Earn money with youtube – this is how it works and how much you earn

Earn money with youtube - this is how it works and how much you earn

From Sarah Kubler Last updated 29. June 2018 24

Earn money with YouTube – but how? This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions about YouTube. In this article, we will therefore explain the different sources of income for influencers.

Many of the great YouTubers perform this activity full-time, earning good money and living an almost perfect life in the eyes of their fans. It’s not that easy to generate revenue from your YouTube channel. Many fail to realize that hard work must first be put into the channel to build a large viewership. Only then do the first euros start to flow and a lot of effort is still required.

In the following, we will explain the most important sources of income for influencers on YouTube and also try to answer the question of how much money you can earn on YouTube with them. However, this always depends on so many factors that we can really only give rough guide values.

Google AdWords video ads

To make money with YouTube the most important and probably the most straightforward source of income is the video ads from Google AdWords. Each channel with a playback time of over 4.000 hours in the last 12 months and 1.000 subscribers can request their inclusion in the YouTube Partner Program, after which they are free to place various ad formats in their videos.

Money is earned for Google AdWords ads every time they are shown to a viewer. For YouTubers, it is therefore advantageous to receive many views on their own videos – the number of subscribers does not play a role for the remuneration.

How much money can be earned with the YouTube/Google AdWords video ads thus depends primarily on how often the YouTuber’s videos are viewed. Depending on the topic of the video, the quality of the YouTube channel, and many other factors, the revenue per 1.000 views approximately between 1 and 5 euros. To finance your livelihood only with video ads, you have to get a lot of hits.

Product placements and promotional videos

At least as interesting and in many cases more profitable for YouTuber is the cooperation with companies. These pay influencers good money to include products or the brand in a video (product placement) or even make it the subject of an entire video (promotional video). However, it should be taken into account that YouTubers must have a certain reach in order for companies to approach them at all.

For YouTubers, the income from a brand cooperation is measured both by their own reach and the production costs, which must definitely be taken into account for an elaborate video. Negotiations are usually based on the thousand-contact price (CPM), which on the company side is the cost per 1.000 views describes.

There are hardly any standard values here, which is why YouTubers should always present a well-founded claim. How high this can turn out, many learn only with time, which is why tools such as ValU Provide great added value for YouTubers. They enable them to arrive at a realistic assessment of their own market value even without a great deal of prior knowledge.

How much YouTubers can ultimately earn from product placements and promotional videos depends on so many different factors that it’s almost impossible to give a ballpark figure. Depending on the size of the channel and many other factors, the prices for a cooperation video can range from a low three-digit to a six-digit amount.

Affiliate links

Another source of income, with which virtually all YouTuber earn money, are affiliate links. These referral links to products can be generated through easily accessible affiliate programs of various online stores and promise a commission if a fan visits the store through the own link and buys something.

Depending on the online store and product category, the amount of commission will vary. For brokered smartphone purchases, for example, Amazon pays one percent of the value of the goods, while for jewelry and watches a whole ten percent is possible. Therefore, it is no wonder that the income of a YouTuber through affiliate programs is difficult to quantify.

Roughly, however, it can be said that affiliate income is usually only a small part of the money earned and is a nice side income. Even large YouTube channels are unlikely to generate five-figure sums per month this way.


Apart from the revenue sources just listed, there are of course numerous other ways in which YouTubers can monetize their own videos. So of course they can earn money with YouTube.

For example, YouTube recently started offering selected channels the option of charging a monthly subscription fee on a voluntary basis from their own fans. In return, they receive exclusive videos, special community postings and a special marker in the comments.

Likewise, selling their own products – often merchandise – is a popular source of income for larger YouTubers. Depending on the quantity sold, high margins are possible, so that the proceeds from product sales can easily make up a double-digit percentage of the total revenue.

Conclusion about earning money with YouTube

In summary, it can be said that influencers can earn good money with their own channel. Even smaller creators can already earn money with YouTube via the partner program, but they are far from being able to live out their hobby full-time. The idea of quick and easy money on YouTube is thus no more than an illusion.

Earn money with youtube - this is how it works and how much you earn

Sarah Kubler is the managing director and founder of HitchOn GmbH, an agency for influencer marketing. There, she works in management as well as business development and supports clients with their YouTube and influencer campaigns. With a large database of influencers, HitchOn realizes measurable and scalable collaborations and projects in the areas of influencer marketing, web video production and YouTube channel optimization.

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