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How Much Does YouTube Pay To Creators?

Find out how much these top creators make and learn which niche has over $21 RPM.
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How Much Does YouTube Pay
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How much does YouTube pay? It all depends on your niche, video length, views and whether the creator has sponsorships or other income streams.

Still, research shows that the average YouTuber makes about $60,000 a year. Many creators make more than that. How much more? Let’s look at some of the top creators and how to get started with monetization.

How Much Does YouTube Pay?

Earnings from YouTube depend on the channel’s RPM, or Revenue Per Mille. That’s the rate that YouTubers are paid per 1,000 views.

RPMs can range from $0.50-$100+, depending on the niche and many other factors.

Income for YouTubers can vary from one month to the next. Those who continue posting new content and building their audience typically see their income increase over time. 

The most consistent form of income from YouTube is ads, but YouTubers can also make money from:

  • Memberships
  • Supers
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate marketing

How Much Does YouTube Pay Top Creators?

Now that you have an idea of how monetization works on YouTube, you may be wondering how much some of the top creators make. Many creators in a variety of niches and with various audience sizes share their income reports from YouTube. Let’s look at how much they make.

1. Anna Wagner Carroll (Homesteading)

Anna Wagner Carroll has a small YouTube channel on homesteading with just a little over 5,000 subscribers. In a recent video, she revealed how much her channel made from AdSense income alone. 

She shares her earnings from a few different months of the year, but in May 2023, here’s what her earnings looked like:

  • YouTube earnings – $161.38 / $4.76 RPM

Those earnings were for 33,800 views, and at the time, she had 3,200 watch hours. YouTube was the only source of Anna’s earnings, but you can see that even with a small channel and a small number of views, you can still earn money on YouTube.

2. Personal Finance with Leila (Personal Finance)

Personal Finance with Leila shares a detailed breakdown of her earnings from YouTube and other sources. She has a relatively small channel (a little over 21K subscribers), but her income is a testament to how profitable the finance niche can be for YouTubers.

Her earnings for March 2023 are:

  • YouTube earnings – $1,403.43
  • Affiliate/Sponsorships – $1,624.19
  • Etsy – $296.49
  • Coaching – $50
  • Teachable – $38.37
  • Mediavine – $320.79
  • Buy Me a Coffee/Support – $688.26

3. Minimoo Illustration (Art)

Minimoo Illustration is in the art niche, which is easily overlooked when talking about YouTube niches. But her earnings, which she breaks down in her Q1 2023 Earnings video, are pretty impressive. Minimoo Illustration has a little over 100K subscribers.

It’s important to note that all of her earnings are in AUD.

  • YouTube earnings – $13,641
  • Affiliate – $105
  • Online shops – $4,493
  • Commissions – $8,120
  • Patreon – $9,003

4. Ryan Maya (Cooking & Finance)

Ryan Maya has two YouTube channels: Ryan Maya (which talks about finance) and Raya Maya Cooks (which talks about cooking). He shares his income report for both of these channels, and you may be surprised to learn that his cooking channel makes more money than his finance channel.

Here’s how much he earns on each channel just on YouTube alone for the year 2022:

Ryan Maya

  • YouTube earnings – $7,517.22

Ryan Maya Cooks

  • YouTube earnings – $14,755.71

5. According to Nicole (Finance)

According to Nicole has about 40K subscribers, and she’s in the finance/minimalist lifestyle niche. In her income report video, she shared her income for the first six months of 2023.

Keep in mind that her earnings are for YouTube ads alone. She doesn’t divulge any sponsorship or affiliate earnings, which means her income is probably a lot higher.

  • YouTube earnings – $10,781.49

6. Start Your Online Business with Kelly Anne Smith (Business)

Start Your Online Business with Kelly Anne Smith is quite a long YouTube channel name, but that doesn’t stop her from earning a lot of money each month from YouTube.

She shared her earnings for January-April 2023 in a recent video. Here’s the breakdown:

  • YouTube earnings – $3,424.08
  • Affiliate marketing – $8,195.66
  • Digital products – $754.15
  • Blog ad revenue – $175.72
  • Courses – $2,895.24
  • Memberships – $197.24
  • Coaching – $320.08
  • Instagram – $265.05
  • Freelancing – $2,250
  • Sponsorships – $250

7. Soil and Margaritas (Gardening)

Soil and Margaritas is a gardening YouTube channel with a modest following (about 26K subscribers). In a Q&A video, this YouTuber shared her income for 2022 from YouTube.

