You’ve probably seen one of your favorite YouTubers make a video announcing his or her departure from their day job as a result of the money made from the platform, but just how much popularity does it take to actually get to that point?
Although there’s no massive database of each channel’s earnings to extrapolate data from, Influencer Marketing Hub crunched some of the numbers involved in YouTube’s advertising model and found that a typical channel may receive $18 per thousand ad views.
The above figure translates to around $3 to $5 for every thousand views of a particular video.
This doesn’t sound like a lot, but for channels that rake in millions of views per week, that translates to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in the same span of time. If you’re wondering how much success you have to achieve to start making a decent living off YouTube, it’s likely that you aren’t at that level yet.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub’s YouTube earnings calculator, you would have to get 50,000 views per day with a 25% or better click-through rate to reach between $500 and $800 per month.
For the majority of people, that’s chump change, and it’s one reason why many YouTubers continue using the platform for supplementary income alongside a day job even when they have more than 100,000 subscribers.
Only a small minority of channels actually make the highly-coveted sums everyone dreams of having from such an endeavor when accounting solely for ad revenue.
However, this doesn’t paint the full picture. Eventually, channels that don’t draw major ad bucks get other opportunities to earn money.
There are two kinds of approaches to making bank outside of ads: community funding and sponsorships.
Many channels that choose to discuss controversial topics that might put off advertisers choose community funding almost exclusively. Others choose to go the sponsorship route, making their videos attractive to brands that want to pay flat fees.
It isn’t unheard of for channels to use both approaches. In many cases, this supplementary income on top of Google’s basic ad model can add thousands of dollars per month into the equation, even in modest channels that attract less than 300,000 views per week.
The Comedy Button is a great example of a small channel with only just over 24,000 subscribers that uses the community funding method through Patreon. With its modest viewership, it still manages to pull $13,129 per month in revenue.
This may not be the beaucoup bucks everyone marvels at when talking about giants like PewDiePie, but it’s more than enough to make a decent living by presenting things that are interesting and unique enough to be valued by one’s subscribers.
This just goes to show that although becoming an influencer on YouTube requires as much—and perhaps even more—work as in any other platform, it is indeed possible to bring home some decent bread from the endeavor, even as a modest channel.