How to Make Money from YouTube Videos (A Complete Guide)

by Deepak Kanakaraju on November 19, 2015

With increasing bandwidth and access to devices, video content consumption on the internet is on the rise. Even TV channels and media companies are uploading video content to YouTube and earning revenue from advertising.

youtube 1000 views

Now anyone can create video content and distribute it online for the whole world to see. No need of huge investments or approvals from government organizations! The good thing about technology is that it breaks the barriers of entry for individuals like us.

Now you and me have a chance to compete with the big boys and all that is required of us is create something of value. In this case, good quality video content. We can also earn revenue on par with what the big boys. The playing field has been levelled.

The opportunities and possibilities with online videos are so vast that many people still find it hard to believe that – can this be this easy? This post is going to answer that question.

One of my friends makes $20,000 a month from YouTube videos. He has worked hard and it took him 5-6 years to reach this level. I know a few more people who easily make $3,000 – $5,000 a month from YouTube. They are individuals, not companies. That’s life changing income.

My goals are a bit more modest for now. I expect to make $1,000 a month from YouTube videos by the end of 2016. That’s a significant revenue stream for any individual or business. Once I reach that goal, I can reinvest the income and grow even faster.

Join me on my journey to cracking video marketing with YouTube. And as I learn and implement things to reach this goal, I will share everything on this blog.

Note: In this context we are only talking about monetization via AdSense ads / YouTube partner program. If you consider YouTube as a marketing channel, you can drive traffic back to your website from your YouTube videos and make it an entry point for your sales funnel.

YouTube video marketing is going to be a long topic and this article is the first part of many articles.

In the future articles we will explore:

  • How to choose topics for video creation – keyword and topic research
  • How to create videos on a budget without a camera
  • How to enable monetization for your videos
  • How to drive consistent traffic to your videos at no cost
  • How to optimize your YouTube videos for SEO and Virality

Calculating ROI from Videos

I believe that the best way to calculate the return on investment from your videos is to come up with an estimate of ad revenue / earnings per 1,000 views.

Earnings per 1,000 views of a YouTube video is a rough way to calculate earnings because there are so many other factors involved in the earning potential of each video. Yet, it is a simple and easy metric to measure the performance of your videos and estimate ROI.

It costs time and money to create videos and without a metric like this, it is difficult to stay motivated to create the videos in the first place. Right?

Once we know the estimated ROI, the next steps become very simple. Choose a topic, create a video, drive views, earn. Repeat the process and create more videos. So in this article we will be mostly focusing on estimating the ROI from YouTube videos.

What are the Earnings Per 1,000 Views?

The answer is not straight forward and it varies based on the niche, the demographics and the engagement on your videos. In certain markets, you will earn more per 1,000 views. In other markets and demographics, the revenue is quite less.

As a general rule for every 1,000 views you will earn around $1 to $3. In the future, this number is bound to go up.

The revenue per 1,000 views also varies with the time of the year. Towards the end of the year where countries all around the world celebrate Diwali, Christmas and New Year, the sales are high and the ad dollars flowing from the companies are also high. So obviously you are going to make relatively more income from your videos in peak seasons.

Earnings by Demographic

I have a small channel with 15-20 videos on a specific topic. This channel is 5 years old and I had made these videos to drive traffic to a website and promote a product as an affiliate. That program died long back.

For a long time these videos were just getting views without any returns! Now I am using this channel to experiment with with the YouTube partnership program. It has been a few weeks since I enabled monetization for these videos.

In following screenshot you can see that I am earning around $3.3 per 1,000 views for the traffic coming from US. This is just one of the YouTube channels that I own.

usa youtube earnings per 1000

Advertisers pay significantly higher costs to reach customers in countries like US and UK. Hence the higher earnings from such traffic.

However for traffic from India and other such countries, the earnings are 1/3rd or less than that of US. I believe this figure will increase gradually in the next 3-5 years.

india youtube earnings

Your earnings will also depend on the kind of engagement that your video creates with the audience.

