Posted: Nov 4, 2019
Category: Online Presence
**Guest post by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan of MakingMoneyWithMusic.com. Reprinted with permission.
"YouTube is essential for getting your music discovered and heard. But to make money from your channel's advertising, you need 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours. In this three part series, we'll give you the techniques you can use to hit this threshold so YouTube starts sending you checks for the ads running on your channel and videos.
YouTube is the top music search engine in the world, so having your music there is critical. But when it comes to making money, YouTube has raised the threshold for creators to become a YouTube Partner. This is important since it’s only Partners who can monetize the ads being played on their channel and videos. Our previous article shared three ways you could boost your chances at hitting these numbers. In this article, we'll share two more critical ways to boost views, hours, and subscribers.
As we discussed in our previous article, in January 2018, Google changed the admission rules to the YouTube Partner program requiring channels have 1000 subscribers and rack up 4000 watch hours or more to apply to be a partner. Getting into the partnership program is necessary to monetize the ads on your channel. This change makes it harder for most musicians who use YouTube -- especially ones who want to tap as many revenue streams as possible -- since it's hard for a set of 3-4 minute music videos to rack up 4000 watch hours within 12 months.
That's why if you want to be YouTube Partner and collect the share of advertising revenue your videos are generating, you need to adapt your approach.
The first three approaches focused on generating more and longer content. In this article, we'll focus on promotion and the power of having a regular release schedule can have in generating more views and watch hours.
4. Promote your videos across all of your owned media.
To boost views and watch hours, promote every single video you post. Any time you upload a video, promote it on each social media site you have. All marketing messages need to have a call to action, so tell them explicitly to click the link, watch, and share the video with their friends. Remind them to like your video, subscribe to your channel, and click the YouTube notification alert. After all, your goal is to hit the 1000 subscriber mark. Just getting them to check out your latest video increases the odds that they may watch some of your other videos as well, boosting your stats.
To make this routine and automatic, you can set up your YouTube to autopost to some of your social media through the settings menu under activity sharing. While this may be convenient, YouTube doesn't connect to every social presence out there. To hit all your social media sites, you may want to use an autoposting tool. For example, you can use -- for a fee -- tools like Hootsuite or SocialJukebox to automate any post to your fans. These tools make it simple for you to post once and syndicate your message to any social network you setup within their system. Most autoposting tools provide other features such as pre-scheduled messages, optimal time-of-day to target posting, social media analytics, and more. All of which can help you target and promote your videos and ramp up watch hours.
One free autopost alternative is to use a tool like If This Then That (IFTTT) which allows you to connect apps, social networks, and other software services to one another. Basically, you set up a rule with IFTTT such as "whenever I upload a new video on YouTube automatically post a message on my Twitter account". IFTTT connects to hundreds of popular apps and services. Plus, you don't need to code since it has hundreds of pre-made "recipes" you can choose to use once you connect your accounts to the service.
No matter what method you choose, once you have autoposting set up, test it to make sure everything is autoposting correctly. If it is, you can then be confident every upload will automatically message across your various social presences, helping to promote it to all your fans. Also, to help boost the chances people will watch your other videos, don't forget to cross-link all of your videos to each other by adding links in the descriptions as well as at the end of your video itself. All these methods help to keep your viewer, who you worked so hard to get to watch your video to stay in your orbit. They're more likely to click on one of your next videos which will help boost your watch time over the required 4000 hours.
Lastly, don't forget to embed your videos on your website or other sites and apps as well. Views and watch hours on a video count whether viewers watch them on YouTube's site or if it's embedded elsewhere.
5. Release on a routine schedule.
Not only does YouTube's "recommended videos" tools favor channels that consistently release content, your fans react better to receiving regularly scheduled content as well. If you regularly release videos on Wednesdays, for example, your fans will eventually get in the habit of expecting your next installment. This habit is what you want to boost views, watch hours, and subscriptions.
An even more powerful mechanism is if you're able to use cliffhangers, mysteries, and suspense into your videos. This technique is similar to how reality TV-shows advertise between episodes to drive people to watch the next to find out how the story plays out. If you can cleverly weave these techniques into your video posts, you may build a sizable audience tuning in. While your music videos might be self-contained and unable to take advantage of this technique, other videos you may create such as behind-the-scenes, vlogs, and more could do so, so they're interlinked.
Between this article and the last one, you have the five approaches you can use to boost views, watch hours, and subscribers so you can qualify to become a YouTube Partner. But what if you fall short? Don't fret. There's one more thing you can do to generate revenue from YouTube. And it doesn't require a certain number of subscribers and watch hours. That's what the third article in this series is all about. So, tune in and learn about this money-making method then...
For even more revenue-generating ideas, check out our book Making Money With Music and our free newsletter focused on how musicians can make money with music at makingmoneywithmusic.com."
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Authors of the critically-acclaimed modern classic, The Indie Band Survival Guide, Billboard Magazine call Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan “the ideal mentors for aspiring indie musicians who want to navigate an ever-changing music industry.” Their latest book, Making Money With Music (Macmillan) and free Making Money With Music Newsletter, help all musicians from startups to pros build a sustainable music business and make money in today's tech-driven music environment.