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General Forestry => General Board => Topic started by: wesdor on December 27, 2020, 09:14:03 PM

Title: YouTube Revenue
Post by: wesdor on December 27, 2020, 09:14:03 PM
Several members have YouTube channels and I wonder if you will share with us what kind of revenue they generate.  I saw a YouTuber that claimed she made more then $3,000 per month.  She claimed the money came from ad views.  

I'm not trying to get personal, but wonder if there is a potential here.  Another thought is that when I see a Forestry Forum member with a YouTube channel, I'll view some of your videos to increase the numbers for you. 

Thanks in advance if you help educate me.
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: thecfarm on December 27, 2020, 09:40:59 PM
$3000 sounds high, but if they have the subs, and views, it can be done. My wife was up to almost $400 a month, But You Tube changed things and she down to half that much now. BUT it takes A LOT of time to put out a nice video that will keep people coming back. Yes, you can have 50,000 subs, but you need watch time too. You Tube tracks all that stuff and more.
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: Runningalucas on December 27, 2020, 09:57:56 PM
Youtube always screws over the different channels. Now with the SJW 'woke' cancel culture, and also the uber aggressive trademark infringement stuff, it makes it difficult. 

Hence why so many went over to Patreon, but even that has the 'woke' cancel culture; which is truly Marxism creeping in, but oh well. 

I think a combination that would work, and I see more, and more content producers doing it, is to have your own store, and preferably stuff you make; as the 'my t-shirt design' stuff is getting old as well. 

The really ridiculous thing is that many of the videos youtube won't monetize for the content creator, they still slap ads up over them. 

The Internet is great, but considering Youtube's strong support for the 'woke' cancel culture, anyone who is, or going to start producing content, in my opinion should spread that content out between a few tube sites; which are out there.
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: SwampDonkey on December 28, 2020, 04:39:56 AM
I have a channel, but I have never gone at it with the vigour it would take to make money. I don't have time for that lifestyle. And you're playing by their rules, which from what I've seen done to others, can change any time and have no consistency in application. I don't play to "whims and fancies" of the ones in charge too well. I mean all you have to do is mention a 'banned' word that is hot in the current media or 'social movements' and your video is ghosted, taken down, or demonetized.

Good luck. ;D
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: driftlessinwi on December 28, 2020, 08:05:54 AM
I am actively trying this out now and started in earnest about two months ago.  Some things to know,  you get zero monetization until you reach 1000 subscribers AND have 4000 hrs of watch time.  That may not sound like much but it is a very slow process to get there. Plan on around 5 years of solid effort to really make anything.  Once you are monetized you really need a lot of views and watch time to really make anything,  like in the millions of views of you want to quit your job.  If you are just showing yourself milling logs,  that is a super saturated segment in my opinion and if you look around you will see that even the best videos are only in the 100k's of views with a few outliers. Find a niche,  make good content,  stick with it,  and have very low financial expectations. Oh, and realize that YT ad revenue is only one way to make money,  much income comes from sponsors and referrals,  but you need subscribers for that.  As has been pointed out, you are playing a game where someone else makes and changes the rules,  a bit like running on a treadmill with someone constantly cranking it up.  If YT changes its algorithms you may lose your income.  I do it because I have always had an interest in filmmaking and because it adds a little more intellectual stimulation to my life :), trying to figure out how to succeed in the platform. Best of luck to you!
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: YellowHammer on December 28, 2020, 09:27:01 AM
I do it to answer frequently asked questions from our customers and to help educate them.  Basically I reference the videos from our website.  Itís kind of nice when people show up and know what to expect when they enter.  Kind of an educational thing to give our products more depth.    

Iím also doing it as a way of making home movies.  My kids and grandkids will be able to watch these when Iím old and gray.  

I havenít made a dime yet, but one day Iíll make billions, maybe trillions, off YouTube.  Sure.  
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: mike_belben on December 28, 2020, 10:04:29 AM
Waste of time.  Turning the whole world into a bunch of public puppets.  
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: snobdds on December 28, 2020, 11:19:14 AM
The best channels are low on the personal opinion soapboxes and high on the how to process.  

