How to Monetize Content

How Much Money Do YouTubers Really Make? What Can You Earn If You Start Today

Jun 16, 2023
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YouTube logo lies on the wads of money

People used to be skeptical about the possibility of earning money online. However, in a decade or so, YouTube dispelled the myth by offering one of the best monetization models to content creators. Earning money on YouTube is accessible to everyone and a lot of people earn a full-time income primarily from content creation.

But how much can you expect to earn on YouTube? And how much do most YouTubers make? It really boils down to the number of views, your target audience, your country and a number of different factors. Let’s take a look at some stats.

How Much Does a YouTuber Make?

According to FinanceBuzz, US-based YouTubers on average made $1,154 per week in 2022. That’s about $4,616. Of course, this does not include the top players such as MrBeast or Jake Paul, whose earnings are in millions. Depending on a YouTuber’s level of fame, they can make anywhere from $0.01 to $0.03 per ad view on average. This means you can earn $10 to $30 for every 1,000 views. Well-established YouTubers with a mass following generally earn more per ad view than others.

YouTube pays 55% of its ad revenue to creators. So, for example, if an advertiser spent $10 on ads that were displayed on your channel, you will get $5.50. However, it’s important to note that these are only stats for income generated through YouTube Partner’s program that pays a cut of its ad revenue to creators. Creators generally use their influence on YouTube to sell products, promote sponsors, and to raise money on subscription platforms like Paysenger and Patreon. This allows them to maximize their earnings because relying on ad revenue alone is not enough to sustain a content creation business.

So, Does MrBeast Really Make $54 Million Just From YouTube?

Man holds euros in front of camera

Forbes says that MrBeast has a net worth of $500 million. Does all of his money come from YouTube ad revenue? Probably not. MrBeast uses his following on YouTube to advertise products from brands and sponsors who pay him big cheques. In addition, he runs additional income streams such as Beast Burgers, affiliate marketing, and subscription platforms. Even if the average earnings of $4,616 on YouTube might discourage you, remember – a following on YouTube (or any other social network) is an asset that can be monetized in a number of different ways.

Understanding How YouTube Pays Its Creators

YouTube pays its creators through ad revenue. When ads are shown on a YouTuber's video, they receive a portion of the revenue generated. The amount of money earned per view can vary depending on the type of ad and the audience's demographics. Creators can also earn money through YouTube's partner program, which allows them to monetize their content through sponsorships and brand deals. You can enable monetization on your YouTube channel by setting up AdSense even if you’re in the beginning of your journey. However, you’ll only start earning money once you build real traffic to your channel.

Due to extreme competition on the site, it’s hard for small-to-medium size YouTubers to earn big ad revenue cheques. Most ads on the site are CPC (cost per click), which means you get paid each time someone clicks on an ad on your video. The average conversion rate on YouTube ads is 12%. So, if you had 1,000 views, only 120 people on average would click on the ads and you would get paid for 120 clicks.

There are also CPM ads (cost per thousand views) but they pay the creator only if someone watches 30-second or half the length of the ad. Now, think about how many skip the ad immediately in the beginning. YouTubers work very hard to build a solid community around them. These days, it’s not just about posting viral content with a lot of views. It’s about establishing yourself as an influencer whose content is watched regularly by loyal fans. The reason top YouTubers make significantly more money than 99% of channels on the platform is because they have a cult following and almost a celebrity status in real-life. It’s not just about their videos but also about their loyal fans who religiously engage with their content.

So, How Much Can I Earn on YouTube If I Start Today?

Youtuber streaming and recording in his home studio

As mentioned earlier, your success as a content creator is not tied to just YouTube ad revenue. YouTube should be considered simply a distribution channel that helps you reach bigger audiences and spread your content. It shouldn’t be relied upon for monthly paychecks. With that being said, there are many benefits of having subscribers on YouTube even if you have as little as 20,000. You don’t need to have millions of subscribers on any social network to make money on the internet as a content creator. Success as a content creator depends on how many income streams you have in your portfolio.

