How People on YouTube Earn a Living
So how much does a YouTuber really make?
There’s no easy way to give you an exact answer since there are a variety of ways that people are making a living on YouTube.
Here’s the thing, YouTube has changed A LOT recently so the most popular way of getting paid per view through AdSense and other similar platforms is not really viable for most people anymore especially if you are just getting started. Since they now want to only allow people with over 10 000 views to participate.
So, I’ll be discussing the different options and then I’ll show you what I think is possibly the best and easiest way for you to get started and earning. And you don’t even need a 1000 views to do so.
Some context is needed, so here’s a small background into the rise of how YouTube became a platform for ordinary people to achieve fame and fortune.
In recent years, we have seen a huge shift in the way that people live their life and spend their time.
Where once we’d have TV as our main way to find entertainment, this has started to quickly change to online platforms with YouTube being a key figure in this shift.
As a result..
Big companies started to see the benefits of advertising on online videos and started sponsoring the popular YouTube channels. This resulted in a spiral of growth and profit, where one feeds off the other.
The companies need the YouTubers to promote their products to their army of loyal fans and the YouTubers need the companies to get paid so that they can dedicate more time to creating more videos.
The videos these Big YouTubers create don’t even need to be anything fancy.
- Some are making a fortune by just video logging (vlogging) about their day
- Some from talking about a random topic and,
- Some by just recording themselves playing games
YouTubers are now making a living from content creation not only because of the ad revenue from each video, but because of big endorsements from companies. Just recently we’ve seen YouTubers appear in advertising campaigns, and this seems to be an increasing trend.
With this in mind, it has become somewhat of a viable career option especially for younger children who want to be the next big thing on YouTube.
Although this sounds great, it’s actually a lot more difficult today to become an online star than it was a few years ago.
But I’ll stay on topic and try to explain what these big YouTubers actually make in terms of earnings.
Nowadays, you have to consider the ad revenue they gain from each video as well as endorsements and even any books or films they have been involved with.
Furthermore, some YouTubers are even touring the world and putting on stage performances based around videos on their channel.
Famous YouTubers like Zoella and PewDiePie are thought to be multi-millionaires, so this isn’t just some ‘part-time gig’ which you can make a little bit of cash on the side. Some of the hottest channels get millions of views EACH AND EVERY WEEK. This has netted fantastic financial rewards for the owners just from passive ad revenue.
So let’s take a deeper look at potential ad earnings.
YouTube Ad Earnings
Despite popular belief, YouTube doesn’t actually pay producers for content. When we talk of earnings from YouTube, this comes from ‘AdSense’ , which is one of Google’s most valuable income sources.
When you enable AdSense on your YouTube channel, Google will start generating ads on your videos and you will then start getting paid. How much you get paid depends on a few different factors. Typically, it will use a CPM formula.
CPM stands for Cost Per Thousand (The M is taken from the Roman Numeral M which stands for 1,000).
This basically means that a YouTuber will get paid a certain amount for every 1,000 ad impressions that come from their videos.
To keep things simple, let’s say that you will earn a $1 CPM. This means that for every 1,000 times that your video is viewed with an ad appearing, you will have earned $1.
So imagine if you received a million views in a day like the big YouTubers, that would equal $1,000 in ad revenue!
The $1 CPM was just an example though. The truth of the matter is that the CPM can vary wildly, from as low as $0.10 per 1,000 views to over $10 per 1,000 views.
Ultimately your CPM will depend on the niche your videos are in as well as your audience.
If for example your videos were in the gaming industry, your CPM would be different to somebody whose videos were more to do with parenting.
And when it comes to audience, your CPM will usually be much higher if the majority of your views are coming from the US as opposed to Africa or Asia.
So as you can see, the big YouTube channels that receive millions of views and ad impressions on their videos are doing very well out of it, and this is BEFORE you even consider personal endorsements and other earnings.
Just recently, there has been somewhat of a debate over paid endorsements by content creators on YouTube.
Before, YouTube didn’t have set rules as to whether YouTubers had to let their audience know that they were sponsored because it was never a problem. Resulting in channels receiving thousands of dollars for product placements, and for promoting products and services without the audience knowing.
However, this has now been reassessed and audiences need to be made aware whenever a video is sponsored using a disclosure of ‘Paid Promotion’ in the video.
Even some of the biggest companies are working with famous YouTubers after seeing the massive followings they have on their channels. What’s more, for them this is ideal advertising because the viewers are watching content that they enjoy while being sold on the companies’ relevant products at the same time.
