The Blog

September 27, 2019


How to make money on YouTube in 2019 [+ top Youtube earners]

People love watching YouTube. In fact, 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. That’s equivalent to 67% of the entire world’s population watching a video every single day.

YouTube videos are usually quick, easy to consume and enjoyable no matter what genre you’re interested in. It’s easy to see why there’s such an influx of people wanting to create content for YouTube and make money from it too.

For many influencers, YouTube is a fantastic way to build a deep, engaged relationship with an audience of your choosing. And once you know the different ways to make money from the platform, you’re almost guaranteed to have a positive impact on your brand partnerships and entire business.

Some alternative avenues for revenue such as merchandise, brand deals, or crowdfunding.

  • What you need to get started using YouTube as a platform
  • How you can make money from people watching your videos
  • Some alternative avenues for revenue such as merchandise, brand deals, or crowdfunding.

Let’s dive in.


What you need to get started on YouTube

The video quality you’re able to achieve from smartphones is often good enough that you don’t need a huge set up to get started with YouTube. However, if you do want to a proper set up, we’ll walk you through the basic things you need to get started.



As we stated, if you have a modern smartphone, you should be able to get away with using your phone camera to record your videos- at least initially.

iphone youtube tripod

Bonus tip: Why not invest in a smartphone tripod to balance your phone on and keep your footage shake-free.

This tripod will set you back £9.99 for UK based influencers and $11.99 for US-based customers

If you do have the budget, there are plenty of decent DSLR cameras you can use to record your videos. If you choose to go down this route, there are a wide range of cameras at different price points. So whether you want to spend £100 or £6000, you’ll find something suitable.

Source: Amazon



Next, you’ll need something to record audio. If you’re using your smartphone, you’ll have a built in microphone so shouldn’t need to worry about purchasing an external mic.

But if you want to purchase a separate audio recording device, consider sound quality. Unless you’re recording in a studio, you’ll use one of the rooms in your house. Naturally, different rooms have different sound quality. Your bedroom, for example, tends to be smaller than a living room so will have shorter room reverberation as well as mattresses and pillows that absorb part of the sound.

Your bathroom, in comparison creates an echo-y effect, most notable for its sound character. Although, unless you’re doing a makeup video, it might be slightly odd for your audience to watch you playing video games whilst sat in the bath.



The best lighting for your business is actually free. By using natural lighting with the lens facing away from the window, you’ll get a natural glow that’s great for making you look good on camera. If you stand in front of the window, the light behind you will wash you out and make it hard for people to get a clear picture of what they’re looking at.


portable lighting kit youtube


But if you film in a poorly lit area, you might need to invest in studio lighting. Studio lighting is generally quite expensive and it’s a case of ‘you get what you pay for’, however we’ve found these awesome lights on Amazon that aren’t too expensive and have great reviews – especially for someone just starting out.

Once you start making money, use your earnings to re-invest in your business and upgrade your equipment where you see fit.



Some people can record YouTube videos with one take and have no need for editing software. However, for the majority of Youtubers, you’ll need to use software to edit your footage.

Free editing software

If you don’t have the budget, use the free video editing software that comes with your computer. For Mac users, this is Apple iMovie and for windows users this is Windows Movie Maker. Both platforms allow you to do basic movie editing, from clipping scenes, adding overlays or working on the sound.

Paid editing software

But, if you require more advanced features think about paying for video editing software. Adobe premiere pro is a great choice for this and although you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription to use the tool, you have a wider range of capabilities to your advantage.



Now you have all the equipment you need to start creating YouTube videos, it’s time to start filming and ultimately, making money from it. It’s important to note that unless you’re starting out on  YouTube with a pre-established audience, you’ll need to wait before you can start generating income from your channel.


Build an engaged audience

Before you start earning money, you need to build an engaged audience. This means creating YouTube videos that rank well on the platform and generate views. Without an engaged audience who are excited to watch your content, you’ll struggle to make money solely from your YouTube channel.

To build your audience, decide what you want your videos to be about. The beauty of YouTube is they can cover any topic. So whether you’re into fashion, tech or beauty, you’ll have an audience ready to watch your new content.


Join the Youtube Partner programme

YouTube pays its creators through Google Adsense. Before you can start earning money, you need to join the YouTuber Partner programme.

The YouTube Partner Programme (sometimes known as YPP) is YouTube’s way of monitoring who needs to earn money from their YouTube videos and how much they should be paid.


How to join the YouTube Partner Programme

Step 1. First, read the terms and conditions for the YouTube partner programme. Once you’re logged into Youtube, click “monetization” on the left hand side


how to make money on youtube


From there, simply follow the steps outlined by YouTube.

Step 2. The next step is to sign up for AdSense. If you have an Adsense account (from your blog) then just connect your existing account. However, if this is your first experience with Google Adsense, you need to create a new account. The following link should get you started with that.

Step 3. Set your monetization preferences. This allows you to decide what types of adverts you want to show on your videos and confirm you want all your videos to contain ads, or just some of them. You can change these settings at any time and turn off adverts for specific videos. Some Youtubers turn off ads for sensitive videos as they don’t wish to make money from specific issues.

