Is YouTube Still Profitable? Top 7 Secrets to YouTube’s Online Money-Making Success

Is YouTube still profitable? Absolutely it is. YouTube is the second most visited website on the planet. According to the GMI team, over 2.7 billion people use the platform each and every month.

Over a single day, people are watching more than a billion hours of video with billions of views. With the amount of traffic YouTube gets, it's no wonder that it's still very profitable.

So what does this mean for you? You are probably wondering if YouTube is still a profitable business venture and in this article, I will go over everything. You will learn 7 ways how YouTube successfully increases its profits over time, how YOU can profit on YouTube, how much profit you can make, the secrets to making high profits, and also the niches that return the highest profit possible.

Top 6 Secrets to YouTube's Online High Profit Success

1. YouTube's Global Influence Is Extensive

YouTube's extensive global influence is the main reason for its continued profitability. As the world's second-largest search engine and the most visited video platform, YouTube boasts over 2.7 billion logged-in monthly users, a number that represents almost one-third of the internet's population. This vast reach creates opportunities for content creators to engage with diverse audiences worldwide.

YouTube videos are accessible in more than 100 countries and available in 80 languages, covering 95% of the internet population. With such widespread accessibility like this, it not only amplifies views but also brings in a broad range of advertisers with big budgets

2. YouTube is the 2nd Most Visited Site on The Planet

YouTube's status as the second most visited site globally plays a big role in its profitability. As I mentioned earlier, it gets over 2.7 billion logged-in monthly users. This massive user base is a goldmine for advertisers, as it offers a lot of opportunities.

 Advertisers flock to YouTube to capitalize on this extensive reach, which leads to a significant influx of ad revenue for the platform. The huge volume of traffic ensures a constant stream of viewers for ads, making YouTube an attractive and lucrative platform for businesses looking to make the best of their advertising budget. 

3. YouTube's Ad Revenue Is Experiencing Significant Growth

YouTube's profitability continues to soar, largely driven by its growing ad revenue. In recent years, YouTube has experienced significant growth in this area. For instance, according to Statista, in the third quarter of 2023, YouTube's advertising revenue hit 7.95 billion US dollars. Comparing that to 7.01 billion for Q3 in 2022, that makes it an increase of 12%.

This increase is due to the platform's expanding user base and the effectiveness of its targeted advertising model. Mobile devices have also played a role, as more users access YouTube on smartphones and tablets, leading to increased ad views.

4. YouTube Has Regular Updates and Innovations

YouTube's profitability increases year after year by its commitment to regular updates and innovations. These continuous improvements, ranging from enhanced video algorithms to user-friendly interface changes, keep the platform at the top of its game.

To give you an example, YouTube introduced "shorts" which was in direct response of the success that TikTok had with short length video format. Innovations like this not only improve the user experience but also open new avenues for advertisers, thereby increasing ad revenue. 

5. YouTube Boasts a Wide and Varied Audience

YouTube's audience is very diverse and widespread, a key factor in its global appeal and profitability. It spans various demographics, including age, gender, and cultural backgrounds. This extensive reach is not limited to any single demographic; YouTube appeals to all age groups, from Gen Z to Baby Boomers, with content tailored to each group's preferences. For example, younger viewers might gravitate towards gaming and entertainment videos, while older audiences may prefer news and educational content. This variety of viewers allows advertisers to target a very broad spectrum of consumers

6. YouTube Makes Creators a Lot of Money

YouTube has become a very lucrative platform for creators, thanks to its revenue-sharing model and expansive audience reach. According to MarketingProfs, YouTube's ad revenue will reach $33.5 billion in 2024. Since creators get 55% of that, then YouTube will be set to pay creators around $18.5 billion US dollars. That's a lot of money to be had.

This is a win-win situation for creators and YouTube alike. The more videos creators make, the more money both parties make. A very profitable venture for both parties indeed!

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11 Ways To Make a Profit on YouTube

1. YouTube Partner Program

The YouTube Partner Program is the most popular way for YouTubers to get paid and make a profit on YouTube. This is done through ads. You get paid based on the number of clicks and ad views on your videos.

Your pay is based on a certain amount per 1000 views. This is what is referred to as CPM. You get paid 55% of ad revenue. YouTube takes the remaining 45%. CPM varies from niche to niche. For example, if the CPM in your niche is $10, then you would get paid $100 per 1000 views. There are other factors involved but this is a simple breakdown.

As you can see, if your videos cost nothing to produce, you can make some pretty big profits!

2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing on YouTube is in my opinion the 2nd best way to make profits on the platform. In fact, it could even surpass what you make with ads, especially if you promote high ticket items. 

Almost every niche has an affiliate program. Choose products wisely and only promote products that your audience would actually want. Your chances of making money will greatly increase this way. 

