Published on January 24th, 2019 | by Sunit Nandi0
How the Bloggers and YouTubers Your Love (and Hate) Get Paid
Your parents and older generations may scoff at the idea of a YouTube career, but it’s actually a much more profitable career path than some traditional office white-collared jobs in the workforce. With billions of people surfing the web, content creators have found a way to make money through different means. And with names such as PewDiePie (the most popular YouTuber estimated to be worth $20 million as of 2019), Harvey Levin, Jenna Marbles, and many other content creators earning millions a year just for writing blogs and taking videos of themselves, it’s hard not to consider starting an online career for yourself.
But before you decide to quit your job and invest in a high-quality camera, make sure you know what you’re getting into. The most financially successful bloggers and YouTubers managed to crack the code on successful content, which led to them getting paid in various ways. Here are some of the ways content creators earn their money.
Originally, this used to be the biggest way a YouTube channel or blog earned. When your page has reached the point where it gets plenty of views or heavy traffic (to a certain extent – advertisers don’t want to advertise with content creators whose content aren’t advertiser-friendly), you can start thinking about monetizing your channel.
For blogging websites, it’s pretty straightforward. If enough people visit your blog, read through your posts, and visit other pages, you get paid to display ads and paid extra when these ads are clicked.
But for YouTube, you have to follow certain guidelines before you can choose to monetize your channel. In either case, you need to have a Google AdSense account prepared. Under YouTube, for every thousand impressions your video gets, you earn between one to five dollars, depending on which ad you’ve added to your video.
However, YouTube takes half of the ad revenue as cut. A video with a million views, for example, can reach up to $5,000. With so much effort for relatively little profit, YouTubers have found other means to make money off their videos apart from ads.
Anyone who owns a blog with a good amount of traffic can earn extra through sponsored blog posting. This is when the bloggers you read from get paid by businesses to post their articles on their website. The article doesn’t have to be an article that deviates from the blog’s niche, and the blogger still has complete control over their website.
It seems easy enough, but these businesses will only partner with blogs that have a certain Domain Authority score. The higher the Domain Authority, the higher bloggers get paid for their website, since the article is expected to receive a lot of traffic.
YouTubers, on the other hand, display sponsored content through various means. When you see a YouTuber say at the beginning or the end of the video, “This video was sponsored by <Business>” or something similar, it means that the company paid the YouTuber to mention their brand, feature their product in one of their videos (the same way influencers on Instagram do), or paid the YouTuber to create a video revolving around the brand or the product itself.
For these types of sponsorships, content creators can receive hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on how strong their reach is. However, note that in some cases such as YouTube’s beauty community, viewers want their YouTuber to remain real and unsponsored so that they provide honest reviews on products. While businesses can pay high amounts for the exposure, the creator should be careful of the brands they affiliate themselves with or they risk losing their followers.
When a content creator reaches a certain amount of fame and has over a million subscribers, they may find it profitable to start creating their own merchandise or products outside of their platform. PewDiePie, for example, launched his first book, This Book Loves You, on 2015. YouTubers Zoella, Dan and Phil, Miranda Sings, and others have also published their own books. Several YouTubers such as MatPat from Game Theory have their own clothing merchandise. Smosh duo Anthony and Ian have launched a mobile game as well as a film, Smosh the Movie.
Think of it as an online tip jar. When a content creator has built a loyal fan base, it’s likely these fans would be willing to donate to help their favorite YouTuber financially in order to keep them secure enough to continue their channel or blog. These content creators advertise their Patreon, a website which allows people to make donations in exchange for exclusive content.
Since it’s not mandatory for their viewers, it’s not usually a very lucrative form of income. However, if a creator is pressed for cash, it makes a very helpful passive form of income.
These are some of the main ways bloggers and YouTubers earn their income online. It’s important to note, however, that your favorite YouTubers weren’t able to reach these forms of income until they built a large enough fanbase to merit these methods. If you plan on making a career out of content creation, you’re going to have to put in a lot of hard work creating content that generating views and your own fanbase, and that will surely take time. So, while the blogging and vlogging career seems like a lucrative source of income, it’s a lot harder than it looks. And if you’re not interested in putting in the effort in trying to break out as a content creator, then this path may not be for you.