Thinking of becoming a YouTuber? YouTube is one of the easiest ways to make some extra cash online.
It doesn’t require a lot of work, nor does it require an upfront investment. All you’ll need is some basic equipment – ideally, you’ll have a good webcam and mic, but you can even record on your laptop or smartphone.
You can talk about anything you are passionate about! Vlog about your daily life, give virtual tours of your city, provide makeup tutorials, show off your dog, or do anything else that is fun for you.
While YouTube doesn’t require a lot of time and effort, you may be wondering whether it’s even worth it. How much can you get paid?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably trying to estimate how much you will earn based on an estimated number of views you think you’ll get. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
This is the only comprehensive YouTube earnings guide you’ll need. You’ll learn how much you can get paid per view, other ways to earn on YouTube, and how to increase your YouTube earnings.
Let’s get into it.
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Most YouTubers make money from AdSense. AdSense is Google’s ad network, and it is what powers advertisements on YouTube.
If you’ve ever watched YouTube, you’ve probably noticed that most videos have short ads playing before them. Viewers typically get the chance to skip an ad, but only after watching it for at least a few seconds.
When you watch or click on an ad, the video creator will get paid. If you create videos, you’ll also get paid when viewers watch or click an ad that plays before your video.
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Some videos even display ads in the middle of a video (these are known as mid-roll ads). However, many creators opt not to display those ads, even if they give them the chance to earn a few extra bucks, because they worry they will annoy viewers and lead to fewer subscribers.
However, ads won’t automatically get put before your videos. You need to apply to the AdSense program, and if you’re accepted, you can start getting paid.
To summarize: When you publish videos and are eligible for the AdSense program, you’ll get paid when viewers watch or click on an ad that plays before a video of yours.
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Not really. YouTube won’t pay you a monetary amount for every view you get.
In other words, it’s not like YouTube pays you $0.05 per view. When we talk about how much YouTube pays per view, I’m referring to averages – an estimate of what you can get paid.
Advertisers on AdSense either pay per view or per click. However, even if they pay per view, that’s not per YouTube view – it’s per ad view.
In other words, if you include a mid-roll ad, and a YouTube subscriber watches your video but doesn’t get to the ad, you won’t get paid for that view.
If the advertiser is paying per click, your average pay rate per view will depend on the percentage of viewers that click on the ad as well as the cost per click. For example, if you are earning $0.10 per click, and 100 people watch the ad, and there is a 1% click-through rate, you’ll earn $0.10 per 100 views or $1 per 1,000 views.
However, based on data from many successful YouTubers, it is possible to get a general estimate of what creators are earning per view. So, let’s explore that.
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On average, most people earn between $1-10 for every 1,000 views. In other words, most YouTubers earn $0.01-0.10 per view.
Nevertheless, $10 per 1,000 views is a bit on the higher end. Most likely, you will earn between $2-5 per 1,000 views, especially when starting out.
Advertisers that pay per view typically pay per 1,000 impressions. This metric is known as CPM (as opposed to CPC, which is pay per click).
However, Google, which owns YouTube, takes a 45% cut from what advertisers pay, leaving 55% to YouTube publishers. Furthermore, as I explained above, you can’t just take 55% of the average CPM and apply that to 1,000 YouTube views (YouTube views ≄ ad views).
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With that being said, let’s take a look at what people are earning in real life. Many creators have released their earnings data, so we can use those examples to get a general idea of what to expect.
- YouTuber Marina Mogilko earns around $2 per 1,000 views $0.02/view), according to Business Insider
- YouTuber Griffin Milks, on the other hand, earns around $11 per 1,000 views, according to the same article
- YouTuber Finance With Nick claims to earn $4 per 1,000 views
- YouTuber Greg Peerce claims that the average is $7.56 per 1,000 views
As you can see, the numbers are all over the place. When you start out, don’t expect to earn more than a dollar or two per 1,000 views.
Once you grow your channel, your earnings will probably go up as you get more subscribers and views, but it does depend on your niche.
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When you first start on YouTube, you won’t be able to earn money from AdSense. There are other ways to earn, as I will explain below, but new content creators should focus on publishing awesome videos and growing a community before thinking about money.
The first requirement is to have at least 1,000 subscribers. If you only have a few dozen or a few hundred subscribers, you don’t qualify.
Furthermore, you need to have at least 4,000 public watch hours in the past 12 months. Also, your content needs to comply with YouTube’s guidelines and not contain curse words, nudity, or prohibited content.
