How Do YouTubers Make Money? (And Other Questions We Have to Answer)

Answering the top 10 questions YouTubers get

Hey uber yes yeah uh you’re marquez yeah it’s me great it says here in new york city is that right yeah new york sweet what are you going to the city for uh work for work ah of course yeah what do you do for work all right we’re doing this uh i’m a youtuber yeah foreign hi so my name is marquez and i am a youtuber which is a pretty well understood job at

This point but i feel like a lot of my peers don’t like using that word just because well it doesn’t fully explain all of what we do it’s kind of like painting yourself into a box a little bit but also there are some connotations to that word in 2021 and it also comes with this baggage of having to explain what exactly that means and what you do and how it

Works so that’s what this video is that’s i’m going to use this video to just answer all of those most frequently asked questions this video is going to answer the top 10 i think that i get asked the most often and so i’m gonna send this video to anybody who asked those questions in the future maybe you will too enjoy ah okay so so what is a youtuber what

Is a youtuber and i feel like you kind of have to start there right because you know maybe you and me were in this world we know youtubers exist and we know the creator economy is bigger than ever but there are lots of people who are not in this world who don’t know that so fundamentally i make tech videos and put them on youtube but behind that there’s a whole

Delicate balance with an algorithm and search engine optimization and content strategy and there’s a whole lot that people don’t see that goes into it but behind the iphone 12 review you see that comes out in september it is a job okay okay but also okay so how how do you make money how do you make money ah one of the classics how does that make money how do

You make money so it’s a little different for every creator but fundamentally i’d say you could divide it into three different buckets for every creator on youtube so the first bucket is just the ads that you see that are built into youtube so this is one of youtube’s biggest advantages over every other video platform but the ads that show up alongside a video

You might watch are paid for so let’s say clorox wants to come along and put their ad alongside a youtube video they will pay youtube to put it there and youtube will split that payment with the uploader of the video that’s kind of basically how it works and if you’re a tech company specifically you can pay a little more to just be alongside tech videos and tech

Channels and there’s a whole google adsense program for how this works but that’s the basics of it and that’s a huge part of youtube’s revenue and youtube’s business model so in the second bucket is creators can sell ads themselves and so they can sell more specific ads and read them inside of their own videos a lot of times this is better integrated and these

Work better and more tailored to specific audiences and can have better analytics and there’s all sorts of advantages and that’s why they often cost more but that’s number two is creators doing that sale themselves but then number three outside of ads is creators can sell things they have a direct relationship with their audience and so products or things that

Are not just free content which is what we make on youtube can be additional sources of revenue for a creator so paid content for example on only fans or patreon i don’t do those but you know they’re available and then you can do products things like icons things like or a beast burger there’s plenty of great examples of this and it’s definitely

Just the beginning so i won’t even get into all the taxes and insurance and payroll and all the the super fun stuff but fundamentally we make free content that is supported in various ways either by ads or by the audience directly i see i see okay so so companies you will just send you stuff is that right so yes honestly it’s a pretty structured relationship now

In 2021 it hasn’t always been this way but now in tech youtube or with tech video creators we’re often basically treated essentially the same way as tech journalists have been so when a new piece of technology some product is coming out for example the company that makes it of course they want as many eyeballs on it as possible but they’ll send it out to tech

Media which includes video creators on youtube a little bit early just so they can test it out and use it now there is a risk to this because hey if the product turns out to be not very good then there will be a lot of negative things said about it right when it comes out but generally this is good for the company if it’s a good product because then you get a

Nice wave of positive coverage right at the embargo yeah okay that makes perfect sense but that word what is an embargo okay so if you’ve paid any attention to tech news for any length of time you’ve probably noticed every once in a while if it will be a moment a certain time when a bunch of things all get released at once about the same device when like all

Of the reviews or all the unboxings for something drop at the same time and every time there’s a bunch of comments about it like thinking was this orchestrated how did you plan this is this a coincidence so to try to keep it simple uh when we test something early before it’s been revealed to the world we all have to sign a document that says that when we’re

Testing it we will also keep it a secret so that we don’t reveal it to the world before the company does and so we’re allowed to do all our testing and use it and figure out what’s good and bad about it but this document has a date and a time when it expires that’s when we’re also allowed to say what we found and our thoughts and so naturally if you want to be

In that first wave of coverage you’re publishing your stuff right at the beginning that’s when people will search for it and we’ll view it but the document itself is called an nda a non-disclosure agreement and generally that moment when the door is open when we’re allowed to talk about our experience is an embargo there’s lots of them so do get to keep all

That stuff so sometimes yes sometimes no like it depends on the company and like what the thing is like i’ve reviewed several cars here on the channel in the past of course it doesn’t make sense for cars to just be sitting around here so of course they’ll go back to the company and they’ll move them on to the next reviewer who can use it but sometimes they do

Sometimes they do sit around here it is useful to have things maybe one or two generations older to physically compare them when we’re doing our testing but generally yeah we uh we find a good use for stuff and if your next question was well can i have one of the things uh we don’t really just give them away so we make good use of it also we do often end up buying

