How Much Do YouTubers Make? The Truth

YouTube is one of the biggest websites in the world. Second only to Google, this internet giant boasts 1.58 billion total users.

Naturally, this means there’s a lot of money to be made on the site. Many of the site’s most popular content creators have become millionaires thanks to this platform.

But how much do YouTubers make? Is being a YouTube content creator a viable choice when it comes to careers? Check out the article below to find out how much the average YouTuber really makes.

So How Do YouTubers Make Money?

Before we dive into the specifics of how YouTubers make money, the first and most important thing to make note of is you need quality content. “Quality” means it’s something that people want to see, and it’s subjective. Some YouTubers create cinematic looking videos that look like they cost thousands of dollars to make. Others simply sit in front of their iPhone camera and talk. But the thing they all have in common is they appeal to a specific group of people. Without having that attention, none of these monetization strategies will work. With that said, here are the most common ways YouTubers make money:


You may hate seeing ads in the beginning or middle of your YouTube videos, but content creators love it because it helps them get paid. YouTube’s parent company, Google, allows advertisers to run ads on YouTube videos for a certain amount of money per 1,000 views. The YouTubers get a percentage of that ad revenue and are paid monthly based on how much they generate. While you might think this is an amazing revenue source, the amount of money YouTubers make from ads has dropped significantly over the years due to fewer advertisers on the platform. Also, in order to make significant money from YouTube Ads, your videos have to get a considerable amount of views, which is a rarity.


This is one of the more difficult ways to earn money as a YouTuber. Merchandising success doesn’t happen overnight. In order to make a profit selling merchandise, you need to have a sizable following.

Corporate Sponsorship

Once you’re a successful YouTuber, corporations will pay you to promote their products on your channel. Generally, YouTubers can expect to be paid $20 per 1,000 subscribers or $50 to $100 per 1,000 video views for making a promotional video. These deals vary greatly though, and there are a variety of ways to structure the deals. Some companies will pay a salary, flat fee, or be strictly performance based.

Fan Donations

Fan donations are another big way YouTubers earn money. The amount you can earn through this method fluctuates wildly. Some YouTubers might make a few dollars here and there, whereas others might receive $1,000 in a single donation.

So How Much Do YouTubers Make?

While it may seem like you can be incredibly rich and successful by making YouTube videos, here’s the reality of the situation. Very few YouTubers are actually earning enough to make a living. In fact, the top 3% of earners on YouTube are hardly making over $12,000 a year. The number of YouTubers who are actually able to earn more than minimum wage is incredibly tiny. Sadly, this means the chances of you being able to make a living on YouTube is incredibly low.

The Barrier for Entry

You should also be aware that there’s a considerable barrier for entry if you want to make money. YouTube requires you have at least 1,000 subscribers before you can monetize your content. People also must have watched your videos for at least 4,000 hours. You need to meet both of these requirements within a single year. Of course, some people choose to buy these views rather than achieve them organically. In the past, the requirements were a lot more relaxed. You only needed to have 10,000 total views. As of 2018, the requirements got a lot stricter.

Other Factors Affecting How Much You Can Earn

There are a number of factors affecting your earning potential. Here are a few big ones.

Where Your Viewers Are Watching From

The amount of money you earn per depends heavily on where in the world your viewers are coming from. High traffic countries such as the UK and the USA are worth more than lower traffic countries such as Australia.

Your Viewers’ Demographics

Companies are more likely to work with YouTubers whose viewers have a lot of disposable income. Therefore, YouTube videos that attract adults with high income are much more likely to make money from advertising than a channel that appeals to teens.

YouTube’s Top Earners

Despite the inherent difficulties involved with making a living via YouTube, there are many incredibly successful YouTube stars. Here are a few of YouTubes highest earners to date:

Ryan ToysReview

It might be hard to believe, but one of the most successful YouTube channels of all time is actually run by a 6-year-old child. Ryan reviews toys on his channel and has already made $11 million on the site.

Felix Kjellberg, AKA PewDiePie

PewDiePie is one of the most successful stars in YouTube history. PewDiePie is one of the original video game commentators. His format of playing video games while talking about them has already earned him $12 million dollars. PewDiePie has an incredible 58 million subscribers.

Daniel Middleton, AKA DanTDM

DanTDM has made millions from his passion for Minecraft. DanTDM uploads footage of himself playing the popular game and has earned $16.5 million so far.

Mark Fischbach, AKA Markiplie

Markiplie is another YouTuber who has found success making video game related content. Markiplie is focused specifically on horror-themed video games. He has already earned over $12 million.

It’s Hard Being a YouTube Star

So how much do YouTubers make? If you’re lucky and talented enough to make it to the top percentage of earners, you’re still unlikely to make more than minimum wage. While some YouTubers are earning millions, the chances of achieving such success are incredibly unlikely. Given how much YouTubers can earn, it’s not a wise decision to try and make YouTube videos for a living. The best strategy would be to make videos as a hobby alongside another career. And if you end up blowing up, great. But at least you’ll have something to fall back on. YouTube money can work well as a supplementary income. However, you’ll probably struggle to survive if it’s your only source of cash. Want to grow your Instagram following? Get in touch with us to learn more about getting those likes!

Author © Paul