How much money my YouTube channel made in one year10 min read
I have earned more money than I ever thought I would earn from YouTube in the past year.
When I began YouTube one year ago, I thought, “ok, I will probably be earning dollars per video, and only when my videos start averaging at around 1,000 views. So, maybe, if I am lucky, I will be earning $100 a month from something I do for fun. Wouldn’t that be great? Earning $100 a month for making fun videos on the internet?”
Earning real money, like enough money to quit your job, kinda money sounded impossible to me. “You can’t make that much money just putting Youtube videos on the internet (or so I thought).
That is one of the main reasons I am making this post. I saw one or two videos of people making money on Youtube, and I was amazed. They inspired me to start making videos. They showed me this Youtube thing could be a very real thing.
In this post, I’ll tell you exactly how much I earned after my first year on YouTube.
How Much I Earn
So as of writing this, I have 186,007 subscribers on YouTube and have been monetized for eight months. My first paycheck for December was $240.25.
That’s insane! In December, I only had around 2,000 subscribers. It took me five months of uploading a video every week to hit 1,000 subscribers. It took me another month to hit 2,000 subs. I wasn’t making 10$ a month. I was making $10 a day.
Now, this alone was crazy to me. I knew nothing about YouTube Adsense or monetization, and I was paying for lunch every day with my videos.
Now, I kept earning $100 a month for a while and crept my way to 3,000 subscribers. Then, it happened, it finally happened, one of my videos blew up.
When, before, I was getting about 1,000 views a day. This video, at a peak, had my channel receiving 250k views a day. 10k views in one day, 50k views in one day (more than my entire channel had received up to that point), 100k views in one day, 250k views in one day!!! I remember staring at the analytics chart as that video climbed higher and higher.
It took me five days to go from 3k subscribers to 10k subscribers. Here is where I had my first lesson on monetization and making money from YouTube AdSense.
Subscribers don’t matter. Views matter. One day in February, I earned more money in one day from YouTube AdSense than I had my previous 6 months on Youtube.
Now, things got crazier from there. In the next 2 months, I went from 10k to 100k subscribers, and I had my first video ever hit 1 million subscribers. Sponsors, Youtubers I admired, high school classmates I never talked to began reaching out to me. It really was crazy. It was crazy cool.
Recently, I had my second video ever break 1 million views. People began watching my other videos. I remember I saw one comment, “I’m binge-watching Zach’s stuff and loving it!” and I thought, this is so cool! I’ve had that same thought, made that same comment on other people’s channels, and now it’s me. This really is dream-worthy stuff.
After that, my channel continued to grow, not as crazily fast, but it still seemed to shoot up. So what happened with that growth? Did it equate to more money from YouTube?
Ok, the question, why you all clicked on this. How much money have I made in my first year on Youtube? This is the money I made just from AdSense, just from the ads on the videos.
In my first year on Youtube, I made $25,733 from Adsense.
That is absolutely insane to me. If you told COVID-summer-Zach that he would have made 25k just from posting videos for the next year, he wouldn’t have believed you.
Now, legally, I am not allowed to disclose how much sponsors pay me. I’ve had four sponsors so far, and let’s say, for each sponsor deal, I was at an average of 130k subscribers.
Sponsorships take more work than Adsense. For sponsorships, I have to work with companies, negotiate a price, decide on specifics, and develop a short advertisement. It seems, however, there is more money to be made with sponsorships.
However, I am cautious with taking sponsorships. I only work with companies that I have experience with. I only work with companies that use products I actually like and use. Keeping the trust with you, the readers, and the people who made me is vitally important. So, I’ve only worked with four so far.
Again, I can’t legally disclose how much these sponsors have paid me.
But, googling “sponsorship price calculator” and placing 130,000 subscribers says someone with my sponsorship amount would earn about $2,600 per video. Now multiply that by four, and that’s about $10,000. So, someone with 130k subscribers, after posting four sponsorships, would have earned about $10,000.
I work with affiliates such as amazon, epidemic sound, Convertkit, and WP engine, from which I have earned about $5,000 total.
