How Much Do YouTubers Make – An Inside Look

how much money does youtube make

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“You’re dreaming if you think you can make a living on YouTube!”…except that many people do. In fact, many YouTube content creators, with families, have actually quit their day jobs and focused exclusively on generating more income from YouTube revenue. That leads us to the question, “How much do YouTubers make?”  More to the point, how much can you make?

Let’s first consider who the top earners are, and how much money they actually make. Later, we’ll review who these people are and the product / show that got them so much attention.

The Top 10 YouTube Stars of 2017

How much do YouTubers make in terms of overall popularity and profit? You might be surprised.

how much money do youtubers make

$16.5 million

Daniel Middleton, or DanTDM, is a professional gamer and YouTube personality.

how much money do youtubers make calculator
$15.5 million

Evan Fong, or VanossGaming, is a video game commentator and YouTube personality.

how much money does youtube make
$14 million

Dude Perfect is a team of sports entertainment personalities made up of twins Coby and Cory Cotton, Garrett Hilbert, Cody Jones, and Tyler Toney.

how much money do youtubers make calculator
$12.5 million

Logan Paul is a YouTube personality that started on Vine and has performed since he was ten years old. He’s also ventured into boxing, rapping and acting.

how much money do youtubers make
$12.5 million

Mark Fischbach is a gaming personality know for his unusual style of commentary, including screaming, cursing, and crying during gameplay.

how much money does youtube make
$12 million

Felix Kjellberg or PewDiePie, is a gaming YouTube personality and commentator whose commentating style which has been described as goofy and over-the-top.

how much money does youtube make
$11.5 million

Jake Paul is a YouTube personality who made his start on Vine as well as appearing on the series Bizaardvark on the Disney Channel.

how much money do youtubers make calculator
$11 million

Smosh is a sketch comedy team developed by Ian Andrew Hecox and Daniel Anthony Padilla. The original site started in 2002.

how much money do youtubers make
$11 million

Ryan ToysReview is a review channel starring Ryan, a young boy who reviews new toys.

how much money do youtubers make per view
$10.5 million

Lilly Singh is a YouTube personality also known as IISuperwomanII. Coming from an Indian family, she has used her YouTube channel to discuss depression issues as well as explore comedy and social satire.


How Much Do YouTubers Make?

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the answer to the question of “How much do YouTubers make and how they do it?” is based on whether an account is considered a starting, intermediate or popular account. By default, Google pays out 68 percent of their AdSense Revenue, which is fairly high, since publishers would make $68 for every $100 earned by YouTube.

The question is, how valuable is that channel or video, and how many viewers does it reach? Advertisers could pay anywhere from a dime to a quarter per view, depending on the total number of views and subscriptions. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the average YouTube channel earns $18 for every 1000 ad views, which means publishers earn approximately $5 for 1000 individual views.

If you’re curious and want to learn more, check out our guide on how to make money on YouTube.

Publishing in the Beginning – The Journey to the Top

If you’ve ever actually searched how much do YouTubers make and compared it your own channel, it’s easy to see why revenue would be zero to start:

how much money do youtubers make calculator

Newcomers begin with only a handful of views and no subscribers. This doesn’t really help YouTube that much, and so, the average YouTuber makes a little on YouTube. The amount is definitely not enough for a fulltime job. However, the top-earners of YouTube can go on to become millionaires and even world-famous celebrities! Consider viral vlog artist Logan Paul, who has over 16 million followers, or even Justin Bieber, who started on YouTube, and is now one of the top celebrities in the world with millions of Instagram followers. When you actually consider how much do YouTubers make in a best-case scenario, you’ll be amazed.

While it can be fun to dream and project your own fortune by asking “How much money do YouTubers make?”, the most challenging part is starting off with nothing and earning that first “one million views.” You’re looking for subscribers, which increases your views, as well as total views: The more you have, the more people click on YouTube’s targeted ads. Meanwhile, you not only get paid, but you develop a YouTube reputation as a quality content publisher.

The next part of finding out how much do YouTubers make is to start the “uphill climb”. This means the slow but steady process of producing your first string of videos. After you hit the first million views mark, it’s a more pleasant “downhill” journey with added momentum. 

The best way to start to create your YouTube reputation is is to choose popular topics to create videos on. You don’t have a name yet so vlogging or doing an audio track on a popular topic is a good way to reach people who wouldn’t otherwise find you. Popular topics might include DIY videos, celebrities, news commentary, lists, “fails” and other comedy bits, product reviews, pets, and other demonstrations. The issue of how much do YouTubers make really does depend on your chosen topic or industry.

Next in considering how much do YouTubers make, let’s discuss the intermediate stage. Even when you reach this and might be a “minor influencer”, you’re not quite “coasting” yet in terms of income. You have some subscribers (perhaps 20,000) and moderately successful videos, but you need a little boost before you can break that category of top 100 (as in top 100 niches, because there are thousands of publishers on any given subject!).

