- Erin Winters, 26, is a full-time YouTube creator who films videos on business, video production, social-media marketing, and her daily life in Michigan.
- Winters started her channel in 2018 and now has over 200,000 subscribers.
- She turned her YouTube channel into a career by monetizing her videos with ads and brand deals.
- Winters spoke with Business Insider about how much money she earns per month on YouTube and how she grew her channel.
- Subscribe to Business Insider's influencer newsletter: Insider Influencers.
This is the latest installment of Business Insider's YouTube money logs, where creators break down how much they earn.
Erin Winters has always loved being on camera – from interning for her local news station during college to landing a position as a digital correspondent with National Geographic.
And in late 2018, after her year-long contract with National Geographic ended, Winters decided to go solo in her career using her video production and social-media marketing skills.
Winters moved back home and initially launched a company helping local businesses create video advertisements. She wasn't earning a consistent stream of income so she decided to try posting her advice to YouTube on the channel Erin on Demand.
It became a hit. Now the 26-year-old is a full-time YouTube creator with 218,000 subscribers. She films videos on business, video production, social-media marketing, and her life in Michigan.
She earns revenue as a creator from sponsorships, ads placed in her YouTube videos, her membership program, and one-on-one brand coaching (soon Winters will be selling a notebook she designed that's focused on writing down your top three daily priorities).
She was accepted into YouTube's Partner Program after her first month posting videos, she said, which allowed her to start earning money directly from the platform. To be accepted into the program, creators must have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours and once they are in, their videos will be monetized with ads filtered by Google. How much money a creator earns depends on the video's watch time, length, video type, and viewer demographics, among other factors. YouTube also keeps 45% of the ad revenue, with the creator keeping the rest.
Winters actually ended up turning off her channel monetization for the first four months, thinking she might turn away new followers by having ads on a channel with only 1,000 subscribers. (Looking back, she doesn't recommend waiting, she added.)
When she turned monetization back on after those months, her first YouTube paycheck was around $200, she said.
How much does she earn now?
Winters broke down how much money she's earned on YouTube by month in 2020. Business Insider verified her earnings with screenshots of her analytics dashboard:
- January: $7,345
- February: $5,663
- March: $3,375
- April: $4,260
- May: $4,090
- June: $3,943
- July: $4,947
- August: $5,798
- September: $5,182
- October: $5,439
YouTube ad rates fluctuate month to month, and at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, some YouTube creators saw a decline in their March earnings as advertisers pulled campaigns and lowered budgets. You can see that reflected in Winters' earnings.
The type of content a creator makes also impacts how much money they will earn on YouTube per view, with personal-finance and business-related content among the most lucrative. The audiences these topics attract are valuable to advertisers, who usually pay more money for an informative business-related video than a vlog-style video.
How she gained 200,000 subscribers in 2 years
Winters has several people who help run her business, from a talent manager who works to secure her sponsorships (and takes a cut) to her mom who acts like a business manager helping with her finances and taxes.
Winters believes her initial success on YouTube comes down to timing, her background in journalism, and some luck.
"It wasn't like I had this big lofty social-media strategy where I'm finding my niche and doing all of these things," she said.
Posting searchable content is one way to grow an audience on YouTube, she said. Her videos on money saving tips (264,000 views), how to grow a YouTube channel (176,000 views), and productivity apps (137,000 views) all increased her overall traffic and helped her reach a new audience.
She also said the timing of a video can also be important. For instance, productivity videos perform well right before and after a new year.
Winters graduated from Howard University with a degree in broadcast journalism, which she said helped develop the video production skills she now applies to her channel.
"The other thing is that there aren't a lot of young Black women in the entrepreneurial space on YouTube," she said. "I'm an avid YouTube watcher and growing up I was always looking for someone who looked like me."
For more on the business of influencers, according to YouTube stars, check out these Business Insider posts:
How much money a YouTube video with about 100,000 views makes, according to 5 creators
A YouTube creator and candle maker was able to turn her hobby into a full-time job because of ad revenue. She broke down her exact income for every month in 2020.
Finance YouTube creators reveal how much they get paid and why they earn higher rates than many other influencers
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