The Comedy Button is a great example of this. They have 21.5K subscribers on YouTube (at the time of writing) but they’ve managed to turn their channel into a self-sustaining business. They run a Patreon account with 975 patrons who pay them $3K - $7K per month. Note that these are loyal fans who have watched Comedy Button content for a long time. Combined with their earnings from affiliate marketing, sponsors, and ad revenue, they can easily sustain their project and turn it into a reliable income source.

How Can I Run a Successful YouTube Channel?

As you might’ve already guessed, it’s hard to grow a YouTube channel without financial support especially if you’re a small to medium size creator. Success usually begins once you have a million subscribers and before that, you’ll be left at your own devices. Remember that there’s only 41,900 channels with 1 million subscribers. There are over 51 million active channels on YouTube, which means that only 0.1% people have found moderate success on the site. This also means that YouTube pays over 95% of its ad revenue to the top 0.1% of content creators.

If your goal is to become an internet celebrity, then you’ll have to compete with the top 0.1% and focus on growing your subscribers with super high quality content for a very long time. Most top YouTubers have been producing content for over a decade and they started early when competition on YouTube was nothing compared to what it is today. To produce quality content, you need resources, money, and exposure. Luckily these can be acquired by using a monetization platform like Paysenger.

What’s Paysenger?

Paysenger Create Impact Earn

Paysenger is a platform designed for small-to-medium size creators in mind. If you’re just starting out on your journey, you need to monetize your creativity to support future work. The platform uses a tokenized economy using EGO tokens that rewards all creators equally for producing great content. Earnings on Paysenger are based on engagement levels and views of your content (instead of ad revenue generated for the company). In addition, it makes it easier for sponsors and idea makers to collaborate with content creators to promote their products and services. Here are some of its features:

  • On-demand content: As a creator, you can take one-time requests from sponsors, idea makers or fans to create social media posts, shoutouts, videos or other types of content in exchange for tokens. These tokens can easily be withdrawn to your local bank account.
  • Paid messaging: Content creators get targeted by loads of spam messages on their socials. On Paysenger, others need to pay to get your attention in direct messages. This is a communications filter that allows you to only take messages from people who mean business. You get tokens in your account every time you reply to a message.
  • Collaborations: Paysenger makes it easy for brands and businesses to collaborate with you. They can simply look you up using niche-based search filters and send you a video request.
  • NFT features: Every piece of content you post on Paysenger is a potential long-term digital asset. Social media posts, videos or audios all get minted into an NFT that you can trade on Paysenger’s NFT marketplace. If someone creates something in collaboration with you, the ownership gets split between you and them so that whenever the NFT earns royalties in the future both people get a cut.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Girl with laptop and red pillow YouTube

There are two ways to look at content creation on YouTube. If your long-term goal is to become a celebrity and you have that influencer energy in you, YouTube is a great platform to start your journey on. If your content is great, you will eventually get noticed and the only thing you need to maintain is your consistency.

However, there’s a common misconception that you’ll be earning money right away. While YouTube does promise money to new content creators as part of its Partner’s program, it doesn’t pay enough for you to grow your channel and pay living costs at the same time. Gaby Dunn, owner of the channel Just Between Us with 642K subscribers wrote in an interview on Fusion that even with their success, they’re hardly making ends meet because earnings from YouTube don’t cut it until you hit big celebrity status.

He writes, “despite this success, we’re just barely scraping by…but it’s not enough to live, and its influx is unpredictable. Our channel exists in that YouTube no-man’s-land: Brands think we’re too small to sponsor, but fans think we’re too big for donations.” Still, if your goal is to turn YouTube into a reliable source of income, then luckily you don’t need a million followers to do so.

You simply need to prioritize building additional revenue streams such as through monetization platforms like Paysenger and Patreon, affiliate marketing, merchandise sales and so on. Starting out on your journey as a content creator? Sign up on Paysenger to monetize early and grow as a Creator in the long-term. Earn money for producing content, find new audiences, earn tokens for creating viral content and engaging with your audiences.

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Feb 21, 2024
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