How I Make Money on YouTube

Goal #20 – 100,000 View for Lethal Engineering

Last year, for my 26 before 26 list, I only managed 30,000 views for my YouTube channel, falling far short of my goal of 100,000 views. I duplicated that goal for my 27 before 27 list and an interesting thing began to happen. YouTube started suggesting my Rocket Launcher video on similar videos. Viewership immediately shot up and I achieved my goal of 100,000 views in under four months.


All Those Views, You Must Be Making Some Money!

Getting paid on YouTube is quite easy. You set up an AdSense account, choose which videos to monetize (no copyrighted music!), and watch the money pile up.

Not Exactly…

My channel, which has 265,000 lifetime views, just recently met the minimum income required to get paid ($100).


I currently make anywhere from 50¢ to 60¢ per 1,000 views. That’s such a small amount of money that I had to look up the keyboard shortcut for the ‘cents’ symbol (Alt+0162). Don’t get me wrong, I’m stoked to be making passive income from my videos, it’s just a low amount relative to what’s possible on YouTube. There are other users making making $2.50 to $5.00 per 1,000 views. I need to figure out why that is.

It may be a result of a majority of my views coming from international countries. Views from highly developed countries (United States, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom) pay more . For example, 17% of my views are from the United States but make up 46% of my earnings whereas 5.1% of views are from Indonesia but account for a measly 1.2% of earnings.

It may also be the total time my videos are viewed. YouTube places more adds on videos that have a longer view duration, and my average is quite low at 1:16.

It’s Not About The Money

Even if I made no money through these videos, I would continue to produce them. I love building cool shit and YouTube provides a means to showcase those projects to the masses.

My dream would be to make a living off a YouTube. It’s possible with a high level of commitment and creativity, but would require several orders of magnitude more views. In order to accomplish that goal, I need to devote more time and energy to producing interesting, entertaining content.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite videos that I’ve made. My friend Ben needed to make something solar powered for a school project. We strapped some batteries and a solar panel onto my beer cannon and made this video. He got an A on this project!


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