How to make money on YouTube in 2020 (and how much I earn)

okay so if you spend any amount of time on youtube you've possibly wondered at some point how much money do these youtubers actually make is it related to how many views or how many subscribers are all these different factors so in this episode of over sharing i'm gonna break down exactly how much money i make from youtube and i'll be explaining how this whole thing works so that if you want to get into it you can or if you're just really curious you can indulge your curiosity we'll start by talking about the logistics of how people actually earn money on youtube and how it works and then we'll talk about the three main factors that affect how much an individual earns on youtube and then we'll go under the hood and i'll be exposing all of my analytics for the last three years so you can see how much money i really make so to start making money on youtube you first have to join the youtube partners program which means these days you need to have at least a thousand subscribers and 4 000 hours of total watch time on youtube so you can't start monetizing the instant you turn on your channel once you've hit those landmarks then you can apply for the program and if you're approved for it you can then turn on ads on your videos this is optional but when you turn on ads then people will probably usually see a five-second ad before the video and might see some mid-roll ads during the video and possibly a five-second ad after the video and the idea is that youtube sells these ad slots to advertisers through their google ads program so advertisers can then pay to show their ads on different types of content and they might want to do it based on a whole lot of different factors now the problem is that when you are very small on youtube you actually aren't really earning very much money at all and i i recognize this so for me when i started my youtube channel in like june 2017 i made 77 videos before i turned on monetization i think i turned on monetization around about april 2018 because to my mind making five or ten dollars a month from youtube was just not worth the uh you know annoyance for the audience in watching the ads but if that number was going to be 500 a month at that point it would be worth uh you know subjecting the audience to the annoyingness of ads because it was making me a significant amount of money and so for example from june 2017 up until april 2018 i had 340 000 views um 8.3 000 subscribers and i made one pound 96 in total across that but then when i turned on monetization for the next six months from april 2018 to september 2018 in total i made 6 106 pounds and 42p so that's the logistics out of the way let's now talk about the three factors that affect how much money you own on youtube and the most important of those is actually watch time so watch time is quite important both from a revenue perspective and also from a youtube algorithm perspective so from a revenue perspective it's important because the longer people are watching your videos the more opportunity they have to see ads but from a youtube algorithm perspective watch time is interesting because although no one quite knows exactly how the youtube algorithm works uh the youtube creator team have hinted like a lot of it is based on watch time like if your videos are making people watch for longer and also stay on youtube as a platform for longer then your videos are more likely to be recommended by the algorithm and so that's partly why these audience retention graphs that we see in our youtube studio these are so important and if we look at like my four previous videos you can see the audience retention graphs are really not very good like for most of these videos even for the ones that i think are pretty good we're dropping off to about like maybe only one in four or one in five people are actually watching all the way through to the end of the video and you can see there's a significant decline right at the start usually this is because people click on a video within five seconds they realize it can't be can't be bothered to watch the video so they go away from it so you get this precipitous decline and then you get a general decline as you go through the video which just shows that you know there's nothing in particular that's making people click away from it it's just that people are slowly attritioning over time in fact some people say that the more viral a video gets the less your audience retention is going to be good like for example in one of my recent videos called how i typed really fast which amazingly went viral loads of people watching that video are people who don't know who i am they're not subscribed to my channel therefore they're a lot less likely to watch 17 minutes of me spouting on about something or another which is why the audience retention graphs for that particular video looks so abysmal even though that video had a lot of views let's have a look at some of my more popular videos and we can see how watch time relates to revenue so for example if we compare the video of my productivity desk setup with uh the video of which ipad should you buy the desk setup video has made about 1700 pounds with 1.4 million views and the ipad video has made 2 246 pounds with 1.3 million views so that's kind of weird like the ipad video has made more money even though it has fewer views but if we look at the watch time the desk setup only has 75 000 hours which is quite a lot but the ipad video has 124 000 hours so it's about a 50 increase but then on top of that we also have an extra feature