You are probably thinking I interviewed him prior to writing this article, but the fact is, I did not. All the things I know about this Youtube superstar comes from the same online information everyone reads. But I do know a little bit more because of my experience in internet marketing and that’s why I’m here to answer the question about how does Pew Die Pie make money online.
Who Is Pew Die Pie?
Also Known as the world’s greatest YouTuber, Swedish-born Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg is a university drop out who went on to become an online gamer and commentator on his official channel called Pew Die Pie. Since 2006, he has produced about 3,500 videos and garners over 96 million subscribers, as of April 2019.
Today, he earns about $15 million dollars per year by simply doing what he likes. Sounds like something we all want for our bank account too, right? So, what exactly contributed to all the fame, glory and wealth? Most of the answers are actually on his channel. If you haven’t noticed before, here’s the rundown.
Strategy #1 – YouTube Advertisement
Big companies come to YouTubers for the advertising space. During online streaming, companies will promote their ads to your audience either before and/or in between the span of the video. The revenue is then split between the two – YouTube keeps 45% and the creator receives 55%.
There are several factors that influence the earnings though.
- The Cost Per Mille (aka CPM) refers to the cost of 1,000 impressions/views greater than 30 seconds of an ad video. Most CPM rates are between $4 to $10, at the gross average of $7.60. If so, you get to earn $4.18 per 1,000 views after YouTube takes their cut. Sometimes, it could go as low as 10 cents too.
- CPM can increase during special seasons such as Christmas or during the NFL.
- A higher number of subscribers can potentially lead to more ad views. However, a qualified impression dictates that the viewers must watch the ads for at least 30 seconds from the start. Anything less than that will not be counted as a view.
Just to give an idea of how much PewDiePie makes per video, here’s a calculation I make using the YouTube Money Calculator. The system uses all kinds of factors and variance to come up with a rough estimation.
That’s almost $13K for just one video! Crazy, right? No wonder YouTubers work so hard to create new videos and encourage people to subscribe to their channels all the time. There’s real money to be made here!
Strategy #2 – Affiliate Marketing
Since an audience can take a while to grow, it is not wise to rely on ad revenues alone. One of the most common routes YouTubers take to diversify their video income is through affiliate marketing. It allows them to earn sales commissions from brands and companies whenever they recommend products to the audience.
This can be anything, from video production gears to the items within the topics of discussion. In the case of PewDiePie, he shares two things – an ergonomic chair and a stream deck device that he so often uses. You can see the posting of two different affiliate links below one of his videos.
The first one takes you to Clutch Chairz, a company that designs and sells high quality and comfortable chairs for gamers. This is a private affiliate offer and it pays in three levels;
- Level 1 (up to 5 chairs per month) – 5%
- Level 2 (up to 15 chairs per month) -7%
- Level 3 (more than 15 chairs per month) – 10%
One unit of chair sells about $400 so that means you could earn anywhere between $20 to $40, depending on the volume of sales conversion.
The second one takes you to Amazon, specifically the Elgato Stream Deck product page. This item sells for about $250 per unit and according to the latest fee schedule, the commission for electronic products is 4%. That rounds up to about $10 per sale.
Now, considering the level of influence that PewDiePie has in the gaming community nowadays, it wouldn’t be surprising to make a few thousand per month just from the Amazon Associate program alone.
Of course, this isn’t as lucrative as advertising revenue, but for beginners, affiliate commissions can help to sustain operational costs such as domain fees, hosting fees and etc. while you gradually grow a strong online presence.
Strategy #3 – Sell Merchandise
Another interesting thing is that PewDiePie actually has a clothing brand that he founded with his fashion-designer girlfriend. The merchandise offers high-quality unisex clothing and home products that are ethically made. It’s called Tsuki and it’s an eCommerce store powered by Shopify.
Obviously, the profit here wouldn’t be as transparent as it takes into account the production costs, logistics as well as some marketing work. Still, it’s a good stream of income to have especially for creating loyalty with the audience.
The thing I like about all these three strategies is the nature of recurring income. You do it once, leave it there and earn passive money as a result. Now, when I say passive, it doesn’t mean not doing anything, but rather leveraging from time to grow your income exponentially into the future.
- Once a good video is published, it will continue to grow in audience size over the years. For as long as you don’t delete the video and keep up with the minimum engagement, you can potentially enjoy continuous monthly ad revenues and affiliate commissions.
- As with an online store, you can sell 24/7 globally. There’s no maintenance of a brick-and-mortar shop and you can always promote to preexisting customers by collecting their emails.
Planning Out Your Money Making Strategies
I am quite sure PewDiePie also makes money from acting and sponsorship, but that’s beyond our discussion here. The main reason I pointed out the three strategies is that these tasks are something we – the less popular group of people – can all do without needing extraordinary talents.
If you’ve been thinking about making legitimate money online, you can certainly draw some inspiration from the man himself here. Here’s how you can go about picking the right options;
Good for people who are comfortable presenting in front of videos and enjoy engaging with a large virtual audience. Possessing a creative skill will be an added advantage here because it makes you stand out from competitors within the same niche.
Downside – Growing a fan base can take years and you need to constantly create high video outputs to keep up with the trends and demands.
Great for all groups of people, introverts and extroverts alike. If you are passionate about something and like to share ideas and knowledge with people, you can definitely find an affiliate program that is both interesting and profitable.
If you are not keen on videos, publish a blog instead and engage with your audience through informative articles. Use the tool below to create a free site with WordPress if you haven’t already done so.
Just like PewDiePie, you can promote anything from the Amazon rack and earn additional commissions even from products that you didn’t mention. The selections are massive in the marketplace and there’s something for every single niche.
However, Amazon has some hard rules like they would terminate your account if you don’t generate any sales within 180 days so if you find yourself stuck in this situation, there are always other affiliate programs to go to. You can search for them individually online or browse through the options on the following affiliate networks;
- Rakuten Linkshare
- Conversant (formerly known as Commission Junction)
- Affiliate Window (AWIN)
Apart from that, you can also consider promoting digital goods such as audiobooks, specific programs or software that can potentially fetch higher commissions (between the range of 20% to 50%) due to their low operational costs.
Downside – Generating traffic to your site can take some time. You need to have a good grasp of keyword research and constantly producing valuable content that is both interesting and relevant to convert readers into buyers. Don’t feel dismayed though – here’s a great training platform that can help.
- Online Store
Good for preexisting retail businesses or those with experience selling goods online. If you are looking to build your own brand or want to make more sales with merchandise, setting an online store is the way to go.
Downside – A lot of work is needed on the back office like planning, creating and then marketing. Hence, the increase in the cost of production too. Not ideal for solopreneurs with low investment budgets.
No matter which strategies you choose, one thing is important and that is the audience. When there’s no audience, there’s basically no one to sell to. However, to get an audience, you must first offer something valuable and content in the form of knowledge/information is the best way to do that.
In the case of PewDiePie, he shares his passion for gaming and helps others become better at it. What about you? What can you give to others?
I hope by showing how PewDiePie makes money online, will inspire you to start your own entrepreneurial journey whether it’s through making YouTube videos, affiliate marketing or building an online store.
Meanwhile, please check out my recommended training platform to learn more about online marketing. Feel free to leave your thoughts or questions down below and I’d get back to you as soon.