  • YouTube earnings – $8,137.50

8. Project Influencers (Crypto)

Project Influencers is a small crypto channel with less than 10K subscribers, but this YouTuber’s income video report shows you just how much you can make even in the early stages of growing a channel.

Here’s the channel’s earnings for eight months:

  • YouTube earnings – $4,128.73 / $7.57 RPM

9. Strat Gaming Guides (Gaming)

Strat Gaming Guide is a well-established channel with over 100K subscribers. Gaming is not known to be a profitable niche on YouTube, but this channel is an exception. Sure, there are other channels that earn more, but the earnings this YouTuber shared in a recent income video were pretty impressive.

Here’s what this channel earned just from YouTube for the first five months of the year:

  • YouTube earnings – $29,437.13 / $2.47RPM

Strat Gaming breaks down the channel’s YouTube earnings even further:

  • Ads – $28,515.84
  • Memberships – $481.93
  • Supers – $435.13
  • Shorts Feed ads – $4.23

Ads are the clear winner here for earnings, but memberships and supers can still generate a decent amount of income for a gaming YouTuber.

10. Rachel Gulotta Fitness (Fitness)

Rachel’s husband dives into his wife’s fitness channel, and he was so excited that she surpassed their main channel. As he states, people will watch fitness videos over and over again.

  • YouTube earnings – $145,631 / $2.40RPM / $6.92 playback CPM

One thing to note is that the figures above are skewed because during the initial channel monetization, the algorithm is figuring everything out and RPM is lower. RPM rose to $2.66 and playback CPM rose to $7.13.

In the most recent 28-day period, her channel made $3,172.83. She does make every video at least 8 minutes long so that she can add mid-rolls.

How did Rachel grow her channel? Consistency. She posted three times per week to gain her initial 44,000 followers.

11. Shelby Church (Tech/Lifestyle)

Shelby has 1.8 million subscribers and posts income reports annually to help others learn how much YouTube pays her and what they can potentially earn on the platform. 

Here’s what she made:

  • YouTube earnings – $145,631 / $9.72RPM / $24.59 playback CPM

In total, she had 15 million views and in April, she earned $16,579.13. Her main channel earned her $10,000 – $16,000 per month. Unfortunately, she doesn’t divulge any of her other earnings, but on her vlog channel, which is just her side gig, she made over $40,000 last year.

12. Silicon Valley Girl (Business & Making Money)

Silicon Valley Girl has three channels with over 7 million total subs, so she knows how to gain traction on YouTube and make a ton of money. She spent a lot of her time creating Shorts to grow her channel, but like most people, she didn’t earn much from them.

She shares her revenue a little differently, so let’s break it down:

  • Silicon Valley Girl – $47,173 / $8.07RPM
  • Marina Mogilko- $50,298 / $3RPM
  • Linguamarina – $139,760 / $1.65RPM

One thing to note is that Linguamarina has 10+ times more subs than each of the other two channels, yet it doesn’t earn much. Why? Traffic from countries where her channel is popular doesn’t pay much compared to other countries.

She does not show other income streams in her report, which is too bad because she is likely monetizing using multiple sources.

13. Joshua Mayo (Finance)

Joshua Mayo shares his insane first year on YouTube with his audience, and he’s cracked the algorithm and had some serious traction. He focuses on finance and investing, so it’s a very profitable niche to remain in.

He has three main sources of income:

  • YouTube earnings – $362,584.88 / $21.20 RPM / $44.42 playback CPM
  • Sponsorships – $105,234.59
  • Affiliate marketing- $146,141.21

Joshua’s sponsorship figures are “low” because he didn’t start accepting them until April. In total, he earned $613,960.

14. Ali Abdaal (Productivity)

Ali Abdaal is very honest with his income report, and he’s an inspiration to all YouTubers because he’s making a ton of money. Ali is an expert on productivity and has dived so deep into the topic that he’s probably the leading authority on it.

Over 4 million people subscribe to his channel and are responsible for this insane revenue from his income streams:

  • YouTube earnings – $653,299 / $5.07 RPM / $13.91 playback CPM
  • Amazon Associates – $44,163
  • Affiliate marketing – $235,665
  • Email newsletter – $97,739
  • IG / TikTok- $37,061
  • Sponsorships – $598,744
  • Podcast AdSense + Brand Deals- $153,461
  • Merch – $63,603
  • Digital products – $462
  • SkillShare – $778,131
  • Cohort courses – $1,759,238

Ali is a unicorn in the industry and made $4,600,593 with $2,527,356 in costs.

