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How much money can you really make off of youtube ads?

My channel got started back in 2020 and two years later, I got monetized on YouTube.

It’s now been 3 full months since then, so we’re going to take a look at the stats and see how much YouTube paid me in my first 3 months of being monetized!

I officially made my first YouTube dollar on December 6th of 2022. I’ll show you that revenue as well, but since it wasn’t technically a full month, I’ll show you the revenue made from Jan 2023-March 2023.

How Much YouTube Paid Me in My First 3 Months of Being Monetized!

How to get monetized on YouTube

But first, let’s talk about how you can get monetized on YouTube. There are a few requirements you need to hit first.

The requirements for YouTube monetization

When you post your first video, it’s a super exciting time! Especially if you’re looking to quit your job and make a full-time living off YouTube, or even a part-time side hustle.

But you have a long road before you hit monetization!

The requirements are;

1,000 subscribers AND 4,000 watch hours in 12 months OR 10 million Short views in 90 days.

YouTube partner program eligibility

The requirements used to only be 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in 12 months. And in what they call a “rolling” 12-month period.

Meaning, it’s not January to December watch hours, it’s the last 365 days that count. So take a look at today’s date, roll back 365 days, and whatever watch hours you got that day is what you’ll be losing.

Which means, you’re on a bit of a hamster wheel. You need to be gaining more watch hours than you’re losing.

The other new option YouTube has just added is the 10 million Shorts views in 90 days.

Now that YouTube Shorts are so popular, and some people only upload Shorts, this gives creators more of a chance to enter the YouTube Partner Program.

It directly competes with TikTok and all other forms of short-form content.

However, for the average person, does that mean it’s a realistic metric to hit?

In my opinion… no. Not even close.

I think you’re better off using Shorts to gather people’s attention, put your content out there to a wider audience, and gain subscribers that way.

And then using long-form content to actually get monetized.

I think 4,000 watch hours is way easier to get than 10 million Shorts views.

Plus, as well see later when we get into the stats, long-form content pays way, way better than Shorts!

Tips for getting monetized on YouTube

No matter what though, getting monetized on YouTube is not an easy task. It takes a lot of learning, hard work, and time to get your channel to reach monetization requirements.

Here are a few tips I recommend for getting your channel there faster!

Commit to posting a lot of videos

You’re going to need to post a lot of videos if you want to get monetized on YouTube.

And unless you end up getting a lot of views, I personally don’t think posting one video a week is going to get you to monetization very fast.

I know the golden rule is to post on video a week, and I think for people who don’t have a lot of time and are just trying to get used to posting- it is a good rule.

But if you are serious about getting monetized and want to grow your channel fast, you’ll likely need to post more than one video a week and utilize Shorts as well.

If we take a look at my first year on YouTube, it wasn’t a full year (I started in July) but I posted only 23 videos between July and December.

I only got 114 watch hours and 73 subscribers- a far cry away from the 4,000 hours and 1,000 subs needed to get monetized.

Versus my 2nd year when I posted 41 videos. The results were much better.

Still not good enough for monetization, but you can see the more videos I posted, the better I grew.

Once I noticed this, I tripled down on content in my 3rd year and started posting 2-3 videos a week.

This is the year I got monetized, and you can see why!

I posted a whopping 75 videos in my 3rd year on YouTube! Getting 72,443 views and 4.2k watch hours.

Had I posted more in my first two years, I would have gotten to monetization a lot sooner.

Now does that mean you need to post 75 videos in your first year and will still get the same results I did?

No, not at all.

These results are a combination of the previous two years where I got a lot of videos ranked and I had built trust with my audience.

Not to mention two years to hone my YouTube video-making skills and the fact that this wasn’t my first channel on YouTube.

But what it does show you is the more you post, the more views you have the chance to get! And, as you can see, I also posted no shorts during this time.

This was because I didn’t really know what Shorts to post, and they didn’t count toward monetization at all at this point.

So I didn’t want the high spike in views from Shorts to mess up my stats, making me think I was getting more views and watch hours than I was actually getting.

But, if Shorts does fit into your strategy, I recommend posting 1-2 Shorts a week!

Always be improving your videos and analyze your stats

Now when I say “analyze your stats” I don’t mean agonizing over them multiple times a day.

You want to be smart with your time, especially if you work and have other life responsibilities to take care of.

You can’t afford to spend hours a day looking over your stats and hoping they change hour to hour.

But, you do want to analyze them in a smart, measured way in order to improve your content.

Improving your content little by little is the best way to grow your YouTube channel. And one of the best ways to do that is to analyze your stats to see what works, and what doesn’t!

If you see a topic doing well, or a style of thumbnail, you’ll want to do more of that.

If you find a keyword that is bringing you traffic or use a tool like VidIQ Pro to find the best keywords to rank for- those are the things that will help your channel grow.

Similarly, if you see something that isn’t working- a video topic doesn’t do well, a thumbnail has a super low clickthrough rate or your video has a low average view duration, these are things you’ll want to avoid and improve on in the future.

How much YouTube paid me in my first 3 months of being monetized!

Now let’s get to the good stuff- how much YouTube paid me!

And as I said, I’ll show you what was “technically” my first month being monetized, even though it wasn’t a full month. Just so you can see more data.

How much YouTube pays for long-form content

First, let’s deep dive into individual video stats because the amount that you get paid for each video varies a lot.

And it can also change throughout the year as well, depending on a lot of things.

You can see the difference in pay in just my top 5 videos.

If you’ve never seen this before, here’s what it says.

In the last column, you’ll see Playback-based CPM. This means how much advertisers pay per 1,000 views I get on my videos. This is not the money I actually make.

