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Best Resources for Making Money With YouTube

Most of us have seen a viral video or two on YouTube. Maybe it is a funny cat video, or K-Pop star Psy's Gangnam Style music video, or someone playing Pokemon Go. Ever since its debut in 2005, YouTube has increasingly become an integral part of people's lives, especially for internet and mobile users from 18 to 49 years of age. Today, it's the 2nd most popular website in the world. With its over one billion users worldwide, every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube and generate billions of views. If it were a cable network in the U.S., it would be the largest one.

Many businesses, large or small, are utilizing YouTube to market their products and services and build their brands. As a small business owner, can you make money from YouTube? The answer is yes!

5 Major Ways to Make Money With YouTube

In my post How to Make Money With YouTube, I shared the 5 major ways to make money with YouTube:

1. Sign up for YouTube Partner Program

2. Promote Affiliate Products

3. Find Sponsors Directly

4. Promote Your Own Product or Service

5. Use Patreon

It's a good idea to read that post first to learn the basics, and then come here for YouTube success stories, and the best books, guides, tools, and services for YouTube.

Top Earning YouTubers

The following are the people who have leveraged their various skills and interests to be the top earning YouTubers (ranked by earnings). Although many post videos about video games and funny sketches, there is a lot of variety here. I hope you can get some inspirations from these YouTube Superstars and come up with your own idea for a YouTube Channel.

Fans: 46 million

Income: $12 million per year (2015 data)

Run by Swedish video game commentator Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, this channel posts gaming videos and funny sketches.


Fans: 22 million

Income: $8.5 million per year (2015 data)

Comedy duo Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla from Sacramento, California run this comedy channel. They got their name from live-action Pokémon skits.


Fans: 14 million

Income: $8.5 million per year (2015 data)

Benny and Rafi Fine got their fame by making their React video series, in which they film people's reaction watching other videos.


Fans: 7.3 million

Income: $6.7 million per year (2015 data)

Formerly known as BlueXephos, this YouTube channel produces comedy gaming videos.


Fans: 8 million

Income: $6 million per year (2015 data)

Sterling plays the violin while dancing in her videos. She started her YouTube channel after failing to be signed by a major record label.


Fans: 7.7 million

Income: $5 million per year (2015 data)

This channel reviews toys from Disney, Pixar, Nickelodeon, Play Doh, Claymation, etc.


Fans: 4.3 million

Income: $4.8 million per year (May 2016 data)

This channel posts "kid-friendly videos for toddlers, babies, infants and preschool children" in Portuguese and Español.


8. KSI

Fans: 14 million

Income: $4.5 million per year (2015 data)

Olajide Olatunji shot to YouTube stardom by filming video game commentaries. He then launched a successful music career from his YouTube channel.


Fans: 4.2 million

Income: $4.5 million per year (2015 data)

Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln Neal III shot to stardom because of Good Mythical Morning, a show that ridicules morning television news shows. It's reported that half of their income comes from sponsored deals with brands such as Toyota, Gillette, and Wendy's.


Fans: 16 million

Income: $4.3 million per year (2015 data)

As one of the most followed YouTubers, Jenna Marbles shares her makeup tips and comedy commentaries with her massive fan base.


Fans: 6.9 million

Income: $4.2 million per year (May 2016 data)

Toby Turner shows he fails to be good at video games.


Fans: 10 million

Income: $4 million per year (May 2016 data)

Comedian Ray William Johnson provides commentary on the viral videos on the internet.


Fans: 3 million

Income: $3.5 million per year (May 2016 data)

James Richard Wilson Jr. pokes fun at videos games and the gamer lifestyle.


Fans: 5.2 million

Income: $3.4 million per year (May 2016 data)

A web comedy series created by Dane Boedigheimer. It features an anthropomorphic orange with funny and often annoying behaviors. The show has spawned a video game, a TV series, toys and a T-shirt line.


Fans: 8.6 million

Income: $3 million per year (2015 data)

Phan, a makeup artist, teaches girls how to look like celebrities. She has a cosmetics line, a book, and a makeup subscription service called ipsy.


Fans: 9.6 million

Income: $2.5 million per year (2015 data)

Canadian stand-up comedian and singer Lilly Singh shares funny sketches with her fans. She also has an original movie called A Trip To Unicorn Island.


