Have you ever wondered how much money you can make with a small YouTube channel?
I always hear stories of people making a full-time income with YouTube. Sure, most of these have millions of subscribers. But, what about smaller channels?
In this post, I will give you a breakdown of how much I earned on my niche’s YouTube channel during the first month with monetization (ads) switched on.
An overview of the YouTube Partner Program
To be eligible to apply for the YouTube Partner Program and to show ads on your channel, you need to reach two important milestones:
– 1,000 subscribers
– 4,000 hours of watch time (within the last 12 months)
There are also a few other things, such as having an AdSense account and living in a supported country, but these are the main requirements to work towards.
Once I hit the required 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time on my niche’s YouTube channel I was eligible for monetization.
The downside after you reach the milestone is that each account is then manually reviewed before it is approved. This is to ensure there are no dodgy or copyright content on your channel.
YouTube estimate that this approval process takes about a month. So I was surprised when my application was approved in just 6 days!
My channel’s performance that month
So, now I turned ads on for all of my videos.
In terms of the ads served, I turned on display ads, overlay ads, sponsored cards and skippable video ads. I decided not to show non-skippable ads as I didn’t want to put my viewers off.
Now for the stats.
These statistics below are for the first month with monetization on my channel (9th August to 8th September; 31 days).
Views, watch time and subscribers
Over the 31 days, the videos racked up a total of 27,066 views with a watch time of 79,916 minutes – so not huge, but pretty decent for a small channel!
The channel also grew by 135 subscribers in that month.
You’ll notice that my performance looks like waves. This is because the content on this channel is very much academic, so I get the majority of views Monday-Friday with lower views at the weekend.
An encouraging point that you’ll also see is that there is an overall upward trend that seems to suggest the channel is growing in views and watch time each week. This is probably because I posted 8 new YouTube videos (indicated by the play button at the bottom of the graph) within that month.
How much I earned in my first month
So, in my first month with YouTube monetization turned on, I earned a grand total of $152.41 – so, not bad!
This figure was actually higher than I anticipated.
This earning came from 17,624 monetized playbacks. That is, from my total views in that month (27,066) only 65% of these had ads viewed on them.
Why was this not 100%? Well, there are a few reasons as to why this is.
One reasoning is that the viewer may be using an ad blocker. In this case, an ad will not be served to them and the view will not be classed as monetized.
Another explanation is that a viewer may leave during an ad at the initial part of the video before it is classified as being served. Again, reducing the monetized views.
So, it is unlikely the monetized playbacks will ever be 100%.
CPM, or cost per mille, is the gross amount YouTube receive per 1,000 ad impressions served.
It is important to note here that the CPM is the amount YouTube receive from the advertisers per thousand impressions and not the amount you receive.
As you can see, my CPM was $15.84.
From the money YouTube receive from advertisers, you get to keep 55% of this while YouTube keep 45%.
So, the amount of money I received per thousand views, more commonly known as the revenue per mille (RPM), was approximately $8.71. This is worked out by calculating 55% of $15.84 (15.84 x 0.55 = 8.712).
What I learned in that month
Subscribers don’t make money – views do
It is very important to stress that the number of subscribers you have on your channel does not relate to the amount of money you get from ads – viewers do!
Obviously, the more people who view videos with ads on them, the more money you will make. If all of your subscribers view each new video – this would be perfect. But, most of the time, viewers are not subscribers.
It is possible to earn money with a small YouTube channel
Before starting out my YouTube venture, I will admit I did not have high hopes.
But, you shouldn’t be put off starting monetization on YouTube. If you create quality content and do the right SEO, the views (and subscribers) will start to rack up.
This will lead to a snowballing effect, where your views and money will gradually build up, month by month.
Hopefully you can see from my small YouTube channel that it is certainly achievable to earn some steady income through YouTube’s Partner Program.
Albeit you won’t be breaking the bank (yet, anyway), but think of ads from YouTube as another string to your income bow.
So, what are you waiting for? Create a YouTube account today and get started!