Earning a living with guitar videos on Youtube can feel like it’s next to impossible. However, it can definitely be done as long as you diversify your income streams. The key is to leverage your YouTube guitar videos to earn revenue from as many different sources as possible.
In this article, you’ll learn how to make money with guitar videos on YouTube in 10 simple ways.
1. YouTube Monetization with Ad Revenue
This one’s a no-brainer. The easiest way to make money with your guitar videos is through YouTube’s native monetization platform. YouTube allows you to monetize for videos by putting advertisements on your videos.
Here’s how it works.
Advertisers will pay YouTube to allow them to place ads on the platform. YouTube will then place these advertisements on your videos and pay you a percentage of the ad revenue.
If your video is a cover of a song, then a portion (or potentially all) of that ad revenue might go directly to the music publisher due to copyright claims. For more information check out YouTube’s guidelines for more information on monetizing eligible cover videos.
Though ad revenue is the easiest way to make money with your guitar videos on YouTube, it is probably the least profitable, unless you have a huge following.
On average, you can expect to earn around $2 per every 1000 views on a video with monetization enabled. This means that unless your YouTube channel is averaging hundreds of thousands of views per month, you won’t really be earning significant income.
That being said, it’s still worth monetizing your videos.
The key is to diversify your income streams by earning revenue from as many different sources as possible.
2. Sell Your Music on Major Platforms
Believe it or not, people still like to buy music in 2018. Selling your music on all of the major platforms is a great way to monetize your YouTube videos.
Once you start to build a following on YouTube with your guitar videos, you can start releasing high-quality MP3 files of the songs for your users to download and listen to on the go.
You can use online distribution platforms such as ReverbNation to push out your music to all major platforms at once, including iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Music.
When users purchase your music, you get paid in royalties.
Just keep in mind that there are fees involved with selling on these platforms, so you’ll need to have a decent following in order to make it profitable.
Another service that’s really popular among musicians on YouTube is Bandcamp. This platform places more emphasis on supporting smaller musicians, so you’ll be earning a higher percentage with fewer fees when your followers purchase your music.
3. Create and Sell Custom Merchandise
Creating merchandise is a great way to earn money from your YouTube videos.
Your YouTube will basically act as a platform to build a following and promote your merchandise.
Create some custom shirts with a unique design and wear them in your videos. As your personal brand grows, more people will be interested in purchasing your apparel. You can then direct users from your YouTube videos over to the platform you’re using to sell merchandise.
The most common form of merchandise to sell is clothing, including t-shirts, hoodies, and hats. You could also sell some accessories, such as guitar picks, mugs, etc.
It’s actually pretty easy to get started creating merchandise. There are plenty of websites out there, such as RushOrderTees, which allow you to print your own custom designs on shirts and buy in bulk.
As for how to actually sell the merchandise, you have a couple of options.
You could create your own simple WordPress website and use the Shopify platform to open up an online store. This is probably the most lucrative way to sell merchandise because you get all of the revenue from sales.
However, this is also the option with the most risk. Since you are in charge of everything, including design, inventory, and shipping, there are a lot of costs involved. If you create a merch store and no one buys, then you’re out of luck.
The alternative approach would be to sell merchandise by opening up a store on a website like Design by Humans. With this, you can create custom designs for t-shirts, mugs, phone cases and more. However, everything is handled on their site. You don’t have to worry about inventory or shipping. If someone buys one of your shirts, you get a royalty. If no one buys, then you don’t pay anything.
This option is easier than starting your own site and has less risk, but less profit potential overall.
4. Start a Patreon
Patreon is probably the most popular way to monetize your YouTube videos through crowdfunding. It allows your viewers to personally support you by pledging however much money they want per month.
You can set tiered pledge amounts from as little as $1 up to whatever amount you’d like, and offer rewards based on how much they pledge. Some people have patrons that pledge as much as $100 per month or more.
This is a great way to earn a significant amount of income, even if you have a fairly small following.
For many musicians on YouTube, Patreon is their main source of income.
The key here is to create a strong and interactive community on YouTube with your videos.
Present yourself as a genuine, likable human being who creates amazing content, and people will be more inclined to support you. Just remember not to over promote your Patreon in your YouTube videos! People hate it when you come across as someone who just wants their money.
When people leave comments asking you a question, be sure to spend a good amount of time responding to each and every single one.
Another way get more supporters on Patreon is offer great rewards that provide value for people.
Here are some ideas for Patreon rewards:
- Early Access to your guitar videos (make your YouTube videos unlisted and release them on Patreon a few days before you make them public on your YouTube Channel)
- High-quality MP3’s of your music
- Backing Tracks
- Guitar Tabs
- Access to a community chat server, such as Discord.
- Online guitar lessons
- Live Stream or Google Hangouts for your patrons
5. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an easy way to monetize your guitar videos by promoting other products on the internet.
Simply sign up for an affiliate program and promote the product in your YouTube videos. Then, if someone purchases the product through your affiliate link, you’ll earn a small commission off of the sale.