Step 4. Finally, once you’ve done all of that, you’re good to go! YouTube will review your account and check you meet the eligibility requirements. In order to join make sure you:

  • Have more than 1,000 subscribers
  • Have more than 4000 videos views in the past 12 months
  • Have linked your AdSense account to your Youtube profile
  • Live in a country where YPP is available for you.

Start earning money

Now you’ve got your YouTube Partner Programme set up and your videos start to gain some traction, it’s time to start earning money. Even once you get your Adsense account set up, you won’t get paid straight away. YouTube has a cycle, meaning you get paid once a month depending on the date you were eligible for monetization. If you were accepted for monetization on the 15th of the month, then your first payment would be the 15th of the next month and every 15th of the month moving forwards.

How many views do you need on youtube to make money?

We’ve already mentioned in order to join the YouTube partner programme you need at least 4000 views in the past 12 months.

But simply having 4000 views doesn’t guarantee you’ll make enough money to live. YouTube earnings vary from video to video.

It’s important to note although ‘number of views’ gives you an indication as to how much you could earn, the actual amount focuses on more than that. How profitable your YouTube channel is depends on a range of different factors as well as how much a particular advertiser is willing to pay you.

Popularity of your video. It goes without saying, the more popular your video is, the more appealing it is to advertisers. Advertisers want their content to show on popular videos and so they pay more money to acquire this spot.

Niche of your video. Some advertisers in specific niches have a higher budget to pay for advertising slots. For example, Tesla would pay more for an ad slot on your video than a beauty brand would. This is because a conversion for a Tesla would generate more revenue than a conversion for a beauty blender.

Country your viewer is based in. If the majority of your viewers are based in the US, you’ll generate a higher revenue than if a majority of your viewers are based in India.

The way your YouTube channel generates money will vary video to video. In short, though, the lowest earnings reported have been 0.32c per 1000 views. Highest could be up to $5 per 1000 views and the average sits somewhere in the middle around $1 per 1000 views.

If you created a viral video let’s see how that would manifest


how much money for youtube views

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

Although you need at least 1000 subscribers to make money on Youtube, the number of subscribers doesn’t really have much effect on how much you can earn from Adsense. YouTube works out your earning capabilities based on the number of views your videos get.

So, realistically you could have 10,000 followers and make more money than someone with 1,000,000 followers if your videos generate more views and appeals more to advertisers.

Some YouTubers even find their channels are demonetised as the type of content they put out doesn’t appeal to advertisers. So it’s true the number of subscribers doesn’t necessarily have a direct impact on the amount of money you could earn from the platform.


Who are the richest Youtubers?

Given that many Youtubers earn part of their money from other avenues (not just YouTube), it’s hard to work out who the richest Youtubers are.

According to data by Forbes, the top 10 richest Youtubers in 2018 according to revenue on the platform were:

  • Ryan ToysReview $22 million
  • Jake Paul $21.5 million
  • Dude Perfect $20 million
  • DanTDM $18.5 million
  • Jeffree Star $18 million
  • Markiplier $17.5 million
  • VanossGaming $17 million
  • Jacksepticeye $16 million
  • PewDiePie $15.5 million
  • Logan Paul $14.5 million
richest youtubers list


How to make money on Youtube without Adsense

But making money on YouTube shouldn’t just rely on Adsense. You may have read press regarding YouTubers’ frustrations with their ad revenue falling. Instead, they look at other options of generating income, so as to not rely solely on Google Adsense.



One way to make money through YouTube is merchandise. When you create an audience of genuine followers, you’re able to sell things relating to your brand. These are items your viewers are happy to buy as they love your channel, brand and the things you stand for.

Logan Paul, for example has a clothing line, Maverick, where a hoodie will set you back almost £50. When you consider he has almost 20 million loyal followers, selling just a few pieces of clothing per month would generate him a very healthy income alone.

maverick merchandise




Brand deals – influencer

One of the most lucrative ways we believe to make money as a YouTube influencer is to work with brands. The benefit of working with brands is there are a load of different types of influencer marketing campaigns you can do. Working with brands means you get paid a pre-approved amount for the content piece.

This means you can focus on the quality and creativity of your videos instead of trying to game the YouTube algorithm to earn more from Adsense.

Brand deals work best when you build a real relationship with a brand you care about. Your audience will appreciate and resonate more with your content when they feel you’re promoting something you genuinely enjoy and not just because you’ve been paid to talk about it.

And don’t be afraid to reach out to brands you admire too. At ZINE, our Brand Catalogue allows you to choose the clients you want to work with. If you’ve not yet signed up to the platform, check that out now and start working with brands today.



Many creators on YouTube don’t want to charge their audience for merchandise for the sake of it. Instead, they ask their audience to pay money simply for their craft.


patreon youtube monetization

Sites like Patreon allow creators to easily set up a recurring or one-time payment structure where fans can contribute to the running of the show or video series. Most creators try to give back as well.



As you can see in the image above, fans who pay $500 a month, will receive a life coaching session with the video hosts once every three months as well as everything from the previous tiers.

Adding bonuses for each subscription works as it encourages people to pay a higher monthly costs once they weigh the cost vs reward.

Wrapping it all up

If you’re a Youtuber wanting to get more involved with YouTube as a platform, and have considered partnering up with your favourite brands to create some awesome content, why not join Zine. We have a whole host of brands looking for YouTube influencers just like you.