Howdy all, and welcome to a post I am starting to write with these words wondering exactly where it might finish up. It’s hard to say. Anyways today I want to chat about making money with YouTube. I aspire to do so, but am still a heck of a long way away from monetization and honestly, I don’t harbour the ambition to make serious money out of it, although it would be nice to have a bit of extra ‘pocket money’ I guess from YouTube.
The formula, so they say, to get monetized – a frankly dreadful word that has only come into being in the last decade or so – is to reach 1000 subscribers on YouTube and to also gain 4000 ‘watch hours’ in a twelve month period. I think it’s interesting to look at some successful – I would actually say VERY successful – travel vlogger on YouTube to see how it that they make ends meet in world of being a ‘digital nomad’.
Which is term I want to address for starters, because whether I want to be one or not – and I don’t think I do, and besides which it’s not practical for me anyways – it actually SOUNDS like a pretty cool lifestyle. Basically, a ‘digital nomad’ is a person who travels and creates online content as a living. They may have a main base or not, so they might actually be continuously on the road for very long – perhaps years – periods of time.
To gain a wage and fund this lifestyle – which essentially is their job – digital nomads rely on the internet providing enough money. Considering this can at times be expensive and require a constant flow of money – you have flights, accommodation, activities, food etc to pay for every day – the fact that it is possible for someone to live as a digital nomad is impressive. And the fact that many managed to do it through a pandemic (and obviously still do) is even more impressive.
Blogging can gain you an income, I’m not sure how much though, and not just from mere blogging. You also get the chance for brands to approach you and sponsor a post. You might gain free stuff too which you could review. Personally I have been approached quite a few times and offered money to pop brands into my posts. But they were brands I’d never used and often, never heard of, and so frankly I didn’t think it was reasonable to do that. So I didn’t.
Vloggers and bloggers often create their own merchandise too, and sell it for a small profit. So they maintain an online business of sorts, usually branded t-shirts, stickers, mugs and the like. I wonder really how much this can bring it.
Drew Binsky actually runs online courses about how to travel, and makes money this way. Drew is a professional journalist and when he can and when he needs it, he has a team on the ground to help him out. Everyone is their own brand, and when you are confident in your brand and image like Drew is you can see how this helps him. He’s not my favourite, but I can see that he really knows what his doing in the way he brands and sells his channel.
But today I am not focussing on Drew. Nor will I be focussing on Bald and Bankrupt, but I will say that he the perfect example of NOT doing all the things you are supposed to do on YouTube and yet still being successful. I think I would be right in saying he has never really cared about ‘branding’ or selling himself. He has never – deliberately – asked viewers to ‘subscribe’ in his videos. Which you know, fair enough because frankly most people know how YouTube works, right? He doesn’t post at the same time on the same day, he releases a bunch of videos in two weeks and then nothing for two months. And people still come back to see his videos. They are not highly produced, he uses only an action camera, very little background music, he just does what he does and does it really well!
Today though I want to concentrate on two creators I follow and sometimes feature from YouTube who principally do flight reviews. Josh Cahill from Germany and Noel Phillips from the UK. I love Noel’s work, Josh has taken time for me to come around too. I thought that perhaps there were times where he got very angry for no reason. Filming flight reviews and in airports, well I give them credit because I rarely get my camera out at airports for fear of being descended on by security. But sometimes people – airline staff – don’t want to be filmed or are uneasy. And I think Josh believes he has the right to film anywhere he likes. Who knows, maybe he does?
But he does make good videos, interesting videos. As does Noel. And I have been vicariously travelling through them as I can’t do it myself. So how much do they earn from YouTube? Well, this is not something I can answer with any degree of surety, however if you Google some YouTubers you can get an estimate on how much they make per year from YouTube. Bald and Bankrupt’s Channel for example is estimated to be worth around $600,000USD a year. But both Josh and Noel have “smaller” channels. But actually Google give you a bunch of different response from around 284K to 1.14 million. So it’s not something we can be sure about.
Noel Philips’ Channel seems to be worth a little under $50,000USD a year. He says that accounts for about 80% of his income. On top of that another 15% from sponsorship of videos – which I would say can bring in a bit of cash, and then the final 5% Patreon, which I will get to soon. I was quite surprised to be honest that it would be that low – I guess around 60-65K all up.
Josh Cahill’s channel, from what I can glean, is worth around $129,000USD, so more than double that. He also has Patreon and also sponsorship of some videos (it seems quite common for a VPN company to sponsor YouTube videos, or a company that sells travel accessories).
Josh has been asking people to join him on Patreon because of new rules on payments from YouTube. It seems that the US govt is now demanding tax from earnings, and it could be as high as 24 cents per dollar earned if you don’t fill in your forms. Anyways, already we can see that a reasonable income can be eked out. But I really need to add that these guys produce a LOT of content, great content which is not just reviews but also entertaining.
So then Patreon. Have you heard of it? It’s basically an app or website by which creators can communicate to their ‘patrons’ – that is people who fork out a little bit of money per month – most likely somewhere between $5 and $20USD to support their work. And we consume their content, and if you like it enough and want to see them continue, why not?
As a way of thanks to their patrons, creators usually give them a bunch of perks. I am a patron of Noel who send me a bunch of merchandise including a sticker, wristband and a couple of other things. On top of that I get early access to his videos before they drop on YouTube, access to his What’s App Group – which I haven’t managed to access as yet, so that’s nice. And usually it depends on how much you pay as to what the perks are as well. And what Noel offers it seems is similar to what is also offered by Josh.
Subscriber numbers too for you – Bald and Bankrupt has 3.05 million subscribers, Noel Philips 239K and Josh Cahill 400k. So to make some money, you need a LOT I guess is the story here.
Personally, I am struggling to hit a simple, low target of 300 subscribers by the end if the year. Not 300K – just a simple 300. And so I would LOVE it if you would subscribe – but you know, no pressure. Check out my channel at Andy’s World Journeys YouTube!
Thanks for popping by! May the Journey Never End!