This is the latest installment of Insider's YouTube money logs, where creators break down how much they earn.
YouTube creators often have no idea how much money they will make off a single video.
That's because how much money a video earns depends on a variety of factors, including a video's watch time, number of views, and viewer demographic.
For YouTube creator Griffin Milks, who has about 80,000 subscribers, understanding how much money his videos will make, and developing strategies for earning the most money possible, is a key part of being a full-time YouTuber.
Milks started consistently uploading videos about personal finance and investing in 2018. In late 2020, he quit his full-time job to focus on his YouTube business. On his channel, he talks about personal finance, stock-market investing, and real-estate investing in Canada.
"If your video is engaging, and you have a long watch time, you will make more money," Milks said. "You are typically going to make more money from a longer video because you can place one extra ad in there."
But some of it also simply comes down to how many people watch it.
For Milks' channel — which has five videos with over 100,000 views — a viral video leads to a big payday and subscriber growth.
He shared how much money four of his YouTube videos with over 100,000 views (and fewer than 200,000) earned from ads. Insider verified his earnings with documentation he provided:
- About 114,000 views: $2,400 Canadian dollars (around $1,900 US dollars).
- About 117,000 views: $1,600 Canadian dollars (around $1,300 US dollars).
- About 150,000 views: $2,700 Canadian dollars (around $2,100 US dollars).
- About 175,000 views: $6,800 Canadian dollars (around $5,500 US dollars).
These earnings are relatively high compared to other creators. Insider previously interviewed five other YouTubers about how much they'd earned on videos with around 100,000 views. Their earnings ranged from $500 to $2,500.
One potential reason Milks earns more than many creators is because the audiences personal-finance videos attract on YouTube are valuable to some advertisers, who usually pay more money for a business-related video than an entertainment video, according to some personal-finance creators.
Today, Milks' finance videos make between $30 to $50 Canadian dollars ($24 to $40 US dollars) for every 1,000 ad views, called his CPM (cost per mille).
And after YouTube's cut, he takes home around $14 Canadian dollars ($11 US dollars) for every 1,000 total views, called his RPM, average revenue per mille. RPM is calculated by adding up all revenue reported in YouTube Analytics — like Google-placed ads, YouTube Premium, channel memberships, super chat, and super stickers — and dividing by the total views in the time period. Then YouTube multiplies it by 1,000 and subtracts its 45% cut.
Milks' most viewed video, which he filmed with a GoPro at a theme park in Toronto in 2011, has 8.9 million views and has earned $8,900, according to documentation viewed by Insider. That viral video still gets thousands of views a day.
"I just wanted to share some clips with my friends," Milks said. "About two years later, I logged back on and I realized the video had over a million views."
He recommends posting roughly three videos a week consistently for one year
"There's a long list of things you can do to monetize your channel," Milks said. "But I would say first it's a lot more important to focus on building out an audience of at least five to 10,000 subscribers first, before really focusing on monetization."
To build an initial audience on YouTube, he recommends posting roughly three videos a week consistently for one year.
Now that he has established an audience, he receives between 10 to 30 emails each week from various brands looking to sponsor his videos, he said. He added that he turns down about 95% of those offers.
"When I first started my videos were really bad, and somewhat embarrassing even, but it doesn't matter because you get better over time," Milks said. "You get less camera shy and and your audience is going to tell you as you grow what content they would like to see."