I know of one where the formatt is pretty much the same from day to day, but people love the consistency.  They put out videos five days a week with only wednesday and sunday off, consistently.  All they show is the morning feeding of the animals, a afternoon project of fix, and what their making for dinner.  Each video has over 200K views and lots of subs, that's over 1 million views per week.  They do extremely well on Youtube.  

Here is some quick math for youtube.  Most make $3 per 1,000 views.  So for the above example, a weekly take home would be. 

1,000,000/1000 = 1,000 * $3 = $3,000 per week and $12,000 per month.  

Don't forget their is a huge market for normalcy and normalcy sells. 
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: mike_belben on December 28, 2020, 12:08:27 PM
Unfortunately kids buy stupidity.  Im pretty sick of catching my kids just drooling at a screen, watching a narration by an adult playing a video game.  Or a bunch of adults in their youtube bought mansion with a dumptruck worth of nerf bullets or a bunch of rich kids unboxing new toys.   

Its all dopamine.  Quite habit forming.  I try to tell myself there are worse addictions and itll pass but i worry it may just morph.  
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: K-Guy on December 28, 2020, 12:33:08 PM
My kids and grandkids will be able to watch these when Iím old and gray.

Tomorrow??!! :D

Just sayin'
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: wesdor on December 28, 2020, 02:18:41 PM
Yellow Hammer, you are actually one of the people I was thinking about and your explanation is about what I expected.  Your videos are impressive and straight forward.  Quality is not always well compensated on YouTube.  

In my situation, I have no plans to start a YouTube channel.  And like others have said, I do realize they change the rules all the time and if you are on the wrong side of a political issue, you will be de-monitized.  Just look at Dennis Prager.  
On the other hand, I like to have a clean vehicle and have looked at some of the auto detailing channels.  Pan the Organizer has 565K subscribers and generates about 20,000 views in the first day of most of his videos.  He is perhaps the biggest name in auto detailing youtube videos.  My guess is that he generates so well deserved income from his work.  

I belong to a wood turning club and we started a channel a few months ago in order to share the demonstrations that we do each month.  If you want to check it out - Quad Cities Woodturners (  No thought of making money, but only to share expertise.  At the moment we have 8 subscribers.  My question really went to the heart of what we could expect for income.  You have all confirmed my suspicions - no income.
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: Lostinmn on December 28, 2020, 03:06:15 PM
I can increase your subscribers by 12.5% if you make it work my while.  :D  :)  ;)
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: florida on December 28, 2020, 03:09:38 PM
It's not even that easy. Views are not views unless they are reaching the demographic that buys stuff. 50k views on sawing logs may not earn you a penny where a cute 14-year-old girl giving makeup tips might net her $3.00 a thousand. It makes me crazy seeing the drek that gets 7 million views and the good content that gets none. Young women in low-cut tops can get a million views scrubbing the floor and that's a real example. Us old guys could be giving away gold coins and still not have any viewers.
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: woodworker9 on December 28, 2020, 11:27:15 PM
I have a YouTube channel, and it was doing well for a while.  I have a couple of very good friends with pretty large channels, 2 over 500K subs, 1 over a million subs.  They talked me into starting my channel after 3 years of prodding.  

I did well for a while, but got sick and tired of YouTube changing the way they pay us every year, making it harder and harder to get the same amount of money for the same level of rising success.

The real money is not in ad revenue, as stated.  It's in the sponsorships and selling merchandise, and a store of products, if you make things.  Alot of people will get connected to you, if you participate in your comments section.  They will build a community for you, with your help, and many of them will want to buy t-shirts, hats, and whatever product you make.

It takes a lot of time and effort, and that was time and effort I personally couldn't afford away from running my own business.  I already have 2 good businesses running, prior to YouTube, and it was only taking more time, for less money.  

Guys who got in it 5 or 6 years ago, or longer, are doing very, very well financially.  For some, it's life changing money.  We're talking high 6 figure and 7 figure incomes for the big dog channels.  I have a friend who sells $20K a month just in merchandise.  It took a monumental commitment on his part, though, to get there.

The different genre's of YouTube are so oversaturated now with content providers that it is very, very hard to get your channel recognized, unless you have a buddy or 2 with big channels that mentions your new channel in one or two of their video's.  I had over 1000 subscribers to my channel before I made my first video, to give you an example.  

