Can You Make a Living Off of YouTube?
In the digital age, independent content creators are becoming more and more popular. With access to high-quality recording equipment and distribution platforms like YouTube and Instagram, it’s easier than ever for anyone to become a famous vlogger or video blogger. In fact, some celebrities like PewDiePie and Lilly Singh have built their careers off of YouTube alone.
But can you make a living off of YouTube? The answer is complicated. There are definitely YouTubers who make a very comfortable living from creating videos and posting them online. But that doesn’t mean you should quit your day job just yet.
Becoming a successful vlogger takes dedication, creativity, and plenty of hard work—whether you’re trying to grow an audience or build a brand around your personal brand as a creator.
How Much Money Can You Make on YouTube?
The amount of money that you make will depend on the type of contract you have with your network, your videos’ viewership, and how many advertisements you are able to feature within your videos.
In general, a YouTuber’s salary will fall into one of three categories:
The lowest end of the scale is $2,500 per million views. This is what you can expect if you fall into the “Partner” category, which is reserved solely for the biggest YouTubers who are able to drive a large amount of traffic to the site.
The middle range of salaries will see YouTubers taking home $10,000 per million views. This is a common salary for mid-level YouTubers who are beginning to see profit, but who do not yet have enough popularity or volume to be considered “Partner” level.
Finally, “Super-Partner” contracts will see YouTubers making $40,000 per million views. These are reserved for the very top YouTubers who have an extremely high volume of views, as well as a devoted and engaged audience.
The Ad-Based Revenue Stream
In order to make money off of YouTube, you have to feature ads on your videos. This is a necessary part of being a successful YouTuber, since it is how you will be able to make your living.
You can choose to feature ads on your own, or you can allow YouTube to feature ads for you. The only difference here is that if you choose to feature your own ads, you will be able to keep 100% of the revenue that you make. But if you allow YouTube to feature ads, you will only be able to keep 55% of the revenue. The rest will go to YouTube.
Ads are how YouTubers make their money, and the more views your videos generate, the more money you will make. You can also earn money by allowing brands to sponsor your videos.
If your videos see a large amount of traffic and if you have a large and engaged audience, you may be invited to join the YouTube Partner Program. This basically allows YouTube to profit off of your content, by displaying ads within your videos and allowing you to keep a portion of the revenue.
You may also be given the option to feature affiliate links within your videos, which will allow you to make money off of any products that your audience buys through those links.
You can also make money by licensing your content. Depending on your level of success, you may be able to sell the rights to your videos to an interested party. By doing this, you can make money off of your videos for years to come.
Merchandising and Sponsorship
If your videos are extremely successful, you may be approached by brands interested in sponsoring your videos. You can either sign a contract with the brands, or you can decline their offers. In exchange for sponsoring or licensing your videos, the brands will offer you a certain amount of money.
Some YouTubers have even created merchandise, like t-shirts and mugs, with their branded logos or catchphrases printed on them. Profits from merchandise are a nice addition to the amount of money you make from your videos, as well as a way to keep your brand alive even when you are not creating new content.
Putting Together a Video Production Team
If you want to take your YouTube career to the next level, you may want to consider hiring a team of producers, editors, and other staff members to help you create high-quality content. Doing so will allow you to produce more videos, as well as spend more time focusing on growing your audience and your brand as a whole.
While the upfront costs of hiring a production team may be high, it is definitely a worthwhile investment. The more high-quality content you are able to create, the more traction your channel will gain, and the more money you will make in the long run.
The digital landscape is saturated with aspiring YouTube stars, and getting your videos in front of people can be difficult. If you want to make a living off of YouTube, you need to focus on more than just making viral videos. Instead, you need to focus on creating excellent content and growing a devoted audience, who will be eager to see your next video.
With the right strategy and commitment, you will be able to make a living off of YouTube. But, if you’re just trying to make a quick buck off of viral videos, you should probably look elsewhere.