Saturday, May 09, 2009

YouTube Partner Program: What Is It?


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I'm often surprised by the number of people who don't catch on to the fact that for me making videos is much more than a hobby, it's a job I earn a living from. I recently created a video on the Star Trek movie that pointed to its depiction of the San Francisco skyline as unrealistic because of the size of the buildings relative to The City's culture of demanding "a human scale" of structures, and Star Trek's new generation of fanboys coupled with Internet trolls jumped all over me, saying "Get a life" and stop making videos, all the while contributing to the 43,000 times my creation was seen..and to my pocketbook.

That's because I'm a YouTube Partner or "YTP". The YouTube Partner's program was established in late 2007 as a way to For YouTube to share its advertising revenue with its most popular video producers like Renetto and Lisa Nova, as well as frequent contributors like me. At first, YouTube sent invitations to channel vloggers - I received mine on November of 2007 - then opened up the program to an application process. In other words, you too can become a YTP and here's how.

First, you have to make videos and upload them to YouTube on a regular basis. For me I have a schedule of a video a day and a subject mix of the topical, local, and political. Some people like Lisa Nova have shows within their channels like "The Affirmation Girl" that draw micro-audiences for that specific video playlist. What ever the case, do what is comfortable for you to start, but do something and do it often. And don't upload TV content because you don't own the rights to it; make something original.

I explain what video blogging is and how to do it above.

Second, you have to gain subscribers and that's the real meat of viewership and not an easy task at all. Michael Buckley of "What The Buck" has over 400,000 subscribers, Phil DeFranco has over 300,000 subcribers, where's Lisa Nova has 41,000, and I have just 3,000. It takes years and constant work - some people use PC-based YouTube subscriber software services - to get to those levels.

Third, make sure you have a blog to place your videos on. Blogs and websites are the main driver of video views other than subscriptions. The more visits your page gets, the more views your video will have.

Fourth, have an email list of people to send your videos to, or work them into your social networks, as I do. I'm on 41 different social networs, some that allow video embeding and I have a network of blogs, each with my video channel's latest creation in a special view box.

Once you've done all of that, and have reached a subscriber base of 300 people, apply for the program. It's connected to Google AdSense, the Google revenue sharing system, so the check you gain comes from them, but you only get paid when your monthly income reaches over $100. So you're wondering "How much can I make?"

Buckley is perhaps the most successful partner, bringing in a reported "six figure" income annually. I'm certain both De Franco and Lisa Nova are not far behind and I know Renetto's made a healthy living from YouTube but doesn't tell people about it, unlike Buckley. It's possible to clear $10,000 a month from YTP, and no, I'm not any where near that at all, so don't ask me for a loan!

So that's the YTP. Give it a try with the steps I listed and if you have more questions just ask. And if you want to know how to make a video, or how I do it. See the video above.