If you upload low quality videos, the average duration of views will be less and your revenue will be less than expected. But assuming that you create good and useful videos, you will earn good revenue.

The videos in this channel gets majority of the views from US and India. UK and Philippines comes next.

youtube demographics

There is a significant chunk of views coming from many countries which is not displayed in the screenshot above.

The analytics of all the videos on this channel shows me the following figures:

youtube ad earnings

You can see that in the last 28 days (Oct 16th to Nov 12th) I made $5.84 from 3.4K views which is an average of $1.7/1,000 views. With a different demographic and interest group, this number can be vastly different.

I own some YouTube channels where the topics are more inclined towards Indian audience, I earn just around $1 per 1,000 views in those channels.

Now that you have a fair idea about the revenue potential of  YouTube videos, let’s have a quick look at how to drive traffic to your videos. (In the future articles, we will explore traffic generation in-depth).

Driving Views to Your Videos

Content on YouTube seems to have a better shelf life than written content on our own website. Videos are not easy to make and hence they have higher value because of scarcity.

YouTube videos have more than one source of traffic. Unlike website articles, the videos get ranked on videos section of Google search, shows up as related videos along side other videos and sometimes people embed these videos on their own blogs and websites.

Have a look at one of the videos I made in 2010. I have not promoted it much except for a few social shares on the first week of its upload. Since the content is good, it is getting likes and comments.

This allows YouTube to learn that the video is of good value and it gets promoted via related videos. It also ranks well in Google and inside YouTube search.

video growth

The video that you see above has got 100,000+ views. If I had enabled monetization long back, I would have made around $200 from this video alone.

The views to these videos mostly comes from YouTube internal search. The next one is External which is defined as “Traffic from websites and apps that embed your videos or link to your videos on YouTube.”

youtube internal search

External also includes the YouTube video links that you see on Google’s search results pages. That could be a major source of traffic if you manage to rank a video well in Google search (than YouTube internal search).

video ranks on Google

The point to take home is this: if you create a good video, driving views to it is much easier than a similar article on a web page. And the consistency of traffic over the years is much higher than other platforms.

There are many more methods to drive traffic to your YouTube videos. That’s a topic for another article.

Setting Income Goals with YouTube

How can we make $1,000 a month from YouTube? If you have just one video and if that video gets a 1,000,000 views a month, you will make at least $1,000 a month (Considering that we are earning only $1 per 1,000 views).

But obviously getting a million views a month is difficult (not impossible). So what if you make 100 videos? 10,000 views a month per video will take you to your goal.

Or you can upload 1,000 videos and expect to get 1,000 views per video per month. That can take you to $1,000 a month.

If you can make 3 videos a day, in 1 year you will own 1,000 videos. And yes, that’s possible. I am not talking about videos that need a camera and a face. Look at this video I made about Google Adwords Certification. It is a one-minute “infomovie” that is useful to the audience. It took me 2 hours to create that video.

I can make 3 videos like that per day (if I didn’t have any other work). But I can always employ someone to make videos for me. If I reach $300 a month in income, I can hire someone to help me with video creation and from that point, things will go exponentially. Yes, things look great on paper, but it is difficult to implement. But without a plan we can do nothing anyway.

Enabling Monetization

To start earning revenue with your videos, you have to enable monetization for your videos. You should also open an AdSense account (explained below).

Inside your YouTube channel, select Monetization.

monetization youtube

Once you have linked an AdSense account, you will have to option to enable monetization for each video on your channel. You can choose not to monetize some videos if you want to. If you click on Edit video, you will see an option to switch on monetization.

YouTube gives you flexibility to choose the type of ads that you want to run on your video.

youtube ad formats

You will also have the option of choosing when to show the ads on your video. (Sometimes new accounts do not have all the options).

Once monetization is enabled, ads will start serving on your videos.

Where is the Ad Revenue Credited?

You need an AdSense account if you are earning ad revenue from YouTube. Your earnings will be categorized into “Hosted AdSense for Content”.


