From full-time gamers to stay-at-home moms, this is the dream! But how do you get started, and where is all that money supposed to come from? Here are the to things you need to know about making money from a vlog.
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Let’s Do Some Math
Vlog revenue comes from a monetized video that includes ads, like the YouTube ads that appear before you play one of their videos. It’s pretty easy to link your videos to an ad model as long as you play by the rules (YouTube’s scary penalty for controversial videos is to demonetize them or pull the ads so they can’t make any money).
People typically do this through Google AdSense, which plays particularly well with YouTube and similar sites. However, there are other ad services, depending on your vlog and investment level.
The more people that see these ads, the more money the video makes – but it can take a lot of views to generate meaningful profit. Generally, about 1,000 views of a monetized video will net you about $1. It’s not a strict rule, but a helpful guideline.
A well-placed video with a good thumbnail and the right description can often get an average of 10,000 after reaching maximum exposure (usually after between several days and a couple of weeks). So, that’s $10 per video…again, not a guaranteed rule, but a useful way to look at it.
Let’s take this a step further and say that you produce one video every day, and that all these videos are of high enough quality and well-timed to get 10,000 views. That will make around $3,600 per year.
“How Do you Grow Your Audience?” Question
“Huh. So, how do people make a living on vlogs?” you’re probably wondering (don’t worry, there are ways to save money on your vlogging gear). The answer is complicated, and it has to do with audience numbers.
Thriving vloggers don’t just have 10,000 people watch a video, they have hundreds of thousands of people tune into every video to watch it, share it, and comment on it.
That’s great for SEO, and quickly leads to significant revenue. Subscriptions are a particularly important part of this: when someone is subscribed to a YouTube channel, for example, this will get notifications every time that channel puts out a new video.
Because subscribers are much more likely to watch those videos, each subscriber is almost a guaranteed view for our calculations – and they’ll share any particularly good videos with their friends, too. This is why you see so many professional vloggers asking for subscriptions and likes in their videos (even if it can get a little annoying).
This is why platforms like YouTube are such a double-edged sword. On one hand, YouTube is extremely popular and you have millions of viewers that you can target with videos. On the other hand, because YouTube is so massive, there is a lot of competition for pretty much every type of vlog, which can make it harder to stand out.
Consistency and Time Is the Key To Success
The key to much of this monetization business is time (and consistency).
You need to put in the time to create lots of videos and see which get the most traction. You need to the time to work on your video SEO and promotion. Most importantly, you need time build an audience, get subscribers, and push your viewing numbers up.
If that makes you feel a little depressed, remember the other side of the story: many famous vloggers got their big payday when a random video suddenly became one of the internet’s hot topics and propelled them to fame in the course of just a few days. There’s always a chance that a talented video could transform your channel into a major player in the same way.