The thing after the review process so we get the thing we review it we send it back and then we buy one which means we can compare it later when the next gen comes out so okay i got a question how do you decide what to make a video about so this is different for every single creator for sure like i kind of find it’s like asking a basketball player how he chooses

What shot to take you know you’ve got your go-to’s you got your go-to’s but you’re definitely always probing for the best available options now the thing about being a tech channel is we have a pretty big advantage which is we make videos about products and so the subject of the video is the product so it’s not really on me to be interesting like it’s a bonus if

The the host of the tech video is interesting but it’s really on the tech industry to keep making the most interesting compelling new stuff that’s their advantage they’ve got to make a great new folding phone electric car motors gadgets there’s kind of there’s stuff happening all the time and so i can point a camera at it and if we get good at that then we’re

Doing our job honestly sometimes the biggest challenge isn’t coming up with the video to make but actually making the video itself a lot of people watch a 12 minute video and think well how long could that have taken to make 12 minutes like people really think that but that you know there’s a process of writing and research and testing before shooting before

Editing and it can often take days sometimes weeks for videos and so yeah it does take quite a bit of time there’s lots of videos i’d like to do but we’re working on other stuff so that’s i mean how do you learn to do this do you go to school for this so with most people i know no they didn’t go to school for it now today you know in 2021 there are some video

Production classes there are some social media classes there are some entrepreneurship and and business classes and i’m sure you could combine them all in just the right way to make a sort of creative major but generally from what i’ve seen uh yeah most of it is self-taught closest thing i can think of actually is we actually made a skillshare course that goes

Over the creation of one of these mkbhd videos of one of these reviews from scratch from the pre-production and coming up with ideas to actually shooting it and editing it i’ll leave a link below if you want to check it out but yeah i wouldn’t be surprised if in the next couple years or maybe this already exists if there is like you know youtube creation as a

Major in college that that might be a thing someday if it isn’t already be pretty sick actually so that’s a that sounds like a fun job but are you are you gonna do this forever until you’re old you’re gonna do this for a long time i think that’s a hard question probably for anybody to answer but i do know they say if you love what you do you never work a day in

Your life partially true uh it’s definitely still work but i’d like to do this as long as i enjoy it as long as it’s fun i might have already heard that creator burnout is a real thing very real don’t get me wrong um like i said i feel fortunate that the thing that is the subject of my videos is its own thing it’s tech and i’m interested in that but yeah there’s

Uh if you get tired of regular job you can kind of keep going but if you’re an independent creator and you run out of ideas or you you have this writer’s block or or creative burnout it can feel like oh if i step off the path how do i get back on so it is a it is a particular concern 2021 but as long as i’m having fun i’m gonna keep doing it i think if there’s

A day that i ever i’m not having fun making tech videos something went very wrong you know what that sounds like a lot of fun that sounds fun good i want to do that could i do that i want to do that you know what absolutely yes yes anyone yes you can be a youtuber today i actually read that uh the number one new job the number one job a lot of young people want

Today isn’t astronaut it isn’t pro athlete it is an actor or policeman anymore it’s youtuber which is crazy to me because in 2009 you know starting this literally zero people had this as a job nobody was making a living making videos on the internet but here’s what i’ll say turning youtube into a job is kind of like sports kind of like basketball take basketball

For example right it’s never been easier to play basketball to pick up basketball for the first time all you need is a ball and a hoop basically and you can go play you can play in a park you can play in your backyard you can play in a league in a gym somewhere but that’s not doing it as a job and it’s the same it feels the same as with any creative endeavor

But especially with making videos and putting them on youtube it’s never been easier to grab a camera the one you have on your smartphone to start making shooting videos editing videos all of that the barrier for entry has never been lower but like basketball there’s a very small number of people relatively that have combined luck and timing and of course hard

Work and dedication and skill to be able to turn it into their job and doing it for a living but it’s it feels almost like like two different categories of the same activity so my advice for people asking is always if you want to start doing youtube uh imagine it like basketball in the park like if you could have fun doing that every day and never making a dime

Off of it you’re gonna have a great time it’s fun but i wouldn’t set that expectation of turning that into a job there’s a lot more that comes with actually deciding you want to be a youtuber instead of just uh signing up and getting right going from the from the get-go so something to keep in mind oh yeah you know what i did see i saw your video about the this

S21 but okay what do you really think about it it’s actually real i’ve had people literally come up to me and say they’ve watched a video and want to know what i think of the thing but that’s the thing that’s the review that’s i did that for you i made that so you could know what i thought of the thing now if you’re ever curious about the nuances or want to dig

Into the details of how coverage works or what’s what’s paid versus what isn’t paid on this channel uh recommend this video you can check out that i made specifically about that but yeah that’s it that’s that’s pretty much the top 10 questions that i get about being a youtuber and now this is the video i’m going to send to people who ask me those questions so

That they can get all the information in one place maybe you’ll send it to them too thanks for watching catch you guys in the next one what are you going to the city for uh work for work ah of course yeah what do you do for work i do i do video production i’m a cameraman i do news radio

Transcribed from video
How Do YouTubers Make Money? (And Other Questions We Have to Answer) By Marques Brownlee