Is becoming a YouTube ‘star’ a real possibility? – How much do they earn?

Is becoming a YouTube ‘star’ a real possibility? – How much do they earn?

We all know YouTube is full of pretty much everything and anything, you can find out how to do something, watch a review, watch some comedy etc etc etc but do people really pull in massive profits?

The short answer is yes… but it depends on lots of other factors and you can’t start tomorrow and start earning enough to quit your job.

So how do you make money?

‘Simple’ create high quality content that is both relevant and new, post these on video sharing websites such as YouTube and request that adverts are shown on your videos, you take a % of the income generated from those ads.
When the show gets big enough you could look at sponsored products, in-video ads, t-shirts etc for further revenue.


OK, but who is actually going to watch it?

“If you build it, they will come” is the old saying but it’s more like ‘if you build it, spend hours and hours a day building an audience for months and months and continue to create more and more and more content eventually they will come (& hopefully subscribe).

The content that is produced is the key, users will come for a reason they aren’t just coming to click the adverts

For example KSI (photo above) has a combined total view count of 1,562,924,700 (April 2015) on his YouTube videos, so that roughly works out at £1.5million since he started but remember he will also get paid by third parties, sponsorship deals & that £1/per 1000 views is only a rough guess, so he probably has earned more than double that estimate but he will have costs.

Millions of people watch videos everyday, some of which are rather mundane and boring! Could you do better?

Millions of people watch videos everyday, some of which are rather mundane and boring! Could you do better?

How much can I make from doing YouTube?

Remember this is the ‘perfect’ job, sitting at home doing something you love, videoing it & then speaking with people who also love the same thing.

So any money to start with will be great, but if you work hard enough and upload 1-2 HIGH QUALITY, WELL PRODUCED videos per week (some do it everyday) you will build up a YouTube following in a matter of months.

YouTube (Google) will pay you every time someone clicks on an advert placed within your video, so the more interesting the content you upload, the more it will be shared with friends and the more possible advert clickers visit your videos.

When they do start to pay you expect to be earning roughly £1GBP per 1000 views (please note that figure can vary dramatically + it changes over time etc).

A £1,000,000 house could be part of your reward

A £1,000,000 house could be part of your reward

What is the most important advice?

Have a passion for the content you’re producing, if you don’t have a love for the work then it will soon become tedious and boring!

Most YouTubers will tell you they’re not in it for the money and we know why, although the jobs looks awesome on paper in reality it can take hours of time to capture the footage, commentate, edit, add effects, render, upload, promote, respond, comment… etc.

You MUST be certain that the you’re YouTubing for the right reasons, starting off just to make money is a MASSIVE mistake!


What are the downsides?

When you start working on this you won’t be earning any money. You will have spent a small fortune on your setup but it could be 1 or 2 or even more years before you’re actually generating a liveable income.

You often will be working extremely long hours (editing videos, capturing videos, replying to comments, trying to get people to watch your videos etc etc)

You can feel alone, your family/friends will probably think you’re an idiot for trying so you will have to prove them wrong (on every occasion).

Becoming famous isn’t as fun as it sounds, we’ve all seen celebrities go off the rails/lose it all etc etc.

This video sums up the negatives of YouTube extremely well:


OK, I’m interested but what do I need to get started?

Optional extras / things to put on your wish list:

What YouTube setups should I take a look at

Check out iJustine’s setup (an old video but a good example):

So she has a camera, a laptop, two big lights, a big white wall and a bedroom.

Meet KSI / see his setup / see how long it took him / roughly how much he earns

What industry/genre/topic/type should I do?

Do something you enjoy, it doesn’t matter how quirky it might be, you will find a group of people who’re interested & are willing to subscribe.

You have to be different, unique & offer good quality content, it’s just like the TV industry.

Lots of YouTubers create ‘Gaming’ videos, so how big is the gaming industry?

Short answer is massive but this should put it in perspective:

Avatar (the highly successful film) made a total box office profit of $2.78 billion (£1.79 billion).

Modern Warfare 3 (a game) reached $1 billion (£643 million) in its first 2 weeks, in the first 24 hours they sold 6.5 million units in just US & UK.

Creating video game videos & being successful will be difficult but it’s possible, just take a look at TheSyndicateProject, he joined on Sep 3, 2010, as of Feb 2012 he had 249,742,559

Will I become famous?

That shouldn’t be important, but yes there is potential for that but focus on creating great content and they will come (eventually).


Be a financial rockstar and share this with your friends, family and co-workers to maximise savings:

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Important things to remember with everything we post:

  • If you earn over your personal allowance (currently £12,570 a year) HMRC need to get their % cut (even if the money is in cash or from another country)
  • If you’re working for yourself / earning an income on the side you need to let HMRC know – There are numerous benefits but also some drawbacks
  • You need to always ensure whatever you’re doing is legal and not hurting anyone else – be careful and always think twice
  • Some income streams may require you to have DBS check, licence, insurance or qualifications before you can start to profit from it, do your research.
  • Be careful that any additional income doesn’t compromise your studies or main income/job
  • If you work for a company check your contract, if you don’t inform them you’re working on other side projects outside of work they may have grounds to ownership on this work

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