5 Tips For “Small Time” YouTubers to Make a Living

More and more creators are wanting to make a living on YouTube and many of those creators end up trying desperately to harvest as many subscribers as they can. While getting a large number of views is a factor in making good money on YouTube, I believe that many creators make a mistake in feeling that they must only reach a certain number of subscribers in order to earn significant revenue. Because of that, I’d like to give you my 5 personal tips on how to make a living on YouTube for those with subscribers in the 5,000-50,000 range.

1. Stop depending solely on Adsense!

Yes, people, just because YouTube offers Adsense as the only option, it doesn’t mean that that is your only potential stream of income. If you do enough research, you will find many creative ways you can leverage your viewers to generate more revenue. For example, there are many third-party sites out there that will offer much higher CPM’s (cost per mille) for driving your viewers to their website. For more tips, check out my article on 3 ways to make money on YouTube aside from Adsense.

2. Understand the value of “Niche Marketing”

Having 30,000 views on a video usually wouldn’t translate to much advertising dollars in the YouTube world. But let’s look at it this way: if I had an ad for McDonald’s, and in one scenario I put 30,000 pairs of random eyeballs to it; and in the second scenario, I expose the ad to 30,000 pairs of eyeballs that belong to people that love McDonald’s, which scenario would the ad do better in? Most importantly, which group of people would McDonald’s gladly pay more for to see their ad? This is the beauty of niche marketing; if you can somehow pinpoint exactly what your audience’s interests are, you can easily monetize from a third-party company that’s looking for that exact demographic to sell their products/services to.

To give you an idea of the power of niche marketing, I will share with you statistics of some of my past campaigns during my affiliate marketing days. While these are not YouTube analytics, it’s a good example of the money you can generate if you drive quality and targeted traffic to a specific source. Note that these are really small numbers compared to the ones the bigger YouTubers talk about.


My point of showing this is to have you realize that it’s not always about getting big numbers. A person can claim to have millions of views a month, but if those views aren’t used to sell to a specific brand, they are essentially useless.

3. Find your exact audience

Knowing exactly which demographic your content appeals to is very crucial in pitching your channel to advertisers. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I am sure you all know YouTube offers their own analytics system that provides data on viewers of your channel.

What I want you to do now is go to your own analytics dashboard and write down all the details you see. Now take what you’ve written down and compare that demographic to potential advertisers using Quantcast. You’ve probably heard me mention Quantcast many times in my last articles, and that’s because it is an extremely valuable tool that can earn you great income if utilized correctly. Quantcast allows you to type in a specific website and receive data on the main demographics that visit that site. This makes pitching your site to potential advertisers much easier. Remember: would an advertiser rather have 100,000 hits from random people to their site or would they rather have 30,000 hits from people guaranteed to be interested in their product? For more info, check out my article on measuring the value of your YouTube channel.

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