Starting a YouTube Channel: How Much Do YouTubers Make?

In recent years, YouTube has become one of the many ways to generate revenue online. Over the years, YouTube has become renowned. YouTube attracts thousands of people to it as creators and viewers regularly. The question is How Much Do YouTubers Make? Starting a YouTube Channel is one of the best ways to make money online.

If you are considering starting a side hustle, a hobby, or a platform to showcase your talents, YouTube is an excellent option that can foster your growth. It can also let you earn some decent money. Starting a YouTube Channel is easy but time-consuming. Here, we will look into how much money YouTubers make and how you can make money with YouTube.

Let's cut the chase and dive straight into the matter!

How much do YouTubers make?

A YouTuber with 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time over a year can monetize their channel. Though it sounds easy and fancy enough, it is pretty hard to move past that milestone. Why don't we get into reality with some statistics?

On average, 500 hours of video gets uploaded on YouTube every single minute. There are around 37 million YouTube channels as well. With such a striking increase in the growth rate of YouTube, the competition out there gets tough. However, there is always space for quality content.

Are you someone with a proper plan and a unique concept? Then, there is nothing that can stop you from making money on YouTube.

When you kickstart your YouTube journey, your primary focus must be on creating quality content and reputation. You will have to work hard on promoting and marketing your content online.

Creators like PewDiPie, Smosh, and Ryan Kaji make millions annually. As per the research, Ryan Kanji, a nine-year-old boy, made $26 million in 2019 through his toy unboxing and other videos.

However, when they started their channels, they were also building something from scratch. Starting a YouTube Channel has made them millionaires.

Who are the top paid YouTubers?

So, how much do YouTubers really get paid? Before knowing how they are getting paid, you may be curious about how much money they actually bring home every year. Here are the highest-paid YouTube stars Of 2020.

  • #10 | Jeffree Star. Earnings: $15 million.
  • #9 | David Dobrik. Earnings: $15.5 million.
  • #8 | Blippi (Stevin John) Earnings: $17 million.
  • #7 | Nastya (Anastasia Radzinskaya) Earnings: $18.5 million.
  • #6 | Preston Arsement. Earnings: $19 million.
  • #5 | Markiplier (Mark Fischbach) . Earning: $19.5 million
  • #4 | Rhett and Link. Earnings: $20 million 
  • #3 | Dude Perfect. Earnings: $23 million
  • #2 | Mr. Beast (Jimmy Donaldson). Earnings: $24 million
  • #1 | Ryan Kaji. Earnings: $29.5 million

All earnings estimates are from June 1, 2019, through June 1, 2020. 

Here are some ways YouTubers make money online!

YouTube Ad Revenue

Most YouTubers make up the bulk of their revenue by signing up with Google AdSense. Once you have 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time, you can register with AdSense.

The money you make from ads depends on different factors. Two of them are the number of views you get and the number of subscribers you have. Google provides 68% of the AdSense revenue to the publisher. On average, a publisher would get $0.18 per view. For 1000 ad views, you can make around $18. However, it depends highly on your location and the type of ad your channel is having. So, you can make about $3 to $5 for 1000 views on your video.

For instance, you have a channel that gets 2000 views per day with an average click-through rate of 50%. You have a monthly viewership of 60000. In this scenario, you can make $110 to $180 via AdSense alone.

You can earn more if you have more subscribers that mean more people click on the ads. It is essential to drive genuine traffic to your content to gain such growth.

As mentioned earlier, there are two types of ads on YouTube through which you can make revenue. They are: Cost Per Thousand Clicks (impressions) or CPM and Cost Per Click or CPC.

As per CPM, you can only make money on YouTube only when your viewers have watched half of the advertisement. If the ad is for 60 seconds, the viewer has to watch it for 30 seconds. If your viewer skips past the ad, then you lose the chance of making money. It is essential to have niche-based ads to ensure that your viewers watch the ad completely.

In the case of CPC, you can only make revenue when your viewer clicks on the advertisement. However, only a small percentage of people click on these types of ads. Another significant factor is that YouTube permits you to have ads between your videos. However, it depends highly on your subscription rate, watch time, and various other factors.

With YouTube Premium, you can make money when people watch your content. It is yet another way most YouTubers make money. Once you have started to make money on YouTube via AdSense, you can transfer your cash only after you have made more than $100.

However, other factors affect your income via YouTube AdSense. You will have to check your taxes and can only transfer cash to your local bank account via your AdSense account. You can withdraw the money you have made in a month only by the middle of the next month. For instance, if you have made $120 in January, your AdSense account would receive the cash only in mid-February.

Click to Watch how Dimma is making money on Youtube

Sponsorships and brand endorsements

Endorsing a brand and getting sponsorship for videos are other ways of making money from YouTube. Most YouTubers rely on these factors to increase their revenue on YouTube.

When you are just starting, the chance of getting sponsorships is rare. However, after having a decent number of subscribers who genuinely like and share your content, you can consider approaching brands. In the initial stages, not many brands will come searching for you.

 Most YouTubers try contacting brands to get sponsorship. There is no guarantee that you can make lots of money by endorsing a brand, especially if you have fewer subscribers. Most of the time, they will provide you with free products. For a beginner, it is just great!

