Want to build your own product review empire? Here’s how.

Want to make money online? Consider reviewing products on YouTube. YouTube gets more than one billion unique users a month and is the second largest search engine in the world. Many of those searches are people looking for reviews, unboxings and comparison videos of products they are considering buying. And video creators have figured out how to turn their passion into profit and build a side-income or even a full-time career reviewing products.

The riches are in the niches.

If you want to turn reviews into dollars, you’ll want to start a YouTube channel based around your passion in a specific niche. One of the biggest mistakes I see video creators make is being too general with the focus on their YouTube channel.

Pick a niche like toys, beauty, tech, pets, home decorating, collectables, then build your channel around that specific theme.

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Sarah from Toy Reviews For You makes videos about vintage and modern toys and has built an audience of over 240 thousand subscribers with over 140 million video views! The smaller the audience, the smaller the revenue, so pick a niche you think will have big appeal.

Finding a niche and sticking with it will help you cultivate an audience more likely to purchase the products you review.

Start creating product review videos and posting them on YouTube.

If you pick a topic that you’re passionate about, chances are you’ll already have many products around your house that you can review.

Successful YouTuber Jared Mecham says that success on YouTube requires, “Consistent, creative, quality content.” Build a small library of videos and your views and subscribers will start to grow.

Build a community.

In addition to creating and posting videos on YouTube, you’ll need to engage with your viewers. Invite people to comment on your videos and subscribe to your channel. Ask what videos and product reviews they would like to see next. YouTube is a social network, and the best video creators do not just post content, they create community.

YouTube gives creators a place specifically to put an email for business inquiries. Brands know all about it and so should you.

Make it easy for brands to contact you.

Ideally you won’t have to buy all the products you review. Brands want you to make reviews and are willing to send you free review units if you give them coverage. You don’t need a large audience to get free products to review, especially if your channel is focused. Fill out the about page on your YouTube channel and make sure to include an email for business inquires.

On my tech channel, THiNK Media TV, companies and brands email me every day inquiring about having their tech products reviewed on my channel. Remember, the more focused your channel is the better.

For example, Jabin from the cooking channel Postal Barbecue was able to get over $750 of free BBQ related products to review, yet his channel had under 500 subscribers at the time. What is his secret? Focus.

He posts consistent, quality, content, and his channel is very focused on everything BBQ. Then he emailed companies he was interested in working with and after reviewing his YouTube channel, they agreed to send him complimentary products to review.

The top three ways to monetize your YouTube channel and videos.

After you’ve created several videos, it’s time to join the YouTube Partner Program. All you need to do to get started is enable your channel for monetization, and you’ll receive your share of the income from advertising on YouTube.

Enabling YouTube ads on your videos is just one way to monetize your content, and in my opinion, it’s not the best way. The amount of money video creators make per view varies greatly, but you can expect to make around $2 for every 1000 views on your videos. At that rate you would need a million new video views per month to make $2,000, and getting and sustaining that number of views is a huge challenge. However, there are other ways to make money that will build your income much faster than YouTube ads alone.

The next way to monetize your content is with affiliate marketing. Simply apply for an affiliate program like Amazon Associates and you can earn up to a 10% commission on any sales that occur after a visitor clicks on your link.

Affiliate marketing is one of the primary ways product review channels build their income quickly. Marques Brownlee from the YouTube channel MKBHD is a great example of how to include affiliate links on your YouTube videos. Whenever you make a product review, include your affiliate links in the description.

The third way to turn product reviews into dollars is with brand deals and sponsorships. In this case, a brand will pay a video creator to create a video highlighting their product. This relationship can be directly between the video creator and the brand or set up through a third party marketplace like FameBit.

If you have over 5,000 subscribers on YouTube, you can create a FameBit account. Inside the marketplace, you can search through sponsorship opportunities in categories like tech, health & fitness, beauty & fashion and pets.

FameBit is just one way channels with more than 5,000 subscribers can connect with brands.

Video creators can then send proposals to the brand about their creative idea for highlighting the product. If approved, the creator gets paid a predetermined fee for creating the video and usually receives the product for free as well.

For brands, working with video creators is one of the best forms of modern marketing. Social media expert Gary Vaynerchuck says, “Influencers are a tremendous way to build brand equity and get the word out there about your product, especially if you are trying to spread the word to a specific audience.”

Be careful when accepting brand deals. Be transparent with your viewers and don’t betray their trust. If viewers think your opinion is for sale, they’ll stop trusting you and your hard earned viewer loyalty will vanish.

Now it’s your turn.

Each of these separate revenue sources may not bring in a lot on their own, but combining all three can quickly add up to a substantial income. The internet and platforms like YouTube have made it possible to turn your passion into profit and your creativity into a career — but you have to do the work. Building your influence on YouTube takes time, hustle and heart. Be consistent, focus on adding value to your audience and always keep learning. Now press record and start creating!

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