The most popular affiliate program out there is the Amazon Associates program. It’s free for anyone to create an account. Since you can find literally anything on Amazon, it makes it really easy and convenient to find a relevant product to promote.
In your guitar videos, it’s very common for people to ask what kind of gear you’re using. So this is the perfect opportunity for you to promote the products that you use.
All you have to do is create an Amazon affiliate link for all of your gear, including guitars, accessories, equipment, cameras, etc. Then, place these links in the video description of your videos.
If someone clicks on one of your affiliate links, it places a tracking cookie on their computer. Then, within the next 24 hours, if that user buys anything on Amazon (even if it’s not the product you are directly promoting), you’ll earn a small commission.
You might even want to create YouTube videos dedicated to reviewing your favorite gear and accessories, linking to your Amazon affiliate link.
Amazon Associates is a great way to earn money on your videos because it’s very easy to get started, and has virtually no risk involved. All of the inventory, shipping, handling, and customer service are handled by Amazon. All you need to do is get people to Amazon’s website.
Also, keep in mind that there are plenty of other affiliate programs out there besides Amazon. Amazon is just the easiest due to the wide selection of products to promote, but you might want to look around for other programs, as they might offer higher commission rates.
6. Sell Backing Tracks of Your Guitar Videos
If you’re someone who makes your own music on YouTube, selling your backing tracks is an easy way to earn some extra cash. If people like your song, then chances are that they’ll want to play along to it, or even make a cover of it.
Allowing your viewers to purchase your backing tracks will allow them to jam along and make their own renditions of your music. It’s also a great way to get your name out there as well. If people start making covers of your music, they’ll likely credit you for the backing track, so it can potentially bring more attention back to your channel.
As for making a backing track, it doesn’t really require any extra effort. All you would need to do is mute the lead guitar tracks in your song project in your DAW and export it.
7. Sell Guitar Tabs
One of the most common questions asked in guitar videos on YouTube is, “Do you have tabs for this?” When people see you play an awesome song, they’ll naturally want to learn how to play it too. And since most people are too lazy to learn how to play by ear, guitar tabs are the easiest way to learn. You might want to sell your guitar tabs bundled together with your backing tracks as well so your users have everything they need to jam along to your songs.
As for how to actually go about tabbing out your songs, you have a few options. One way is to download this blank guitar tab template. This template is an editable text file that you can use to tab out your songs.
The other way is to use guitar tabbing software. The most popular guitar tabbing software is Guitar Pro. This software allows you to tab out each individual track of your song, as well as play it back with midi instruments. It’s amazing software, though it does have a bit of a learning curve. The advantage of offering Guitar Pro tabs is that people can play back the guitar tabs to help make learning the song easier. It’s even available on mobile devices, which is very convenient.
If you’re intrested, you can try out Guitar Pro for free by clicking here.
8. Create an Online Course
Creating an online guitar course is probably one of the most lucrative ways to leverage your videos on YouTube. First create a series of videos on whatever topic you want to teach, whether it’s guitar theory, learning how to play a specific genre of music.
Your YouTube channel would be your main way to promote your course. You can offer free samples of your online course on your YouTube channel, and then direct them to purchase the full course.
As for hosting the course, there are 2 main ways to go about it.
The first way is to use a service like Udemy. It’s a very well-known website that is sure to give your site as much exposure as possible. When someone purchases your course, you get paid. Udemy will usually charge fees and take a portion of the revenue. You can view the Instructor Revenue Share guide here. Udemy is a pretty good option for those with smaller followings on YouTube because it will get you a lot of additional exposure organically on their platform. You might not get paid as much per sale, but you’ll get your course in front of more eyes than without it.
One example of a successful guitar YouTuber who followed this model is Tyler Larson, the owner of the channel Music is Win. He turned his YouTube channel into a full-time business by promoting his Udemy Course Guitar Super System.
The other approach is to create your own WordPress website to host and sell your course. This way you’ll earn all the revenue from your sales. However, you’ll also have to deal with creating the full website, promoting it, collecting payments, customer service, and all the other headaches associated with running an online business.
9. Offer Online Guitar Lessons
If you’d rather not deal with the hassle of creating a full course worth of content, you could always use your YouTube channel to offer actual lessons. Video conferencing platforms such as Skype, Discord, FaceTime, etc. make it dead simple to offer lessons to people across the globe. The best part is that you’re essentially a freelancer, so you have the flexibility work whenever you feel like it. You’re your own boss.
10. Sponsorship Deals
Another way to make money with your guitar videos on YouTube is through sponsorship deals. Companies often reach out to influencers and pay them to promote their products. Typically, your YouTube channel needs to have a large viewer base for companies to want to reach out to you, but there really isn’t a set amount. You can also reach out to companies offering to promote their products to your followers. The amount you’ll get paid varies depending on the company, product, and how large your YouTube channel is.
Thanks for reading this article. Hopefully, you learned a few new ways to monetize your YouTube videos that you hadn’t considered. You don’t need to implement every single item on this list, but remember that the more sources of income the better off you’ll be. For more tips on YouTube for guitar players, be sure to check out the other articles on Guitar Advise.