Demonetization on YouTube: How to Fix and Prevent It

It’s the Yellow symbol that’s been striking nerves all over the YouTube community, the Demonetized logo. If your videos are coming up as being “Not Suitable for All Advertisers” than you need to read this article to discover why this is happening and, more importantly, how you can remedy the problem.

Why do videos get demonetized?

In February of 2017 it came to light that some videos promoting hate speech or terrorism were displaying ads. Advertisers were obviously not pleased to see their brands showing up on videos with unsavory content. By April most of the large advertisers on YouTube began to pull their ads from the platform. Creator profits from Monetization plummeted in an episode known as the “Adpocalypse”.

Due to the boycott from the major companies that advertise on the platform YouTube had to make some serious changes with their system to keep ads from showing up on the wrong videos. Part of this change was a machine learning bot that is designed to check videos over and determine if they’re advertiser friendly. The biggest problem with this new bot is that it makes a lot of mistakes about what is truly advertiser friendly or not. Luckily this bot is capable of learning from its mistakes, this should lead to fewer false positives.

How do I know if I’ve been Demonetized?

If your video has been flagged by the bot as being “non advertiser friendly”  you will notice the infamous yellow icon.

Unfortunately YouTube doesn’t tell you exactly what caused the video to be flagged. The answer could lie within the titles, description, or tags. It takes a little bit of tweaking to prevent your videos from being flagged in the future.

What to do if You’re Demonetized

If you’ve been demonetized it might seem pretty frustrating at first. Don’t worry, there are a lot of things you can do to not only get your symbol back to green, but keep it from turning yellow in the future.

1. Upload videos days ahead of when you want them public.

Usually the bot will flag a video within 24 hours of the upload. If you upload them as Private a few days before you plan on releasing them to the public. This can give you a chance to fix everything before it goes live and you can start off making money. Since most of your views should come in the first few days, this is important to keep you from losing too much ad revenue.

2. Request Review Immediately

YouTube allows you to request reviews on videos that you feel were flagged as non advertiser friendly by mistake. You can request a review even if your video is still private (which is why I said to upload it before going public). Although YouTube states your videos require 1,000 views in a 7 day period before it can be reviewed, this is completely false. All of my videos are uploaded at least 3 days before going public and they are monetized before going public.

To request a review:

  1. Go to Creator Studio
  2. Go to Video Manager
  3. Click on edit to bring up the Video Edit screen.
  4. Click the monetization tab.
  5. Click request review.

3. Check Your Meta For Potential Flags

Look over your Titles, Tags, and Descriptions for words or phrases that you feel could be potentially causing it to be flagged. Anything that may be considered unsavory or spammy can cause the bot to look unfavorably on your video. This can possibly keep your videos from being flagged in the future.

4. Make Videos that Comply with Community Guidelines

You don’t want to break the community guidelines, period. This can not only get your video demonetized, but can get you banned from the platform altogether. Here’s the link to the community guidelines page on YouTube

These guidelines restrict items like the following from videos:

  • Nudity or sexual content.
  • Harmful or Dangerous Content
  • Copyright Infringement
  • Violent or Graphic content
  • Spam and Scam Content
  • Hate speech or Hateful Content
  • Threatening Content

Conclusion

It’s important to remember that without advertisers the YouTube system wouldn’t be what it is today. There’s a definite give and take process between YouTube, Advertisers, and Content creators. If you’re very frustrated about the issue just try the tips I’ve mentioned and hopefully you won’t get as many headaches from it. Keep in mind that YouTube is actively working to resolve these issues and they’re still the only platform that pays users to upload content. If you focus on creating great content and gaining views you can still find success on this platform.

 

 

Why Your Subscriber Count Means (Almost) Nothing

Browsing through various internet marketing groups I see a majority of posts are from people talking about one thing: subscriber count. I’m here to tell you that subscriber counts aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Sure, having a high subscriber count can be helpful in many cases. It can help you get a nicer initial boost on videos you post to YouTube due to the notification system. It also unlocks certain features like Super Chat that you can’t use unless you’re at a certain number (currently 1000). Other than that it doesn’t have too much weight behind it other than looking cool.



