The Creator's Guide to YouTube Demonetization

Jessica Li
Chief of Staff
A guide for creators on what exactly demonetized videos are and how you can fight back!

What is YouTube Demonetization?

Simply put, YouTube demonetization means that a video that has been earning ad revenue for a creator is marked by YouTube as no longer eligible and stops earning money. This can affect some specific content or your entire channel might lose the ability to run ads, depending on the perceived violation.

Why does YouTube demonetize videos?

Anyone can earn YouTube ad revenue as long as they meet the eligibility criteria: you must qualify for the YouTube Partner Program and ensure all your content follows the Advertiser-friendly content guidelines.

If YouTube determines that you have violated any of their guidelines, they might suspend you from the Partner Program, take away your ability to run ads on certain videos or on your entire channel (demonetization) or even suspend your entire account. If this happens to you, it's most likely that YouTube has determined one or both of the following:

1. Your content violates the guidelines of what's suitable for ads.

This list is long and complex, and some creators report that policies are enforced more harshly on individual creators than large brands or news media, so make sure you read and familiarize yourself with all of those Advertiser-friendly content guidelines. While some terms are obvious (like no adult themes or inappropriate language) others are more nebulous (like "sensitive events" and "controversial issues") so tread cautiously and understand that these are open to interpretation by the moderation team.

2. Your content doesn't comply with the monetization policy.

Even if you're following all the content guidelines correctly, you can still lose your income source from ad revenue if you're not following YouTube's specific monetization policies, which include YouTube’s Community GuidelinesTerms of ServiceCopyrightRights Clearance Adjustment policies, and Google AdSense program policies.

The super high-level overview here is that for monetization purposes you should be creating respectful, original, family-friendly content that adds value, doesn't violate copyrights, and complies with updated AdSense policies.

How do they check my channel for violations?

Here's what YouTube has to say about how these guidelines are reviewed and enforced:

Source: YouTube channel monetization policies

What can I do if my YouTube videos get demonetized?

Just because YouTube determines these things about your content doesn't necessarily mean they're right. If you experience demonetization, they should email you to explain why. If you do not get this email, reach out to support to inquire.  

First, review their stated reasoning and double-check your content. Did you accidentally violate a policy? If so, fix or remove any violations. Then, be persistent in contacting support to get your account re-instated.

If you've reviewed your content and you're completely certain you haven't made any violations,  contact YouTube to start the appeal process. This can be an uphill battle, so keep at it. Ask for specific examples, continue to assert that your demonetization was incorrect, and rally your followers on your behalf.

How can creators protect themselves from YouTube demonetization?

It's important to ensure that you're creating advertiser-friendly content that meets monetization eligibility as well as adhering to the YouTube community guidelines and all channel monetization policies. Make sure your entire channel features only appropriate content (no hate speech, adult content, or explicit content) that meets Adsense program policies and has no copyright infringement. Double check free music for copyright claims

But advertising guidelines can be complex, sometimes the video platform will demonetize videos even when you've done your best to comply with all of the rules. If you're exhausted just by reading this, don't despair. The best way to truly protect yourself in the event of YouTube demonetization is to have a robust business with multiple streams of income, and Beacons can teach you how to easily set that up to protect and control your own income.

What are some alternate income streams to YouTube monetization?

Ad revenue can be lucrative, but there are many other ways for creators to earn income that are more controllable for creators.

  • Sell digital products in an online store.
  • Sell a membership to a private community.
  • Create & sell an educational online course.
  • Start a coaching or consulting side hustle and charge for appointments of your time.
  • Use a Beacons Media Kit to get paid brand deals to promote products.
  • Start an email newsletter and sell ad space in your emails. (See more on this below!)

What is the #1 most important non-social channel for YouTube content creators to develop?

Email is the number one most important non-social channel for all creators to build out, because email is the one true way for creators to own their audience.

