The Truth about How Youtubers Make Money.

The Truth about How Youtubers Make Money.

Hi all! I have decided to revive my blog so that I have a space to talk to you about things that are on my mind more in-depth. Here I will cover life updates and in-depth parenting/mom topics like potty training, kids learning etc. If you don’t want to miss a post you can enter your email on the top right side of the screen to be notified via email every time a new post is published. Please take a second and do that now so you don’t forget!

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After a lot of thought I’ve decided that this is the best medium for me because on my youtube channel I have this thing where I don’t like to talk too much (I always like to keep things moving and not ramble) so this is a safe space for me that I can express myself more fully and freely.

Today I want to share with you my thoughts on brand deals and the truth about making money on youtube. Why? Because this has been stressing me out lately (you will read why below) and I feel that it’s always best to be fully transparent. YOU, yes you reading this right now, are the reason I am able to do this at all. I am so grateful for you and I always want to be as open and real as possible. If you are new here and don’t know my youtube channel I make home and lifestyle videos (organization, cleaning, home hacks, budgeting etc.).

First, it needs to be said that I never got onto youtube for the money. Yes, I know every youtuber says this- but I can put my money (or lack thereof) where my mouth is. When I started I didn’t even know it was POSSIBLE to make money on youtube and crazy fact: I did not make one single penny off youtube for 3 entire years. I didn’t even have ads turned on my videos because I was worried if people saw them they would click off the video. So, no brand deals, no ads, no affiliate revenue for 3 years. Imagine working on something 30+ hours a week for 3 years and not making a cent. This should tell you where my heart is.

During that time I was able to get by working part-time for my mom’s company Vasseur Skincare doing her customer service and website. I was living paycheck to paycheck and typically would have about $200 dollars in my bank account left over every month. Once my channel started growing and taking up so much more of my time (side note – videos take a lot longer to put together than you would imagine, and I do every single aspect myself) I didn’t think it was fair to keep working for my mom when I didn’t have the time. I decided to focus on youtube and go full time – but that meant I also needed to make money.

Timing-wise, this all corresponded with moving into our home. Now, you may be wondering how we were able to afford this house if I wasn’t making much money. I had some savings but the truth is 80% of the down payment came from Ryan. So all of a sudden we were homeowners with a mortgage, a lot of bills and a house to furnish. This was the point I turned ads on all of my videos (the banner ads and pre-roll ads that run before the video) and I booked my first brand deal with ghostbed mattresses – we needed a new mattress anyway so it was a win-win (I still use and enjoy this mattress to this day!)

Now, a major point that needs to be noted here – as a self-employed person living in the state of California OVER 40% of everything I make goes to taxes, so anything I make basically gets cut in half. I also get zero benefits, paid time off etc. Luckily for me I was able to get on Ryan’s health insurance. So when you read below all these income streams, keep in mind that these all get cut by almost half.

Okay, so now how youtubers make money

  • Ads. While watching youtube videos there are ads that run before and sometimes during the video. These are typically 5 to 15 second ads that you can choose to click or skip. I get a small portion of ad revenue each time someone clicks on these ads (pay per click). As far as I know, I only make money if someone actually views the entire ad or clicks on it and not when they “skip.” While I really appreciate this option from youtube, it is not a stable source of income. Ad revenue varies widely every month based on views and ad clicks and is extremely stressful and unreliable to base your life around. The only channels that can fully survive off of ad revenue alone have to be getting millions and millions of views per month, which is not easy to do, especially consistently. Only the very top tier superstar channels are able to pull this off.
  • Affiliate revenue (for me, this is Amazon affiliate links). This is something I also want to de-mystify. This does not cost you as the consumer anything, this commission is from Amazon as a referral fee for recommending a product that somebody then buys.
  • My own brand/merch. I don’t currently have merchandise (though I’m thinking about it) but I did start my own company last year Vasseur Essentials. I put my entire life savings into it. Thankfully it did well but everything made has been reinvested into the business and I did not take/get a dime from it. If it does well in the long-term that will hopefully be a source of income. My long-term goal is to build my own brand and I have a lot in the works, which is very exciting. But, bottom line, building your own brand takes a lot of time and is very expensive to start.
  • Brand deals. This is where most youtubers make a living. This is when a youtuber is paid to feature a product or service that relates to their audience for 1-3 minutes within a video. It can also mean a fully dedicated video promoting a product, though those are less common. For years, I have limited myself to 1 brand deal per month because I felt that was a good balance of not too much sponsored content while still allowing me to get by. The 100% truth is I could be very wealthy if I did every brand deal that came my way- or even half of them. Most people in my life don’t understand how I can turn down the deals/money that I do. It is far more important to me to have an authentic relationship with my subscribers than making money. But, I do also have to make a living and help support my family, so I have to find that balance.