The first tab, Estimated Revenue, is how much I actually made in the past 28 days on these videos. You can see the top is $4.89, while the bottom video is way lower at $1.35.

In the second to last column, Estimated Monetized Playbacks, this is how many views were actually monetized. Because not every view on a video is a “monetized” view.

If we look deeper into the stats of a video, we can learn more.

My top video for the last 28 days was “How to Start a Blog in 2023”.

Advertisers paid me $19.73 per 1,000 views on this video (My CPM).

The RPM on this video, A.K.A how much I made after YouTube took their cut, was $9.22. So I made $12.73 so far with this video.

And if we take a deeper look into the 5th highest-earning video on our list, you’ll see how different the stats are.

This is one of my top videos overall on my channel, but many of the views weren’t monetized because it was launched way before I was accepted into the YouTube Partner Program.

This is my “How to Bulk Create Pinterest Pins” video.

Advertisers paid $8.35 CPM on this video, my RPM was only $0.78. Meaning, I’ve only made $4.36 on this video.

The difference is pretty crazy.

And, Shorts pay? It’s even worse.

This Short was launched this month, gained 787 views, and well… the revenue was 6 cents.

This is why I say not to rely on Shorts to make you any money.

Because while this Short didn’t make me even a single dollar, I gained 3 new subscribers, and my content was exposed to 787 new people over the span of two days.

Money is not the only metric you should be focusing on when trying to grow your YouTube channel!

With that deep dive out of the way, let’s get into the overall numbers of how much YouTube paid me in my first 3 months of being monetized!

December 2022

I made $27.90 my first month of being monetized!

I officially made my first YouTube dollar on December 6th, which is why I didn’t count it as my “first” month since it wasn’t all 31 days. But I wanted to show you anyway.

Either way, this was super exciting for me, and I couldn’t wait to see how my revenue would level out and change as YouTube figured out what my content was worth to advertisers.

Jan 2023

Now if we take a look at January 2023, you’ll see the stats have differed a bit.

Despite being monetized for a full month this time, gaining more views and even posting one more video than the month before- my revenue dipped.


There are a few reasons for this.

One was because I got a Super Thanks the month before. Which is when someone donates money to a specific video.

This helped raise my revenue by a few dollars, which matters when you’re making such a small income.

Also, December revenue is always some of the highest for the year. It’s the end of the year when Christmas and all the other holidays are.

So, advertisers pay more money for this because more people are buying things.

Versus January. Many people aren’t buying as much because they spent so much on the holidays, so January is usually the lowest in terms of ad revenue made.

This is just the way things go for all YouTubers!

February 2023

February is a different story, this is when revenue tends to go back up to almost normal levels.

And you can see this reflected in my February 2023 income. Despite only posting 3 videos this month and one Short, my revenue increased.

Views, watch hours, and subscribers were all down this month- yet my revenue was up.

This could be for a few reasons. One could be it was no longer January and rates were starting to go back up.

It also could have to do with the amount of monetized views I got this month vs last month.

And what I mean by that is, not every single view you get is a “monetized” view.

In the back end of YouTube, we can decide when and where ads are placed on our videos.

But it doesn’t guarantee that an ad will be played.

YouTube decides if a viewer gets an ad played that time, and what type of ad is played as well, depending on how many other ads the viewer has seen on other videos.

There are a lot of other things that go into deciding if an ad is played or not, and we as YouTubers have no idea what those factors are. We can only assume.

How much YouTube paid me this month also could be due to them getting a better idea of what advertisers are willing to pay to place ads on my videos.

We also have no idea the deciding factors that go into these decisions either.

March 2023

March was an interesting month for me.

This was the month I changed my content a bit and started posting videos outside of my niche. I also started posting Shorts way more consistently as well.

This is what contributed to my uptick in views, even though Shorts’ revenue is pretty garbage, to say the least.

I also took a two-week break from content while I worked on some business decisions in the backend.

This, thankfully, didn’t affect my revenue for the month.

This was actually my most successful revenue month to date in terms of how much YouTube paid me!

Overall how much YouTube paid me in 3 months of being monetized

Let’s take a look at the overall results for how much YouTube paid me in my first 3 full months of being monetized!

  • January- $24.57
  • February- $26.69
  • March- $30.34

Which means my total was brought up to $81.60!

And, if you’re curious, my total revenue with December 2022 included as well is $109.50!

This means that now, in April, I am going to get my first-ever YouTube payout! Because, if you don’t know, to cash out YouTube ad revenue, the threshold is $100.

I’m honestly super excited about this. It’s truly a dream come true to be able to make money off of YouTube and get paid doing what I love.

I’m hoping that my income will continue to go up and that one day soon I will be able to cash out YouTube payments once a month instead of every 4 months.

And this goes to show you why diversifying your income streams is so important.

While I am super hype that I’ve made this money and got monetized on YouTube- the money is not enough to pay my bills.

It’s a nice side income, but it’s not going to get me very far.

This is why you need to have other income streams such as;

  • Affiliate revenue
  • Your own services
  • Your own products
  • Brand deals

There are a ton of different ways you can make money online, so make sure once you get one revenue stream down, you start to work on another!

And make sure if you’d like to see the video on this topic, you head on over to YouTube and check out my content there!

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  1. Thanks for sharing this, Sarah. I’m also considering putting up a Youtube channel. I’m looking for new ways to diversify my income since getting new freelance writing clients has been challenging these days. Maybe because of the economy, AI, and the low demand for written content.

    1. YouTube is really a great place to be. I get most of my freelance clients from YouTube. It’s a great place for exposure to your content!

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