Usually adsense pays 68% share of the advertising revenue to publishers but with hosted content on Google’s property such as YouTube, the revenue share is 45/55. Publishers earn 55% of the advertising revenue. (Rough estimate, YouTube has not revealed the numbers.)

55% is OK because hosting a video on YouTube and getting traffic to it is much easier than getting traffic to your own websites.

Also the earnings from YouTube is not updated in real time. It is updated periodically. Real time earnings will be available for you inside YouTube analytics.


On the 15th of the month, your earnings will be added to your AdSense balance.

Next Action Steps

Now that you have learned everything about earning revenue with YouTube, now it is time to start taking some action. Here’s what you can do:

  • Create a YouTube channel
  • Create & Upload your first unique video (don’t infringe copyrights!)
  • Create an AdSense account if you don’t have one already
  • Enable monetization for your video
  • Get your first 1,000 views to your video
  • Earn your first dollar with YouTube

Very simple steps such as uploading videos to YouTube, creating a YouTube account etc. have been skipped for obvious reasons 🙂

Look forward to the future articles in this series.

Are you ready to earn $1,000 a month with YouTube? Leave a comment below and make a public commitment! Join me on my journey!

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

aakashpatel November 19, 2015 at 7:39 am

Great article sir!
It’s very difficult to make $1000 per month from the YouTube but 1000 video can be done this task.
You tube videos also help for CPA marketing and from that you can achieve this goal.
Thanks for publishing it


Deepak Kanakaraju November 19, 2015 at 7:55 am

Yes, you can redirect traffic from YouTube to affiliate offers too. But I am just focusing on AdSense in this case.


Davinder November 19, 2015 at 8:40 am

How can I make my own vedios if I will find somewhere and I downloaded and edit in softwares and upload or you means tutorials in vedios ?


Chinmay Joshi November 19, 2015 at 8:40 am

Very good article.Many people are unaware about the hidden opportunities around them,you make them realise that.Thanks for the valuable knowledge.


yuvraj November 19, 2015 at 10:34 am

Great article Deepak. Even I am looking to make some extra cash from youtube. I have a couple of questions. Which software would you recommend for video editing? Also, how would you upload a multi language video?


Deepak Kanakaraju November 19, 2015 at 2:08 pm

How to create videos on a budget is something that I will share with you soon. It will come in the upcoming articles.


Sushil December 31, 2015 at 8:44 pm

Your article has inspired me to start making videos and start monetising …I know it is difficult but i will do it…. waiting for your guidance regarding how to create the sample video that u have mentioned in this article


harsha November 19, 2015 at 10:52 am

Interesting article, likewise now you are starting with youtube i have already experimented with youtube video creation much before learning Digital Marketing and hosted my blogs also having around 25 videos and some being done with the help of white board animation technology.
Your article is boost to Digital Marketers like me, thank you Deepak.


Deepak Kanakaraju November 19, 2015 at 2:09 pm

White board animation videos are really captivating. I heard that you can create such videos without having a white board. It would be great if you can share with us how you do it.


Deepak November 19, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Could you please share what is your experience in terms of monetization and also would like to know more about white board animation tech.. any tool you use?


Deepak February 24, 2016 at 9:50 am

Could you please answer my query asked few months ago


chakradhar November 19, 2015 at 11:08 am

Hi, I am chakradhar from kurnool
i need answer for this question
How to create videos on a budget without a camera?
how is it possible ?


Deepak Kanakaraju November 19, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Upcoming articles will discuss about that.


manoj sharma November 19, 2015 at 11:19 am

hello deepak sir,

very nice article but please make for video presention b practilce for newbie.


Rocking Aryan November 19, 2015 at 11:38 am

Hello Sir,
It is really wonderful article if you want to make money from Youtube.. and Video BloggERS will get benfit from this article.
Thank you for sharung this awesome post. 🙂
Now i thought to start video blogging.


Gowtham November 19, 2015 at 11:42 am

HI Deepak,

It is a very informative article. I have a doubt regarding “how to add the male english voice to the video?”


