Without a doubt, YouTube is currently the most powerful video-sharing platform in the world and it has produced numerous millionaires. Forbes 2015 report notes that the highest earning star makes up to $12 million in revenue. In the same vein, YouTube data shows that the number of channels that hit six figures in annual earnings through the platform is doubling each year. We decided to tap ideas from top earners to show you how to make money on YouTube.

The first step is to find a topic where there are not many other videos and then exploit it. For example, if you try to review tech gadgets, your video will be buried under the many other reviews that flood YouTube. But, if you make something more creative, like “15 Apps That Make You a Genius,” chances are you will rank higher in searches in the relevant categories. Always try to find unexploited sub-niches within your niche on which you can create videos.

Then you have to be consistent with your videos. YouTube is paying less and less for views these days but you can stack different business models to maximize your income. To start, focus on making as many high quality videos as you can and be regular in your schedule. These will need to be mostly reviews, advice and experience-based videos for this tactic to work. When you have lots of videos, you’ll show up in all kinds of searches. Make sure you enable ads on your page and then recommend affiliate products in your videos. To use this strategy, find a product on Amazon or Clickbank, review it in the video, then include a link in your description and make sure you tell people to click the link in the description. When they buy the product, you get paid a commission.

You can also create and sell Information Products. If you have a professional skill, you can teach it to make money. For instance, If you are a graphic designer, you can teach graphic design. Even if you don’t have a skill you can teach, you can learn a new skill quickly. And don’t worry about not being an expert. Once you know what skill you will be teaching, start creating free YouTube videos on the subject. For example, if you are good with Photoshop, make videos on how to edit pictures or design logos in Photoshop. To get views on your videos, make a list of all the people who are making Photoshop tutorials. Once you do that, make another list of the top five videos of these competitors.

All of these videos have been proven to work. If you make similar videos with similar titles and similar video tags, you have a very high chance of getting discovered. Once you have at least five to six thousand YouTube subscribers, you can launch an information product. Basically, a premium video course on Photoshop where you teach your subscribers the basic. Because you have already helped your subscribers with the free videos, they will likely buy your video course.

Video Blogs is another way to make money from YouTube. With a video blog, you will generate income by creating work from your expertise. The video blog places you as a subject matter expert and people want to work with the best. When a viewer begins to need services around information you have already talked to them about, they will come to the experts first. They may come to your YouTube channel for something that they cannot complete on their own. Now that you have provided them with advice on a topic, they complete the task successfully. They will now come back to you on bigger projects or smaller ones they don’t have time for.

The nice thing about a video blog is that it is for anyone in the services industry. You can be an auto mechanic, marketing agency, doctor/physician, in home improvement, and so on. Anyone who provides a service to a consumer can talk to show their expertise on topics. People are doing much of their research prior to purchasing these types of services, so why not show the consumer your expertise and why they should buy your service over anyone else’s. Buying a product is usually just price, but when buying a service, you want to know who you are working with.

Do you know that virtual currencies have become a revolutionary concept in the field of monetary transactions? But because the change was so abrupt, there is still a great lack of understanding about this new way of doing business which you can exploit by becoming a Bitcoin Expert on YouTube. It is possible to sell traffic to exchanges that buy and sell cryptocurrencies and then, if the channel reaches enough subscribers and visualizations go up, the main source of income would be the platform itself.

There is also income to be earned from becoming a YouTube Partner. You can be a Youtube Partner by allowing YouTube to place advertising in, on, and around your video content. Google makes money from the views of these ads and partners can then earn a percentage via a Google AdSense account. Exactly how much money a partner can make varies enormously and depends on a range of different factors. You can talk to an expert on how to be an effective Youtube partner.

Video licensing is another way of making money. Organisations are in need of video to support their cause especially media representatives. You can liaise with them or upload your video in the marketplace like Jukin. You can learn more about video licensing.

People are highly visual and watching a video on what a product actually looks like, how easy it is to use, and how it can benefit them can help them take a decision to buy. Using this theory, you can adopt Youtube for ecommerce. You can leverage on customer testimonials (how other individuals have experienced good results with your brand) to attract more interest and attention, compared to the written text. This, in turn, can boost your sales in your online store.

Creating reviews and affiliate marketing can also earn you money. We have found that reviewing products and offering people bonuses to buy from them through your link underneath the YouTube video is a great way to make money as an affiliate marketer using YouTube. You can leverage the YouTube videos to get people to know, like and trust you, which makes it a lot easier to sell something. In addition, the built-in audience of YouTube, being the number two search engine on the planet, and the results which tend to rank highly on Google (since they own YouTube) help you naturally get traffic to your videos, which can bring in more profits for you.

Once you build a good level of recognition and engagement with your audience, you can take it up a notch by establishing your channel as your own personal brand. You can sell branded merchandise, such as shirts, mugs, umbrellas, or items that are more relevant to your niche. A good example of this is fitness guru Cassey Ho, who was able to turn her Blogilates YouTube channel into branded activewear, gym bags, sports bottles, and so on.

Another tip to boost your revenue stream from YouTube is to start teaching via YouTube videos and link them to your paid online courses. Share any business-related knowledge that you possess that isn’t common knowledge for the average person but something they would likely pay to learn. Examples include how to leverage LinkedIn effectively for your small business, how to write blogs to get noticed by bigger publications, or something simple like accounting. You can then easily create your online course on a site like Teachable—they will host your classes, provide all the payment gateways and everything else you need to run your business. All you have to do is get people there by advertising on places like YouTube, Google or Facebook. After that, the business runs completely on its own and you can collect monthly passive income.

Managing YouTube accounts can also be a source of alternative income. If you are knowledgeable about how to operate a YouTube channel and how to use the different features of the platform, you can work as a manager for an account. YouTube has added a feature wherein one account can be managed by several people. It depends on your agreement with the account owner, but some of your functions could include uploading videos (you can use Hootsuite to schedule your posts), responding to and leaving comments, thinking of video ideas and titles, writing the video descriptions and including links, and promoting the videos on various social media platforms. You can create an account on freelancing platforms, such as Upwork or Fiverr, to offer your video creation and editing services.

There is also income to be earned from buying and selling videos that people will want to use. Some YouTube account owners may consider looking for existing videos that they can buy and post on their page to update their channel regularly. This provides an opportunity for experienced and creative videographers to sell their work. Webinars and video training courses are especially profitable and marketable. You cannot sell your videos directly through YouTube, but you can promote through the platform by giving a sneak peek of what you do and then linking to where they can buy the full video.

You can also earn income from video reviews but you need to make honest reviews and opinion.  Do not push a product that you personally do not want to use. Remember that your viewers would love to hear your real experience with the brand and not some sort of canned marketing pitch. Another important strategy is to become a freelance video creator and editor. This maybe more of behind the scene but there are opportunities to work and earn income. One way is by creating and editing videos for other people. This is similar to ghostwriting—you make the content based on your client’s or employer’s requirements, and then they post your work under their name. Getting ghost workers is how successful people usually keep their YouTube channels and blogs updated in the midst of all their work commitments. You can market your video-making skills as a freelancer.

For all the tips provided in the article, you can start with your phone. You do not have to spend millions of naira to buy a 5D camera that you have no clue how to use. Your smartphone’s camera is perhaps one of the best cameras out there—the trick is in the lighting. With good lighting and your phone, you can produce something that could look almost as good as anything made by an award-winning director. Start simple and make it grow. It’s like going to the gym: make it a habit and once you notice that you love it, get the equipment you need and watch your income stream grow