‘YouTubers’ have been multiplying in numbers for years now – with seemingly every other person now a ‘vlogger’ or a beauty specialist. Some users have amassed an enormous following, doing so to the extent of being able to make a career out from YouTube. Yet how is this possible? Can someone really make a living from merely speaking to a camera? In this article, we take a look at the different, and clever ways that a YouTuber can make money.
1. Advertising (Start of Video)
Advertising is such an important component for YouTubers, that we will divide it into two parts. First up, we have advertising at the start of their YouTube video. As YouTube is Google owned, the adverts run through the popular AdSense program. However, Google will keep 50% of the revenue from start of the video adverts. These adverts are typically five second adverts that can be skipped, or for more lucrative amounts – 30 second videos that cannot be skipped. This was once the main source for YouTubers, but declining advertising spend has lowered this. However, at current rates, approximately 1m views will yield a YouTuber between £750 and £3,500. This of course depends on a huge variety of variables such as Geography of user, length of advert and demographic – hence the range. Regardless, this is a good start!
2. Advertising (Through Brands)
The second form of advertising actually comes within the video itself. As YouTubers have a devoted band of followers, they will also have detailed information on their followers – such as age, demographics and even interests. They can therefore sell this information to relevant brands. Brands can then pay YouTubers to feature their products in videos. This is particularly prominent with beauty bloggers, who will be paid by brands to suggest their followers use a certain type of hair spray, or perhaps a certain make-up brand. The amount a YouTuber will earn for this again will range hugely, but it is another useful revenue stream.
Following on from the point above – a YouTuber will frequently list in the video description area any product that has featured in the video. Specific products will be there, or perhaps just a website. Regardless, whenever a follower of the YouTuber clicks on the link and completes a purchase – the YouTuber will earn a small commission on it. If a YouTuber has many followers, the commission can quickly rise. This is another easy way of making money. Affiliate marketing is an ever-growing area.
The first three areas are all basic ways of making money for YouTubers. The next two require a larger audience – these are areas that are usually only possible with over 500,000 subscribers to work optimally. Merchandise is also popular. YouTubers can release their own brand of shirts, phone cases or wristbands – anything within reason! They will keep whatever money is brought in, aside from overheads. This is a simple way of making money – it particularly works well for a YouTuber with a catchphrase or a unique look!
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Finally, Patreon offers another source of income – but again this requires many followers to increase the chances of this working. Patreon is a site which provides a platform for a user to provide exclusive content for subscribers for money. Subscribers will get additional content that isn’t released to the general public. They will usually pay a monthly fee – which can then be collected by the YouTuber. Patreon is an ever-growing site, with its popularity among YouTubers growing fast. For the most successful YouTubers, you can see easily how they can make a living out of YouTube.
These five revenue streams, when combined, provide a healthy revenue. Video production is generally low cost too. As long as YouTubers have followers, they will always be able to monetize their content.