Nidhi November 19, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Nice article with good information….I already had a account and I uploaded the videos….But I don’t know how to divert the traffic towards my channel…As you mentioned that adsense costing is high in US & UK. So our video should be in English or is there any criteria to make it popular in the above mentioned countries.


shahid November 19, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Great and good idea to start home based work………waiting for your article how to generate traffic


modem chaitanya November 19, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Nice article deepak. Thanks for sharing your knowledge through your blog..
Thank you.


Deepak November 19, 2015 at 4:29 pm

We already have an account for adsense for one of our website. Can we use same account for you tube as well to keep a single account.


Deepak Kanakaraju November 19, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Yes. In fact you are not allowed to have 2 adsense accounts in your name.


Pugazhenthi November 19, 2015 at 10:09 pm

This is the excellent article about making money through Youtube. Though I heard something about this, not ware of full details. Hence, I was not able to proceed further.

At this right time, you are publishing this article. looking forward with interest for your subsequent articles. Thanks a lot. I am planning to do Adsense and affiliate marketing too.


Sushant Gawade November 20, 2015 at 9:50 am

Nice article with good information.
can you tell me which is the best video editing application or website ?


Deepak Kanakaraju November 20, 2015 at 9:57 am

Yes, I will cover that in future articles and videos. Stay tuned!


Mahesh Babu November 20, 2015 at 12:05 pm


I have the Ad words account.
for sample i have uploaded one video is Youtube but i am unable to see “Monetization” option to enable it under “channel”


Deepak Kanakaraju November 20, 2015 at 12:39 pm

I believe you have to enable monetization for the account as a whole before you start monetizing individual videos. And its adsense, not adwords.


Mahesh Babu November 20, 2015 at 12:54 pm

what can i do to enable Adsense

You are currently signed into the Google Account, which is either not an active AdSense account, or still pending an approval. This account cannot be used to monetize your content.


Deepak Kanakaraju November 20, 2015 at 6:21 pm

You have to apply for an adsense account. Your google ID doesn’t have an active account now.


Ajeesh vs November 20, 2015 at 10:35 pm

can you please explain the payment methods of youtube or minimum payout details ????


shyam November 21, 2015 at 11:34 am

A very good and an interesting read, must say! Even your book made for a good read. Its quite insightful and practical. I have already recommended my friends your book! Keep it up! Thanks.


Ranjith Baskaran November 22, 2015 at 12:24 am

Hi Deepak
Article is pretty much interesting & very clear. Will be helpful if we have the sequence of articles related to this..


Hemant More November 22, 2015 at 9:50 pm

Hi all,
First of all thank you Deepak sir for such a information.
I want to share something about whiteboard animation

It will be helpful for you all.
Thank you.


Satish December 13, 2015 at 8:36 pm

Hi Deepak,

How to increase YouTube video views organically?

How to select key words to drive views to YouTube videos?



Deep December 17, 2015 at 6:33 pm

Interesting to learn
Thanx Sir


Mahesh Dobhal December 24, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Thanks for this Youtube monetization guides. Very Informative!!


Pratiksinh December 31, 2015 at 11:12 pm

Hey Deepak! Nice article and thank you for sharing 🙂

Already started and have the same goals for 2016 as you have mentioned over here.

It’s 3 per day for me and I am gonna make it.

Since past 1 month I am active on my YouTube channel once again and have modified it completely and now have around 960 views with 30+ videos and 90+ subscribers and $1.02 in earnings at

So, yes this stuff definitely works.

Let us all make 2016 a huge one on YouTube!!! Stay Awesome 🙂


Deepak Kanakaraju January 1, 2016 at 3:37 pm

Awesome. 1,000 views = $1 is working for you too!


John January 1, 2016 at 6:21 pm

Sir,This is a great article about YouTube.You have a good mind to empower new YouTubers.Appreciated.

I have a question related to youtube:
From your post you said you have many youtube channels.Are these on different mail ids or in one mail I’d?How many youtube channels can an individual create in different mail ids..

Reason for asking is this:

I had one youtube channel linked with my AdSense account was terminated (due to third party content used)

After this I created a new channel..