Anyways, it's still there, and I still get money from it, but I'm not certain that I'll ever make another video again.  More productive ways to spend my time.  I met some great people at YouTube maker gatherings though, and they're still some of my very good friends.  To me, that's reward enough.
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: YellowHammer on December 29, 2020, 12:26:59 AM
My kids and grandkids will be able to watch these when Iím old and gray.
Tomorrow??!! :D

Just sayin'
Ouch, but the truth hurts.  We watched some over Christmas and got a good laugh out of them.

We get maybe 5,000 hits a week on our website, and many are customers who are thirsty for knowledge, beyond the boiler plate stuff they can get out of a magazine, or some other sources.  They want to know more about the wood they are buying, or the place they are visiting, or just want to know ďmore.Ē  So I put a bunch of descriptions and frequently asked questions on our website, and people actually read it and soak it up.  Itís amazing.  Most folks know I have an organic business model, I.e. a good business will grow naturally, but it still has to be tended and cultivated.    

So we further our business with videos.  Iíve had first timers show up and be excited because it looks exactly like the videos.  They know about ďFredĒ our huge oak log that everybody takes pictures in front of.  They know about ďBig Blue,Ē our New Holland tractor.  Most importantly, they know about our wood, and why its different than anybody elseís.  They sometimes explain it to me, and I know they appreciate the effort we put unto our product t to try to make it the best in the country.  Itís really cool to have customers who just enjoy the experience, so if I can add to it, sure, Iíll do it.  So I put direct links from our website to the videos.  

Iíve had quite a few customers who watch my videos (thatís shocking) and want me to do more, especially on tricks of the trade that a professional would do, but isnít out there for public consumption.  Iím amazed at how many people look at our straight line rip saw and thick itís a planer.

So whatís the return?  Iím not a movie maker, and Iím not going to parade some super model out in a tank top and have her explain how to mow the grass.  So Iíll never be a heavy Tuber.  Iím not and donít expect to be in the ďbusinessĒ of tube, but I am in the business of selling high grade lumber.  So for the people who are interested in what we do, and how we do it, they can gain confidence in our product, and ultimately buy more wood, and be proud of it.  

Yellow Hammer, you are actually one of the people I was thinking about and your explanation is about what I expected.  Your videos are impressive and straight forward.  Quality is not always well compensated on YouTube.  
Thanks, I appreciate it.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  I had one customer who said he liked watching some of my old ones, but said they were too short and I needed to talk more, because they had no idea what I was doing.  Well, I can do that!  

But from another standpoint, when I thought about what he said, I realized what I considered routine, they considered fascinating.  

For example, one of the reasons I made the video sawing rainbow poplar was to answer the question I always get of how many board feet can a one man sawmill cut, day in and day out.  So I was on my last log, and decided to turn on the camera.  It also answered the question of what does rainbow poplar look like off the saw.  
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: Ianab on December 29, 2020, 02:08:02 AM
I would think that establishing a "paying" Youtube" channel would be a one in a thousand sort of thing, and it would be pretty much a full time thing to keep the new content coming. 

But having a channel that promotes your business? That's different. You don't care if a video only gets 100 views, as long as it's the right 100 people (The ones that might want to buy from you). 

This is a short professionally done promotional video from a small tourist operation we took a trip with earlier in the year. ALL the promotion is online, so they are active on FB (not so much on Youtube). But the video gives a very good idea about the trip, the operation, what you will see etc.  So it's good publicity. Our Skipper was George (the original owners son) and guide dog was Albie, both feature in the video.   
Akaroa Dolphins | A little bit about us - YouTube (

You might not want to pay for a professionally shot and edited video, but if you have a web page, it makes sense to link in some video clips showing your operation and what you actually do. 
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: YellowHammer on December 29, 2020, 08:15:26 AM
That's what I'm talking about.  When I see the variety of skills and personalities on this Forum, I'd like watch them do the things they do.  Filming takes time, for example, on that rainbow poplar log, it was the last one of the day, I was tired, and I kept thinking that I could have already been finished, and I had a lot of other things to do.  However, on the other hand, business I business, and if this helps me sell wood, then grab a camera and yell "Action."  