which is mid-roll ads this was something that google and youtube introduced a few years ago and that meant that on any video above 10 minutes you could have mid-roll ads so sometimes those are ads that are you know those little like auction like banner ads in that appear in the middle of video at other times they're more annoying like five-second ads that interrupt your video [Music] that you have to skip and then you can watch the rest of the video but crucially this only applies to videos that were over 10 minutes long and so a lot of youtubers realized this and started kind of artificially inflating the length of their videos to make it more than 10 minutes for example if we take a look at my youtuber friend and colleague shelby church she's done a video where she breaks down how much money she makes off youtube and she looks at the difference between a 9 minute and a 10 minute video and she found that her videos that are over 10 minutes earn over three times as much revenue as the videos that are under 10 minutes so it makes such a big change which is what kind of incentivizes youtubers to have longer videos just so they can get these mid-roll ads in and actually recently in the last couple of months youtube has made a change whereby you now only need to be eight minutes long before you can start adding mid-roll ads so i suspect people are going to be less keen to inflate above 10 minutes and now a little bit more keen to inflate above eight minutes so the second thing that determines how much money you're gonna make is the type of content and that's what dictates the cpm or cost per meal which is latin for like cost per thousand views or something like that and the cpm changes on a lot of things but mostly it's based on how much advertisers are willing to pay to target a certain type of video and so depending on the topic you would get different rates so let's say i make a video about i don't know like a fantasy books that i like the sorts of companies that are advertising in those videos probably don't have a lot of money they're probably book publishing companies stuff like that whereas if you were to make a video about finance or real estate or credit cards the companies that advertise on those sorts of videos have loads of money to burn and so your cpm rates are going to be higher so in general for most youtubers the cpm is around three to seven dollars per thousand views but if you pick the right sort of video topic it can go up to about 30 or 40 dollars per thousand views which is absolutely huge for example most of my videos are in the three to seven pounds range but if we look at shelby church's video where she talks about how to make money using amazon's fba fulfilled by amazon program that's a prime video for advertisers to target because it's a video about making money online and therefore loads of people who have courses about making money online are going to target that particular audience and we can see from her channel that she says her playback-based cpm was 35.60 which is absolutely enormous and so she's making more than 10 times as much money as she would be making on a different kind of topic video just purely based on the choice of topic unfortunately the cpm doesn't actually go to the creator youtube tends to take a 45 cut of cpms and so if your cpm is 10 you're actually only going to get 6.50 off that amount um and that leads to a new metric that they've recently introduced called rpm which is revenue per meal and that is a more accurate idea of how much money you as the creator are taking home from these videos the third major thing that influences how much money we make on videos is the role of sponsors now essentially if a video is sponsored then at some point during the video the creator is going to make some kind of spiel so for example i might say that if you want to start your own journey of making money online one of the best ways of doing that is by learning how to code to learn how to code you should start by teaching yourself html and css and then you should learn a server-side language like python and actually the best way to learn python is by following an online course over at brilliant who are very kindly sponsoring this video if you don't know brilliant is an amazing platform with online courses for maths science and computer science and their introduction to python and advanced python series is actually a really good interactive fun way of learning how to code in python and then once you learn how to code in python you can basically build anything from you know a simple website all the way through to machine learning algorithms you know it's one of the most popular programming languages in the world and brilliant is a great place to learn that they've also got fantastic courses on maths and science they've recently got one about uncertainty which is all about kind of navigating probability in an uncertain world so if that sums up your street you should definitely head over to forward slash ali and the first 200 people to click that link will get 20 of the annual premium subscription so thank you brilliant for sponsoring this video that's an example of a sponsored message and so brilliant are going to pay me a certain amount of money for plugging that within my video and that massively changes how much money i'm gonna be making from this video a few things kind of complicated so firstly uh most contracts with sponsors say that you're not allowed to say how much money you're making from them so i'm not allowed to tell you how much money brilliant have paid me to do that particular sponsored plug