The fact is that many channels now have large subscriber bases so it’s no longer anything special to have thousands of people subscribed to you. Many of these large subscriber bases aren’t even watching anymore, they’ve just never bothered to unsubscribe to you.

So if I am down on the importance of YouTube subscribers than what IS important? Simply put: engagement.

Engagement is the force behind successful channels. It’s one thing to get users to watch a video or look on a page, but it’s an entirely different thing to convince them to interact with your content. Engagement comes in many forms: comments, likes, and shares being the most common. YouTube loves content that is engaging because it keeps people interested and can build a better community. So if YouTube likes it, you should like it too.

There are many other benefits to gathering engagement on your channel. Engagement tells us a lot about what fans like and don’t like. Likes/dislikes can tell creators what is going over well and comments are an option for further discussion or suggestions.  It also looks great to a potential sponsor because you are demonstrating that you have the power and pull to make people take action. After all, as a sponsor you’re looking for creators that can convince their user base to take action and look into a product or service.

So am I saying that subscriber count has zero to do with anything? Of course not. For one, it does give us practice with our persuasion skills. If we’re able to persuade people to subscribe to our content then maybe we can also use those skills to persuade them to check out a sponsor or buy a product. Another important detail we can gather from subscriber count is how much people value our content. Usually people don’t just subscribe from one good video. Most subscriptions come from the channel overview page and you’re more likely to get subscribers if your channel features a lot of content the viewer will like.

So while it does provide some value and insight on the health of our channel, the subscriber number is not what we should be focused on (especially in the beginning). Instead try focusing on your views and watch time. It is a well known fact that YouTube favors videos and channels that keep viewers on the website. You don’t do that by getting people to click a subscribe button. You do that by hooking viewers and keeping them watching your content for long periods of time. As for views, when you’re getting started you can try to gain search traffic by targeting relevant and valuable keywords.



Getting views and watch time will lead to some real magic in the long term. Views and watch time will lead to higher search results and more appearances in the suggested videos column. This will cause (hopefully) your subscriber count to rise as more viewers will see your content. If you’re getting the eyes on the channel and providing good value it will lead to a more consistent flow of subscribers, I promise. It also doesn’t hurt to ask them to hit that subscribe button either. A good call to action can do wonders for you.

The bottom line is this: Views and Watch time lead to subscribers, not the other way around. If you’re new to YouTube and constantly find yourself checking your counts try to stop focusing so much on it. Believe me, I’ve been there and I understand the excitement of seeing a channel grow. However over time you’ll see the same thing I did; if you focus on providing a great value on a consistent basis the rest will start to fall in place over time.

8 Special Factors of a Viral Video

We all would love to create a video that goes viral. There’s only one problem, it’s not very easy to do. Creators can spend their entire lives working to make that one video that everyone just has to see, only to have it end up all for nothing. On the flip side, someone can do something incredibly stupid on film and end up the next big thing (Cash Me Outside?)

The truth is that what goes viral is often unpredictable and at the mercy of the masses. There is absolutely no “fool proof” method to making a viral video. Anyone that tries to offer this to you is simply full of crap. Sorry, I see it all the time on Fiverr and it makes me laugh. Do people really think some generous guy is going to sell his ability to make any video viral for the low price of $5?

While there may be no perfect method to making a video go viral, there are some factors that many of these smash hits share. By aiming to make videos that have these attributes, you can increase your chances of having a viral success story.

Evokes Strong Emotion

We are humans after all and sometimes we just can’t help, but get emotional. When you’re dealing with a topic that people are passionate about it can get them sharing. Usually you see humor videos or cute cat videos go viral because they evoke a happy emotion and for the most part we all want to be happy.

It doesn’t just apply to happy emotions though. Many sad stories or videos that bring anger also can go viral. Social media is a place where people sometimes go to vent (we all have that one friend that is always angry about something). If it causes a strong enough sense of anger in someone they may feel the need to spread it out there to get other people talking as well.

