8 YouTube creators break down their monthly incomes from the platform


Graham Stephan

  • Creators who are a part of YouTube’s Partner Program can monetize their YouTube videos with ads. 
  • These ads are placed by Google and creators earn a certain rate for the views on their videos based on factors like content category and viewer demographic.
  • YouTube creators are paid out monthly and Business Insider spoke with eight influencers who broke down how much they’d earned in a month from the platform. 
  • Subscribe to Business Insider’s influencer newsletter: Influencer Dashboard.

Each month, many YouTube creators earn money off the ads that play in their videos.

Many factors — like whether a video went viral, or whether the audience that watches their content is valuable to advertisers — will determine what a creator earns per paycheck. YouTubers are paid out monthly and either receive a check by mail or direct deposit. 

To start earning money from YouTube, creators must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year. Once they reach that threshold, they can apply for YouTube’s Partner Program. Overall, the program allows creators to start monetizing their channels through ads, subscriptions, and channel memberships.

Making money through Google-placed ads isn’t the only form of revenue for these digital stars. Creators on YouTube earn their money a number of ways, from sponsorships to selling merchandise.

Still, one of their main sources of revenue is often directly from YouTube through ads. So how much do YouTubers generally make per month?

Business Insider spoke with eight YouTube creators about how much money each of them earned in a month from the platform.

Here’s what they said:

This article has been updated to include additional creators.

Amanda Ramirez: $554 (May 2020)

Amanda Ramirez is a college senior who runs the YouTube channel Amanda Monroe (32,000 subscribers). 

Ramirez started her YouTube channel in 2016 and now she posts videos about her college experience, fashion, and beauty. 

Her YouTube channel earned $554 in May, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider, and $703 in April. 

Her most popular YouTube video is a college move-in video where she tours the sorority house she will be living in at The University of Arizona (828,000 subscribers). 


Joe Farrington: $560 (May 2020)

Joe Farrington lives in the UK and posts fitness videos to his YouTube channel “Joe Fazer” with 150,000 subscribers.

Farrington told Business Insider that he treats YouTube like a full-time job and earns money through sponsorships and ads in his videos. 

Farrington’s YouTube channel earned about $560 in May from the ads that played in his videos, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider.

After posting his “1 year body transformation” video two years ago, and seeing how well the video performed, Farrington decided to post more fitness-related content and continue sharing his journey with his growing audience.

That video (with 26 million views) earned over $8,000 in AdSense, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider. 

Read the full post: 

How much money a YouTube star with 100,000 subscribers makes: fitness influencer


Erika Kullberg: $9,000 (May 2020)

Erika Kullberg is an attorney who runs a personal-finance YouTube channel under the same name. 

Kullberg launched her YouTube channel in October 2019 after leaving her job as a corporate lawyer. Now her channel has 57,000 subscribers. 

Her YouTube channel earned about $9,000 in May, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider.

Though Kullberg’s YouTube channel doesn’t have millions of subscribers, she is still able to earn money each month because of her video content and the audience her channel attracts.

She films videos about personal finance, passive income, and investing. Recently, some of her stimulus-package update videos went viral and helped her income.

Read the full post:

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Jimmy Ton: $1,680 (April 2020)

Jimmy Ton’s tech-review YouTube channel, Jimmy Tries World, started as a way to help him in his marketing classes in college. 

Now three years and 26,000 subscribers later, his channel earns a significant amount of money each month. 

Ton, who lives in Texas, treats his YouTube channel like a part-time job. He films videos about technology and consumer electronics after work.

For the month of April, his YouTube channel earned $1,680, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider. 

Ton’s average channel views have doubled in recent weeks, though his revenue rate has dropped by 35 to 40%. He said his overall income had remained steady.

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Austen Alexander: over $12,300 (April 2020)

Austen Alexander is a YouTube creator with 357,000 subscribers and an active-duty US Navy sailor. 

Since the middle of March, Alexander’s YouTube channel has experienced a sharp uptick in views, he said, which correlated to a spike in overall monthly revenue. 

On March 23, he posted the YouTube video, “I Challenged James Charles, Markiplier, and Ethan to a Military Obstacle Course,” where Alexander collaborated on a video with three top YouTube creators – all with millions of subscribers. That video has 6.4 million views, and is Alexander’s most viewed video.

Alexander earned over $12,300 in April from AdSense, according to a screenshot of his channel analytics viewed by Business Insider. This is more money than he had ever earned off YouTube in a month, he said.

Read the full post: 

A YouTube creator and active-duty US Navy sailor had his highest-earning month ever in April despite ad rates plummeting

Graham Stephan: $141,356 (February 2020)

When Graham Stephan launched his YouTube channel three years ago, he was working full time as a real-estate agent.

His YouTube channel quickly became a great source of side income, and by the end if 2018, he had earned over $250,000 in total from his YouTube business, he said. That’s when he went all in.

Now Stephan focuses on his YouTube channel full time, and he has nearly 2 million subscribers and earns money through the ads that play in his videos, sponsorships, and Amazon’s affiliate program. He also sells a course on how to grow a YouTube channel.

In February, he earned a total $141,356 in AdSense revenue after garnering 8.9 million views in 29 days, according to his YouTube dashboard, which was viewed by Business Insider. His video “How I Bought A Tesla for $78 per month,” which has 6.3 million views, made $56,329 in under a year, he said.

“Once I started posting three times a week, the whole thing took off,” he said about his YouTube channel. 

Read the full post: 

$141,000 in monthly YouTube income: Graham Stephan describes how he grew his real-estate and finance channel into a lucrative business

Kyra Ann: $1,817 (February 2020)

Kyra Ann started her YouTube channel in 2017 and now has 86,000 subscribers. She shares tips on minimalism, saving money on a low income, and organization. 

Kyra recently left her day job at a nursing home to focus on YouTube full time. 

Her main revenue streams are her YouTube channel and the commissions she earns through affiliate links from the Amazon Associates Program, she told Business Insider in March.

As an influencer, Kyra earned $1,817 from AdSense in February, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider – which was more than what she earned a month at her day job, she said. 

“I never would have thought that that was possible,” she said. “I was like, ‘wait a minute, I’ve been working at my job for eight years and now I’m getting paid more from YouTube?'”

Read the full post: 

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Sienna Santer: around $3,600 (2019 monthly average)

Sienna Santer is a Harvard student and a popular YouTube influencer with 381,000 subscribers. 

She shares videos on topics like how she got into the prestigious university and what a day in her life is like.

Santer’s influencer career started with friends and family members asking her how she got accepted into Harvard. Her Harvard dorm-room tour video has nearly 6 million views, which Santer said helped launch her YouTube career. 

In 2019, she earned just over $44,000 through Google’s AdSense program, which places ads in her YouTube videos, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider. (She said she’d have to pay about 25% of that in taxes.)

“My channel has helped me deal with things a lot earlier than some of my friends and helped me a lot with money-management skills,” she said in January. “I have checks for AdSense coming in the mail that I have put aside for taxes, retirement, savings.”

Read the full post: 

A Harvard student with 300,000 YouTube subscribers shares exactly how much money she made in 2019 as a college influencer from ads