but with some channels like casey neistat for example he says he makes between ten thousand and a hundred thousand dollars per video as in like more than a hundred thousand dollars even though he and he's absolutely huge he's a lot bigger than i am uh but it just kind of gives you an idea of the numbers that get thrown around and in fact a lot of huge youtubers make more than a hundred thousand dollars per sponsored video which is just insane so we've talked about the different factors that influence how much money youtubers make let me now take you inside my youtube studio uh my youtube studio app thingy and i'll show you how much money i've been making from each of the videos and we'll talk about that a little bit more so this is the lifetime revenue of my youtube channel since about june 2017 when i first started uploading videos and so we can see that for the first absolutely ages i'm making sometimes one penny per day but basically i'm not making anything until april 2018 i think it was 17th april i remember this day when i turned on monetization and so now i'm going from making absolutely nothing per day to making you know 11 pounds 8 pounds 9 pounds 16 pounds so immediately you know having already been a youtuber for like nine months at this point and having made 77 videos already i'm now making sort of between 5 and 15 pounds a day off of youtube ads which at the time was was pretty great like i was already feeling like i was winning at life because that pays for a takeaway every single day if i want to and that just felt like you know it kind of felt like cheating that i could basically eat for free now that i have a youtube channel which is quite nice so we can we can see in may 2018 16 pound 72 and then i know kind of dropping down to 3 pounds 3.68 10 pounds and then we start in june 2018 i think this was when i made my ipad video yeah this was a special video how to take notes on my ipad at medical school but as soon as that video comes out suddenly my revenue skyrockets from five pound 91 and four pound 69 a day all the way up to sometimes 60 pounds a day and 40 pounds a day and 70 pounds a day and again this really felt like cheating at the time because i can't believe i'm making this much money on youtube i'm making like 50 pounds a day that was like 1500 quid a month and that just felt again like this is amazing i'm making real actual money from youtube it's not just a few pennies here and there this is 1500 pounds a month this is actually a large amount of money over time we can see like it doesn't really change much for the next like year so for around 12 months after that i was sort of hovering between the you know making a few dozen pounds a day off of youtube ads which was still pretty good but then like over time we can see that the graph really starts to increase so in throughout 2019 the rate bumps up a bit so some days i'm making over 100 pounds a day which is again absolutely insane and then you know we've got a 97 88 95 100 100 all the way through to september 2019.

And then what's really cool about this graph is just how much of an exponential rise it's been over the last six months basically since lockdown started so i think kind of locked down was pretty good for me in the youtube channel because now all of a sudden loads more people are watching sitting down and watching videos and now we can see that these days you know for example friday the 3rd of july 578 pounds in a single day that's pretty good sunday 23rd of august 2020 711 pounds in a day if you told me a couple of years ago i was going to make 700 quid in a day from youtube ads i would literally have had a stroke and i would have thought ah go home this is not and this is not gonna happen it's a very much like an a lot sort of slow and steady slow and steady and then all of a sudden suddenly it starts to grow and that's only really happened in the last six months it's one of those weird things whereby it'll it it almost feels like like playing a video game where you your character starts off kind of level one and you can't kill anything and then you can start kind of killing some stuff but then at some point you get to kind of what feels like the end game where your character starts getting a lot more powerful and suddenly you can just kind of do all these things that you could have done before and that's kind of what it feels like on the sort of exponential growth of youtube revenue and if we kind of put this down to the last 28 days we see yeah estimated revenue in the last 28 days 11 618 pounds whereas estimated revenue of the lifetime was about 90 000.

So in the last one month i've made about 10 11 12 revenue compared to the last like three years which is which is pretty good going and we can see here that the cpm the cost per meal is 5.50 but the actual revenue per meal is only one pound 68 and that's because loads of people have ad block it's because youtube takes a cut and all these different factors so yeah last 28 days 11 618 pounds this is pretty good uh for context my junior doctor salary was about 3000 pounds a month like pre-tax this is also pre-tax so this is three and a bit times more than my monthly doctor salary if you want to see how much money i've made from other sources uh that video how much money i make in a week as a doctor and youtuber will be linked in a little playlist over there along with a couple of other videos about how to make money online and how you can get started on this journey of passive income thank you for watching and i'll see you in the next video bye

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