How to become a YouTube millionaire

youtube logos in nail varnishDamian Dovarganes/AP/Press Association Images

YouTube isn't just an opportunity for trainspotters to share the joys of the 5.54 train from Crewe, a wobbly home video of someone walking into a door, or a baby laughing. Used right, there may also be a small fortune lying in wait for you on the site.

So how are people making millions from YouTube?

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A report in the Daily Mail highlighted some of the entrepreneurs making a small fortune from their YouTube postings.

How to make money

There are a few ways that people are cashing in. For most of them, the bulk of the money comes through partnering with the site. YouTube claims that thousands of people are raking in over $1 million a year this way. The idea is that once you are approved for monetisation, YouTube will put adverts around your video, and share a portion of the money it makes from those adverts with you.

The difficulty here is that before you get approval for monetisation, you have to attract enough viewers. Often this is a case of working out how to describe your video, and what words to use in the description and tags. One approach is to go through the 'related videos' the site suggests when you upload your video and look at what words the most popular ones use.

Attract viewers

You also need to make your channel as busy as possible, by changing your 'featured video' every day. These don't all have to be made by you: you can feature other popular videos. You can also generate interest in your channel by watching a lot of other videos (ideally related ones) and making incisive and interesting comments, then linking to your videos.

If you use sites like Facebook and Twitter it can help to promote your work there too.

And the experts say that everyone needs at least one 'stupid' video, because this is what YouTube was invented for.

Of course, in the final analysis you have to have some decent content to offer people, otherwise all your marketing will be wasted.

The good news is that if you build enough of a following, all sorts of other avenues open up. The report highlighted, for example, one pilates expert who has launched her own brand of clothes and mats, and another user, a dog trainer, who uses YouTube to market his new books.

So what do you think? Will you be the next YouTube millionaire?
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