AdSense payments, handles taxes.

Sound like a long road ahead?

Below are alternative ways to earn before you hit 1,000 subscribers.

Track all the money you make
See the ins and outs of your cash, cards and bank accounts at a glance.

2. Take a cut with affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing might be the most practical way to monetize your YouTube traffic, especially if you plan to make product review videos. It works like this:

  • You find a company or seller with an affiliate program, such as Amazon Associates, and apply to join.

  • Once accepted, you’ll use their process to create custom links to products you plan to feature in your videos.

  • Demo, review or make