How much money a creator on YouTube can earn from a single video varies depending on the audience that watches it, the amount of time they spend watching, and how long the video is, among other factors.
YouTube's Partner Program allows influencers to earn money directly off their channels by placing ads within videos, which are filtered by Google.
We spoke to 15 YouTube stars who each shared the most they've made from a single video, from nearly $4,000 to $97,000.
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This is the latest installment of Business Insider's YouTube money logs, where creators break down how much they earn.
Creators on YouTube often have no idea how much money they will earn off a single video after they upload it to the platform.
While creators with 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours are eligible to have their videos monetized with ads by joining YouTube's Partner Program, the amount advertisers pay YouTube per 1,000 ad views (the CPM rate) can vary wildly.
Why is that?
The ads that play in their videos are filtered by Google, and how much money a creator earns depends on the video's watch time, length, video type, and viewer demographics, among other factors. YouTube also keeps 45% of the ad revenue, with the creator keeping the rest.
YouTube star Shelby Church (1.4 million subscribers) told Business Insider that extending her videos to over 10 minutes long helped her channel earn more money because she could place more ads and boost her rate. And some topics, like finance, get a higher rate because the audiences they attract are valuable to advertisers.
Many creators also try to avoid swearing or copyrighted music in their content because those factors can increase a video's chance of getting flagged by YouTube and demonetized.
So if a creator does everything right in the eyes of YouTube, how much can they expect to make?
Business Insider spoke to 15 creators with very different channels and they shared the most amount of money YouTube has paid them for a single video.
This article has been updated to include additional creators.
Sign up for Business Insider's influencer newsletter, Influencer Dashboard, to get more stories like this in your inbox.Cathrin Manning — $3,886
Cathrin Manning started her brand in 2016 when she realized she was unhappy with her career path.
First she started her blog, thecontentbug.com. After a year, she was able to transition out of her full-time job and into freelancing work.
In October of 2017, she created her YouTube channel as an extension of her blog. Now YouTube is her main platform.
She mainly shares YouTube tips for creators who are looking to grow on the platform. She shares anything from how to understand and use the algorithm to grow faster on YouTube to how much money she makes from the platform.
Her most viewed video, titled "How Long It Takes To Get Monetized On YouTube," with 541,000 views, has made her $3,886, she told Business Insider in April.
Jessica Stansberry — $4,091
Jessica Stansberry began creating online courses and tutorials in graphic design in 2016.
She used YouTube and her blog to push out free tutorials and content to customers. Now she runs the YouTube channel "Hey Jessica" with 66,000 subscribers.
Her content is created as a resource for beginning to mid-level business owners who are looking to grow their presence online and market their business using digital-marketing tactics, she said. Her channel has videos like how to start an email list, how to grow on YouTube, and how to use specific software related to online marketing.
In 2017, with 500 subscribers, she decided to go all in on YouTube content creation, and see where it could go.
Her highest-earning video on YouTube is about how to use Trello, which is a project management system. This video has earned over $4,091 in one year, and is repeatedly her top-earning video each month, she told Business Insider in April.
The video was published over 2 years ago, she said and isn't her most viewed video. It has 24,000 views.
Amanda Ramirez — $4,800
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 most popular YouTube video is a college move-in vlog where she tours the sorority house she will be living in at The University of Arizona (828,000 views).
The video earned $4,800 in revenue from Google-placed ads, she told Business Insider in June.
"I was surprised but also not at the same time because I knew that those are the types of videos that I like watching, especially a sorority-house move in," she told Business Insider. "I didn't expect it to do as well as it did, but it helped a lot."
Read the full post: How much a college YouTube influencer with 30,000 subscribers earns per month and what she made from her most popular video, which was about moving into her sorority
Jade Darmawangsa — $5,000
Jade Darmawangsa is a YouTube creator and entrepreneur.
Darmawangsa, 18, has 311,000 subscribers on her channel, which she launched in 2015.
Her video, "How To Grow with 0 Views and 0 Subscribers," which has 2 million views, earned her around $5,000, which is the most amount of money she's earned from a single video on YouTube, she said.
In 2018, YouTube featured Darmawangsa for 24 hours on its worldwide trending page as a "Creator on The Rise."