If your channel invites organic traffic and decent engagement rates, there are chances for you to get cash for endorsing a brand. However, the amount you receive from sponsors also depends on these factors.

You can get sponsorship based on the niche of the videos you create. For instance, if you have a channel on technology, the sponsors you get would belong to that field. Different subjects have different intensities of sponsorship as well.

If your channel has between 3000 and 10000 subscribers and a decent click-through rate, you can start by approaching small brands. It is a great way to start. They might be ready to work with you for a lower amount or by providing free products. Over time, as your channel grows, the brand will also expand. They will always reconsider you and provide sponsorships later on, as well.

Another factor to consider is that you must always try to gain sponsorship or endorsements from credible brands. Your audience believes in your content, and you must keep their faith in you. So, try to focus on taking sponsorship only after doing proper research and by personally using the products.


If you are someone who runs a brand, then YouTube is the best way to generate revenue. Most YouTubers sell merchandise with the help of their YouTube Channel.

For instance, Teddy Fresh has released a high fashion brand inspired by children's wear. PewDiepie, Rice Gum, and several other YouTubers also run their merchandise stores. Shopify is an excellent option to launch your merch. However, there are other alternatives, as well.

Even though it sounds simple, it takes a lot of hard work to build merchandise around the content you put on YouTube. For that purpose, you should have a fan base and a decent number of subscribers.

The most common merchandise that YouTubers release includes hoodies, t-shirts, athleisure wear, bags, and other such products.

Once you have a fanbase and are confident that your merchandise will bring profit, you can start planning. Here are a few steps that you can keep in mind before launching your merch!

  1. Always find out what your audience wants. Most often, the audience likes to have something that your channel has created a trend for.
  2. Make simple designs that are easily customizable.
  3. You can promote your products via your social media platforms and through your YouTube Channel.
  4. You can sell your products through an e-commerce platform to generate revenue. Most elite YouTubers donate profits to charity, and much better causes as well.

You can also reach out and work with other brands. Most YouTubers who are into lifestyle and fashion create their clothing lines with different brands online.

However, if you are starting to build your channel, it is better not to launch any merch. You must work consistently and gain a strong follower base before taking such a huge step.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is a method where you earn a small percentage of the sales as a commission. Here, you will be promoting a product online. Most people try affiliate marketing by launching websites. However, you can also do the same with the help of a YouTube Channel.

Affiliate Marketing is a great option to gain passive income. If you have several YouTube subscribers, your affiliate marketing venture could be a great success. Several YouTube channels focus primarily on affiliate marketing.

If you have started your career as a YouTuber, affiliate marketing is one of the best methods to generate revenue. Through affiliate links, you can earn money when one of your viewers purchases a product using your link. Amazon Associates and Walmart Affiliates are some of the many such Affiliate Marketing programs online.

For instance, if you are someone who has a YouTube Channel on

Always try to add affiliate links to products that you find are beneficial for your audience.

Here are a few tips and tricks that most famous YouTubers who earn money on YouTube via affiliate marketing!

  1. Always link to relevant products based on your video. For instance, if you are a lifestyle YouTuber, you can create a video on ten items you loved the most that season. You have to mention those products that you liked. You can add affiliate links to the description box.
  2. If you have included affiliate links, you have to mention that in your video. You can ask your viewers to check the description to find out more about the product.
  3. It is essential to add links that are relevant to your video. You have to avoid the inclusion of random links.
  4. The essential factor is to sign up on these websites and create custom links for the products. Remember that you get a commission for the entire cart and not for the product you have recommended alone!
  5. You have to mention in the description box that you have included affiliate links. You also have to state that you may receive a commission when the viewer purchases the product based on the link. It is legal to add such disclaimers to your videos.

Bonus tip: Always add links to the topmost portion of your description box. It is because most people would not scroll down the description box to find the products.

These are some ways by which most YouTubers make money on YouTube

Different factors depend on how much money you can make on YouTube. The most important of them are:

  1. The number of subscribers you have
  2. The number of organic views you get in your videos (more, the better)
  3. The click-through rate on your videos
  4. Engagement, especially in the comment section of your videos
  5. Watch-time on your video
  6. Finding your niche is one way you can develop a strong following.
  7. Posting regularly is another strategy that can help you make money off of YouTube.
  8. Buying the right gear, such as a camera, microphone, and lighting equipment can also help you become a successful YouTuber.
  9. Learning how to edit your videos can also draw in more viewers.

Final Thought

Starting a YouTube Channel can be challenging. In the beginning, it might not be easy for anyone to attain a strong fan base. However, you can start generating revenue slowly. A beginner must always focus on creating unique and quality content. With a plethora of videos to watch, it is essential to stand out to attain viewership.

You can always begin by creating small milestones that you have to cover. You have to work consistently with persistence to emerge successfully as a YouTuber.

It takes time to grow on YouTube. If you are stepping in as a YouTuber, you need to be patient and wait for the results. You have to remember that YouTubers with ten million-plus subscribers started their journey with zero people following them. They are now earning millions by making videos on YouTube.

Start slow, work consistently, have faith, create quality content, and form a bond with your subscribers.

You can then easily make money on YouTube!

So you have a YouTube channel or planning to open one? Let me know in the comment section.

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Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.