Creating content is one of the most fun ways to make money. Whether your passion is gaming, cooking, makeup, comedy, or something else entirely, who wouldn’t want to take the thing they love and turn it into income by making videos about it?
But if you’re in the content game, there is nothing more detrimental and stressful than getting demonetized. Demonetization describes what happens when, for one reason or another, YouTube decides to revoke a creator’s ability to earn ad revenue on their videos. This can either apply to one video or to an entire channel.
We want to help you do everything you can to avoid demonetization so you can keep making money on YouTube. We’re not going to dive into the controversies surrounding demonetization, but we will provide a quick guide that will give you all the info you need to stay in YouTube’s good graces so you can pop off as a creator. Let’s get started!
How Does Monetization Work?
Before we talk about getting demonetized, you should know all of the details about getting monetized in the first place. Staying monetized starts with a good foundation, so let’s talk about how you can get your account monetized so you can start strong.
The YouTube Partner Program
To make money on YouTube, you have to become a YouTube Partner through the YouTube Partner Program. When you’re a beginner, this can be a big hurdle to overcome, but the possibilities start to unlock once you break through this barrier.
Not just anybody can become a partner. There are a few boxes you have to check in order to qualify for the program, and there are a few different tiers of the program that unlock different income streams.
The base tier of monetization comes with three requirements. First, you’ve got to get a total of 500 subscribers. You also need to have three public uploads within the last 90 days. Finally, you’ll need either 3,000 public watch hours on long-form videos in the past year or three million Shorts views in the past 90 days.
The next tier comes at 1,000 subscribers. Then you’ll need 4,000 long-form watch hours in the past year or 10 million public Shorts views in the last 90 days. The final tier comes at 20,000 subs.
How Do You Make Money?
There are many different avenues to make money on YouTube. Which one you focus on depends on your unique channel and fans.
At the first tier of monetization, you’ll have a few different ways to put those dollars in your pocket. First, there are channel memberships, which function similarly to subscribers on Twitch. Your fans will pay a small fee to get access to exclusive content on your channel and support you in a meaningful way.
You’ll also get Super Chat and Super Thanks. These are like bits and cheers on Twitch. For a few cents, your fans can highlight their comments on videos or livestreams and get access to custom emotes to pop up in your lives. And, of course, you can also sell your own merchandise on your channel.
At the next tier, you unlock the real money makers of your YouTube channel: ad revenue and YouTube Premium revenue. Ad revenue is the big one here. You can air ads on your videos and take a percentage of the ad revenue that your videos generate. And when YouTube Premium members watch your videos, you’ll get a percentage of their Premium monthly subscription.
And finally, at the top tier of monetization, you’ll be able to expand your YouTube Store to include not just your own products but products from other brands, as well. This is a great way to add a few more dollars to your wallet by partnering with sponsors.
YouTube Community Guidelines
If you don’t stay in line with the YouTube Community Guidelines, all of your hard work will all be for nothing. Some of the guidelines might be a little bit frustrating for some people, but staying monetized is definitely worth that little bit of frustration.
What Are the Community Guidelines?
Plain and simple, the Community Guidelines are an outline of what you can and cannot do on YouTube. YouTube takes its Community Guidelines incredibly seriously, and it will not hesitate to put suspensions, restrictions, or bans on your account if you violate them.
There are five different categories of the Community Guidelines that we’ll walk through briefly: spam and deceptive practices, sensitive content, violent and dangerous content, regulated goods, and misinformation.
Essentially, you’re not allowed to deceive your audience, create content that harms others, create disturbing or inappropriate content, or sell illicit goods or services.
If you want to run ads on your videos, you’re going to have to meet a higher standard of scrutiny with your content and its appropriateness. That standard is the YouTube Advertiser-friendly content guidelines.
Advertisers are going to have their ads associated with your content, and they want to make sure they aren’t endorsing any improper behavior. So, if you want to run ads, you’ve got to make content that is safe for a wide range of viewers to watch.
Ad-friendly videos can’t use violence, adult content, shocking content, controversial issues, tobacco, dangerous acts, or even inappropriate language such as swearing. There are many other guidelines, too, so make sure you familiarize yourself with them before trying to run ads on your videos.
EDSA (Educational, Documentary, Scientific, and Artistic) Content
Some videos may qualify as EDSA content. Essentially, YouTube will allow specific exceptions to community guidelines violations if those videos are deemed to be in an educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic context.
If you feel your videos fall under this category, you can give YouTube some EDSA context to your video. This is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, so not every video will qualify.
What Is the Main Source of Demonetization?
It’s important to follow the Community Guidelines to stay monetized. The most common reason that people will have their videos demonetized is because of copyright infringement.
The main thing to be aware of here is the music that you put in your video. It is illegal to use somebody else’s creative property to make money without the creator’s permission. So, you need to have the consent of the artist before you use their music in your videos.
The easiest way to avoid getting flagged for this is to use royalty-free music instead of trying to seek out the artist’s permission. To do this, you can sign up for various sync libraries or libraries full of copyright-free music, and you’ll have access to tons of music that is safe to use in your videos.
What Are the Consequences of Violating the Community Guidelines?
Most of the time, your demonetization isn’t going to be that serious. On your first infraction, you’ll most likely just get the one video demonetized (unless you’ve committed a serious community guidelines infraction).
But the punishments won’t stop there if you continue to violate copyright law or violate the community guidelines. YouTube can also deduct from your future earnings, limit ad revenue on your videos, suspend your participation in the YouTube Partner program, and even take down your account altogether.
How To Get Your Monetization Back
If your content gets demonetized, it’s not the end of the world — there are things you can do to get your content back up. Here’s what to do.
Find Out What Happened
To discover why your video got demonetized, head to your YouTube studio and find the video. The reason will be clearly displayed next to your demonetized video.
Look Over the Guidelines
Now that you know the reason it got taken down, you should double-check your video to make sure that the demonetization wasn’t a mistake. Review the YouTube Community Guidelines, rewatch your video, and determine whether or not the demonetization was warranted or not.
Submit an Appeal
If you discover that your video was wrongfully demonetized, head to your YouTube Studio and click on the dollar sign next to your demonetized video. Follow the prompts to submit the appeal, and make sure that you come with your receipts. Reference the Community Guidelines and make your case as to why the demonetization wasn’t fair.
Wait for the Review
Once the appeal is submitted, it will need to be manually reviewed by the YouTube staff. They will evaluate your appeal and decide whether or not to reinstate your video’s monetization.
Edit Your Content
If the appeal doesn’t work out, it’s time to change your content. If it’s something as simple as the music in your video, you may be able to edit the video and have the video’s monetization reinstated. But if not, just keep the guidelines in mind for future videos.
So there you have it. Now you know everything you need to know to avoid demonetization on YouTube so you can have a successful career as a content creator. Make sure you stay in line with the community guidelines and the advertiser-friendly guidelines so you can keep making money on YouTube.
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