Many people are wondering how much money you really can make on Youtube. Even today, many are still skeptical of vlogging as a career. But the fact is that you can absolutely make a living on Youtube, and many have.
Making money on youtube is a reality, but one that requires hard work and dedication. It is not a quick path to fame or fortune.
This no-nonsense article will show you how much money you can realistically earn depending on your views, topic, and a range of other factors.
If you want to learn more about vlogging, check out our other articles as well:
- How to Start a Vlog in 2020: The Ultimate Guide
- 101 Creative Vlog Ideas for Youtube
- 8 Essential Tips for Youtubers
The Quick Guide on How Much You Can Make on Youtube
The quick answer is that on average, 1,000 views bring in between $0.25 – $4.00 through ads after Youtube takes their cut.
If, for example, a video has 300k views, you would earn between $75 – $1200. A video with 1 million views could make between $250 – $4000.
These numbers are a rough estimate, and very broad. How much you really make per thousand views depends on many factors, such as the topic of the channel, the demographic of your audience, and much more.
To get a better idea of how much money you can make on youtube, keep reading below.
How Youtubers Make Money
The primary way YouTubers make money is through ads on their videos. Google pays out 55% of its ad revenue to the publisher through their Adsense program.
This means that if your revenue is $100, you will receive $55 of that and $45 goes to Youtube.
What are Monetized Views
While subscribers give you a solid audience that can turn into views, they are mostly irrelevant when it comes to how much you earn. Instead, it is views that determine how much money a youtube video makes, and more specifically, monetized views.
A monetized view is when someone has watched a minimum of 30 sec of your video and is shown an ad.
If, for example, someone has an adblocker on, or leaves your video right away, it does not count as a monetized view.
What is CPM
CPM stands for Cost Per Mille, or Cost per Thousand Views. It is a metric of how much advertisers are willing to pay per 1000 views on a video.
The CPM can vary a lot depending on many factors:
- Audience Engagement
- Niche / Topic
- Content Format
The country most of your viewers come from is one of the biggest factors affecting your CPM. If your target audience is in the US, Canada, or New Zealand for example, you earn a lot more per thousand views.
The niche of your channel also plays a huge role in your CPM rate. For example, within the finance niche, some channels have been able to make $10 per thousand views, much higher than the average across topics.
How Much Does YouTube Pay for 1,000 Views in 2021
As we showed you above, on average, 1,000 views brings in between $0.25 – $4.00 in your pocket after Youtubes cut.
If you want to play around with these numbers, we recommend that you check out this useful youtube earnings calculator from SocialBlade. It can give you an estimate of much money you could make factoring in CPM and views.
Niches With High CPMs
Not all niches are created equal, some are simply a lot more lucrative than others. Going into these industries is usually very competitive, so newer channels have to find sub-niches within these to succeed.
Some examples of niches with high CPM
- Finance / Credit / Insurance
Does this mean that you should simply jump in one of these niches if you want to make money on Youtube; It really doesn’t, while these are averages, many YouTube channels make great earnings outside of these topics as well.
To make a living on youtube, it is more important to create good content, connect with your audience and enjoy the process. That is what is going to make a big difference.
How Much can you Earn at the start?
In the beginning, do not expect to be earning much, if anything. It could be a long time before your channel picks up traction. The important thing in the early days of a channel is to release content consistently and always strive to improve.
Any new channel should focus on building a reputation. Some might start earning money after their 10th video, while for most it might take 100. The best way to succeed is to actually enjoy making the content. We always recommend picking a topic you enjoy and create videos around that.
Once you are big enough, you simply apply to the Youtube AdSense program. But you can easily get started with other monetization methods as well, like affiliate programs or Patreon.
How to Join YouTube AdSense
To join the YouTubes AdSense program, you need to fulfill a few criteria first:
- Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
- Have more than 1,000 subscribers.
- Follow Youtube’s guidelines and policies
Because of these requirements, it is a good idea to wait until your channel has grown somewhat in size before applying.
Additional Ways to Monetize a Channel
Ads are not the whole story. Most YouTubers supplement their ad income with additional monetization methods. You can easily monetize a youtube channel through:
Affiliate marketing – Promote other people’s products and earn a commission on each sale. The most known affiliate program is Amazon Associates.
Sponsorships – Bigger channels can partner with a brand and promote their products for a cut of the revenue.
Merchandise – Many known YouTubers sell merchandise. It could be anything from t-shirts, coffee cups to plushies.
Patreon – Patreon allows fans of a creator to support him/her through donations. In return, the Patreons can get access to exclusive content or a mention.
Don’t Forget Taxes
We are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice. But, payments from Youtube are usually not taxed yet. Meaning you will have to do your taxes yourself as self-employed. Depending on what country you live in, a sizable chunk of the revenue will go to taxes.
How Much Top Youtubers are Paid
While most channels make nothing in revenue, many can make a living on Youtube. But, then, of course, we have the outliers, who can make millions every year through online videos.
So, how much are the top Youtubers paid?
According to Forbes, these where the top 10 paid Youtubers from 2020 and their estimated earnings:
- #10 Jeffree Star – $15 million
- #9 David Dobrik – $15.5 million
- #8 Blippi – $17 million
- #7 Nastya – $18.5 million
- #6 Preston Arsement – $19 million
- #5 Markiplier – $19.5 million
- #4 Rhett and Link – $20 million
- #3 Dude Perfect – $23 million
- #2 Mr. Beast – $24 million
- #1 Ryan Kaji – $29.5 million
You can also check socialblade.com to search for any YouTuber’s estimated earnings. Keep in mind though, that these are not exact numbers, and SocialBlade cannot estimate earnings outside of the YouTubes Adsense program.
To summarize, how much money you can make on Youtube mainly depends on the CPM of your channel.
Also, ads don’t tell the whole story, as most channels make money through other means as well, such as affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and Patreon.
The key takeaway here is that you can make a living with Youtube and you don’t need a huge channel to do it. Today, even small channels can make impressive earnings.
If you are serious about vlogging for a living and are willing to treat it as a business and stick with it for the long term, you have a good shot of making it. Good luck!