Fans: 9.5 million

Income: $2.5 million per year (2015 data)

Prankster Roman Atwood makes pranks that make people smile.


Fans: 9.5 million

Income: $2.5 million per year (2015 data)

Rosanna Pansino shares her love for creating yummy and good-looking cakes.


Honorable Mentions

The earnings for most of the following blogs were not reported. But based on the large number of fans they each have, their earnings must be close to or above $1 million per year.

Fans: 17 million

Income: unknown

Intro: YouTube personality Ryan Higa posts funny skits with his fans.


Fans: 10 million

Income: at least $1 million per year (2014 data)

Intro: Bethany Mota started to post shopping videos on YouTube when she was 14. Several years later, she is now making millions of dollars just by sharing videos about style, travel, beauty, cooking, positivity and more.


Fans: 8.7 million

Income: unknown

Intro: This Austin, Texas-based production company shares live-action shorts, podcasts, and animated comedy videos.


Fans: 7.6 million

Income: unknown

Intro: University graduate Joseph Garrett from the UK makes a fortune by simply filming himself playing Minecraft games every day.


Fans: 7.3 million

Income: unknown

Intro: Shane Dawson shares comedy videos, celebrity impersonations, and spoofy music videos and TV shows.


Fans: 7 million

Income: unknown

Intro: A Canadian cooking show where Harley Morenstein and Sterling Toth cook extremely high-calorie meals and then eat them.


Fans: 4.6 million

Income: unknown

Intro: Shay Carl Butler, known as Shay Carl, vlogs about his family and life daily on his YouTube channel. Although the earnings are not reported, it is estimated that they are in the millions. Most of the earnings are from YouTube ads and sponsored promotions for companies such as General Electric, Foot Locker, Kia, and Skype. It is worth to mention that his media company, Maker Studios, was bought by Disney for approximately $500 million in 2014.


Fans: 4.2 million

Income: unknown

Intro: YouTube personality Philip DeFranco talks about news and pop culture.


Fans: 3.1 million

Income: $1 million per year (Feb 2015 data)

Intro: 8-year-old Evan talks about toys, video games, animals, science, animation and other fun topics for kids.

Best Books on YouTube

Knowledge is power. It's necessary to pick up a few books about YouTube before making your first video. Surprisingly, great books on the world's most popular video sharing platform are rare. This is probably because most people prefer to learn about a video platform through, well, videos. But I have scoured the internet and found the following books that are among the best.

By Christopher Sharpe

If you want to launch your own YouTube Channel, develop a devoted fan base and make money while you’re at it, this is the book for you. Christopher Sharpe is the producer of multiple YouTube Channels that attract passionate audiences and add thousands of new subscribers per day.

In YouTube Black Book, Christopher shares how he launched these channels and shows you how to turn a passion for creating YouTube videos into a profitable business. YouTube Black Book offers you a glimpse behind the scenes. Christopher shares his journey with complete transparency so you can emulate his success and avoid his failures.

This book focuses on the big pictures strategy of what it really means to create a successful YouTube channel. From setting goals and developing your initial idea to strategies to get more views, YouTube Black Book covers all the bases.

Christopher Sharpe is the producer and director of the popular YouTube Channels Hilah Cooking and Yoga With Adriene. He is YouTube Certified in Audience Development and blogs about internet video at


By Rob Ciampa and Theresa Moore

Written by a successful YouTube channel producer, YouTube Channels For Dummies shows you how to create content, establish a channel, build an audience, and successfully monetize video content online. Beginning with the basics, it shows you how to establish a channel, join a partner program, and develop a content plan. Next, you'll gain insight into how to create content that builds a channel, enhance the viral nature of a video, encourage subscriptions, and earn repeat views. If that weren't enough, you'll go on even further to learn how to get the word out about your channel and discover ways to enhance your potential profits. That's a lot of info—but it's easily digestible and simple to put into practice when it's provided in the accessible and trusted For Dummies format.

YouTube is the third most-visited website on the Internet, making it prime real estate for anyone seeking customers, celebrity, or education. If you want to harness this irresistible platform and reach a global platform, YouTube Channels For Dummies makes it easy. In no time, you'll have the know-how to create a YouTube channel with regular subscribers who watch, re-watch, and share your videos.


