How much money a YouTube creator with around 50,000 subscribers made in May, after her videos on stimulus checks surged in views

  • Erika Kullberg is an attorney who runs a personal-finance YouTube channel under the same name with 56,000 subscribers.
  • Kullberg started her YouTube channel in October 2019, after leaving her job as a corporate lawyer.
  • Kullberg’s YouTube channel earned about $9,000 in May, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider.
  • Her main business is her legal company, where she helps entrepreneurs and creators protect their online business.
  • For YouTube, her three main revenue streams are Google-placed ads, affiliate income, and brand sponsorships.

Around six months ago, Erika Kullberg left her job as a corporate lawyer and started a personal-finance YouTube channel, which now has 56,000 subscribers. 

“I remember recording my first video and just sweating because I was so nervous looking into the camera,” she told Business Insider. “Many lawyers told me not to do YouTube because I would ‘ruin my professional image.'”

Kullberg is an attorney and she left her corporate job last year to start her own legal company, she said. During that time, she was also looking to start something unrelated to law, so she started a YouTube channel. 

She decided to focus her channel on personal finance after paying off $200,000 in debt through learning how to live frugally, she said. 

“How to travel on credit cards and how to create a budget – that’s what enabled me to pay off my loans in two years and then leave this corporate job that I really wasn’t happy at,” she said. 

Although Kullberg’s YouTube channel doesn’t have millions of subscribers, she is still able to earn money each month based on her video content and the audience her channel attracts. She films videos about personal finance, passive income, investing, and recently, stimulus package updates.

Creators on YouTube earn a certain amount of money for a video from Google’s AdSense program based on their CPM rate, or cost per 1,000 video views. CPM rates depend on a number of factors, from the place in the video where viewers normally drop off to the type of advertisers the video attracts.

Advertisers pay more for an informative business-related video than a vlog-style video. For instance, talking about money on YouTube can make creators a lot of it, according to some personal-finance creators.

Kullberg’s YouTube channel earned about $9,000 in the month of May, according to a screenshot viewed by Business Insider. Her channel reached 1.8 million views that month, with her most-viewed videos about the new stimulus package. Toward the end of April (after her video on stimulus checks was picked up by YouTube’s algorithm) her channel was accepted into YouTube’s Partner Program – making May the first month she earned revenue off YouTube, she said. 

Her strategy is to give away all of the key information right away, and cut out any extra information that some creators might include just for the sake of uploading a longer 10-minute video, she said. 

“I intentionally try to keep my videos between 2 to 5 minutes,” she said. “I won’t make as much ad money, but people actually like it because they say I just cut through the fluff and get right to the point. That has actually helped my channel grow.”

From 2,000 subscribers to 40,000 in 30 days, and how YouTube’s algorithm helped her success

Some YouTube creators experienced a decline in direct-ad-revenue rates from the platform in April, likely because of shifting ad budgets due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But while Kullberg wasn’t making money until April, her video views spiked between March and May after YouTube started recommending her videos on stimulus checks. In 30 days, her channel went from about 2,000 subscribers on YouTube, to over 40,000 subscribers due to her viral videos on stimulus checks. 

“Before I was even monetized one of my videos suddenly just shot up to 20,000 views in a day and prior to that the most views I got in a day was about 100,” she said. “That’s when I knew I had to capitalize on that momentum.”

Kullberg now has over 30 videos on her channel about stimulus checks, but she said she isn’t just a “stimulus check YouTube channel.” Since she posts a new video every week, she’s recently focused on that specific topic since there’s a sudden interest – especially through search. By doing so, she has helped her overall channel growth and established herself as a creator in the personal-finance space. 

When Kullberg isn’t filming stimulus check videos, she talks about what to do if you’re laid off, how to pay off student loans, and investing advice for beginners. 

Her main business is her legal company, where she helps entrepreneurs and creators protect their online business, she said. For YouTube, her three main revenue streams are Google-placed ads, affiliate income, and brand sponsorships.

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