How Much Do YouTubers Make?

Have you ever wondered how much money YouTubers make? Chances are, you’ve heard some astronomical numbers floating around. While there are YouTubers who make huge money, it’s certainly not the case for the vast majority.

Of course, a YouTuber’s actual dollar amount depends on audience size and other factors, such as the revenue paths each YouTuber chooses. This article will give you ideas about how much you can make as a YouTuber, where that income might come from, and some of the best ways to grow your YouTube audience.  

Table of Contents
  1. Who Can Make Money on YouTube?
  2. How Do YouTubers Make Money?
    1. Video Ads through Adsense
    2. Affiliate Links
    3. Merchandise 
    4. Product Sponsorship
  3. What Are YouTube’s Monetization Requirements?
  4. How Much Does YouTube Pay Per Video View?
    1. How Much Does YouTube Pay for 1,000 Views?
    2. How Much Does YouTube Pay for 100,000 Views?
    3. How Much Does YouTube Pay You for 1 Million Views?
    4. How Much Does YouTube Pay Per Subscriber?
  5. How Can I Grow My YouTube Channel Viewership?
    1. Create Valuable Content
    2. Publish New Videos Regularly
    3. Create Active Social Media Channels
    4. Connect With Other Creators
  6. How Much YouTubers Make: Final Thoughts

Who Can Make Money on YouTube?

So, who can make money on YouTube? While it’s tempting to say that anyone willing to put in the effort can make money on YouTube, YouTube does have some stipulations regarding who can use the site to make money.

For starters, you must be at least 18 years old to earn money on YouTube or be supervised by a legal guardian who is at least 18 years old and can open an Adsense account on your behalf.

Also, note that some states or countries might have their own age minimums for entering into a legally binding contract such as the one you need to sign to earn money from Adsense. For instance, if your state or country’s minimum age for entering into a contract is 19 or 21, you do need to meet those minimum age requirements over and above YouTube’s minimum age requirement of 18. 

See YouTube’s partner guidelines on their website for additional terms and conditions. Now, let’s take a closer look at how YouTubers make money.

How Do YouTubers Make Money?

There are four primary ways that YouTubers make money:

  • Video Ads (Adsense)
  • Affiliate Links
  • Merchandise Sales
  • Product Sponsorship

Each monetization avenue works differently. Here’s a breakdown.

Video Ads through Adsense

Adsense ads are the ads that show up throughout a video. Depending on the advertiser, you’ll get paid based on a “cost per view” or a “cost per click” basis. A click is when you click on the ad to get more information or to buy a product.

Note that most advertisers pay on a cost-per-click basis. Google pays out 68% of the money they take in from an advertiser to the content publisher (you).

Affiliate links are links placed within your videos. They are links to products that you might recommend, or that might align with your niche. For instance, a personal finance influencer might have an affiliate link to a budgeting app or an investing book on Amazon.

When you place affiliate links within your ads and viewers buy the product you’re advertising by clicking on the affiliate link, you get a small kickback for each purchase.

Bonus tip: Only share affiliate links for products you trust and/or believe in. Your audience needs to know they can count on you to have their best interests at heart (not your pocketbook) when recommending a product.


Another way to monetize with YouTube is to sell merchandise. Many YouTubers create and sell their own branded merchandise such as sweatshirts, mugs, stickers, etc. As an influencer, you design, promote, and sell the merchandise to earn additional income and promote your brand.

Using a third-party company to manufacture and ship your merch is recommended. Doing so minimizes your effort and delegates time-consuming customer service tasks. Also, selling merch on your YouTube channel can, along with your videos, be a great source of passive income. 

Product Sponsorship

As your brand grows, you may be approached by established companies in your niche to consider a product sponsorship relationship. For example, a fashion YouTuber may have a sponsor relationship with a clothing or accessory brand. 

The larger your viewing audience, the better your chance of being approached by sponsors. Note that sponsors typically pay a much higher per-view dollar than Adsense. It’s not uncommon for sponsors to pay $20 per view or more.

What Are YouTube’s Monetization Requirements?

YouTube also has certain monetization requirements that must be in place for you to start earning money on your channel.

If you want to create and monetize a YouTube channel, you must:

Anyone meeting these criteria is eligible to make money on YouTube.

How Much Does YouTube Pay Per Video View?

So how much does YouTube pay per video view? Probably not as much as you think. That said, the money can add up over time – especially if you keep producing new videos. Here’s a snapshot of how much you can expect to get paid for views based on varying viewership levels. 

How Much Does YouTube Pay for 1,000 Views?

