YouTubers Are Making Money in 2023, How? | Is YouTube still a good way to make money?

It’s about time that it was made. You see, I ask you how you were making money from your YouTube channels. I ask for real details, the behind-the-scenes of how much you are making and where it was coming from, not just YouTube ads. I’m going to draw back the curtains so you know exactly how YouTubers are making money.

Note here. From what I saw in this data set I got hundreds of responses from real YouTube channels. Yes, you reading this are probably leaving a lot of income on the table. And not only that, but I found some pretty fun surprises along the way.

YouTubers Are Making Money in 2023, How?
YouTubers Are Making Money in 2023, How?

You’ll remember one particular video where I analyzed several channels to finally answer the question of how often should you be publishing on your channel. Really? I had horrible lighting, there was way too much light on my forehead. You see the data set for this video is quite large totaling about half a million monthly revenue as well as just under 63 million monthly views.

So the first very interesting thing to me from real YouTubers data was I asked you for the primary three locations where you were making money from your YouTube channel. And interestingly, from this data set, 23% of you didn’t even have a second income source listed, meaning that 77% of the YouTubers who responded to this only had a single income source from their channel. And no, it wasn’t just YouTube ads in addition, 48% didn’t have a third income source listed meaning that about half of the YouTubers who responded only have two income sources from their channel. And not only that, but in terms of the ratio of primary, secondary, and third areas someday I will learn the correct way to say that in terms of averages, the secondary income source across all of the responses was just about half the average income of the primary income source. And not only that, but the third income source was just about half of the secondary income source when it averaged all of the income numbers from all of the responses.

It was very interesting to see that pattern. But now we get into the actual monetization breakdowns of each type of income that people are making. So the first income source is YouTube ads and based on what I was seeing across all the averages of the data, I decided to focus on the primary earning source of each type. YouTube ads count as the primary earnings source for these channels 56% of the time with an average monthly earning of $930. The range of earnings in this space is anywhere from $2 per month to $20,000 per month.

Now, I had to add a note of a little personal learning I had here. I had to convert currencies until my fingers were practically bleeding because I had to do it all manually. I wasn’t smart enough to create some sort of drop-down and make it easier on myself. But either way, I am super glad that I have an international audience and that you are watching from practically everywhere in the world. Now, the big surprising thing to me about this result was I was not expecting such a high ratio.

About 56% of all the respondents had YouTube ads as the primary earning source. Now, it almost goes without saying that almost all of these channels are going to have some income from YouTube ads unless they literally have it turned off on their channel. But it was shocking to me because many of the other sources that I’m going to talk about here in a moment turned out to be even more profitable than YouTube ads. Hence why I said earlier on that there’s potential that you are leaving a lot on the table.

The next primary source of income is from affiliate product links where within a video you say hey, buy this product using my affiliate link and I’ll get a share of the commission. This as a primary earnings source for channels, accounts for 9% of the total responses I received here with average monthly earnings of $725 with a range starting at again very low, up to $12,000 of affiliate revenue per month. The interesting thing to me here was with such a wide range it seemed as if as I look through all of the responses, themed channels with a purchase intent built into the theme or the topic of the channel did significantly better with affiliate product links. Now, that might come as no surprise to many of you watching this. The interesting thing was to see it so clearly outlined by real data.

YouTubers Are Making Money in 2023, How?
YouTubers Are Making Money in 2023, How?

The next primary earning category is sponsored videos. These were the people who responded said their primary source of income on their channel is sponsored videos. Now this section of responses accounts for only 5% of the responses. However, the average earnings for just the sponsored videos being the primary income source on the channel were $1,684 a month with a range of sponsorship revenue being from about one hundred dollars to eight thousand dollars. The shocking thing to me here was how many of these channels were not very large and were still able to get sponsorships.

