How Much Do Small YouTubers Make

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Here’s my journey from 0 to 8,000 subscribers during my first 3 months on YouTube – and a breakdown of how much money small Youtubers make.

Helping the Self-Employed with Unemployment

Back on March 17th, 2020, I launched my YouTube channel.  I had no idea what I was doing, wasn’t sure how to work the camera, and didn’t know anything about lighting or editing video.

Then, a few weeks into my YouTube journey, the entire world shut down. 

COVID-19 forced businesses to close their doors, schools sent the kids home, and millions of people lost their jobs.  

It’s at this part of the story where I want to give a shout out to Adam Kreutinger.  He’s a creative professional and has many friends that are self-employed artists and business owners.

Adam and I were talking on the phone about a new benefit that never existed before.  Unemployment insurance was being made available for the self-employed.  To be clear, these benefits were not just regular unemployment.  They were unemployment benefits from your state with an additional $600 per week on top of what you would normally get. 

It was during my conversation with Adam that we realized—creative professionals, the self-employed, Lyft drivers, hairstylists—they could all use help in applying for these benefits.  The application process was not clear at all, and it was nearly impossible to get through to anyone on the phone to get answers from the state unemployment offices. 

Coming from an educational background, I took some screenshots of how to fill out the unemployment application, even though it wasn’t updated for the self-employed yet.  Then, I recorded a YouTube video called “How You Can Get Unemployment If You’re SELF EMPLOYED”.

Flashforward a few days – the video went viral.

I was flooded with comments and questions. That entire next week was spent researching how to help people in all 50 states get these benefits. 3-4 hours per day were dedicated to answering comments and replying to people’s questions.

Sadly, the states were drastically behind.  People needed help and answers.  There was a void on the internet for helpful information about this new benefit, so I filled the void.

That is where my first piece of advice comes from – if you’re thinking about creating your own YouTube channel, find your niche and fill the void.  Again, the void for me was that this new benefit was going to be available to millions of people and nowhere online was there a clear and concise way explaining how to apply for these benefits.

As that video started to get thousands of views, I doubled down.  I began to record videos on how to get other government loans and grants, and I continued to interact with people in the comments.

How Much Money Can You Make with a Viral YouTube Video

Let’s take a look at the progress I made over my first three months on YouTube.   My views were 349,524 during those first three months.  I’m still blown away by those numbers.  The channel averaged more than a hundred thousand views each month. $3,365.36 was generated in revenue.

The rules about getting monetized on YouTube have changed over the years.  Right now, they say you must get over 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.  Honestly, I expected that to take at least a year, and it happened pretty much in the first month for me.  Again, this is just unbelievable.  I’m so thankful.

YouTube pays you about a month behind, so it took an extra month or so before all that money hit my bank account.

One of the interesting things people like to know about is how you actually earn money from YouTube. Ads are played before, during, and at the end of videos.  By people watching those ads, YouTubers can earn different amounts of money based on what type of channel they have.  For example, a finance channel or educational channel like mine earns a higher rate than other types of channels.

My average rate or CPM over the first three months was $20.12, and, of course, that fluctuated day-to-day.

It’s also interesting to point out that I don’t choose the ads you see or where they are placed in my videos.  That’s all up to YouTube.  I know I can customize and refuse certain ad content, but I haven’t played around with those controls yet.

My typical routine during those first few months was logging on YouTube in the morning to answer comments then repeating that again before I went to bed.  I think that really helped to grow my channel’s community – engaging with people in the comments and answering as many of their questions as I could.

Oh yeah, people are usually curious about my camera and lighting setup, so I’ll leave a list of the type of equipment I use for filming down below – it’s always evolving because I’m still new to YouTube.

This was a really fun blog post to write.  If you liked it, please let me know down in the comments. Maybe I’ll do another one of these in a few months.

Listen to Teacher Entrepreneurs Podcast

As always, I’m Rich and until next time.

My YouTube Studio Equipment:

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