You finally did it!
You got your YouTube channel to more than 1000 subscribers and 4000 public watch hours. You also turned on two-factor authentication, and have no active community guidelines or strikes.
You are finally all set to apply for the YouTube Partner Program!
But before that, it is important that you have a better understanding of how the YouTube Partner Program works.
Also, it is important to remember that not everyone who applies to YouTube Partner Program, ends up getting accepted into the monetization program.
To help you get a better picture, here is a quick look at what all YouTube takes into consideration before approving or rejecting your application for the YouTube Partner Program.
1. Community Guideline Strikes
You must have no active community guideline strikes on your YouTube channel when you apply for the YouTube Partner Program.
YouTube has always made it a point to strictly enforce community guidelines, and policies to keep YouTube safe for everyone, all the time.
Any breach of YouTube community guidelines is dealt with either by community strikes or in severe cases, account termination and ban from YouTube.
In the event of getting community strikes, you get three warnings, and if you still have two warnings active on your channel when you get the third community strike, YouTube will terminate your YouTube channel immediately, and prevent you from creating new YouTube channels.
YouTube Community Guidelines cover five broad categories:
- Spam and Deceptive Practices
- Sensitive Content
- Violent or Dangerous Content
- Regulated Goods
Any upload on YouTube that features content from any of these five categories will result in your channel receiving a community guideline strike.
YouTube may either pick this up by itself, or it can be brought to YouTube’s attention by any user on YouTube with the “Report” option.
2. YouTube Terms of Service
Terms of Service are something most creators often overlook, or just scroll through in a hurry.
However, to make sure that your application gets approved the first time itself, it’s always best to go through the YouTube Terms of Service at least once and fix any issues your channel has before applying for the YouTube Partner Program.
One of the main things from YouTube Terms of Service that you need to know is that YouTube requires creators to be at least 13 years or older to use their service.
There are also several permissions and restrictions for YouTube users depending on their country. These permissions and restrictions include and are not limited to restrictions like using YouTube to distribute unsolicited promotional or commercial content or other unwanted or mass solicitations.
There are also detailed obligations regarding the content and conduct that YouTube expects from creators.
Illegally impersonating, defaming, bullying, harassing, obscene, or stalking others are all against the terms of service.
It is always best to go through the 10-minute read of YouTube Terms of Service before you apply for the YouTube Partner Program to make sure that your channel is in the right direction of getting monetized.
3. Google AdSense Programme Policies
If you didn’t know already, YouTube Partner Program requires you to create a Google AdSense account to manage and transfer the money you generate from your content to your bank account.
However, what you might not know is that creating a Google AdSense account is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are many more rules and restrictions that you need to follow.
Adhering to Google AdSense Programme Policies is a rule that you must obey, to be accepted into the YouTube Partner Program.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important AdSense policies:
Invalid Clicks and Impressions
YouTube pays creators from the ad-revenue creators generate after joining the YouTube Partner Program. More ads playing on your content generate more revenue.
However, creators clicking on their own ads or using any means to inflate their impressions or clicks, artificially improving clicks and impressions, or using manual methods to create these impressions are all violations of AdSense policies.
Encouraging Clicks or Views
It is okay to ask people to subscribe to your channel, watch the full video, and hit the bell icon.
However, it is not ok to force viewers to click or view your ads or use any form of deceptive implementation methods to get clicks or views. It is also against AdSense policies to offer compensation for users to view ads or perform searches.
Creators have multiple options for ad placement in the “Monetization” tab of YouTube Studio.
However, using the AdSense code in inappropriate places like emails, pop-ups, or software is against YouTube’s AdSense policy.
Creators are also required to adhere to the policies for each product that’s used in their videos.
4. YouTube Channel Monetization Policies
If you want to get accepted into the YouTube Partner Program, you must have a YouTube channel that adheres to the YouTube Channel Monetization Policies.
For that, your channel must have at least 1000 subscribers, 4000 public watch hours in the last 365 days, have no active community guideline strikes, and must have enabled two-factor authentication.
Your channel also needs to be in line with what we covered above - adhere to Google AdSense policy, YouTube Terms of Service, and YouTube Community Guidelines.
There are also YouTube Advertiser-friendly content guidelines that need to be followed for you to be eligible for earning money from the content you create on YouTube.
Once you apply for the YouTube Partner Program, a team of YouTube members will review your YouTube channel with a focus on your channel’s main theme, newest videos, most viewed videos, video metadata (including thumbnails, description, and titles), and the biggest proportion of your YouTube watch time.
Other factors of relevance to your YouTube channel may also be taken into account during the review.
If you have a YouTube channel that adheres to most of these policies, it makes it easy for the team reviewing it to approve your application for the YouTube Partner Program.
5. YouTube Advertiser Guidelines
YouTube works with almost all of the leading international brands and personalities out there today.
The platform is also home to thousands of users from all walks of life, age, and nationalities which makes it necessary to enforce strict moderation and guidelines for YouTube to be safe for everyone.
When it comes to YouTube Partner Program, YouTube makes it a point to only have ads on YouTube channels that adhere to community guidelines, and terms of service.
The ads YouTube gets from brands are played across different YouTube channels.
To make sure this is achieved, all accounts that want to be in the YouTube Partner Program are required to follow YouTube Advertising Guidelines.
Your channel’s application is more likely to be rejected if your content features any of the following:
- Sensitive Events - war, death, tragedy, mass shootings, bombings, etc
- Controversial Issues - political conflicts, terrorism, extremism, sexual abuse
- Recreational Drug Use - promote drug use, facilitates service, instructional content
- Tobacco - any sort of tobacco product, or simulation tobacco products like e-cigarettes
- Weapons/Firearms - instructional videos, content on the sale of firearms (not applicable for gaming videos/in-game content)
- Harmful and Dangerous Acts - prank challenges, dares, and stunts that can cause hurt
- Hateful Content - Videos promoting discrimination, promote terrorism, creating hate against an individual/group.
- Incendiary/Demeaning - Videos that shame, harass or insult an individual/group, adult themes in family content.
- Sexually Suggestive or Explicit - Videos with graphically sexual acts, focal point on nudity, featuring sex toys or sexual devices, promoting sexual acts in exchange for compensation.
- Violence - Videos with gruesome, graphic, disgusting accounts or imagery, and acts of violence
If you are already part of the YouTube Partner Program and have content that features any of these elements, the video cannot be monetized.
If your YouTube channel is clear from all of the points we covered so far, you are all set to apply for the YouTube Partner Program.
Wait for 3-7 days (48 hours in most case scenarios) to hear back from YouTube.
If your account is not accepted into the YouTube Partner Program, YouTube will cite the reasons that caused your application to be rejected. Fix those issues, and re-apply after 30 days!