YouTube may be the second most-visited website in the world, but all that traffic means nothing if you get demonetized on YouTube.

If you find yourself in this position after doing the hard work of meeting YouTube’s requirements — like gaining one thousand subscribers and racking up thousands of watch hours — don’t fret.

With the right strategy in place, you can not only escape the doom of demonetization but you can also find better ways to thrive and make even more money.

Here’s how to avoid YouTube demonetization and supercharge your earning potential.

What is YouTube demonetization?

Getting demonetized on YouTube means your channel can no longer earn advertising revenue on the platform. No more ads = no more money.

Demonetization can happen for a variety of reasons outlined in YouTube’s Community Guidelines:

  • Spam and deceptive practices: Fake engagement, impersonation, links in content, spam, and scams.
  • Sensitive content: Child safety, nudity and sexual content, suicide and self-injury, and sensitive thumbnails.
  • Violent or dangerous content: Harassment and cyberbullying, harmful or dangerous content, hate speech, violent criminal organizations, violent or graphic content.

For the average content creator, these violations sound easy enough to avoid, but often, getting demonetized is the direct result of updates to the algorithm.

How YouTube’s algorithm impacts demonetization.

For most people, getting demonetized doesn’t happen overnight.

YouTube uses a mix of machine learning and human reviewers to determine when content violates their guidelines. If one of your videos triggers the algorithm (or receives a flag from a viewer), the road to demonetization typically unfolds in three steps:

  1. Content removal and notification: YouTube removes the video first, then notifies the creator. Consider this a warning without any additional penalties if it’s your first time receiving a violation.
  2. Strike one: After one warning, YouTube issues a Community Guidelines strike to the channel, which includes temporary restrictions such as not being allowed to upload videos, host live streams, or share stories for a week.
  3. Strikes two and three: Strikes expire 90 days from the date of issue, but if a channel receives three strikes within 90 days, YouTube terminates the channel.

Since YouTube can effectively end your revenue at its discretion, this leaves content creators at the mercy of the platform’s algorithm.

What are YouTube’s demonetization rules?

In many ways, avoiding demonetization is a matter of making sure your content is advertiser-friendly. According to YouTube’s content guidelines, that means ensuring your content doesn’t focus on or contain:

  • Inappropriate language
  • Violence
  • Sexual or adult themes
  • Harmful or dangerous acts
  • Hateful and derogatory speech
  • Recreational drugs/drug-related content
  • Firearms-related content
  • Controversial issues

That’s just a sample of what creators should avoid posting — and given vague categories like “controversial issues,” it’s not unusual for a YouTuber to find themselves in violation of the platform’s Community Guidelines without fully understanding why.

Anyone who depends on Adsense for income should read carefully through the Community Guidelines, stay abreast of any changes to the algorithm (as best as you can anyway), and above all else, strive to create content that won’t make advertisers nervous.

What to do if you get demonetized on YouTube.

Content creators can appeal strikes and terminations if they believe they were issued in error, but unless you can make a compelling case, the chances of getting your channel “re-monetized” are generally slim.

The worst part? Even if you do manage to win an appeal, you could find yourself in the position of fighting to get “re-monetized” a second time — which means you’ll eventually need to figure out more sustainable ways of turning your video content into dollars.

Here’s what we recommend.

Stop monetizing with AdSense on YouTube

Tricky algorithms aside, YouTube is still the most popular video platform in the United States. 

While this rarely translates to high earning potential for content creators, it does mean the platform is an excellent way to market your brand to attract new customers.

Instead of relying on YouTube to make money, try these revenue-generating alternatives:

Affiliate marketing

Does your brand or service naturally align with products your customers are likely to be interested in? Are there products you already use in some way to produce your content?

If you answered yes to either question, affiliate marketing could be an effective way to monetize your content. By endorsing the products you already use, you’ll earn a commission whenever one of your recommendations nets a sale.

Sponsored content

If you’re in the position to land a sponsorship deal, you’re probably not at risk for demonetization. 

That’s because sponsored content is advertiser-friendly by definition: When companies willing to pay top dollar for promotion look for content creators to partner with, those with well-sized audiences and relevant, advertiser-friendly content have the most leverage.

To safeguard against demonetization — and build the kind of channel these companies want to work with — start networking to build relationships and keep refining your content in ways that strengthen your brand.

Start your own video streaming channel

The best way to avoid YouTube demonetization is to put your content elsewhere — ideally on a platform where the money-making potential rests fully in your hands.

With an online streaming platform, like Vimeo OTT, content creators can build their own video subscription channel with advanced selling options that give them more control over their earnings. Setup subscriptions, ads, and one-time purchases for all your live and on-demand videos, and make your content available on the apps your viewers already use.

It may seem intimidating at first, but you’d be surprised how many of your fans are willing to pay for content that adds real value to their lives. Put their loyalty (and your value proposition) to the test by putting your content behind a paywall.

Wrap up.

YouTube may be the most popular video search platform, but it’s not the best place for hardworking content creators to make the money they deserve. Reclaim your revenue potential by starting your own subscription channel with Vimeo OTT.

Have you been demonetized? Start monetizing your videos outside of YouTube with Vimeo OTT.