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Top YouTube Earners Earning Over 100K in Ad Revenue

YouTube may not be the most profitable way to make money on the Internet; however it is certainly possible to earn a decent income if you are willing to put in time and effort to monetising and promote your videos. In fact, there are many people who make hundreds of thousands in revenue from their videos on YouTube.

How You Earn on YouTube

Like many other content sites, YouTube allows users to earn a share of the ad revenue generated from videos uploaded by the user. Before you start to earn money, you will need to apply and be accepted to the YouTube partner programme. Once approved, you can monetise your videos and turn on ads. A number of ad options are available such as:

  • Pre-roll ads that play in front of your video
  • Overlay ads that pop up on the bottom of the video
  • Banner ads that appear next to the video

In order to make money on YouTube, you have to upload videos regularly and ensure a very high viewer-ship for your videos. So, you need to make videos and promote them on social networks and other online mediums.

Highest Earning Independent Users on YouTube

Top Independent earners on YouTube published in the Telegraph’s “YouTube rich list“  featured 10 independent acts in the list, each earning in excess of $100,000 per year in advertising revenue.  If you want more inspiration, I highly recommend you to take a look at the top Adsense Earners that earn in Millions.

Here are the top 5 independent YouTube earners:

1. Shane Dawson

Top YouTube Earners - Shane Dawson

  • 2,894,355 subscribers
  • 672,756,760 video views
  • Date Joined: 10 Mar 2008
  • Uploaded videos: 191

Clean-living, wholesome 22-year-old Californian comic actor producing home-made sketches. Shane describes himself as an “innocent guy with a dirty mouth”.

2. The Annoying Orange

Top YouTube Earners - Annoying Orange

  • 2,364,764 subscribers
  • 1,097,124,662 video views
  • Uploaded videos: 135

Animated fruit created by Dane Boedigheimer that could soon appear on television.

3. Philip DeFranco

Top YouTube Earners - Philip DeFranco

  • 2,024,578 subscribers
  • 824,131,630 video views
  • Date Joined: 15 Sep 2006
  • Uploaded videos: 857

Voted the world’s sexiest geek by readers in 2008, DeFranco created his Sxephil channel for YouTube while studying at East Carolina University. His eponymous video blog focuses on politics and gossip.

4. Ryan Higa

Top YoutTube Earners - Ryan Higa

  • 5,155,311 subscribers
  • 1,132,245,581 video views
  • Date Joined: 20 Jul 2006
  • Uploaded videos: 111

Also known as Nigahiga, the Hawaiian-born Japanese-American evolved from lip-synching to original comedy and has had more than 150 million hits. Videos How to be Gangster and How to be Ninja went viral for him and his Yabo Crew.

5. Fred Figglehorn

Top YouTube Earners - Fred

  • 2,261,470 subscribers
  • 897,285,030 video views
  • Date Joined: 1 Oct 2005
  • Uploaded videos: 112

At 16, Lucas Cruikshank who is soon to appear on Nickelodeon, is one of the youngest users earning over 100k on YouTube. He is the creator of the precocious, helium-voiced six-year-old whose videos are said to have earned him more young fans than even than the teen sensation Hannah Montana.


You Tube may not be the easiest way to make money on the Internet. It nevertheless offers a huge potential to generate revenue if you are passionate about creating and sharing videos and are willing to put in the time and effort required to generate tons of views for your videos.

Almost all of the top earners featured in the top 10 list in the telegraph include independent acts and comics as opposed to big brands or professional producers. They represent a growing number of independent contributors who are earning six figure sums from video-sharing.

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