Many Small YouTubers to Lose Monetization. Are you 1 of them?

The Bad News

On January 16th the news came from YouTube that many people will dread hearing. Previously YouTube required all creators to have at least 10,000 lifetime channel views in order to apply for monetization again. Many have felt this policy would be tightened and as of today that’s exactly what has happened.

This post was added to the YouTube Creator blog from Neal Mohan and Robert Kyncl. Here’s a rundown of the basics of this notice.

  • Channels must have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of views over the last 365 days in order to stay monetiezed.
  • This policy is effective immediately for new channels, but won’t go into effect until Feb. 20, 2018 for existing channels.
  • 99% of affected channels earn less than $100 per year.
  • 90% of affected channels earned less than $2.50 in the past month.

What this means simply is that as of February 20th you will not have monetization anymore if you have less than 1,000 subs and 4,000 hours of watch time in the last 12 months. Sub count is easy to check for, you either have them or you don’t. When it comes to the watch time you’ll have to visit your creator studio to check how you’re doing there.

Visit your creator studio, go into analytics and change the time period to “Last 365 Days”. The magic number is Watch Time at 240,000 minutes. This number is equal to 4,000 hours. I’ve highlighted the sections to look at in the picture below.

As you can see, I am no longer going to be monetized as of February 20th.


What does this mean for me?

For myself and many creators like me, it means that I’ll have to hit these marks before I’ll be able to make money after this point. According to the article any site that is currently receiving monetization will be reviewed automatically upon reaching the required numbers. It’s worth noting though: If you’ve already made money via monetization you will still keep that money. I have seen this question asked in a few locations and thought I should put it here as well.

Personally I’m very close to the mark already so it hopefully won’t take me long to get there. I feel really bad for folks who are putting quality content, but aren’t anywhere near this mark. Even though YouTube claims most channels made under $2.50 in ad revenue, mine was much closer to the $15 per month ball park.

 

How are people reacting?

The comments contain a lot of what you’d expect. A large number of upset creators are expressing their anger. Comments include the following:

The soul crushing comment will probably hit home for many of you reading this. I agree, for many this news will certainly demoralize a lot of creators, especially the ones who were just recently approved. I feel your pain folks, I really do.

What does this mean for the future of YouTube?

I feel like many creators will certainly drop out of the game with this news. These are the most strict regulations yet. For those of whom currently meet the criteria I believe this is a good thing actually. This should hopefully drive up the demand as the number of potential advertising spots will be significantly less. It also means there will be, in theory at least, more higher quality spots available. I do however think it will reduce the competition slightly so if you’re not in it for money right away you might find yourself in a better position to be discovered.

So will YouTube fail now? Absolutely not. These issues facing creators mean absolutely nothing to viewers in general and there is still a lot of great content out there on YouTube. Remember, YouTube is the largest video site on the web and the 2nd largest search engine in the world. A few angry creators will not cause that to change too much.

What can creators do to combat this?

If you’re in a bind and are now finding yourself in a world of zero monetization you are not completely without hope. There are many other great ways to make money online with your videos. Smaller channels are still able to leverage methods like Affiliate Marketing, Merch Sales, and crowdfunding sites like Patreon. Sure, it’s a little bit tougher than uploading videos and collecting the ad revenue, but good businessman can manage these sorts of downfalls.



Other sites like Twitch and Facebook are doing some smaller testing with monetization options of their own, so trying other platforms may also be a viable option in the near future. Facebook is trying very hard to compete with YouTube on the video front and this could open a door for Facebook to attract some creators away from the Tube platform over to theirs. I don’t want you to take this paragraph as me saying “Yeah, leave YouTube now!”. I’m just pointing out there are some other options out there depending on what types of videos you’re making. The platform you decide to focus on is important and should take a lot of consideration before making a final decision.

I also feel like this is a great reason for users to have a blog of their own. By having your own personal space you’re in more control of ad placement and the content that is being pushed to users. By relying solely on these social media networks you become virtually a slave to their policies and algorithm.

Conclusion

So perhaps this comes as awful news to you, but don’t be discouraged. At the end of the day great content wins. In the long run it may be a great thing for the troubled monetization system. If anything we’ve learned today, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Multiple streams of revenue is the way to go, this is something that most successful creators know.

 

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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.

4 Perfect Reasons to Use Lists in Your Videos

So here’s an article on lists and why they’re great for your videos. Get this, the article about how lists are great is indeed a list itself! Oh the irony here! So I have 4 great reasons for using lists in your videos.

1. It will keep your information organized.

So if you’re putting things into a list than you will have an organization. For example, this article covers 5 key points on why I feel lists are amazing to use. If I didn’t put it in a list format I could be all over the place, but since it’s organized into a list it keeps things right in place where they belong.

So don’t wander all over the place in your videos. Use lists to keep yourself organized.

2. People Like Structure

People enjoy knowing what to expect when they tune in for a video. If I post a video that is called Top 10 things you need in your daily life than you know exactly what to expect. What happens after I reveal #3 on my video? I bet you’d probably guess that the reveal of #2 is up next. So this gives your videos a nice level of structure that is easy to follow for people.

3. It keeps users hooked onto your video.

Since people like structure and know what to expect in your video it should be no suprise that list videos can keep users attention more. Even if a list of “10 Favorite free PC programs” would include things that don’t interest you; you may still stick around to see the other 9 programs.

On YouTube retention and watch time is king. So being able to cast out that hook and reel in users can really pay off big dividends for you.

4. Statistically it is more clickable.

Making a list video and using some numbers in the title is not just a good idea, it’s a freaking great idea. Independent studies have proven that number based titles are more clickable in test groups. Seeing that most people see the title and thumbnail first, it wouldn’t hurt to use this to your advantage. Take the following title names for example:

  • 6 ways to make the most amazing Martinis
  • Ways you can make your Martini more amazing
  • How to make some amazing Martinis
  • Ways to make a Martini amazing
  • Are your Martinis as amazing at these ones?

According to the people involved in the study, there is a huge preference towards the titles with numbers in them. In fact, this list is in order by effectiveness. It surprised me because I always thought my question titles were awesome. Apparently no one else thinks so.

 

So there you go, 4 reasons you need to start pumping out the list articles. Take a close look at news articles, YouTube videos, and search results. Before long you’ll notice so many people are using this list format to their advantage.