Links to affiliate programs can be put in the description and also mentioned in your videos. Don't overdo it though, focus should be mostly on entertainment/education rather than selling.

3. Patreon and Crowdfunding

Platforms like Patreon allow creators to receive funding directly from their audience in exchange for exclusive content and other perks. Normally this only works when you have built up a substantial following and people are eager to see more "behind the scenes" or exclusive content to get to know you better.

Some creators make great money from this. For example, the boat channel named Gone With the Wynns has just under 3000 members on Patreon with 3 paid options of $2, $5, and $10. I don't know exactly how much they are making on Patreon but I would think it's in the 5 figure range.

4. Merchandise

If it makes sense for your channel, you can sell things like customized T-shirts, hats, socks, or whatever you want with your channel logo on it or something original for your audience.

Many channels do well with merch. Some ridiculously well. According to, they report that PewDiePie has sales of $6.8 million US dollars per month. Jake Paul does $1.6 million a month. While these are big YouTubers, it just tells you how profitable merchandising is, which is likely more than what they make from ad revenue. 

5. Sponsorships and Brand Deals

Sponsorships and brand deals are highly profitable for YouTubers, offering a significant revenue stream beyond just ad revenue. Creators can strike deals with brands to promote products or services directly within their videos. This can be more lucrative than traditional ad revenue, as sponsors often pay premium rates for targeted exposure to the creator's audience.

These types of deals vary depending on the niche and how large your audience is. What's great about this is that you don't need to seek sponsorships. Normally companies will reach out to you and try to make some kind of offer. You should choose wisely though and don't shill for every offer you get! You might piss off your audience!

6. Channel Memberships

Channel memberships are a profitable avenue for YouTubers, allowing them to earn recurring revenue from their most loyal viewers. By enabling this feature, creators offer their subscribers the option to become paying members of their channel, usually in exchange for exclusive perks like custom badges, emojis, members-only videos, live chats, and more.

The membership fees are set by the creator, typically ranging from a few dollars to higher amounts for premium tiers. 

7. Super Chat and Super Stickers

Super Chat and Super Stickers offer YouTubers a profitable way to earn revenue during live streams. Viewers can purchase Super Chats to highlight their messages in the live chat stream, making them more visible to the creator and other viewers.

Super Stickers are animated graphics that viewers can buy and send during the live stream. The cost varies, allowing viewers to choose how much they want to spend to show their support or get their message noticed. The revenue from these purchases is shared between YouTube and the creator, with the creator receiving a significant portion. 

8. YouTube Premium Revenue

Many YouTubers think that when members of YouTube Premium watch their videos ad-free they are losing money. This just isn't the case.

YouTube Premium revenue offers a unique monetization path for YouTubers. When YouTube Premium subscribers watch your content, you earn a share of the fee they pay for their subscription. This model is based on viewer engagement: the more time Premium subscribers spend watching your videos, the greater your share of the revenue. Not bad, right?

9. Selling Digital Products

Creators can design and sell products like e-books, courses, software, music, or photography, which align with their channel's theme and audience interests. This method is profitable as digital products have low overhead costs and can be sold repeatedly without restocking.

Creators typically promote these products in their videos or through links in the video description. There are many different platforms to create an ebook or digital course such as Thrive Themes and more.

10. Consulting and Coaching

As a YouTuber, you can leverage your reputation and authority built through your channel by offering paid consulting and coaching outside of the channel. This is a little different from selling digital products like the courses mentioned above because it is more hands-on like a Zoom call(s) with a client.

Typically this service is expensive with creators charging thousands of dollars for consulting. If your niche calls for it and you have the time, you could consider incorporating this strategy.

11. Licensing Content to Media Outlets

Licensing content to media outlets involves selling the rights to use your videos to third parties, like TV networks, online media platforms, or other content distributors.

Creators can earn money each time their content is licensed, with the amount depending on factors like the video's uniqueness, demand, and licensing terms. To set this up, YouTubers can list their content on stock footage sites, work with media licensing agencies, or directly negotiate with interested parties.

How Much Profit Can You Make on YouTube as a Creator?

The profitability of a YouTube channel hinges on a variety of factors. This includes things like views, audience sizeengagement, and content niche

Because of this, it's difficult to predict how much you can make but a good baseline would be about $5- $7 per 1000 views.

Using that baseline, here are some examples of how much profit you can make:

YouTube Earnings by ad views
YouTube earnings for 10K views$50 - $70
YouTube earnings for  100K views$500 - $700
YouTube earnings for 500K views$2500 - $3500
YouTube earnings for 1 million views$5000 - $7000

Another way to estimate profits is to use the Adsense Calculator.

Since you need an Adsense account to get paid on YouTube, this tool can also be used to give you a rough idea on how much money you can make on YouTube. 

You can choose your region and category niche, select how many monthly page views and then see the earnings potential.

