14 YouTube stars break down how much they get paid per month for their videos

  • Creators who are a part of YouTube's Partner Program can monetize their YouTube videos with ads. 
  • These ads are placed by Google and creators earn a certain rate for the views on their videos based on factors like content category and viewer demographic.
  • YouTube creators are paid out monthly and Business Insider spoke with 14 influencers who broke down how much they'd earned in a month from the platform. 
  • Subscribe to Business Insider's influencer newsletter.

This is the latest installment of Business Insider's YouTube money logs, where creators break down how much they earn.

Each month, many YouTube creators earn money off the ads that play in their videos.

Many factors — like whether a video went viral, or whether the audience that watches their content is valuable to advertisers — will determine what a creator earns per paycheck. YouTubers are paid out monthly and either receive a check by mail or direct deposit. 

To start earning money from YouTube, creators must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year. Once they reach that threshold, they can apply for YouTube's Partner Program. Overall, the program allows creators to start monetizing their channels through ads, subscriptions, and channel memberships.

Making money through Google-placed ads isn't the only form of revenue for these digital stars. Creators on YouTube earn their money a number of ways, from sponsorships to selling merchandise.

Still, one of their main sources of revenue is often directly from YouTube through ads. So how much do YouTubers generally make per month?

Business Insider spoke with 14 YouTube creators about how much money each of them earned in a month from the platform.

Here's what they said:

This article has been updated to include additional creators.

Erin Winters: $5,439 (October 2020)

Erin Winters is a full-time YouTube creator who films videos on business, video production, social-media marketing, and her daily life in Michigan.

Winters, 26, started her channel in 2018 after her year-long contract with National Geographic ended. Now, she has 219,000 subscribers.

She turned her YouTube channel into a career by monetizing her videos with ads and brand deals.  

Winters actually ended up turning off her channel monetization for the first four months, thinking she might turn away new followers by having ads on a channel with only 1,000 subscribers. (Looking back, she doesn't recommend waiting, she added.)

When she turned monetization back on after those months, her first YouTube paycheck was around $200, she said.

In October, Winter's YouTube channel earned $5,439. Business Insider verified her earnings with screenshots of her analytics dashboard:

She believes her initial success on YouTube comes down to timing, her background in journalism, and some luck.

She said posting searchable content is one way to grow an audience on YouTube — like her videos on money saving tips (264,000 views), how to grow a YouTube channel (176,000 views), and productivity apps (137,000 views) — which have all increased her overall traffic and helped her reach a new audience.

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Erica Boucher: $3,961 (October 2020)

Erica Boucher lives in California and makes soy wax candles for a living. 

Boucher, 26, left her job in June and decided to sell candles full time after being accepted into YouTube's Partner Program.

"The pandemic happened and I wasn't working at my full-time job, but I didn't know how long that would last," she said. "I had a little bit more time to work on my business and it absolutely exploded. Honestly, my YouTube channel and Instagram have brought so much traffic and helped me grow my shop."

Now, Boucher said her most lucrative revenue stream is her YouTube channel, where has 36,900 subscribers. She films videos like how she prices her candles, how much materials cost, and how she funded her business.

In October she earned $3,961 from YouTube's AdSense program, she told Business Insider in November.

She saves 25% of every check from YouTube for taxes, and year-to-date, she's earned $14,320 from YouTube ads, according to screenshots of her creator dashboard viewed by Business Insider.

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A YouTube creator and candle maker was able to turn her hobby into a full-time job because of ad revenue. She broke down her exact income for every month in 2020.

Taylor Hawkes: about $1,600 (September 2020)

Taylor Hawkes is a part-time YouTube creator with about 20,000 subscribers and a full-time real estate associate. 

Hawkes started regularly uploading videos to her YouTube channel, Taylor Made Style, in October of 2019 and posts "Come Thrift with Me" videos about thrift shopping and how she styles her finds. Within a few months, she started to monetize her growing channel through AdSense revenue and brand partnerships.

In September, she earned about $1,600 in pre-tax income through Google-placed ads, according to screenshots of her Creator Dashboard viewed by Business Insider. On average, she earns about $1,000 she said. 