Some minor influencers actually reach out to marketing companies when they’re at the intermediate stage, while others may bring their proposal to a crowdfunding site like Patreon or GoFundMe. Patreon actually focuses on individual YouTube artists and entertainers, and suggests an average of $7 from all of its contributors, while the company keeps 5 percent of pledges as commission. Not only can you ask your followers for support, but you can also expect support from Patreon supporters.

How Much Do YouTubers Make Early On – Strategies to Make Money When Just Starting Out

As you start your own YouTube channel, it’s a good idea to participate in affiliate marketing as soon as possible. Product reviews, particularly niche products, are in high-demand and you do get paid commission if you help sell these products. The way it works is that you link to an affiliate sales page from your video text and all sales generated from your reviews are tracked. Here’s a link to learn how to make money online with affiliate marketing in detail if you’ve never looked into it.

how much money do youtubers make per view

You can also start a Google Adsense account and enable monetization, while targeting keyword search phrases that link to your videos. This allows you to take your campaign off YouTube as well and benefit from offsite promotion. In general, offsite marketing is big and helps answers the question how much do YouTubers make.

Paid traffic, frequently used on sites like Instagram, doesn’t work as well for YouTube, because no one actually wants to waste time watching videos that aren’t interesting or niche-oriented. An Adsense account would allow you to get more traffic for your quality videos by using CPM (cost per mile, or one thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click). It’s more challenging to try the CPC method, since many viewers will not click on an ad unless it’s very appealing.

CPMs may be less expensive because they’re easier to watch, but in order to get paid via monetization, the publisher would also have to keep the viewer watching for at least 30 seconds or perhaps even half the ad. Remember that YouTube also gets a commission from these affiliate campaigns and Adsense only pays once you reach $100 in profit. If you’re interested to learn more, you can learn the answer to the question how does youtube make money?

Next in considering how much do YouTubers make, let’s talk about making the transition of minor to major influencer.

How to Go from Minor Influencer to Major Influencer

One reason why minor or mid-level influencers might quit their day job is because they only get paid more on YouTube by developing many more videos—this is not an easy task for someone working two jobs.

How does life change for YouTubers who go over the million mark? Income is more consistent. They become among the highest level of YouTube publishers and reach the status of a major influencer in their industry. YouTube recommends releasing new videos at least once a week if not twice a week to build a fan base and keep your account active.

How much do YouTubers make? It depends on the quality and consistency in publishing.

As a general rule, you shouldn’t make great videos every few months…it’s not as impressive. Create very good videos and do it regularly. That’s what will make you successful.

Once you establish a reputation and get a large following, you can reach out to brands and go beyond YouTube revenue, such as working directly with brand companies for endorsements, product placements and sponsored content. That’s why the issue on how much do YouTubers make is more complicated because it’s really understood on a case-by-case basis. Here’s how to get more subscribers on YouTube to help you get there.

Just keep in mind that even if you have over one million views and are heading “downhill”, you’re still competing with over 2,000 channels that can boast the same. Another option would be joining a network of other channels (with related content) for increased exposure in a more team setting.

In other words, once you have a lot, you will only gain more (the rich get richer).

How to Figure Out Your YouTube Profit

In case you’re trying to do the math, it might help to use a YouTube revenue calculator, such as this one provided by Social Blade. When discussing how much money do YouTubers make a calculator can help you with planning. This estimate gives you a suggestion on what you might earn, depending on CPM range and daily views. While this isn’t exact, it can help you to create goals for your own channel.

how much money do YouTubers make

It’s best to determine how much money do YouTubers make per view in some cases.

For example if a channel were able to get one million daily views, it translates into a low-ball figure of $250 per day or even as high as $4,000 a day. The best case scenario would convert into almost $1.5 million per year—a YouTube millionaire!

Here’s an example of YouTube income from Penna Powers. This may help you answer the question, how much do YouTubers make. If YouTube charges an advertiser 18 cents per 30 seconds of an ad view, the publisher only makes money if those ads are viewed for the full period of time. Skipped ads don’t generate money, so it’s also important for the publisher to develop a relationship between viewers and sponsors, encouraging the viewer to support ads without being too pushy.

If only 15 percent of viewers watch the ad, that converts into 150 paid views out of 1000. If the price is 18 cents per view, that converts to $27 paid to the advertiser and your 68 percent profit, which is $12.24.

Another factor to consider, from the advertiser’s perspective, is that pay is partly based on views. Therefore, popular YouTubers with thousands of subscribers have been known to charge advertisers $10,000 for 100,000 views.


In conclusion, how much do YouTubers make? Much like TV and the movies, it depends on what kind of connection a publisher builds with his or her target audience. You can’t always predict phenomenal success. However, by learning how other YouTubers have built their fan base, and trying some of those same techniques, you can rise above the intermediate level and actually get the attention of millions.

From there on, it’s time to focus on perfecting your message and turning your casual viewers into fans and subscribers. How much do YouTubers make? They really do make back what they put into it because their hard work, consistency, and creativity converts to profit!

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