Finally, you’ll need an AdSense account, and you’ll need to apply for the YouTube Partner Program before you can start monetizing your videos.
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Usually. It’s free money – people are used to seeing ads at the beginning of videos, so they won’t blame you for monetizing your videos.
Nevertheless, you may want to consider not relying entirely on YouTube AdSense for your YouTube income. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
Many YouTubers, including long-time creators, get some videos demonetized from time to time. YouTube’s content moderation system isn’t perfect, and it’s often too harsh – you can get a strike and have a video demonetized for no apparent reason.
If you get too many strikes, YouTube may demonetize your channel altogether! That means that you won’t be able to earn from AdSense on YouTube ever again.
Furthermore, you may want to consider not including mid-roll ads, as it may hurt your viewership and subscription rates. That’s particularly true for certain kinds of content, such as long, relaxing music videos that people use to help them sleep.
There are other ways to monetize a YouTube channel. Whether you’ve been disqualified from the YouTube Partner Program, want to increase your earnings, or simply don’t want to bother viewers with ads, here are other ways to make money.
This earning method is not an alternative to AdSense but a nice addition. You need to be in the YouTube Partner Program to make money from channel memberships, so if you were disqualified from the YPP, channel memberships won’t apply to you.
Channel memberships are premium memberships that your most dedicated fans subscribe to. Usually, you’ll charge something like $5/month in exchange for perks like:
- Member-only content
- Exclusive live Q&As
- And more
There are some perks you can’t offer, though, like one on one meetings in person.
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YouTube has a site wide premium membership option called YouTube Premium. It allows viewers to:
- Watch videos without ads
- Download content to watch offline (in the app)
- Keep YouTube videos playing while exiting the YouTube app or with the screen turned off (typically used for podcasts and music videos) – also known as background play
If you already knew about YouTube Premium, you may have been wondering how you will earn when YouTube Premium members watch your content, being that they won’t see any ads.
The good news is that YouTube shares its Premium revenue with content creators. When a YouTube Premium member watches your video, you’ll get paid.
You’ll be getting paid for total watch time, though, not for total views. You’ll even get paid when people watch your videos offline or when they watch your videos with background play.
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Instead of getting paid per impression, why not get paid per ad? You can collaborate with private advertisers and sponsors outside the Google AdSense program.
They’ll pay you for a short ad at the beginning, middle, or end of your video.
While you can run an ad they created, I recommend using your own face and voice to promote the product. Your subscribers trust you, and they want to see more of you – it’s the best way to avoid annoying them.
Plus, you know your subscribers best, and you can style the ad in a way that appeals to them. You can make it humorous in a way that viewers enjoy watching it.
You can do this in addition to AdSense ads or as a substitute. Sponsors may pay more if you put the sponsored segment at the beginning or middle of your video instead of the end.
You typically need to run a large channel to get people to sponsor you. If your channel is small, try to find very niche-specific advertisers who need to reach your exact target audience.
If your channel isn’t big enough to attract private sponsors, consider using affiliate links to earn commissions on products. Regardless of which niche you are in, it’s easy to find affiliate programs you can join.
Digital products, like ebooks, video courses, software tools, and premium membership subscriptions tend to offer higher commission rates, at rates of 5-80% (though 80% is a bit on the high end).
That’s because digital goods like ebooks can be sold many times over without a lot of overhead costs. Therefore, sellers are willing to give out bigger commissions for more sales – it’s a win-win for both of you.
You can place your affiliate links in the video description – just make sure to tell subscribers to check the description and click on the link. Alternatively, you can put the link in a comment and pin the comment.
Another option is adding a clickable link in the video that directs readers to your blog. Then, post affiliate links in your blog.
You need to be part of the YPP to add clickable links to videos.
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If you have at least 10,000 subscribers or run an Official Artist Channel, you can add merchandise to a special virtual “shelf” that appears under your videos. Viewers in around 30 countries will be able to see your merchandise and purchase it.
You can use a site like Spreadshop or another supported YouTube Merch Partner to design t-shirts, caps, mugs, and other merchandise with your logo or slogan.
You don’t have to manufacture anything yourself. Just make a design and the company will send the finished product, with your logo, to the customer once it’s ready.
This business model is known as print on demand.
To learn more about channel eligibility and supported partners, click here.
If your channel isn’t big enough for the merchandise shelf, you can still make merchandise and promote it in your videos. You’ll just have to add a link in the description, comments, or video.
