how to make money on youtube

How to Make Money on Youtube: How Many Views Do You Need?

Are you interested in learning how to make money on Youtube or how many views you need?

In this post, I’ll go in-depth on how you can make money on YouTube and answer the question of how many views you need.

Over the past decade, YouTube has been one of the cornerstones for everyday people to make money online. 

What used to be a community of creatives sharing their tips and tricks has now become a platform for online businesses and personal brands. 

More than ever, people want to know how to make money on YouTube as they’ve seen from so many of their favorite influencers do.

One YouTuber, Shana Green of the Wealth Vibe, was able to make over $17,000 in one year on YouTube as a side hustle!

In this post, I’ll be chatting with Shana as she shares her journey of starting her channel and how she’s been able to make money on YouTube with a relatively small channel.

If you missed it, check out part one of this YouTube series where I share how to start a YouTube channel.

Let’s jump into how you make money on YouTube first.

How do you make money on YouTube? 

There are a few ways that YouTubers can make money. This includes Google Ads, sponsored content, affiliate marketing, and selling their own products. 

Ads through Google Adsense 

You’ll notice that ads will play before, during, and even after some videos on YouTube. These are ads being served by Google. Each time an ad is played and even clicked on, a YouTuber has the potential to make money.

Those who are eligible to run ads on their videos are called YouTube partners and are a part of the YouTube Partner program.

The amount that you get paid for an ad that runs on your videos varies by the type of content that you produce. It is measured by a factor called cost per mille (CPM), which is how much you’ll get paid for 1,000 views. 

Though nothing official has come from YouTube, several sources have quoted an average of $2 for most channels. This number can vary, as my CPM has gone up to $40 for a personal finance video.

Your niche will drive how high this number is. This article sheds more light on the highest-paying niches.

The more ads that you serve on your videos increases the amount of money that you can make. However, there is a fine balance. You don’t want to clutter your videos with ads and lose viewers.

Qualifications for the YouTube Partner Program 

When you start a YouTube channel, you won’t immediately be able to start running ads. 

In order to qualify as a YouTube partner and run ads on your videos, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Live in a country that participates in the program
  • Be in good standing with YouTube
  • Have 4,0000 valid watch hours in the last 12 months (Valid watch hours are views for videos that are public, not private, unlisted, or deleted videos)
  • Have more than 1,000 subscribers

Once you’ve met all of the requirements, then you can apply to be a YouTube partner. Once approved, you can begin monetizing your videos with ads.

How many views do you need to get paid on YouTube?

Based on the definition of CPM, to start earning an ad needs to be shown at least 1,000 times.

Let’s do some math.

Say you want to make $100 from just ads and your channel’s CPM is $2 per 1,000 views ($.002/mille). To get to $100, you would need 50,000 ad plays.

The important factor is that people actually take action on the ads—watching them and/or clicking on them.

Check out this YouTube views to money calculator to estimate how much you can make per view.

How will you get paid from YouTube?

Even if you begin earning money from ads, you won’t get paid immediately. 

Before getting paid, you’ll have to set up a Google AdSense account. This is basically a hub that tracks all of your earnings from any Google ads, including if you run ads on a blog and YouTube. 

AdSense is where you can set your account up to pay you via a live check or have your funds sent via direct deposit. All earnings will get paid through this platform.

How often does YouTube Pay?

Payments are made monthly between the 21st and 26th and there is a $100 threshold. You will be paid for the prior month’s earning. 

For example, if you earn $100 in January, you won’t receive payment until February between the 21st and 26th. Direct deposit (or electronic funds transfer) will take some additional time.

You must hit this threshold every month in order to get paid. So if your earnings fall below $100 in one month, you won’t get paid in the next payment cycle.

Sponsored Videos

You’ve probably heard your favorite YouTuber say, “This video is being sponsored by {insert brand name here}.” 

That means that they are being paid to produce the content in the video that you are watching.

Because they can set their own rates and negotiate with brands, sponsored videos are how most content creators are able to make large amounts of money. 

Imagine being able to charge thousands of dollars to mention a product or talk about it for a certain length of time. 

Your rate should take into consideration the time that it takes for you to produce the content, including recording and editing. It should also factor in how many people you will be able to reach from your platform.

Many influencers don’t give out information on their rates and how they handle sponsorships, but I was able to find a really good book that covers it.

“Influencer” by Brittany Hennessey dives deep into the world of social media influencers and has a whole chapter that talks about working with brands and sponsorships. She even teaches about setting rates, negotiating, and understanding contracts.

I read this book about a year ago and still keep it for future reference.

Brittany is able to share information from the side of an influencer and as someone who worked for big companies that hired influencers to produce content. 

Basically, she knows what she’s talking about.

Affiliate Marketing

I can probably write a whole blog post on affiliate marketing (and probably will). I’ll try to keep it short and to the point though.

Affiliate marketing, in simple terms, is getting paid a commission to recommend a product or service to someone.

YouTubers and bloggers alike use this as a means of making money online, including me. In fact, you may or may not have noticed my affiliate disclaimer at the top of this post.

