10 People Who Made Money Using YouTube

YouTube attracts a lot of ambitious entrepreneurs every year. Every one of them wants to make themselves a fortune, with visions of a massive subscriber following, big paychecks, and status as an onli

YouTube attracts a lot of ambitious entrepreneurs every year. Every one of them wants to make themselves a fortune, with visions of a massive subscriber following, big paychecks, and status as an online celebrity. However, for a number of distinct reasons, not many succeed in their goal to monetize video content. Nevertheless, there are still many successful YouTube stories, where seemingly unaware users have built an online empire with the success of their videos.

So, what are the different ways to make money on YouTube? The simplest and most common method is to become a YouTube partner. Partnering with YouTube directly will allow you to split the ad revenue Google makes with your videos. In spite of its convenience, many users still struggle to make a decent amount of money by partnering with YouTube. The next best bet is to sign up sponsors on your own. Cutting out the middle man will allow you to advertise products and services directly to your target audience, and if done correctly, you can earn a lot of money this way.

Other ways one could monetize their video content is by selling merchandise of their own. Promote your merchandise through your videos, and if your viewers like it, then you will surely be able to build a business around your YouTube channel. Alternatively, you can also try the freemium model, wherein you offer snippets of your video content to the viewers, and if they want to watch more detailed videos, then they will have to subscribe to your own site to watch them. In this model, you’ll have some of your best content hidden behind a paywall on your personal site. If you don’t have any other content to sell, then you can become an affiliate and promote someone else’s products and services too. There are just too many ways to monetize content on YouTube.

Currently, there are thousands of regular users who have produced clever and creative YouTube videos to earn a lot of money. Here are 10 people who have made loads of cash off of YouTube.

10 David After Dentist: Earned Over $100,000

This is perhaps one of the first YouTube videos to go viral, and it wasn’t even intended to be monetized in the first place. The “David After Dentist” video features a 7-year-old kid who had just returned from a tooth removal surgery due to Hyperdontia (extra tooth). As of now, the video has been viewed over 121 million times on YouTube, reportedly earning the uploader well over $100,000 which is enough to pay for David’s dental bills and college tuition fees. This video proves that the best videos on YouTube are often unscripted and capture extremely candid moments that elicit an emotional reaction in its viewers.

9 Natalie Tran: Earns $100,000 Per Year

Natalie Tran runs a YouTube channel called “communitychannel” that reportedly earns her over $100,000 a year in earnings. Her videos have received over 480 million views in total as of now, and she has even managed to build a subscriber base of over 1.38 million viewers; an impressive feat indeed. Her most famous YouTube video titled “How to fake a six pack” has racked up almost 35 million views as of now. Currently, she is planning to switch her career from an online celebrity to a film celebrity.

8 Philly D: Earns $200,000 Per Year

A video blog of Philly DeFranco, this channel discussed everyday non-news related things in a very straightforward manner. Philip has managed to build several million subscribers in total across a range of YouTube channels, all of which are owned by him. His “The Philip DeFranco Show” is very popular show on YouTube that runs from every Monday to Thursday. According to some estimates, he earns more than $200,000 a year in earnings through his YouTube channels. You can check out the ads running on his videos to understand how he earns so much money.

7 The Young Turks: Offer Exclusive Content

This political talk show started over a decade back, and has improved greatly over the years. The Young Turks channel enjoys a very devoted YouTube fan base – all of who are extremely fond of the channel and its presenters. In fact, as far as online news shows are concerned, The Young Turks is the most popular one around, even beating many traditional news outlets. Naturally, it also enjoys a high popularity among the young demographic. Apart from monetizing from their content on YouTube, The Young Turks also offer their subscribers exclusive content hidden behind a paywall on their site.

6 Shaycarl: Earns $250,000 Annually

The story of Shay Butler’s success is very strange, and it is also very inspiring to many. From his humble beginnings in Utah to being a Mormon missionary in the West Indies, and then discovering his true calling on YouTube, Shay has had an amazing journey that everyone can associate themselves with. Shay mostly produces comedy shorts, all of which are a great hit with his fans. As of now, Shay has managed to build a mini online empire for himself surrounding his brand. He has over 2 million subscribers spread across his various channels, and he also sells merchandise on the side to make some extra cash. It’s estimated that he makes at least $250,000 annually from his online business.

5 Fred Figgelhorn: Has Over 2.22 Million Subscribers

Fred became an overnight sensation on YouTube, thanks to his hyperactive and tantrum-throwing nature. In reality, Fred’s name is actually Lucas Cruikshank, a teenager placed out of Nebraska. Dubbing his voice with that of a 6-year-old, and matching the mentality too, his quirky videos have garnered a lot of attention on YouTube. With over 2.22 million subscribers and just over 1 billion views, his channel is a perfect example of how to monetize funny videos on YouTube. From time to time, he also partners up with other YouTube celebrities; it is a great cross promotional tactic.

4 Shane Dawson TV: Earns $300,000

Shane Dawson uploaded his first video of him pole dancing, due to which he was fired from his job at Jenny Craig. Ever since then, he has risen to be a YouTube celebrity, racking well over 5.1 million subscribers and almost a billion views. He channel caters to a wide variety of content and includes videos such as music-video spoofs, celebrity impersonations and other comedy shorts. He has also managed to release his own singles on iTunes, which is another great marketing tactic. It’s estimated that he earns somewhere between $275,000 and $300,000 from his YouTube channel.

3 Ryan Higa: Earns $350,000 Annually

Ryan Higa, popularly known as “nigahiga” on YouTube, started uploading videos to YouTube when he was still a teenager studying in high school. Of course, he didn’t expect many to see his videos then. Right now, with over 10 million subscribers and 1.6 billion views on his channel, Ryan is one of the most popular online stars. Estimates suggest that Ryan earns well over $350,000 annually from his YouTube videos alone. Apart from his online presence, he also appears on film, television shows and other media.

2 Annoying Orange: Earns $400,000 Annually

Annoying Orange is one of the funniest channels on YouTube as of now. Dane Boedigheimer, the creator of this channel, is a former MTV production assistant and knows what he’s doing. The videos feature an orange living in a kitchen with other fruits and vegetables. Dane overlays his mouth over the Orange and even provides voice for it himself. Currently, the series has over 3.37 million subscribers and a total of 1.82 billion views. It is estimated that the series earns well over $400,000 to its creator annually; though, the real earnings are still a mystery.

1 Ray William Johnson: Earns $1 Million Annually

Ray William Johnson provides commentary on other popular viral videos in his hit YouTube series “Equals Three”. Right now, his channel has accumulated well over 10 million subscribers and 2.54 billion views. His channel is unique in the sense that all the videos contribute almost equally to his total view count, rather than just a single video hitting the jackpot. It is a clear example of averages winning over peaks. According to some sources, RayWJ, as he’s commonly called, takes home a cool $1 million in cash annually from his YouTube videos.


If you’re planning to create a career for yourself by making online videos, then you have a lot of opportunities to try out. However, success doesn’t come easy to those who’re not prepared for it. Even though some of the YouTube success stories were accidental, all of them were prepared to take their content to the next level. As shown in the examples above, there are many ways with which you can make money using YouTube.


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10 People Who Made Money Using YouTube