Here's an example I pulled using North America and the Auto & Vehicles niche:

It's important to understand that your earnings will vary and there is no way to predict exactly how much you will make but you can use the above info for a baseline.

When you get your channel started, you will be able to see exactly how much money you will be making in your YouTube Revenue tab. You can track your earnings there in real-time.

What is the Secret to Making High Profits on YouTube?

The secret to making high profits on YouTube involves several factors. 

1. Create Engaging Content

The presence of highly engaging content leads to increased viewer retention and, subsequently, more ad views. Creators who harness the power of storytelling and high-quality video production tend to draw larger audiences and sustain them for longer periods.

2. Consistent Uploads

It's simple math. The more videos you have, the more money and profits you will make. However, don't sacrifice quantity for quality.

3. Diversify Your Income

Don't just rely on ad revenue. Incorporate strategies like affiliate marketing, creating a digital product, sell merchandise and more. I gave you some suggestions above.

4. Pay Attention to your Analytics

YouTube Analytics is your friend. When you log in to your YouTube account go to YouTube Studio then Analytics. Here you can check stats like watch time, average view duration, average percentage viewed, and even where people are losing interest and stop watching.

You can use that data to make better videos. Don't ignore your analytics!

5. Keyword Research

Keyword research is crucial for YouTube creators as it helps in optimizing video titles, descriptions, and tags to improve visibility and searchability. Typically, you would use tools like VidIQ or TubeBuddy to do your research but you can also use free tools like Google's Keyword Planner. Or, when on YouTube, enter a keyword in the search bar and you will get more keyword ideas.

6. SEO Optimization

SEO optimization is vital for YouTube creators as it enhances video discoverability in search results and recommendations.

Effective SEO involves using relevant keywords in video titles, descriptions, and tags, creating engaging thumbnails, and ensuring high-quality video content with clear, relevant titles.  Check out my YouTube SEO Tips article to learn more.

7. Optimized Titles

If there is any ONE thing you need to do well with YouTube to ensure you get views that translate to profits, it's making optimized titles. Your titles should be clear, and engaging, and include keywords you are going for but also convey the message of the video.

It's ok to go clickbaity as long as the video relates to the title. You want to ensure your content matches your title or people will lose trust and stop watching.

8. Use Attractive Thumbnails

An ugly or uninteresting thumbnail rarely gets clicked. A compelling thumbnail should be visually appealing, high-resolution, and representative of the video content. It often includes bright colors, clear and engaging imagery, and text overlays to grab attention.

Tools like Canva can help you create visually appealing thumbnails. They even have templates that you can use. You can also use services like Fiverr or Upwork if you don't want to do the work yourself.

9. Audience Engagement

At the beginning of your YouTube journey, it's very important to engage with your audience through comments, polls, or community posts. Like comments, reply to comments, and do this on a regular basis.

Ask for feedback on your videos in the comment section and also in the video itself. Engagement is signal to YouTube's algorithm that viewers find the content valuable, thereby improving its ranking. The end result of course is more views and more money!

10. Ad Placement and Effective Use of Ads

Ad placement and effective use of ads are crucial for YouTube creators to maximize revenue without compromising viewer experience. It involves strategically positioning ads within a video, such as choosing optimal times for mid-roll ads that don't disrupt the flow of content.

Creators should balance the number and type of ads (skippable, non-skippable, overlay, etc.) to avoid viewer annoyance. You can use your YouTube analytics to see where the drop-off points are and tweak where to place your ads.

11. Diversification of Revenue Streams

I touched on this already above, but can't stress enough the importance of not relying solely on money from ads. Incorporate affiliate marketing, channel memberships, Patreon and so on.

12. Targeting High-CPM Niches

Niches with higher CPMs, like finance, technology, health, and business, often attract more lucrative advertising due to their audience's purchasing power and advertiser demand. You don't necessarily have to target these niches to make a profit, but you can achieve higher profits with fewer views in these niches.

13. Collaboration With Other Creators

By partnering with other YouTubers, creators can tap into each other's audiences, gaining exposure to new viewers who might subscribe to their channel. Collaborations often involve co-creating videos or featuring on each other's channels.

The key is to partner with creators who have a similar or complementary audience. If your niche allows this, contact another creator to see if he or she would be interested in a collab. It's a win-win for both parties.

14. Effective Use of YouTube Shorts

To make the most of Shorts, creators should focus on trending topics, use catchy titles, and ensure high-quality, engaging content that captures viewers' attention quickly.

Regularly posting Shorts can increase visibility and channel traffic, as they often appear on YouTube's Shorts shelf, attracting viewers who might not have discovered your longer content.

15. Adapting to Trends and Viewer Preferences

Make sure you keep an eye on current trends, viral topics, and viewer feedback. Creators should incorporate this into their content, whether it's through the themes they choose, the style of their videos, or the type of content they produce.

