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How to Keep Your YouTube from getting Demonetized

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You finally did it–you hit all of the markers for acceptance in the YouTube Partner program, and you began monetizing your videos. But you live in constant fear of demonetization. You’ve worked so hard toward earning on YouTube. How can you keep demonetization at bay?

Initially, you may have seen the YouTube money trickle in–you laughed with your loved ones about the $1.47 you earned for each month of YouTube content. However, after two years of consistent, quality content output, your YouTube channel qualifies as a legitimate passive income stream. Perhaps you’ve watched your content explode overnight. A video you’ve posted of your cat performing “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” from The Nutcracker has gained 1 million views in two days. Your channel gained over 500,000 subscribers. 

You begin to fantasize about quitting your day job, and you start calling yourself an influencer. In a short time span, you earned more from your YouTube content than your average year’s salary. You find networking and marketing doors opening in ways you couldn’t have imagined.

But one day, your influencer dreams shatter–you receive an email from YouTube stating that your channel can no longer earn money. You’ve been demonetized, and you feel demonized. You’re not quite sure what lines you’ve crossed to disqualify you from monetization.

 What can you do? Do you have to scrap your YouTube channel and begin all over again? Can you climb back to monetization? Are there ways to prevent your YouTube channel from being demonetized in the future?

After you’ve been accepted to the YouTube Partner Program, monetization is driven by one huge factor–the ad-friendly nature of your YouTube channel. The bulk of the revenue yielded by YouTube and by monetized accounts springs from advertisers. If you follow these easy steps to please advertisers, you can keep your YouTube channel from demonetization.

Keep those views and subscription numbers up 

In order to qualify for the monetization of the YouTube Partner Program, your account must meet certain thresholds. You may have to self-market your channel and interact with every comment to cross these hurdles as the platform’s algorithm won’t blindly push your content. Content creators on a multitude of platforms are met with similar goals to reach before they can start earning.

For initial monetization, YouTube asks that channels reach the following qualifications:

  • You must be at least 18 years old, or have a parent or legal guardian who handles your account
  • You must have at least 1,000 subscribers to your channel
  • In order to sell merchandise on your channel, you must have at least 10,000 followers  
  • Over a twelve-month period, your channel must have at least 4,000 hours of watch time 

Once you’ve met the monetization requirements, it’s important to keep them up. Interact with your comment thread to keep subscribers engaged.  If your views or subscriber numbers plummet, you could face demonetization.

Produce consistent, quality content 

According to a techcrunch.com article, in October 2021, YouTube announced it would demonetize channels made specifically for kids that shared low-quality videos. This included videos that included suggestive selling, targeted kids to purchase products, or promoted negativity. For channels targeting a more mature demographic, the standards are similar.

If you’ve been accepted into the YouTube Partners Program, the consistency and quality of your content definitely contributed to your monetization. Say you were posting ten videos per month, but life got in the way and your output dropped to two videos per month. Your views and subscribers may drop off as well. Advertisers may pull their spots from your channel as views diminish.

If you spent arduous hours polishing your content and editing your videos, but now post videos with poor sound and visual quality, this may also lead to your demonetization. It’s important to adhere to the quality standards of your content that provided initial monetization. Consistent video quantity is vital, but consistent video quality cannot be sacrificed either.

It may help you to create a monthly schedule, and then stick to it. Block off scheduled days to upload your videos, and don’t sacrifice video editing or revision.

Don’t use coarse or inciting language

Another great way to avoid YouTube demonetization is to intentionally avoid offensive language. Sponsors may pull away from your channel if you don’t utilize friendly and inviting speech. This doesn’t mean you have to censor the edginess of your content, but you should find curse-free ways to provoke your audience. You can use controversial language that adheres to YouTube policy guidelines–but take out language that violates those policies.  

This may seem obvious, but refrain from dropping the f-bomb in your YouTube videos. Prolific cursing can lead to your demonetization. Using vulgarities to refer to other humans is also frowned upon. Similarly, if you place calls to violence or hate speech in your YouTube videos, you may find yourself banned from ever again earning money on your channel. Inciting your audience to violent, hateful behavior won’t fly in the YouTube Partner Program.

Avoid producing highly controversial content

Often coupled with hate speech, if your channel begins to promote highly controversial opinions, you may find some–or all–of your videos demonetized. Many YouTube channels exist outside of the pale–one can find a multitude of channels promoting “out there” viewpoints and content. Although YouTube censors channels promoting violence, blatant hateful discrimination, and exploitation, a deep dive YouTube search will still lead to far alt-right or fringe belief accounts. However, monetization is prevented on the majority of these channels.

If your content espouses extremely controversial beliefs, it may be wise to add vetted source links in your video descriptions. YouTube still reserves the right to demonetize your channel, but a high-trafficked, reliable source may keep you monetized. Stay away from marginalizing people, racist or hateful speech, and including violent calls to action. 

Request a manual review

The choice to demonetize a YouTube channel begins with the algorithm. YouTube’s algorithm decides what videos to push in our feeds based on behavioral targeting. If you pull up your YouTube homepage, you may notice specific types of videos frequently appear–the algorithm feeds these tailor-made videos to you based on your YouTube watch history. Thus, if you find a spike in your channel views, you have the algorithm to thank.

The algorithm scans your channel’s content before human moderators ever review your monetized videos. You may find yourself demonetized and questioning the validity of the algorithm’s choice. In this case, you can contact YouTube and request a manual review of your account.

If a video or channel faces demonetization, you will see a yellow or red dollar sign next to your uploaded content. A yellow sign denotes that your content isn’t suitable for most advertisers, while a red sign indicates that advertising will not be available for your content. If you choose to appeal either of these decisions, the manual review process is relatively easy.

 The steps to request a YouTube demonetization manual review include the following:

  • Sign into your YouTube video account
  • Select “Content” from the dropdown menu
  • Click on the restricted video you’d like to contest
  • Under “Restrictions,” click on Ad Suitability
  • Click “Request Review”

Remember, you’ll have to repeat this process for each of your demonetized videos. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to plead your case, but a human moderator will review your account. 

Earn a YouTube Shorts Fund bonus

Did you know that YouTube gives out a Shorts bonus to its creators? This benefit may not keep your YouTube channel from demonetization, but it can provide extra income and reaffirm the legitimacy of your channel. The YouTube Shorts Fund contains $100 million that it bestows on unique, creative creators. Creators who qualify could earn anywhere from $100 to over $10,000 for their content.

If you’ve posted a short video in the past 180 days, you could qualify for this bonus. Creators don’t have to belong to the Partner Program to qualify either.  YouTube will review the performance statistics of your videos and inform you via email and notification if you qualify. Bonuses aren’t sent automatically–you have until the 25th of each month in which you qualify to claim your money.

Use discretion on other social media platforms

YouTube has demonetized some of its biggest earners for both dangerous offline behavior, and viewpoints and inciting language used on other social media channels. If you’re raking in substantial money off of your YouTube channel, you represent those earning you that income. Thus, if you violate numerous YouTube standards in other aspects of your life, you may face permanent demonetization.
If this sounds like invasive app behavior, remember that YouTube collects your personal data. When you first signed up for the platform, you agreed to these terms. YouTube, its advertisers, and your viewers pay whatever you’re making from your channel. Your creative work may be fun and exciting, but if you’re getting paid, it’s still a job.  If you’re conscious of your public conduct, you can avoid these repercussions.

The quest to keep your YouTube channel from demonetization may feel daunting or stifling. However, when you joined the Partners Program, you agreed to YouTube’s policies and guidelines. By adhering to these policies and producing fresh, quality content, you can continue to earn money from your channel.

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