Each Month I Publish a YouTube Income Report showing you how much money I made on YouTube as well as breaking down some lessons I learned that contributed to that success and outcome.
My goal is to give an honest and transparent look at how YouTubers make their money and I give you a common-sense approach to YouTube and being a content creator, what is possible, and more importantly what is practical.
*Combined totals are from YouTube Adsense Earnings, Combined Affiliate Marketing, Brand Deals, and Merchandise Sales. Please reference our Earning Disclaimer if you have questions or concerns.
FEBRUARY YOUTUBE CHANNEL EARNINGS $25,874.75
In this YouTube Income Report, you will see a detailed breakdown of how the channel earned $25,874.75 in the month of February 2020, through a combination of Merchandise, YouTube Adsense Revenue, Affiliate Marketing, and Sponsorships. For the obvious reasons (NDAs) individual Sponsorship deals are not broken down in this report and what you will be seeing is the approx combined total rounded down.
Screenshots have been provided where I deem them necessary or appropriate.
Updates to the Channel in February 2020
February was a short month and I also had a lot of things going on with my membership coaching in Awesome Creator Academy, doing weekly training. It was hard to handle consistent video uploads but I think I did better than in January.
Here are the major changes in no particular order:
- Tried a new thumbnail design strategy using more Blue and Violet
- Creating NEW MERCHANDISE Designs in Teespring
- Started Posting More Money Focused Topics
- Started Prioritizing Segments of My Audience Like Small YouTubers
- Changed Posting Schedule to MWF
- Tried to post more consistently and not miss a week of uploads.
One of the big things I changed with trying to do a 3 video a week upload schedule was to try and make the channel content more clearly defined for people. I want to shake the perception that my channel is a YouTube Help Channel, which it has NEVER been or intended to be and to help people really understand that it’s a channel about Entrepreneurship (Making Money Online).
With the 3 videos per week schedule, I decided on the concept of CREATE, GROW, EARN. A video every week that is focused on Creativity, the Creative Process or Creative Careers, a video focused on Audience Growth, SEO or Traffic, and a video each week focused on MONEY related topics.
BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED
The biggest lesson this month was really that UPLOAD Times make or break a video, which I already knew, but no matter how good I make a video or how much the topic is appealing to a broad audience, the reality is that how it performs in the first few hours will decide if the video reaches people further. It determines the lifespan of a video and it’s viability. Late-night uploads just don’t work for my channel.
Even if I want to keep the promise of releasing on a certain day if I miss the optimal upload window the video gets destroyed. QUALITY is irrelevant to the factor of TIMING.
These topics also have higher YouTube Adsense CPM values, with videos specifically about making money online having CPM’s of over $20-$30 on average and Social Media topics average about $12-$16 CPM.
There are also some videos I made that just didn’t perform in the first hour of upload and couldn’t get views. Though the comments from everyone who viewed those videos were overwhelmingly positive. Those videos also had very high CPM rates on top of that, so it was disappointing that they didn’t perform better.
In March I plan to cover topics around Freelancing and Passive Income more often even if it may get fewer views to try to grow a larger audience outside of the YouTube Content Creator Community, to balance things when I do topics not related to that group that can reach a more general audience.
Before the end of the year, I have set a challenge for the channel to try to double last year’s YouTube earnings via YouTube Adsense and Monetization. There are some specific markers that have to be hit in order to achieve this:
- Increase Monthly Channel Views to At least 600K views/mo
- Maintain Consistent Video Uploads 3-5 times per week
- Focus on Topics that generate a combination of high earnings and higher overall traffic, where I can rank in search.
- Produce evergreen topics with high YouTube Adsense CPM rates to balance a steady overall traffic source with search and recommendations from the YouTube Homepage
- Create Evergreen Videos that tie to affiliate products the audience has proven to respond to like Tubebuddy.
NEW INCOME OPPORTUNITY WITH MERCH SHELF
Merchandise is something that I’ve been experimenting more with and I added a new design in February, the White Edition of the CREATOR HOODIE. YouTube also recently updated Merchandise integration with Tee Spring to create a STORE link at the top of our YouTube Channels.
But I wanted to make merch than even a casual viewer can buy that doesn’t rely on them having to be very loyal to me specifically, I needed something that would be cool enough to buy on its own.
Last year I only earned around $120 from YouTube Merch, I’m happy to report that in the month of February 2020 alone more than that was earned from selling Merchandise. Ideally, I hope to earn $500+/month from merch to offset the expense of close captioning my videos.
Currently, I’m working on 2 additional merchandise products. A design for a PILLOW and a design for a coffee mug. I think these products will actually sell better than shirts and hoodies even though I’m getting momentum on these.
I think what will sell them more is if I can find a way to incorporate a promo for them into a few videos related to content creators. I also plan to promote my merchandise more through Instagram and possibly Instagram shout outs.
Ideally, I’ll be reinvesting those profits back into one of the major overall expenses for the channel, the Closed Captioning for Videos via Rev.com
If you want to professionally caption your videos, here is a $10 off coupon for Rev.com
YouTube Income (Adsense) February 2020
|Est Monetized Views
With only 8 uploads this month I didn’t meet my original goal of uploading 3x per week. However, for the month of March, I think the goal may be more realistic this time.
The current bottleneck for creating content is not the filming as much as the editing at this point but also the time and effort put into thumbnail design being more focused on the photography and facial expressions. I’ve noticed it can have the largest impact on the views of a video outside of the topic and the timing.
At this point my CPM has remained consistent at a general baseline of $20 CPM on average, which means if I can increase the views around the videos by double, whether through more content or a few popular videos I can double the monthly earnings once I hit momentum of 500K views per month, averaging roughly $5000/mo in ad revenue.
