How Do Youtubers Make Money & How You Can Copy Them

For most of the internet users, youtube is a source of knowledge and entertainment but there are others for whom youtube is a source of serious income. Some are even earning millions per year using youtube. Business Insider, listed top 20 YouTubers in a post and I was astonished to see a 7-year-old Angry bird fan in that list.

In this article, you will learn how do YouTubers make money and how can you do the same using this guide. Let us start from basic things.

Where Do They Start?

When it comes to earning with Youtube, I have observed two different approaches. which are as follows:

1. Internet Marketer’s Approach

One group of youtube earners follows typical I.M approach. They start their work with Niche research and continue it to the stage of video promotion. Here is their typical action plan:

  1. Find a good affiliate product
  2. Do niche research and find out easy to rank and profitable keywords
  3. Planning for video (Content/script, voice over, graphic etc)
  4. Video creation
  5. Video promotion or video SEO

Their main aim is to earn money only. They don’t care much about being famous or known as an expert in the niche. They will work with any niche that is profitable regardless of their knowledge in it. They normally make an account or a channel dedicated to one niche and make different videos around that niche to promote different affiliate products or use other means of monetizations.

2. Enthusiast’s Approach

The other group of people is of those who are closely related to a niche and have sound knowledge and skills in it. For these people earning money might be very important but at the same time, their name, and popularity is equally important. All the top 20 YouTubers mentioned in the article that I linked in the first paragraph fall in this category.

They don’t care much about niche research and keyword finding as their knowledge in the subject makes them produce videos that people love and share. This is how they reach thousands and millions of others interested in their niche. By time, they gather a massive amount of followers and subscribers and receive great amount of love from fans.

Here are a few successful YouTubers following this approach:

If you have in-depth knowledge on a subject and are capable of producing videos that are much needed by the audience of that niche, I recommend this approach. You must also make sure, your audience is there on youtube by studying its demographics. For instance, youtube audience might be very interested in Celeb gossip, pranks and games but not in building and construction stuff.

If you are not an expert in any subject or your subject doesn’t fancy youtube audience, only the internet marketer’s approach can help you earn with youtube.

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Niche Research

Most Popular Niches

Here is a list of Niches that work best with YT. The list is neither in any order nor final. There may be other niches, but these are the ones that I found out to be very popular.

  • Science & Knowledge
  • Gaming
  • Toys
  • Technology
  • Lifehacks
  • Celeb gossip
  • Music
  • Funny/Humour

If you see the list of top 20 YouTubers linked earlier, you will notice that most of them work in gaming, Toys & Humour niches. There are other people than those 20, who have more subscribers and earn even more but their income is generated by actual product sells. For instance, singers. They roll out an album and promote it on YT and get good amount of sells for their records.

Youtube Niche & Keyword Research

As already told, choose a niche that is popular on youtube and has a huge audience on it. If you know it very well, it is even better. If you don’t, you will have to work harder. For every video you upload, you must do keyword research so that every video ranks for its keywords and gets maximum exposure.

There is a great deal of detail in youtube keyword research, but here I will explain it briefly. Do the following to find good keywords for your videos:

  1. Choose a specific topic in your niche for every video you make
  2. Find out all the terms relevant to your topic using Google’s Keyword planner. Set filters accordingly to see the results only with 300 or more searches per month
  3. Save all the terms that qualify
  4. Run a google search on all the terms to see if videos appear on the first page of results. I recommend this because if other videos are ranking for a term, there are chances that, if you make a video for the same term, your video might also rank giving you traffic from google searches too
  5. Save the keywords that have youtube results on the first page of search results and discard all others
  6. Finally, from the resulting keywords from step 5, select the keyword that has the highest number of monthly searches and videos on the search page result

This is a quick strategy of youtube keyword research that does not only get you video views from youtube search results but also from google search results.

Video Planning & Creation

In order to get your videos ranked and liked by viewers, you need to produce high-quality videos. You must plan well about the content of the video, voice over, video shoot/screen capture.

There are different types of videos that work well with different types of Niches.

Shooting / Filming

youtube video shooting

If you are working with a niche or subject for which you need to film yourself or somebody/something else to demonstrate something, you need to get yourself a good camera. This type of videos works well with almost any subject or niche.

List of things you must have to produce a good quality video:

  1. A good camera
  2. A tripod or any stand to stabilize the camera
  3. A microphone
  4. Proper lighting of the place of filming

You can also add a video editing program in the above list if you want to take youtube video marketing one step further. It basically adds various effects, texts, transition etc to make your videos look professional.

Screen Recording

How Do Youtubers Make Money

For subjects related to computer, in which some tutorial or demonstration is to be shown to viewers, screen capture video is the best solution. You just need a screen recorder tool and a good microphone that filters background noise.

Right now, as my blog is starting up, I am using a free screen recorder CamStudio to record tutorials. I have plans to get a good paid screen recording software, but right now I am taking austerity measures.

