If you are interested in building a side hustle, a YouTube channel might be a fun idea. Of course, making YouTube videos might seem like fun. But if you want to use YouTube as a side hustle it also needs to bring in a worthwhile income.
It is completely possible to earn an income with YouTube. In fact, many are earning a large income through the platform. So how much do YouTubers make?
Let’s take a closer look at how you can earn money with YouTube and how much you can make through the platform.
How to make money on YouTube
As a YouTuber, you’ll have several different ways to monetize your following. We break down the different methods below.
1. Ad revenue
As with other sites across the internet, YouTubers can receive ad revenue.
Although the numbers will vary slightly based on your channel, you can earn money with thousands of views. Most YouTubers earn around $18 for every 1,000 ad views. That works out to around $3 to $5 per 1,000 video views. Of course, this varies based on your channel, but that gives you a rough estimate of what it takes to earn a living on YouTube.
YouTube and Google Adsense change their payment terms on a regular basis. Make sure that you understand their policies about payment before getting started. One important note is that you won’t be able to cash out your earnings until you reach a balance of $100.
Ad revenue is one way to earn an income on YouTube. However, if you are wondering ‘how can I make money on YouTube without Adsense?’ It is completely possible. In fact, there are four other monetization strategies to build out on your YouTube channel.
If you have a large following, then brands might be willing to partner with you for sponsorship opportunities. As you build a base of subscribers, you might find more lucrative brand sponsorship opportunities.
The sponsorship opportunities might vary based on your audience and the brand. For example, you could get paid in cash for the promotion of products. Or you might receive free products instead.
Sponsorships will only be lucrative when you have a large audience. The number of sponsorships you are able to land will depend on the nature of your channel and the quality of your audience.
If you’ve built a brand around your YouTube channel, then your followers might be interested in merchandise. You can bring in revenue from your YouTube channel by selling products that will appeal to your audience.
A few merchandise ideas include traditional t-shirts, hats, and bags. But you can also branch out into other branded products that would appeal to your followers. For example, if you have a cooking channel on YouTube, then you may want to sell branded kitchen equipment.
With a strong following, you can sell merchandise. If you don’t have a devoted audience, then building out merchandise ideas could backfire. After spending your time and money to create merchandise for followers, it can be a letdown if no one wants to buy your product. Consider your audience and the strength of your following before you pursue merchandise.
4. Affiliate links
An affiliate link can allow you to earn a commission if one of your followers buys the product. Let’s say that you advertised an Amazon product and included an affiliate link. When your follower clicks through the link to purchase the product, you will receive a small percentage of the sale. Over time, these small commissions can build into a large income.
Of course, you will need a large following in order to make a substantial amount of money through affiliate marketing. But if you have subscribers that trust your opinion, then making some money through affiliate marketing should be possible.
Affiliate marketing is a fairly common way for YouTubers to earn an income.
If you feel that a product can serve your audience, then you should include an affiliate link in your video. You should only include affiliate links that you think will help your audience. Otherwise, it could be a turn-off that most of your recommendations aren’t useful for your followers.
How much can you earn on YouTube?
You can earn a lot of money on YouTube. In fact, some YouTubers earn millions of dollars each year. A few examples of successful YouTubers include:
- PewDiePie: PewDiePie earned $13 million dollars through his platform last year.
- Jeffree Star: Known for his popular makeup tutorials, Star earned $17 million dollars last year.
- Ryan Kaji: An eight-year-old is at the top of the earning charts for YouTube. In 2019, he earned $26 million!
With earning potential in the millions, it is easy to be starstruck by the possibilities for your YouTube channel. However, it can be extremely difficult to break into the high earnings on YouTube for a variety of reasons.
First of all, it is extremely difficult to build a following. Although it might seem effortless to post a few videos and wait for the hits, it will require more effort than that. The digital landscape on YouTube is extremely competitive. With 300 hours of video uploaded every single minute, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.
Since it is so difficult to build a following, many YouTubers don’t earn anything to write home about. In fact, most YouTubers will not earn more than the U.S. poverty line. That’s around $12,000. Even people with substantial followings struggle to earn a decent living.
How to get started earning money on Youtube
If you want to earn an income from YouTube, you need to be unique. Before you start posting videos, think about what you want to build with your channel. What kind of followers do you want to gain? What kind of message do you want to put into the world?
Do you want to create vlogs about your daily life? Or will you be creating sitdown videos on specific topics?
Whatever message you choose to create, make sure that it helps you stand out from the crowd. For example, the Clever Girl Finance YouTube channel offers unique content geared towards women that want to improve their finances. Check it out to start thinking of your own new ideas.
Once you start posting videos, aim for some basic metrics. The first major milestone is to hit 1,000 subscribers. After that, you can aim for 4,000 hours of watched video in the past year. That will help you get started with some ad revenue. From there, you can branch into other monetization strategies based on your following.
Should you give YouTube a try?
If you are interested in building a unique channel and enjoy the process, then yes. Why not give it a try? With a great idea and some luck, you could be the next YouTube superstar.
On the flip side, YouTube is not the most reliable place to earn an income. If your goal is to increase your income through a side hustle, then you might want to consider other options.