YouTube ads only pay between $0.01 and $0.03 per ad view. Note that the number of ad views will differ from video views because many viewers choose to skip the ads. 

As far as estimates go, it’s safe to say that a video with 1,000 views will only make between $3 and $5. On the contrary, 1,000 ad views would earn a YouTuber $18. So, the conversion rate for a video with 1,000 views is roughly between 20% and 30%. 

How Much Does YouTube Pay for 100,000 Views?

If your earnings align with the above estimates, it’s safe to say that if your video gets 100,000 views, you’ll earn between $300 and $500. This may not seem like a lot of money, but it can be if you publish several videos. 

How Much Does YouTube Pay You for 1 Million Views?

Using the same conversion rates above, you’ll earn between $3,000 and $5,000 if your video gets 1 million views. Of course, these numbers will vary based on your viewership. Depending on the audience, some niches may see higher payouts and some lower payouts. 

However, these numbers are averages based on actual YouTube earnings. If you work at your trade and keep growing your brand, you have the potential to earn a 6-figure or more income.  

How Much Does YouTube Pay Per Subscriber?

Contrary to popular belief, YouTube does not pay per subscriber. In other words, you won’t earn much money if you have a million subscribers and only 100 views.

The cash lies in the number of viewers you have and their interaction with the ads in your videos and your other revenue streams. This is why viewership is so important. So, if you’re a new creator, keep working on increasing the views on your videos. Publish new videos regularly and share all of your videos across multiple social media channels. 

How Can I Grow My YouTube Channel Viewership?

Viewership growth is the key to making money on YouTube. So how can you, as an influencer, grow your YouTube channel viewership? Here are four tried and true suggestions that can help you do that.  

Create Valuable Content

Creating valuable content is instrumental to growing your YouTube channel’s audience. Just remember two things: 

  • “Valuable” means different things to different people
  • Your audience determines the value of your content

Knowing your niche and your audience is the key to creating valuable content. If your niche is making prank videos and you get success with it, stick to that or find another similar niche that helps you connect with viewers. 

People find success in a variety of different genres when working as influencers. For example, Mr. Beast, Logan Paul, and Nate O’Brien have three different YouTube niches, yet all are highly successful on YouTube. 

Why? Because they know their niche and understand their audience. And that helps them create content that keeps subscribers and viewers returning for more. If you can develop a similar understanding of your own audience, you can do the same.

Publish New Videos Regularly

Publishing new videos regularly is another key to growing your YouTube viewership. Yes, you may have a few videos that get millions of views.

However, those same popular videos will wear out, just like popular songs on the radio become tiresome after they’re being played repeatedly for a few months. That’s why recording artists continue to release new songs; to avoid becoming “One-Hit-Wonders.” 

Likewise, you need to keep publishing new videos on your YouTube channel to keep viewers coming back for more and to draw new viewers in. And more viewers generally equals a larger income.

Create Active Social Media Channels

Another key to growing your YouTube viewership is to create and be active on other social media channels. Get an Instagram account, a Twitter account, and a TikTok account, and keep your accounts active.

Publish posts regularly and work to engage with followers as much as possible. Help followers feel a connection with your content and then steer them toward your YouTube videos. 

Again, knowing your audience is key here as well. For example, if your audience is 55 and above, you’ll probably have more luck publishing on Facebook than on Twitch. If your audience is under 30, the reverse will likely apply.  

Connect With Other Creators

Lastly, work to network with other YouTube publishers in similar niches. Find those creators, connect with them and promote their work.

Be authentic in developing a relationship with them. Don’t view them as competition. Each artist’s work is a bit different and has its own unique qualities. There are enough viewers worldwide to accommodate every artist’s work. Collaborating will always get you further than the competition. 

Consider collaboration akin to free advertising and business growth and work on networking accordingly.  

How Much YouTubers Make: Final Thoughts

The answer to the question “How much do YouTubers make?” is a complex one. There are many different income avenues for influencers. The key to successfully monetizing your YouTube channel is to be sure you’re publishing worthwhile content and growing your audience. Use every tool available: social media channels, networking, and personal talent to grow your audience and connect with viewers. 

Whether your goal is to become a full-time YouTuber or start a fun side hustle, if you share valuable information, and have an engaging personality that will keep viewers coming back, you could succeed as a YouTube influencer.

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About Laurie Blank

Laurie Blank is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of four. She’s psyched about teaching others how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and has been quoted in Bankrate.

She's a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota (also licensed in Wisconsin too) and has been freelance writing for over six years.

She shares powerful insights on her blog, Great Passive Income Ideas, that will show you how you can create passive income sources of your own.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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