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.

1. PewDiePie

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.


2. Smosh

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.


3. Fine Brothers

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.


4. YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon

Fans: 7.3 million

Income: $6.7 million per year (2015 data)

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


5. Lindsey Stirling

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.


6. FunToyzCollector

Fans: 7.7 million

Income: $5 million per year (2015 data)

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


7. Blu Toys Club Surprise

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.


9. Rhett and Link

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.


10. JennaMarbles

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.


11. TobyGames

Fans: 6.9 million

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

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


12. RayWilliamJohnson

Fans: 10 million

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

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


13. UberHaxorNova

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.


14. Annoying Orange

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.


15. Michelle Phan

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.


16. Superwoman

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.


17. RomanAtwood

Fans: 9.5 million

Income: $2.5 million per year (2015 data)

Prankster Roman Atwood makes pranks that make people smile.


18. Rosanna Pansino

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.


Bethany Mota

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.


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