YouTube has become one of the internet’s most popular moneymakers. But is it all a bunch of hype, or does making money through YouTube have real potential? The truth is that YouTube isn’t just great at making internet stars, it’s also a viable way to make money. Here’s the system with which you get paid out for ads on YouTube:
- Google pays the video publisher 68% of advertising revenue. So when an advertiser pays Google $100, you get $68.
- The amount the advertiser pays changes, but generally, it is between $0.10 to $0.30 per view, with the average being $0.18/view.
- This means that for 1,000 ad views, a Channel will get $18 on average. That works out to about $3-$5 per 1,000 video views.
So there’s the short answer. For every 1,000 views, a YouTuber will make $3-5. That’s not bad. But how simple is it to get those 1,000 views and how complicated is it to scale up.
What Can You Earn In Your Channel’s Early Days?
YouTube is not a great get rich scheme. The truth is that in the early days, it’s extremely unlikely that you will be making a great deal of money, or really any at all, by using YouTube in the very first days. While it’s possible to activate your AdSense account from the beginning and theoretically make money from posting your first videos, unless you’re already bringing over a large audience from another platform, it will take time to build enough of an audience to get enough views to make money.
Here’s an important aspect to keep in mind when evaluating all of this. While some advertisements are paid based on CPM (cost per thousand views), the vast majority are paid based on CPC (cost per click). This means that the money paid is calculated solely on the number of people who have clicked through on the ad. Because overall, very few people will click through, in order to make money it’s necessary to have the overall number of views be extremely high.
Even when the ad is being paid based on CPM, it requires the viewer to watch 30 seconds of the ad, instead of skipping ahead. This too increases the number of viewers overall necessary to make money. Additionally, you can only begin withdrawing payments from your AdSense account after you have reached $100.
So at the start there are not a lot of opportunities to make much money directly through advertising. There are however a few other options. One of these is affiliate marketing. By choosing a popular product and then linking to the product’s sales page for affiliate marketing, you can begin to make money more quickly.
Another important thing to consider in the early days is choosing the right niche for your market. By choosing an extremely popular topic your channel will have its best competitive edge. Here are some topics that are extremely popular:
- Celebrity gossip
- Food Reviews
- Funny Things (especially with animals)
- How-to and DIY
- Numbered Lists
- Product Unboxing
Moderately Successful Channels
After putting in your time in the early days and going about it all the right way, you should be able to achieve moderate success. At this point is when you can begin to see some AdSense money in addition to any affiliate marketing money you have been earning.
At this point you won’t be able to live off of the YouTube income, but you’ve become an influencer within your niche. At around 20,000 subscribers you can think about adding an additional revenue stream through crowdfunding using a site like Patreon. On average, payments through Patreon are $7 and the site takes 5% of the income. However the overall income from this source can be increased by uploading regular videos. This is likely to increase the number of times subscribers contribute to the Patreon.
After achieving some success with AdSense, it’s a good idea to build on this. Choosing the right key words and phrases can lead to higher CPCs as can choosing the right products to review.
At this point some channels may be getting requests for endorsements from smaller brands, but there is a lot of growing to do in this area. The period of moderate success can be a very trying time for YouTube channel. Certain expectations have been established, and the channel is required to upload regular quality content. This can amount to a full time job, but does not yet pay like one. It is especially easy to get discouraged during this phase.
Success Begins at 1,000,000
It takes a whole lot to get there, but once you’ve achieved 1,000,000 subscribers running a YouTube channel actually becomes easier rather than harder. While this number may seem completely out of reach, in reality there are actually 2,000 channels with over a million subscribers, so it can be done!
And once this has been achieved, then it’s time to start making the real money from AdSense. Of course channels still have to upload videos regularly but let’s break down how much they can make.
A channel that uploads one video a week has 1,000,000 subscribers. Each subscriber views the video. Assuming that 150 viewers watch an ad for every 1,000 views and the CPC is $0.18, the channel will earn $18,000. Upload two videos a week and double that.
At this point there are additional revenue stream options through sponsorship offers. Additionally some can independently sale their own merch direct to fans. Any review channel can make great affiliate money at this stage as well.
The YouTube Superheroes
Then there are those at the top of the pyramid. The ones making astronomical incomes from their YouTube activities. These are in the seven figure range and above. If this feels impossible, the most recent list of Forbes top ten YouTubers had a whole of kids on it. Let’s take a look at the Top 10 for 2019:
- Ryan Kaji: $26 million
- Dude Perfect: $20 million
- Anastasia Radzinskaya: $18 million
- Rhett and Link: $17.5 million
- Jeffree Star: $17 million
- Preston (Preston Arsement): $14 million
- Markiplier (Mark Fischbach) : $13 million (Tied for 7th place)
- PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg): $13 million (Tied for 7th place)
- DanTDM (Daniel Middleton): $12 million
- Van Oss Gaming (Evan Fong): $11. 5 million