You can earn money on YouTube if you do it right. Here’s how much you can earn, as well as tips on how to get going.

How much money can you make as a YouTuber and how to get started

With COVID-19 impacting businesses, more and more people are turning to secondary sources of income. From launching grocery delivery apps to starting blogs, there are many avenues that Indians are exploring. One tried and tested way of augmenting your income is by starting a YouTube channel. 

There are numerous examples of successful people who have built entire careers on YouTube and are generating six-figure incomes. You too can be one of them! But before we discuss how much money you can make, let’s first understand how YouTubers monetise the platform.

How do YouTubers earn money?

  • Advertisements: The biggest revenue generator for YouTubers is advertisements. You are paid for every 1000 video views. Forbes estimates that popular YouTubers in the US get paid US$5 for every 1000 views. By this calculation, a video that has a million views can earn its creator a cool US$5000!
  • Brand partnerships: Tying up with brands to promote their products in your videos is another cool way of making money. Most influencers use this method. For example, a makeup tutorial can tie up with Maybelline or MAC to promote their latest lipstick and get paid well for it.
  • Affiliate links: This is when a YouTuber shares their favourite products through videos and provides links in the description, thereby influencing fans to buy them. For every product bought through this link, the brand pays the YouTuber a commission.
  • Merchandise: Once a YouTuber has established their name/brand, they can also sell their own merchandise such as clothes, caps, bags, and other accessories. Not only does this bring in extra money, it also brings more popularity when fans flaunt such merchandise.

Related: How to become an Instagram influencer and make money 

How much money do YouTubers make?

Though YouTube is a great way of making money, it is not easy. There is a lot of hard work you will need to put in before seeing your first dollar. Industry reports reveal that a YouTuber in the US can make anywhere between US$3 to US$5 per 1000 ad views. This is much lower in India – it can be as little as US$0.10 per 1000 views. This is because the ad rates in India are much lower than in the US.

However, the India estimate is on the lower end of the spectrum. It does not mean Indian YouTubers do not make big money. Popular YouTubers such as Bhuvan Bam, Ashish Chanchlani, and Gaurav Chaudhary, who have over 10 million subscribers, make approximately US$10,000 to US$30,000 a month. These are staggering numbers!

To start getting paid by YouTube, you will need to reach a balance of US$100 or more from views. You will also need at least 1000 subscribers, reach 4000 valid view hours in the past year, and have an AdSense account. Finally, after you have all this in place, you will need to get reviewed and approved by YouTube.

Related: Here’s how to manage your money differently post the lockdown 

Tips to start a YouTube channel 

  • Find your niche: You need good content to get subscribers. There’s so much already available on the internet, so you need to stand out. Find a niche for yourself – something you are good at. It could be makeup tutorials, a cookery show, stand-up comedy, travelogues, gaming or product reviews, etc.
  • Invest in some decent gear: You will need a good video camera, microphones, lighting equipment, and a studio space to shoot quality videos. You don’t necessarily need to rent a place; just convert a nook in your house into a camera-ready space.
  • Learn how to edit videos well: The end result of the video has to be top-quality to attract subscribers and get them to come back for more. If you have the budget, you can hire professionals to do it. Or look for good video editors on freelance sites.
  • Create a schedule and post regularly: This way, your subscribers will know when to expect your next video. It is also a systematic way of populating your site and getting more views for each episode. Look at these 4 Ways to create additional sources of income.


How I did it

Praveen Nair

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Shubhra Banerjee

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