YouTube is one of the best platforms for businesses and individuals to start earning extra money online and even make a living out of it.
So, how much do YouTubers make in 2022 and what can you do to reach those numbers?
Let’s take a look.
How much can you make on YouTube?
It depends. For some it’s just a couple of dollars, for others it’s millions. We will look at YouTube monetization below, but first, let’s go through the estimated earnings of some of the top YouTubers.
Top Earning Channels
|Channel||No. of Subscribers||Estimated revenue|
|Pewdiepie (Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg)||111m||15-60 million|
|MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson)||87.7m||25-30 million|
|Like Nastya (Anastasia Radzinskaya)||85.6m||18-20 million|
|Dude Perfect||57m||20-25 million|
|Ryan’s World (Ryan Kaji)||31.3m||25-30 million|
|Markiplier (Mark Edward Fischbach)||31.3m||15-20 million|
|Logan Paul||23.2m||10-15 million|
|Preston Arsement||18.7m||15-20 million|
|David Dobrik||18.3m||10-15 million|
|Jeffree Star||16.2m||15-17 million|
Highest CPM YouTube Niches
There are a few niches that will help you get views and subscribers easily and start making money. So, if you are just starting to upload content on YouTube, consider these areas:
- Make Money Online
- Real Estate
- Personal Finance
- YouTube / Content Creation
The following categories, on the other hand, have higher potential viewership, but a considerably lower CPM.
- Celebrity gossip
- Pranks & compilation of fails (Corey Potter)
- Google pays 68% of their AdSense revenue to the publisher.
- A YouTuber can make between $0.01 to $0.03 per view.
- Advertisers pay an average of $.18 per view.
- You need at least 1,000 subscribers to make a living out of YouTube videos.
- YouTubers make money from ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and selling their own product or service.
- The highest-paid YouTuber in 2018 was Ryan Kaji, earning $22 million in one year.
How much does the average YouTuber make?
More than 500 hours of video are uploaded on the platform every minute, so it’s difficult to estimate just how much money one YouTuber earns on average.
Although this might come as a surprise to some, subscribers are not the most important factor when it comes to making money on YouTube.
In fact, channels that have more views may make much more than $300-600, which is how much a YouTuber with one million subscribers gets for each new video. That said, there is no ignoring the sheer number of subscribers as these figures are much more appealing to sponsors (and easier to measure) than other metrics, such as views per video. (Corey Potter)
How much can you earn for one million views on Youtube?
When you get to one million subscribers, you can really start to see big bucks rolling in.
This depends mostly on how many views you get and your CPM, but in essence, a YouTuber who has one million views a month and has a CPM of $4, could make about $2,000 per month, provided the video is monetized and advertised properly. Personal finance YouTuber Nate O’Brien, who has 1.1 million subscribers, got around $444,000 in ad revenue in a year. (Corey Potter, Business Insider)
How much can you make on YouTube per month?
A YouTuber with 100,000 views per video can get between $100 to $200 from AdSense, while those who have a high RPM can even make an incredible $1,500 per video. In practice, however, YouTubers earn around $200 a month. Nano influencer Jen Lauren (1,900 subscribers) for example, reported earning $195 in a month. (Corey Potter, Business Insider)
How much do small YouTubers make?
Small YouTubers usually get money from several income streams such as affiliate marketing, selling merch and services, or sponsored videos. YouTubers get around $0.01 to $0.03 per view, which equals $3 to $5 per 1,000 views. (Corey Potter, Mint)
How many subscribers do you need to make a living on YouTube?
At least 1,000 subscribers. Although you will need other sources of income like merch sales and affiliates to actually earn a living from creating YouTube videos. (Small Business Trends)
How does YouTube monetization work?
The first step towards making money off your YouTube channel is joining the YouTube Partner Program, which pays creators 55% of the ad revenue generated by their videos.
However, to be eligible for the program you need to reach at least 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. If you meet these qualifications and get approved by YouTube, you can start making money. (G2’s Learn Hub)
Each time the ad plays on your video the advertiser is charged.
There are two types of ads: CPM (cost per thousand views) and CPC (cost per click).
