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How to Make Money as a YouTube Celebrity

image for bunditinay / Getty Images
bunditinay / Getty Images
  • A YouTube influencer is someone who creates content on YouTube.
  • YouTube content creators need to reach 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers to be considered for a partnership program.
  • YouTube can be very lucrative for regular people who are smart enough to understand how the platform works and use their skills to their advantage.

If you pay attention to famous YouTubers, you'll likely see them take lavish vacations and attend exclusive events. For successful YouTube influencers, it becomes their job. YouTube can make regular people famous. While not everyone can make it on YouTube, the influencers with the most views and subscribers can easily earn a six-figure income.

Do you love creating videos but aren't sure how to monetize them or make money on the popular video platform? Here's how you can make money as a YouTube celebrity.

Social media influencers may seem like everyday people, but they have a large following online. People care about what they say and are likely to take their recommendations. Since people trust what they say, brands are willing to pay a lot of money for influencers to promote their products.

"A YouTube influencer is anyone who creates content on the YouTube platform, has a significant following and influences a group of people," said Beca Alexander, founder and president of influencer casting agency, Socialyte.

There are a couple ways to make money as a YouTube influencer. If you have a big enough following, you can money through sponsorships, affiliate links and advertisements.

In the past, anyone could sign up to make money on the platform, but YouTube announced new requirements for its YouTube Partner Program in January 2018. According to Google Support, when a channel reaches 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers, it will be considered for YouTube's partner program.

The partner program allows creators to monetize their videos on the platform. YouTubers make money from advertisements played during their content and when YouTube Premium subscribers watch their videos.

"Making money through ads is still one of the primary ways of monetizing your channel, with YouTube providing … different options for generating ad revenue on your videos," said David Ambrogio, paid search associate for PeterMayer.

The most effective way to make money on YouTube is through partnerships with brands. If you have an engaged following that trusts you, brands will pay you to endorse their products or services.

"Most YouTube celebrities make money from brand endorsement deals," Alexander said. "This is usually done through the creation of content, which will be published and promoted to their [the influencer's] following or audience."

You can create entire videos focused on the sponsored brand or incorporate the products within your video. For example, beauty YouTubers create videos about how to apply makeup using specific sponsored products.

"Sponsorships get you paid by signing you up as a spokesperson for their brand, putting you on their own YouTube videos and paying you to plug in their products to your own content," said Ambrogio.

When you're partnering with a brand, you can also make money through affiliate links, which is when you receive a commission when a viewer clicks on a link and makes a purchase. Just include the link in the video's caption and encourage viewers to click on it after the video.

If you want to get paid on YouTube, the amount largely depends on your "cost per impression" rate or CPI. In particular, once a channel has reached 10,000 views, you earn the potential to get paid. Your potential rises with every 10,000 views. In other words, YouTube celebrities make money. This is a platform that has the capacity to make "regular" people famous.

Moreover, the average CPI is $2. However, your CPI can range anywhere from just a few cents to up to $10. The price is based on YouTube's algorithm and is entirely at their discretion.

While posting a video every week may seem simple enough, becoming an influencer takes much more work. You must be willing to put in the time and work to build your audience's trust.

"To gain a following on YouTube, or any digital platform, the content created should be organic and authentic," said Alexander. "Storytelling that connects the creator to the audience and makes them care about what the creator has to say is how influence is built."

Read this Business News Daily guide to learn about how to become a social media influencer.

Now that we covered the various ways in which money is made on YouTube, let's take a look at who is making the most money on the platform. According to CNBC, here are nine YouTubers who made the most money in 2019 include:

  • Ryan Kaji: $26 million
  • Dude Perfect: $20 million
  • Anastasia Radzinskaya: $18 million
  • Rhett and Link: $17.5 million
  • Jeffree Star: $17 million
  • Preston: $14 million
  • PewDiePie tied with Markiplier: $13 million
  • DanTDM: $12 million
  • VanossGaming: $11.5 million

As you can see, there are plenty of noncelebrities who have become rich and famous using YouTube. Moreover, many of them were able to create millions by understanding their audience and knowing what types of videos to post to cater to their fans. Either way, the fact that none of these people were famous before YouTube should be enough motivation for you to start that channel you have been considering.

Business News Daily Editor

Business News Daily was founded in 2010 as a resource for small business owners at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey. Our site is focused exclusively on giving small business advice, tutorials and insider insights. Business News Daily is owned by Business.com.