This Is How Much YouTube Paid Me for My 1,000,000 Viewed Video

Here is the answer to the question that everyone asks me

Shelby Church
Published in
5 min readApr 3, 2020


The numbers may surprise you! Photo: Shelby Church

I started making videos in 2009, back before being a YouTuber was a thing. I always enjoyed editing videos and photos and started posting them on YouTube when I was 14. I was too young to drive, didn’t live within walking distance to any of my friends, and had way too much time on my hands. Back then I never would have dreamed that this thing I did in the summer because I was bored would become what it is now. I just enjoyed putting together these videos, and for years I didn’t make any money from any of them.

I’ve been on YouTube for over 10 years, and I’ve been lucky enough to have a few videos hit that 1,000,000 mark. One question I’m constantly asked is how much money I make. Seriously, everyone asks me this. Uber drivers, distant friends, relatives — everyone. For some reason, the etiquette of not prying into one’s finances just does not apply to YouTubers.

And I totally get it. Becoming a YouTuber is one of those things that feels within the realm of possibility for just about anyone. People are curious because they want to know if it could be worth their time. So, how much do YouTubers make?

The answer is not that simple, so let’s break it down. First, it’s important to note that YouTubers are able to leverage their following and make money off of a number of different streams of income. These include not just ad revenue, but brand deals, merchandise, live tours, and affiliate links.

This breakdown focuses primarily on the ad revenue I made directly on YouTube. Before each video you watch on YouTube, there is usually a 15 or 30-second advertisement. A few minutes into the video, you’ll probably get another ad. This time, it’s a small banner at the bottom of the screen with a link. These are how YouTubers get paid directly within the platform, and the amount of money you get from these ads depends on a number of factors.

Example one: “How To Pose In Photos” video