The way affiliates work is I place a link on my website or under one of my videos (again, I only link something I like and use). Then, every time someone clicks my link and purchases something, I receive a small commission.
Amazon offers a tiny amount, maybe 1-3%, whereas other affiliates, such as WP engine, offer as much as 40%. However, many more people buy things on Amazon, and very few buy things on the WP engine.
Amazon, especially from my resources page, is the greatest source of my affiliate income.
The Total – How much money I’ve earned in the past year on the Internet (about).
Ok, adding this all up, how much did I earn this year from the internet?
- Adsense – $25,000
- Sponsorships ~ $10,000
- Affiliates – $5,000
So, overall, from YouTube and the internet, I have earned $40,000 in the past year.
That is really crazy. Consider also that I’ve only been earning money from the internet for the past 7 months. Before that, I was not monetized on YouTube, and I was making maybe a couple of dollars a month from affiliates.
If you want to see how much I make weekly from all revenue sources, subscribe to my Newsletter here, where I report my weekly earnings every Sunday.
My Earning Per Video
Now my most viewed video, Why I’m able to study 70+ hours a week and not burn out (how to stay efficient), which has 1.8m views, has earned me about $4,600.
My second top-earning video, How I Take 0 Notes in Medical School, which has 1.1m views, has earned about $3,100.
My worst-performing video, $800 vs. $8,000 YouTube setup, which has 6.4k views, has earned me about $10. Clearly, views matter.
Interestingly, my running video has earned nearly as much money as my most viewed video, with half of the views (1.8m views vs. 900k views).
In general, however, it seems more views = more $. As of now, I am averaging about $100 a day just from YouTube Adsense.
Do I think about Adsense when I am planning my videos? No, no, I don’t. Do I think about which videos will likely get more views when I am planning my videos? Yes, yes, I do. Am I ever correct in predicting which videos will do well and which won’t do well? No, usually, I am not. People click on videos, and videos go viral for all kinds of random reasons. I try to predict the internet, but it’s not easy.
My first “popular” video had the same amount of viewership as my other videos in the first five days, then, almost randomly, it exploded.So, in reality, I make videos that I think will be fun to make and videos that I think others will find useful. Those are my main two criteria at the moment.
I will be breaking down the exact breakdown of why individual videos get more money than others in another video.
Unfortunately, my 40k isn’t going to straight into a Tesla (even though I want one). A large majority of it, most of it, in fact, has gone back into my content, back into the channel. I have an LLC, so, luckily, I am not paying these expenses after taxes. They are before taxes. (side note, learning about the legalities around starting a business is a really cool side-effect of actually making money on the internet). I feel like the best investment with this money is the thing that made that money in the first place—the channel; me.
New cameras, lighting, website upgrades, software, drones, props, hiring evil apple actors. What is the best investment I can make? Well, I think, right now, it’s me. When I started this channel, I had saved up $3,000 in my entire life. I put that all into the channel. All of that into me. What is a better investment there than yourself?*
*I want to note that this was not reckless spending. I had my living expenses sorted out. I had school payments figured out. This was just the “extra” money that I had been saving since I was 10-years-old.
I want to say, as a final point, all of this is really cool, and I want to be in this YouTube, this internet game, for the long run. Making money on here is a side effect, albeit a really frickin’ cool side effect. It’s a side effect that lets me stay in the game longer and do cooler things on YouTube.
If I came to YouTube as a way to make money, it would be no fun. I usually make videos for one of two reasons: I find the information or the content around the video interesting or, two, because I think it will help others. If it does both? Bingo!
The best way to make money on the internet is to make good content I care about and make that content consistently. That’s it. That’s the magic recipe.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this was helpful!
Sean James · October 21, 2022 at 5:43 pm
I’ve been doing YouTube for 10 years but in the past few years have become lost. I’ve decided to take a two month break over Christmas to have some time out and to rethink my strategy for 2023. Recently found your YouTube channel and website which is helping lots. Thank you.
Zach · November 3, 2022 at 7:12 am
Thanks man, good luck! Keep uploading and adapting, take a look at other people’s videos in your niche that do well, specifically their titles and thumbnails, and you will see growth (it’s what I do).