Now, that being said, this is what leads me to my current situation that is stressing me out and why I wanted to share all of this. I had my next couple of months already booked out when an opportunity to work with a major, well-respected company came my way. They had specifically selected me out of thousands and it’s a truly a life changing opportunity for me and my family. Since I already had other deals under contract that I cannot move or cancel (I tried) this is causing my channel to have more sponsored content than normal the next couple of months. Specifically, I will have 5 sponsored videos going up between now and January 15th. It’s only 2 more than normal but it’s still stressing me out. Most of those are with one brand & will be shorter features (60-90 seconds) along with instagram posts. I just wanted to be transparent so when you see them you understand the context and what it means for me.

A couple other things to note in regards to brand deals:

  • I actually use the products of the companies I work with and I am extremely picky. To this day, I still use the products of the brands that I’ve worked with. I listen to my audible books, use my Hello Fresh meals and get my rocksbox subscription every month – to name just a few.
  • For me, when a video is sponsored I actually put more effort to make it better and more engaging so that I’m sure my subcribers are still getting value from it.
  • For all sponsored videos I do, the mention is only 60-90 seconds out of a 10-15 minute video. (Only one time did I do a longer 3-4 min but that was an exception).
  • When I do a brand deal, it really really helps me when you click through my link or make a purchase. More than you know. Even just clicking the link helps with engagement so I appreciate any support you show!

Something else that is very important to note here. I am very aware that what I do on youtube is not a long-term career. While I can make some money now it is not likely going to continue for much longer. Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t imagine this going past 5-10 years. I hope it will, don’t get me wrong, but I’m also living in reality. So I am trying to do my best and save what I can during the short window that I am able to. I am not flashy, I don’t buy fancy things and rarely go on vacations (Hawaii was my first vacation in 4 years!) My biggest worry is giving off the impression that I’m money hungry or selling out, because that could not be father from the truth. In fact, a good friend of mine just said to me the other day that it’s shocking how little I’ve changed since being on youtube. That was huge compliment to me because above anything, my integrity and staying true to myself means the most to me.

Okay, so I’ll stop there for now. I have to say, it feels good to share all of this. At the end of the day I work extremely hard and I deserve to be paid for what I do, but there is also a very clear balance because that is not what is most important. Overall, I see a lot of misconceptions and flat out lies about youtubers and I wanted to clear a few things up and share my experience. Beyond anything, I could not have any of this or get to do what I love if it wasn’t for you and your support so I can never say thank you enough!

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up to receive my blog posts via email on the top right of the page if you haven’t already! Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and for stopping by my blog. Let me know in the comments below what other topics you would like to see me cover here!

46 thoughts on “The Truth about How Youtubers Make Money.

  1. Do Not waste another moment stressing! We are here for you because you are always there for us with so much valuable information and inspiration! You do you!!!

  2. Brittany,

    Thank you for your transparency about all of this! Firstly, you are so well spoken. Secondly, you are one of the most honest youtubers out there and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Thirdly, I needed to read this, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m personally starting to make money through sponsored content online and I’ve been extremely stressed about absolutely everything you’ve gone over in this article. I’m a stay at home mom and this is an incredible way for me to be able to stay home with my daughter and also to make some money to support my family, but I get so stressed out about sending the wrong message. love how you kept mentioning finding that overall balance with it all. You are so right.

    Anyways, I rarely leave long comments like this, but this post hit home for me and I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to share it. And I will always support your channel and posts however I can.

    Cheers Brittany, sending you and your family lots of love.

    Teresa
    @teresamoon3

  3. I’m so happy you shared this and took some of your stress out. I can see why you are stressed and of course we can understand you also need to make a living. So whatever you feel needs to be done to do that I’ll definitely always be here and help how I can. I love seeing your videos and seeing your family. It brings me joy. To think it started out with finding your how to deal with anxiety. I love all your content and hope it lasts for a very long time.

  4. Your videos are a reflection of all of your hard work and dedication to your channel. Out of all of the channels I watch you’re definitely one that is not flashy. You’re all about being efficient while still getting the job done and on a budget. You’re channel is beautiful and your amount of followers just shows it. Thank you for your hard work and being an inspiration to all. We love you!