Today, she helps other social media influencers and young creators build channels and businesses online.
Kyra Ann — $6,000
Kyra Ann is a minimalist who shares her experience and tips on YouTube with her 77,000 subscribers.
Her three main revenue streams are her day job at a nursing home, her YouTube channel, and the commissions she earns through affiliate links.
She told Business Insider in March that the most she's earned from a single YouTube video was about $6,000.
"I didn't keep any of that money," she said. "I actually threw it all to my student loans."
Kyra earns more money a month from her YouTube channel than at her day job, she said. In February, she earned $1,817 from AdSense.
Read the full post: A minimalist YouTube creator shares exactly how much money she makes in a month with 77,000 subscribers — and what she spends
Natalie Barbu — $8,000
Natalie Barbu is a 22-year-old social-media influencer and YouTube creator with 227,000 subscribers.
Barbu posts videos twice a week to YouTube about her day-to-day life experiences.
She started her YouTube channel about eight years ago, while she was in high school. She'd post videos talking about fashion and beauty as an after-school hobby, long before she knew she could be earning any money from the platform, she said.
Barbu graduated with an engineering degree from NC State University and said while she was attending college, she began to take her channel more seriously. She would post one video to her channel a week about her college life experiences and what it was like to be a girl studying engineering, she said.
The most amount of money she's earned from a single YouTube video was around $8,000 from her video on how to start an online store, which has 390,000 views, she told Business Insider in February.
Read the full post (and watch the video): CRASH COURSE: An influencer explains how YouTube ads work, her advice for making more money, and how much she earns
Maya Lee —$8,900
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.
Lee has several videos on her channel about waking up early. Her popular 2019 video, "Waking up at 5AM | My Productive Morning Routine" has 4.8 million views and has earned $8,900, she told Business Insider in July. That video continues to earn money each month and bring in thousands of new subscribers to her channel, Lee said.
Her goal is to eventually have YouTube be her primary career, she said.
"My hope is to be able to turn this full time," Lee said. "But for now I'm OK with doing teaching and YouTube at the same time."
Read the full post: A YouTuber with 250,000 subscribers explains how much money she makes from her videos, which is more than her salary from her day job as a teacher
Ruby Asabor — $9,000
Ruby Asabor is a 22-year-old YouTube content creator and motivational speaker.
She has 140,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, Lavish Ruby, which she started four years ago, and today she has established several revenue streams around her digital business.
She said on average she earns between $2,200 and $2,500 for a every 100,000 views on YouTube.
Asabor's finance- and business-related videos target an older audience, which is favorable to Google's advertisers. Her average viewer is someone who cares about financial education and the advertisements that play in her videos will often be for banks or stockbrokers, she said. These advertisers pay more than others because there are fewer videos on YouTube that attract their target audience.
The most she's earned from a single YouTube video is around $9,000, she told Business Insider in February.
Read the full post: A recent college grad living in New York says she makes a 6-figure income as a YouTube influencer. She broke down how she does it.
Alyssa Kulani — $23,000
Canadian YouTube creator Alyssa Kulani has 676,000 subscribers.
Kulani, 20, said her first YouTube video was a vlog, which she uploaded to her YouTube channel when she was 13 years old, around 2012. By the time she was in high school, she had around 100,000 subscribers.
Kulani never finished high school, dropping out her senior year, she said. That's when she began working in retail, and soon after, her friends on YouTube, who had channels of their own, encouraged her to take her channel more seriously because she was "missing out on a huge opportunity."
In late 2018, YouTube's algorithm picked up and recommended a video she posted in October of that year titled, "Telling my best friend I like him...*PRANK*," which prompted the video to go viral and gain 4 million views.
She told Business Insider in November, that she earned $23,000 from that video, and that she continues to make money from it today.
Read the full post: A 20-year-old YouTube creator explains how she earned $23,000 in ad revenue from a single video
Shelby Church — $30,000
Shelby Church is a YouTube creator with 1.4 million subscribers.
In 2019, Church said she earned around $140,000 from YouTube ads, which is more than double what she made in 2018.
