Which YouTube channels have real freebies

6 ways to make money on YouTube

Anyone can make money from their YouTube channel. All it takes is a few clicks, then the portal switches ads and the ruble rolls. But is it really that simple? What do Germany's YouTubers earn? We clarify!

Almost exactly a year ago we looked to see which of Germany's biggest YouTubers are and how they earn their money. Now the YouTube cosmos is not standing still and new faces have long been represented in the Top10. With the “consolidation of the industry”, which ex-Mediakraft boss Christoph Krachten spoke of in 2015, one or two YouTubers fell victim to the quick money, others changed their marketer and now earn even more money.

Our reporting is also often about revenues, contracts, but above all always about money. So it can't be that hard to make money on YouTube? First of all, let's take a look at who earns how much with YouTube advertising in Germany.

placeSurnamecategorynetworkSubscribersViewsSales monthly
1GronkhGamingStudio713.9 million1.6 billion7.500 - 120.000 $
2FreekickerzSoccerAthleatia3.4 million810 million12.000 - 194.000 $

At least $ 2,200 a month salary, that sounds pretty decent, but be careful: For comparison, place 100 is also listed. The Flying Pandas have 633,000 subscribers and 35 million views, and they make a maximum of $ 2,800 a month. As a couple. The network also collects from time to time and they had to come to these high subscriber numbers first.

Worldwide only a very manageable number of topics really earns money. In Germany, the Top 10 shows, there are three: gaming, comedy and music. There are also beauty and fashion, but this is due to the product placement, which we will take a closer look at below.

These three top themed areas attract enough viewers to be of interest to wealthy advertisers. In fact, gaming channels with fewer subscribers make more money than blogs with a lot more viewers. People may click the ads more often, or the ads themselves may make more money. Compare Dner and LeFloid in the table.

So, making a living on YouTube ads alone isn't a sensible path for us.

How to make money on YouTube

1. Networks

Almost every YouTuber in the Top10 is in one of the large networks. Only the Bibi business works without a marketer. Y-Titty recently quit YouTube, before that they were part of Mediakraft. If you want to earn money with YouTube, this is the best option. If not the only one.

100th place in the current ranking recently published a video in which a lot of stars from the associated network appear. It goes without saying that many fans of these huge channels watch that video and then maybe set up a new subscription. In this way, the networks increase their reach. In addition, they conclude their own advertising deals from which the channels within benefit.

2. Affiliate links

Affiliate links are a good and safe source of income, given viewers. You can easily post this under the video in the video description and receive commissions accordingly. Many YouTubers link their gear or things they talk about.

3. Product placement

When placing a product, you discuss a product, test it, or have it appear in your video. You will be paid for this by the associated company. Product placement is currently the best way to make money on YouTube. According to Philipp Steuer, a medium-sized channel with around 75,000 views per month can achieve around 2000 euros with one product placement. Legally, there are a few things to watch out for there.

Product placement from Tetrapak. The video is available here:

Commissioned work

With a special approach, or as an expert, there is always the option of getting involved.

Gronkh has his own show discussing games. Institutions such as the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) also commission YouTubers and / or invite them to brainstorming sessions. This work can be compared with that of a freelance video journalist who creates articles for clients. But he brings the viewers with him on YouTube

5. Offline world

However, with all the talk about clicks and reach, the expansion of one's own company on the Internet is often underestimated. With just a few views and clever ideas, you can generate new jobs with YouTube.

Flying Uwe does not think so much of pure click numbers. Here he explains what advantages a befriended master painter has from his YouTube channel:

You can find more detailed information on this topic, as well as on everything else that has to do with YouTube, in our YouTube e-book "How to Become a YouTube Star".

6. Unusual ideas

For everyone who says: “I'll never be able to do that anyway!”, Here are three examples of YouTubers who are successful thanks to their passion for their topic. It doesn't always have to be the thousandth make-up tutorial.

Let’s think

Lets Denk is Mats' channel where he discusses topics that are meant to be thought-provoking. He has now collected over 40,000 subscribers. This success is based on the fact that he carefully devotes himself to topics that are sometimes topical, but above all relevant in school or studies. In his most popular video, he explains Kant's categorical imperative. He has been active on YouTube for three years.

Rayk Anders

Rayk Anders operates a channel that now has 50,000 subscribers, where he - whatever comes to mind - mostly comments on current political or social issues.

Attacks in Paris, attacks in Cologne, Merkel's politics, tearing open women and much more.

Anders is more left-aligned and comments even more harshly than LeFloid, for example.

Dream Machines

Ultimately, you can also earn your living with excavators and construction machinery. Dream Machines has 30,000 subscribers and sometimes 2 million views under a video in which a crane-like machine tears down a house.

These channels make money in a variety of ways. Construction machines generate an advertising turnover with advertisements that is most likely not to be despised. Rayk Anders recently contributed to a documentary for ZDF and Lets Denk makes his knowledge and expertise available to clients. But all three channels are characterized by their passion. His opinion lives differently, behind the excavators there is a model maker and Mats enjoys preparing complex topics in an understandable way.


Making money on YouTube is not easy. The many positive examples show that it is possible. Nevertheless, it can essentially be compared to an affiliate site: It takes stamina, fun and an interesting idea or a special niche. In general, everyone should only do what they enjoy. Tormenting yourself to eventually achieve an imaginary goal will most likely fail. The big money on YouTube is made by a manageable number of artists and they all work very hard every day for this success. The smartest way for us seems to be either our own channel with a passion for a topic, or the expansion of our own company on the Internet.