Shareability

If you take nothing else from this article, take shareability to the bank. In order for something to go viral it has to be shared a lot. If you want this to happen than the content had better be worth sharing around.

What makes content shareable? It all depends really, when you see something online and think to yourself ‘I bet Jan would love to see this’ or ‘I can’t wait to be the first to share this’ ask yourself why. What is it about the content that makes you so eager to spread it around? Is this something you can replicate?

Covers a Large Demographic

If you want to go viral you need to have content that would apply to a large group of people. Although I preach niche all the time, viral videos typically have a very large niche of people. For example, kitten videos can be enjoyed by most pet lovers. This niche is very large and tough to crack, but if you do the possibilities are huge.

Another style video would be things that most of us experience. Whether it is a video about celebrities or common life events, most of us can relate to these topics. Smaller niche videos such as the niche I operate in, content creation, may not have a large enough following to truly go viral in. Fortunately this doesn’t mean you can’t have success with smaller niches, you might just never go viral with it.

 

You might also like: Why Your Subscriber Count Means (Almost) Nothing

 

Enticing Title or Hook

Humans have a short attention span and it’s statistically getting shorter over time. This means that video creators have even less time to get users to keep watching their content. That is where an enticing title or hook comes into play.

We see titles like ‘You’ll never believe what he did’ or ‘It was a normal day until her boyfriend did THIS‘ and they are kind of annoying. Usually the articles are a let down, but you will continue to see these types of titles regardless because they have historically produced clicks and interest. We can’t help ourselves, we just have to know what the boyfriend did. It’s simply human psychology.

Titles that also perform well can include lists ‘5 things only 90s kids will understand’ or titles that have strong wording also increase clicks. Words like Beware, Deadly, Horrific, Crazy, or Warning can grab the attention of the reader and cause them to click.

Timely

What good is a Christmas video in March? Exactly.

This also applies to news stories that are very time sensitive. If you can get the jump on other creators it could help propel your video into the spotlight.

Luckily there are a lot of tools you can utilize to see what people are searching for and what it hot right now. Google Trends is one of the most popular tools, it shows you certain search patterns that are trending. It also allows you to search specific terms to see how they perform during certain times of the year in the past. Other great sources would be the Trending Now bars on Facebook and Twitter.

It’s important to note that some content is “evergreen” meaning it can be reasonably consumed anytime. A lot of content viral content is evergreen making timeliness less of an important factor for those particular videos.

Strong Value

As with most videos you want to provide a strong value. Whether you’re providing entertainment or education, the content has to be deemed as valuable by the user if you expect them to share it.

The best way to determine this would be to gauge the comments, likes, and dislikes of content you post. People that find it to have value may comment on it or give it a thumbs up. However people that do not think it’s valuable may abandon the video early or leave some nasty feedback for you. Another suggestion is to take a good hard look at your content before publishing it and ask yourself this: ‘If it weren’t me in the video, would I still watch and enjoy this video?’ If you can’t honestly say yes, than how can you expect others to do so?



Simple to Understand or Share

Most people aren’t going to be interested in complex reading or long-winded content. They want something that is simple to understand and easy to consume. The content also has to be easily shareable. If you make it super easy to share content to Facebook, you’ll likely see more shares than someone that doesn’t take the time to add share buttons. Simple and Easy is the name of the game here. I’m not saying people are lazy… or am I?

Correct platform

The platform you post the content on matters as well. Places like Instagram are meant to showcase short videos or photo content. YouTube, however, showcases content of a variety of lengths. Other factors that can affect the platform of choice is the demographic that’s consuming it. Apps like Snapchat can attract a younger audience, but maybe that’s not where your viewers are. Getting the right platform for the type of content and type of audience can really help launch it towards success.

 

Don’t let this article fool you. There is plenty of success to be found in small niches that are less likely to go viral. So if you’re a content creator this means you don’t have to focus all of your energy on filming cute animal footage. Small niches are likely easier to break into and should have less competition. It’s more important to create content for value and based on your passion. Creating content for the purpose of going viral specifically rarely works, so don’t sweat it.

 

Cover Photo Credit: Photo by Casey Clingan on Unsplash