Last year, she realized that if she extended her videos to over 10 minutes, she could include more ads and earn more money. She said she usually includes one pre-roll ad before the video (which is the default on YouTube), and two ads within the video, three or four minutes apart. Her videos are typically about 10 to 12 minutes.
Her video about Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) had an unusually high CPM rate, she told Business Insider in January. The video earned her about $30,000 in AdSense revenue from 1.8 million views.
Read the full post: How much money YouTube paid a creator with 1.4 million subscribers during 2019
Kevin David — nearly $50,000
Kevin David is a YouTube influencer and entrepreneur with 900,000 subscribers.
David told Business Insider that he'd made as much as $50,000 in Google AdSense revenue from a single YouTube video.
His how-to guide for using Facebook ads made just under $50,000 in Google AdSense revenue, and his "Shopify Tutorial for Beginners" video, which required minimal production because he filmed it using the screen-record feature on his laptop, had made over $40,000, he told Business Insider in August 2019.
David gets the ideas for his content by looking at the Google Ads Keyword Planner to see how often people are searching particular phrases, and at other combinations of video topics and thumbnails that have been successful in view count, he said.
He said he made his Shopify tutorial video while staying in a cheap hostel in Australia, with no camera or equipment.
Read the full post: A YouTube creator explains how he made nearly $50,000 in ad revenue from one video, without millions of subscribers
Brian Barczyk — $50,000
Brian Barczyk, 50, is a YouTube creator and reptile influencer who posts vlog-style content about his life and the animals he breeds.
He told Business Insider that he supports himself and his family financially from the money he earns as a YouTube creator.
Barczyk's highest-earning video is one he posted in July 2017, titled "MY SNAKE IS EGG BOUND!!! NOW WHAT?!!!" Today, the video has over 28 million views.
Barczyk earned around $50,000 in AdSense from the video, and continues to earn about $300 to $500 a month from it, he said. That's the most he's made from a single video, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider in January.
He said his channel gained around 300,000 subscribers from the video as well.
Read the full post: How much money YouTube paid a creator for 28 million views — on a video about snakes
Graham Stephan — $56,000
Graham Stephan is a YouTube creator with 1.6 million subscribers known for sharing personal-finance, investing, and real-estate tips with his followers.
Stephan launched his YouTube channel in 2016 with a video on his journey as a real-estate agent.
Last year, he switched to YouTube full time. He 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.
Stephan has turned his YouTube channel into a lucrative career, with his channel making $141,000 in February alone, according to a screenshot of his YouTube dashboard, which was viewed by Business Insider.
His video titled, "How I Bought A Tesla for $78 per month" with 6.3 million views earned over $56,000 in under a year, he said in March.
Read the full post: $141,000 in monthly YouTube income: Graham Stephan describes how he grew his real-estate and finance channel into a lucrative business
Marko Zlatic — $70,000
Marko Zlatic is a fiance YouTuber with 318,000 subscribers.
He started his channel two years ago and now he posts videos twice a week to YouTube about personal finance, stocks, and real-estate investing.
He is part of a community of YouTubers who film videos dedicated to teaching their audiences about personal finance — which can make creators more money than many other subjects.
He makes money from the ads that play in his videos, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and financial consulting.
His video, "How Car Dealerships Rip You Off" with 6.6 million views, has earned him around $70,000, he said.
"A big part of my income is that ad revenue," Zlatic said. "It's scary not knowing if that's going to go away. You really have to keep pumping out good quality content."
Read the full post: How much YouTube pays for a video with 100,000 views, according to a personal-finance creator
Paul Kousky — $97,000
Paul Kousky has 11.8 million subscribers on his YouTube channel PDK Films.
In 2015, Kousky dropped out of college to focus on online video as a full-time job. Now 24, he said that he earns a majority of his revenue through the ads in his YouTube videos.
He films videos about Nerf guns, and he told Business Insider in December that his video titled "Nerf War: Tank Battle," with 166 million views earned around $97,000.
"Some people think that's low; some people think it's high," he told Business Insider. "For me, that's just what I'm used to on my channel. Some people get a couple million views and pull in $100,000 in AdSense off that."
He posted the video to YouTube in February 2018, and it went viral worldwide six months later, he said.
Read the full post: A YouTube influencer explains how he made $97,000 from a single video