How to Make $200K a Month From YouTube AdSense

Want to make thousands of dollars a month from YouTube AdSense? Here's what you need to know to get started.

This post was originally published in Marina Mogilko's newsletter, where you can learn more about starting a lucrative YouTube career.

When I interviewed Graham Stephan last year, he shared that he made $500,000 on YouTube in a single month. That was a record for him. His revenue for a regular month is a tad lower, though, around $250,000 to $350,000 – which is still more than most creators make.

A large portion of Stephan's revenue is from Google Adsense. Here's the full breakdown:

  • $200,000 from the main Graham Stephan channel (AdSense)
  • $35,000 from The Graham Stephan Show (AdSense)
  • $40,000-$50,000 from affiliate programs
  • $30,000-$60,000 from other programs
  • $1,000 from The Graham Stephan Show podcast

Read More: Starting a YouTube Career - 7 Steps to Monetize Your Passion

Stephan has more than 3 million subscribers on his main channel, where he talks about real estate and financial investing. At some points in 2020 and 2021, he was getting nearly 13 million monthly views.

My channel Linguamarina generates 4-5 million views a month, but I am not even close to $100,000 in revenue. My monthly check from that channel is $10,000.

Why is there a huge gap in AdSense revenue despite both of us getting millions of views? Most of it has to do with CPMs, or cost per millie. A CPM is the "price" advertisers pay per 1,000 YouTube views. Depending on the video topic, a CPM can be as low as 20 cents or as high as $50.

How Google AdSense Works on YouTube

Views aren’t the only metric affecting your AdSense income. First of all, not all views qualify because certain topics aren't suitable for advertisers. At the start of the pandemic, if you used the term “COVID” or “coronavirus” in your video, you got demonetized right away. And generally, if you talk about controversial things (guns, war, and drugs), you won’t make much AdSense revenue.

Read More: Google AdSense 101 - How to Benefit from Ad Revenue on YouTube

Second, there's a rumor that “get rich quick” courses are one of the most generous advertisers on the platform. These courses cost around $400, sometimes even more. The net profits are very high because the classes are mostly pre-recorded. 

Course producers could invest 90% of their revenue into ads and still break even. That means creators with suitable videos for finance-driven advertisers can make lots of money.

This mostly applies to creators who talk about:

  • investing
  • personal finance
  • business

Other advertisers that pay high CPMs have customers with a high lifetime value. These advertisers could be brokers, banks, and credit card issuers.

This explains why guys like Stephan, Kevin Paffrath of Meet Kevin, and Andrei Jikh have such high CPMs and sometimes make 10 times more than creators with equivalent views. They're making videos for high-value industries.

I make videos about business and investing on my second channel, Silicon Valley Girl. Sometimes my CPM goes as high as $50 per 1,000 views. I never get those numbers on my language learning channel.

7 Video Topics That Attract More YouTube Revenue

On YouTube, you get paid because a specific audience finds your content useful. And the more that audience is able to spend online, the more you get paid as a creator. YouTube takes 45% of all ad revenue, but the remaining 55% goes to you.

These two parameters affect your revenue the most:

  1. The topic of your video
  2. The geographic location of your audience

Of course, there is more to it. A viewer's age and their individual interests are important factors.

Using the two parameters above, we've created a table showing video topics and their CPMs. The numbers vary from channel to channel because factors like age and viewer interest do make a difference.

As you can see, there are seven lucrative YouTube topics. Their CPMs range from $14-$21.

  1. health
  2. business
  3. investing
  4. auto reviews
  5. real estate
  6. insurance
  7. online marketing

Here's my advice. The CPMs for these topics are high, but don't post videos for the sole purpose of making money. Focus on bringing as much value to the viewer as you can. You’ll figure out how to monetize your channel along the way. If your niche happens to be one of the lucrative topics above, all the better.