How Much YouTube Paid Me My First Year Being Monetized

How Much YouTube Paid Me My First Year on YouTube

Wondering how much YouTube paid me my first year being monetized? I’ve been creating YouTube content for one whole year now. In this article, I’ll be sharing my journey and will tell you how much YouTube paid me in my first year being monetized. I’ll also share tips and strategies you can use to add an additional revenue stream to your current business, or perhaps start a side hustle of your own.

You aren’t alone if you are wondering how to get started! Using the tips and tricks I’ll share with you will get you on the way to your first YouTube monetization check fast. You can also check out my post How Much Do Small YouTubers Make.

You can also sign-up here and get my free YouTube Resource Guide

“ has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.”

How do I get started on YouTube?

The basics of starting a YouTube channel are pretty simple.  

  1. Sign up on the YouTube website: You’ll sign up using your email and then you can choose a specific channel name later.   
  2. Choose the type of content you want to share: This could be related to anything from sports talk to personal finance. 
  3. Schedule time to record videos: Be sure to consider your light source and the time of day when you set aside time for recording your content. 
  4. Edit the videos and create thumbnails: Use a video editor of your choice and create thumbnails (the small picture that people see when searching for videos on YouTube…read more about this below). 
  5. Build an infrastructure to connect the audience: Think about the ways that you will make valuable connections with your audience so they will come back for more. For example, Answering comments? Social media? Emails? Coaching? 
  6. Continue posting regularly: I recommend posting at least one video per week. Consistency will take you far with YouTube. 

What do you need to get started on YouTube?

One of the first things I did was think of a cool name and come up with a logo. This was pretty difficult because of my very plain last name (Smith). I talked with some friends about either calling the channel “Teaching Millionaires” or “Teacher Entrepreneurs.” Both of these had their own pros and cons. After I decided on those two names, I went on the website and hired someone to make a logo for both of those channel names. 

I really like Fiverr because it is an affordable way to get professional looking logos. It is definitely worth it to get a good logo. I believe that having a channel that looks professional was a big part of how quickly my channel grew. 

YouTube Equipment Ring Light. A man wearing a brown beanie hat holds an iPad and speaks into a smart phone on a ring light tripod.

What equipment do YouTubers use?

Another part of starting a YouTube channel is equipment. Personally, I have a beginners set of equipment, but it is possible to get started with a only a newer cell phone. There is little to no difference between an iPhone camera and a starter real video camera nowadays. 

Besides video from a camera or your phone, there are two other basic pieces of equipment that I recommend for people starting a YouTube channel. 

  1. Microphone: One add-on that I recommend is a microphone that attaches to your phone. The sound quality difference is huge, and it will set you back less than $20. 
  2. Ring lights: Lighting can drastically change the quality of your videos.  For between $20-80, you can purchase a ring light that will help your videos look more professional. You definitely want to look good and sound good when you are making videos. 
How much Youtube Paid My first year 1

How do I make a thumbnail for my YouTube video?

Another great platform for making your videos look more professional and clickable is It is a free graphic design platform (with some paid options) that works well to make the good looking thumbnails that you see at the start of my videos.

A thumbnail is the picture viewers see when they are scrolling through YouTube. You can either use a snapshot from your video or make an entirely separate graphic in Canva and upload it. You want to make your thumbnails attractive, clean, and professional. A thumbnail can be the difference in a video’s performance. If your thumbnails are bright and interesting looking, you are almost guaranteed a good performance from your video, compared to a thumbnail that is simply an afterthought.

You can use Canva to cut yourself out of the background, add a different background, add little graphics, add text, etc. I definitely recommend checking out as a simple way to make all of your professional graphics for social media and YouTube. 

How much does it cost to start a YouTube channel?

If you use a cellphone camera you already own and the free version of Canva, then you will have no costs to start your YouTube channel. Adding basic equipment like a ring light and a microphone will push your starting cost to around $50-$100. 

Of course you could buy even more expensive equipment, but I recommend starting out basic to make sure you have the time and drive to become a YouTube creator. 

