How many YouTube subscribers you need to start making money in 2022

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How many YouTube subscribers you need to start making money in 2022

Creators on YouTube don't need hundreds of thousands of subscribers to start earning money, or to turn the gig into a lucrative side hustle.

To start earning money directly from YouTube, a creator must be a member of the YouTube Partner Program. To apply, creators must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year. Once accepted, creators can start monetizing their channels through ads filtered through Google's AdSense program, subscriptions, and channel memberships.

Aside from the Partner Program, creators can also qualify to receive a bonus between $100 and $10,000 a month for posting short-form videos from a $100 million Shorts Fund.

Of these streams of income, the most common way creators earns make money from YouTube is through Google-placed ads.

For instance, Jen Lauren, who is a nano influencer with about 5,000 subscribers on YouTube, told Insider that in a recent month her channel made $213 from ads.

Some creators have specific strategies for getting into the Partner Program and for earning the most money from videos.

Amanda Wan, who has 8,500 YouTube subscribers, told Insider that she filmed longer videos, between 10 to 15 minutes long, to help reach the required watch hours. Wan lives in Canada, and she films video about her life as a college student. And YouTube creator Shelby Church (1.6 million subscribers) told Insider that she likes to include four ads on a single video that's over 10 minutes long which helps increase her monthly revenue.

Some of the different types of ads you can include in your YouTube video are:

  • Display ads appear on the upper right side of your video, above the video suggestions list.
  • Overlay ads appear as a banner within the lower portion of your video.
  • Bumper ads are non-skippable ads that must be watched by a viewer before your video. These ads last 6 seconds or less.
  • Sponsored cards display relevant video content within the right side of your video.
  • Mid-roll ads can be placed in videos over 10 minutes long. They can be both skippable and non-skippable ads. A creator can decide whether they want mid-roll ads to be auto-generated by YouTube or manually placed.

Once those ads start earning money, the creator will receive a check in the mail from YouTube after they have earned at least $100.

"I think my first paycheck was like $124," said Zoe Pritchard, who has 23,000 subscribers. "I was so excited. I went and bought a ring light with it."

Besides Google-placed ads, some nano influencers are also earning money from direct sponsorship deals with brands. Lauren shared the 3-page media kit that helped her land her first brand deal. She charges around $350 for an Instagram sponsorship (one in-feed post) or YouTube sponsorship (brand mention), and that price will vary depending on the scope of work, she said.

Creators who earn money on YouTube must also keep in mind that they will need to pay taxes on any income they make directly from the platform.

Jen Lauren
© Jen Lauren

So, how much money do creators make on YouTube?

For every 1,000 ad views, advertisers pay a certain rate to YouTube (CPM). YouTube then takes 45% and the creator gets the rest. YouTube's central monetization metric is called revenue per mille (RPM), which shows how much revenue a creator earns per every 1,000 views after YouTube's cut.

Some subjects, like personal finance or cryptocurrency, can boost a creator's ad rate by attracting a lucrative audience.

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