Hawkes also earns money through brand sponsorships on her videos and usually charges brands $500 for a 60-second mention.

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A YouTube creator with about 20,000 subscribers explains how much money she makes from brand deals and directly from the platform

Alexa Hollander: about $5,000 (August 2020)

Alexa Hollander is a full-time YouTube creator with 231,000 subscribers who creates content about shopping at thrift stores, styling second-hand clothing, and discussing sustainability in fashion.

Hollander started her YouTube channel in 2014 and quit her retail job in 2019, after realizing she was making more money on YouTube. She earns the majority of her income now from Google-placed ads on her videos.

Monthly, her videos can earn anywhere between $3,000 to $6,000 in ad revenue, she told Business Insider in August. 

Between June and August 2020, she was making between $5,000 and $6,000 each month, according to screenshots of her AdSense Dashboard viewed by Business Insider.

Outside of ad revenue, she makes money by partnering with 2-3 brands each month on sponsorships, earning anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 per sponsorship. As a sustainable creator, though, Hollander said it's difficult to find brands to partner with who align with her and her channel's values.

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A YouTube creator explains how she makes up to $6,000 per month from thrifting videos and how she built a career around sustainable fashion

Maya Lee: $1,676 (June 2020)

Maya Lee is a YouTube creator with 259,000 subscribers and a full-time elementary-school teacher. 

Lee started her YouTube channel in 2017 and now posts productivity videos and vlogs about her daily life.

She earns more money each month from her YouTube business than from her day job as a teacher, she said. 

Monthly, her channel earns about $1,500 on average from Google ads, she told Business Insider in July.

In May, she made $1,471 from YouTube directly, and in June she earned $1,676, according to screenshots of her Creator Dashboard viewed by Business Insider in July.

"My monthly YouTube revenue is much higher than my teacher salary, especially when I do a lot of sponsorships," she said. "For Google AdSense, every month it depends on how many videos I'm posting and how well those videos are doing. My monthly revenue from Google AdSense is not consistent, but from sponsorships I can talk to a brand on how much I'm willing to accept and gauge for that month how much I'll make." 

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Kim Pratt: about $7,000 (June 2020)

Kim Pratt is a skincare influencer who runs the YouTube channel "Natural Kaos" with 108,000 subscribers. 

Pratt started her YouTube channel in 2018. Her YouTube channel was accepted into YouTube's Partner Program in December 2018, which allowed her to start earning money from the Google-placed ads that play in her videos. 

In June 2020, Pratt had her best month on YouTube, earning around $7,000, according to a screenshot of her analytics dashboard viewed by Business Insider.

Pratt is also a member of Amazon's Influencer Program. The program offers members the option to create their own storefront as a way to list the products they recommend to followers. For every purchase someone makes through one of her links, she earns a commission ranging from 4% to 10% through the affiliate program, she said. 

On Amazon, she earned around $6,000 in the month of June, she said, which was near her monthly average from the platform in 2020.

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Amanda Ramirez: $554 (May 2020)

Amanda Ramirez is a college senior who runs the YouTube channel Amanda Monroe (32,000 subscribers). 

Ramirez started her YouTube channel in 2016 and now she posts videos about her college experience, fashion, and beauty. 

Her YouTube channel earned $554 in May, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider, and $703 in April. 

Her most popular YouTube video is a college move-in video where she tours the sorority house she will be living in at The University of Arizona (828,000 views). 

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Joe Farrington: about $560 (May 2020)

Joe Farrington lives in the UK and posts fitness videos to his YouTube channel "Joe Fazer" with 150,000 subscribers.

Farrington told Business Insider that he treats YouTube like a full-time job and earns money through sponsorships and ads in his videos. 

Farrington's YouTube channel earned about $560 in May from the ads that played in his videos, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider.

After posting his "1 year body transformation" video two years ago, and seeing how well the video performed, Farrington decided to post more fitness-related content and continue sharing his journey with his growing audience.

That video (with 26 million views) earned over $8,000 in AdSense, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider. 

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Erika Kullberg: about $9,000 (May 2020)

Erika Kullberg is an attorney who runs a personal-finance YouTube channel under the same name. 

