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How Bloggers Learned to Monetize their Channels


YouTube. While for some this social media site is a source of entertainment and merely a place to watch and share videos, for independent content creators it means big business. YouTube has become a platform for popular bloggers with large fan bases to monetize their channels based on their subscriber rates. It has turned into a wealthy opportunity as some of these sensations take in over $1 million a year in ad revenue. Even after Google takes its 45% cut of the ad revenue generated, these kids make more than a college educated worker may in five years.

So how is it that someone can make over $1 million by talking into a webcam? Sites like YouTube profit off of their ad-space. When a blogger gains a significant number of subscribers they become interesting to businesses who want to advertise on their channels. As bloggers become more popular the cost of advertising on their channel increases, and bloggers keep 55% of the ad revenue generated from their page.

YouTube bloggers, however, do not only make money off of YouTube. The social media site provides a platform for these individuals to gain widespread attention and popularity allowing them to become internet sensations with a broad range of opportunities outside of their own channel. Take Bethany Mota. She started out as a YouTube Fashion Blogger who made videos about makeup, clothing, and hair tutorials and became widely popular and watched by many girls. This popularity made Bethany a public figure who was offered roles on Dancing with the Stars, parts in countless television shows, and even won her a Teen Choice Award in 2014. With all this media exposure, Bethany was able to leverage her internet popularity to build a career in the entertainment industry.

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 11.48.29 AM

Image is taken as a screen grab from Sam Tsui’s Youtube Channel

Bethany isn’t the only internet sensation who created a successful career from a YouTube channel. Countless independent musicians have gained a strong following online which has jumpstarted their careers. While Justin Bieber may be the most famous example, other artists like Sam Tsui, Max Schneider, and Christina Grimmie have used YouTube to advertise tours, t-shirts, and albums available on iTunes to their subscribers and have begun long, successful and lucrative careers.

While some continue to follow the more traditional path to success, a new generation has found a way to use the internet to jumpstart their careers and become social media millionaires. Move over Beverly Hills, there’s a new home for the rich and famous and it’s called YouTube.

Featured image courtesy of Flickr User Gage Skidmore

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One thought on “Rich Kids of YouTube

  1. I love YouTube, and I’ve always thought that it’s great how people have made careers out of posting videos. I like to think of myself as “plugged in” to YouTube news, aware of the huge marketing potential of the creators. There are production studios for YouTubers just like there are TV and film production studios. I’ve always been a huge advocate for YouTube. YouTube has helped break boundaries between stars and people, because the stars update their fans on their lives and make real connections. In fact, I think that most viewers see them as real people before they see them as stars. But I have two problems so far with what YouTube has become. First, because YouTube is so much bigger than it was before, I think it’s harder for people to get noticed. It seems impossible for newcomers to break the inner circle of established YouTube celebrities. I know that I, for one, don’t really know of any up-and-coming new YouTubers and can’t even think of how they can break into the business. New creators generate very few views, and established creators get all the eyes. My biggest problem with YouTube, however, is that when people think of a YouTube fan, people think of a shrieking 14-year old fangirl. Not just a normal girl–a fangirl. I think it’s because it’s this demographic that most often turns up at conferences like VidCon and Playlist Live. I would not categorize myself in this demographic, which makes me feel alienated. It discourages me from wanting to go to any YouTube-related events because I don’t want to be seen as a tween again. I’ll end with one last observation: filmmakers have been trying to use YouTube as a serious platform for short film for a while now, but I haven’t seen it become very successful. I’m not sure if it ever will.

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