So, we are seeing YouTubers strike big money deals to promote a product or service.
For example, developers of games and gaming accessories are sponsoring gaming YouTubers because they know that there is an immediate audience for the products.
In addition to this, YouTubers promote products with a special code and this allows viewers of the video to buy a product from the company for a discounted price. Of course, the YouTuber has already been paid for this promotion and they could potentially receive an additional percentage of all sales as commission.
All things considered, we are still in the early stages of YouTube influencing and therefore there are varying fees being paid by companies as endorsements.
While some YouTubers work solely on commission, some are working on a certain amount of money per views on the video whilst others are receiving a flat fee to represent a particular brand.
For example, Epic Meal Time has famously linked up with Netflix in recent years.
While MysteryGuitarMan and Rhett & Link featured in an ad campaign for Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.
On top of ad revenue and endorsements, we are now starting to see YouTubers branch out beyond the realms of the internet.
Over time, we’ve seen the addition of many books to the market including Alfie Deyes’ ‘The Pointless Book’ which was extremely popular after release, selling over half a million copies.
Similarly, Deyes’ partner Zoe Sugg (Zoella) has released books with her first two alone selling nearly one million copies earning the YouTuber millions.
After breaking the record for book sales in the first week, her first book ‘Girl Online’ is now available in 25 different languages.
Aside from books, we have seen YouTubers such as KSI and Casper Lee appearing in their own movies.
Furthermore, Lee appeared in another movie with Joe Sugg (brother of Zoe) in ‘Joe & Casper Hit The Road’.
Again, both of these titles proved to be popular and made the once content producers on a video sharing website millions.
Now, many YouTubers are also touring as a result of YouTube.
Whilst some are stage performances and adaptations of their YouTube channels, it is important to note that many singers have built a reputation after starting on YouTube.
After simply uploading videos to YouTube, Shawn Mendes, Us the Duo, Cody Simpson, The Weeknd, 5 Seconds of Summer, Carly Rae Jepsen, Tori Kelly, Charlie Puth, and of course, Justin Bieber all became international stars.
There is no doubting it, YouTube is now one of the biggest platforms worldwide and it’s made many people rich over the years.
As a result, we are also seeing comedians and actors joining the scene including UK’s Rob Beckett and James Buckley.
Although it seems as though YouTube has been around forever, we are only in the early stages in terms of careers and earnings so it remains to be seen what happens in the future.
With so many people now joining YouTube and attempting to create a channel like many of their role models, it’s getting harder to get ‘noticed’ but, as you can see from the information I’ve have provided today, when it works, it really does work.
You know all those YouTubers I mentioned earlier?
Well I know Bieber (who doesn’t?) and I’ve heard of that Pie guy a few times.
The people I follow make their money on YouTube through affiliate marketing. Now maybe you have or haven’t heard of affiliate marketing but in my opinion it is by far the easiest way to make a living on YouTube.
In fact, I would say the top YouTube affiliate marketers make A LOT MORE money than famous YouTubers (Bieber and well-known singer’s aside).
Affiliate Marketing: The Easiest Way to Earn on YouTube
In case you have never heard of affiliate marketing before. It’s basically when you recommend a product to others, and if they then go on to purchase the product, you get paid a commission.
Depending on the product, these commissions can range anywhere from a few dollars to a few 1,000 dollars!
And, you can promote and get paid on almost any product out there, physical or digital. You don’t even need to have an established channel or video up to get started.
You’ve heard of Amazon right?
Well, pick any product on amazon, create a YouTube video about why you recommend it and whoever watches your video, and then decides to head on over to Amazon and purchase that product (or any other) through your affiliate link, you’ll earn a commission.
Take me for example. I have no desire to become some famous YouTube celeb. I just want to make good money and live out my life quietly with friends and family. And I do!
Yes I run a one-man digital marketing agency servicing clients, but, I also make a large part of my income through affiliate marketing. And I don’t ever need to appear in any videos myself.
In my opinion, if you aren’t generating over 100,000 views on your videos every month, you are wasting your time and missing out on a lot of money if you are NOT doing affiliate marketing.
Stop hoping to get lucky and build up a massive following of loyal subscribers. Rather implement a proven method that ordinary people are benefiting from everyday.
With affiliate marketing you just need 3 things to be successful.
1. Knowledge of affiliate marketing and the exact methods that work… a solid foundation.
2. A plan in place so that you know step-by-step what you need to do in order to make money
3. The determination to get things done and succeed
Seriously. With these 3 things you won’t fail.
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