  5. Thank you for being transparent, honestly I love what you post but the biggest reason I follow you, is because of you. Your videos really inspire me it doesn’t even matter what they are about, its your character that shines through. I would love to see another lifestyle test video like the one where you woke up super early every morning. Also any video regarding Carter and teaching him everything that you do. Does he go to prekindergarten still? Also maybe tips on what free things you can do with toddlers ? Like the library story time idea you gave. I will support you in whatever platform you choose to use and totally understand that this is a source of income for your family.

  6. Personally, I don’t mind the ads within videos. If you believe in the product, then I appreciate you sharing it with me. Also, with the holidays coming I don’t mind the extra content- you could be helping me find a present for someone or something my family could use. I hope this eases your stress! Thank you for your honesty! Oh- did I mention – the ads are allowing you to be extremely generous to us subscribers when you and 6 other kick-ass woman are doing a $2000 giveaway!!! Do what you need to do!

  7. Like all the other commenters have said don’t stress. Please don’t I know you probably still will but don’t . So your gonna have 2 extra sponsored ads coming up soon so what. Out of all the youtubers I watch yours is one channel I constantly come back to everytime. Your always funny , upbeat and have actually used the products your promoting. This honesty means more to me than the handful of other youtubers that started out just like you. But now every other video that some of those youtubers post is a new sponsorship from what use to be just real videos about products they really liked and used. So don’t stress just keep doing you what your doing. You Rock !!!

  8. I totally appreciate it! Thank you for putting so much effort into writing this blog and being transparent. I can see you work so hard on everything that you do. I love all your videos and I won’t have even notice if you have more ads or sponsor. Get that money girl! ❤️❤️❤️

  9. Brittany,
    Since discovering you a few years ago You’re the only YouTuber I watch consistently and also repetitively, especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed or sad, your videos really cheer me up and help me get through difficult times. I’ve always admired how genuine, positive, open and honest you are. You deserve all the success (monetary or otherwise) in the world! Thank you so much for sharing your heart, I appreciate it you more than you will ever know❤️

  10. I am worried that you’re writing here to your audience to actively click on the affiliate links. I did that once and company made me take it down. I don’t think they really want the audience to know that it’s an ad, though it is pretty obvious that it is.. they would only accept “natural” click throughs. Anyways, we support you and good luck with your future endeavours! I like the blog posts because I can refer back to it easily!

  11. I can’t believe for 3 yrs you did not make anything from the videos! Please! Don’t feel bad! Don’t get stressed! Go ahead with the new opportunity! Love you!

  12. I think watching adds or clicking the links is a really small price to pay for all the valuable info we get from your videos. You’ve inspired me more than you’ll ever know so if there’s something that will support you, I’ll definitely do it. Also, I don’t mind the sponsored videos at all, because I still get a bunch of tips from those. And yes, I’d love to read more of your blog posts! Perhaps on how you plan your day/week or parenting tips…? Honestly, I’ll read anything you write, because it will be full of inspiration! Thanks again for this and all your work, we really appreciate it. Kristyna

  13. I will definitely be watching all the ads in your videos from now on!

    Seeing as you won’t be able to continue with Carter’s corner, could you then post on your blog everything you would’ve put on there? Like how you taught letters and numbers.

    I would love to be able to read and re-read all the different ways you stimulate Carter.

    I truely enjoy your channel. Keep up all the good work!

  14. Hun, don’t stress. Do the deal with no guilty conscience. We understand that. What I do not understand are youtubers, where every product is “their favourite”. Do your thing, two more sponsored videos, who cares. 🙂 Thank you for the post. Hugs and Kisses from Vienna (Austria)

  15. Thank you for your honesty but do what you need to do. I really enjoy your videos so don’t worry. We all need to make a living and you work very hard at what you do.

  16. The simple fact that you’re this transparent makes me want to support you more. Like others have said, you’re one of the most honest, transparent you tubers out there and it doesn’t go unnoticed. You work hard, you have an opportunity in front of you and you should definitely take it. Thank you for taking the time to be concerned about our feelings and letting us know what you have planned. Not a lot of others on the same platform would have. ❤️❤️❤️

  17. I love all your videos anyways brit! So dont worry about what anyone thinks! Nothing is free! Everyone should be grateful that you are sharing your incredible tips!

  18. Brittany I have been following you for as long as I can remember and this post really stuck such a love and admiration for you! You are so brave and honest to post these things and to showcase that you are genuine and hopeful!! I would absolutely LOVE to buy a skincare launch that you do or makeup. Plus your name sounds like a brand name anyway! I think you should start small with it and promote your own beauty line along side with your mother’s stuff. You are so capable of everything and you are such a great mother, wife, woman overall!! I am a fan no matter what!! Money making or not! You have changed my life with your videos and lovely personality! This has been eyeopening for me as I want to blog and do pictures and etc for fun and it was so informative and the perfect time! Good luck to you!

