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How to Become a YouTube Partner It costs nothing and is strictly optional, so if you're willing to put in the work to promote your videos, you could create a new income stream for your business.

By Jason R. Rich

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The following excerpt is from Jason R. Rich's book Ultimate Guide to YouTube for Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

The concept behind the YouTube Partner program is simple: You create and publish videos on your YouTube Channel, then do what's necessary to build an audience for them. Each time someone views one of your videos, either a banner display ad (called an "Overlay InVideo" ad) is displayed within the video window, or a short TV commercial-style ad is played prior to your video playing. Plus, banner ads are automatically displayed on your YouTube channel page.

Each time someone views, clicks on or watches a video-based ad on your YouTube Channel, you earn a little revenue. How much you earn depends on a variety of criteria, including the type of ad that's seen or responded to by the viewer. If you want to earn significant and ongoing revenues as a YouTube Partner, you'll need to consistently generate thousands or, better yet, tens of thousands (or more) video views, each and every month.

Becoming a YouTube Partner costs nothing and is totally optional. One of the biggest benefits to becoming a YouTube Partner is that Google handles all the advertising placement, revenue collections and your payments. Once you become part of the program, Google matches up your videos with advertisers, decides what ads will appear, and keeps track of all traffic (views), as well as ad responses. YouTube then pays you accordingly for your participation in the Partner program. There's no need for you to find, solicit or manage the advertisers. This becomes an automated process.

Once you become a YouTube Partner, you can only earn revenue from videos that contain all original content and adhere to YouTube's Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. Videos that violate copyrights--for example, if your video contains copyrighted music that you don't own or visual content that doesn't belong to you--don't quality for this program.

Signing Up for the YouTube Partner Program

Registering to be a YouTube Partner is something you need to do just once after your YouTube channel has been established. To add YouTube Partner functionality to your YouTube channel, access YouTube, and sign in using the same Google account information that you used to create your YouTube channel account. Then, follow these steps:

1. Near the upper-right corner of the screen, click on your username or profile picture.

2. When the YouTube menu appears, click on the YouTube "Settings" option.

3. When the YouTube "Account Settings" screen is displayed, click on the "Monetization" option. It can be found on the left side of the screen, under the "Channel Settings" option.

4. From the "Monetization" screen, click on the blue and white "Enable My Account" button.

5. A pop-up window that displays the YouTube "Monetization Agreement" will be displayed. Near the bottom-left corner of this window, add a checkmark to the three checkboxes indicating that you agree to the terms of the agreement. Click on the "I Accept" button to continue.

6. Another pop-up window will appear. This one's labeled "Monetize My Videos." It offers three options, each associated with a checkbox. These options include "Overlay In-Video Ads," "TrueView In-Stream Ads" and "Videos Contain a Product Placement." Click on the "Monetize" button that's displayed in the lower-right corner of the "Monetize My Videos" window to continue.

As soon as you turn on the YouTube Partner functionality and opt to monetize your videos, banner ads will automatically begin appearing on your YouTube Channel page. The ads displayed are often directly relevant to the content of your video, based on the description and tags you associated with the video file. In some cases, public service announcements are shown or displayed. As a YouTube Partner, you can't control which advertisers' ads appear in conjunction with your videos nor do you have any say over the advertisers' ad message or content. This is all done at the discretion of Google.

The next pop-up window that appears offers a brief introduction to how you can monetize each of the videos you upload to your YouTube Channel. This will be explained shortly. For now, click on the "Got It" button to continue.

Your YouTube channel is now set up, and you've been registered with the YouTube Partner program. Again, this only needs to be done once. The next step is to turn on the ad features for each of your qualifying videos. This needs to be done for each video. Then, link your Google account (YouTube channel account) to a Google AdSense account, another process that needs to be done just once. Then you'll be up and running!

Jason R. Rich, based in Foxboro, Mass., is author of more than 55 books on topics including ecommerce, online marketing, digital photography and interactive entertainment, as well as the Apple iPhone and iPad.

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