Notice that none of these top earners are making money exclusively with ad sense (YouTube’s ad revenue). That’s because doing so would only bring in $0.01 to $0.03 per view. That’s not much money.

If you really want to get rich from YouTube, not only will you need boatloads of subscribers (at least 1 million), but you’ll also need to spread yourself thin with multiple businesses and partnerships.

But that’s not the only path to take. That’s why I do things a bit differently with my YouTube channel which allows me to have a multi-million dollar business with only 541,000 subscribers (and dedicating only a small amount of time to my channel). I’ll share more about my approach, but first, let’s take a deeper look at how the top earners make money.

Deep Dive into YouTuber Earners

Mr. Beast ($82 Million)

In 2024, Jimmy Donaldson, better known as Mr. Beast, isn’t just a YouTube sensation with his massive 258 million subscribers; he’s also a Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People lister. Known for his over-the-top stunts and heartwarming generosity, he first shot to fame back in 2017 with a quirky video where he counted to 100,000. Since then, his videos, often featuring mind-blowing giveaways, have only upped the ante. Let’s not forget his innovative burger joint launched in 2020 – not just a one-hit wonder, but a thriving venture that keeps pulling in crowds by flipping the script on fast food. Mr. Beast is making more than videos, he’s making waves, and he’s been at it since 2012.

Rhett and Link ($51 Million)

Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, known as Rhett and Link, host the daily YouTube show Good Mythical Morning. With over 5.08 million subscribers and 9 billion views since its launch in 2008, the duo’s channel features a comedic talk show format where they engage in quirky activities, such as eating unusual foods, experimenting, and playing games with celebrity guests. Their popular videos include eating a scorpion, consuming the world’s hottest pepper, and deep-frying peculiar objects like grass and toothpaste. They’ve been making videos since 2006.

Markiplier ($35 Million)

Markiplier, boasting over 36,3 million subscribers, is a prominent YouTuber known for his engaging gaming content and charitable initiatives. His energetic and humorous approach to gaming has captivated audiences since his early days on the platform. Markiplier’s philanthropic efforts, including charity live streams and donations, have earned him widespread admiration, establishing him as a beloved figure in the YouTube community. He’s been making videos since 2012.

Ryan Kaji ($35 Million)

With over 36,2 million subscribers, Ryan’s YouTube channel is managed by his parents to comply with the YouTube Partner Program guidelines. Starting at the age of 3, Ryan gained popularity by reviewing toys through unboxing and playing videos, but his content has since evolved to include science experiments. Additionally, his success on YouTube led to a Nickelodeon TV series called “Ryan’s Mystery Playdate,” and he even has his own line of clothing and toys.

Jake Paul ($34 Million)

Jake Paul, with over 20,5 million subscribers, gained fame for his extreme pranks and notable boxing matches. Since 2017, his controversial actions and collaborations with celebrities have propelled his online career. Despite generating devoted fans and fierce critics, Jake Paul remains a prominent figure in the digital realm. He’s been making videos since 2013.

Ramit Sethi (Multi-Million dollar business)

While I don’t have millions of followers like these other creators, I do own a multi-million dollar business that YouTube helped me build. And I was able to do it without embarrassing myself with pranks, doing toy reviews, or spending millions of dollars rebuilding the Squid Games set. And the main way I was able to do this is by selling online courses. You see, each of my YouTube videos leads viewers to subscribe to my email list where I’m able to build a stronger connection with my audience and eventually offer digital products for sale.

My channel doesn’t require extreme production value. In fact, most of my YouTube content is just the video version of my podcast, which is just a screen recording of me talking with my guests. You can see an example below. For more insights on how content creators monetize their channels, check out this detailed guide, How Much Do Content Creators Make In 2024? (+Tips To Make $$).

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