  19. Don’t stress about this at all! I genuinely don’t mind seeing sponsored content from you whatsoever! You have to make an income from content creation and you come across as having so much integrity, I fully trust that you are only promote products you believe in! Love your videos, excited to see more blog content from you too!x

  20. Girl, I honestly think that those who follow you for so long would never assume that you are a sell-out or that you try to push some c**p on us just so you could make money. I am going through an insanely rough period carrier-wise and your videos both motivate me and help me relax for those 10-15 minutes. For that, I am truely greatful. Do what you do, take care of yourself and that beautiful family of yours. Looking forward your future videos 🙂

  21. I understand that to make money on YouTube you have to do paid deals. It doesn’t bother me not one little bit. To keep you making videos for my entertainment I’m happy to watch a paid video. I say go for it girl.

  22. I am interested to know about this 5-10year limit for your YouTube. Does this mean you will move on to other things by choice? Or,as I have heard….YouTube could go away.
    Thank you!

  23. Please don’t stress out about the sponsors content. You are one of the few YouTubers I believe when they say they are picky about branddeals. I am never put of by a sponsord video by you.

  24. Brittany, your genuineness has always come thru loud & clear , which is why you were able to build your channel. This is just a natural progression of hard work . Happy for you!! Can’t wait to see the new sponsored content! Blessings & Kudos to you, Girl Boss!💗

  25. Thank you for being so genuine and honest. I can feel that from you just from watching a few of your videos. Being a Mom and managing a home are not easy tasks alone. I can tell that you work very hard and you deserve to make $$. You are sweet to worry and that’s probably one of the reasons people love you. Don’t change and stay real in this plastic world! 😉

  26. I totally understand your stress bc we have similar personality types about this type of perception but your loyal subscribers (as I have been for years!) can totally see your authenticity and the time and effort you put into your videos! We are down for a few extra sponsors here and there to ensure you’re providing for your family—and earning what you rightfully should be for all your excellent work!

  27. Your transparency is admirable. Personally I’ve never thought of you as money hungry. You’re amazing at what u do. Your content is always refreshing and I walk away with new insights every time. We love and appreciate u. Keep your chin up..👊🏽

  28. You are amazing, you have always come off as a genuine person who cares about everyone!! You do what you have to do to support your family and dont worry about the rest!! Just stay true to yourself and the rest will follow!! Xo

  29. I just want to say first don’t worry about sponsored content if you love the product and believe in it or the company and it can benefit the person watching don’t feel any type of way. I love your channel and have been following along for a very long time and appreciate you being so transparent but also don’t be so hard on yourself you do an amazing job!

  30. Brittany, the fact that you took the time to write this post is a testament to your character and high integrity. We see it and we won’t be leaving you, even if there are a couple more sponsored videos than normal for a few months. You have given so much to us through your videos and advice. I’ve learned a lot and never miss a video—been watching you (and the boys and pup) for years! Do not fret. Years from now you’ll be glad you took these opportunities. And by the way, I suspect you will have a much longer career than 10 years on YouTube (if you so choose). 😊

    We’re sending you hugs and congratulations!

  31. See, this is where you’re so wrong, Brittany; I would LOVE to hear you rumble for an HOUR just chatting away your thoughts just like some beauty gurus do! Whenever I see other people ramble I think: I wish Brittany would do this type of vlog just talking with us like friends! Just talking, being real! I truly adore those types of vlogs from you on the rare occasion you post them (I always wish they where an hour). The problem here is that YOU ARE SO AFRAID, GIRL!! Don’t be afraid of looking too “greedy” I think your audience is intelligent enough to understand that you need to make a living! Go get that merch, endorsement deals, ten a month I don’t care! I’d still watch all of your videos and would love them and I would love the recommendations from you! I actually was worried the other day, I watch other girls (smaller youtubers than you) having all these sponsors and I was thinking: “how come Brittany who has more than a million subs doesn’t get this many sponsors? She’s a lot better than this run of the mill goblin YouTube people!” But now I know why! It’s because you’re such a good person and so humble that you don’t wanna disappoint us (and for that you’re my favorite, you’re truly going to heaven because you have the purest and most beautiful heart!) well let me tell you: YOU WILL NOT DISSAPOINT US! I don’t wanna loose you in 5-10 years! 😭 please take those deals!! It’s very common for a viewer to see sponsors in their favorite YouTube videos and to tell you the truth I get happy and excited for them! For having a sponsor, for making it big! I TOTALLY SUPPORT THAT!!! Please Brittany, for once, do what’s right for your bank account and your career! And stop worrying so much! We LOVE YOU and will walk till the very end by your side ❤️ And I’m not saying that you should become this horrible money grabbing person and change who you are, I’m just saying that I don’t think anyone would mind if they see you making sponsored videos, because they’re so great anyways! They don’t feel like commercials at all, I’m always learning something or having fun watching! I’ll stop my ramble for now but let me tell you, I’ll be For ever grateful to even get to know you through the screen…. And please do this blog in video form, I’d love to see you talking to us and getting real! Many blessings to you and your beautiful family. Always you friend, Liliana MG 💕

