A lot of people wonder… Is it still possible to make money off YouTube?
Although it may seem like one of those passing trends, YouTube isn’t going anywhere. At least any time soon. Humans have evolved to learn visually now more than ever before. In fact, YouTube gets an outstanding 5 billion video watches per day. With that kind of volume, serious YouTubers would have to be crazy to not try and make money from their passion.
YouTube doesn’t gain everyone fortune, but there are tons of successful YouTubers that prove that being a YouTube can pay off. While most beginners won’t be rolling in cash right away, it could be a solution to step out of a current 9-5 job and pursue something more interesting.
So, how much money can you actually make as a YouTuber?
The first thing you need to know is that there are 500 hours of video uploaded every minute. Competition on YouTube is fierce.
The next thing you’ll learn is that making money on YouTube isn’t a piece of cake. There are generally 2 ways to do it:
- CPM (cost per thousand views)
- CPC (cost per click)
Each of these ways require you to join the YouTube Partner Program first, which isn’t easy either, at least for a beginner. The program requires you to have 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months AND 1,000 subscribers. That’s only to be eligible. Once you apply, YouTube will closely scan your account to see if you’re a good fit.
If you get into the program, you can then start making money.
If the advertisement is CPM (cost per 1000 views), it means the viewer must watch the entire advertisement before you make any money from it. If you think about your own YouTube watching habits, I highly doubt you sit through the entirety of advertisements, especially if you have the option to skip.
If the advertisement is CPC (cost per click), then you get paid depending on how many users click the ads surrounding your video.
The actual rate advertisers pay ranges between $1 to $10 per 1000 views (depending on many factors such as the size and quality of your channel, and the topic of your videos), but averages out at around $2-$5 per view for most channels.
But, wait. Just like anything, it’s not all yours.
Google actually takes a big chunk of that amount (45%).
You won’t be able to quit your desk job any time soon if your views are low. But for YouTubers getting hundreds of thousands or even millions of views, YouTube can be very profitable.
Top 10 richest YouTubers in the world
So you can gather a little inspiration, here are 10 of the richest YouTubers in the world in order and from every niche.
1. Ryan’s World
Earnings: $26 million
Subscribers: 23.3 million
It’s almost unbelievable that an 8-year-old is the highest-paid YouTuber in the world. He started by making videos purely of himself opening toys and playing with them. While this sounds rather hard to watch, he managed to gain millions of views on each of his videos. Ryan’s video “Huge Eggs Suprise” got 1.9 billion views. His videos have a huge impact on the toy industry and advertisers for toy companies are willing to splurge on this young YouTuber. Ryan now creates animation videos for kids that should keep his subscribers and income rolling in for a few more years.
2. Dude Perfect
Earnings: $20 million
Subscribers: 51 million
Dude Perfect is not only one perfect dude. They’re actually a group of 5 high school friends with the Cotton twins, Cory and Coby as the core of the team. Unlike the channel above, Dude Perfect focuses mainly on sports. They got their fan base from their great sense of humor. They have other sources of income such as their mobile app called Dude Perfect and pretty much all their YouTube videos are sponsored. However, they still make most of their money off YouTube ads.
Earnings: $18 million
Subscribers: 44.3 million
Nastya is the second-highest-paid child YouTuber in the world. But unlike Ryan’s World, Nastya’s YouTube is about her own life instead of toy reviews. Videos include day trips to the beach, birthday parties, Halloween costumes, and all sorts of things along those lines. Nastya wouldn’t be so well-known if it wasn’t for her father, a well humored Russian American father. The two make the perfect YouTube vlog duo.
4. Jeffree Star
Earnings: $17 million
Subscribers: 17.1 million
While Jeffree makes bank from YouTube, he also has many different sources where he earns income. For example, he’s a singer-songwriter, model, and DJ. There’s not much he isn’t good at, and that goes for makeup as well. Jeffree’s YouTube channel is all things makeup. There are tutorials, brand reviews, and funny challenge videos. He’s basically a beauty guru. With that being true, he has even started his own makeup line, Jeffree Star Cosmetics, which has really lifted off.
5. DanTDM (Daniel Middleton)
Earnings: $16.5 million
Subscribers: 21 million
Who said gaming was a waste of time? After all, the (previous) richest man on YouTube has made a fortune off Minecraft videos. And we can see why. Since Dan already has an establishment, advertisers are willing to pay (a lot) more to have their ads on his videos. And with his average view per video sitting at 4.84 million, YouTube isn’t just a side job. DanTDM does, however, have other sources of income like YouTube sponsorships, and merchandise.
6. PewDiePie (Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg)
Earnings: $15.5 million
Subscribers: 102 million
PewDiePie is by far the most subscribed to YouTube channel on this list and has been the most subscribed to YouTube channel in the entire world for the past 5 years. However, in the last couple of years, his income has declined quite a bit considering his net worth was between $30 and $50 million in previous years. He’s known for his game commentary vlogs. Although YouTube is his main source of income, he also made money from publishing a book called “This Book Loves You,” which sold 112,000 copies.
7. VanossGaming (Evan Fong)
Earnings: $15.5 million
Subscribers: 24 million
Here’s another example that gaming isn’t a waste of time. Although Evan doesn’t focus on one specific game like Daniel, his fans appreciate the diversity. But where Evan really wins the crowd over is by his distinctive video editing style. Remember, if you want to stand out in the sea of YouTubers, you’ve got to be different.
8. Logan Paul
Earnings: $14.5 million
Subscribers: 20.1 million
Logan Paul is a YouTuber who quite honestly makes very mediocre videos. His spike in popularity happened back in 2017 when he visited a Japanese forest known for suicides and happened to come across a hanging body. Logan filmed the body and made jokes about it, showing the world his immaturity. He was heavily criticized after that but somehow gained even more followers. He confessed he made a mistake and the world moved on. Today Logan is still making YouTube videos and other badly humored vlogs.
9. Markiplier (Mark Edward Fischbach)
Earnings: $13 million
Subscribers: 25.7 million
Yet another video game YouTube to rise to success, Mark YouTubes mostly about horror and indie video games. Do you have kids? Maybe they should skip this channel as it’s known for vulgar language and lots of swear words. In addition to being one of the top YouTubers in 2019, Mark has also voice acted in many tv shows.
Note: also not recommended for the easily offended.
10. Jake Paul
Earnings: $11.5 million
Subscribers: 19.7 million
Logan Paul’s younger brother, Jake became famous on YouTube for actually producing decent content. He is an actor and musician who first gained traction back in the day when Vine was a thing. He’s only been on YouTube for 4 years, but has already gained 4 billion views. Jake released a music video called “It’s Everyday Bro” which got 70 million views in just 1 month. Sadly, it’s now the third most disliked video on YouTube. If Jake can manage to avoid scandals, his content might actually be good enough to keep him on board as one of the richest YouTubers in the world.
Wrapping it up
There you have it! Now that you know how much money and how to make money on YouTube, what’s your next step?
I’d say give it a shot if you think you have something interesting to offer. In the beginning, you don’t have anything to lose and it could prove to be quite profitable if you’re able to get followers.
Even if you never get as rich as these top 10 richest YouTubers, you can still make a good amount of pocket money. You just need to differentiate yourself from others, have a decent camera and editing software, and you’ll be getting subscribers and making money in no time.