How Much Do YouTubers Make?

How Much Do YouTubers Make?

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I am amazed to see just how much YouTube has grown over the past decade. It seems like yesterday that YouTube was seen as something of a hobby site, where people would create and upload low-budget videos for fun.

Most of the content was amateurish and didn’t really have any production value.

These days, YouTube is a different beast entirely.

Incredibly, it’s now the second most visited site on the internet (with over 14 billion monthly visits) and has quickly risen to become one of the largest content platforms on the planet – rivaling even the largest traditional media outlets.

As you can imagine, with such a large audience and so much potential for reach, YouTube has become a very attractive platform for businesses and individuals looking to make money online.

How YouTube Pays Content Creators

With famous names such as Pewdiepie, Markiplier, and the Paul brothers pulling in millions of dollars per year, it’s no surprise people are wondering whether or not they could cash in on the YouTube craze themselves.

But before I dig into the details, I thought it would be helpful to give a quick overview of how YouTube actually makes money – and how YouTubers get paid as a result.

To start, YouTube earns the vast majority of its revenue through advertising.

These ads are generally played before the video begins (these are called pre-roll ads), but YouTube also shows banner ads on the sides of videos (these are called display ads).

YouTube also inserts mid-roll ads, which are basically commercials that play in the middle of a video (yes, those annoying ones).

As for the content creators themselves, YouTube (or Google), pays out 68% of its Adsense revenue. So for every $1 that YouTube earns from advertising, $0.68 goes to the YouTuber.

This is typically calculated on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis, which is how much money the advertiser is willing to pay for every 1,000 views. As such, the more views a YouTuber has, the more money they can potentially make.

How Much Money Do YouTubers Make Per View(s)?

The answer, unfortunately, is that it varies quite a bit.

It really depends on the YouTuber’s niche, the country that the viewer is in, the level of engagement on the video, and the type of ad that is being served (plus a bunch of other factors).

However, I did a bit of digging and found some data that gives us a rough estimate of how much money YouTubers make. According to HubSpot, the average CPM for YouTube ads is between $7-$10, which means that for every 1,000 views, YouTubers can earn around $7-$10.

So if we take the mid-point of that range and assume that YouTubers earn $8.50 per 1,000 views, then we can calculate how much money they make based on their total number of views.

For example, if a YouTuber has 1 million views, they would theoretically make $8,500 from advertising.

And if a YouTuber has 5 million views, they would make $42,500 from advertising – just from one video.

YouTube Partner Program

It’s important to note that YouTube only pays out revenue shares to content creators who are part of the YouTube Partner Program. To join the YouTube Partner Program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months
  • Have 1,000 subscribers
  • Have a linked AdSense account in good standing
  • Not have had any live stream or video deleted for a Community Guidelines violation in the last 90 days

Other Sources of Income for YouTubers

In addition to the revenue that they earn from advertising, there are plenty of other ways that YouTubers can make money from their video content. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular.

Merchandise Sales

One of the most common ways that YouTubers make money is through selling merchandise. This could be anything from T-shirts to coffee mugs to phone cases – and everything in between. According to one source, PewDiePie has made almost $6 million in merch sales alone. Not too shabby.

Sponsorships and Brand Deals

Another way that YouTubers make money is through sponsorships and brand deals. Basically, companies will pay YouTubers to feature their products or services in their videos. For example, if a YouTuber is reviewing a new piece of tech, they may be paid by the company to feature that product in their video.

Or if a YouTuber has a huge following in a particular niche, companies may pay them to mention their product in a video – even if it’s not a review.


Patreon is a platform that allows content creators to receive donations from their fans. In most cases, these donations are in the form of monthly subscriptions, and content creators use Patreon to provide their fans with exclusive content, behind-the-scenes footage, or anything else that they might be interested in.

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links are special links that YouTubers can use to promote a product or service. If someone clicks on one of these links and makes a purchase, the YouTuber will earn a commission.

For instance, if a YouTuber is promoting a piece of software and someone clicks on their affiliate link, they would earn a commission if the person ended up buying the software.

Live Streaming

YouTube also allows content creators to make money through live streaming. Fans can donate money to their favorite YouTubers while they’re live streaming, and YouTubers can also earn a cut of the revenue from any ads that are shown during their live stream.

Selling Courses and E-books

Many YouTubers use their videos to drive customers through their sales funnel. For example, they may release a few videos for free and then sell a course or e-book that teaches their viewers how to do something that they’re interested in. It’s a simple yet effective strategy that can be extremely lucrative.

The Highest Earning YouTubers

Now that we’ve looked at the many ways that YouTubers make money, let’s take a look at some of the highest-earning YouTubers in the world. Bear in mind that these numbers are estimates.


PewDiePie is one of the most famous YouTubers in the world, with over 110 million subscribers. According to Vloggergear, he earns around $24 million per year on ad revenue alone. His content is a mix of comedy and gaming, and he’s also well-known for his collaborations with other YouTubers.