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Another excellent way to make some extra cash, particularly if YouTube is fond of demonetizing your content, is to set up a premium Patreon membership and provide exclusive content to members.
Patreon is more permissive than YouTube about the type of content it allows. Many YouTubers put their more controversial content on Patreon and keep their YouTube content more “vanilla” so as not to risk demonetization.
Patreon allows you to set up different patronage levels and provide different perks to different patrons. Some fans may opt to give a small monthly donation even if they don’t get special perks, just because they want to support you and what you are doing.
Influencer marketing is similar to sponsored videos, but it’s a broader strategy that incorporates platforms like Instagram. You’ll use your platform on YouTube to grow your following on Instagram and elsewhere and then collaborate with brands for sponsored posts and stories.
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YouTube super chats are a way to monetize live streams. They’re a part of the YPP, so you’ll need to be eligible for the YPP to make money with them.
Viewers watching a broadcast can purchase a super chat or sticker to get a pinned, highlighted comment or sticker in the live chat. Your watchers can select a monetary amount to donate – the more they donate, the longer their comment will be pinned.
As a broadcaster, you’ll get 70% of the donation, after applicable taxes and app store fees. YouTube covers credit card processing fees at the moment.
Finally, while not a guaranteed way to earn, you can receive a special bonus from the YouTube Shorts Funds. The YouTube Shorts Fund is a $100 million fund that YouTube uses to reward creative YouTubers in a variety of niches.
You are eligible if you are a YouTube content creator in the United States, Canada, and dozens of other countries.
Increasing how much you get paid per view is tricky, as it’s not always something you can control.
A lot depends on your niche – advertisers in more competitive niches are willing to pay more per view than in other niches.
However, regardless of your average pay per view, there are a lot of things you can do to increase your YouTube revenue.
It’s all about increasing your views! The more views you get, the more you will earn, regardless of your average pay per view.
Remind viewers to subscribe! Sometimes, a simple reminder is all you need – if people love your content, they’ll want to see more.
A lot of your viewers are probably watching without being subscribed (you can see if that’s true in your analytics). If they’re not subscribed, they will probably end up missing out on some videos.
Also, tell your viewers to hit the bell, so they get notifications. YouTube now has a bell button that viewers can use to control how often they get notified about a creator’s new videos.
A great way to get your viewers to come back and watch your new videos is to create suspense.
Plan your videos in advance, and tell viewers about the topic you will discuss in your next video, so they can stay tuned. You can even create a part one and a part two about a certain topic.
Then, use your target keyword in:
- The title
- The description
- The video tags
Don’t overdo it! Keyword stuffing won’t help, nor will including too many tags.
While your video title should contain your target keyword, it should also be eye-catching. That way, when people see it, they’ll click on it right away.
Avoid clickbait, however. People don’t like to feel led on, and they probably won’t subscribe to your channel if you use a clickbait title.
YouTube will give you several snapshots from your video to use as a thumbnail. Pick the one you think is most eye-catching and interesting, so that when people see your video in their suggested feed, they will click on it.
If you have a verified account, you can even upload a custom thumbnail, complete with catchy text.
A fabulous way to get seen is to comment on other people’s videos. Target content creators in your niche with large audiences.
Leave a helpful, thoughtful comment, and try to compliment the content creator without being overly flattering.
It helps if you already have a large follower count yourself. It helps even more if your channel is verified, in which case a checkmark will appear next to your name when you comment on others’ videos.
If your comment adds to the discussion, it may get pinned by the content creators, and their fans may check out your channel.
One of the best ways to grow your channel is to collaborate with other YouTubers. For example, you can be a guest on someone’s podcast – you’ll get more exposure and subscribers.
You can even piggyback on trends and YouTube controversies by watching and commenting on other people’s videos in your own videos. Make sure you are not doing anything that constitutes copyright infringement, however – read up on the fair use policy.
YouTubers earn, on average, anywhere between $1-10 for 1,000 views, which comes out to $0.01-0.10 per individual view. However, many factors, including your niche, come into play.
There are additional ways to make money on YouTube, such as by selling merchandise, promoting affiliate products, and setting up a Patreon.
In either case, you’ll need to get more views to earn more money, so use the right keywords, release new and exciting content regularly, and encourage viewers to subscribe.
Benjamin Levin is a digital marketing professional with 4+ years of experience with inbound and outbound marketing. He helps small businesses reach their content creation, social media marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising goals. His hobbies include reading and traveling.