Top 3 Highest Earning Videos
|Est Monetized Views
|HOW TO GET NOTICED ON YOUTUBE IN 2020
|HOW TO START A YOUTUBE CHANNEL FROM SCRATCH
|HOW TO MAKE PASSIVE INCOME IN 2020 🤑 (FOR BEGINNERS)🤑
Something I’ve wanted to discuss in these YouTube Income Reports is the COMPOUNDING effect of making more content. I take some criticism for not believing in “Quality Over Quantity” and preferring a balance of “Acceptable Quality” with “Sustainable Quantity”. But that is because I’m a Creative Entrepreneur instead of a pure artist, who just wants to monetize their art.
When I look at the YouTube Analytics Data I know that If I average 10K-20K views on a video upload that I will earn between $100-$300 per each video that hits that marker, and that I can continue to earn from those videos over a long period of time. It’s also possible for those videos to become wildly popular later.
Producing fewer videos provides less financial upside and may not be sustainable without needing to do sponsored content in order to produce “over the top” videos that have viral potential on the platform.
It may not be for everyone but the math checks out that easier to produce and edit the content that requires less financial resources and has high earning potential and a longer lifespan, can lead to much higher earnings long term, and has almost no barriers to it. This is something I’ve observed from channels that earn about $20,000/month in AdSense revenue alone that I’ve consulted with 1:1.
YouTube Earnings Breakdown
|YouTube Revenue Source
|YouTube Super Chat
|YouTube Super Chat Stickers
Total YouTube Income Breakdown
|Affiliate Marketing (Combined)
|Sponsorship/Brand Deals (Combined)
LET’S TALK ABOUT BRAND DEALS…
You may have noticed this month’s YouTube Income Report has a line item that outweighs the others… Brand Deals. For February there were a few significant brand deals I was paid for that dramatically increased the earning for the month. Typically affiliate marketing is the largest earner for the channel, but a few solid brand deals can make all the difference.
Currently, I am in the process of setting up multiple recurring relationships that I think will be very lucrative and will dramatically increase the overall earning potential of the channel. Ideally $100,000 per year in brand deals and is not unreasonable even though it would represent triple what I earned from brand deals last year.
Being able to do a few recurring brand deals for $2000/month or more, through a long term (yearly renewal) relationship is something more content creators should consider once they have built their brand and a loyal audience.
GOALS FOR March 2020
For February 2020 my main goals around the YouTube channel are to continue to focus on consistency and make sure that I’m providing the right value to the audience while monetizing as many ways as possible and reinvesting in long term growth. Topics I will likely focus on both due to the data and the comments and viewer demand and what is driving subscribers will be: Affiliate Marketing, How to Make Digital Products and Courses, and YouTube Growth and Instagram.
This includes everything from updating my YouTube Channel Trailer to make the value of the channel clear to new potential viewers and possibly tapping into a trending topic at least once a month for relevancy.
- Add the new designs to the YouTube Merch Shelf
- Upload at least 15 new videos in March
- Increase Affiliate Earnings around Kajabi and Tubebuddy
- Increase Merch sales to average $300/month
- Make a 2020 YouTube Channel Trailer (needs a refresh!)
- Be More Active in YouTube Stories
- Cover some YouTube Camera gear and also promote and launch my New Gear Channel with content. Monetize before the end of the year.
VIDEO IDEAS PLANNED FOR MONTH OF MARCH
For the month of March, I have some specific videos planned that I think will do well overall but are designed to align with my overall goals of expanding new subscribership around topics of making money online and entrepreneurship, while still catering to content creators with videos that have predictable outcomes.
- Updated Video on Selling Online Courses and Membership Sites (Watch Time/Affiliate)
- Q&A Video for New Entrepreneurs (Watch Time/ New Subscribers)
- Video Series Targeted at Small YouTubers with Brian G Johnson and Nick Nimmin (Views/Shares)
- Video on Keyword Research with Tubebuddy (Ranking/ Affiliate)
- Videos Targeting Freelancers (Views/ Search Engine Ranking)
- Videos Featuring Sites to Earn Passive Income (Views/ New Subscribers)
- Video Featuring My 2020 Reading List (Audible/Amazon Affiliate)
- Video Editing Tutorials (Ranking/ Affiliate)
- MrBeast Thumbnail Tutorial (Views/ YouTube Starter Kit Sales)
YOUTUBE CHANNEL EXPENSES FOR FEBRUARY 2020
Updated: Many of you requested a breakdown of the expenses/cost associated with the YouTube channel. This is difficult because of the overlap with my other business ventures outside of YouTube and content creation. The way I decided to approach it, was to include the expenses I would ONLY have if I were just a content creator/influencer. And so that is how I determined the cost of being a YouTuber for myself and included it here. This will be present in the future income reports going forward. This amount is fairly consistent month to month unless I make a major purchase for the channel.
|YOUTUBE CHANNEL EXPENSES
|Adobe Creative Cloud Membership
|Adobe Stock Photos (Membership + Purchases)
|Google Drive Storage 2TB
|iCloud Backup Storage 2TB All Devices
|YouTube Premium Family Membership
|Epidemic Sound Membership
|Rev Closed Captions
|Canva Pro Membership
|Convert Kit (Email List/Newsletter)
|Buzzsprout (Podcast Hosting for No Assembly Required Podcast)
|Simplecast (Podcast Hosting for Create Something Awesome Today)
|Equipment Insurance + Business Insurance
|Buffer (Social Media Automation)
|Total Expenses (approx)