You can earn Google AdSense revenue playing games on YouTube. However, it is often a great way for people who already have a huge audience online. Google AdSense is Google’s advertising platform that you can use for display ads on your website, and that advertisers can use to show ads on you website.
Now, I’m also applying Google AdSense to YouTube ads because YouTube and Google are both the same company, so I’m applying AdSense because the payments also come through AdSense for YouTube ads. I’m including both of these together as one. I will talk about them a little bit separately.
I am aware that there are other advertisers and ways you can make money online in a similar fashion. You can be running ads in your mobile app for example, and get paid for every person that clicks on them. I will stick to Google AdSense for this because that’s what I have the most experience with personally and Google can make you money in just about every way.
If you have a mobile app, you can have Google AdSense in your mobile app. If you have a website or a video, Google can make you money by allowing you to show Google ads in almost any format. I have made money showing ads on my website and I currently am making about $1,500 a month showing ads on my YouTube channel.
It is not easy to get these things set up. In fact, it is very much a business. Running these things well does have the potential to make you good money. My friend Jordan made over $100,000 using Google AdSense on several different websites. He started out on Flippa, he bought a few websites, one or two of which were working well to start and then he put the time and effort to continue improving them over time and increase the Google AdSense revenue to the point where he made over $100,000 in the space of around a year.
Google AdSense can work really well. However, it is not some little passive income thing you get set up perfectly and ignore. It is very much an ongoing active business and so is a YouTube channel. I once saw a course about “How I make $2,000 a month on YouTube with no filming.” It is not that easy.
Now yes, you can get lucky. You can put a few viral videos up and just get lucky. The odds of getting lucky in that sense are extremely rare. The more you start uploading videos, the more you will realize how rare it is. Out of 1,000 videos, one video I have done just hit that formula out of luck.
Earn Google Adsense revenue playing games on YouTube
The coaching video I did with a professional League of Legends player who now just does coaching. I did a live stream with him and I didn’t even mean to make a video out of it. I just meant to stream it on Twitch, and it also ended up going on YouTube, where it went viral all on its own.
Out of 1,000 videos, one video went viral. It has got 640,307 views for free now, which is worth about $1,200 in ad revenue.
What is ad revenue worth?
On YouTube, 1,000 views will get you about $2. Yes, if you have an audience that is very profitable to watch my “Best Facebook Ads Tutorial Ever” video. I would guess that a lot of people watching that video cost more to reach with YouTube ads because it has done more than $2 CPM, or cost per 1,000. Why is it “CPM” if you say cost per 1,000? It means Cost Per Mil or something like that. It is just cost per 1,000: CPM.
On other videos it has been more in the little over $1 range. If you are not in the USA and your videos get a lot of views that aren’t from the USA, your cost may be significantly lower that you earn on ads because they are based on where the people watching them are located.
In the US a YouTube view, if you want to pay for it, is about 8 cents each in Google AdWords, and what you are earning as a publisher is relative to what the advertisers are spending.
Whatever the advertisers are spending, you get a percentage of that. In the US, at 8+ cents a view, every person who watches my video and ends up seeing and not skipping an ad, brings me in a corresponding amount of income.
When I’m paying one cent globally to show ads as an advertiser, obviously the cost I’m going to get when I’m having people watch my videos as a publisher is going to be a lot lower. To date I have still spent more on YouTube advertising on my channel than I have actually earned back in ad revenue. I think I should be coming up on about $5,000 I have earned in YouTube ad revenue soon. The nice thing about ad revenue, especially on YouTube is that it often can snowball. If honestly you think you are going to just set it up overnight, though, you are very likely to be disappointed.
Five years and 1,000 videos later, I now am making $1,500 a month in YouTube ad revenue. Obviously there are manipulations you can do and there are things you can do to cheat. I don’t think those things are worth doing because they still won’t be truly passive income. Anything you set up will end up requiring work, so if you set up something manipulative and cheating that you don’t enjoy doing just to make money, in the long term it is very rarely a possibility that it’s going to be worth your time.
Now I have a YouTube channel that I love and enjoy, so all I have to do is keep making videos and the snowball effect, as long as I continue making a video every day, my YouTube income from ads is likely to continue to go up and up, until I hit some kind of plateau.
The nice thing is, on YouTube there is a lot of up-room. The downside is it is very hard to get into the up-room. 99.9% of YouTube creators or something like that are never going to get into the up-room in Google Adsense revenue, the area where you can start making good money on every video just by making new videos.
I’m grateful now that nearly every video I make gets at least 1,000 views or so. A year ago every video was getting about 100 views. Things can happen very fast. Getting up to even 100 views on every video you make will more than likely take a while.
The nice thing is if you do videos every day it will add up a lot faster. For about 4 years of my channel I did not do videos every day, so you can do things faster than I did. YouTube ad revenue, once you have got it rolling, is about as secure as a salary in my opinion. Now, there is hit and miss. I have had a YouTube income of about $1,000 a month for a few months. This month it is up to $1,500 a month. A couple of months ago it was $1,600 in one month.