Note: RPM and CPM are based on the lifetime of the channel. Ali does show that the RPMs did rise toward the end of the year to $8+.

15. Cathrin Manning (Pregnancy & Home Improvement)

Cathrin Manning’s 2022 income report shows how much she earned from 4 million views. Her niche is – odd. She focuses primarily on home renovations, but when she got pregnant, a lot of videos centered around the pregnancy niche.

Luckily for Cathrin, she has a devout following that allows her to enjoy revenue from six major income streams:

  • YouTube earnings – $64,464.08 / $15.22RPM / $29.66 playback CPM
  • Advising and consulting – $1,000
  • Affiliate marketing – $94,478.70
  • Digital Products – $5,332.51
  • Merch – $2,945.07 (minus $2,105.26 fees)
  • Sponsorships – $132,820.12

Cathrin made over $298,900 in 2022 from all of her income streams combined.

How Does YouTube Compare To Other Platforms When It Comes to Earnings?

YouTube is one of the most profitable platforms – period. Epidemic Sound, a platform that offers royalty-free music for videos, researched the top 1,500 monetizing creators and found that YouTube came in second for creator earnings. 

For creators who earn $200,000 per year, YouTube is their primary source of income.

But how much will you earn from YouTube? That depends on several factors.

Factors that Affect YouTube Income

YouTube income will based on your RPM – which also depends on many factors, including:

  • Video Length: Longer videos tend to generate more ad revenue. Videos must be at least 8 minutes long for mid-rolls.
  • Niche: Certain niches have higher RPMs than others. For example, finance, business and technology tend to be the most profitable niches. RPMs can range from $10-$15.
  • Consistency and Frequency: YouTubers who post often and consistently will generally have a higher RPM because they have a more engaged audience.
  • Viewer Engagement: If your channel has a high watch time, you’ll attract the best advertisers. If viewers are watching your videos all the way through, they’re likely to watch the ads on your videos, too. An engaged audience is valuable to advertisers.
  • Seasonality: RPMs tend to follow seasonal trends. Advertising spend tends to increase during the holiday season and special events, which leads to higher RPMs.
  • Audience Demographics: The location and demographics (age, gender, etc.) will also affect your income. Advertisers will pay more to reach viewers in certain age groups and locations.
  • Ad Engagement: Channels with higher ad engagement will also generate more income. Advertisers want viewers to click on their ads and interact with their brand – and they’re willing to pay for that engagement.

How To Start Monetizing Your YouTube Channel

At this point, you have a good idea of how much YouTubers make and which factors affect their earnings. But how do you get started with monetization on your own channel?

Most YouTubers start their monetization journey with the YouTube Partner Program.

What is the YouTube Partner Program?

The YouTube Partner Program gives creators access to monetization features on their channels. Primarily, it allows you to generate income from ads.

In order to qualify for the program, you must meet certain requirements. Your content must follow community guidelines and be advertiser-friendly. 

What are the Requirements To Monetize Shorts and Videos?

Requirements To Monetize Shorts and Videos

YouTube states that creators can start monetizing videos and shorts once they meet the following requirements:

  • Have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over the last 12 months
  • Have at least 1,000 subscribers and 10 million valid Shorts views within the last 90 days

How To Enable YouTube Monetization: A Step-by-Step Guide

Once your account meets YouTube’s requirements for their Partner Program, you can sign up by following the steps below:

  • Open the YouTube Studio app or navigate to YouTube Studio on Desktop.
  • Click Earn.
  • Select Apply.
  • Click Start and then accept the program’s base terms.
  • Click Start to open an AdSense account or connect an existing one.

YouTube will then review your application. As long as your videos follow their policies, you should be approved.

Beyond Ads: Other Ways To Earn Money on YouTube

RPMs and CPMs aren’t the only way to earn money on YouTube. Your subscribers have immense value and as you gain their trust, you can earn money through the platform in many different ways:

Earning More Directly From YouTube

YouTube ads will pay partners, but AdSense isn’t the only way you can make money from the platform. You can earn money using a few other key methods:

  • YouTube Premium will pay you a cut of the revenue from people who watch your videos and are on the Premium subscription.
  • Channel memberships offer your subscribers special perks for a monthly payment. You’ll want to cater to these subs because they can earn you great money.
  • Super chat and stickers allow fans to use special images or highlight their text when you’re live streaming.
  • Shopping may be eligible for you and allows you to promote products from other creator stores or even your own. You’ll earn a commission for each sale that’s made.
  • Super Thanks is a way for your subscribers to say “Thanks” and earn you some money along the way.

