the real way people make money on youtube

The REAL Way People Make Money On Youtube

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It’s the burning question that everyone has on their mind: How do people really make money on youtube?

Well, surprisingly enough, people are no longer just making money from youtube ad revenue. Matter of fact, that may be the worst way to make an income from your youtube channel.

There are 5 main ways that people make money on youtube:

  • Youtube partner program
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Sponsorships
  • Selling Products
  • Selling Services

There may be other more specific ways that people make money but these are the main five. So today, I am going to go into each of these and show you just how lucrative the youtube hustle has become.

Do All Youtubers Make Money From Youtube?

The first thing we have to do is clear up a very common misconception.

I have seen one question pop up a lot on Quora lately and that is: do all YouTubers make money from youtube?

The answer is no.

Not all YouTubers make money from youtube because not all channels are monetized.

If everyone who made a youtube video made money from it, I think there would be a lot more YouTubers than there are now.

The truth is that there are thousands of YouTubers who don’t see a dime for their efforts. One reason is that their channel may be too small to get monetized for ad revenue. Another reason is probably that they haven’t learned to optimize their content for monetization.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of YouTubers who think that the only way to make money is to join the Youtube Partner Program. Not knowing that it is one of the least lucrative income streams a youtube can have.

How to Make Money Online from Youtube (5 Ways)

make money on youtube

Now let’s get into the 5 primary ways that people can make money as a youtuber.

Yes, you read right, 5 ways.

I know it seems like a lot but that is the reality of how many opportunities are available to YouTubers and online content creators in general.

So let’s take a look at them.

1-Youtube Partner Program

We are going to start with the one that people know the most about: the Youtuber Partner Program (YPP).

YPP is youtube’s own monetization program that is run through Google Ad Sense.

Although it is my least favorite way to make money on youtube, it is still a good source of income for beginners and people who don’t know much about the other income streams.

But that does not make it easy to join.

There are now four main criteria that you need to get accepted into the YPP:

  • 1000 subscribers
  • 4000 watch hours in the last 365 days
  • no strikes on your channel
  • two-factor authentication

The last two were added in 2021 to help youtube crackdown on channels that were being hacked and fake accounts.

Once you do get accepted, you will also have to manually enable monetization on all of your videos. And once you do you will start to get paid.

However, you only get the money after you’ve made your first $100.

Do YouTubers get paid per view?

No, contrary to popular belief, YouTubers do not get paid per view.

In the YPP, you get paid per 1000 impressions on an ad. So the more people see, watch, and click on the ads that play on your videos, the more money you make.

Advertisers are the ones who decide how much they are going to pay you based on how lucrative your video topic is.

For example, a video about web hosting is more lucrative in the eyes of Google Ad Sense than a video about puppies.

So more likely than not, a video with 10,000 views on puppies is going to make less money than a video with 10,000 views about web hosting.

Do YouTubers Get Paid Monthly

YouTubers get paid around the 21st of every month for the previous period.

I know that may sound a little complicated.

Let’s take an example:

When you get your youtube check in February, it is for the videos and views that were monetized in January.

So you always get paid for your work the month after you have done the work.

How Many Views Do You Need To Get Paid On Youtube

There are no set amount of views that you need to get paid on youtube. If you are in the youtube partner program then you will start to make money from the views regardless of how many you have.

However, with that being said, the more views you have, the better.

We tend to see that youtube channels getting a couple of hundred views per month, may not even see $100 at the end of the month.

The real money starts to come in once you hit around 10,000 views per month from your videos.

2-Affiliate Marketing

how to make high-quality content

Now on to my absolute favorite way to monetize a youtube channel: Affiliate Marketing.

If you do not know what affiliate marketing is then you are going to want to read my full affiliate marketing guide for beginners before you get started.

Basically, you are going to join different affiliate programs of products that you love and use, and get a special affiliate link.

With that link, you can share it with your audience on youtube. If someone purchases a product through that link, then you get a commission.