This is because the way YouTube gets people to watch videos continually changes over time. What videos are popular continue to change over time. What’s popular today, in a year no one might be watching it anymore.
What I try to do today is make as many evergreen or longer lasting videos as possible. That has contributed to me making a lot of these League of Legends coaching videos. These things have a long shelf life.
Some of the videos I made have a shorter shelf life like my Call of Duty Zombies videos because every time a new map comes out, everyone, collectively, mostly, not actually everyone, but probably 90% of the players stop watching the last map and start watching the new map. This means every new map is fantastically and overly popular, and the old maps then, hardly anyone watches them anymore. It is nice on League of Legends because things are way more drawn out and there is not as much new content.
It helps if you want to make Google Adsense ad revenue as your form of income to locate things that have a huge viewership with low competition. I have located League of Legends as something with a huge viewership and relatively low competition as there is only a handful of people.
Now League of Legends is the most popular game in the world. It has apparently 100 million active users a month worldwide. You more than likely haven’t heard of it other than me mention it in other videos.
Meanwhile, with all those users globally, there are only a few big names on YouTube that make League of Legends videos. You might think, “Well of course. That makes sense.”
In Call of Duty Zombies, there are a fraction of the players compared to League of Legends, and the players tend to be ephemeral. They tend to burn out pretty quickly or they will just watch a video here and there occasionally. Whereas League of Legends players are consistently active every month, and there are so many of them all over the world. They play for a long period of time and they keep coming back.
In Call of Duty Zombies, there are a bunch of people competing to make great videos. There are a bunch of streamers with gigantic audiences, so for a lot of the very most new popular games, there are tons of people who already are making a ton of ad revenue every month that go after all those.
Some of those niches are insanely competitive to get into. Meanwhile, League of Legends is fairly wide open. I don’t even hardly watch League of Legends videos, and I am able to tell you a lot of the people who make them because people mention them on my stream all the time.
I can’t tell you all the Call of Duty Zombies people, even though I watch those. I can tell you of maybe ten, there are tons of people. The competition is insane on those videos.
The trick with ads is to locate something of high demand and low supply, “Duh, Jerry, of course that’s what I want to do with my ads.” Obviously if you can think of an AdSense website, low competition, high traffic, that’s a good recipe to show ads on your website.
The trick is to use the things you already do and know about and to keep testing in different areas over and over again. The video I made on League of Legends on my channel that went viral on its own, was not the first video on this topic. In fact, I thought it would be the last video I made on League of Legends as I gave up and quit playing the game after that until I saw the video went viral months later.
I tried hundreds of different videos before that. I tried all kinds of different games. I tried making my own Call of Duty Zombies videos and if you want ad revenue you do have to be a slave in some sense to the number of views you get.
When I make a Call of Duty Zombies video, there is a cap, they almost never go over a few thousand, like 5,000. I made a few tutorials that did get up to like 50,000, so I snuck in a few Call of Duty’s Black Ops Zombies videos that did make it into the top of the results for a new map on the first day it came out. I had one of the first good tutorials showing how to build a few of the basics and those got collectively about 100,000 among 4 videos.
What I noticed in the data is that I got very few subscribers out of those videos. I got very few people who then are sticking with the YouTube channel. The key, especially for ads, is to find people who want more of what you are creating and who don’t have a lot of other options.
I realize there is another way to look at it. You don’t want an area with no competition at all more than likely, unless you think that’s something you can just test out without going all in on it. Obviously if you can be the first mover in a certain area, then that can have a gigantic upside, but most of the time a first mover goes nowhere. Most areas are not a place to move in so to speak.
If you get lucky and hit in a certain place that no one has got to yet, or from your own knowledge of what goes on, you realize that then you may be able to break it out. In League of Legends there were plenty of other people who had already done League of Legends coaching videos. In fact, it was a proven model so to speak. It was proven that you could do a League of Legends coaching video and people would enjoy it.
There just is very low competition on that though because that requires a lot of setup. It also requires a certain reduction in ego in the sense that for me that’s easy enough. I realize I’m so bad that I need a coach to get better. It is one of those things though that for some reason the bigger streamers want to just be able to play and look good, so they are not going to hire a coach unless it is some special collaboration with another streamer.
Then, this is the same thing for the average person. They want to show off their own game skill. Because everyone wants to show how good they are, there is an opportunity to work with someone else to make a great League of Legends coaching video, and especially then to make them on an ongoing basis and that’s what I’m doing now.
That first League of Legends video went viral a little over 6 months ago and since then I have made 10+ more videos similar to it. I’m continuing to make 1 or 2 more every week because almost every League of Legends video I make now gets at least 5,000 views within the first week or so that I put it up. By comparison the original coaching video I did, got maybe a few hundred views in the first week or so that I put it up.
If you want ad revenue with Google Adsense, you have got to make things that are popular to an audience with high demand and low supply.
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