When you stay adaptable, people will enjoy your content and keep coming back for more. This is going to help with your channel growth and of course - your profits!

16. Offer Exclusive Content

You can offer exclusive content for a fee not found on your channel. This can be done through channel memberships or Patreon where subscribers pay a monthly fee for access to exclusive videos, behind-the-scenes footage, early access to new content, or members-only live chats. 

17. International Audience Appeal

Attracting an international audience is vital for YouTube creators seeking to expand their reach and influence. To appeal globally, creators often include subtitles in multiple languages, cover universal topics, or incorporate culturally diverse content.

You can find where your audience is from in your analytics. If the majority of your audience speaks a different language, consider using subtitles so they can understand your content. You should also ensure that you respect any cultural differences and adjust content accordingly.

18. Investing in Production Quality

You want to make sure your video and audio quality are above average. This can be achieved by upgrading to better cameras, using good lighting, and ensuring clear audio with quality microphones.

Using simple editing software can significantly enhance the quality of your videos as well. Having a professional look will help maintain viewers and attract new ones.

19. Brand Consistency

Brand consistency involves maintaining a consistent style, tone, and theme across all videos and channel branding elements like logos, thumbnails, and banners. Consistency helps in building a strong brand identity, making it easier for viewers to recognize and remember your channel.

It also helps with trust and encourages repeat viewership. Just remember to stay on point and don't deviate. If it's working - stick with it!

20. Video Length

Video length is crucial for YouTube creators because it affects viewer engagement and watch time, key factors in YouTube's algorithm. Ideally, videos should be long enough to cover the topic comprehensively but short enough to retain viewer interest.

This will vary by niche though because if it's a tutorial-type video obviously it will be longer than an entertainment or vlog-style video.

What Niches Make The Highest Profits On YouTube?

1. Technology and Gadgets

Reviews and unboxings of the latest tech attract tech enthusiasts and a wide range of advertisers. Audiences interested in the latest gadgets and technology check out reviews before making a purchase. A high level of consumer buying intent translates to higher advertising revenue for channels in this niche and is also an opportunity to make affiliate sales.

2. Finance and Investing

You can cover topics like personal finance, the stock market, cryptocurrency, and real estate. Large companies with huge budgets advertise in this niche so you're going to make good money if you've got the views.

3. Health and Fitness

With a focus on workouts, nutrition, and wellness, these channels attract health-conscious viewers and brands that will spend a lot of advertising dollars on your channel. 

4. Beauty and Fashion

Makeup tutorials, fashion hauls, and skincare routines draw in a diverse audience and brands looking to promote their products. Brand deals are very popular and lucrative in this niche.

5. Gaming

Gaming channels, including gameplay, reviews, and live streams, appeal to a younger demographic and a variety of gaming-related advertisers. If you're a gamer, you have no excuse not to create a channel like this - it's a sure money-maker.

6. Education and E-Learning

Educational content, especially in niche subjects, can draw in a dedicated audience and big investors in advertising. This is also an opportunity to make money by creating your own course and marketing it to your audience.

7. Food and Cooking

Recipe tutorials and food reviews appeal to a broad audience, including various food and kitchenware brands. You could review restaurants, make your own cooking tutorials, or even sell your own cooking ebook on your channel. There are a lot of sponsorship deals with cooking channels as well.

8. Business and Entrepreneurship

If you create a channel offering advice on entrepreneurship, marketing, and business strategies, you are going to attract an audience willing to learn as well as advertisers that have huge budgets in this space. You can even supplement your ad revenue with a course you create and sell or consider offering a mentorship program for a fee.

9. Entertainment and Comedy

Channels that consistently produce entertaining or humorous content draw large audiences and diverse advertisers. You can create a vlog style approach such as pranks or interview people on outrageous content. Think outside the box here and find your own niche. 

10. Automotive

The automotive niche can be very profitable and has made many YouTubers in this niche like Tavarish, Hoovies Garage and Mat Armstrong millionaires. A lot of their success comes not just from ad revenue but from lucrative brand deals with huge automotive companies.

Courses That Teach You How to Make a Profit On YouTube

While all this might be a little overwhelming, knowing what niche you have in mind is just the start. Getting a good course is something you should consider investing in. I have bought and reviewed many YouTube courses. I just just rehash what others say, I actually go through all the training and put into practice what I have learned. 

Here are my suggestions:

Conclusion: Is YouTube Still Profitable?

Yes, YouTube continues to be a profitable platform for both creators and YouTube itself. Advertisers aren't slowing down advertising on the platform either because they are getting results from YouTube. 

YouTube's ad revenue in the 3rd quarter of 2023  was $7.95 billion US dollars and shows no sign of slowing down.

If you are considering starting a channel on YouTube, based on all the info you've read in this post, then yes, you can make a business out of this and quite possibly you can make a substantial profit.

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Drew Mann

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