Making Money Online

Making Money on YouTube: How Regular People Make 6 Figures Vlogging

YouTube has become one of the most popular platforms for creators to build audiences and generate income. While YouTube fame might seem out of reach, thousands of regular people have turned their channels into full-time jobs and six-figure incomes.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how ordinary folks make a living vlogging on YouTube, the different ways YouTubers make money, and tips to get your own channel off the ground.

Crafting a YouTube Channel That Generates Income

Launching a profitable YouTube channel takes time and effort. However, with the right strategy, anyone can start vlogging and build an audience over time. Here are some best practices for creating a channel that earns steady income:

Choose a Niche That’s Profitable and Enjoyable

The most successful YouTubers focus on a specific niche like beauty, gaming, comedy, etc. Niching down allows you to target a dedicated audience who will watch your content regularly. Make sure to pick a niche you’re genuinely passionate about, since it takes consistent work to succeed on the platform. Profitable niches include:

  • How-to tutorials – teach skills like cooking, fitness, crafts
  • Gaming – playthroughs, guides, live streaming
  • Product reviews – technology, toys, makeup, cars
  • Comedy – sketches, parody, vlogs, commentary

Have a Consistent Upload Schedule

YouTube’s algorithm favors channels that upload new videos frequently. Aim to post at least 1-2 times per week to start. This keeps your audience engaged and provides more content for viewers to watch and share.

As your following grows, you can increase uploads to 3-5 videos per week. Having a predictable schedule makes it easier for fans to tune in and builds loyalty.

Optimize Video Titles, Tags and Descriptions

Take time to optimize each video for search by using relevant titles, tags and descriptions. Include your target keywords naturally to help the video get discovered.

Conduct keyword research to identify high-volume search terms and long-tail phrases related to your niche. Use these terms in your title and description, while making sure they sound natural.

Leverage Cards and Playlists

Use YouTube cards to link to your other videos and playlists. This keeps viewers watching your content after each video ends, increasing total watch time.

Organize your videos into playlists around topics, series or formats. Playlists make it easy for viewers to binge several videos, rather than just watching one.

Foster Community in the Comments

Reading and responding to comments helps build a bond between you and your audience. Make sure to reply to questions, have thoughtful discussions and ask viewers questions to spark conversation.

Laying the groundwork to develop a thriving community takes time but pays off in the long run with a loyal, engaged audience.

How Ordinary People Make Six Figures on YouTube

Thousands of YouTubers earn six-figure incomes from their channels. With enough effort and the right strategies, regular people can reach this milestone goal. Here are some real-life examples:

Lindsey Hughes – $100k/Year Testing Toys

Lindsey Hughes runs a family-friendly toy review channel called Linda’s World. She uploads 5 videos a week of her kids playing with and testing new toys.

The channel has 165,000 subscribers and earns around $100k a year from YouTube ads alone. Sponsorships with major toy brands bring in even more income. By niching down into kid-focused toy reviews, Lindsey has built a thriving channel parents turn to for advice.

Sean Cannell – $820k/Year Teaching Marketing Tactics

Sean Cannell is a former teacher who now runs Think Media, a YouTube channel focused on video marketing strategies. He provides tutorials, vlogs and resources to help creators grow their channels and make an impact.

With 858,000 subscribers and regular releases, Sean earns $820k a year from his videos. He brings in additional income from online courses and other digital products. His strategic approach to teaching valuable tactics has formed a passionate audience.

Sunny Lenarduzzi – $466k/Year Sharing Business Tips

Sunny Lenarduzzi started her channel to share tips and growth strategies for small business owners. She focused on creating useful content marketing tutorials from the start.

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After 3 years of consistent uploads, Sunny now makes $466k a year from her 650,000 subscriber channel. She mixes educational videos with vlogs showing behind-the-scenes of running her own business. This transparency and value has built a loyal audience.

Elle Mills – $210k/Year Vlogging Her Life

Elle Mills is a Canadian vlogger who uploads comedy videos and daily life vlogs to her channel. She shared her creative talent and authentic personality to build a following documenting her real experiences.

With 1.19 million subscribers, Elle earns around $210k a year monetizing her videos, brand sponsorships and merchandise. Sticking to a regular upload schedule and engaging with her audience has allowed Elle to turn vlogging into a full-time career.

Peter McKinnon – $1.2 Million/Year Creating Cinematic Films

Peter McKinnon is an independent filmmaker and photographer from Toronto. His YouTube channel focuses on cinematography techniques, camera gear reviews and vlogs capturing stunning visuals.

With 2.45 million subscribers, Peter makes over $1.2 million a year from YouTube ad revenue alone. His brilliant cinematic style and engaging personality has built a global following around filmmaking.

These are just a few examples of regular YouTubers earning a full-time living from their channels. Their success proves that with consistency and providing value, vlogging can become a lucrative career.

7 Ways YouTubers Monetize Their Channels

YouTubers have access to multiple income streams that allow the most successful creators to make 6 figures or more from their channels:

1. YouTube Ad Revenue

The YouTube Partner Program allows channels to monetize videos by running ads and earning a cut of the revenue. Google keeps 45% of the money, while 55% goes to the creator.

How much you earn depends on your CPM (cost per thousand views), which varies based on factors like audience demographics. With 1 million monetized views, top creators can make $3,000-$5,000.

2. Channel Memberships

Fans can pay $4.99/month for exclusive membership perks like custom badges, new emoji, members-only posts + videos. This gives superfans more ways to engage while providing another income stream.

