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Earning money with YouTube - that's how it works and that's how high the income is

Earning money with YouTube - but how? This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions about YouTube. In this article, we want to explain the different sources of income from influencers.

Many of the great YouTubers do this job full-time, earn good money and live an almost perfect life in the eyes of their fans. It is not that easy to generate income through your own YouTube channel. Many overlook the fact that hard work must first be put into the channel to build a large audience. Only then do the first euros flow and a lot of effort is still required.

In the following, we will explain the most important sources of income for influencers on YouTube and also try to answer the question of how much money you can roughly earn on YouTube with it. But that always depends on so many factors that we can really only give rough guidelines.

Google AdWords video ads

To make money with YouTube, the most important and probably also the easiest source of income are the video ads from Google AdWords. Any channel with a playback time of over 4,000 hours in the last 12 months and 1,000 subscribers can apply to be included in the YouTube partner program, whereupon they are free to include various display formats in their videos.

You get money for the Google AdWords ads every time they are shown to a viewer. For YouTubers, it is therefore advantageous to get a lot of views on their own videos - the number of subscribers does not play a role in the remuneration.

How much money can be earned with YouTube / Google AdWords video ads depends primarily on how often the YouTuber's videos are viewed. Depending on the topic of the video, the quality of the YouTube channel and many other factors, the income per 1,000 views is approximately between 1 and 5 euros. To make a living from video ads alone, you have to get a lot of views.

Product placements and promotional videos

At least as interesting and in many cases more profitable for YouTubers is the cooperation with companies. They pay influencers good money for embedding products or the brand in a video (product placement) or even making it the subject of an entire video (advertising video). However, it should be taken into account that YouTubers must have a certain reach in order for companies to approach them at all.

The income from a brand cooperation is measured for YouTubers both by their own reach and the production costs, which must be taken into account for an elaborate video. Negotiations are usually based on the thousand contact price (CPM), which describes the costs per 1,000 calls on the company side.

There are hardly any standard values ​​here, which is why YouTubers should always submit a well-founded claim. It takes time for many to learn how high this can be, and why tools like ValU offer great added value for YouTubers. They enable them to arrive at a realistic assessment of their own market value even without much prior knowledge.

How much YouTubers can ultimately earn with product placements and promotional videos depends on so many different factors that it is hardly possible to give an orientation value. Depending on the size of the channel and many other factors, the prices for a cooperation video can be between a low three-digit and a six-digit amount.

Affiliate links

Another source of income that virtually all YouTubers make money from is affiliate links. These recommendation links for products can be generated via easily accessible partner programs of various online shops and promise a commission if a fan visits the shop via their own link and buys something.

The amount of the commission varies depending on the online shop and product category. For example, Amazon pays one percent of the value of the goods for brokered smartphone purchases, while a full ten percent is possible for jewelry and watches. So it's no wonder that a YouTuber's income through affiliate programs is difficult to quantify.

Roughly, however, it can be said that affiliate income usually only makes up a small part of the money earned and is a nice extra income. Even large YouTube channels are unlikely to generate five-figure amounts per month in this way.


Apart from the sources of income just listed, there are of course numerous other ways in which YouTubers can monetize their own videos. With that you can of course make money with YouTube.

For example, YouTube recently started offering selected channels the option of charging their own fans a monthly subscription fee on a voluntary basis. In return, they receive exclusive videos, special community posts and a special mark in the comments.

Selling their own products - often merchandise - is also a popular source of income for larger YouTubers. Depending on the quantity sold, high margins are possible here, so that the proceeds from product sales can easily make up a middle double-digit percentage of total income.

Conclusion on making money on YouTube

In summary, it can be said that influencers can make good money with their own channel. Even smaller creators can already earn money with YouTube through the affiliate program, but they are far from being able to live out their hobby full-time. The idea of ​​quick and easy money on YouTube is nothing more than an illusion.