Two that stood out to me were actually members of my YouTube program Project 24 and I promised they stood out before I even knew they were members of Project 24 because one of them for example, is only getting an average of 504 views per month. That’s channel-wide views and yet they are earning $100 per month in sponsored revenue. Turns out they had a very niche audience and had a company reach out to them early on and offer a monthly sponsorship, even though their channel only had 400 subscribers. As of recording this, the next primary earning source we’re looking at are the channels that are selling their own digital products. These might be information products or guides or etc.

This dataset accounts for 7% of the total responses, with the average monthly earnings from this just this one income source being $ 2050. Now, a reminder, this is just that income source. Many of these cases earned more than this channel wide. And as you can expect up to this point, the range in this category went from $75 to about $25,000 monthly revenue. This space of selling your own digital products happens to be one of my favorites personally because it’s so scalable and it tends to be more simplified than selling physical products.

YouTubers Are Making Money in 2023, How?
YouTubers Are Making Money in 2023, How?

But the interesting thing here was that the highest performing channels in this category either already had ‘A’ business or ‘B’ started thinking about their channel as a business. Now, how do I know that based on the responses, and the actual notes from the channel makers they provided with the data, this is also a good point in this video for me to invite you to boot the like button? If this is eye-opening or helpful thus far, I appreciate you doing that. Thank you. Now, this next category was a bit smaller.

It was selling your own physical products and this one accounts for just 5% of the total responses. However, the average monthly earnings from this space were $3,000. But the income range from this category went anywhere from $60 per month to $10,000 per month. Almost all of these channels already had a business, but then they brought it to YouTube. In fact, one of these respondents said they had to estimate their total amount because the trickle-through was a bit difficult to track, and yet their channel was contributing to their overall sales.

I’d also mention you might have seen this before in videos here on Channel Makers, where I shared some insights from a Project 24 member Naturally Carly, who used her YouTube channel to get coaching clients for her health business. This brings us to the next primary earned income source and that is YouTube memberships or a Patreon style of monetization. These respondents account for a slightly higher ratio of 9% of total respondents, with an average monthly revenue of $1,264. But there was also a wide variance in the range of responses here, anywhere from $5 all the way up to $12,500. And based on the notes from the channel makers who shared these responses, this form of monetization as a primary income source seemed to be one of the highest maintenance, meaning they had to keep up with their audience some of the most in this category.

And that brings me to the next category, which could roughly be called the other category where I asked people to share in their notes what it might be if it wasn’t one of the categories I had already listed. Now, this grouping accounts for 9% of the total responses, but the average monthly revenue is $2,500, with a wide range between $1 and $25,000 every month. But this other category was a bit unique because it accounted for the wider umbrella of software consulting, B to B, sales, guided tours, et cetera. And also the higher average monthly revenue of this category can be accounted for because of a few really big standout channels in this category. Also the likelihood in this category of being more niche or specialized with their monetization.

I’m talking about consulting or coaching for specific businesses using a specific piece of software. And now I am not done yet, far from it. Because you remember I mentioned that you’re probably leaving a lot on the table. Let me show you why. You see, as I was looking through this data set, I realized there is a secret indicator that the averages or monthly revenues might not be showing us.

YouTubers Are Making Money in 2023, How?
YouTubers Are Making Money in 2023, How?

And I got it from a combination of two data sets the earnings from an income source divided by the total monthly views on the channel. Now, that may not be any big secret from a YouTube ads perspective. We know all about CPM and Rpm, right? But have you, yes, you watching this ever thought to think about your total earnings on your channel based on the amount you are making in total from your channel in relation to the spread of your YouTube videos? I’m calling this indicator EPM or earnings per mile.

And where before there were some clear standouts in terms of average monthly revenue, this indicator might be even more eye-opening. So again, going off of the primary earnings source for each channel as they responded, the average EPM or earnings per thousand views for the channels that were primarily monetized with YouTube ads was $5.81. However, things start to get a bit crazy when we look at the other income sources because with the next category, affiliate products, for example, we can take that same measurement and say how much you earning per month from your primary income source being affiliate product links, this time per 1000 views on your channel. And when we look at it that way, the average EPM for the channels that answered that affiliate product links were their primary source of income. The EPM comes out to about $12.

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