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The Stephanie Kase Podcast Ep. 34: $1,500+/month in truly passive revenue with Youtube Adsense: How it works & how to get started!

February 6, 2023

This week on the podcast, we’re chatting all about YouTube AdSense! I’m excited to share my journey about starting my YouTube channel and getting monetized so I could make money. I’ll be sharing actual numbers with you so you can see what it’s really like at each step. After I had created my channel, my strategy began to change and I saw an increase in revenue, so we’ll talk about that, too! Let’s jump into chatting about how I’m making $1,500+ a month in passive revenue with YouTube AdSense! 

What is YouTube AdSense?

I want to start here because when I mentioned this on Instagram, I got lots of questions back about what YouTube AdSense is. Basically, it’s the ads you see at the beginning or end of a video on YouTube. Sometimes they’re in the middle. But, the advertisers are paying to put ads on YouTube videos and the creator gets a cut of it by allowing it in their video. There’s all sorts of types – skippable vs. non-skippable, bumpers, pop-ups, and the ones you see throughout a video.  

My Journey with YouTube and YouTube AdSense

I started my YouTube channel in July 2019 and became eligible to monetize my channel with YouTube AdSense on October 13, 2019. It took about 3 months of showing up consistently on YouTube to be eligible for me, which isn’t super long. To be eligible, you have to have 1,000 subscribers and have 4,000 hours of watch time from your long-form videos. At the time, a lot of my content was photography related – it was for about a year. Then, I took about 5 months off the channel and came back. Content was a bit all over the place for a while as I began to figure out what my audience wanted. 

Gaining Traction

In August 2020, I really began to gain traction on the channel. It took me about a year to really figure out the niche I wanted to focus on for my account. Honestly, YouTube was a huge part of figuring out my niche for the business. When I re-started the account, I was all over the place and sharing whatever tips I could think of – business, content creation, Instagram. But, I began to notice that the Instagram related content was performing the best with my audience. So, I decided to focus more on that. In July 2020, Reels were released so I had already began to create videos about those. That’s around when the channel began to take off! I think initially, jumping on that helped my account to grow quickly but it’s been pretty steady since, too. 

As I became more consistent on YouTube, everything got better, too. My videos were better – I was more comfortable, and I was learning how to improve my videos. I wasn’t winging it as much! Around March 2021, I began to consistently bring in about $1,500 in YouTube AdSense revenue. When I was reviewing my stats, this was also when I hit 10K YouTube subscribers, and it continued to grow steadily. I believe now, I’m at about 75K subscribers (almost 2 years later). It hasn’t been explosive growth leading to this revenue, it’s been slow and steady – which I really liked. 

YouTube AdSense Stats

Okay, let’s talk a little bit more about the money now. I personally believe in being transparent about these kinds of things so you can see the milestones and the time it’s taken. For us, this revenue really does feel passive at this point. It’s something we create, but then it does its own thing once it’s live and it’s just really nice to have it going. This is not our sole source of income – but it’s a nice addition to the business each month. Before I dive into the numbers, this does not include the email list additions or new students we get from YouTube each month – that’s something separate. If you want to learn more about that strategy, check out my podcast episode here

What We Made

So, when we first became eligible in October 2019, we made a whopping $28.76! In November, it went up to $48.44. As you can see, the first few months weren’t really substantial, right? Knowing what I know now, if I had focused on my niche faster, we would have seen more substantial numbers probably by summer 2020. But, that’s okay. In February 2021, we made $723. 81 – about 107K views for the month. By March 2021, I began to see consistent revenue, and it jumped to $1,303.05 from 193K views a month.

In April 2021, we had $1,540.72 in revenue from 222,400 views for the month. It’s been pretty consistent since then. Throughout 2021, from YouTube AdSense alone, we made $20,263.21 from 2.6 million views. YouTube can be a great source of revenue for the content you’re creating if you’re strategic! Fast forward to 2022. For the year, we made $22,956.60 from 2.2 million views.  

I know that’s a lot of numbers but I hope it gives you a picture of what is possible – and how becoming strategic and intentional with your content can change the way it goes! And, I want to also point out that 82.2% of that income came from skippable ads! I also wanted to see what our highest earning videos were. If you’re interested, they were: 

2022 Reels Tutorial – $4,680.66 (550K views)

2021 Reels Tutorial – $4,586.41 (326K views)

Instagram Reels Transitions Tutorial – $3,421.42 (433K views)

Other Things to Know About YouTube Analytics

When you’re getting started with YouTube, there’s a few things you should know about the analytics. When you look at YouTube Analytics, you’ll see “RPM”. This is how much money you can earn per 1,000 views on your video. “CPM” is another term and is how much advertisers PAY per 1,000 views on a video. The amounts may change based on your niche, but if you do well, the amount you can earn will increase. 

How Do You Get Started with YouTube AdSense?

So, if you’re wondering how to get started with all of this or if you’ve already begun but aren’t seeing growth, I’ve got some tips for you! First (you can probably guess this one) find your niche and be consistent. I was all over the place with my videos for a while but showing up consistently helped me gain traction and learn what my audience wanted. Once you know, push on that topic. Creating content around a specific topic helped my channel grow much faster. 

The next thing is to really get comfortable on the camera. It shows and makes your videos even better. Show up and practice, that’s the only way to learn that skill! Everyone’s videos are cringey – trust me – but it will get better the more you do it. Also, knowing a good flow for your videos is important. Start with a quick 10-15 second intro of the topic. You don’t need to have a B-roll of content and cute music and a logo. Just jump right in. Once I started getting to the point, my views began to improve. People want to learn what they came to learn. 

Editing & Analytics

 Finally, make sure you feel good about your video editing. One of the best resources I recommend for editing is Descript. It helps cut out the gaps in my speaking while filming! We use it in addition to Final Cut Pro. You can see our video editing tutorial for Descript here! Of course, other things like having an interesting thumbnail and a high quality video (better camera, lighting quality) will help too. 

One other thing to make sure you’re doing is reviewing your YouTube analytics consistently. When I began to do this and check in on them, I saw a lot of growth. I knew which videos were performing well and continued to create content around those topics. 

Final Thoughts on YouTube AdSense

Remember, YouTube is definitely about long-term growth so just continue to be consistent and show up! It takes longer to grow, but it will also take longer to crumble. We’ve taken time off (like when I was on maternity leave) and we still had revenue come in. Just because we weren’t posting videos didn’t mean we didn’t make anything. Additionally, those videos pointed our viewers to our email list and resources, which led them to automatic sales funnels and more revenue for the business. Unlike the Reels Play Bonus Program, I can still see revenue from YouTube without posting every day or consistently. That’s why it’s really passive income for us. 

Other Resources 

I also offer a free one-hour Instagram Reels class if you want more help with how to grow your reach, followers, and customers with Reels in 2 hours a month! You can sign up for that HERE. And, if you have questions or want some extra support, I’ve got a FREE Reels Growth Facebook Community that you can join. I absolutely love getting to chat with everyone and help them work through their questions about Reels!

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