3. Merchandise

YouTubers make money selling branded merchandise like t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, posters etc. Top creators make anywhere from $5k-$60k per merchandise launch selling to their loyal audience.

4. Affiliate Marketing

The best YouTubers leverage affiliate links in video descriptions and pinned comments to recommend relevant products. They earn commissions promoting brands they genuinely like and trust.

5. Sponsored Videos

Popular channels can collaborate with brands to create sponsored videos promoting products. Rates start around $10 CPM (per thousand views) but top creators earn $50 CPM or more.

6. Paid Product Placements

YouTubers also make money by organically featuring or reviewing products in their videos. They get paid directly by brands or through services like FameBit.

7. Fan Funding

Platforms like Patreon allow viewers to support creators with monthly donations and receive exclusive benefits. Top vloggers on Patreon earn over $30k+ a month.

By combining income from ads, sponsorships, affiliates and fan backing, it’s possible for ordinary people to turn YouTube success into a full-time living.

Tips to Grow Your Channel and Make Money on YouTube

Launching a profitable YouTube channel takes significant effort. But by following proven best practices, you can increase your subs and views over time:

Consistently Produce Valuable Content

Focus on identifying topics and video ideas that provide value to viewers in your niche. Helpful “how-to” videos and entertaining vlogs tend to perform best.

Optimize Your Videos for Maximum Views

Conduct keyword research for video titles. Write thorough descriptions. Add clickable tags. Include customs thumbnails and end screens. Promote videos across your social channels.

Engage With Your Audience

Read every comment. Reply thoughtfully when appropriate. Ask viewers questions to spark discussion. Feature fan art. Thank new subscribers. Making personal connections leads to loyalty.

Collaborate With Other YouTubers

Guest posting on other channels in your niche is a win-win. You gain exposure to new audiences while helping each other grow.

Stay Passionate and Patient

It takes time and consistent effort to build a following on YouTube. Stay motivated by focusing on creating content you’re passionate about, not just revenue. Measure success in subscribers gained, watch time and audience feedback.

With strategic planning and persistence, you can grow a YouTube channel that brings in steady income. But remember – the most successful YouTubers do it for love of creating, not just money.

Frequently Asked Questions About Making Money on YouTube

Launching a profitable YouTube channel takes time and effort. If you’re considering vlogging for income, here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How much money do most YouTubers make?

Most YouTubers make between $3-$5 per 1,000 video views from AdSense revenue. Those with 1 million views per month earn $3k-$5k. Top creators make $10 per 1,000 views with 10 million+ monthly views, earning $100k or more.

How many subscribers do you need to make money on YouTube?

You need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the last year to qualify for the YouTube Partner Program and begin monetizing videos. However, you won’t earn significant income until you have at least 100,000 subscribers and regular views.

Is YouTube income passive?

No – while ads play passively on videos, YouTubers have to actively work to earn a full-time living. It takes consistent effort to film, edit and optimize several videos per week. Engaging with audience comments also takes time. Top creators often have employees to help with video production while they focus more on distribution strategy.

What is the best paying niche on YouTube?

Personal finance and investing channels generally have the highest CPM rates of $6-$12 per 1,000 views. Other top earning niches include gaming, tech reviews, beauty/fashion and digital marketing tutorials. Choose a niche you’re genuinely passionate about.

How often should you upload as a small YouTuber?

When starting out, aim to upload 1-2 times per week to begin building an audience. As you gain more subscribers, you can increase to 3-5 times per week. Consistency is key – stick to a schedule to help viewers know when to expect new videos.

How can I get free products to review on YouTube?

Sign up for affiliate programs like Amazon Influencers or FameBit to get products sent to you directly for reviews. You can also reach out to brands via email to request samples – but only do this after you’ve built up a decent subscriber base of 1000+ and have content samples to showcase.


Turning YouTube success into a full-time living takes significant effort – but is achievable for regular people. By consistently producing valuable content, optimizing videos for maximum reach, engaging with your audience and pursuing multiple income streams, you can build a profitable vlogging channel.

Focus on delivering helpful, entertaining videos around a specific niche you’re passionate about. Stay patient and keep improving the quality of your content over time. With dedication and persistence, you can earn a steady income doing what you love on YouTube.

The key is consistency. Upload regularly, focus on value for your niche audience, and don’t get discouraged. With time and strategic effort, ordinary folks can establish thriving channels that generate six figures annually.

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George James

George was born on March 15, 1995 in Chicago, Illinois. From a young age, George was fascinated by international finance and the foreign exchange (forex) market. He studied Economics and Finance at the University of Chicago, graduating in 2017. After college, George worked at a hedge fund as a junior analyst, gaining first-hand experience analyzing currency markets. He eventually realized his true passion was educating novice traders on how to profit in forex. In 2020, George started his blog "Forex Trading for the Beginners" to share forex trading tips, strategies, and insights with beginner traders. His engaging writing style and ability to explain complex forex concepts in simple terms quickly gained him a large readership. Over the next decade, George's blog grew into one of the most popular resources for new forex traders worldwide. He expanded his content into training courses and video tutorials. John also became an influential figure on social media, with over 5000 Twitter followers and 3000 YouTube subscribers. George's trading advice emphasizes risk management, developing a trading plan, and avoiding common beginner mistakes. He also frequently collaborates with other successful forex traders to provide readers with a variety of perspectives and strategies. Now based in New York City, George continues to operate "Forex Trading for the Beginners" as a full-time endeavor. George takes pride in helping newcomers avoid losses and achieve forex trading success.

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