How to Become a YouTube Millionaire

Would you believe me if I said there are people making millions of dollars a year from making YouTube videos? Well, that’s precisely what’s happening.

I don’t have exact numbers, but I know it’s a lot. I mean YouTubers don’t go around flaunting how much they make (I don’t think they’re even allowed to do this). You wouldn’t ask your coworkers how much they make a year, would you? There are plenty of websites and YouTube videos/channels dedicated solely to guesstimating how much money different YouTubers make.

Let’s break this down.

  • Every time you click on a YouTube video to watch, you will be greeted with a preroll advertisement. You may get a skip after 5 seconds ad or maybe the dreaded 30 second ad with no skip option. YouTubers get paid a small amount of each view they get, because companies will to place ads before their videos.
  • You may have noticed your favorite YouTuber mentioning their favorite ever product or service. Companies will often sponsor videos where they give YouTubers x amount of money to mention their products/services. Top YouTubers can charge top rates, especially if each of their videos are getting millions of views.
    • I remember when a certain audiobook company first started sponsoring YouTubers. Everyone and their mother was making videos about the company and trying to slyly claim how much they loved to listen to audiobooks. Apparently everyone on YouTube gained an affinity for audiobooks…at the same time.
    • There are now FTC regulations for endorsements on YouTube. Basically, people have to be transparent about when they are being sponsored. I’ve noticed many UK YouTubers are putting “ad” in the title of their sponsored videos, so perhaps the brits are cracking down on these sponsored videos. You can read the comment section of any sponsored YouTube video and it’s a frenzy of opinions about sponsored content. The general consensus that I’ve noticed is that people are not keen on sponsored videos.
  • You may also notice that your favorite YouTuber has a slew of links of some of their “favorite products.” It has been common for YouTubers to have affiliate links. If viewers go to an affiliate link and purchase products, then the YouTubers get commission.

There is a lot of controversy over the amount of money YouTubers make and how they make it. If I was in the shoes of one of the most popular YouTube content creators, I would want to use my videos as a platform to talk about my favorite products, and I would love to get paid doing it. Just because they make their living from making videos on the Internet does not mean they should be gypped from opportunities to work with some great companies. I will admit that it does get annoying when one company seems to infiltrate all your favorite YouTubers’ videos and you are constantly hearing about the same product, but YouTube advertisements/sponsorships work.

Okay so you may have read up to this point and wondered why you read this much when all you wanted to know was how to become a millionaire from making YouTube videos. I am not a YouTuber and I’m definitely not a millionaire, but I have some tips to succeed on YouTube.

  • Make videos that are unique. In an online world where everyone seems to be making the same thing in slightly different variations, being different will get you noticed.
    • If you read my last blog post, you already know about my favorite YouTuber, Casey Neistat. Casey has a unique video style that made him popular. People often try to copy his style, but everyone knows a Casey Neistat copycat when they see one.
  • Niche/slightly strange videos may bring in the views.
    • There is a YouTube channel dedicated solely to cutting things open to see what’s inside and it has over 4 million subscribers. Like watching things in slow motion? Well apparently 8.8 million people do, because there’s a channel dedicated to that too.
  • Make high quality videos–both high quality content and production. There is nothing more frustrating than watching a video that looks like it was filmed with a potato. The YouTube standards have raised and now you need quality lighting and camerawork to have a successful channel. If you’re serious about making videos, consider investing in a nice camera and a lighting kit.
  • Make videos about things you’re passionate about. It will be a lot more interesting for you to make videos you’re interested in and it will be more enjoyable for people to watch.
    • Yes, I’m going to mention Casey Neistat again. Casey started out posting his short films on YouTube and eventually became a daily vlogger. He posted a few hundred daily vlogs (great vlogs!!!) before he quit. He didn’t quit YouTube, he quit daily vlogging. It became a monotonous task and he lost his passion for video making. His daily vlogs were averaging at least a million views a day aka he was definitely making a lot of money. He gave up the views and the money to focus on making better quality videos that show his passion for video.
  • Be yourself!!! This is so important; be your own person and don’t change yourself to get views. People can spot phonies from miles away and it will be obvious if you are putting on a front in your videos.

Lastly, do not do it for the money. This may seem contradictory to the title of this blog post, but it’s the most important point of the post.

Over the years, I have seen some of my favorite YouTubers go from living off of food stamps to living in mansions. Many of them worked full-time jobs and made videos as a hobby. Eventually, YouTube became so popular that it was viable for people to make YouTube videos as their full-time jobs. Yes, it is possible to become a YouTube millionaire, but focus on the passion rather than the paycheck.

To end this blog post, here is a video about making money on YouTube by the website’s most subscribed YouTuber. PewDiePie has 52.7 million subscribers, but that number has probably gone up by the time you’re reading this.

In the words of the man with over 14 billion (yes, billion) YouTube views: “Money is the topic that I purposely try to avoid for the five years that I’ve been making videos because I just I just feel like it’s not important to anyone and I just want to make entertaining videos.”

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