Through email marketing, creators can have direct, full access to their fans at the time of your choosing. In contrast, with social media, the platforms ultimately own the followers, and creators are at the mercy of platform policies when it comes to managing and growing fan relationships. It’s crucial to own your audience as a creator.

In the event that something happens to any of your social channels, like shadow-banning, YouTube demonetization, or TikTok shop freezing, having an email list means you can still communicate with and sell to your fans, ultimately protecting your business income.

Here's how to get started with email marketing so your business is safe from platforms misapplying community guidelines:

1. Design a smart sign up flow.

Have a simple sign up. 

Don’t ask for too much information upfront. If there’s too many fields to fill out, people may get impatient or even concerned about the level of information gathering and leave the page before signing up. Stick to the basics - ask for name and email or phone number! You can always ask for more information later on.

email sign up example
Source: @tealdays

Couple with other offerings. 

Consider asking for people’s email’s as a part of a larger offering. For example, you could host a livestream or giveaway or announce a new product drop and have people sign up for your email newsletter in order to stay updated on these events or even be considered to be featured in the live stream or win the giveaway.

Make sign up low commitment.

When asking people to share their email or sign up for your newsletter, frame it as low commitment. Let them know you won’t spam them and they won’t have to pay or spend any time or do anything. They can just stay on, enjoy the content, and unsubscribe whenever they want to.People are much more likely to sign up for low commitment tasks upfront than any opportunity that requires a lot from them. You can always ask for more later!

2. Share widely about your email list.

Share on social media. 

Most of your fans have likely found and followed you through social media, so be sure to share your email list with your social media followers. Share multiple times! You may feel desperate or annoying, but the truth is, repetition is key. Some people may miss your post the first time so reiterating a few times ensures maximum exposure.

Share with relevant communities. 

Does your content, particularly your email newsletter, focus on a specific niche? Consider sharing your content with relevant Facebook, WhatsApp, Slack, and text groups. You’ll efficiently reach a highly resonant audience!

Encourage fans to reshare. 

Your fans can be your most powerful ambassadors, so don’t forget to leverage them for distribution. Ask your fans to reshare your newsletter and include reasons why they love your content and subscribed. Consider incorporating a giveaway as well to those fans who do share.

Make your emails themselves easy to share. 

Similarly, ensure fans can easily share any emails you do send through your newsletter. Have a 1 click share button for all the major social platforms. Share prewritten copy they can use.

Do individual outreach. 

If you have DMed with any of your followers, consider reaching out with more information your newsletter. Frame it as an new channel where you’re sharing content that you want them to know about. Those fans who have messaged you personally are likely quite engaged and may likely be curious about your email content.

3. Create hype around your email newsletter

Share samples. 

Entice fans with a glimpse of the type of content they could see as subscribers. Share little snippets of what you send in your newsletter. You can share these clips via stories or separate posts.

Offer something. 

Offer a concrete asset that you fans would benefit from. For example, if your followers are creators, you can consider offering a creator tax calculator or a Notion template for content scheduling.

To go a step further, you can set up a lead magnet funnel: collect fans’ emails through your Link in Bio, send them a free downloadable via email as part of your welcome email sequence, and then upsell them on products in your Store.

form to collect email subscribers
Source: @chaweonkoo

Share benefits and testimonials. 

Get to the “why.” Clearly articulate why people should subscribe and what exactly they would get from subscribing. If you have direct quotes from followers who have subscribed, share these as well!

marketing examples
Source: Marketing Examples

Ready to build your base of email subscribers on the best business platform for YouTube creators?

So you’re ready to get started growing your email subscribers! As next steps:

example of a readymade email from the Beacons Email Marketing tool
Ready made emails you can send right from Beacons

Jessica Li
Jessica is the chief of staff at Beacons. Prior to Beacons, she was a content creator, writing for many publications, startups, and venture funds. She has previously worked in growth and venture capital.
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Sell in your creator store, build an email marketing strategy, score brand deals—all from your Beacons Link-in-Bio. Powered by AI.
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