Have you ever thought about sitting around at home making a living off the internet? Well welcome to YouTube, where anyone can be a star with hard work and dedication. First things first, if you don’t already have a YouTube account you’re going to need to make one. Once you have created your account you will need to turn account monetization on and connect to AdSense, doing so requires accepting YouTube’s advertising guidelines (Rosenberg). There is a forty-five fifty-five split for all content creators, google keeps the smaller half.  Recent studies show that television is no longer the primary choice for screen viewing among very young children, having been surpassed by online viewing platforms such as YouTube (Elias). This could make for a lucrative business, but with a very low level of entry cost it also means that anyone can do it so the market could easily become over-saturated.

            Setting up your channel and choosing what you are going to upload is the easy part. Many content creators start off using YouTube as a hobby and then it later graduates into a full time job or in some cases nothing at all. There are many different channels on YouTube covering almost every topic, but only a few of those categories carry a large enough audience to make enough money to live on. For example there are makeup tutorial channels on YouTube, some big enough so that they can do it as a full-time job. But there are only a handful of them in comparison to gaming channels. Gaming is the backbone of YouTube, while it might not get to the status of a ten million view viral video or even as many views as a music video gets. A Gaming channel will consistently get views. When starting off one might consider only uploading one or two different games at a time, and try to get into a schedule. A familiar series and seeing consistent uploads is the best way to get a strong base of viewers. Another way one might try growing their channel is by doing collaboration with another channel, small or big any exposure to a new audience is good. YouTube channel growth can be random, some might blow up and get fifty-thousand subscribers in a year while others might never catch ground and get going.

            After a while of making videos and gaining an audience you might have a nice little check coming in the mail. When does YouTube go from hobby to fulltime job? Because of the way that ads work on YouTube and Some ads pay more than others based off the content of the video, this might be viable for some but  not others. California’s per capita income in 2016 is $31,458 (Quickfacts). The average person in California makes about this much each year, to make that in YouTube videos one would need a very minimum twenty-two-thousand views a day (Urgo). The ads would have to be paying upwards of four dollars, a premium. So to be more realistic one would need thirty to thirty-five thousand views a day (Urgo). This sounds like a lot of views at first and for a smaller just starting off cannel it is, but for an established channel this is no problem. If you are right on the edge of making enough and need a little extra many content creators use other sources of income like selling merchandise. An online store to sell things like hats, hoodies, shirts, etc.… can be great for making a little extra profit and it is a win-win because most audiences

want merchandise. Other options could be to start a premium series where viewers pay a onetime fee to watch or a per month subscription or try and pick up a sponsorship to get on a larger channel such as Machinima. If you were to partner up with them the exposure could be phenomenal as they have a viewer base of over half a million(Lavaveshkul) .

Sense YouTube is an open platform and all you need is an email to make an account it means that anyone can do it. This is good and bad, good for you because it is easy and cheap to get into. Also bad for you because it is easy and cheap to get into which means anyone can do it and it can easily become oversaturated. To be a content creator full time is no easy job either. Sure you are doing what you love playing video games with your friends hanging out having a good time, but then the show stops and now it is time to edit. Content creators spend from two to eight hours on average editing and uploading their masterpieces. If you start your video with a thought out plan and it is not just on the fly the viewer will be able to tell and appreciate it more because you will be wasting less time making mistakes and more time doing what they came to see.  While some types of games might take a little more time to edit and others a little less, do not be fooled this is still a fulltime job. The larger your channel grows and the more you make, the more series and specials you have to record. Overtime your equipment will wear out as well and you will have to replace it. In the grand scheme of things it will not cost that much, but at the time of purchase or repurchase it is going to run up a couple hundred dollars.

            If making a living off the internet is what you want to do, YouTube is defiantly a viable option. Though success is not guaranteed, there is a very strong framework already laid out for you by YouTube. With hard work and dedication you could be a fulltime content creator. Making an average or even above average wage for your area depending on how popular you are.  Though your day might consist of just recording and editing, at least you are having fun at work. With such a low cost of entry you would be foolish not to try and make money on YouTube.





Annotated Bibliography

Elias, Nelly and Idit Sulkin. “Youtube Viewers in Diapers: An Exploration of Factors Associated with Amount of Toddlers’ Online Viewing.” Cyberpsychology, vol. 11, no. 3, Sept. 2017, pp. 14-30. EBSCOhost, doi:10.5817/CP2017-3-2.

This paper is about toddlers and their viewing preferences. Television is no longer in the lead, surpassed by YouTube and other online entertainment. I use this in my report to help draw the audience in by using it as a positive. This resource is reliable because it comes from EBSCO and it uses sources that have been cited.


Lavaveshkul, Liz. “How to Achieve 15 Minutes (Or More) of Fame through Youtube.” Journal of International Commercial Law & Technology, vol. 7, no. 4, Oct. 2012, pp. 370-385. EBSCOhost,chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=89132041&site=ehost-live.

This paper is about YouTube and its most famous content creators. It gives a breakdown of some of the most popular channels and covers a short history of YouTube. I use this to reference gaming channels on YouTube and how they carry a large audience. This source is reliable because it comes from EBSCO and it uses cited sources.  


“QuickFacts.” U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: California, 2016, www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/CA/PST045216.

This is a government fact finder cite, I used it to find the average income in California. I use this to compare it to how many views one would need to make around the same amount. This source is reliable because it is a government cite.


Rosenberg, Eric. “How Youtube Ad Revenue Works.” Investopedia, 26 Mar. 2015, www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/032615/how-youtube-ad-revenue-works.asp.

This is an article on how YouTube ad revenue works. How different content will get different ads that pay different amounts. I use it to talk about setting up your ad revenue and ads in general. This article is reliable because it comes from Investopedia, a website that uses references and also provides test prep and a business dictionary.


Urgo. “Estimated YouTube Money Calculator by Social Blade.” Estimated Youtube Money Calculator (By Social Blade), socialblade.com/youtube/youtube-money-calculator.

This is a website that has an algorithm to shows how much how many views could earn. It multiplies views by how much ads would earn, so it gives a range between a twenty-five cent add and a four dollar ad. I use this to reference how many views one would need to make the average income in California. This resource is reliable because it is just a basic calculator does the work for me giving me a range.   

https://www.youtube.com/yt/about/brand-resources/ (YouTube Icon) 

https://www.youtube.com/yt/about/brand-resources (YouTube Banner)

https://blog.securly.com/2015/10/20/four-ways-for-parents-to-keep-kids-safe-on-youtube/ (Kid)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-09-18/the-collective-managers-to-the-youtube-stars (Star picture)

https://mashable.com/2016/11/17/warner-bros-machinima-acquisition/ (Machinima)