How Much I Got From 100 Views on YouTube

Zero income. Many skills.


The Why Girl

3 years ago | 6 min read

Cookies regularly serve me variations of this title on Medium: “How Much I Made From X Views on YouTube”. The numbers change but the gist is the same: someone reveals the monetary secret behind their YouTube career. Or behind one viral video.

These kind of articles tend to do “well”. We want to consume this content because there’s an element of mystery and it’s twofold.

Firstly, being a YouTuber is still considered a relatively new career and, certainly, one that doesn’t have a set job description. It’s up to you, as a content creator on YouTube, to define your own role as well as your earning model, to a degree. Exciting change for many of us.

Secondly, personal income is an incredibly interesting and universal subject, which, for decades, was considered a taboo. Now, it isn’t anymore.

In brief: I get it. It’s the curiosity that makes you and me click on that title and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I want to offer a different perspective. One of a full-time YouTube content creator who earns nothing.

You can definitely make money from YouTube…but not only money

I’m a YouTuber. Hello.

I’ve been posting weekly videos for six months now and I won’t share my income with you because there’s none. This doesn’t mean, though, that I have earned nothing.

This isn’t another “there are more important things than money” message. I think money is great and I want to have it (a lot of it, actually)! I also believe that making a valuable contribution to the world is important and I want to be able to do that too. The two don’t contradict each other.

But if you’re only focused on the money side of YouTube, you might miss out on the other gains that this hobby (or career) offers.

I don’t want this to sound like an ode to a social media platform, either, but I must admit that I’ve learnt more in the last 6 months than I did in 13 months of my ex-career. Granted, I hated my last job which certainly impacted my motivation to learn. Regardless of that, I simply did not expect to learn THIS much from making freaking videos.

So, what exactly is there to be gained from YouTube apart from potentially having a side income?

1. The most obvious: new skills

Photo by Thomas Russell on Unsplash

I used to work as a bid writer and project manager. I learnt a lot during my career but I was hungry for more and for something new. I wanted to be able to create something (but not bids and Excel spreadsheets). Making videos has allowed me to do exactly that.

Most people who start out on YouTube are a one-man-band and I am too. There’s a lot to learn: from talking to the camera, setting up lighting and sound, to video editing and YouTube algorithm. Never have I been learning at such speed and with such interest.

The best thing is that you can put your skills into practice right away because you only learn what I need to know. And, even if you don’t manage to make a living from YouTube, you now have tonnes of new skills that you can offer to your new employer. Here you go, you just upgraded your resume without even realising!

2. You learn how to learn (independently)

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

I have two older brothers and, growing up, I was always in awe of their self-teaching capabilities. By the time they were in their teens, one of them was and IT genius and the other one seemed to know everything about cars.

My brothers were never taught the things they were experts at. They taught themselves —by reading magazines (paper not online ones, as the internet was at its infancy then) but primarily by trial and error.

Somehow, I was never the same. I hoped that one day I also would take an interest in something and would teach myself everything that there was there to know about it. But no. That didn’t happen and I assumed that I simply had a different way of learning: in a classroom or following a course curriculum.

This belief finally changed when I started my YouTube channel.

I’ve had to learn everything from scratch: the videography skills, the gear and the software required. I started painstakingly researching every element I needed to put together a video and I spent countless hours watching online tutorials.

My first videos were taking me weeks to complete but the excitement I felt every time I learnt a new trick or skill was addictive and different to other accomplishments I had in the past.

Because being taught and teaching yourself are two very different experiences. There is an incomparable sense of achievement that comes from figuring out what you need to know, then finding and understanding the information to solve the problem and, finally, being able to put it into action.

When you start out on YouTube, most likely you’ll “have to” become excellent at teaching yourself — a skill you can then apply to any other area of your life.

3. New way of self-expression

Photo by Ann Fossa on Unsplash

I pay a lot of attention to the words I say in every video but, more and more often, I ask myself “How can I show it?” and “Can I do it in a non-literal way?”

For example, I can tell you about my favourite coffee, I can show you my favourite coffee or I can make you feel what it’s like to experience drinking this coffee.

My creation process has been changing from “I say what I want to communicate” to “I show what I want to communicate” and, now, “I make someone feel what I feel”— with words and images.

Videography (even YouTube-focused) is a method of communication like any other art. If you’re new to it, it can provide a new way of self-expression which you might find more powerful that anything else you’ve practiced before.

4. You’ll notice things you didn’t before

Photo by Gus Ruballo on Unsplash

On that note, the way I communicate is changing.

I believe that communication is one of the most powerful (and beautiful) tools available to humans. And I want to use it well.

I used to think quite highly of my speaking skills…until I saw myself talk on camera. I was digressing, repeating myself and “umming”. So much so that I re-recorded the very first video on my channel three times and I spent a few weeks editing it. It was a hard pill to swallow but I’m glad I found it out.

A few months after, I can see improvement. I’ve started using silence when pausing to gather my thoughts and I focus more on my point and get there quicker. I still meander from time to time but…at least I’m aware of it.

Watching yourself over and over again will make you feel sick at times but it will also help you become a better communicator.

5. What’s in it for them?

Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

Thanks to my YouTube channel, I have learnt that to get someone’s attention you need to think about them.

This is a fantastic skill to have in any work setting. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a manager to someone or a teammate, it’s always worth asking yourself “How can I bring value to my customers/employees/colleagues?”.

I’ve actually re-written this whole article just now to make it more focused on you and what you can learn from making videos on YouTube. Yes, I talk about my personal gains and lessons but I want you to think about how this can apply to your life.

Should you do it?

Sharing my thoughts and lessons on YouTube has really accelerated my growth. Whilst I genuinely hope to eventually start earning from the work I put into my videos, even if I don’t, I won’t feel like I’ve wasted my time.

I’m not saying everyone should be a YouTuber but, if you ever thought about starting your own channel, why not finally give it a go? Now, you have even more reasons to try.

This article was originally published by The Why Girl on medium.


Created by

The Why Girl

Hopeless idealist who believes that we all can live our ultimate lives. Currently on a mission to design hers & sharing her journey on YouTube as The Why Girl:







Related Articles