Since I will be starting my YouTube channel from scratch I do not expect to generate any where near enough money to cover the entire cost of the trip off of that alone. Maybe someday I could get the channel to that point, but it typically takes a long time to create a big enough following to earn decent money. Marketing is a key aspect of growing a YouTube channel and gaining followers. But content quality and topic popularity are important too.
|Cooling off in a waterfall in the Amazon jungle on my South American ride.|
Most of the biggest names in YouTube are either gamer channels, musicians, or content creators for children. The biggest names make over 20 million dollars per year. While YouTube travel accounts don't make anywhere near as much money as some of the Youtubers I am referring to, there are still plenty of travel Youtubers that make decent money.
Three channels I decided to compare are:
Adam Hugill - 18k Subscribers
Adam is a cross country bicycle tourist that travels in a similar way to what I have in planned. He has cycled in many different countries and is a relatively new account. He stays mostly in hotels and doesn't show the camping out or roughing it portion as much as I plan to. His videos average between 5k and 15k views, but his most popular video has 196k views.
Steve Wallis - 510k subscribers
Steve uploads mostly videos on camping out in the wilderness, but also has plenty of hiking videos. He makes his videos in all different parts of the world. He doesn't do any biking, but I wanted to include at least one camping channel on this list since I will be doing a significant amount of camping. Most of his camping videos get between 100k and 300k views despite only having 500k followers. His most popular video has over 4 million views.
FunForLuis - 1.9 million subscribers
This channel differs from the other two channels in the sense that it is not specifically a hiking or biking channel. The majority of things Luis does are not on the bike, but he did do a bike tour from London down to Africa and covered that ride on his channel. His biking videos got between 30k and 70k views each. His other travel videos regularly get between 100k and 500k views with his most watched video getting over 9 million views.
Looking at these four guys and their biking, camping, and traveling videos it is clear to see that it's definitely possible to make some money from bike riding. If I am willing to make travel videos showing off things besides just biking, like camping and doing some traveling off the bike it will broaden my audience and appeal to more viewers.
The average YouTube channel gets $0.18 per view. On the lower end if I upload a video that gets 10k views I would earn approximately $180. If I am uploading one video per week and netting 10k views that would amount to $720 per month which is roughly the estimated cost of travel on a bike for one month. On the higher end, if I upload a video that gets 100k or 500k views I would make $1,800 or $9,000 respectively. Getting a steady fan base of subscribers it very important and marketing will play a large role in this.