How Do YouYubers Make Money

Daniel Middleton


How Do YouTubers Make Money

Jake Paul, Jeffree Star, Mark Edward Fischbach, Sean ” Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin, and Logan Paul. These are just a few names who made their fortune out of YouTube. They each earned at least $14 million a year. 

The questions that keep coming up is, are they the lucky or can anyone do it? Is it possible to make a decent living on you tube?

The answers..yes they are the lucky ones but yes anyone can do it. And yes anyone can make a decent living off of YouTube. However it might not always be becoming a YouTube sensation yourself. 

If you’re wondering how do YouTubers make money and can you be one of them, this is a perfect read for you. 

How Much Money Can You Make on YouTube? 

YouTube Logo on top of a pile of money

Many of us think that YouTube is one of the best platforms for making money. Not only do you get to do the things that you love, ie reviewing the latest release of mobile phones, but you also get to grow your own following, on your own terms. Being acknowledged for what you’re good at and earning money are some of the perks that you will get for being a YouTube star. 

While you may have heard some YouTube stars earning their million dollars in just a year, it does not happen to the majority of YouTubers. Sadly, most of the YouTube channel owners don’t make a lot of money. 

We already know that the more viewership you have, the more money you are making. But shockingly, only  3% of YouTubers get 90% of all traffic on YouTube. This makes this lucrative job really tough. 

It may sound appealing to earn your millions on Youtube but the reality for the majority of Youtubers looks different. But this should not stop you from working hard to make money on YouTube. There are plenty of ways that you can use this platform to earn money.

Reaching 1 million subscribers is not impossible in this day of viral communication, however you will need to dedicated a lot of time and effort in making great content, marketing yourself and engaging your audience.

What’s the Average Salary of a YouTuber with 1 Million Subscribers? 

With YouTube, money comes with viewership. Money comes easier when you reach your 1 million subscribers. 

Advertisers pay an average of $2.00 per cost per thousand views (CPM). With 1 million subscribers, an advertiser will pay you $2000 ($2.00 x 1,000). 45% of this revenue is taken by YouTube so you get $1100.

Before you can start making money on YouTube, there are certain metrics that you must meet first. These include:

  • At least 1000 subscribers
  • A minimum of 4,000 hours of watch time in the previous year
  • You should meet both of these requirements within a 1 year period

To say that competition on YouTube is high is a huge understatement. Aside from thousands of channels that are existing, there is also a universe of topics to choose from. From unboxing the latest gadgets to makeup tutorials, dance challenges, the selections are just too many. 

If you want to really make money on YouTube, you must think of a strategy that will make you and your content unique. 

Highest-Paid YouTubers

Highest-Paid YouTubers

While it may sound hard to rise against the herd of YouTubers, these people have made it to the top and attracted millions of subscribers. And the cash started raining along with their viewerships.

Lilly Singh: $14 million

Also known as Superwoman, Lilly Singh has almost 15 million subscribers on your YouTube channel. Her relatable personality and comedic videos never fail to charm her audiences. 

Sean McLoughlin: $16 million

This pro-gamer has more than 22 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. He regularly posts gaming commentary as well as comedic sketches on his channel. 

Logan Paul: $19 million

This controversial star has first gained his popularity through the now-dead app Vine. He switched his medium to YouTube and started gaining cult followers with his death-defying stunts and outrageous videos.

Jake Paul: $19 million

One of the biggest names on YouTube, Jake Paul gives his followers an inside look of his over-the-top lifestyle. His channel is also filled with crazy stunts and outrageous parties. 

Felix Kjellberg: $20 million

Felix Kjellberg aka Pewdiepie has started his YouTube channel since 2010 and has gained almost 100 million subscribers. This pro-gamer has been attracting viewers with his comedic videos. 

Colleen Ballinger: $30 million

This comedienne is more popularly known for her YouTuber persona Miranda Sings. Aside from being one of the biggest influencers in the industry, Colleen Ballinger has also 2 Netflix shows under her belt. 

Daniel Middleton: $45 million

More popularly known as DanTDM, this pro-gamer has created his YouTube channel in 2012. He has 22 million subscribers and fills his channel with videos of himself playing a variety of online games. 

Jeffree Star: $50 million

This beauty guru has definitely set the bar for other YouTube influencers. He regularly posts videos about Hollywood drama, makeup products, and even shares his personal life. He also established his name in the beauty community when he created his makeup brand, Jeffree Star Cosmetics.

How Do YouTubers Make Money? 

Cannon camera and dollar cash

If you want to earn a passive income, then you must explore several ways of making money on YouTube. 

Remember that top YouTubers spent months and even years before they reach the top of the YouTube ladder. Knowing which strategy works and pairing it with determination and hard work can help you get to where you want to be. 

Merchandise Sales

One way of monetizing your YouTube channel and developing your brand is YouTube merchandise. Once you have already established a loyal following, your audiences perceive you as an authority or expert in your field. Promoting your merchandise comes easier when you have already gained the trust of your subscribers. 

YouTube is a powerful platform. It’s where audiences are constantly searching for content that speaks to themselves. If you want to increase the revenue that you are earning through YouTube, then it’s time to up your merchandising game. 

Here are some effective tips on how you can make more money through merchandise sales: 

Get to Know Your Audience and What They Want

If there’s one thing that successful businessmen have in common, it’s knowing what their customers want and giving it to them. 

As a YouTuber, you have the edge of testing the waters first before you go live with your merchandise. What better way than showing off your merchandise than wearing them in your videos. You can easily understand if the product has appeal based on audience engagement. Most successful YouTube merchandise sellers wear their merchandise in all of their videos. 