By Montina Portis

This is an easy to read, simple to implement book that will empower you to make the impact on YouTube that you want. Author Montina "Sparkwisdom" Portis started on YouTube in 2009 and in a few short years has built up a strong subscriber base of over 10k and has over 1.5 million video views.

This book will teach you not only how to share your business, life and build memories - it will show you to make profits doing it with YouTube video marketing.

Here are some of the questions that are answered:

  • How to get more subscribers

  • How to get more views on the channel

  • How to keep people engaged

  • How to monetize videos

  • How to get my videos to show up on the first pages in Google

  • How to get more traffic to my website from YouTube

  • How to use YouTube to reach ideal clients

  • How to grow my channel and create dialogue with the viewers

  • And much more

Best Guides on Making Money With YouTube

The best way to learn about the world's most popular video sharing platform is probably studying video tutorials and online guides. You will be a better YouTube marketer than most YouTubers if you can fully study the following resources.

All you really need is a microphone, a video camera, and video editing software.

There is no better place to learn about the basics of YouTube than YouTube's own Creator Academy.

A basic guide on how YouTube advertising works, how much money you can make, and how you can earn money with your own YouTube channel.

The nitty-gritty of how YouTube stars actually get paid.

Carla Marshall from Tubular Insights shares the 5 ways you can make money from YouTube.

Can you really make $7,000 for every million views? Find out.

YouTube started offering live streaming in 2011 before it was cool. As Periscope and Meerkat slowly get eyeballs, YouTube started focusing on live streaming again. See how you can make money with this "new" hot trend.

See how you can generate income by making Video Tutorials on YouTube.

DIY YouTuber, Joanna Zhou shares her tips on how designers can build a successful YouTube channel from scratch and make money. You will get some great tips even if you are not a designer.

Jim Koch from ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) examines two YouTube revenue streams and the steps you should take to get paid.

Jon Ostrow, Director of Sales at Bandsintown, discusses his YouTube sales funnel strategy for musicians that consists of three steps: discovery, monetization, and retention.

Tools and Services for YouTube

Here are the tools and services that can help you create better video content and build a thriving YouTube business.

Find YouTube-certified service providers.

A YouTube Multi-Channel Network that allows you to produce videos under its name. It provides tools and training to help you create better videos and get more views and subscribers.

Go beyond views and ratings with Simply Measured's YouTube Analytics - Full reports available on the web, in Excel & in PowerPoint.

Discover all kinds of YouTube stats.

A free Google Chrome extension that includes a suite of YouTube productivity tools including Animated GIF Generator, Annotation Templates, Comment Filters, Quick Links Menu, Thumbnail Generator, and more.

More Resources for Making Money With YouTube

The following are more valuable resources that don't really fit in the above categories. All highly recommended!

The destination for awesome resources to help you make great videos, find your audience, and grow your channel.

Learn, share and connect with other YouTube creators.

Dedicated spaces for YouTube creators to produce video content, learn new skills, and collaborate with other creators. Available in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, London, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Paris, and Mumbai.

Discover what's hot on YouTube and get inspirations for your next viral YouTube video.

Stay in the know about YouTube and its vibrant community.

Angela Booth shares creative ideas about making money on YouTube.

In fact, the number of views isn't the only factor that decides how much money you make from your YouTube videos. Engagement is another factor.

Many great tips answering the question "how much money can I make from a YouTube video with 5,000 views."

Another informative Quora thread on making money with YouTube.

YouTube consultant Derral Eves helps people grow their YouTube fan base and create better content. His YouTube channel has a large number of YouTube how-to tutorials.

Entrepreneur, marketer, business coach and author Alex Genadinik shares the 5 strategies to sell more on YouTube.

Award-winning entrepreneur and New York Times bestseller Susan Solovic's different take on making money with YouTube.

A cautionary tale about getting rich with YouTube.

What's Next

No amount of learning can replace taking massive action. Now that you have learned the basics of making money with YouTube, it's time to make your first video!

Your first videos most likely won't be good but you will get a little better with each video. If you are passionate about what you do and continue to make videos, one day you will be noticed and start making money with them.


Get my proven system to building a business that will last:

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