CPM, or Cost Per Mille, is the amount an advertiser pays for 1,000 views or impressions of your video.
Advertisers pay an average of $.18, so if your channel gets 1,000 views, it’s worth $18. After subtracting 45% (YouTube’s percentage) you will be left with the revenue generated by ads on your channel, which in this case comes to $9.90 per 1,000 views.
But it’s not as simple as that. To get paid through CPM ads, a viewer must watch the ad on your YouTube video for longer than 30 seconds. Considering people’s viewing habits, this is a tall order.
With CPC advertisement, on the other hand, you get paid based on the number of viewers who click on ads in your video—a real challenge as even fewer people click on ads.
Once views and clicks start rolling in, you need to create an account through AdSense so that advertisers can pay you. Remember Google pays 68% of their AdSense revenue to publishers, but you will only get paid when your AdSense account gets to $100. (G2’s Learn Hub, Corey Potter, Influencer Marketing Hub)
Do YouTubers get paid if you skip the ads?
Channel creators get paid only when a user clicks on an ad or watches at least 30 seconds of the ad.
However, YouTubers can still earn if subscribers watch a mid-roll ad on their video, if they are a YouTube Premium subscriber, or have employed other ways to monetize their channel. (Corey Potter)
YouTube Premium provides an ad-free experience, so when a YouTube Premium subscriber watches your videos, you will not be paid for ad plays. But, if you are part of the YouTube Partner Program, you will receive a cut of the revenue generated by YouTube Premium. (Corey Potter)
Ads are the biggest income stream for YouTubers, but at the end of the day, they are just a fraction of the possibilities the platform offers.
Other opportunities include:
Another way to monetize your YouTube channel is to take advantage of the channel features. Some of these include:
- Superchat & Stickers give viewers the opportunity to “tip” the YouTuber. Creators get around 70% of Superchats.
- Channel Memberships allow viewers to join your channel for a monthly fee in return for membership perks like exclusive content, badges, and emojis. As with superchats, YouTubers retain 70% of channel membership income.
- Merch Shelf lets you sell your official merchandise on the channel but is only enabled if you have an official music video channel or over 10,000 subscribers. (Corey Potter)
Endorsing a brand is another lucrative way to make money off your YouTube channel.
A brand can pay to create a video about a product launch or site opening, or the company could sponsor the entire channel, meaning that you would have to recommend a product or service in every video you upload.
Despite the hassle, sponsorships are what every YouTuber strives for.
As long as you meet the platform’s guidelines on excluding paid ads from your videos and disclosing promotions, you could get around $500 per 10,000 page views or even $4,000-20,000 per video if you have over a million subscribers. (G2’s Learn Hub, Corey Potter)
Affiliate marketing involves an online retailer paying you a commission for traffic or sales generated from referrals.
This is one of the highest revenue streams for several YouTubers as many companies pay as much as 50% or even more for referrals.
You get paid based on CTR (click-through rate, i.e. how many people click on the link you included in the video), conversation rate (the number of people that actually buy the product through the link you provided), and finally the commission on the product itself.
In real numbers, if a video has a CTR of 2% and 3% conversion rate after one million views, while you are earning $5 per sale and 600 people are buying the product, you would be earning $3,000 for every one million views from affiliate marketing alone. (G2’s Learn Hub, Corey Potter)
When you get to about 20,000 subscribers, you could start thinking about getting crowdfunding assistance from a site like Patreon, which allows fans to become patrons of your channel and pay for extras, like blooper reels, or early access to videos. A Patreon contributor donates $7 on average, with the site retaining 5% as commission. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
Selling your product
Whether it’s merch, consulting services, a course, or a digital product, selling your own product/service is the best way to monetize your Youtube videos. There are endless possibilities when it comes to marketing your own service or product on YouTube and this model is applicable to all channels, both small channels and those with more than one million subscribers. (Corey Potter)
How to become a successful YouTuber
- Pick the right niche and stick to it: It’s hard to target brands if you keep switching topics in your videos.
- Provide high-quality content: Most viewers appreciate properly edited and engaging content.
- Regularly post videos: No one became famous with just one video. The trick is to be patient, consistent, and keep uploading content.