Promote Your Store as Often as You Can

Youtube subscribers are totally forgiving of the shameless plug. 

If you are in the process of launching your store, engage your audience and make constant mention of it. You can even encourage your subscribers to pitch in their design ideas or do free give-aways. Audiences feel more valued if you seek their thoughts and input. 

Already have a store? Relaunch or redesign your store and involve your audience in the process. 

User Promotion

Another means of getting your subscribers to get excited about your merchandise is through giveaways or contests. It’s a way of rewarding your loyal followers. More importantly, you get to attract new subscribers and widen the awareness of your brand. 

So how does user promotion work? 

In order to get free merchandise, encourage your audience to comment and share your video. They can also make a review of your product for free. One positive review may increase your sales by 10%. 

Once you have your merchandise, your shop, and your audience, it’s time to bring them all together. Don’t focus too much on the selling part. Remember that you have to listen to the feedback of your audience. Selling is always a two-way process and you’re likely to succeed if both of these parties are happy. 

Crowdfunding and Donation

Dollar bills handed out

Crowdfunding on YouTube is the approach used by YouTubers to collect donations and tips from their subscribers. It’s a way of making money for the time and effort that they spend in conceptualizing content for their viewers on a regular basis. 

  • You can use Crowdfund on your YouTube channel when:
  • There are miscellaneous costs for productions. 
  • A need to hire additional help arises. 
  • You think that your audience can fund your channel to keep it going. 
  • There is a need to purchase better equipment to create contents of better quality. 

If you believe that crowdfunding is an option to make money on YouTube, there are several crowdfunding sites that you can use. These websites are integrated with YouTube specifically for collecting crowdfunding donations. Patreon and Kickstarter are two of the most commonly used Crowdfunding platform. You must remember though that a small cut goes to the crowdfunding website. If you don’t want to pay, regardless of how small, you can implement a donation button on your own website. 

Before you start asking for funds and donations from your audience, you must be consistent in producing quality content. These videos should not only be meant to be unique but should also add value to their lives. Some subscribers can be too generous with their donations, especially if they are happy with your video content.

Asking people to donate funds can be challenging, especially if it’s your first time doing it. This book written by Joseph Hogue gives you a step by step guide on how to raise money through crowdfunding. 

Step by Step Crowdfunding: Everything You Need to Raise Money from the Crowd for Small Business Crowdfunding and Fundraising

Buy a copy now from AMAZON.COM

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is very popular amongst content creators. Probably one of the main reasons why it’s such a big hit to most YouTubers is that they get all the income to themselves. This is how it works: You find a brand, negotiate with them directly and get paid directly. You are not required to give YouTube a portion of your earnings. 

Finding a Brand to Partner With

Sponsored content is not all about money. One of the most important factors that you must consider when choosing a brand to partner with is that it should be in line with your niche. It would be challenging to promote a brand that produces meat products when your audience is vegan. 

Seal That Deal

Once you have found the right brand for partnership, the next thing that you need to do is make the offer and close the deal. Negotiate on what you think is a fair rate for your content. Amongst the social media influencers, YouTubers can charge more since it is harder and more expensive to produce video content. 

Practice Transparency

You are advertising to your audience and it is their right to be aware of this. You are obligated to have a visible disclosure feature. This does not just save your neck but it also makes your audience feel respected. 

Affiliate Links

YouTube marketing

Another way of how YouTubers make money is with affiliate marketing. This process allows YouTubers to add links in their videos and get a commission when a purchase was made through the said links. 

Affiliate marketing is very popular amongst YouTube creators. Most of them, if not all, utilize this money-making strategy to get the most out of their YouTube channels. 

What type of content is more likely to generate affiliate revenue? 

There are just so many different formats, styles, and types of YouTube videos but these ones have been proven to be more successful in making money through affiliate links:

Product Review Videos – Most consumers check out reviews first before they purchase a product. YouTube is one of the most go-to places to gather as much information and feedback about the said product. 

How To Videos – These are the perfect types of content where you can be informative and promote a product at the same time. 

Best of Videos – Every consumer wants to get the best product. Best of videos list down the best products on a certain category. 

Millions of YouTube videos are watched by people all over the world. The massive audience of this platform gives you a better opportunity to reach out to a wider target audience. 

Ad Revenue

There is a potential of making money every time you upload a video on YouTube. 

YouTube will pay you every time an audience clicks one of the advertisements on your videos. These advertisements could either appear before the start of your video or during the video. 

There are two types of ads – CPC and CPM. Cost-per-click ads enable you to receive payment from the advertiser when an audience clicks on the ad. Cost-per-mille, on the other hand, enables you to earn money for every 1,000 views of an ad.

Before you can start making money through YouTube Ads, you have to enable the monetization feature of your channel first. Then you would need to link your account to a Google AdSense account. This enables you to display ads on your videos and get paid when someone clicked or viewed them. 

The Bottom Line

Making money on YouTube can be challenging especially on the initial stage, but it is not impossible. If you apply the tips above on how do YouTubers make money, you will start gaining your audience and the revenue will follow. Just like with any endeavor, you must invest a lot of your time and effort in establishing your brand and growing your audience. Earning your first million subscribers wont just happen over night so you must patient and determined.

If a 7-year-old kid from Ryan Toy’s Review can make millions through his YouTube channel, you can figure out a way to also create a healthy revenue stream for you or your business. 


C. James

C. James is the managing editor at Wealth Gang. He has a degree in finance and a passion for creating passive income streams and wealth management.