@123maxbars (;u=15380) has this Youtube thing down to a science, and he makes some very good videos that people love to watch.  He puts a lot of effort into them, and it shows.  If you read the comments he gets, many mention the high quality of his camera shots, and the variety of his topics.  He's good at it, he works hard at it, and it shows in his subscriber numbers.

I remember one time at Jake's Project, everybody was sitting around eating and telling stories, and I looked the hill and saw Nathan, alone, by the sawmill, doing something.  So I walked on down and found out he was trying out a new camera or something, and was looking for better angles and dangles for his shots.  I was impressed because he wasn't just "playing" YouTube, he was serious about it, and the level of interest he gets in his videos reflects that.

Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: 21incher on December 29, 2020, 09:11:25 PM
I started my channel  5 1/2 years ago to teach the grandkids when they grow up  and I may not be around. The first 4 years I put in thousands of hours making videos and answering  comments with  very  slow growth of the channel.  Those  years I averaged about a dollar a hour for the time spent and every penny plus many went into cameras, computers,  software,  and storage.  I really  just started  as a hobby never expecting to  make much. Then just after 4 years I hit the 12 million view mark and all of a sudden YouTube started recommending my videos and running some better adds. About a year later I hit 100k subscribers and all of a sudden my videos started being  recommended to more and a higher percentage of better  paying adds were placed against my videos that have pushed my revenue to the point  you mentioned with just a couple  thousand views on most videos in the first week. I found number of views doesn't always mean a lot of revenue.  It depends on the country the views are in. I had a video get 1 million  views in India in a couple  days and was really  surprised  when I saw it only made 3 dollars for all the views. Trouble  is now I have messed up my social security with YouTube revenue far exceeding the allowable income when collecting SS this year which I had no idea would  happen.  It definitely  takes a long time to get started if you don't do stupid things and YouTube fully controls your  earnings and constantly  changes the rules. But the good part is you own and have full control over your videos and can walk away if you want. Other providers I looked at want control  over your videos is the reason that keeps me on YouTube.  One other  problem  YouTube handles well is copyright claims  because  it's  a constant problem you run into with videos with many views. Some  people download your videos and then re upload them to their channel to monetize.  YouTube shuts them right down after I file a complaint. It's a  fun hobby that will eventually start making money if you stick with it. It definitely took me a lot of time to get started but now the grandkids  will not just have videos  to watch, they will have income as long as YouTube keeps monetizing them.
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: 123maxbars on December 29, 2020, 10:20:14 PM
You-Tube is a marathon and after being on there for just 5 years I feel like I am still trying to find the best running shoes. Having said that I have a decent size following on there, 106k subs and get over 2million views a month. It is has transformed our business from a sawmill selling lumber and turned it into a sawmill marketing company of sorts. It is lots of work, takes very thick skin and you have to like to eat schnitzel to make it, meaning for the first few years before you really see any revenue you are pretty much making videos for free unless you are promoting your business. Having said all that if you are talented enough and can tell a good story You Tube can be a very good income. The amount of money you do make is based on your CPM rate which is determined by you watch time, views, content etc and varies for every channel.  Having said all of that it is not uncommon for channels my size to make a good living just off You Tube revenue alone.  
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: wesdor on December 30, 2020, 02:45:58 PM
Thank you 123maxbars.  You were one of the other Forestry Forum members that I follow on youtube.  
Lots of wisdom in what you say, and I would observe that not many people can fit into the mold you have found.  But even you seem to have some frustrations with the youtube model.  

Your editing work is absolutely professional. The drone footage that you include is top notch.  Your information is accurate and helpful and your camera work is never dull - lots of different viewpoints.  Thanks for confirming that this is really hard work and even then nothing is guaranteed.  Any income you derive from youtube is well earned.

For those of you who have not seen his channel, give it a look 
using a square on the mill ( is just one example.