T-Series is an Indian music label and film production company and is the most-subscribed channel on YouTube with over 225 million subscribers. They primarily upload music videos, and they’re estimated to earn around $35 million per year on YouTube alone.


According to Statista, Mr.Beast, AKA Jimmy Donaldson, was the highest-earning YouTuber in the world last year (2021), pulling in $54 million. Mr.Beast is famous for his philanthropic work, and he often gives away large sums of money to his viewers – as well as others who are in need.

Jake Paul

YouTuber turned boxing pro, Jake Paul, is estimated to have earned $45 million in 2021. Jake Paul’s content is a mix of vlogs, comedy sketches, and challenges – and he’s also well-known for his music content.

Graham Stephan

Graham Stephan is a personal finance YouTuber with over 4 million subscribers. Coupled with his real estate business, Stephans’s YouTube channel has helped him amass a net worth of $25 million.

Silicon Valley Girl

Despite having “only” 900k subscribers, I decided to include Silicon Valley Girl in this list as she recently posted an extremely transparent video breaking down her YouTube earnings. And since she is smaller in size than many of the other YouTubers on this list, the figures she posted are more relatable (and attainable).

Interestingly, she shows us income data from three of her channels and goes on to describe that more views do not always equal more revenue. In fact, one of her channels got over 16x more views than her Silicon Valley Girl channel, but it only made 3x more revenue. Food for thought. You can check out the video here:

By the way, if you want to learn how much YouTubers are making across a variety of niches and interests, then head to YouTube and search “youtube income report.” In doing so, you’ll see a bunch of channels that post their monthly or yearly income reports so you can get a clear handle on what’s possible.

Top Tips for Earning More Money on YouTube

Finally, before I wrap things up, I want to share a few tips that will help you make more money on YouTube. After all, if you are going to commit your time and energy to creating videos, then you might as well do everything you can to maximize your earnings. Here are my top tips:

  • Build your brand – Your personal brand is one of your most valuable assets as a YouTuber. By building a strong brand, you’ll be able to charge more for sponsorships, and you’ll also be more likely to land lucrative brand deals.
  • Invest in quality equipment – If you want to be taken seriously as a YouTuber, then you need to invest in quality equipment. This doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank, however, you should make sure your videos are high-quality and professional-looking.
  • Be consistent – Consistency is key when it comes to growing your YouTube channel. Try to upload new videos on a regular basis, and don’t stray too far from your niche. This will help you attract and retain viewers.
  • Drive traffic to your webpage – In addition to earning money from ads and sponsorships, you can also make money by driving traffic to your webpage. This can be done by including a link to your website in the description of your videos, as well as in your annotations.
  • Sell your own products – If you have your own products or services to sell, then you can use your YouTube channel as a platform to promote and sell them. This is a great way to make money on YouTube without having to rely on ads or sponsorships.
  • Always focus on delivering value – At the end of the day, the key to success on YouTube is to focus on delivering value to your viewers. If you can do this, then you’ll be well on your way to building a successful channel.


How Much Do YouTubers Get Paid per Subscriber?

YouTube does not pay content creators per subscriber. Instead, they use a monetization method called “cost per mile,” or “CPM.” This means that YouTubers are paid based on the number of views they get. The average CPM is around $8.50.

How Much Money Does a Youtuber With 1 Million Subscribers Make?

A YouTuber with 1 million subscribers can make a considerable income, but a lot of their earning potential will depend on factors such as the CPM, number of views, and other factors. Because of this, it’s hard to give a ballpark figure.

Is YouTube a Viable Career?

Yes, YouTube can be a viable career. However, it’s important to remember that success on YouTube takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication. If you’re not willing to put in the work, then it’s probably not worth pursuing as a career.

Are There Any YouTube Alternatives?

If you’re looking for alternatives to YouTube, then there are a few options. Vimeo, Dailymotion, and Metacafe are all popular video-sharing platforms. However, none of them have the same reach or popularity as YouTube, which will make it harder to grow your audience.

Bottom line

I hear many people claiming that it’s already too late to start a YouTube channel and that you can’t make any money on the platform. But the truth is that there are still opportunities for those who are willing to put in the work.

If you’re serious about making money on YouTube, then you can do it. It might not be easy, but it’s definitely possible. Just remember to always focus on delivering value to your viewers, and don’t give up. With time, patience, and dedication, you can achieve success.

Laura Hera

Laura Hera

Laura Hera is a knowledgeable SEO Expert with a passion for affiliate marketing. With a solid understanding of the technical aspects of SEO, affiliate marketing, and digital marketing, she is able to create tailored strategies that get results. Laura knows how to use the latest technologies and strategies to optimize websites for search engine visibility, build successful campaigns, and drive engagement and conversions.

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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you.