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Veteran entrepreneurs overlook the option to make money using YouTube, to grow their business. In fact, most people still think of YouTube as a place to watch funny viral videos and movie trailers.

But the reality is that small business owners are using YouTube in new and creative ways to generate money.

Here are three ways that you can potentially make money using YouTube:

#1: Become a YouTube Celebrity

You’ve probably heard of YouTube celebrities making upwards of $10 million a year. Indeed, if you can attract millions of views on YouTube, you too could potentially cash in on the wealth. There are even examples of fellow veteran entrepreneurs getting tens of thousands of views for their videos.

Check out the videos for Black Rifle Coffee Company. A veteran-owned and veteran-operated business. Many of their YouTube videos routinely get 25,000 or more views each.

But let’s be realistic.

Most of the videos you make at the outset will almost certainly get less than 1,000 views each. And with current rates that YouTube is paying out for AdSense (the Google program that inserts ads in your videos). You would make a grand total of (hold on, wait for it) $1 for every 1,000 views!

Yes, that’s right – YouTube AdSense pays out $1 per 1,000 views.

Not exactly the best route to make money using YouTube. Even a video that gets 100,000 views. Which is probably how most people would define a “viral” video – will only make you $100.

#2: Become an Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing is just a fancy way of saying you make commissions helping others sell their products. You’re essentially sending your YouTube visitors to another website. Where they can make the purchase of items mentioned in your videos.

Basically, at the end of each video, you would simply include a special affiliate link. This would be used to record new customers that you send their way. The good news is that, once you include this link, everything is automatically calculated for you.

If you’re a veteran entrepreneur running an IT consulting business. You might think about affiliating with different software packages or hardware items.

But here’s the thing – you’re not going to be making a huge commission on these sales.

One of the most popular affiliate marketing programs is Amazon’s Associates Program, which typically offers commissions of 4% for each new sale. So, if you were helping to sell or promote a $100 item. You’d only make $4 on each new sale that you generate.

#3: Sell your own Products via YouTube

If you’re looking for higher revenue figures to make money using YouTube. The alternative is to sell your own company’s products using the platform. That way, you’d be keeping 100% of every new sale. Rather than splitting the sales with someone else. And you don’t have to sell products — you can also sell services.

So here’s how it works:

You make a quick 2-minute video on a certain topic that you know a lot about. Many small businesses like to make popular “how to” videos. Then you include a link to your business at the end of the video. Allowing customers to purchase your products or services later.

For example, say that you run a handyman and maintenance business for residential homeowners. You could create brief “how to” videos for certain common household tasks. Like “how to winter-proof your home for the winter”. And then include a link to your business at the end of the video.

You can immediately see why this direct-to-consumer approach on YouTube is superior to the basic AdSense approach. If you get 1,000 views for your YouTube video, you’d make $1.

However, if you get 1,000 views for your YouTube video. And also convince 0.5 percent of people watching the video to buy a $50 product, you make $250! (That’s 5 x $50 = $250)

#4: Promote your Consulting Services

Ultimately, your goal to make money using YouTube should be to convert viewers into customers. Yes, it’s fun if one of your videos happens to go viral. But the real point is that you can still make a significant amount of money. Even if you’re only getting 1,000 views or less for each new video.

Here’s an example. You might think about advertising your consulting services via YouTube. When people see that you are providing a lot of value in your videos for free. They are more inclined to becoming customers.

This is especially true if you are offering consulting or advisory services. You can charge a significant premium for 1-on-1 access to your consulting services. This also goes for the technology sector.

One common strategy is to offer “how to” videos on how to improve Google search engine rankings. And then offer all kinds of training modules. Along with consulting services that are designed for specific companies. You might be able to charge hundreds of dollars per hour for this kind of work.

How Then Should You Make Money Using YouTube?

As you can see, you can either view YouTube as a source of passive income or active income. If it’s passive income, you simply create YouTube videos on a regular basis. Upload them to the site. And let viewers watch them whenever they want.

Every 1,000 views of these videos, you’d make a buck. In a best-case scenario, of course, you’d occasionally make a “viral video”.

Or – and here’s the more lucrative approach – you can also view YouTube as a source of active income. In this case, you’d really be using your YouTube videos as a type of advertisement for your products and services.

You could include links to these videos in your weekly email newsletters. Alternatively, you could embed these YouTube videos in your corporate blog posts.

Your goal here is not to get a massive ownership for your videos. Instead, it is to get prospects and potential customers. People who will buy the products and services featured in these videos.

The good news…

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a future YouTube celebrity. It’s possible to make videos with professional voice overs. Or maybe just create informative videos that use text to tell your story.

The creative direction is up to you. But YouTube could be the foundation for the future growth of your veteran-owned small business.