Kullberg launched her YouTube channel in October 2019 after leaving her job as a corporate lawyer. Now her channel has 57,000 subscribers. 

Her YouTube channel earned about $9,000 in May, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider.

Though Kullberg's YouTube channel doesn't have millions of subscribers, she is still able to earn money each month because of her video content and the audience her channel attracts.

She films videos about personal finance, passive income, and investing. Recently, some of her stimulus-package update videos went viral and helped her income.

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Jimmy Ton: $1,680 (April 2020)

Jimmy Ton's tech-review YouTube channel, Jimmy Tries World, started as a way to help him in his marketing classes in college. 

Now three years and 26,000 subscribers later, his channel earns a significant amount of money each month. 

Ton, who lives in Texas, treats his YouTube channel like a part-time job. He films videos about technology and consumer electronics after work.

For the month of April, his YouTube channel earned $1,680, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider.

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Austen Alexander: about $12,300 (April 2020)

Austen Alexander is a YouTube creator with 357,000 subscribers and an active-duty US Navy sailor. 

In the middle of March, Alexander's YouTube channel experienced a sharp uptick in views, he said, which correlated to a spike in overall monthly revenue. 

On March 23, he posted the YouTube video, "I Challenged James Charles, Markiplier, and Ethan to a Military Obstacle Course," where Alexander collaborated on a video with three top YouTube creators – all with millions of subscribers. That video has 6.4 million views, and is Alexander's most viewed video.

Alexander earned about $12,300 in April from AdSense, according to a screenshot of his channel analytics viewed by Business Insider. This is more money than he had ever earned off YouTube in a month, he said.

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Kyra Ann: $1,817 (February 2020)

Kyra Ann started her YouTube channel in 2017 and now has 86,000 subscribers. She shares tips on minimalism, saving money on a low income, and organization. 

Kyra recently left her day job at a nursing home to focus on YouTube full time. 

Her main revenue streams are her YouTube channel and the commissions she earns through affiliate links from the Amazon Associates Program, she told Business Insider in March.

As an influencer, Kyra earned $1,817 from AdSense in February, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider – which was more than what she earned a month at her day job, she said. 

"I never would have thought that that was possible," she said. "I was like, 'wait a minute, I've been working at my job for eight years and now I'm getting paid more from YouTube?'"

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Graham Stephan: $141,356 (February 2020)

When Graham Stephan launched his YouTube channel three years ago, he was working full time as a real-estate agent.

His YouTube channel quickly became a great source of side income, and by the end if 2018, he had earned over $250,000 in total from his YouTube business, he said. That's when he went all in.

Now Stephan focuses on his YouTube channel full time, and he has nearly 2 million subscribers and earns money through the ads that play in his videos, sponsorships, and Amazon's affiliate program. He also sells a course on how to grow a YouTube channel.

In February, he earned a total $141,356 in AdSense revenue after garnering 8.9 million views in 29 days, according to his YouTube dashboard, which was viewed by Business Insider. His video "How I Bought A Tesla for $78 per month," which has 6.3 million views, made $56,329 in under a year, he said.

"Once I started posting three times a week, the whole thing took off," he said about his YouTube channel. 

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$141,000 in monthly YouTube income: Graham Stephan describes how he grew his real-estate and finance channel into a lucrative business

Sienna Santer: about $3,600 (2019 monthly average)

Sienna Santer is a Harvard student and a popular YouTube influencer with 381,000 subscribers. 

She shares videos on topics like how she got into the prestigious university and what a day in her life is like.

Santer's influencer career started with friends and family members asking her how she got accepted into Harvard. Her Harvard dorm-room tour video has nearly 6 million views, which Santer said helped launch her YouTube career. 

In 2019, she earned just over $44,000 through Google's AdSense program, which places ads in her YouTube videos, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider. (She said she'd have to pay about 25% of that in taxes.)

"My channel has helped me deal with things a lot earlier than some of my friends and helped me a lot with money-management skills," she said in January. "I have checks for AdSense coming in the mail that I have put aside for taxes, retirement, savings."

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A Harvard student with 300,000 YouTube subscribers shares exactly how much money she made in 2019 as a college influencer from ads

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