How to make money on youtube

After the production, you have to look for the ways to monetize youtube videos. Here are some easy ways you can use to monetize your videos

1. Youtube Partner Program

You can signup for youtube prtner program to start earning from youtube videos. The program shows ads in/around your videos and pays you some amount per thousand views. how much does youtube pay per thousand views is variable and depends on the country from where you are getting your views and the niche/market of your views. This program displays three types of ads on or around your videos.

Pre Roll Ads

Pre roll ads youtube


These ads appear before the actual video starts and can be skiped only after 5 seconds. Your viewer might continue to see the complete promo or skip the ad to start watching your video using the button on lower right hand corner.

Banner Ads

Youtube adsense


These are traditional banner ads that appear at the bottom of your videos and earn you money based on CPM (Cost per thousand views) and CPC (Cost per click).

Another banner ad appears in the right sidebar like this

banner ads

These three types of ads start appearing on your videos once you sign up for youtube partnership program. If your videos receive a good amount of views each day, you will be making some serious money.

how do youtubers get paid?

All the money you earn through this program can be withdrawn using Google Adsense.

2. Affiliate Products

Another good way of earning through youtube videos is to promote affiliate products using your videos. You can review a product in a video, do a video tutorial of a popular product and then add your affiliate link in the video description. Here are a few examples of what could be done.

  1. Make a makeup video tutorial and promote a makeup kit from amazon
  2. Demonstrate a healthy recipe and promote a low-calorie recipe book from Clickbank
  3. Record a game walk through and show your affiliate link for that game in description

You can either make a video first and then find an affiliate product to promote with it or you can do the other way round. Each affiliate program has its own rules, own payment options and own commission percentage. Don’t forget to read them before you start promoting.

CPA (Cost Per Action)

There are companies that pay you certain amount of money when a visitor sent by your affiliate link to their website performs a particular action. That particular action can be a signup, a software or digital download, an email subscription, a mobile phone number submit, a survey form filling or anything similar.

You can create a video and ask your viewers to visit your affiliate link and perform that particular. You have to be creative here.


This method can only be used to monetize your youtube channel once you become popular and get lots of subscribers. Other companies might then approach you or you can outreach to them offering a sponsored video about their product.

You don’t actually sell anything here using a link or a banner advertisement, but you promote things verbally to your audience. The opportunity to earn using this method comes only at a later stage when you are popular in your subject or have a huge channel subscriber base.

how much do YouTubers Make

There is no answer to that question so far. From what I have so far experienced or heard from others, I can estimate that earnings can be anywhere from $0.5 – $5 per 1000 video views if you are using youtube partnership program. “Psy”, the pop star behind Gangnam style, earned more than $2 million from one song alone and it is still counting.

Brandon Campbell, a fitness expert having a little over 130,000 subscribers earned $15,000 from youtube partnership program and $7,000 from sponsored advertisements over a period of 365 days. It breaks up into more than $1800 per month. If he starts promoting digital affiliate products in the fitness niche, I am sure he will be making at least $500 more each month.

how much can you earn on youtube


Whereas PewDiePie, a funny game commentator makes anywhere between $825,000 to $8.47 million yearly with 24 million subscribers. The reason behind is his huge fan base as well as the fact that he uses almost every method of monetization that I discussed above in the article.

pewdiepie youtube celebrity


Your earnings depend upon the number of video views you get as well as the countries where you get your views from. For example earnings from 1000 USA video views will be more than that of 1000 Chinese views

Wrapping It Up

I hope your question of “How do YouTubers make money?” is now answered. If there is still something that I missed in the article, please mention it in the comments. I will add it in the article ASAP.


  1. Hi Nabeel,

    Good post. You have given a lot of good advice and options for people who are looking to earn online. The main thing to remember is to be consistent and branding your name and photo so people will begin to recognize you.

    Have a great week.

    1. Hey Monna ma’m,

      Nice to see you here. Thanks for your kind words. You pointed out rightly that proper branding of the channel is essential. You just gave me idea of another post.

  2. Hi Nabeel,

    What a constructive post. In which you have shared that how youtubers make money online. But i have a question in my mind as you know that in Pakistan youtube is banned, one can open it with the help of different softwares.

    So, the question is how to make money online in Pakistan with the help of Youtube. I think if we are trying to cheat youtube sooner are later they detected.

    Waiting for your reply

    Thanks for sharing such a fantastic post 🙂



    1. Hey M.Mairaj,

      Glad you stopped by and sent your valuable comments.

      Mairaj you are right that accessing youtube in Pakistan is a pain and can not be done without the help of proxy software.

      Though, I have stopped doing YT marketing as I don’t get much time for it, I believe it won’t be a problem using a Proxy software as long as you keep the Server’s location same every time. If you login using a different location every time, it might raise some red flags in Youtube’s systems and block your account.

      Hope that answers the question.

  3. Hey man! It’s been some months, since May actually, since you last shared a GSA list, could you do it, please? 🙂


  4. Hello, I was just thinking about starting a YouTube channel and I was quite surprised to learn I had no idea where to start. I was just hoping for some tips or pointers to start things up.

    1. Hello Manny, Just to help you out I will try to roll out a post on this topic very soon covering all the important aspects. Thanks for stopping by. Have a good day.

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