How do you start a YouTube channel and get paid? 

There are a few different ways you can get paid using YouTube. The most common way is monetizing it with ads by becoming a YouTube Partner. 

A blue table with two hands holding several hundred dollar bills fanned out.

What does getting monetized on YouTube mean?

Getting monetized on YouTube means turning something that does not traditionally make money–free videos–into a money making source. With YouTube, this means they will pay you to put ads into your videos. This generates revenue for you, them, and the company who pays to have their ad on videos.

To get monetized on YouTube, you need to have 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours within a 12 month span. Because I was able to have one video of mine go viral, I became a monetized channel about a month after I joined YouTube. After I was monetized, ads were put in the beginning, middle, and end of my videos. Within the next two months, I received my first YouTube check. 

Learn How Business Credit Cards Can Help Your Small Business

What happens when you get monetized on YouTube?

When you get monetized on YouTube, your videos appear with ads in them. YouTube typically sends out payments within 2 months of a video being monetized. However, you must first join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) before they will start sending you checks.

How many views do you need to get paid on YouTube?

You need 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours within a 12 month span in order to get monetized on YouTube.

How do I monetize my YouTube videos?

There are other ways to monetize or earn money from your YouTube videos including selling merchandise,  partnering with brands, affiliate sales, and offering services to your viewers. 

I found a website called Acuity a couple months into my YouTube journey. It is an online appointment scheduling software that allows me to schedule and charge people for one-on-one consultations. As with most programs, there is a free version and a paid one – in this case, the paid version allows credit card payment and online booking.

Acuity has now become one of the foundations of my business because it allows me to connect with my clients and followers in a way where they’re actually paying me for my time. You can sign up for a consulting call or group coaching session with me here. 

Connecting with viewers using email is also a great way to keep your audience coming back and potentially earn more money. I started using a platform called ConvertKit. It allows me to offer free resources and gather emails when people sign up for my newsletter.

I racked up thousands of email addresses to the point where the service began to charge me to keep them. In the past few months, I’ve been using my email list to send out emails, letting people know about my latest news, sending out my latest YouTube video, sending an article, etc. This allows me to use my email list as an extension of people who want to hear from me outside of YouTube videos. I also have blog posts, podcasts, and other things to offer besides just the videos, and my email list serves as a way to deliver content to my followers. 

How much money do you get on your first YouTube paycheck?

Your first YouTube paycheck will depend on a few factors: how many viewers and subscribers you have and advertiser rates. Typically, your first YouTube paycheck will be around $3 dollars for every thousand views. On average, my own personal finance YouTube channel makes $18 per thousand video views. 

RELATED CONTENT: How Much Do Small YouTubers Make?

How much money can you make in a year on YouTube?

In a full year on YouTube, I was able to make just over $18,000 dollars. This was with just over 830,000 views and 70,000 watch hours. I never expected to make this much from YouTube, especially in my first year. 

When I started, my goal was to make videos to help people. I didn’t start a YouTube channel trying to earn enough money to quit my job or to become rich and famous. As a result of bringing in this unexpected income, I am now working hard to turn this into a future retirement job. 

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One of Rich Smith’s Favorite High Interest Savings Accounts

Key Takeaways How Much YouTube Paid Me My First Year Being Monetized

Starting a YouTube channel doesn’t have to be complicated. You can begin with things you already have or pick up some basic equipment for $50-$100. 

My biggest takeaway from my first year as a YouTube creator is the importance of consistency. I dedicated time to learning about YouTube, made a new video every week, and consistently worked to connect with my viewers in a way that was valuable to them. 

YouTube is helping me get some extra money for my retirement. I’m confident that you can use these tips and tricks to get your YouTube channel started and growing quickly. 

As always, I’m Rich. Until next time.

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“ has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. I am not a financial advisor. The information I share is for educational purposes only and shouldn’t be considered as certified financial or legal advice. It is imperative you conduct your own research. I am sharing my opinion only.”

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