Another great channel is from Yellow Hammer.  His reverse roll quarter sawing has been posted here and if you have not seen it you should.  Here is another of him sawing 
rainbow poplar (

Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: Stephen1 on December 30, 2020, 03:48:41 PM
I don't spend very much time at all on utube. If I need to know how to make or do something I will go there after a while, but Most of my time is here on FF,  I was on Facebook for a while, and am still there , more for market place, but I found there are to many rude people, and people that really do not know what they are talking about. 
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: jimbarry on December 30, 2020, 05:17:40 PM
Been on YT for 12 yrs or so. Back in the day, you were earning with just a handful of subscribers. Then YT changed the rules and set the limit to 1,000 subs before money started flowing again. Took me 12 years to reach that. lol  But the channel was never the goal of making money. Gravy money really, if something was generated, all good. If not, nothing was missed. We just used YT for video storage so that the bandwidth wouldn't consume our web sites resources. The real money is in web site ad revenue. Been earning from Google since its inception some 16-17 years ago. Prior to Google's change of SEO a few years back (Nov 2017?) it was stupid easy to make mid-high 6 figures for a couple hours work each day. Like its been said, you have to find a niche market and cater to it.  The high money days are gone now, but it still trickles in... like a residual check that gets deposited each month. The big deal now is in sponsorship of products. Over the last 5-6 years we watched bloggers go from cute little web sites about DIY projects to national conventions of how to earn from DIY content. If you like what you do, it's not considered work, right? ;) 
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: YellowHammer on December 30, 2020, 09:08:50 PM
You'll find a big difference between the production qualities of my videos and Nathans's.  Bush league would best describe mine. :D :D :D  
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: caveman on December 31, 2020, 07:39:23 AM
Robert, while I am impressed with those who are adept at making phenomenal transitions, incorporating music, text and other features, I generally watch YT videos to learn how to do things better.  An analogy would be reading from a paper-backed, dog eared book or a leather bound pristine book; if the words are well written and give the reader the satisfaction, information, or education they were seeking, the packaging does not matter much to me.

I am not comparing your videos to a dog eared paperback.  They are well done.  I do agree that Nathan does a great job with his videos (I have watched the one filmed at Jake's a few times since Covid became a thing to review the sawing processes and also to see the folks).  

If anyone ever wants to see a blade hit a clamp, the jack leg slip off a paver and smash the extra battery under the mill's tongue, or any other rookie mistake, just start the camera while I'm sawing.
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: Magicman on December 31, 2020, 09:10:14 AM
Yes, there are some very good sawing videos out there but sadly there are also some good videos of some bad sawing techniques and setups.  Of course this is true of anything that someone can point a camera at.  Just because one sees a video on the internet doesn't necessarily make it true nor correct.
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: Mooseherder on December 31, 2020, 09:23:35 AM
My channel is for sharing with family and friends and is not monetized.  One video of Corgis in the pool from 11 years ago had 315 thousand views.  Most of my videos have less than 50 views.  Our Grandson watches the channel the most.  It's great for that.  When nothing is on TV which is pretty often, I can find something to stream on youtube. :)   
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: woodworker9 on December 31, 2020, 09:57:56 AM
My channel is for sharing with family and friends and is not monetized.  One video of Corgis in the pool from 11 years ago had 315 thousand views.  Most of my videos have less than 50 views.  Our Grandson watches the channel the most.  It's great for that.  When nothing is on TV which is pretty often, I can find something to stream on youtube. :)  
Agreed.  I started my channel to make a record of some of my work, so the grand kids could look back, one day in the future, and know a little bit about me after I'm gone.  Hopefully, I'll get to share those experiences with them first hand, but in this world today, you just never know.  I ended up making a few bucks along the way, and still get a little chainsaw money from YouTube.  2 best things I've gotten from YouTube are some of the great people I've met, who I now consider very good friends,  and also a video on my channel, directly related to my main business, drives a LOT of customers to us every year.  We track every single source when a customer calls our office or contacts us via the website.  In 2020 alone, I got 37 paying customers who listed my YouTube video as their way of finding out about our business.  That alone pays for the expensive camera, editing software, mic, and upgraded computer for video editing, many times over.  The rest is gravy.
Title: Re: YouTube Revenue
Post by: SwampDonkey on December 31, 2020, 06:23:34 PM
When nothing is on TV which is pretty often, I can find something to stream on youtube. :)  
Most of my TV time is definitely Youtube and that is not a big part of the day. I have regular work and winter hobbies guys. Come on. :D