This way of monetizing a youtube channel is great because being a youtuber means building trust with an audience.

If your audience trusts your opinion and you share a product that you like, they are more likely to go into your description box and purchase through your link.

But the real reason I love affiliate marketing on youtube is that you can do it with no subscribers at all. You do not even need the YPP and matter of fact, most YouTubers make more money from affiliates than the YPP.


One of the more lucrative ways that people make money on youtube is through sponsorships and brand deals.

Brands are now seeing the power that YouTubers and influencers have and are willing to pay thousands of dollars for a sponsored video.

A couple of years ago, YouTubers were not obliged to be transparent about brand deals. Meaning they could make a video that was completely sponsored and not even have to disclose that a brand was paying them.

However, a couple of years ago, youtube made it obligatory to not only mention that the video is sponsored but there is now even a tag on the video to show it is a sponsored video.

youtube includes paid promotions

4-Selling Products

Another way that people make good money on youtube is through selling their own products. The most popular is youtube merch.

You may think that those t-shirts and hoodies are chump-change but YouTubers are making thousands of dollars from them.

Needless to say, the more views and engaged subscribers you have, the more likely you are to sell a lot of merch.

But what about if you are a smaller channel?

According to statistics, smaller youtube channels with around 10,000 subscribers can expect to make about $70 from merch every month.

But selling products is not only limited to merch. People can sell templates, ebooks, courses, and anything else that they think fits well with their niche.

5-Selling Services

In certain niches, Youtubers are able to make a great income by selling their own services.

These are usually coaching and/or consulting services but can even be things like making thumbnails for others or editing other people’s videos.

Even though this is a great way to make money, it is also something that you may want to hold back on until you have a good flow of viewers coming.

People are usually not willing to pay for services until they really get a feel for who you are and how good you are at what you do.

How Much Does A Youtuber With 1 Million Subscribers Make?

man counting money laptop

Everybody seems to want to know, how much do YouTubers with 1 million subscribers get paid?

So I did the research for you. I took the top 12 channels on youtube with 1 million subscribers and calculated how much they make on average monthly and yearly (on the low and high end).

Keep in mind that these are just estimates from ad revenue. These channels are probably making a lot more if they have other sources of monetization.

I hope you are prepared to see some big numbers:

When we look at the low-end (meaning the minimum amount a channel can make):

On average, a channel with 1 million subscribers makes $128,993 per month and $2,079,250 per year.

Now looking on the higher end (meaning the maximum they could make):

A channel with 1 million subscribers could make up to $1,547,000 monthly and $24,514,750.

How Much Youtubers Get Paid Per 1000 Views?

RPM is Revenue Per Mille meaning how much you make per 1000 views or impressions.

So to find how much YouTubers get paid on average, I used the same channels that I used earlier.

On average, the top channels with 1 million subscribers get around 929,941,500 views in a 30 day period.

Now since you already know how much they are making per month, from the previous example, we can calculate an approximate RPM.

Taking the views and dividing it by the monthly ad revenue, we find that YouTubers get paid anywhere from $600-$7000 per 1000 views.

Again, this is fully based on the top-performing channels with 1 million subscribers. Every channel is different.

Who Is The Richest Youtuber

So who is the richest youtuber?

Well, according to Forbes, Mr.Beast is officially the highest-paid youtuber with an estimation of $54 million dollars.

Followed by Jake Paul at $45 million and Markiplier at $38 million.

Final Thoughts

Being a YouTuber is a very lucrative business if you know how to play your cards right. But don’t think that these YouTubers just upload a video and start making money.

Building a youtube channel to millions of views and subscribers takes years to do. Matter of fact, you will most likely not make be able to get money from ad revenue for a few months. Until you get accepted into the YPP.

Youtube is a long marathon and not a sprint.

So hats off to all of the YouTubers out there who have been making content and grinding for months and years to make their youtube channels successful.