Posting on YouTube is no longer just fun—it's financially rewarding! I made a little under $40 yesterday after turning their monetization feature on, which was surreal to see.

To be clear: $38.41 is not going to change my life. But making real money in my first month of posting is basically objective validation that I'm headed in the right direction.

Some other metrics of interest + takeaways:

  • My CPM (cost per thousand views) is extremely high—several times the average. In practice, that means my viewers are very engaged and I'm in a profitable niche. I knew both of these already, but it's nice to have that confirmed by the most advanced data collection company on Earth.
  • As my editing has improved, my average view duration has gone up significantly. We're now at 5:02 minutes per. If I break this down, videos that include a catchy introduction tend to perform better than those without, probably because having one implies higher production quality and helps pattern match me to other, larger creators out there. I'm not going to change my longform style, but I may experiment with adding a few cuts to the beginning of my videos to see if this further increases retention.
  • I changed my thumbnails last week and the effect has been very noticeable. Keeping my branding consistent and following a few best practices (big text, white outline, etc) has netted me an improvement in clickthrough rate of ~1%. I don't want to get any more clickbaity than I already am, so I'm satisfied with this at present.
  • Videos where I mention my income very clearly perform better than those that don't. It seems obvious why. People are drawn to accomplishments, especially money, and having a bunch of it lends me credence/legitimacy. There is a line I need to toe here, though, because overdoing it seems spammy and illegitimate, and my overt goal isn't to just be popular, it's to be respected. To that end, I'm going to insert a soft reference to my income or my 7-figure businesses, and make sure to do that at least once per video.

Looking back, I owe a lot of my success here to my business partner Noah. He frequently encouraged me to get more public on YouTube with constant nudges and praise.

I think that reinforced a certain level of confidence, which later inspired me to try a thirty day challenge. Then the positive feedback from my viewers naturally helped me course correct to a format and a subject that they find valuable.

TLDR: assuming I don't grow any further, YouTube is already paying off my mortgage. Just another testament to how magical the Internet is & how consistently taking action always nets you outsized results!

$38.41 in my first monetized day on YouTube