Shelby Church began making YouTube videos when she was 14. “I was making videos about makeup and stuff and I didn’t even really know what I was doing,” she told Graham Stephan, and his righthand man, Jack, on a recent episode of the Iced Coffee Hour.
“I was just bored, ya know? I feel like a lot of people [on YouTube] started that way. And now, it’s like, I never woulda imagined that it’s as big as it is.”
Shelby actually dropped outta college, where she was studying film, to pursue YouTube full-time. Around then, she had roughly 600K subscribers and was making about $4,500 per month, almost entirely from ad revenue.
She’s grown exponentially since then. Now, Shelby’s got a vlog channel called Shelby Church Vlogs that got over 3.9 million views in 2020, generating roughly $35 grand in income. Not bad considering she’d neglected it for the first half of the year.
As an experiment, Shelby started blogging on Medium last year as well. Like YouTube, Medium’s willing to cut you in on any ad revenue your articles generate. Some of her articles only made $80 or so. Others earned her a few hundred. But a couple did in the thousands. Her total, for all of last year? $24,774.37.
Reflecting on her profitable little test, Shelby had this to say: “I did not expect that at all. I think that’s so crazy. I think Medium’s actually a lot easier to earn money on than YouTube. You don’t need a camera. You don’t need that stuff, ya know? You just need some interesting life experiences to talk about.”
But what about her main channel? How much money did that make her? You’re about to find out. Read on.
Last year, in 2020, Shelby Church uploaded about 40 new videos to her main channel, racking up an impressive 27 million views. Her take-home, from ads? About $170,000.
So that’s about $230,000 between both YouTube channels and Medium. On top of that, you gotta add brand deals, which, Shelby says, she won’t even consider for less than $10 racks. Probably much more for her main channel.
Then there’s affiliate commissions, like when she links to Amazon where you can purchase the equipment (camera, mic, etc.) she uses to make her videos.
I gotta think that’s another six figures a year, easily—between sponsorships and affiliate income. So let’s call it about $350,000 Shelby made online in 2020. And she made a little less than that the year prior. And a lot less the year before that.
Now subtract taxes, business and living expenses, and we’d estimate Shelby Church has a net worth of around $300k. Still a ways away from millionaire status, but hey, she’s young and she’ll hit it in the next couple of years as long as she keeps doing her thing.
Surprisingly, her most viewed video of last year? Was one she uploaded towards the end of 2019, about becoming an Amazon millionaire with internet marketing guru Kevin David. Here’s that video.