“My YouTube Earnings Journey: From 0 to Monetized in 90 Days”
When I embarked on my YouTube journey earlier this year, I had no idea what to expect. As someone with zero experience in video creation, editing, or social media, I was venturing into uncharted territory. However, armed with a background in finance and a passion for personal finance, investing, and entrepreneurship, I was determined to share my knowledge and experiences with the world.
In this blog post, I’m going to provide you with a detailed account of how much money YouTube paid me after reaching a thousand subscribers within the first 90 days of monetization. The results might just surprise you as much as they astonished me. My goal is to shed light on the often elusive world of YouTube earnings and channel growth, offering valuable insights and benchmarks for fellow creators and aspiring YouTubers.
Before we delve into the specifics of my earnings, let’s recap my journey from day one.
Starting from Scratch:
To give you some context, I am a complete novice when it comes to YouTube and video production. I have a strong academic background in finance, including an MBA from Cornell and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification. My career has spanned various roles in the finance sector, with my most recent positions as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in software companies.
Despite my lack of experience in the YouTube world, I decided to start my channel at the end of December 2022. My approach was simple: share what I know and document my learning process. I didn’t enroll in any courses; instead, I relied on freely available resources, spending countless hours watching YouTube tutorials on video shooting, editing, and the inner workings of the platform.
Setting Realistic Goals:
As I embarked on this journey, I set my initial goals conservatively. I aimed to reach 100 subscribers within the first three months and 1,000 subscribers by the end of six months. The reason for this target is that, in the YouTube universe, hitting 1,000 subscribers is a significant milestone. It’s the threshold for channel monetization, allowing creators to earn revenue through ads on their videos.
First Three Months:
During the first quarter, I posted a total of nine videos, falling slightly short of my goal of one video per week. This was primarily because I dedicated nearly two weeks to starting a shop on Etsy, a side project that temporarily diverted my attention. As a result, my channel garnered a modest 54 subscribers during these initial three months.
The Turning Point:
However, everything changed with the release of my ninth video in early April, where I shared insights from my Etsy experience. This video gained rapid traction, propelling my channel past the 1,000-subscriber mark and accumulating 4,000 watch hours, the other prerequisite for monetization. On April 16th, my channel became officially monetized, boasting 1,641 subscribers.
Understanding the Challenges:
The sluggish growth in the first quarter can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the personal finance and entrepreneurship niche on YouTube is highly competitive. The YouTube algorithm doesn’t consider credentials; it prioritizes viewer engagement. A video’s success depends on factors like click-through rates, viewer retention, and interactions like likes, comments, and shares.
Moreover, YouTube’s algorithm compares your video’s performance to others in the same niche. If your competitors’ videos outperform yours, your content receives less exposure.
Learning from Mistakes:
Reflecting on my initial videos, I recognized that they lacked the engaging qualities necessary for YouTube success. I’ve since put a great deal of effort into making my videos more captivating and audience-friendly, hoping to continually improve the quality of my content.
Second Quarter Results:
In the second quarter of the year (April to June), I ramped up my efforts, producing an additional 12 videos on top of the nine from the first quarter, totaling 21 videos in six months.
Here’s a breakdown of some notable videos:
- The Etsy video released in early April quickly gained traction, accumulating 243,000 views.
- My video on the Apple Card high-yield savings account, which explored Apple’s foray into banking, garnered 125,000 views.
- Despite high expectations, subsequent Etsy-related videos received fewer views, with the best-performing one reaching 22,000 views.
- In May, I created a video that challenged the concept of side hustles as a wealth-building strategy. Surprisingly, this video exploded, amassing 500,000 views.
- Additional videos on wealth-building strategies didn’t perform as well, despite my expectations.
The Unpredictable Nature of YouTube:
One of the key takeaways from this experience is the unpredictability of YouTube success. Even seasoned YouTubers often struggle to predict which videos will go viral and which will remain relatively obscure. It’s a platform where a few hits can significantly impact a channel’s growth, while many videos may only garner moderate success.
Let’s examine some key channel metrics during this period:
- Views: Initially, the channel received only a few views per day, but after the success of the Etsy and side hustle videos, daily views peaked at 44,000 in June before stabilizing at around 6,000 views per day.
- Subscribers: Subscribers grew exponentially, from 54 at the end of the first quarter to 28,000 by the end of June. Remarkably, over half of these subscribers came from the side hustle video.
- Audience Engagement: Despite some average metrics, such as a 67% viewer retention rate at the 30-second mark and an average percentage viewed of 31%, the side hustle video thrived with nearly 1,100 comments and 33,000 likes.
Moving on to the most anticipated topic—earnings. In the first quarter, the channel earned nothing since it wasn’t monetized. However, in the second quarter, after becoming monetized on April 16th, my channel’s earnings reached $7,274.
The best-earning days occurred in early June, with earnings peaking at around $335 per day. Subsequently, earnings gradually declined, settling at approximately $50 per day.
Remarkably, approximately half of the ad revenue stemmed from the “Don’t Do a Side Hustle” video, which contributed roughly $3,800 to the total earnings.
While having a video that generates significant earnings is undoubtedly positive, I’m also keen on establishing a more reliable income stream from a variety of videos. This YouTube journey is still very new to me, and I anticipate more learning experiences in the coming months and quarters.
In summary, my first 90 days on YouTube as a complete amateur yielded surprising results. I managed to achieve the coveted 1,000 subscribers milestone and accumulate 4,000 watch hours for monetization. The journey has been a rollercoaster, with unpredictable video performance and earnings fluctuations.
If you’re interested in more insights about my YouTube journey or have specific questions, please let me know in the comments. Your feedback and support are greatly appreciated, and I look forward to sharing more about personal finance, investing, and entrepreneurship in future videos.
Thank you for joining me on this exciting journey!