Anytime a YouTuber tells you to use the link in the description box to access a product that they’re recommending, it’s usually an affiliate link.

Legally, they must disclose this with a statement–also included in the description box.

It doesn’t cost the consumer any additional money to use these links. Using them just allows the person who recommended the product or service to get a commission for sharing it.

Tons of companies offer affiliate programs that you can apply for. Many require that you have a blog, YouTube channel, or significant social media following and that you share how you plan to promote the product/service to.

The most popular affiliate program that YouTubers use is Amazon. Amazon’s affiliate program is popular because most people already shop on the platform. So directing them there isn’t very hard to do.

Here’s an example of the affiliate links that I share in my YouTube videos.

These are all products that people have asked about at one time or another, so I simply provide my affiliate link to the product so that they can purchase it for themselves. 

Based on the product type (tech, beauty, etc.) and how much it costs, I can make a few dollars from someone using my link to purchase.


YouTube is also a great place to market your personal products. 

I promote my own books on my channel for people who are interested in personal finances and how they can get out of debt.

YouTube recently enabled a new feature called merch shelf where you can showcase your products right below your video for people to purchase. 

Here’s an example of what that looks like from Shana’s page.

In order to get this shop feature on your channel, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Have more than 10,000 subscribers
  • Be monetized with YouTube
  • Not have a channel targeted to kids

Unlike the Partner Program, you will automatically be notified if you are eligible for the merch shelf.

Don’t worry if you don’t meet the requirements to have this on your channel. Not having a merch shelf won’t stop you from selling products. You can simply put a link to it in the description box.

The benefit of selling your own products is that you aren’t relying on ad views or sponsorship to get paid. You can earn money immediately with your own products and they aren’t tied to contracts, payment terms, or views necessarily.


In the same manner that you promote your products, you can also promote your services.

Shay of Shay Budgets not only uses her YouTube channel to drive viewers to her Etsy shop, but she also uses it to promote her consulting services.

She includes a link in each of her videos for viewers to schedule a one-on-one session with her to talk about creating an Etsy shop or growing their own YouTube channel.

How Shana Made Over $17,000 on YouTube Part-Time

Now that you know how you can make money on YouTube, it’s time to hear from someone who has done it successfully.

Shana is the creator of the Wealth Vibe YouTube channel. It’s one of her many side hustles that she’s using to pay off debt

I asked Shana a few questions to learn exactly how she was able to use her channel to earn over $17,000 on YouTube part-time.

When did you join YouTube as a creator?

I joined YouTube as a creator in 2010 as a beauty channel. I stopped for several years before returning in 2018 as a personal finance channel.

What made you start a YouTube channel?

I was having success with my personal finance goals and wanted to share that with others.

I had been thinking of how I could return to YouTube but never found a topic I was passionate about that I could talk about for years to come.

If my channel became monetized again, I figured that it would help me to achieve my financial goals.

What is your YouTube channel about?

I help people to eliminate debt, grow their income, and build wealth by sharing my personal experiences doing the same.

How long did it take before you made money on YouTube?

I made money through affiliate marketing within 2-3 months of rejoining YouTube. I also had been monetized by YouTube’s Google AdSense program years before but lost my status due to new changes in YouTube’s policy. 

With the new policy, I met all requirements but one, which is to maintain 4,000 watch hours within a 12 month period. It took me 4 months to achieve that goal and become monetized to receive payments through ad revenue.

How do you make money on YouTube? 

Here’s a breakdown of the $17,108 that I made in one year:

  • Google Adsense – $3,393 (Now I’m making close to $600 monthly.)
  • Sponsored Videos – $0
  • Affiliate Marketing – $13,580
  • Products – $135

How much does it cost to run your YouTube channel?

On a monthly basis about $100 for services like Picmonkey, Later, Clipping Magic, etc. These are subscription services that help me with producing thumbnails and social media posts. 

Occasionally, I will purchase plugins to help with making editing easier or to advance my editing. Those cost about $50 on average but are not a regular expense. 

I also started paying for SEO help from virtual assistants. That currently is about $8 an hour for about 4 hours of work per week. This will not be an ongoing cost because I am only trying to optimize old videos and the VA optimizes about 3 videos per week during that time. 

How much time do you spend each week on your channel? 

This varies. I tend to batch record for several weeks or a month, which takes 1-2 days. Then editing takes about 2-4 hours per video if they are informational videos. 

I’ve started to do a weekly vlog and that is extremely time-consuming with continuous filming and super long editing times. 

How do you get people to watch your videos/increase your views?

Search engine optimization (SEO) and commenting on other YouTuber’s videos. 

The comments really do help to bring traffic to videos, however, it can be time-consuming to be an early viewer of someone else’s video and watch the video in order to submit a meaningful and impactful comment.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start making money on YouTube?

Pick a niche you can talk about for years to come, be consistent, and work hard at optimizing and promoting your videos.

Ready to start making money on YouTube?

There is potential to make a lot of money YouTube if you put in the work and are consistent. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting, there is still an opportunity for you to make money.

Be sure to read my latest post on how to start a YouTube channel if you’re ready to start your own YouTube journey.

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