More than a year out of date but … How Much Do YouTubers Make? The Top 25 Earning Creators’ Adsense Salaries Revealed [Infographic].
How did they do it? Mostly it was young people just out of college in 2005-2008 – just as Youtube was getting underway. They jumped on to online video as an extension of Facebook social media and self promotion at a time when there were few competitors. They worked to develop their “channels” and their online personalities, building a large following of subscribers.
It has been said that virtually all of today’s Youtube stars used fraudulent methods to up their viewership during the early years. Back then, Youtube promoted videos based on how many views they had – and Youtube had not yet implemented anti-fraud measures. In those days, early Youtubers would create an HTML page with a hundred or more Youtube players containing their video. And then they would refresh the page repeatedly and watch their viewer counts skyrocket. Youtube put an end to that but others have said essentially all of the top channels in Youtube got their initial high rankings through viewer count manipulation and fraud. Once established at the top of the heap, its easier to stay there.
New “acts” have a much harder time breaking through unless they manage a viral hit, often based on parody. Its got to be shared widely outside of Youtube for it to take off.