Learning how to make money on YouTube is really appealing to a wide variety of people. And it makes sense – you get paid to make videos about things you enjoy.

And that can be anything! There are people who get paid to make videos about slime, blowing stuff up, the bottle flip challenge, make-up tutorials, how to trim plants, cooking hacks, playing video games…pretty much anything goes on YouTube.

But becoming a YouTuber isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme – my wife recently started a channel, and we now have firsthand knowledge with what it’s like to start a YouTube channel. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot of work.

Today I’m going to answer the most common questions about making money on YouTube, from what the highest-paid YouTubers made last year, how to monetize your channel, and what the majority of YouTubers really make.

How much money do YouTubers REALLY make in 2024?

1. Ryan Kaji $26 million

Ryan Kaji of Ryan’s World started his YouTube channel when he was just 3 years old (he’s 8 now) by unboxing toys. He now has a line of toys, clothes, a show on Nickelodeon, and a deal with Hulu. Kaji has over 24 million subscribers.

2. Dude Perfect $20 million

Dude Perfect is five guys in their 30s who do stunts, play sports, and try to break world records. Their channel has gotten so popular that they scored a show on Nickelodeon called The Dude Perfect Show. This channel has over 49.5 million subscribers.

3. Anastasia Radzinskaya $18 million

The youngest YouTuber on this list, Anastasia Radzinskaya is 5 years old – crazy, right!? Anastasia and her Dad make videos where they play together, and they are shown in seven different languages. She spent 2019 working with big brands like Lego and Dannon Yogurt, and her channel now has almost 50 million subscribers.

4. Rhett and Link $17.5 million

Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal host a daily comedy show on YouTube that boasts over 4.8 million subscribers. Their brand has expanded to four channels, a podcast, books, and they recently purchased the Smosh network of YouTube shows.

5. Jeffree Start $17 million

Star goes back to MySpace days, where he started as a musician, but he’s most known for doing makeup tutorials on YouTube. He has his own line of cosmetics, was in a Kesha video, and has over 17.5 million subscribers.

6. Preston $14 million

Preston Arsement is new to the top-earning YouTubers list, and he was able to rise in the rankings with his popular Call of Duty videos and the pranks he posts on his gaming channel. Preston actually makes a significant portion of his income running Minecraft servers. He now has 11.7 million subscribers.

7. Markiplier $13 million [Tie]

Mark Fischbach, or Markiplier as he’s known on YouTube, has made his million with video game commentary. He currently has over 25 million subscribers. In addition to his YouTube channel, Markiplier runs a high-end line of clothes for video gamers… that’s niche… called Cloak with fellow YouTuber Jacksepticeye.

7. PewDiePie $13 million [Tie]

With around 103 million subscribers, PewDiePie is one of the most controversial YouTubers on this list. He posts a range of content ranging from video game commentary to comedy videos.

8. Dan TDM $12 million

Dan is a professional gamer based in the UK, who became popular with his Minecraft and Fortnite videos. He adds to his income with worldwide live tours. His channel has over 22.4 million subscribers.

9. VanossGaming $11.5 million

Evan Fong, known for his gaming channel VanossGaming, does video game commentary for popular games like Grand Theft Auto and Minecraft. He has over 24.9 million subscribers.

Learn more at Best Side Hustles From Home.

How do YouTubers make money

Making money on YouTube is kind of similar to how I make money blogging. We can both earn affiliate income, do brand partnerships, and sell products. Our income isn’t directly tied to a page or video views, but those numbers affect our ability to make money.

If you’re interested in learning how to make money on YouTube, there are a couple of metrics you’ll need to meet to be eligible for monetization. And you must meet both of them in the same 12 month period:

  • At least 1,000 subscribers
  • At least 4,000 hours of watch time in the past year

Once you meet those metrics, then you can start making money on YouTube, and next up is how.

How to Make Money on YouTube in 2024 Side Hustle Ideas (Make $1,000+ Per Month).

The Tools You Need To Start a YouTube Channel

You can start a YouTube channel with just the video function on your phone, but for high-quality videos, you’re going to need to drop some cash on quality equipment.

Here’s what we got for Coral’s channel:

This type of high-end equipment isn’t necessary, but it will show your viewers that you’re taking your channel seriously.

The Final Word on How Much Do Youtubers Make

If you are passionate about something and want to share it with the world, then heck yeah, start a YouTube channel! Or start a blog if you don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera.

YouTube really is a cool place to connect with a larger audience. It takes work and time, and more time, and more work to grow it into something that’s earning you a decent amount of side income, but it is possible.


  1. Me and some friends made a channel back in the early days when we were like 13. I wonder what our lives would be like now if we had kept doing it all these years!

    1. Haha that’s a dangerous game to play! I always wonder where I’d be if I had started my blog when I was 22 instead of 26!

  2. The only question I ask myself with this youtube thing is how much control do you have? It’s just like building a business on someone else land. It’s a nice side hustle but always think of control and if it’s part of your multiple streams of income….perfect.

    1. Well, not a ton. That’s why it’s always a good idea to build out a personal website like what I have with M$M. With that said, there is some great money to be made on YouTube, but I would always try to direct people to opt into your email list using a lead magnet in the description. If YouTube drastically changes their payout structure, you can still market to people on your list. 🙂

    2. I agree. I was kicked off after 2 benign videos and 400 views. No reason. No rules broken.

  3. Thanks very much. This is really a helpful post because, not only does it give lots of good info, but it also sets expectations! And of course, it gives a plug for your wife’s new channel. I did go to her channel. I wanted to see the look of it and how she presented the content. She does a great job and I ended up subscribing so I can get more organizing tips! Maybe you could do a follow-up post on, once you set up a channel, how people can be reminded to come back for more – basically how to keep growing it. We are new to your website and like it a lot. We are also in the investing world and have learned a lot (the good and the bad!) over the course of many years. I know you don’t like to read very much, but for a very good story with a lot of “learning” check out “What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars” by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan. All the best, Sharon and John

    1. You’re welcome! Coral is doing a great job and recently started to make affiliate income with her channel! It took about three months to make her first $200, but now it seems to be growing pretty consistently.

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