State of the Art: How to Profit from YouTube in 2022

***This article originally appeared in the January ’22 issue of Animation Magazine (No. 316)***

There are a number of ways to separate yourself from the crowd and make money on YouTube. As a video sharing and social media platform that reaches billions of users each month, it is no surprise that YouTube caters to a diverse range of interests. As such, the opportunities for content creators to earn a living are virtually endless.

Even though YouTube is saturated with content creators, there will always be a space for new creators to make a name for themselves. In fact, the highest paid YouTube stars of 2020 range in genre — Jeffree Star’s cosmetic beauty videos earned him $15 million, whereas Ryan Kaji’s content for children aged two to six years old earned $29.5 million. As a new creator trying to break into the YouTube scene, your niche could range from prank videos or animated videos, (hello, Talking Tom & Friends!), or even long-form content, such as movies. Based on our expertise, here are some tips to follow when gearing up to make money on YouTube, regardless of your niche.


Raw Passion & Focus Is What Makes a Great YouTube 

Passion is the number one feature shared among the top creators on YouTube. This passion will allow for effortless content creation on those days when you really don’t want to create content. Being a content creator becomes a job when you’re doing it because you have to, not because you want to. Regardless of the industry, people get burnt out because they lose their passion. Focus and passion are what differentiates some of the greatest YouTubers out there from the rest.

The Aux Mode team works with Survivorman Les Stroud, and have seen him grow his channel over a thousand percent in a single year. Following his passion and creating content for his audience based on his niche, Les has seen over a thousand percent increase in channel views, watchtime, subscribers and revenue.

Les is one of many individuals who have been able to make a living on YouTube based on being unique and authentic. Take YouTube animation artist Pencilmation, for example. The Pencilmation channel features the same cartoon characters, Pencilmate and Pencilmiss among them, as they take their viewers on various exciting adventures. The genuine and charismatic personalities that are displayed through their journeys have won over the internet. With a following of 19.3 million, the Pencilmation animation-sensation channel is a true testament to the ability to make a profit on YouTube.

It is worth mentioning how certain YouTube channels are far more successful than others, even when catering to similar interests. Take animated channels, for example. The CoComelon channel offers families entertainment and educational content for young children; it is renowned for nursery rhymes, and has amassed a following of 122 million  subscribers. The same goes for Talking Tom & Friends — the famous Outfit7 app developed into an animated series that caters to an audience aged four and up. Talking Tom’s YouTube channel is a supplementary but legitimate income stream that accompanies the app. However, the Antoons YouTube channel, despite also releasing animated content, has developed a notoriously controversial reputation. As a result, it has failed to hold viewers attention, thereby diminishing earning potential.

Talking Tom and Friends
Talking Tom and Friends

Advertising & Merch 

The largest portion of revenue generated from YouTube will come from ads. YouTubers receive 55 percent of every dollar paid by advertisers’ ads shown on their content. The estimated earnings that the average YouTube creator could expect to receive from ads on a new video on their channel if everybody watched the ad on their video and the advertiser paid the average $9.00 CPM is 55% x $9.00, equaling $4.95 per 1,000 views. (See Aux Mode’s YouTube revenue calculator on to determine your potential revenue!)

The following is a list of other revenue streams on YouTube that you can generate revenue from, starting with merchandise. You do not have to have millions of subscribers to sell merchandise on YouTube. Side income from merch sales on average can bring YouTubers with 10,000 subscribers who sell around 10 pieces of merchandise every month to accumulate $100 or $1,200 per year in additional income.

Steps to selling your merchandise:

  1. Use a quirk, joke or character that is unique to your channel to develop merchandise!
  2. Engage with your audience to see if your products are something they may be interested in purchasing.
  3. Promote your products in your videos, wear your products in your videos, etc.
  4. Create sponsored content that can complement your content library. Find a brand that meshes well with you, and make a deal with them for a flat rate fee plus an increase in the fee if the video achieves certain KPIs (views, watchtime). And always let your audience know that the video has a sponsor.

As YouTube changes, which inevitably it will, we have to modify the process as existing iterations get old. As soon as you think you know, you will be surprised that the steps you took to yesterday are no longer the steps today. No matter what the steps are, the number one way to generate revenue is to upload authentic content on a regular basis. Whether you’re a YouTuber or a TV and film creator, the same rule applies.

Today’s YouTube looks nothing like it did 10 years ago — it is better, and will continue to grow. With streaming platform revenue growth at an all-time high, now is the time to upload. 

Adam Rumanek is the founder and CEO of Aux Mode, a digital rights management and revenue reporting platform, which provides content rights management and financial data. For more info, visit

Adam Rumanek
Adam Rumanek


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