How People are Making Millions on Youtube

Get a slice of the Billions of Dollars Advertisers are Spending on Youtube.

You've probably seen videos of Youtubers buying $100,000 cars and getting checks for $50,000 for one month from Youtube. This is for one reason. That reason is that the average person is bored, bored silly and Youtube gives them a distraction. Since so many people are watching Youtube, instead of TV, advertisers are willing to pay to put commercials on these channels. Advertisers spend up to $150 Billion per year on advertising and online networks like Youtube get about half. Now you can see why Youtube has been minting millionaires for the past few years. The same money that used to make networks like ABC, NBC millions is now being funneled into the hands of average people. This post will analyze how exactly Youtubers are making so much money.

Youtube is the second most visited site in the world after Google, according to Alexa.com. Facebook actually comes in third. Moreover, unlike Facebook, you actually make money from the content you post on Youtube. It would be as if Facebook gave you money for every post you made on Facebook, that is what Youtube does. There are Beauty Vloggers, Mommy Vloggers, Travel Vloggers, Car Review Vloggers, Videogame Vloggers, Sports Review Vloggers, Talk Show Vloggers, Business Vloggers, Product Review Vloggers, Pranks/Stunts Vloggers. The number of ideas and things to do on Youtube are limitless. For every video you allow ads to play on your channel, Google (the parent company of Youtube) gives you 60% of the revenue.

Let's take a closer look at how this works. You have a video about starting a career in acting. You monetize your video and begin sharing the video on social media, in a few weeks you realize that you have over 100,000 views. If Google has advertisers, like Toyota, that want to advertise on videos like yours, they will display ads before your videos. If Google charges Toyota $1.00 per view, after 100,000 views that is $100,000. Afterwards, Google will pay you 60% or $60,000 within 30 days.

There are people who have gotten millions of views from one video. This is mainly because the video went viral. However, having a dedicated audience, or subscribers, who already likes your material reduces the need for your content to go viral. Comments are also necessary to growing your channel because Google likes comments and will "recommend" your video if you have a lot of comments and views. In other words, Google sees your video as being more valuable. You will notice that a lot of Youtubers will not remove negative or spammy comments, because even bad comments are good for their channel.

There are many factors that controls how much Youtubers make:

  1. The number of views a video receives or is your content interesting
  2. Whether or not ads are available
  3. Whether advertisers want to display ads on content like yours
  4. How much of the ad viewers watch (If your viewers don't watch 30 seconds of the ad, you won't make any money)
  5. Is any of your content copyrighted by someone else (youtube will not pay you if your content is copyrighted by anyone else; even though some people have managed to get around this, I do not recommend.)

Let me just say that Youtube ads are cheap right now, so most companies are not paying $1.00 per ad like the example above. They are likely paying an average of $0.50. Forbes just reported that digital ad spend has surpassed TV ad spend for the first time in history, so expect a lot more money to be spent in the next few years. You have to look at Youtube as an investment that will eventually make you a great income. It could take you two years to reach 1 million views, but that's still $150,000 per year at 50 cents per view. Your plan for Youtube has to be long-term. Also, you should choose to do videos on something you're passionate about. The reason 21-year-olds are making a killing is because they like to be seen, they upload videos from their phones just because it's Monday. So, continue doing it and don't look at it as a job.

The main thing new Youtubers have to learn is not to join a network. This is the biggest scam perpetuated against new Youtubers. Youtube will pay you directly through Adsense. A lot of networks have scammed Youtubers out of tens of thousands of dollars per month in Youtube income. Youtubers with 1,000,000+ subscribers who actively produce videos are easily earning upwards of $100,000 per month, but Networks were taking $90,000. Networks were telling Youtubers they could make them money by representing them to advertisers, which they weren't. 

If your channel is popular enough, companies will find you. Moreover, Google has plenty of advertisers willing to advertise. My suggestion is to do what many Youtubers have done and send companies in your industry an email with your Youtube stats and tell them you will include a commercial for their product in x number of your videos. This is called sponsorship. Then you let your viewers know that this video is sponsored by Proactiv or fill-in a company. You can also book shows, appearances, and pitch book ideas to companies the same way.

If you want to look at some trending videos and see what is popular on Youtube click here. This will give you an idea of what people are watching, but don't get pigeon holed into following exactly what is trending. Most of the money is made in the more specific categories geared towards people's interests. If you want to find out step-by-step how to start making money on Youtube click here.  

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Alison the Writer
Alison is an avid book reader and great writer for CA. Her favorite thing to do is watch Youtube videos and spend time with her family.