Can u connect it to my AdSense or create a new AdSense?

Please answer
This may helpful to others.
Thank you sir.


sachin January 2, 2016 at 3:02 pm

Hi Sir,

Thanks For such a good information!!


John January 6, 2016 at 11:56 pm

Sir,This is a great article about YouTube.You have a good mind to empower new YouTubers.Appreciated.

I have a question related to youtube:
From your post you said you have many youtube channels.Are these on different mail ids or in one mail I’d?How many youtube channels can an individual create in different mail ids..

Reason for asking is this:

I had one youtube channel linked with my AdSense account was terminated (due to third party content used)

After this I created a new channel..

Can I connect it to my AdSense or create a new AdSense?

Please answer
This may helpful to others.
Thank you sir


Monu Mehla January 14, 2016 at 4:39 am

Nice article with good information….I already had a account and I uploaded the videos….But I don’t know how to divert the traffic towards my channel…As you mentioned that adsense costing is high in US & UK. So our video should be in English or is there any criteria to make it popular in the above mentioned countries.


Ruralespouse February 20, 2016 at 8:05 pm

I am looking forward to start a channel. Can you suggest a website for royalty free music or any software for music production. Thanks.


Siddharth Rajaekar February 24, 2016 at 9:57 am

Fantastic post with exactly what I wanted to know. Would be great if you can also write a post on how to identify a niche to start creating videos. The whole process of keyword and topic research will be really useful. Looking forward to it!


Sajith V February 24, 2016 at 10:18 am

Hello Deepak,

Great article about YouTube monetization. I already had an Adsense account but the earnings are low. My blog is hosted on platform, does it calcutate as Hosted on Google property and earning is 55% of ad revenue? Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thank You!


Hopeto February 24, 2016 at 10:21 am

Thanks for the helpful article.


Kapil February 24, 2016 at 10:44 am

Dear Deepak,

Thank you for your valuable tutorials. I am really getting great help from your tutorials.

(I am Surgical Video Editor & Social Media Promoter) Working for Surgeons to Edit surgical footage & Make presentations for them.

This is my youtube channel (Related to Surgical Videos & Medical Information)

I need help in the following.
1. How can my videos on 1st page on youtube or google search
(I have seen people have really low grade content much less details and also bad thumbnails also on thier video but they have better ranking.)

2. How to get more earning through my channel.

and what is suggested views in youtube.

You are really a great Guru learing so much from your tutorials.

Thank You



s.m rehman February 24, 2016 at 11:35 am

How to create videos ?
Nice Article and very informative….


Chetan February 24, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Thanks for the info.
Also would like to know- is there a minimum no. of views you need to start earning?


Deepak Kanakaraju February 24, 2016 at 1:00 pm

No. You will start earning from the very first video.


Ashish February 24, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Thank you for the nice article. I eagerly wait for your new articles, which always use to be full of information and knowledge. I want to know the procedure to create the video without camera. Can you please help?


Nagendra February 24, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Hi Deepak,

Great article about YouTube. Can We Maintain two YouTube Channels in one Adsense account.


Prem Mulchandani February 24, 2016 at 8:57 pm

Hi Deepak,

Thank you for sharing and explaining about Youtube. I have been planning to do this since quite few months but haven’t been able to still. I have also signed up for your Free digital marketing course and already got my first video. 2nd video I got today.

Thank u once again for sharing your expert-ism with us.


Nagendra February 25, 2016 at 10:48 am

Hi Deepak,

Nice article about question is if we use two YouTube channels in one adsense account


Rajesh Walvekar March 12, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Myself Rajesh Walvekar from Belgaum. With your guidance & inspiration, I have beed certified as Google adwords certified partner. Even I have clients in hand. But, I have stucked from where to start & how to set up MCC. Please guide me if you can.


Flory March 12, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Hi Deepak,

I watch all yours videos and getting useful information. Great Articles.

I had sound knowledge about AdSense but now you gave more info about it so will try this also.

Please share whenever you upload new videos.



SANTHOSH May 4, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Thanks Deepak Kanthraju


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