YouTube wants to keep creators on the platform while earning them good money in the process. You can make more than a full-time income on the platform, but you’ll be putting all of your eggs in one basket.

Diversification is key to growing a true business off of YouTube.

Earning More From Your YouTube Subscribers

Your audience trusts you and your opinion. We’ve seen quite a few ways people are making more from their audience, including:

  • Sponsorships with brands willing to pay you for recommending their products or services.
  • Affiliate marketing opportunities where businesses will pay you a commission when someone you recommend buys their product or service.
  • Courses that you create and promote.
  • Merchandise that you sell via a third party, such as Printify.
  • Patreon subscriptions that people pay per month.
  • Consulting in your niche.
  • Services that you can sell to others.

If you make a business out of your channel and the people who subscribe to you, you’ll have multiple income streams that generate income for you every day.

RPM Rates By Niche

Are you looking to make the most money possible from YouTube? You’ll want to be in the finance, investing, or business niches. However, every niche has its perks, and you should create content that you actually have fun creating.

Below are nine niches that are popular, have a massive audience and pay very well.

Niche RPM Rate
Business $8.07
Crypto $7.57
Finance $21.20
Fitness $2.4 – $3
Food $1 – $2
Gaming $0.50-$5
Lifestyle / Fashion $9.72
Home Improvement $4.76 – $15.22
Technology $9.72

Tips to Skyrocket Your YouTube Earnings

  • Focus on creating longer, high-quality videos to get more opportunities for ad placement
  • Choose a niche that naturally has higher RPMs
  • Focus on creating content for viewers in regions that have higher RPMs, such as Germany, Australia, Canada or the United Arab Emirates
  • Take advantage of seasonal spending by posting more content during Q4
  • Stay active – YouTube may turn off monetization for channels that haven’t been active in six months or more

Does YouTube Pay for Subscribers?

No. YouTube will monetize your account after you meet the requirements and have 1,000+ subscribers. However, you’re not paid for your subscribers – only by views. 

How Much Does YouTube Pay for 1 Million Views?

$500 – $21,000+. Someone like Joshua Mayo has a $21+ RPM, meaning he would earn $21,000 or more. Your niche will determine how much you earn from a million views. Add in other sources of income, and this figure can easily be three times higher.

What Counts as a YouTube View?

Real views last for 30 seconds or more. If someone watches your video for 15 seconds, it will not count toward your total views. Bots can easily inflate views, but by requiring a longer watch time, YouTube can help prevent fraud.

What Can You Do to Increase View Time?

If your videos are being clicked off of quickly, you have a problem.

  • You are losing out on subscribers who may never come back to your channel.
  • YouTube’s algorithm will start looking negatively on your channel and recommend it less.

Your video’s first 15 seconds need to hook viewers in. One trick is to show the end result of the video and then ask something intriguing, such as, “How did I go from this to THIS?” And then, you can begin telling the story of how you reached the end result.


It’s intriguing and lets people know what the video is all about. Study videos from the top YouTubers and learn how they use hooks. Throughout your video, you’ll need to change angles, add sounds and purposely edit the video to keep the viewer hooked. 

Why Does Everyone Focus on 1,000 YouTube Views?

Because of RPMs. Revenue per Millie is one of the most exciting metrics to follow since it relates to your revenue. If your RPM is $5 and you want to make $10, then you know you’ll need 2,000 total views.

Growing a YouTube channel comes with a world of opportunities. YouTube can be the start of your business, allowing you to make money from the platform and build your network. The connections that you make and the impact on your viewers will allow you to cross-sell to them with:

  • Courses
  • Merch
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate programs

Your earnings will start off slow, but if the examples above are any consolation, you’ll be making great money off your channel in no time. Post regularly, remain consistent and continue learning how to adapt your videos to maintain engagement and appease YouTube’s algorithm.

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One Response

  1. I am so happy 😁 to see this because soon I want to start a YouTube channel and make earnings for the family so I want to be a gamer so I really appreciate THANKS AND GOD BLESS YOU👌YOU Rock

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