  32. I’m happy you are getting good brand deals and I know you wouldn’t promote anything you don’t truly believe in. Your videos are so professional and well produced and I know you put a ton of work into them. I have no issue with you doing what you need to do to make money so you can continue making videos for us and earn a living. The viewers that have been with you will continue to be with you and support you so stop stressing!

  33. There is value in what you offer to your viewers. We see your value, advertisers see your value, Your persona, creativity, humor, and honesty are very enjoyable and THAT’S WORTH A LOT!!!

  34. Love, love, love this! You really are one of the special ones…your transparency and your “realness” just exude from everything you do. I appreciate your thoughtfulness in not doing a branded video every time. I’ve followed so many people who at the beginning I love to watch them with their families and then it just turns into every video being a sponsored commercial. Even if it is a good video, it’s just different. It starts to feel like this person who you have started to like and trust and think of as a friend in a weird way…is all of a sudden a salesman just trying to suck up to get you to buy something. It makes your “relationship” with that person feel less important and you feel less values as a viewer. That’s how it makes me feel, anyway. I appreciate this post and look forward to Future blog posts!

  35. Girl, go ahead and make that money! We love your stuff and only a turd would complain about ads. It’s business! I’m sure it’s easier said than done but please don’t let this stress you out. Love your content and am excited for the blog!!

  36. I’m not going to lie- when I first saw you, I was presumptuous about the kind of person you might be or what content you would offer. You’re just so dang pretty and put together lol- I incorrectly and unfairly assumed that you might be a little out of touch in some ways. I was COMPLETELY wrong . You are so grounded and relatable, and you do an amazing job providing valuable content.

    Don’t even worry about all this. Honestly, to a certain extent, it’s just part of the game. I think most people understand that you need to generate revenue in order to keep providing us free content. It’s ok! The only thing I care about, is if you truly enjoy using the product/service you are endorsing. And as a side note- the fact that you’re this concerned about being transparent tells me everything I need to know. So relax. You’re doing great!

  37. You should never feel stressed or guilty over ads and sponsored content. If you believe in it, why not promote it?! Anyone who watches your channel regularly sees how authentic you are.

  38. Brittany, your honesty and integrity shines through on every video. I’ve been with you since before Carter. I think before your house even, although I’m not sure. You do you. Nothing wrong with making a living off of YT or IG or sponsored videos and I know you would always disclose your sponsorships and affiliate links. Not going anywhere here. Just remember, there are always going to be trolls and haters. They hide behind a giant screen. I imagine they military be miserable. True haters, not just someone discussing something they disagree with. I know you’re a sensitive and shy soul. At least that is how I think of you even after all these years. Ignore. Block. Water off a duck’s back. You have e to for your sanity.

    Thank you for trusting us with your thoughts, the glimpses into your life, and for just being you.

  39. Thank you for being so honest, this was a very interesting read! I love all of your videos and have never been put off by sponsored content. I think it is because your videos offer so much information and the sponsored content is only a small part and very weil embedded within it.

    I wish you nothing but the best and am now off to click on some of your brand links😊

    Take care,
    Christine

  40. Don’t worry about the brand deals! It’s okay! People understand that it’s how you make money and as long as you are honest about it, it’s totally fine. We are happy for you to get opportunities!

  41. If you know you have not done anything wrong, then don’t worry about it or feel guilty or anything. And we know that you haven’t. Nothing wrong with having a few sponsored videos close together. I do appreciate your explanation, though. I’m happy for you that you got an offer that you could not refuse.

  42. You have worked hard and your channel’s content reflects that. Take the big deal and take the win! We will all be here supporting you.

  43. I’ve never noticed a difference in quality between the videos that have sponsorships and those that don’t. In fact, I’ve been following your channel for YEARS and you are still the only YouTuber where I use your hacks, try out your DIYs, buy the products you recommend. You’ve never steered me wrong. 🙂

  44. Thankyou for writing this. I love how honest and real this is. Also I believe there is nothing wrong with doing brand deals as long as you actually use the product! ♡

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