Most people think of YouTube (GOOG) as a place to find instructional videos, watch music videos or to waste time. Another group of people, however, look at YouTube as a major revenue source for their online business. In fact, the highest paid Youtube channel is PewDiePie who reportedly made $12.9 million last year. Making money with YouTube takes some time and effort, but those efforts can pay off with big money.

Create an Account and Turn on AdSense

The first step to making money with YouTube is to sign up for an account. If you have a Gmail account, or use any products that require a Google account, you already have an account to use that you just need to link to YouTube via the YouTube account page. Once your YouTube account is up and running, your next step is to link to an AdSense account. AdSense is the primary advertising engine Google uses on its own sites and partner sites, including YouTube. When you create your AdSense account, you will need to input payment information and provide tax reporting information such as a social security number or employee ID number (EIN) for your business. (For more, see: How The Internet Web Ad Industry Works.)

Make Videos

Your next step is creating the actual videos. There is no universal model for what works and what doesn’t work on YouTube. Some of the most popular content include professionally produced music videos and impromptu family videos recorded with a smart phone. If you want to record with a phone, you likely already have your camera in your pocket. Recording in HD will produce a better quality video, so be sure to use the highest quality possible on your phone. If you want an even more professional video, you can use a DSLR camera and external microphone.

Once you finish recording, you can edit your video with a desktop program like the free Windows Movie Maker or iMovie, which come with new computers, or a paid program like Adobe Premiere for more robust features. YouTube also has a free editor with basic features. As you edit your video, be sure you don’t use copyrighted music. If you do, your videos won’t be eligible for YouTube advertising.

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See our YouTube Marketing business opportunity.