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Becoming a YouTube influencer is an attractive opportunity, especially for the younger generation. Research shows that 54% of Gen Z and millennials would become an influencer if given the opportunity and 86% welcome the opportunity to post content for cash. YouTube influencers often pick a niche they’re passionate about, work flexible hours and get paid to interact with their audience. It’s not hard to see the job’s allure, but what is a typical YouTube influencer salary?

Here’s a look at the average salary for a YouTube influencer, along with other compensation rates and options. 

YouTube influencer salary

The average YouTube influencer salary is $65,929 a year, which is about $32 an hour, according to ZipRecruiter. Research shows influencers using YouTube as their primary channel can make as low as $27,500 and as high as $90,500, but most fall between $55,500-$79,000 a year.

YouTube influencers who live in bigger cities tend to make a bit more than average. YouTube influencers in San Francisco, for example, average $82,534 a year, and those in Seattle make an average of $76,065 a year.

The average compensation for YouTube content

While the average yearly salary of a YouTube influencer is a good benchmark to strive toward, most creators won’t make the amount overnight. It could take months or even years to earn that kind of salary.  In the meantime, YouTubers work to grow their audience and start landing paid collaborations with brands. How much does a YouTube endorsement cost? IZEA has decades of influencer compensation data, which you can access in our State of Influencer Earnings report. It shows the average cost paid per piece of content by platform. 

Cost per post by Platform

YouTube influencers charge an average of $2,102 per video. Video platforms, like YouTube and Twitch, bring in more money than static content. 

Many influencers choose to offer content bundles. It’s a nice way to boost compensation while giving brands a little extra exposure. IZEA has data on “content combos” as well. The chart below shows common combinations and the costs for each.

2022 Average Cost Paid Per Post Per Platform Combo

For an Instagram Story and a YouTube video, creators charge $12,000 for the combo.  

Earning through the YouTube Partner Program

YouTube allows influencers to earn a cut of ad revenue through its YouTube Partner Program. YouTube gives influencers 55% of the profits and keeps 45%. For Shorts, influencers get 45%, and YouTube keeps 55%. 

What does that equate to in cash? It’s estimated that influencers make about $18 per 1,000 ad views. So, to make this lucrative, creators need a fairly large audience. 

And there are certain eligibility requirements to meet to start earning revenue. These include:

  • Get 1,000 subscribers with 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months
  • Or, get 1,000 subscribers with 10 million valid public Shorts views in the last 90 days.

Other earning methods on YouTube

While the partner program is the most common choice, there are other ways to monetize content on YouTube. Here’s a look at a few options. Remember, YouTube has specific eligibility criteria for these as well. 

Sell a subscription

As an influencer, you can set up a tiered subscription plan that gives your audience access to exclusive content for set monthly fees. The content might be special videos, live streams, or workshops, for example. 

Sell merch

Creators can also set up a YouTube Store to sell branded merchandise. From T-shirts and stickers to niche products like an influencer’s own line of makeup or gaming accessories, creators can bring in some extra cash by selling items via an online store.  

Super Chat and Super Stickers

Fans can pay a small amount to have their comments or images highlighted during a live stream. It’s a nice addition to existing revenue streams.

The makeup and timeline of an influencer’s salary

It’s important to understand that an influencer’s salary is often made up of different revenue streams, and it takes time to get each one set up. For example, let’s say a YouTuber earns money from ad revenue from the YouTube Partner Program, merch sales and brand collaborations. 

First, they’ll need time to grow an audience and establish trust with their followers. They’ll need to apply for the YouTube Partner Program and continue to grow their audience to boost revenue. 

They could set up a store, create and secure merchandise, and have a plan for distribution. They’ll also need to identify brands to work with, reach out and start cashing in on brand collaborations. All of which takes time.


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